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{October 29, 2010}   33 Years in the Kitchen – Week 17

Well, here we are, seventeen weeks into my 33rd year and boy was it a doozy.  The Caramel Cider Martini that i pre-tested in an earlier post was a smashing success at book club last night. SMASHING, I tell you. 

Here’s the recipe/instructions:

Drizzle caramel on the inside of a glass. I used Smucker’s squeeze bottle of ice cream topping caramel, because I’m lazy. Feel free to make your own.  Put some ice in a cocktail shaker and pour in equal parts vanilla vodka and fresh apple cider. If you aren’t a lush, you can do one part vodka to two parts cider. Shake vigorously and pour into your glass. Top with a small pinch of cinnamon. Voila! Perfection. *Be warned, this does not taste like a potent cocktail, but it is. And, you’re welcome. And yes, I am a genius. Thanks for noticing.

We followed that up with some Butternut Squash and Apple Soup out of the October 1994 issue of Gourmet Magazine. I served the soup in a large bowl with sourdough rolls from Panera (OMG I LOVE PANERA), homemade roasted pumpkin seeds, 0% fat Greek yogurt and homemade bacon bits for accoutrement. I tweak this recipe every time I make it by using a 2-3 lb squash, 4 cups of broth, 3 apples and 86ing the bay leaf. It is awesome and so much easier to make now that I have an amazing stick blender (thanks to G for that awesome gift, and to very good friend and fellow member of the Gay/Straight Alliance Lauren Gilstrap for suggesting he buy it for me). This soup is one of my Fall/Winter staples.

Good friend and fellow book clubber Mandy Nichols made some delicious “crack dip.” You’ll have to ask her for the recipe, but from memory it contained things like black beans, corn, bell pepper, avocado, tomato, onion, guacamole seasoning, etc. It was delish. We at that with blue corn chips, a.k.a. “bat wings” (keeping it Halloween-y people).

Rounding out the night I served Grave “Cakes.” Most of you know this dessert as dirt pudding, but if you make it in cupcake wrappers and put a mini rectangular candy bar in each one they sure do look like graves. Throw in a few gummy slugs at the bottom of the pan and you have Grave Cake!

So, there is your super yummy update on Week 17 – one new made up recipe and one tried and true. All of this food was washed down with a bit of catching up, some lively debate/discussion sparked by a challenging book and some good old fashioned gossip.

The real kicker on the night? Going out to light the jack-o-lanterns and finding that nature had helped my spooky cause by sending some slugs to crawl on my pumpkins and one lone cockroach to nap in the eye of a skull. GROSS!!!

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rouxbarb says:

I am going to confirm that you really ARE a genious. Those drinks were some of the best I’ve EVER had. Really. Ever. And the rest was equally delicious. Plus I have surplus mini candy bars in my purse so your awesomeness just keeps on giving…



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