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Archive for October 29, 2015

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Serpent’s Bite Apple Cider Flavored Whisky

Serpent's Bite Bottle

Good enough to tote in a flask. Photo
courtesy Spirits Marque One.

 

Flavored shots are trending, and our favorite this season is Serpent’s Bite Apple Cider Flavored Whisky.

It does for whisky what so many distillers have done for vodka: infuses a delectable layer of flavor.

And Serpent’s Bite is the flavor of fall. It will appeal to fans of whisky and hard apple cider alike. It’s very smooth with a fine balance of sweet, crisp apple cider flavors with the whisky. The latter is distilled from corn and rye, which are blended during distillation and then infused with the apple cider flavors.

Serpent’s Bite was made to be enjoyed in a neat shot, straight up with a slice of apple, or in a mixed-based shooter.

At 35% ABV/70 proof, it’s a bit less alcoholic than your typical shot.

It’s available in 50 ml (MSRP $1.89), 750 ml (MSRP $15.99) and 1 liter bottles (MSRP $18.99).

If you want to know anything else about it, too bad. The only things on the one-page website are links to Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter feeds, the latter promoting the hashtag #BiteTheNight.

 
Perhaps the only thing to say is: It tastes really good and would be a swell gift for the right folks.

Spirits Marque One, producer of Serpent’s Bite, is part of Constellation Brands, the holdings of which comprise the world’s largest producer of wine, including Manischewitz and Robert Mondavi. Other alcohol brands among the hundred-plus include Corona beer and Svedka vodka.

 

WHISKY VS. WHISKEY

Whisky is the Scottish spelling of whiskey. The alternative spelling was chosen to differentiate the national product from Irish whiskey.

The “whisky” spelling is used in Canada, Japan and Wales, as well as Scotland.

In the United States, a 1968 directive from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms specifies “whisky” as the official U.S. spelling. However, it allows the alternative spelling, “whiskey.”

Most U.S. producers prefer to include the “e,” as do we. Without it, it looks like something is missing.

And another reason to keep the “e”: Irish whiskey predates Scotch whisky. Check out this brief history of whiskey.

Ironically, distillation was discovered in the 8th century in Persia—a country that has not permitted the sale and consumption of spirits since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

 

Serpent's Bite Shot

Take a sip, bite the apple. Photo courtesy Spirits Marque One.

 

  

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HALLOWEEN: Layer Cake With Candy Corn

Halloween Layer Cake Recipe

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TOP PHOTO: Halloween Layer Cake from
Harry & David. BOTTOM PHOTO: Make your
own Halloween layer cake with this recipe.
Photo courtesy Taste Of Home.

 

If yesterday’s Spider Web Brownies didn’t blow your cobwebs away, how about a layer cake?

In addition to Halloween, the recipe below, from Taste Of Home, is also spot-on for October 30th, National Candy Corn Day.

There are two orange-colored labels and one chocolate layer. You’ll need three 9-inch round cake pans.

Prep time is 20 minutes, bake time is 30 minutes plus frosting and glaze.

RECIPE: HALLOWEEN LAYER CAKE

Ingredients For 12-16 Servings

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa (not cocoa drink mix)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 10 drops yellow food coloring
  • 6 drops red food coloring
  •  
    For The Frosting

  • 3 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 5-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 8 drops yellow food coloring
  • 6 drops red food coloring
  •  

    For The Glaze

  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Candy corn for garnish
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.

    2. CREAM the butter and sugar in a bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

    3. COMBINE the flour, baking powder and salt; add alternately with the milk to creamed mixture. Mix well.

    4. COMBINE the cocoa, water and vanilla; stir in 2 cups of the cake batter. Pour into a greased and floured 9-inch round baking pan.

    5. ADD the orange extract, peel and food coloring to the remaining batter. Pour into two greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake tests done. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to wire racks.

    6. MAKE the frosting: In a bowl, beat all frosting ingredients until smooth. Place one orange cake layer on a cake plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with chocolate layer; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with second orange layer. Frost the sides and top of each.

    7. MAKE the glaze: Microwave the chocolate and cream on high 1-1/2 minutes or, stirring once. Stir until smooth; let cool 2 minutes. Slowly pour over cake, letting glaze drizzle down sides. Garnish with candy corn.

     

    Candy Corn Cake Recipe

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01 data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/candy corn cheesecake tablespoon.com 230

    TOP PHOTO: Edge the cake with rolled wafer cookies and top with candy corn. Recipe from TexasMonkey.Blogspot.com. BOTTOM PHOTO: Candy Corn Cheesecake. Recipe from from Tablespoon.com.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Pumpkin Soup, In A Pumpkin Or Not

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/pumpkin stew cristinaferrare 230

    Pumpkin Soup Recipe

    TOP PHOTO: Pumpkin soup in a pumpkin
    terrine. Photo courtesy Cristina Ferrare.
    BOTTOM PHOTO: Pumpkin soup in a real
    pumpkin. Photo by G.M. Vozd | IST.

