Cordially Yours :: Celebrating St. Germain's Elderflower Liqueur

I remember my first St. Germain. It was splashed into my glass of champagne. It was fresh and flowery and delightful. I assumed that this aromatic floral liqueur had been on the market for centuries. All good things from France are. I've had other "imitations" and they're syrupy sweet and can't even compare. I was quite shocked to learn that the idea behind St. Germain, the beautiful name and packaging, doesn't hail from France, but from here in the US. It was the creation of Robert J. Cooper, heir of of the Charles Jacquin et Cie throne, an old cordials and liqueur house based in Philadelphia. After a visit to the UK where he first experienced this most unique flavor, he set out to create his own. St. Germain was founded in 2007, and is manufactured in Dijon, France. It has since taken the US and the world by storm. Robert J. Cooper passed away on Monday at the age of 39. For more on Robert J. Cooper read the piece most recently published in The New York Times.

The weekend is right around the corner and spring is in the air. Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of this wonderful liqueur! 

 St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House.  The Frenchie Cocktail from A LIFE WELL LIVED .

St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House. The Frenchie Cocktail from A LIFE WELL LIVED.

 St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House.  St. Germain Margarita via FREUTCAKE

St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House. St. Germain Margarita via FREUTCAKE

 St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House.  French Pear Martini via FREUTCAKE

St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House. French Pear Martini via FREUTCAKE

 St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House.  La Rosette via BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL

St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House. La Rosette via BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL

 St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House.  The French Tart via NERDS WITH KNIVES.

St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House. The French Tart via NERDS WITH KNIVES.

 St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House. St. Germain and Veuve... have you seen a more perfect pairing?  Via BOULDER LOCAVORE

St. Germain Cocktails. Via The Entertaining House. St. Germain and Veuve... have you seen a more perfect pairing? Via BOULDER LOCAVORE

 St. Germain Cocktails via The Entertaining House.  Elderberry Smash via BAKES BREE.

St. Germain Cocktails via The Entertaining House. Elderberry Smash via BAKES BREE.

 The St. Germain Cocktail via The Entertaining House.  The French 75 via BUGGY DESIGNS

The St. Germain Cocktail via The Entertaining House. The French 75 via BUGGY DESIGNS

 St. Germain Cocktails via The Entertaining House.  Cucumber French Gimlet via OH SO BEAUTIFUL PAPER

St. Germain Cocktails via The Entertaining House. Cucumber French Gimlet via OH SO BEAUTIFUL PAPER

 

Cheers! 

 

 

 

 

National (Eat) Something on a Stick Day

Who would ever have imagined a National Something on a Stick Day. Truly, there is a day for everything! But in the spirit of this wacky day, why not celebrate? Why not celebrate tonight and make dinner more fun. Almost anything and everything can, in some form, be served on a stick. From veggies to pasta, it really all is possible. Surprise the family tonight with a little light hearted fun and have them all eat with sticks! Some fun ideas to inspire you are as follows:

Any meat, whether chicken, pork, veal or lamp can be cooked, served and eaten on a stick. Shish-kabobs consist of all sorts of proteins and chickens and are fun to eat. Kids especially love them. Our family adores a good Chicken Satay. For the recipe pictured above, visit Recipe Tin Eats.  

Colin Cowie is indeed imaginative and clever. I adore these little meatball bites he created for a wedding. As is meatballs aren't already fun enough to eat, these can be served to children as well as to adults at a sophisticated event. They're pure perfection! Don't eat red meat or meat? Substitute your favorite turkey or veggie burger recipe. Recipe via Colin Cowie Weddings

Another great and idea are antipasta kabobs. Also great for both winter and summer entertaining as they're easy to serve and eat, whether at the beach, poolside or casually in front of the fire. Inspired by Charm shares her ideas.

Bite sized sandwiches on a stick. You can't go wrong! Here we have mini BLTs on Sourdough courtesy of Return to Sunday Supper, but any sandwich will do. Some other favorites include: Pb&j, chicken salad, turkey or turkey club, ham and Swiss, ham and Brie, mini Cubans, mini sliders, mini grilled cheese ... really any kind you want!

How clever is this Iceberg wedge on a stick? Maybe, just maybe, this will entice those non veggie lovers? Hop on over to allrecipes for directions.

Shrimp and chorizo is one of my favorites. Stick a skewer in it and you've got a lovely hor d'oeuvre. Recipe via Babble.

Cool as a cuke. Cucumbers and smoked salmon are always a favorite. Easy to prepare, eat and serve, these delectable little treats perfectly fit any holiday party menu or garden party treat. Image via Baker by Nature.

Kabobs don't have to always be meat. Vegetables are a favorite of mine to grill up and "spear" and salmon is solid and fatty enough as a fish that it holds up well to cook this way as well. This is a great idea for those who try to observe a Meatless Monday.

Above I introduced the idea of the iceberg wedge on a stick, but Caesar salad works perfectly well for this too. 

