Smirnoff Ice Holiday Cocktails + Appetizers

Smirnoff Ice Holiday Recipes
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Who says you can’t eat, drink, and be merry all at once? Tis the season for boozy brunches, family gatherings and holiday feasts after all. If you’re looking to kick up your next party platter, boozy brunch or family gathering – Smirnoff Ice has you covered. Here are some fun and delicious Smirnoff Ice cocktail and appetizer recipes using Smirnoff Ice Original, Smirnoff Ice Strawberry, and Smirnoff Ice Green Apple – perfect fruity and citrus flavors that will steal the show whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish to the party!

Holiday-Berry-Sparkler

Holiday Berry Sparkler

Ingredients

For the Cranberry Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

For the Cocktail

  • .75 oz cranberry simple syrup (recipe below)
  • .50 oz triple sec
  • 1.50 oz apple cider
  • 1 oz original Smirnoff Ice
  • 2 oz strawberry Smirnoff Ice
  • Cranberries and lemon peel for garnish

Mini-Berry-Bites

Mini Berry Bites

Ingredients

For the Cranberries

  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Bites

  • Mini Phyllo dough cups
  • 2 pkgs gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Strawberry Smirnoff Ice
  • Sugared cranberries (recipe above)
  • whipped cream
  • orange slices

Caramel-Green-Apple-Cocktail

Caramel Green Apple Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodka
  • .50 oz ginger simple syrup
  • 1.50 oz Green Apple Smirnoff Ice

Citrus-Asian-Chicken-Wings

Citrus Asian Wings

Ingredients

For the Wings

  • 2 lbs wings
  • 1 bottle Smirnoff Ice Original
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste – about 1/2 tsp each
  • 3 green onions, green and white parts diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

For the Glaze

  • 2 cups Smirnoff Ice Original
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp Teriyaki
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • black pepper to taste

All recipes courtesy of Smirnoff Ice / Jay and Leah from The Gastronom

For more great recipe ideas from Smirnoff Ice check out their Facebook and Twitter pages!

Things I Love :: Holiday Gift Guide 2017

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Holiday Gift Ideas for All Your Favorite People

The holidays are rapidly approaching and we all need a few fun ideas for gifting, now don’t we? This hot list below is full of great holiday gift ideas and things I love, perfect for your friends, family and coworkers – whether they love pampering, cooking, or just relaxing and having a cocktail by the fire, there’s a gift on this list they’re gonna love too!

Monogrammed Cocktail Glasses

Monogrammed Cocktail Glasses

Perfect-sized lowball glasses for whiskey and mixed cocktail drinks monogrammed with gold metallic vinyl will look stunning on display on your holiday table or bar cart.

seoulscrub set

SeoulScrub Mini Mix Body Scrub Set

Seoulscrub’s collections – defined by all-natural ingredients, fragrant scents and nourishing benefits are crafted to stimulate circulation and leave skin with a spa-fresh glow. The set includes 5 assorted scrubs including: Lemon Blossom, Creamy Coconut, Peppermint, Sea Mist and Suede Vetiver. YUM!

holiday sparkler set

Holiday Sparkler Set

This gift-worthy Sparkling Cocktail Kit includes a beautiful sparkling wine, craft gin, Washington D.C. limoncello and a bittersweet, floral liqueur. Basically everything needed to mix up swanky cocktails like a French 75, floral Spritzer or Limoncello Sparkler.

It also includes a set of four stemless shatterproof Champagne flutes from Govino, designed with a divot for your thumb – perfect way to celebrate the holidays!

Polaroid Cube+ 1440p Mini Lifestyle Action Camera with Wi-Fi & Image Stabilization

Polaroid Cube Mini Camera with WiFi

The black CUBE+ Lifestyle Action Camera from Polaroid makes it easier than ever to record and share all of life’s adventures. It has a built in video camera that shoots 1440p video at 30 fps, 1080p video up to 60 fps, and 720p video at 120 fps for slow-motion capture. Additionally, the camera captures up to 8MP still images. The CUBE+ also adds image stabilization for smoother looking video and built-in Wi-Fi for syncing with the CUBE+ app for iOS and Android devices. Super cool for any adventure loving photography buff!

