Written on November 13, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Michael Wurm, Jr.
I’m always on the lookout for unique ideas for cocktails Throw in a seasonal twist and that instantly makes it a winner in my book. As the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaches and get-togethers with family and friends abound, it’s always helpful to have a deliciously fresh cocktail idea in your back pocket when you hear you the doorbell ring.
Today I’m pulling inspiration from BHG’s recipe for Apple Cider Punch. Being a fan of the always classy martini, I’m upping the ante a smidge and turning this punch into a martini.
With an apple cider base, this martini is perfect for the fall. The touch of citrus gives it a flavor that is bright and fresh.
My favorite addition to this drink, however, is the splash of sparkling wine or champagne to finish it off. The bubbles dress this drink up for any fall holiday celebration.
To keep things simple, I garnished this martini with a few slices of fresh apple. I love the way the bubbles gather around the slices. It’s a clear sign that you are in for a treat. Now, let me tell you how to mix one of these up.
Here’s what you’ll need for one martini:
3 ounces apple cider
2 ounces orange juice
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce sparkling white wine or champagne
Fresh apple, sliced
In a shaker filled with ice, add apple cider, orange juice, vodka, and the juice from one lemon wedge. Shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass, leaving room at the top for a splash of sparkling white wine. Float an apple slice or two in the martini as a garnish.
And that’s it, friends. A delicious martini with all the flavors of fall and a little bubbly to boot! It certainly will be a star at your next party.
Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm
Written on November 12, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest BloggerI’m Paula Biggs from Frog Prince Paperie, and am very excited to be posting today for Delish Dish! You can also find me on my website where I like to post inspiration and tutorials for DIY celebrations and tips to make entertaining easy.
Every once in awhile I am asked to a gathering with the note to bring a dish; there aren’t many things that bring on a sense of panic for me than the words “pot luck.” It is completely unreasonable, I know, but I do have a fear that my lonely dish will sit on the serving table completely untouched. Definite fear of party failure working here! This bringing-home-a-full-tray-of-food-aphobia keeps me on the hunt for a crowd pleasing casserole that is guaranteed to vanish before the party’s over. After making these Cheesy Pasta-Stuffed Shells from the BHG.com site, I think I have a permanent pot-luck winner.
The creative presentation is what really sets this macaroni and cheese recipe apart. Tiny shells are made up as macaroni and cheese, then stuffed inside jumbo shells and baked on top of a bed of sauce with a mound of gooey mozzarella cheese melted on top. It is a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy.
It’s really hard to mess with a good thing–as this recipe was 100% perfect all on its own–but I did make a few changes when I baked this up. In general, any combination of really good melty cheese is going to produce a phenomenal macaroni and cheese dish. This recipe calls for Gruyere, sharp cheddar and mozzarella. As luck would have it, the grocery store I popped into to pick up my ingredients didn’t have Gruyere. It’s a cheese smaller stores probably aren’t going to carry, and costs much more than the average block cheeses usually do. So instead, I bought a block of Swiss cheese. It was fabulous with the cheddar! Emmental cheese or Gouda cheese would also be good substitutes for Gruyere cheese in this dish.
This Cheesy Pasta-Stuffed Shells recipe is incredibly flexible, just as a good mac-and-cheese recipe should be. I made a few batches and threw in different ingredients into the pasta/cheese mixture before stuffing the shells. Chopped spinach was a welcomed add; a few more vegetables never hurt anyone, and the greens made this casserole feel like a more balanced meal. For extra flavor, chopped prosciutto is wonderful or you could try some Italian sausage, pepperoni or even some seasoned ground beef. Olives, tomatoes and mushrooms are also interesting additions. There is certainly a lot of room for culinary creativity.
Next time a “bring a dish” event comes my way, I know I’ll be ready. These pasta stuffed shells will be gone in a flash, and I’ll get to happily take home an empty pan!
Written on November 11, 2013 at 6:00 am , by Naomi Robinson
It’s high time I got around to making some pull apart bread. Although, I should mention not only have I never tried it, but I’ve never even made it. So this Apple Spice Pull Apart Bread was a perfect start.