For something a little bit sweeter with a hint of saltiness, watermelon and feta bites can be placed on toothpicks and served up with ease quite elegantly. Image via BuzzFeed

As though I need an excuse to eat sweets! A small slice of frozen key lime pie that has been dipped in chocolate and served on a popsicle stick makes for a pretty presentation! Idea via Desserts for Two. Yes, the pie does need to be frozen otherwise it will simply fall apart and make a mess all over the place. 

I hope this has given you some inspiration...  I say put a stick in it... it will taste better!

 

National Pi(e) Day :: 12 Sweet & Savory Recipes

Here's a day we can all sink our teeth into! National Pie Day! Sweet, Savory, Vegetarian, Healthy, Decadent... whatever your desire there's a pie for your palate! (Don't have time to bake one from scratch? Head on over to your local bakery... I won't tell, I promise!)

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of  Issy Crocker

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Issy Crocker

The Simple Veganista has a marvelous Mediterranean Pizza for those preferring something on the lighter, healthier side.

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Simple Veganista

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Simple Veganista

The Merchant Baker shows us that a slab pie is every bit a pie despite its shape! This Cherry Apricot version would also be lovely packed up in my picnic basket this summer! 

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Merchant Baker

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Merchant Baker

I love the idea of this pie - Chicken, green chiles and potato. There's something rather new and yet familiar here... A chicken pot pie with a Mexican inspired twist perhaps? Hop on over to The Wicked Noodle for this inventive recipe.

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Wicked Noodle

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Wicked Noodle

Hello Apple Pie! You will always be my Number One! There's something about the warm apples, the cinnamon and spices that calls to me. It's comfort. Pure comfort. Sometimes the unstructured informality of a galette is even better. Good Housekeeping has this recipe.

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Good Housekeeping

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Good Housekeeping

Savory, Vegetarian Mushroom Spinach pie is a fun take on a traditional Spanakopita. The Pampered Hostess has the recipe for you.

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Pampered Hostess

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Pampered Hostess

Though traditionally Tomato Pie is served in the summertime when tomatoes are in season, I actually prefer this when tomatoes are slightly less than perfect. I like my ripest, freshest tomatoes raw, right off the vine. Any other can be baked into a pie! Southern Boy Dishes shares this recipe.

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Southern Boy Dishes

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Southern Boy Dishes

Meat pies. Don't scrunch up your nose. They're popular in the UK and in Australia. And for good reason. Hearty and flavorful they're perfect for a cool March night. Recipe Tin Eat shares these mouthwatering, mini savory treats.

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Recipe Tin Eats

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Recipe Tin Eats

Beef pot pie. Our American version of the meat pie and the traditional Steak and Kidney Pie and a good alternative to chicken pot pie. And heartier too, for those days when you need such. Good Dinner Mom shares her recipe.

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Good Dinner Mom

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Good Dinner Mom

Boeuf Bourguignon Pot Pie. I needn't say more, do I? This deliciousness can be found over at the Bon Appetit website. 

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Bon Appetit

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Bon Appetit

Chicken Pot Pie. Always a comfort food favorite. Lovely Little Kitchen shares her lovely little version.

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Lovely Little Kitchen

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of Lovely Little Kitchen

White bean and thyme pot pies. Hearty. Rich. Healthy...er! I love beans. And I love anything made in a ramekin! Courtesy of the Minimalist Baker.

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Minimalist Baker

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of The Minimalist Baker

I love David Leibowitz. And I love pasta. And I happen to love pie. And so this Spaghetti Pie is a trifecta in my book!

 Happy National Pie Day! Image property of David Liebowitz

Happy National Pie Day! Image property of David Liebowitz

National Margarita Day :: 10 Mouth Watering Margarita Recipes

Don't cry because it's Monday. Smile because it's National Margarita Day! 

 10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. Spicy Cucumber Margarita

10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. Spicy Cucumber Margarita

Yes indeed today, Monday February 22nd is National Margarita Day! The true history of the cocktail is unknown and there are several reputed accounts. No one can quite agree of the origins of the margarita, making its history a mysterious one. One version states that The Original Margarita was created by socialite, Margarita Sames, as she her favorite spirits Tequila & Cointreau for her guests to enjoy as she entertained them in her home. Another, and perhaps the earliest report, dates back to the 1930s when Iowa newspaper editor James Graham discovered a cocktail in Tijuana, Mexico which closely resembled the American drink, the Daisy. The Daisy was made with brandy as opposed to tequila.  A third version recounts a slow day in Orozco’s bar, Hussong’s Cantina, in Ensenada, Mexico. When the daughter of a German ambassador walked in Orozco was experimenting with new drink mixtures and he decided to serve her his most recent concoction. Her name was Margarita Henkel. And then there's the story of bartender “Danny” Herrera who created the drink in the Rancho La Gloria Hotel in Mexico for a Ziegfeld dancer. 

