Monday, February 12, 2007

valentine's treats

Valentines Day is my second favorite holiday, which is slightly self absorbed because it's also my birthday... but it's mostly because it's an excuse to make elaborate chocolate desserts and decorate things with hearts. Top picture is my favorite truffle ever- rum/coffee/hot pepper. Cream is infused with hot peppers from the garden and then I add the rum and coffee before mixing it into the chocolate. They are just rolled in cocoa. I love making cookies that say "eat me." I give them to my friends every year. I guess I like valentines that are rude and sweet at the same time. The cookies themselves are a chocolate clove sugar cookie that is my go to recipe this time of year. Chocolate covered strawberries are always good even though there shouldn't be strawberries around this time of year... and they are super easy to make. Coriander orange flower truffles. Good- but the first ones are better.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

chinese new year

I first made this drink for a chinese new party years ago and had a horrible mishap... somehow the pitcher of drinks had started leaking in the car on the way to DC unbeknownst to me, and then while I was walking down the sidewalk to my friend's house the bottom of the (paper) bag fell out and chinese new year spilled all over the pavement. The rats in Mt. Pleasant got tipsy that night. Which is probably good considering all of the fireworks we set off in the alley. Anyway it is made from ginger infused vodka, lychee juice and black tea infused simple syrup. The spiciness of the ginger and the bitterness of the tea prevent this from being an overly sweet drink. I garnished it here with crystallized ginger, but I have also used fresh lychees and cocktail picks that look like little firecrackers. Throw in some dumplings, A & J thousand layer pancakes and illegal firecrackers and you've got yourself a party.