Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fried Sausages and Apples + #Giveaway

Nothing goes better with fried sausages, especially ones made with pork, then apples. The recipe for this classic combination comes from the newly released book, chock full of information, The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World by author Laura Kumin.

Hamilton the Musical debuted on Broadway in August 2015 but by Christmastime that year, both of my daughters were completely smitten and knew every single word. Each time we got in the car to go somewhere, Bluetooth automatically hooked up to their phones and the sing-along began. The tunes are catchy, the story engaging and I was drawn in as well. I can’t sing along as rapidly or as accurately as they can, but I thoroughly enjoy the music and lyrics.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this past August my daughters and I traveled the width of the United States in a rental car, from the east coast of Massachusetts to the shores of the Pacific near Los Angeles. The Hamilton soundtrack accompanied us along the way.

Much to our delight and surprise, when we reached LA, we were able to buy last minute tickets to a performance of Hamilton at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre where it had just opened. Sure, we were in the very back row, but who cares? We were ecstatic to be in the audience at all!

This is all to explain why I jumped at the chance to review Laura Kumin’s newly released The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World. With her background in research and skills in the kitchen, I knew that Laura would be the perfect author to combine two of my favorite things, cooking and Hamilton.

Aside from the 30 recipes, Laura shares a whole lot of historical information on the life and times of Alexander Hamilton. If you are a fan of the show, or the man, you are going to love this book. The publisher did send me one book but (keep this hush-hush, please!) I had already preordered another for my son-in-law as a Christmas gift way back in October. I was that excited about this book!

Fried Sausages and Apples

From The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World. Recipe reprinted by permission. The Hamilton Cookbook takes you into Hamilton's home and to his table, with historical information, recipes, and tips on how to prepare and serve the food that our founding fathers enjoyed. It's on sale now at Amazon (<affliliate link) or your favorite bookstore.

Adapted from “Fried Sausages,” Hannah Glasse,
The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.
Serves 2 (as a main dish)
This dish is great for a weeknight dinner; it is quick to prepare and uses just one large pan. It makes a full meal with just a salad and a loaf of crusty bread.

1/2 to 3⁄4 pound thick country or other similarly spiced chicken, turkey, or pork sausage (about 1-inch in diameter) 350g German Weiss sausage

4 to 6 apples, preferably of mixed varieties, peeled and quartered. Any apples that keep their shape will work (e.g., Granny Smith, Yellow and Red Delicious, and Fuji). Quarter, and thinly slice half of the quartered apples.

1. In a large, heavy pan, start the sausages cooking under medium-high heat. As soon as the sausages begin to render their juices, add the thin apple slices. Turn both the sausages and the apple slices so that they brown evenly.

2. Once the apple slices begin to brown, add the apple quarters, and stir occasionally. After 2 to 3 minutes, cover the pan for a few minutes. That helps the apples soften and brown. It will also allow a bit of liquid to accumulate in the pan. Uncover the pan and continue cooking until the sausages are fully cooked. (The time required to cook the sausages depends on their thickness, typically about 10 to 15 minutes. You can ensure that the middle cooks thoroughly by cutting the sausages down the middle vertically to butterfly them after 10 minutes, laying them flat to continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes.) The thin apple slices will slightly disintegrate into a chunky applesauce, while the quarters will remain whole.

3. Serve on a platter with the sausages in the middle along with the applesauce, surrounded by the apple quarters.

Want to win your own copy? Enter below. Entrants must be 18 or older with a shipping address in the continental United States. The winner will be randomly chosen at the close of the entry period. He or she will be notified by email and must respond in 48 hours or an alternate winner will be chosen.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Easy Avocado Lemon Basil Pesto

Loaded with flavor, this creamy pesto made from avocado, basil, thyme, oregano and lemon is meant to be served over pasta. I could just eat it with a spoon!

My friend Kathy Hester of Healthy Slow Cooking has another cookbook on the shelves and I’m delighted to say that I have a copy to give away! This one’s called The Easy Vegan Cookbook (<Amazon affiliate link) and it’s perfect for folks who are short on time but don’t want to skimp on flavor. Typical of Kathy’s books, there aren’t a bunch of weird substitutions for non-vegan ingredients, just great tasting vegetable-centric meals. And who couldn’t use more of those in their diets?

Make sure to scroll to the bottom and leave a comment to enter the cookbook giveaway!

