Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gaga for these Sausage and Shrooms

And I'm not the only one.  These Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms received a great deal of attention from ladies and gentleman alike.  Darn, I regret not taking a picture of these guys.  I meticulously planned the hors d'oeuvre menu for our New Years party at my family's lakehouse (pictures coming soon!)  and regret not tripling this recipe.  Everyone wanted to know what was in it, and they were gone in literally less than five minutes.  And the best thing about them, is the fact that they can be made ahead of time, up to the day before.   Here are a few changes I made to the recipe: increased sausage to 4 links, used 3-4 cloves fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder, roasted the mushroom caps for about 10 minutes before filling with stuffing.

My partner in crime helped me with all food for the shindig, and we had so much fun in the kitchen.  Speaking of my little twinster, here is a picture from her and Willy's engagement party that I never posted.

To me, the best times are often times spent in the kitchen sitting on the countertop with a glass of wine and just cooking and chatting away.  Here are two other favorites we made while doing just that.
  • Mozzarella SkewersMozzarella Skewers 
    ½ lb bocconcini
    1 bunch of basil (use only the leaves)
    2 dozen grape tomatoes, halved
    1 dozen yellow or orange bite sized tomatoes, halved (added color/presentation)
    ½ cup olive oil
    ½ lemon, juiced
    salt and pepper to taste – about ¼ teaspoon of each

    2 dozen skewers- 6 “ would be ideal

    1.     Skewer 1 tomato half, a bocconcini wrapped in basil leaf, a yellow/orange tomato half, bocconcini wrapped in basil leaf, and end with a grape tomato half with the flat side at very bottom of sharp part of skewer
    2.     Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until just combined.
    3.     Lay the skewers in a baking dish and drizzle the lemon/olive oil mixture all over the skewers.
    4.     Cover and allow them to sit 1-2 hours before serving

    With the flat end of tomato at bottom, stand these guys up on a simple glass serving platter and they make for an awesome display.    

Let's talk adult beverages. Because we made one for our signature NYE drink that I will likely serve over and over again, it was that good!  The basic thought was to take your traditional New Years libation (champagne) and put some sort of twist on it.  Enter our Prosecco Cool Cocktail.

image courtesy of St. Germain

Prosecco Cool Cocktail

Directions:  Fill a champagne flute about 3/4 full with Prosecco and top with St. Germain.  Wrap mint leaf around  cucumber slice and secure with a festive toothpick. Add more cucumber slices/mint if desired and enjoy!

Have you ever tried St. Germain?

A few summers ago, my friend Andi introduced me to St. Germain, and I have been smitten ever since.  If you have never tried it, I strongly urge you to!  You really can't go wrong with adding this to any drink, but here are a few ideas.
  • St Germain Cocktail: put a few ice cubes in cocktail glass. Add equal parts St. Germain, club soda, and prosecco (or champagne)
  • St. Germain vodka soda: add a splash in your vodka soda to liven it up with some sweetness
  • St. Germain Margarita:  This is my one and ONLY secret recipe, so let me just say that adding St. Germain to your margarita is not something you will regret doing
And I just found this recipe, which I will report back on after testing it out.  How stinking good does this look?!
So is 1:00 pm too early for a taste test?  #getthepartystarted

Dia del Amor  (recipe courtesy of The Hair Pin) 
2 parts Reposado tequila (I like Espolon)
1 part St. Germain
3/4 Freshly squeezed lime juice
2 dashes hot sauce
Chili salt (you can make this by mixing sea salt and dried chili flakes)
Directions: Shake and strain into chili salt-rimmed rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

It's time to enjoy this gorgeous sunny Saturday in Austin!! 


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