Baked by Melissa Cupcakes

Baked by Melissa Mini Cupcakes

Six handcrafted cupcakes made from recipes in Melissa’s new cookbook! Includes Electric Tie-Dye, Ice Cream Sundae, gooey S’mores, Babka, toasty Caramel Coconut & sweet Sugar Cookie. The Dream Team is an exclusive first taste of a few favorite recipes from CAKES by Melissa! cookbook.

faux fur pillow

Fireside Faux Fur Pillow, Anthropologie

Because who doesn’t love a big, plush fluffy pillow by the fireplace? Yes please.

Boska Mini Fondue Pot

Mini Fondue Pot, Boska

Their ceramic mini fondue is perfect for sharing a quick fondue or tabletop tapas for two. Dunk rustic bread into melted cheese, swirl fruit in chocolate or enjoy a breakfast fondue of waffles dipped in warm syrup. Made of ceramic with a rubber wood base, it includes two stainless-steel fondue forks with wood handles and the pot is microwavable making it easy to melt chocolate or cheese.

Harry and David Gift Box

Holiday Wine Box, Harry & David

For someone special, send them this awesome box of gourmet treats in a festive gift box including Harry & David 2014 Ross Lane Blend Red, mulling spices, cheese, mixed nuts, Moose Munch popcorn, cookies, crackers and jam for this you can use a good blender from the best blender under 100 list so is affordable to you.

Cozy Fleece Robe

Cozy Fleece Robe for Him

Because what guy wouldn’t like a plush, cozy fleece robe for lazy holiday mornings?

Jacques Torres Chocolate Holiday Gift Box

Jacques Torres Chocolate Gift Box

A mouth-watering selection of premium chocolate bonbons packed in Jacques’ custom-made signature gift boxes. There is something for everyone with flavor schemes ranging from caramels, pralines, fruits, wine, teas, along with special edition holiday bon bons and a Happy Holidays Sleeve. Gorgeous flavors inside too: Spiced Wine (Milk), Swirls of Spiced Wine in Milk Chocolate, Merry Mint (Dark) , Mistletoe Mint in Dark Chocolate, Eggnog (White,  and Creamy Eggnog in White Chocolate. YUM.

rose-gold-cake-knife-set

Rose Gold Cake and Knife Set, West Elm  

Perfect for special occasions, this imported Rose Gold Cake + Knife Set adds simple elegance to any table. Use it for your next celebration, or gift a set to a friend. Great for pies, quiches and cakes! And well, rose gold is just super cool and pretty too.

bartender prep board

Personalized Cutting Board, Mark + Graham

Made for the cocktail connoisseur or the amateur mixologist, this personalize cutting board is crafted from solid maple wood, and answers all your cocktail glassware, quantity and garnish questions engraved on the board. Made by J.K. Adams, who, for more than 65 years, has been handmaking beautiful, sustainably harvested wood pieces in Vermont.

Beechers Cheese Set

Beecher’s Classic Cheese Collection

For the cheese lover in your family, try sending them this classic cheese collection from Beecher’s Cheese – one of my favorite places in NYC! These three cheeses have been part of the Beecher’s repertoire since the beginning. Enjoy them all side by side for a perfect, full-flavored cheese plate. Includes
Beecher’s Flagship 1/3 lb, Beecher’s New Woman 1/3 lb, Beecher’s Marco Polo 1/3 lb, and Beecher’s Original Crackers. Perfect with wine for a holiday gathering!

Bath and Body Works Candles

Yummy Holiday Candles, Bath and Body Works

The holidays are the perfect time for candles! And the candles at Bath and Body works are not only inexpensive but they have tons of yummy scents like Hot Cocoa and Cream, Spiced Apple Toddy, Campfire Donut and Vanilla Spiced Pear. Perfect way to spend a chilly evening cozied up by the fire with a cocktail.

Dr Smood Red Maca Superfood Powder

Superfood Powders, Dr Smood 

Dr Smood Superfood Powders would make a wonderful gift for the health and wellness-obsessed foodies on your list. They’re full of health-boosting goodness and are easy to use (they can be easily mixed into smoothies or juices, on yogurt or cereal or added to energy balls and no-bake treats).

There are a total of 13 beautifully packaged superfood powders, including Raw Cacao Powder, Spirulina Powder and Red Maca Powder. Each powder comes with an information packet, including a recipe and serving suggestions, and can be purchased at one of the five Dr Smood cafés in NYC or Miami.