As I mentioned in my Muffin Monday post earlier this week, my younger daughter has been with us all summer. She’s been a good sport about being flexible about what she’ll eat because she is mostly vegetarian, making the rare exception for a good hamburger once in a while. “All hamburgers are good hamburgers” is another of her axioms. But we have eaten more all veggie meals while she’s been here, especially on days when her father is traveling on business. One of her own specialties is pasta with pesto to which an avocado is added just before serving so I knew that Kathy’s Avocado Lemon Basil Pesto would be a hit.

And how! This stuff is good. So good that I just wanted to eat it with a spoon and forget the pasta. But that wouldn’t be much of a meal so I restrained myself and tossed the noodles in it. Still divine - creamy, luscious, bright and beautifully green. We will definitely be making this one again!

Kathy’s instructions say not to let the specialty basil intimidate you. “If you don’t have lemon basil, you can use regular basil and add lemon zest, extra lemon juice or another lemony herb like lemon verbena or lemon balm.”

I couldn’t find lemon basil. Instead I used lemon thyme, adding a few extra sprigs, but I also added the lemon zest along with a little more lemon juice, as suggested.

Recipe ©Kathy Hester from The Easy Vegan Cookbook, included here by permission from Page Street Publishing.

1 medium-sized ripe avocado
1/2 cup (12g) fresh lemon basil leaves (or substitute regular basil)
1 (2 to 4 in [5 to 10cm]) sprig fresh thyme
1 tablespoon (3g) fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (59 ml) water plus more if needed
1/2 lb (227 g) cooked whole-wheat angel-hair pasta (I used regular linguine pasta.)

My optional addition: dried red chili flakes

Scoop out the avocado.

Put the avocado flesh, basil, leaves from the thyme and oregano, lemon juice, salt and water in a blender and blend well until the herbs are puréed.

(I used my hand blender instead, pureeing the avocado with the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, thyme and oregano first.)

(Then I added in the basil and pulsed again until smooth.)

(I completely forgot the water but we liked the thickness of the pesto and it coated the pasta beautifully! Just look at that gorgeous color!)

The creamy avocado lemon basil pesto with just a couple of teaspoons missing! Sooooooo good!

If the purée is still too thick, add 2 more tablespoons (30 ml) of water and blend again. Toss with the cooked pasta.

One more tip: This pesto comes together in minutes, so put your pasta in the boiling water while you make it. The pesto will be ready to toss with your piping hot, perfectly cooked pasta. You’ll be out of the kitchen before the pesto has time to get too hot!

If you’d like a sneak peek at some of Kathy’s other recipes, check out the links in this line up from some other participants in the cookbook blog tour. Good stuff! Make sure to scroll to the bottom and leave a comment to enter the cookbook giveaway! I've been wanting to try the Creole Okra Corn Soup but I couldn't get any takers at my house for anything okra. So I'm just going to have to make that when I'm home alone. Not a problem because I am sure I can eat the whole pot.

Many thanks to Page Street Publishing for generously donating one copy of Kathy's wonderful book for this giveaway. Please be aware that they will only ship to US or Canadian addresses. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Please leave a comment and tell me why YOU should be the winner of this great cookbook full of delicious recipes - Are you cooking for yourself or for friends and family? - then click on the rafflecopter for other opportunities to enter. Not leaving a comment will disqualify your other entries.

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Disclosure: I received one copy of The Easy Vegan Cookbook for review purposes. No other compensation was received. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

La Marquita Cocktail #NorthAmericanWhiskeyGuide #Giveaway

Twin ruby liquids, fresh cranberry juice and sweet rhubarb syrup combine with Tennessee whiskey to make a delicious cocktail that is perfect for the holidays or, indeed, any time of the year. 

I could tell embarrassing stories on myself of underage bourbon drinking back in the Dark Ages that may or may not have involved Big Gulp Coca-Colas from 7-11 but suffice to say that bourbon was my drink of choice for many years. I have since expanded my repertoire considerably, but our bar at home still always has Jack Daniel's as it’s my husband’s favorite cocktail time beverage: no Coke, just ice and water. And the quantities are more sensible. We don’t often use it for mixed cocktails though so I was delighted to see a bourbon drink in the list of recipes I could publish from the recently released, North American Whiskey Guide from Behind the Bar.

Clearly we have not branched out enough in our exploration of whiskeys! According to authors, Chad Berkey and Jeremy LeBlanc, there are more than 900 whiskeys from which to choose. And that’s just those made in North American – that is to say, the United States and Canada. I discovered that Jack Daniel’s is not just bourbon, but a subcategory of same called Tennessee whiskey because of the unique process of filtering the bourbon through sugar maple charcoal before it is put in barrels to age. No wonder it has a sweetish quality – which is what makes it so drinkable and so popular.

