Foodie Fave: Champagne Jello Shots

Ok, guys. We’re about to get next level with jello shots – champagne jello shots! The minute I saw this post from Sugar and Cloth I knew I had to share it with you all. Especially with New Years’ Eve right around the corner, these are the perfect compliment to that champagne glass in your hand. Cheers, darlings!

  • 8 oz Champagne or Cava
  • 4 oz Gin
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz simple syrup (quick recipe below)*
  • 2 packages Knox gelatin
  • Edible gold leaf for garnishing (optional)

Combine the simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then pour into a medium saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin. Allow the gelatin to soak for two minutes, then heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes).

Remove from heat and add the gin and Champagne, stirring well to blend. Pour into a very lightly greased loaf pan and chill until fully set, several hours or overnight.

Turn out the set gelatin onto parchment paper, then slice carefully (a thin knife works best) into rectangles or squares.

Garnish with edible gold leaf using a paintbrush (use one you can reserve for food only — you don’t want paint chemicals in your food!). Gold leaf crumbles and sticks to things (like fingers!) easily, so be gentle — just pull off tiny corners with the brush (they will stick), then place them gently on top of the gelée squares.

*If you don’t have simple syrup here is a simple easy recipe. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup water. Bring it to a simmer. Watch it closely for roughly 5 minutes until it has a syrupy consistency.

champagne-jello-shots-colleen-jeffers-10

*Photo: Sugar and Cloth

Happy Eating (and Happy New Years’!), XO.

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Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage

Two posts in one week?! Well it is the week of eating so, we wanted to bring you as many tasty recipes as possible to get ready for the big day.

So technically this is dressing and not stuffing because my future father in law will probably be stuffing the bird with aromatics but let’s be real, whatever you call this dish is just semantics. IT’S FREAKING TASTY, is all that matters. This dish reminds me of my mom (& uncle). Mom and I both adore when there is sausage in stuffing or dressing. We are also big fans of cornbread, so this is a family favorite. My uncle typically made his stuffing with white bread but one year to mix it up he did cornbread and it was epic. So in reverence to my late uncle and his impeccable cooking skills I am going to attempt to replicate his yummy side for my future in laws.

  • 1 lb. sausage (I did it with chorizo to give it a spicy flair)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. of fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp. of fresh rosemary
  • ½ tbsp. of fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves smashed/minced garlic
  • 2 cups or 3-4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups of chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 family size pan of cornbread (So think like 2 jiffy boxes worth, made in advance & don’t use the sweet/honey cornbread)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Crumble the cornbread into a large bowl and set aside while you brown the meat. Drain the fat before adding sausage to cornbread bowl. Sauté the onions, celery, garlic, and butter until semi-translucent. In another bowl whisk together the broth, cream of chicken soup, herbs, and s&p. Pour into cornbread, sausage, and veggie mixture and stir together gently.

Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray or grease with butter and spoon mixture into pan. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes or until browned & heated through.

Happy Eating, XO.

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

Guys, I’m in a bit of panic mode. Not only is this my first time HOSTING thanksgiving, it’s for my prospective in-laws! Eek! I needed to streamline all the cooking and not be in utter meltdown mode this week. Alas, I found a real simple cranberry sauce recipe that is from scratch and uses real cranberries. Can’t impress the MIL with canned cran sauce, now can I? Also, I mean, we have a food blog after all. Anyway, it’s really great because it comes out a bit chunky or chutney-like consistency so your guests can see that it’s homemade. I doubled the recipe, but this seems to be the recommended amount to make. I just figured since its yum I can save in a jar for leftovers for the week. Note some of the other sides I am serving for this holiday meal with my new family are: the mushrooms in poblano sauce, roasted Brussel sprouts (I added pancetta and balsamic glaze for a sweet & salty twist), and garlic chive mashed potatoes. Stay tuned for the corn bread “dressing” stuffing recipe we will be posting shortly as well…Boy menu planning has been a treat but stay on top of our Instagram to see how my first ever turns out…

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (12 oz)
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice (use the bottle stuff if you don’t have an actual orange)
  • ¾ cup orange marmalade (smuckers is fine but I balled out and bought some artisan ginger orange marmalade)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Optional is I zested a lemon and the orange I juiced for some freshness

Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot & stir. Cook on HIGH for 3 hrs or until the cranberries begin to pop. After that 3 hrs or so, gently smash the cranberries up against the side of the crockpot to help the rest pop while you stir. Remove the lid and then cook on HIGH for another r30 minutes without the lid on. Did I mention that stove top and oven space is limited & therefore precious for such a big meal? So this crockpot wonder was a LIFESAVER! Hope you guys dig it too…

 

Happy Eating, XO

Caprese Pull-Apart Bread

Any of you out there grown your own cherry tomatoes? (Raises hand.) Do you also feel overwhelmed by the amount that are ripening right now? I can’t eat them plain or in salads fast enough, or give enough away to neighbors. If I see just one sad tomato on the ground, I feel like a failure. I need to make sure I get ALL of them. And eat ALL of them. It’s becoming impossible. SO. I had to get creative. Enough with eating tomatoes, mozz, and basil. We need to take it to another level. Enter in – caprese pull apart bread. It’s doughy, chewy, and surprisingly refreshing. Perfect for a party, side dish at a BBQ, or just an excuse to use up those tiny tomatoes.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cups olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 1 cups olive oil
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella

To make the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water, stirring until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 10 minutes until it becomes frothy. Mix in sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Using a dough hook (or by hand), slowly add in the flour until a dough forms and is no longer sticky. Roll 1 inch pieces of dough into little balls and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease a bread pan.

In another mixing bowl, combine the basil, olive oil and pepper (feel free to add a dash of salt). Next, take the little dough balls, roll them in the basil olive oil mixture and begin to line them on the bottom of the bread pan. After 1 layer, scatter the cherry tomatoes, and some of the shredded mozzarella. Repeat these steps until you reach the top of the pan, tucking in any remaining tomatoes. Bake for roughly 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.

Caprese pull apart bread_damndelish

Happy Eating, XO.

Grilled Romaine with Tahini Dressing

Guys, I wish I could say we were busy whipping up a million new recipes for you which is why we haven’t posted the entire month of July. But actually, it’s a little more exciting. One of our very own got engaged! Congrats, Sonia! So, as you can imagine, we’ve had some other things on our brains. But, we’re ready to jump back into it. We missed you guys!

With all that’s going on now, we’re going to keep it super simple. Like toss-it-all-in-a-processor simple. We’re well into grilling season and I’m not gonna lie – there’s only so many ways you can grill chopped veggies before they get boring. I mean, we love you spicy veggies, but we need a change. Enter: grilled romaine. But not just plain romaine, romaine with tahini dressing. Not only does the romaine give you a smokey taste, but the tahini gives it an extra nutty and savory kick.

  • 2 cups tahini
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil (or extra oil from the tahini)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch romaine lettuce
  • 2 tbsps capers

In a food processor (or by hand), toss in the tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. Pulse all of the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. If you notice it’s getting too thick, add in more oil and a slight bit of water. It should have the consistency of a creamy dressing when you’re done.

For the romaine, clean and separate the leaves. Grease the grill and bring to medium heat. Place the leaves on the grill (over a tiny flame is a-ok), and let them crisp for 2-3 minutes. Just the edges of the leaves should brown.

When serving, pour the tahini dressing over the romaine and top with capers.

Grilled romaine_damndelish-2

Happy Eating, XO.