Whiskey Chilling Stones Set

Whiskey Chilling Stones Set

This set of 6 handcrafted stone chillers comes in a hardwood tray with 2 tumblers and is perfect for chilling fine spirits without diluting them with ice. Fancy and perfect for the Scotch and Whiskey connoisseur in the family. 

faux shearling throw

Faux Shearling Throw Blanket

Cozy up with this sumptuously soft faux shearling throw and pillow set from Frontgate. Reversible with a down insert, is plush, soft, smooth and cozy… and great for movie night indoors with a hot chocolate or hot toddy!

CScents Candy Girl

CScents

My old friend and college roommate has just launched a new perfume line called CScents…she is a singer and musician and has cleverly named all her scents around old classic songs like Juke Box Hero, Candy Girl and Strawberry Fields..brilliant!

spice and salt tower

Spice & Salt Tower

Simple unscrew each of these containers (12 grams each) of salt varieties from the larger tower and get seasoning. Try them on their own, or mix and match the following flavors: Fennel Thyme Salt, Porcini Salt, Sagemary Salt, Caraway Salt, Vanilla Salt, Sumac Pepper Salt, Aleppo Chile Salt, Smoked Paprika Salt.

PLAY! By Sephora

PLAY! By Sephora

These PLAY! by SEPHORA boxes includes a selection of subtle-yet-stunning makeup and skincare. A curated assortment of five trial-size samples, plus a beauty bonus, all in a collectable bag. Plus a PLAY! BOOK including how-to information and tips on the samples in your box and a PLAY! PASS redeemable for 50 extra Beauty Insider Points when used with a full-size purchase inside a local Sephora store. You can also subscribe to a $10/month subscription to receive different PLAY! boxes each month if you choose. FUN!

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf

Beaujolais Nouveau, Georges Duboeuf

This Beaujolais Nouveau is fruity, with aromas of red berries and cherry. It is fresh, flavorful, round and unctuous and perfect for the holidays and Thanksgiving dinner! This wine pairs well with tapas, cheese, charcuterie, poultry and salmon. Recommended to be served slightly chilled.

Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais Nouveau is mainly sourced from the southern part of the Beaujolais region, which is a patchwork of terroir ranging from sand, clay and limestone to granite and schist. The difference in altitude and latitude can influence the style of wine. Georges Duboeuf and his team tasted more than five thousand samples over two weeks to craft this cuvée. Harvesting of this wine is done manually, in whole bunches, from vines that are over 20 years old.

This wine pairs well with tapas, cheese, charcuterie, poultry and salmon. Recommended to be served slightly chilled.

Table In A Bag Food 52

Table In A Bag, Food 52

How cool is this foldable, packable pine table? It literally does come in a bag, and stretches out into an al fresco tabletop ready to host an entire picnic spread, whether at an outdoor concert, the park, the beach, or your backyard. Summer can’t come too soon 🙂

Slate Board Lazy Susan

Slate Board Lazy Susan

Perfect for the holidays to display all the gorgeous appetizers you are serving. And it’s made of slate, so you can personalize the message or label the food on the board. Love!

Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges

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Wild Rice Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges

This is another favorite recipe I developed for my client Seven Barrels using their Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar to make a lovely sweet and tart dressing, perfect for salads around the holidays. I wanted to make a recipe that incorporates Thanksgiving leftovers and create something light and easy after such a big, rich, and heavy meal.

Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges

This Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges salad bowl has leftover cooked turkey, wild rice, romaine, fresh oranges and zest, crunchy celery, red onion, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts, drizzled in a gorgeous lemon and raspberry vinaigrette dressing with a touch of cinnamon and cumin and tarragon.

Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl w/ Cranberries and Oranges

Feel free to experiment too with the bowl ingredients – you can substitute any other healthy whole grain like quinoa or farro or brown rice, and you could also try using cooked chicken in place of the turkey and try dried tart cherries and pistachios in place of the cranberries and walnuts. Any way you make it..I promise it will be delicious!!!

Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

This is a great recipe for using leftover Thanksgiving turkey - a healthy delicious bowl salad with wild rice, romaine, orange, celery, red onion and dried cranberries and toasted walnuts, drizzled in a gorgeous lemon and raspberry vinaigrette dressing with spices and tarragon.

