Monthly Archives: December 2011

The H&M

Between my sophmore and junior year of college I spent half of my summer traveling through Europe or, as some call it, “studying” abroad. In one small town in Northern Italy we spent the evening drinking Bellinis at an outdoor gazebo bar.  Maybe it was the fact that I was in Italy, or that I rarely have sparkling wine, or that I had no clue what I was ordering (language barrier), but those Bellinis stick out in my mind as the best drink I’ve had yet. (Sorry margaritas and wine – you do hold a very special place in my heart).

Even though I have no clue what those Bellinis so delicious, I attempted to recreate my favorite drink for an H&M party.  Since it was a long shot I naturally pretended I knew exactly what I was doing (and crossed my fingers). So here is to the H&M, an original take on an Italian Bellini.

The H&M
Yield: A good time for 4-8 people

7 shots of vodka (we used Belvedere)
1 can of sliced peaches, in lite syrup
1/2 cup of frozen sliced peaches
1 cup of fresh raspberries
2 bottles of dry sparkling wine or champagne*

*Us being young and broke splurged on the vodka and bought whatever was on sale and sparkly (but my guess is that this would taste best with a $10+ Prosecco and fresh peaches, which one can not find in a grocery store in December…trust me I tried 3 of them) .

1. Slice peaches thinly, approximately 1/4 inch thick.
2. Combine peaches, syrup from canned peaches, and vodka in a pitcher. Refrigerate for 48 hours.
3. Add raspberries to pitcher. Refrigerate 1 additional hour.
4. Pour 1/2 bottle of prosecco into pitcher and stir with spoon. 
5. Combine 1/4 cup of fruit mixture with 1/4 cup of sparkling wine. (Best served in wine glass)

Maybe I will be a bartender on a little tropical island one day…but until then I will keep blending random concoctions and hoping they taste ok!

Happy 2012 at Midnight!



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Tex-Mex Eggrolls

One of my favorite things to eat are eggrolls/spring rolls of any kind! When Heather and I were discussing what new appetizer we should make we thought Tex-Mex eggrolls would be the perfect combination; incorporating her love of spicy food and mine of eggrolls! There are still certain details to be worked out with the best choice of wrapper. We used Phylo dough, but think these would have had a better appearance if we could have found egg roll wrappers. I was always told that it’s what’s on the inside that counts! And that is very true of these delicious eggrolls!

Tex-Mex Eggrolls
Yield: 10-12 halves

1 large chicken breast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red bell pepper
2 tablespoons green onion
1/3 cup corn
1/4 cup canned black beans
2 tablespoons spinach
2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers
1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
3-5 cups frying oil (we used vegetable oil)

1. Season chicken breast lightly with salt and pepper. Grill on medium heat until cooked (4-5 minutes per side).
2. Mince the red bell pepper, green onion, spinach, jalapeno, and parsley.
3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute bell pepper and green onion in vegetable oil (2 minutes).
4. Dice chicken. Add chicken to skillet.
5. Add corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno, parsley, cumin and salt. 
6. Cook 5-10 minutes, until all ingredients are warm, stirring frequently.
7. Remove pan from heat and add cheese, stirring until melted. 
8. Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of chicken mixture into center of one egg roll wrapper. Tuck in edges (horizontal) and then roll. Make sure to roll tightly.
9. Arrange on plate, be sure that rolls are not touching (Separate with plastic wrap).
10. Cover plate with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
11. Pre-heat frying oil to 375 degrees.
12. Deep fry the egg rolls in the hot oil for 12-15 minutes or until egg roll wrappers are golden brown.
13. Place on a plate lined with paper towels to dry/drain.
14. Slice in half and serve!

We recommend serving with sour cream or guacamole!

Hot & Messy


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Filed under American, Appetizers

Kiss Cookies

I spent Saturday making dozens of Christmas Cookies with my family. It’s amazing how quickly 6 batches of cookies can be churned out with five cooks in the kitchen!

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for coating cookies)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Nutella
1 package of Milk Chocolate Hershey Kisses (unwrapped)

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, peanut butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Note: due to the addition of the peanut butter to the butter/sugar mixture this will take longer than usual and mixture will be slightly heavier at its “fluffiest.”
2. Beat in egg and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients (baking soda and flour).
4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients mixing only to combine.
5. Add Nutella to mixture (mix by hand with either a spatula or butter knife). Cookie dough should have a marbled appearance.
6. Roll cookie dough into 3/4 inch balls.

My cooking team demonstrating dough rolling technique!

Justin has the cookie dough rolling down to a science!

7. Roll each ball in bowl of granulated sugar.
8. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Separate cookies by one inch.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
10. Remove cookies from oven and immediately add 1 Hershey Kiss to the center of each cookie.
11. Return to oven for 1 minute (to allow Hershey Kiss to melt).
12. Allow cookies to cool 10 minutes before placing on cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool on cooling rack 2 hours before storing, or until Hershey Kiss has set.

A big thank you to the men in the family who rolled most of the cookie dough this weekend!

Merry Christmas!

Holidays & Merriment


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Filed under Christmas Cookies, Sweets