And apparently, it was also as up to snuff as any from-scratch pull apart, according to those around me who aren’t new to it. I think everyone’s favorite part is that it takes only 10 minutes to prep and 25 minutes to bake. That being the case, I did two runs with this recipe, since I like my baked goods heavily spiced.
If you do as well, double the cinnamon, add ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon of all spice—that’s it, a very small tweak for my personal preference. Next time, I’m going to try this with some pears and cardamom—as you can see, this recipe is really easy to make your own.
Click here to get started.
Written on November 6, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Kristin Porter
Growing up, Monday night was Spaghetti Night at my house. I have very vivid memories of my Mom tossing a brick of frozen ground beef into a deep pan then pouring in a big jar of spaghetti sauce after it browned.
While the sauce warmed she’d cook two types of pasta. Angel hair for my brothers and me, and rigatoni or “sewer pipes”, as we used to call them, for my Dad. After everyone got served she’d eat whatever was left, bless her heart!
Yes, spaghetti night has a very special place in my heart, which is why I’ve started the weekly tradition at my house. Normally I saute a mix of half ground beef and half mushrooms, which I zip through the food processor until they’re the same texture as the ground beef, then add a jar of my favorite marinara sauce. That being said, I might have to start making an exception for Best-Ever Bolognese Sauce.
Normally when I hear the phrase “Bolognese sauce” I think of a thick and hearty, slow-cooked-all-day-type of sauce. Best-Ever Bolognese Sauce meets the thick and hearty requirement, but slow cooked all day? No way! This recipe gets that same deep and savory flavor in just 20 minutes, making it ideal for busy fall and winter weeknights.
Carrots, onions, and garlic are sauteed with ground beef then simmered with half & half and chicken broth with a splash of vinegar. Crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning are added then the mixture is simmered again until thick and bubbly. Serve with freshly cooked spaghetti noodles and garlic bread for sopping up every drop of this luscious sauce!
Written on November 4, 2013 at 11:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Shulie Madnick is the author and photographer at foodwanderings.com. Her food and travel articles, photography and original recipes appeared in The Washington Post Food section among other publications. You can stay connected with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Quesadillas are one of those quick, fun foods on the run for young and old alike. It’s comforting, nutritious and delicious all at once. You quickly toss it together after a late soccer or practice car pool run. It’s an easy midweek or weekend lunch or dinner and a great game day snack for a crowd of friends watching football, baseball or soccer.
The beauty of it is that you can be super creative with the types of vegetables, cheese and tortillas you use. You can also give it an ethnic twist-Korean, Indian and the list goes on. You can keep them vegetarian as I did and as it shows in this Fajita-Style Quesadillas (I just love the photograph) or add strips of chicken or maybe beef.
Speaking of ethnic, I love how close in flavors Mexican and Tex-Mex food is to Indian. Cilantro, lime and hot green pepper. I didn’t seed the jalapeño I used instead of serrano, but by all means please do if you wish the smokiness of the flesh of the pepper but not as much heat.
In recent years I got addicted to whole wheat tortillas that are freshly made in a nearby grocery shop, but if you cannot find fresh, you can defrost frozen. Use corn or flour tortillas.
That’s half the fun of making quesadillas, you can change things around and reinvent it depending on your taste, your mood and what’s available in your fridge. The other half is devouring these delicious wedges.
For the recipe hop and skip over to Better Homes and Gardens here.
Enjoy! Shulie Madnick Food Wanderings
Written on November 4, 2013 at 5:00 am , by Naomi Robinson
I’m just going to start off by telling you that this Banana-Coconut Coffee Cake was a huge hit in my family. Although that’s no surprise since they love banana bread and coffee in any variation.
Along with that, the crunchy sweet streusel was an added plus that actually made it everyone’s favorite part.
For this recipe the only tweak I made was to swap out the macadamia nuts for pecans in the streusel and I added a ½ cup of mini chocolate chips. Other than that, I stayed true to the recipe. And just for the record, when I do get my hands on some macadamias, I will be making this recipe with it. I think the combination of macadamia and bananas in a coffee cake is gonna be killer.
For now, I can guarantee you, whatever nut you go with for the streusel, the bananas and coconut add so much that this recipe will end up in your regular rotation for coffee cake variations.