Ingredients

  • Turkey
  • 2 cups roasted turkey (light and/or dark meat – large slices or shredded)
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Seven Barrels Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon minced orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Bowl
  • 3 cups wild rice, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, minced
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 6 cups romaine hearts, sliced
  • ¾ cup fresh orange segments, halved
  • ¾ cup celery, sliced
  • ½ cup red onion, sliced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Prep the cooked turkey breast by shredding the meat into bite sized pieces or slicing it into large pieces for the salad.
  2. For the vinaigrette, whisk together orange juice, Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar, Seven Barrels Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, tarragon, grated garlic, 1 teaspoon orange zest, cumin, pepper, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. For the bowl, combine cooked wild rice with 1 teaspoon orange zest. Toast chopped walnuts in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until lightly golden brown, set aside.
  4. Divide cooked turkey, rice, romaine, orange segments, celery, red onion and dried cranberries among four serving bowls; drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with toasted walnuts.

Notes

You can also substitute dried tart cherries, and cooked chicken breast for the cranberries and turkey. Try experimenting with other grains too - quinoa, farro, or brown rice in place of wild rice.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/11/10/wild-rice-turkey-bowl-with-cranberries-and-oranges/

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Holiday Sausage, Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers

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hey guys..the holidays are rapidly approaching and we all know what that means…parties, parties and more parties…full of friends and family sharing delicious food and drinks together. It’s the best time of the year!

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

I recently did some recipe development and a photo shoot for one of my clients, Seven Barrels, maker of premium infused Italian olive oils and vinegars with delicious flavors from natural ingredients. For the holidays I created a series of recipes featuring their Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil – a delicious, sweet and tart flavor pairing that’s perfect for the holidays.

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

I decided to make some party food because we all like parties and appetizers / small bites are the way to go to keep them fun and social! My recipe for Sausage and Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers is an absolute flavor bomb and they’re super easy to make!

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

They’re stuffed with sweet Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, green onions, mushrooms, cranberries and mozzarella all wrapped up in buttery flaky baked puff pastry topped with sesame seeds. They’re the perfect crunchy, savory, cheesy bite in your mouth, with a hint of sweet and tart from the cranberries, lemon olive oil and raspberry vinegar for dipping.

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

You’re definitely gonna want to make these for all your holiday parties..trust me, they won’t last long 😉

Sausage, Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes 18 (4-inch) turnovers.

Serving Size: 1 turnover

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Seven Barrels Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
  • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ½ cup green onion, sliced (about 4 scallions)
  • ½ cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or tart cherries
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic vinegar, plus extra for dipping
  • Dash of Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package (17.25 ounce) frozen puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Coarse sea salt, for garnish
  • Chopped rosemary, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of Seven Barrels Lemon Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook for about 5 minutes until it starts to brown, crumbling while cooking to separate the meat. Add the green onions and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes until the veggies are soft and meat is cooked through. Drain the fat and excess liquid, set cooked mixture aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked sausage mixture with dried cranberries or tart cherries, ricotta, mozzarella cheese, 1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic vinegar to make the filling. Season with a dash of Italian seasoning, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. On lightly floured surface, roll one sheet of puff pastry into a large 12-inch square. Cut pastry sheet into 9 (4-inch) squares and brush edges with egg wash.
  5. Place 1 rounded teaspoon filling on each square; fold to make a triangle; seal with fingers or fork. Place the triangles on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a large rectangular baking sheet and brush egg wash over the top of the turnovers, pierce 3 slits on top of each one, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, repeat steps above with the remaining sheet of puff pastry and sausage, mushroom and cheese filling to make 9 additional turnovers. Bake again at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle sea salt and chopped rosemary (or thyme) on top of the turnovers for garnish. Serve immediately with Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Notes

You can also substitute spicy Italian sausage or ground beef for the sweet Italian sausage. To make a thicker dipping sauce (Balsamic Glaze), heat the vinegar in a saucepan over medium high heat until it reduces by half, drizzle over turnovers or serve as a dipping sauce on the side.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/11/09/holiday-sausage-mushroom-and-cheese-turnovers/

Happy July 4th :: Best Deviled Eggs Ever

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Best Deviled Eggs Ever

Hey guys, it’s the 4th of July! One of my favorite holidays ever. Sunshine, pool parties, beach days, picnics on the patio, campfires, grilling, and the season of FUN.

