This is the time of year when I want chocolate peppermint everything. Beverages, bark, mousse, creamer and especially this Chocolate Peppermint Crème Brûlée. Hidden beneath a caramelized sugar carapace lies a rich, creamy chocolate custard flavored with peppermint and coffee liqueur. The dessert is finished with a dusting of freshly crushed candy canes. A seasonal twist on a timeless classic, this Chocolate Peppermint Crème Brûlée is incredibly luscious and packed with festive, Holiday cheer.
Although I could certainly eat a little cup crème of every day, I like to save these brûléed babies for a special occasion. Chocolate Peppermint Crème Brûlée is a perfect dessert to serve at your next Holiday cocktail party! The custard can be prepared in advance (it’s actually best if you chill it overnight), and a little blowtorch action makes for some fun tableside theatrics. Continue reading for the recipe.
Posted in Dessert, Photo, Recipe, Winter
Tagged bittersweet chocolate, candy canes, coffee liqueur, eggs, heavy cream, peppermint extract, sugar, vanilla
Thanksgiving 2013 is HERE and I couldn’t be more excited Over the years, Thanksgiving has really become my favorite holiday. My family is mainly back in New Jersey, so I celebrate Thanksgiving with a large group of friends (16 total this year). This Thanksgiving feast is my way of saying thank you to my friends and loved ones. Because when your family is far away, your friends become that family-like support system.
Over the past 3 days, I’ve been feverishly cooking away to prepare for today’s Thanksgiving extravaganza. 5 courses. 17 recipes. It’s going to be epic. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed an abundance of cooking photos. I’ve been snapping away in the kitchen, sharing recipes, tips and how-tos. If you’d like to following along, you can check out the #KKTDay hashtag on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I also have a live feed going below that will pull photos from the hashtag. Below the photos is my Thanksgiving 2013 menu plus a list of things I’m thankful for this year. Continue reading!
Continue reading for my full Thanksgiving 2013 menu!!
Each year at Thanksgiving, I serve a palate cleanser before the dessert course to revive everyone’s taste buds after a rich and decadent dinner buffet. Usually, everyone gets a scoop of Meyer Lemon Sorbet. This year, I though I’d try something new Tart and sweet, this vibrantly hued Cranberry Sorbet is flavored with fresh lemon and orange zest. I’ve also added a splash of Grand Marnier to amp up the orange flavor, and to keep the texture of the sorbet nice and smooth. Keep in mind that this sorbet should be tart, so try not to add any additional sugar. Also, I’d recommend just serving a small scoop to each guest. You want to prepare them for dessert without ruining their appetite. Continue reading for the recipe.
Often, my Thanksgiving side dishes can be quite involved. And to be honest, I like them that way. There’s just something about an over-the-top casserole packed with layers and layers of flavor that makes me swoon each and every time. Maybe it’s the butter. Maybe it’s the cream. Or maybe it’s the cheese. I don’t know. I just love them
But sometimes, I do crave a simple and healthy side dish during the holiday season. When one of these cravings comes along, I make this easy Brussels Sprout Slaw. A colorful mix of shredded brussels sprout and radicchio is tossed with a sweet-tart dressing made of apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, and whole grain mustard. The slaw is then finished with homemade spiced pecans. Bitter yet balanced, this seasonal salad can be prepared in advance and requires minimal cook time. Continue reading for the recipe.
Posted in Fall, Photo, Recipe, Salad, Side Dish, Thanksgiving, Winter
Tagged apple cider vinegar, brussels sprouts, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, lemon, maple syrup, olive oil, pecans, radicchio, sugar, whole grain mustard
As many of you may already know, Thanksgiving is my thing. Each year, I put on a 5 course meal for a group of 18 – 20 of my close friends, and I absolutely love every bit of it. Well almost every bit. Over the years, I’ve developed an almost comical arch-rivalry with the dreaded turkey. I’ve brined it. I’ve cooked it in parts. I’ve slathered it with truffle butter. And guess what? It never turns out well.
At first I was thinking to myself, “Do I lack the skills to cook a really good turkey? What’s missing here?” I mean, I know how to cook the smaller version. But then I realized that for me, Thanksgiving is all about the sides. I put so much thought and effort into creating a tasty landscape of potatoes, yams, green beans, brussels sprouts, cranberries and stuffing, that I usually neglect the turkey. I love the excitement and variety that comes with having a sizable spread of side dishes. A dab of this. A spoonful of that. A plate brimming with bold flavors. How could a slice of dry, bland turkey even compete? The only way would be if the turkey was completely made of crispy skin.
Now I understand that these inflammatory comments may be insulting to those of you who love turkey. The group of you who gets a rush as that perfect bird comes out of the oven. Crispy, golden skin. Juicy, tender meat. Flavorful drippings transformed into a rich gravy. A big smile across your face as you set this edible centerpiece on the table, releasing a chorus of ooos and ahhs from impressed house guests. That proud moment when you carve the first slice. The group of you who thinks that Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. Although this perfect turkey scenario described above is one I’ve never experienced myself, I totally understand it’s a reality for many. And I can respect that.
So which camp are you in? Turkey or sides? Please share below! Continue reading for a video that pretty much sums up my relationship with turkey, plus several recipes for my favorite side dishes. Continue reading