     

    When was the last time you had pumpkin soup? It seems to have been supplanted by its cousins, acorn squash soup and butternut squash soup.

    The multi-purpose fruit was introduced by the Native Americans to American colonists, who turned it into soups, sides, desserts and beer.

    You can make pumpkin soup a Halloween tradition. Serve it from a scooped-out pumpkin, invest in a pumpkin tureen, or simply serve it from the pot.

    Pumpkin soup is adaptable to different flavors, from anise to chile, curry, and just about any spice on the shelf.

  • Gordon Ramsay tops his with wild mushrooms and shaved Parmesan.
  • A pumpkin-beef soup celebrated the Independence of Haiti in 1803.
  • In Southeast Asia, chunks of pumpkin are served in a clear broth with ground pork, scallions and cilantro.
  • Here are three pumpkin soup recipes we’ve published previously, along with instructions to turn a pumpkin into a tureen.
  •  
    The recipe below is from Cristina Ferrare, host of Hallmark Channel’s The Home and Family Show. She flavors the soup with pumpkin pie spices and suggests multiple garnishes so each diner can customize his or her soup. And she uses cream cheese instead of cream, for an even richer soup.

    Whether for sophisticated palates or to warm up the kids prior to trick-or-treating, make pumpkin soup part of your Halloween tradition.
     
    Trivia: The word pumpkin comes from the Greek pepõn, large melon. The word soup derives from Late Latin suppa, “bread soaked in broth,” from Proto-Germanic sup, “to take liquid.” For many people, yesterdy’s bread soaked in broth was the main meal of the day and also the derivation of “supper.”

     
    *All squash are native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. They are members of the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, and the genus Cucurbita. Pumpkin, acorn and summer squash belong to Curbita pepo; butternut squash is Curbita moschata; hubbard squash and buttercup squash belong to Curbita maxima. Curbita is Latin for “gourd.” Who said taxonomy is dull?
     
    RECIPE: PUMPKIN SOUP WITH CUSTOM GARNISHES

    Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (29 ounces) pure pumpkin
  • 1 quart homemade chicken stock or store-bought chicken broth
  • 1 package (8 ounces) regular or low-fat cream cheese, cut into small pieces, divided
  •  
    Garnishes

    Use as many of these as you like:

  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, sliced thin (remove seeds and pith for less heat)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Olive, pumpkin or walnut oil for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (recipe below)
  • Croutons
  •  

    Preparation

    1. HEAT a saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil, then quickly add the onions and scallions. Stir.

    2. TURN the heat down to medium. Sauté until the onions start to caramelize, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the sherry. Add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, cayenne and pumpkin, and mix well.

    3. ADD the chicken stock and stir until all of the ingredients are well blended.

    4. LOWER the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the soup starts to thicken slightly. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock or water, a half cup at a time. Turn off the heat.

    5. FILL a blender halfway with the soup and half of the cream cheese, and blend unit smooth. Pour into the soup pot. Continue the process with the rest of the soup and cream cheese until everything has been blended.

    6. PLACE the soup pot back on the stove and heat through. Serve piping hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream, finely chopped scallions, chopped jalapeño and pomegranate seeds; a drizzle of olive, pumpkin or walnut oil; and the pumpkin seeds (recipe below).
     

    RECIPE: ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

    This recipe is adapted from one from Elise on SimplyRecipes.com. You can see the step-by-step process with photos.

    With Elise’s technique, first boiling the seeds in salted water allows salt to permeate the seeds, not just coat the outside. If they’re properly toasted and are from small to medium size pumpkins, she notes, they can be eaten shells and all.

    Ingredients

  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  •  

    Pumpkins

    roasted-pumpkin-seeds-elise-simplyrecipes-230

    Carve the pumpkin, roast the seeds. Top photo courtesy Starling Farms. Bottom hoto courtesy Elise | Simply Recipes.

     
    Preparation

    1. USE a strong metal spoon to scrape the seeds and strings from the inside of the pumpkin. Place in a colander and run under water to rinse and separate the seeds.

     
    2. MEASURE the pumpkin seeds in a cup measure. Place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pan for every half cup of pumpkin seeds. Add more salt if you would like your seeds to be saltier.

    3. BRING the salted water and pumpkin seeds to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain.

    4. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Toss the seeds in oil and spread out in a single layer in a baking pan or rimmed baking sheet.

    5. BAKE on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds (small pumpkin seeds may toast in 5 minutes, large pumpkin seeds may take up to 20 minutes). Keep an eye on the pumpkin seeds so they don’t get over-toasted. When lightly browned…

    6. REMOVE the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack until ready to serve. Test to see if you enjoy the seeds whole. If not, crack to remove the inner seeds.

      

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