Best Deviled Eggs Ever

I’m sure you’ve had your fill of July 4th recipe posts this week and to be honest, so have I. We all love to grill and have backyard BBQs with tons of picnic salads, burgers, ribs, chicken, hot dogs, strawberry shortcakes and berry pies. Thanks to everyone who has shared their recipes as I always love to see what everyone is making and get some fun ideas for future posts and food parties! So, this year I’ve decided to actually ENJOY my holiday — by relaxing, reading, hanging out with the fam, cooking, eating and drinking, and spend less time working, stressing and blogging. I always think it’s the perfect time to focus on blogging and my portfolio because I have extra time, but I really just need a BREAK. I’m sure you can relate.

Best Deviled Eggs Ever

But, I couldn’t pass up posting this outta control good recipe for my Best Deviled Eggs EVER – they’re creamy with mayo and mustard and eggs, with a delicious tang of vinegar and hot sauce and seasonings, plus an irresistible crunch from the dill pickle relish, finely minced celery and sweet onion. OMG. I could eat the whole tray. REALLY. (And I”m pretty sure you will too, my deviled egg lovers in the universe! 🙂

Happy July 4th and celebrate the season!

Happy July 4th :: Best Deviled Eggs Ever

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Serving Size: 2-4 deviled eggs

These are the best deviled eggs ever. Creamy and crunchy with finely chopped celery and onion, dill pickle relish and seasonings...these will be a hit at your July 4th party and gone in seconds!

Ingredients

  • Sea salt
  • 12 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons very finely chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle relish
  • 3 tablespoons very finely chopped sweet onion
  • 3 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Nature's Seasons seasoning blend (Morton's)
  • 1 teaspoon Deliciously Dill Blend (The Spice Hunter)
  • 2 dashes hot sauce (RedHot or Crystal), plus more for serving
  • Dash of paprika, plus more for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place eggs in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook eggs 7 minutes. Turn off heat and let eggs sit in hot water for about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse eggs in cold water and transfer to a bowl of ice water; let sit until cool. Peel eggs under cold water once cooled.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, celery, dill relish, sweet onion, mustard, vinegar, herb seasonings, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Halve eggs lengthwise. Mix the egg yolks into mayo-mustard-relish mixture andplace whites on a plate.
  4. Gently mash into a dressing; season with salt and pepper. Using a small fork or spoon, fill egg halves with yolk mixture.
  5. Top eggs with freshly cracked pepper and more paprika and serve with hot sauce.

Notes

Make Ahead: Eggs can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill egg whites and filling separately; fill just before serving.

You can also garnish the eggs with some minced chives or green onion or bacon.

Recipe adapted from Hillstone Restaurant Group

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/07/04/happy-july-4th-best-deviled-eggs-ever/

Happy Memorial Day + Some Favorite Recipes

Happy Memorial Day
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Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day! A time to reflect all of those brave soldiers and military servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives and families for the safety of ours.  Big applause and respect goes out to them and grateful we have a safe and secure country to live in because of them.

Memorial Day Cake

In honor of the holiday, I rounded up a few of my favorite recipes to celebrate. Wishing you all a lovely holiday, hopefully filled with family and friends, food and drink and grateful hearts to our heroes.

Dr Pepper Ribs

Spicy Dr. Pepper Ribs

Beach BBQ Burger

Beach BBQ Burgers

Thai BBQ Shrimp

Thai BBQ Shrimp

Sambal Chicken Skewers

Grilled Sambal Chicken Skewers

Lobster and Potato Chip Rolls

Lobster and Potato Chip Rolls

Coffee Marinated Steak

Coffee Marinated Steak 

Grilled Corn and Poblano Salad

Grilled Corn and Poblano Chile Salad

Watermelon Feta & Mint Salad

Watermelon Feta & Mint Salad

Roasted Garlic Potato Salad

Roasted Garlic Potato Salad

Summer Berry Shortcake

Summer Berry Shortcake

Happy Memorial Day

Hope you enjoy the weekend and here’s a few more links to Memorial Day recipes and menu ideas!