Today Tequila is as popular as ever with many varietals and artisanal versions on the market, each with a uniquely different quality. Today's tequila is often a very sophisticated cocktail.

Below you'll find a compilation of some of our favorite varieties from some of our favorite food bloggers. Sweet, salty or spicy, there's a tequila that will perfectly please your palate! 

One of my favorite places to stop by for a recipe, Gimme Some Oven, never fails to disappoint. Here's she offers up a version that delivers kick which seems to be garnering more and more attention. The cool cuke offers up the perfect the perfect antidote to the spicy jalapeno. A little bit sweet, a little bit salty, a little bit spicy, this version of the margarita has it all. (Top image)

 10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. Champagne Margarita

10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. Champagne Margarita

For those preferring more bubble and a little less heat, hop on over to 40 Aprons, for this delicious and effervescent twist on an old favorite. And by all means, break out those champagne flutes or coupes if you wish! 

 10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

Maybe you prefer you prefer to "put de lime in de coconut"  and so if that's the case you'll want to hop on over to Foodie Crush to  check out her version of The Best Coconut Margarita Recipe

 10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

A fresh twist on an old classic with one of my most absolute favorite fruits, the blood orange. Known for it's rich, deep, blood-like color, this tart orange is as refreshing as it is beautiful. Add it to your margarita with a touch of triple sec for a fabulous cocktail. Full recipe at With Salt and Wit.

 10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

And then there's always the classic. Some people believe that one shouldn't meddle with a good thing, Averie Cooks offers up a 3 ingredient version. 

 10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

So you've decided to whip up a batch of Margaritas but you've run out of limes and you really don't want to head back out to the store... Or you've got a serious craving for the puckery, sourness of a Lemon Drop. You'll find both here, at The Taylor House.

 10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

In the mood to shake things up a bit? A spicy grapefruit margarita might be a good way to try. Half Baked Harvest gives us recipes for making individual servings and big batches. She also tells us how to control spice levels for those who want just a kick to those who want a whole lotta heat! 

 10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

Or maybe you love grapefruit but not the heat. Here's a recipe that replaces heat with fizz! Well Plated adds just a bit of seltzer to add enough fizz but not so much as to dilute the flavors. 

 10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

10 Mouthwatering Margarita Recipes. 

We tend to associate pomegranate with the Christmas holidays because, in part, of their bright red color. Their season typically runs from October through the end of February, so we're in luck, and can make the best of this fruit before their season ends. Their tartness lends itself perfectly for this cocktail! How Sweet it Is shares her recipe.

Are you a purist or do you prefer to mix things up a little?

Healthy Bites :: Singing the praises of the baked sweet potato fry

Looking for a healthy snack? Consider the sweet potato! Baked sweet potato fries are delicious, satisfying and nutritious and while they may seem forbidden, they shouldn't be. I can't believe we don't make these more often! 

 Baked Sweet Potato Fries - The forbidden snack that's good for you!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries - The forbidden snack that's good for you!

We are always on the lookout for a good afternoon snack. While I prefer to steer the kids to yogurt, fruit and veggie they prefer items that aren't quite as nutritionally dense. They go after the salt and the carbs, and sometimes the sugars. Sometimes I can tempt them with crispy chick peas. The other day my daughter had a hankering for sweet potato fries so she grabbed a sweet potato, cut it up into thin slices, placed them on a cookie sheet with an olive oil spray and sea salt. The result was delicious and because they weren't fried or swimming in oil, they were incredibly healthy. These sure beat reaching into that bag of chips!

The Nutritional benefits of the sweet potato

The nutritional benefits of the sweet potato are many.  1 medium sized sweet potato, about 1 cup has Calories 114, is virtually fat-free and loaded with all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Although sweet it has a fairly low sugar count and is a good source of dietary fiber:

Total Fat 0.1 g0%
Saturated fat 0 g0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 73 mg3%
Potassium 448 mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 27 g9%
Dietary fiber 4 g 16%
Sugar 6 g
Protein 2.1 g4%
Vitamin A 377%
Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 4%
Iron 4%
Vitamin D 0%
Vitamin B-6 15%
Vitamin B-120%
Magnesium 8%

Ingredients:

(Makes 1 serving)
1 medium sized sweet potato, washed, 
1 can of olive oil spray
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400
Wash the sweet potato and cut into slices, thin or thick depending on your preference
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil
Spray the slices generously with the olive oil spray
Flip the slices over and gently absorb any excess oil so that both sides are cover.
Sprinkle with salt
Bake for 15 minutes and check for doneness. Fries should be lightly browned.
Rotate fries and remove to oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until desired golden color is achieved. 
Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

I was looking for a little snack early yesterday evening to tie me over until dinner... The sweet potato fries went quite well with my Super Tuscan!

     Baked Sweet Potato Fries - The forbidden snack that's good for you!

    Baked Sweet Potato Fries - The forbidden snack that's good for you!