Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cartography Punch

Having a holiday party is a huge undertaking and the last thing you need to focus on while being the host or hostess with the mostest is bar tending all night. This holiday season instead of putting out a bottle of vodka or whiskey and some soda try this recipe. This simple punch will impress all of  your yuletide guests.

The Punch
4 cups apple juice or cider
3/4 Applejack Liqueur 
1/4 cup Maker's Mark whiskey 
1 cup MiddleBar's ginger cinnamon simple syrup
3 large apples (rubbed with lemon to avoid browning)
1/4 tsp nutmeg 
2 cinnamon sticks for garnish

When it's time for the party:
Pour all the ingredients into a large punch bowl or pitcher.
Add ice, cut up your apples in 1/2 slices along it's width to see a star pattern. Toss in the remaining cinnamon sticks and sprinkle with nutmeg. 

Last year my good friend Ali Keller got her master's degree in cartography and she served this punch at her graduation party, hence this amazing beverage's name. It was a huge hit! 
Happy Holidays Ya'll! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup

If you are a MiddleBar follower then you know I love the tomato. Since tomatoes are out of season most of the year and I haven't quite mastered canning, what is a girl to do? The answer is simple: roast em!!!!

If you haven't tried the MiddleBar Roasted Tomatoes (click here) then you better get your butt movin'. For the rest of you, here's another great take on this recipe the pros!  Enjoy Ya'll!

Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup
5lb Roma tomatoes
2 1/2 tbl salt
1 tbl pepper
3 1/4 tbl sugar
2 thbl crushed garlic
1/4 cup balsamic
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
3 sprigs basil
1 tbl chiffon basil

Preheat oven to 400. Slice tomatoes lengthwise and place on a oiled roasting pan. Brush with crushed garlic then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Sprinkle with salt, pepper & sugar and ake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, then hand crush the tomatoes into a food processor add sprigs of basil and pulse 8-10 times until tomatoes are to a chunky soup consistency. Transfer to stock pot and add 1 cup chicken stock. On medium low heat, simmer the soup 15 minutes, top with 1 tbl of basil and serve!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Roasted Beet Salad

This roasted beet salad is the perfect accompaniment to any meal or as a light lunch. I love beets in the winter and roasting them really brings out their sweetness. When serving this dish to guests I use both yellow and red beets for variety and color but mid-winter if you can only get your hands on the red, no worries!

I top the salad with some goat cheese, basil, a citrus vinaigrette and toasted pecans. The softness of the cheese, the crunch of the nuts and the sweet beets are a perfect match!

Roasted Beet Salad
10 small beets
1 tbl orange zest 
1' round of goat cheese
1/4 cup toasted pecans
1 tbl chiffonade basil

MiddleBar's citrus vinaigrette
Salt & Pepper

Preheat your oven to 400. Peel the fresh beets with vegetable peeler, rinse, quarter and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and orange zest and bake 35-40 minutes flipping twice until fork tender. Cool to room temperature and toss with vinaigrette then top with goat cheese, chiffonade basil and lightly toasted pecans.

Yum, Yum Ya'll!