When September arrives, the collection of recipes commences. By November, I have a pretty large variety of main dishes, desserts and appetizers in the recipe book for holiday gatherings, dinners and cocktails parties. The difficult part, is choosing which ones to use. Our first step is to create a theme of flavors. Our main dish for our first soiree, is a stuffed pork roast, although I haven’t settled on the “interior” as of yet. There are so many delicious combinations and as I choose appetizers, desserts and cocktails, it will narrow my choices.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars by Closet Cooking. Is it wrong to begin with dessert? Never. A taste of two of something divine while assembling the appetizers is always allowed. The recipe is simple, and you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry or cupboard. Shopping list; butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, sugar, cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, Granny Smith apples, nutmeg, flour, old-fashioned oats, heavy cream and coarse salt. Full recipe and method here. While you are over at Closet Cooking printing this recipe, take a tour. This is a magnificent and informative site and you have the option of signing up for Kevin’s newsletter and downloading his free e-book, Best of Closet Cooking.
Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pear by Southern Living Magazine. A salty, sweet appetizer that is both gorgeous and simple. If you have time constraints of any kind and would like flavors that dance in your mouth while keeping you on schedule, this is an appetizer you must try. Shopping list; Pancetta, Bartlett pear, goat cheese, cracked pepper, honey and fresh thyme. Full recipe and method
Grey Goose Ginger Joy Cocktail by TheNibble.com I always present two cocktails to my guests, of course they always have the option of putting in a request for something different or creating their own if they are in the mood for another flavor. This is the perfect libation for the holidays. Shopping list; Grey Goose La Poire pear flavored vodka, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, simple syrup, lemon juice and pear or crystallized ginger for garnish. Full recipe and method here.
Classic Irish Coffee Tis the season for something warm. While this traditionally is an after dinner or before climbing under the covers warm up, I have found guests ask for it before dinner as well. A bit of caffeine gives them a wake-up shot after a long day at the office and they are ready for Friday evening festivities and great cuisine. Shopping list; Irish whiskey, hot coffee, brown sugar and heavy cream. Full recipe and method here
I haven’t settled on the rest of the menu yet, I still have a little time to put that together, however this is an excellent beginning.