Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hallowe'en Spirits

Orange Stinger Martini

It's been awhile since I've shared a cocktail recipe. And I think that this one is especially appropriate for the upcoming holiday. It's a devil of a drink, sweet and sour upon first sip, with a heat that slowly builds in your mouth and on your lips that just makes you want another sip...and then another. Before you know it you're gulping down martini number two. Honestly, you should stop right there, because as we know (some of us all too well)....

Martinis are like breasts--one is not enough and three are too many.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 martini


2 jalapeno slices
2 shots (about 1 1/2 ounces each) Absolute Mandarin
1 shot Patron Citronge (or other orange liquor)
1 shot freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 large pinch sugar


1. Muddle the jalapeno slices in a cocktail shaker to release all the spicy juices.

2. Add 2 handfuls of ice, and the rest of the ingredients.

3. Cover and shake well, until martini is thoroughly chilled.

4. Rub the rim of a martini glass with a slice of lemon and dip in a plate that's been coated with sugar. Strain martini into the glass and garnish with another slice of jalapeno if desired.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Easy As Apple Pie

Farm Stand Apple Pie

To be perfectly honest with you, this pie is a bit of work in the kitchen. But an old-fashioned pie like this is so worth the effort. When you are assembling it, it may seem like you won't be able to fit all the apples in the crust. Keep piling them on because they will shrink a lot. I had to bake my last pie for nearly 2 hours it was so big. Just check on it every 10 minutes or so after the first hour. The crust should be deeply golden brown and some juice will begin to bubble through when it is done.

Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings


12 small-medium sized green apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon flour

Single pie crust (I use this one from Marion Cunningham)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water

To prepare the crust, combine flour and salt in a bowl; cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle surface with ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time; toss with a fork until moist and crumbly. Press mixture gently into a 5-inch circle; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 15 minutes. Flour dough lightly. Roll into circle between sheets of waxed paper on a work surface. Peel off top sheet. Flip into pie plate. Remove other sheet and press pastry to fit. Fold edge under. Flute and chill while you prepare the filling.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
14 tablespoons cold butter, cut in cubes


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Make the filling. Toss together apples, brown sugar, vinegar, spices and flour in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Make the topping. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour and sugar. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, blend in the butter, until coarse crumbs form.

4. Remove the crust from the fridge and pour apples into it. It will seem like a lot of apples for that size pie, but they shrink while baking. Carefully sprinkle the topping on the apple filling, covering the entire pie to the crust edges. Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about one hour or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If necessary, cover the crust during the last few minutes of baking to prevent burning.