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2017/05/26/memorial-day-recipe-guide/

http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2017/05/29/memorial-day-weekend-barbecue-recipes-best-dishes-for-summer-cookout.html

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/holiday—celebration-recipes/memorial-day-recipes

http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/packages/memorial-day/memorial-day-picnic-

Sausage & Orzo Jambalaya

Sausage Orzo Jambalaya
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Sausage Orzo Jambalaya

On gray rainy days in New York (esp. at the beginning of so-called
“Summer”), there’s nothing better than staying home and cooking up a big pot of comfort food. It seems to make the rain almost pleasant to listen to and watch, knowing that you’re tucked up indoors away from the rest of the world, cooking something cozy and delicious.

Sausage Orzo Jambalaya

One of my favorite things to make is spicy Cajun and Creole food (New Orleans is one of my fav cities ever..the #FOOD though!) and I had grand visions of creating a kickass recipe this week for my blog. And considering it’s going to be a rainy Memorial Day weekend, why not make a big pot of something wonderful to stay indoors and savor while I’m at it?

Sausage Orzo Jambalaya

I had some Aidell’s Andouille Sausage on hand and tons of bell peppers, garlic, onions and tomatoes in the pantry so I decided to make a big pot of Jambalaya for my afternoon project. I also had some Flour City Pasta ‘Bon Vivant Orzo’ I’ve been dying to try, so I decided to whip up a twist on ordinary Jambalaya using that instead of rice. The orzo is multi-colored small pasta that looks like rice, with wild mushroom, saffron, spinach and cayenne – and I thought it would add some more layers of flavor to the dish.

Sausage Orzo Jambalaya

First I cooked the sausage until lightly browned in a big Dutch oven with a little olive oil. Then I added the vegetables and sautéed everything together with some spicy Creole seasoning (Tony Chacere’s is the bomb!). I also threw in some Kroger brand Zesty Seasoning Blend which is a savory blend of herbs and spices like onion, black pepper, chili pepper, parsley, oregano, basil, savory, marjoram, bay, thyme, rosemary, garlic and cumin and added a dash of hot paprika for an extra kick of spiciness and flavor. You can also substitute some dried thyme and oregano or whatever dried herbs you like instead if you can’t find something similar.

Sausage Orzo Jambalaya

Then I added the broth and tomatoes and orzo and brought everything to a boil, and let it all simmer for about 10 minutes or so until the orzo was cooked through. The pasta will soak up the liquids and get thicker the longer it sits, so be careful not to overcook it or it will get mushy. If you’re using rice instead, let the ingredients simmer for longer, about 20 minutes.

Once it all comes together with a consistency you like, serve it with some chopped green onions and fresh parsley with a dash of hot sauce (traditional Frank’s RedHot or Crystal are my favs) and freshly ground black pepper for an extra kick.

Sausage Orzo Jambalaya

All I know is I have a long holiday weekend to savor my delicious Jambalaya, along with lots of naps and Netflix.

Let it rain. J

Sausage & Orzo Jambalaya

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Serving Size: 1 cup

This Sausage Orzo Jambalaya is a twist on traditional Creole Jambalaya using multi-colored orzo instead of rice, with the addition of some corn. It has a medium-spice heat to it with lots of veggies including red, yellow, orange and green peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes - a savory, heartwarming dish for any occasion.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds Andouille sausage cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cups onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups bell peppers, chopped (red, yellow, orange, green)
  • 1 cup yellow corn kernels
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (Tony Chacere’s)
  • 2 teaspoons Zesty Seasoning Blend (Kroger)- optional
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups orzo
  • Sliced scallions, for garnish
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Hot sauce, for garnish (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium-high in a large Dutch oven or pot. Add the sausage and cook for about 8 minutes until browned on all sides about 8 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, peppers, corn, garlic and bay leaves along with the herbs and spices and saute over medium-high for a few minutes. Add the broth and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in the orzo and reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes until the orzo is cooked through and soft.
  4. Garnish with sliced scallions and chopped fresh parsley and a dash of hot sauce and freshly ground black pepper, to taste for an extra kick.

Notes

Note: you can also substitute traditional white rice for the orzo, just cook it in the pot longer, about 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes.

You can also add chicken or shrimp to the recipe, swapping out 1 pound for the andouille sausage.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living Magazine.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/05/26/sausage-orzo-jambalaya/

Coffee Marinated Steak

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Now that Summer is rapidly approaching, I am so excited about getting outdoors to enjoy the warm weather and especially cooking outdoors with friends and family. Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook in warm weather months, simply because it’s so easy and a healthy way to cook, and it usually takes place with a group of friends outside making fun memories and laughter to go with it.