If you are looking for a gift for the whiskey lover in your life, look no farther. This book is the ONE. Full of recommendations from top bartenders who have blind taste-tested more whiskey than I even knew existed, to give you a short list of 250 well worth drinking. Just the reviews make me want to buy a bottle or three. For instance, the Cabin Still Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is described by one of the bartenders thus: “Candy corn and kettle corn. It's like Halloween and the Town Fair had a whiskey baby.” Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Or the Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey: “The nose on this is beautiful. Vanilla, spice (cloves, I think) and maybe a hint of orange blossom. There's some burn to it but you'll still get the vanilla and spice. This is a good one.” I’ve never tried rye whiskey but now I’d really like to, especially the Sazerac. Make sure to scroll on down to the bottom and enter the giveaway for your copy of this great book, courtesy of Page Street Publishing.

The North American Whiskey Guide also gives you loads of information on origin, age, proof and price so you can make an informed decision before buying or ordering but my favorite part of the book (aside from 30 cocktail recipes, of course!) is the North American Whiskey Drinkers’ Bucket List detailing 20 whiskeys that every serious whiskey drinker should try, many of them quite rare and hard to find. Challenge accepted! I’m printing off the list, as suggested, to take along on my travels.

On to the promised bourbon cocktail
The description of the Marquita says that the pomegranate arils will take on a smoky flavor after sitting a while in the cocktail. I had my doubts but they really did! The beautiful rose-colored drink itself is delicious and those smoky sweet arils at the end were a treat. The step-by-step for the rhubarb syrup can be found here,  except make sure to add in the appropriate amounts of sugar, rhubarb and spices as outlined in the ingredients list below.

Recipe printed with permission of Page Street Publishing


For the cocktail:
1 1/2 oz or 45ml whiskey - We like to use Gentlemen Jack for this recipe. (I didn't have any so I used the normal Jack Daniel's.)
1/2 oz or 15ml red cranberry juice
1 teaspoon homemade rhubarb syrup*
2 teaspoons pomegranate seeds

*For the syrup:
2–3 small stalks rhubarb, chopped
1 cup or 190g cane sugar
2 cups or 470 ml water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 vanilla bean pod

Syrup Instructions
Combine ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes, then let cool completely. Strain ingredients. Syrup will keep well covered in fridge for 2 weeks.

Cocktail Instructions
In a shaker, combine a scoop of ice and whiskey.

Pour in the juice and syrup.

Shake vigorously for a count of 15 seconds, strain and pour into a cocktail glass.

In your glass, add seeds and stir for about 10 revolutions. Cheers and enjoy! Merry Christmas everyone!

A good vigorous stir! 

Win your own copy! 
The rules: If you’d like to win a copy of The North American Whiskey Guide from Behind the Bar, please leave a blog comment telling me what your favorite whiskey for sipping or for cocktails is, then click on the Rafflecopter widget for other opportunities to enter. Not leaving a comment will disqualify your other entries. Please be aware that the publisher will only ship to US and Canadian addresses. The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, another winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck!

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Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of The North American Whiskey Guide from Behind the Bar to review but no other compensation was offered or accepted. Links to the book are Amazon affiliate links.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Authentic Caipirinhas

Caipirinhas are the quintessential Brazilian cocktail, made with local cane alcohol called cachaça, lots of lime juice and a big spoon of sugar. Just go easy because they sneak up on you.

It’s my birthday week so I am delighted to be starting it out with cocktails!  Check out the 28 festive libations my fellow bloggers have made for the party!  (I’m pretending they are all for my birthday!  Yay!)  I’m sharing one of my favorite cocktails, a love acquired when we lived in Brazil for several years.  My dear husband got very good at making caipirinhas, so he volunteered to do the needful while I took photos.

1 lime per glass
1 generous tablespoon sugar or more if you like things sweeter (Authentically, this should be coarse grain sugar but the normal white stuff works if that’s all you have.)
Crushed ice
Short straws

Cut the lime into quarters and use your same sharp knife to remove all the seeds.  We happened to be using seedless limes this time.

Put the lime into a short glass, adding a generous tablespoon of sugar.  Or more if you like things sweet.

Smash the limes and sugar with a muddler.

Now fill the glass with crushed ice and top it up with cachaça.

Finally, give it a good stir.  Serve with a short straw for sipping.


Now wasn't that simple?

Cheers to my fellow Cocktail Day bloggers, who are mixing it up with me today!  I'll take one of each, please!