I recently went down to Atlanta where I used to live to visit some old friends and we had a blast grilling outside on my friend’s outdoor BBQ grill in her backyard. We sat around the grill and made grilled sliders, shrimp, jalapeno poppers, and wings (with lots of snacks and drinks to go with of course!) It reminded me of the good old days when I used to live there… living and working in NYC we don’t get the opportunity to grill much anymore and it’s a precious occasion when I go to visit my friends and family who live in greener pastures.

One of my favorite things to make is a big juicy grilled steak..it’s always a tasty treat, easy to prepare and everyone loves it…especially with some grilled vegetables, salad, potatoes and a glass of wine or beer while sitting out on the patio dining al fresco watching the sunset.

My go-to Summer recipe is Coffee Marinated Steaks, which I know you’re gonna love. The marinade has a light smoky essence from the coffee (I use Gourmesso House Blend Lungo Dark coffee, an espresso alternative to Nepresso capsules,  with a beautiful dark and rich flavor; some spicy heat from the red chilies and black peppercorns; a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar; and is balanced out with a slight tanginess from the balsamic vinegar, Dale’s seasoning/soy, mustard, shallots and garlic. You simply mix all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor, then marinade the steaks for an hour or up to overnight for some really delicious flavor.

Then simply pop them on the grill for about 8-10 minutes and you have the most juicy, flavorful and delicious steaks you’ve ever tasted in your life. Not to mention, a great idea for Father’s Day to spoil Dad! Click here to see more of my grilling ideas and recipes for Father’s Day.

Ah, Summertime and the livin’s easy…Enjoy J

Coffee Marinated Steak

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1 (12-14 ounce) Strip Steak

My go-to Summer recipe is Gourmesso Coffee Marinated Steaks, which I know you’re gonna love. The marinade has a light smoky essence from the coffee (I use Gourmesso House Blend Lungo Dark coffee, which is an espresso (alternative to Nepresso capsules) that has a beautiful dark and rich flavor; some spicy heat from the red chilies and black peppercorns; a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar; and is balanced out with a slight tanginess from the balsamic vinegar, Dale’s seasoning/soy, mustard, shallots and garlic.

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Gourmesso House Blend Lungo Dark coffee, room temp
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 cup low-sodium Dale’s seasoning (or dark soy sauce)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red paprika
  • 3 small red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse Kosher salt
  • 4 (12-14 ounce) boneless Strip steaks

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, add the shallots, garlic, Gourmesso coffee, balsamic vinegar, Dale’s sauce/soy sauce, brown sugar, paprika, chilies, peppercorns, and olive oil and kosher salt and blend together well. Pour half the marinade in a glass dish or large plastic ziptop bag, add the steaks and toss to coat with the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Cover the remaining marinade and set aside in the fridge until ready to grill.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high and lightly oil the grill rack. Remove steak from marinade and discard the remaining marinade. Bring steaks to room temperature before grilling.
  3. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and place on grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare (less or more according to desired doneness), basting occasionally with remaining marinade.
  4. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest tented in foil for 5 minutes. Serve with grilled vegetables or a simple green salad dressed with vinaigrette and a glass of wine. Enjoy!

Notes

You can make the marinade up to a day ahead of time and store in the fridge with the steaks in a plastic bag or covered dish.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/05/23/gourmesso-coffee-marinated-steak/

Happy Holidays! A few of my favorite holiday recipes

Happy Holidays
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Happy Holidays

Well the holidays have finally arrived – my favorite time of year! I love having some time to rest and relax and enjoy quality time with friends and family, especially around the table sharing delicious food and wine. So to celebrate the season, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite holiday recipes that I’ve created over the years – either for myself or a few of my clients (KitchenAid, Colavita and Seven Barrels), that I wanted to share with all of you. From appetizers, to salads, to desserts, entrees and cocktails, they all have that special magic touch perfect for the holidays.

I’d love to hear in the comments below what some your favorite holiday recipes are too – feel free to post them and share a link below, and if you want to share my recipes online please include a link back to my site and credit to Kristen Hess / The Artful Gourmet and @artfulgourmet on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr).

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a joyous and prosperous New Year 2017!

 

BloodOrangeCake_StrawberrySauce

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake with Strawberry Chocolate Sauce 

PumpkinPearTart

Pear and Pumpkin Tart

Mini Holiday Tarts

Mini Sweet and Savory Holiday Tarts

Roasted Squash Salad

Roasted Squash Salad with Spiced Pecans

Holiday Brunch Strata

Holiday Brunch Strata

Almond Cookies

Almond Shortbread Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze

Parmesan-Garlic-Artichoke-Dip

Hot Parmesan Artichoke Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

Maple Walnut Pie

Maple Brown Sugar Walnut Pie

Swedish Meatballs

Braised Swedish Meatballs

Butternut Squash Ricotta Tart

Three Cheese Butternut Squash Tart with Bacon

Choc Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Truffled Pancetta 3 Cheese Pasta

Truffled 3-Cheese Pasta with Pancetta and Garlic

Whiskey Sour and Stuffed Mushrooms

Holiday Cocktail Party! Appetizer and Cocktail recipes 

Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken Bites

Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken Bites

Brussels Sprouts

Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Shallots and Balsamic

SpinachSalad-Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

ChocolateChipotleShortRibs

Chocolate Chipotle Braised Short Ribs

3-Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon
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3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

It’s the holidays and we all know what that means..time to cook and bake, and eat all the delicious treats of the season..like this savory
3-Cheese Butternut Squash Tart with Bacon. Can we say yay?

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

It’s so easy to make with some store-bought puff pastry because who has time to make their own with so many goodies to make and presents to wrap? And delicious holiday food to eat?

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

It’s got a gorgeous crispy, buttery crust topped with ricotta and Parmesan and Gruyere cheese, roasted butternut squash with maple syrup and of course, bacon. Then it’s topped with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and some fresh thyme along with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Sounds pretty perfect to me. 

Roll Dough

First, defrost and roll out your dough. Cut 1/2 inch strips around the edges to double up to make a pastry border and brush it with egg wash. Pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

RoastSquash

Next, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper, and some garlic powder over the butternut squash, then drizzle it with some maple syrup and roast it for about 15 minutes.

Bacon

Cook that delicious bacon, drain and set aside to crumble on the tart later.

Ricotta

Whip up your ricotta with an egg, salt and pepper and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Add Ricotta

Spread it on top of the tart pastry evenly. (Repeat all steps with the second pastry throughout.)

Add Cheese

Top it with some of that luscious grated Gruyere cheese.

Top w/ Squash

Place the roasted squash on top along with the bacon. Sprinkle some fresh thyme on top.

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

Then simply bake it for 30 minutes on 375 F, then drizzle it with some balsamic glaze, cut into squares and devour!

3 Cheese Butternut Squash & Bacon Tart

Yield: Makes 2 tarts, serves 12.

Serving Size: 1 tart square (6 per tart)

This delicious savory tart features three luscious cheeses (ricotta, gruyere and parmesan) along with crispy bacon and roasted butternut squash and thyme. It makes a great appetizer for the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 14 ounces frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 packages butternut squash, precut into 1-2" cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6-8 slices bacon
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk or cream
  • 2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • Balsamic glaze, for garnish
  • fresh thyme, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Roll out 1 piece of puff pastry into a large rectangle. Cut a 1/2 inch border around the edges and place the strips on the edges of the pastry sheet to create a border crust. Prick holes around the pastry to avoid puffing.
  2. Beat 1 egg and brush the pastry edges and repeat same procedure with second pastry sheet; chilling both for 1/2 an hour in the fridge.
  3. While pastry is chilling, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Cut the butternut squash into small chunks and drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and garlic powder.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes and set aside.
  6. Cook bacon according to package directions and drain on paper towels. Crumble once cooled and set aside.
  7. Reduce heat in oven to 375.
  8. Mix the ricotta cheese with one beaten egg, parmesan cheese and additional salt and pepper.
  9. Remove pastry from the fridge and spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the tops of both.
  10. Sprinkle with shredded gruyere cheese and crumbled bacon.
  11. Top both pastries with the butternut squash and sprinkle with some fresh thyme.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and puffed around the edges.
  13. Cut into squares after cooling on a rack and serve warm.
  14. Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze on top and additional fresh thyme if desired.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2016/12/14/3-cheese-butternut-squash-tart-w-bacon/

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

Gosh I love the holidays.

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

Wishing you a great one!

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

Now back to that tart I just made… 😉

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