Christmas Carol Punch

Christmas Carol Punch with cranberry

This Christmas Carol Punch started a couple of years ago when a friend gifted me a bottle of Sorel. Sorel is one of those made-in-Brooklyn hipster sort of products that is based on old traditional Caribbean recipes. It’s a liquer that’s made with Brazilian clove, Indonesian cassia, Nigerian ginger, Indonesian nutmeg, Moroccan hibiscus, pure cane sugar, and grain alcohol. It took me awhile to figure out how best to work with it. Because of the clove, I’m really only open to it during the winter, but others may not have such a strong seasonal association and find it enjoyable all year. The clove, ginger and nutmeg make the drink just a hint spicy and the hibiscus gives it a lovely red color that enhances the cranberry juice. The Christmas Carol Punch is strong but balanced. It’s got lots of tart, plenty of spice, and just enough sweet to make this go down just a little too easy. Another fun part about this Christmas Carol Punch is that because the cranberry juice, the rum, and even the tequila can really change how the final product tastes, you can experiment until you make the perfect one for your own taste. In fact, … Continue reading

Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing

Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing tree

You may recognize these Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing as my Halloween Sugar Cookies and you’re right. They’re exactly the same. But somehow, when I was looking at the page to make our Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing to give to friends, it simply didn’t feel right. I figured that if I was having a hard time using Halloween pictures to make Christmas cookies, well, probably you were having a hard time, too. Or even worse, not using Dirty Laundry Kitchen to make your Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing at all. Imagine my horror. Today, might have been my favorite time to date making these Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing, because my daughter and her daycare class all helped me out in the kitchen. Each child stamped out their own cookie, waited patiently as they baked, and then tromped back to school where these (unfrosted) cookies were the afternoon snack. Meanwhile I decorated the rest of these Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing. Since I forgot how intense the gel food coloring I use is, I ended up with some seriously intense colors this year. But I really like them. And … Continue reading

Lingonberry Cardamom Tart

Cranberry Almond Lingonberry Torte with creme fraiche

From a technique perspective, this Lingonberry Cardamom Tart is closely based on a Martha Stewart recipe. But I have a confession to make, I’ve never actually made it according to the original instructions. The second I saw it, I knew it was destined for Swedish Thanksgiving greatness. In so many ways, the original recipe waltzes around so many Scandinavian ingredients and flavors and that was enough to pique my interest right away. In my Lingonberry Cardamom Tart I swap in lingonberries wherever possible. I add in cardamom in enough quantity to make sure it doesn’t get lost. And I keep up the rich buttery, almond paste that really makes this dessert feel Swedish to me. I have to admit, anything that requires blind baking, like this Lingonberry Cardamom Tart, I consider to be somewhat of a pain and it better be worth the extra steps. This Lingonberry Cardamom Tart definitely is worth any extra effort. It’s as beautiful as it is rich, tart, sweet, spicy, savory and delicious. The cranberries make this Lingonberry Cardamom Tart wonderful as a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even Valentine’s Day dessert and everything else about it will soon make it a family favorite. … Continue reading

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

This Grapefruit Gin and Tonic is less of a recipe and more of a public service announcement an unpaid product push. First of all, Happy Friday! As someone who loves Gin and Tonics and LOVES elderflower, I’m a little surprised it took me as long to discover the Fevertree Elderflower Tonic water as it did. But, find it I did, and now my mission is to share it with you. Gin is definitely the liquor that I tend to stock the most different brands because they’re all so different. Some are spicy. Some are floral. Probably only because it was the first G&T I ever had, I think of Tanqueray as the ultimate Gin and Tonic Gin. And apparently Gin and Tonics are so perfect just the way they are to me, it hasn’t really occurred to me to improvise. Until a couple of weeks ago. I was at Whole Foods shopping for my Juniper Brined Turkey Roast and Gravy, so juniper and elderflower were already on my brain and what did I happen upon, but elderflower tonic water. Obviously it went straight into the grocery cart. I couldn’t wait to get it home and test it out. Even while … Continue reading

Elderflower Fennel Turkey Gravy

Elderflower Fennel Turkey Gravy on turkey slices

I LOVE this rich, silky, savory Elderflower Fennel Turkey Gravy. It’s slightly floral sweetness pairs perfectly with the brightness of the juniper brine on my Juniper Brined Turkey Breast Roast and provides a lovely contrast to the salt. This Elderflower Fennel Turkey Gravy is a great make ahead dish. While it’s in now way complicated, it is a little slow. So make sure you’re multi-tasking while you cook it. You’ll have plenty of time while it’s simmering and reducing to work on other things and the payoff is a rich gravy that’s perfectly paired with it’s bird. Another little secret to this Elderflower Fennel Turkey Gravy is the butter. Use your absolute favorite. The slowly sauteed-in-butter shallots essentially dissolve into the butter and white wine to build a savory foundation. The final notes of sweet elderflower and anise make this gravy stand out from others and round out flavor profile. Because I made this gravy to pair with a breast only recipe, the richness of this Elderflower Fennel Turkey Gravy feels essential, rather than over-the-top decadence. … Continue reading

Juniper Brined Turkey Breast Roast

Juniper Brined Turkey Breast Roast sliced with relish

Hello Dirty Laundry Kitchen fans, it’s been awhile. I’m really excited to be posting this Juniper Brined Turkey Breast Roast, with time for it to make it’s way onto your Thanksgiving menus. Truth told, it’s simple and delicious as a plan ahead weeknight dinner, too. The slices from this Juniper Brined Turkey Breast Roast make for some seriously good sandwiches, especially when paired with some homemade cranberry relish. I served leftover slices of it with aged cheddar on cranberry walnut french toast last weekend, so really, the sky is the limit. Let your imagination run wild. For so many reasons, including it’s fabulous leftover potential, I think this Juniper Brined Turkey Breast Roast is a great first post after a blogging hiatus. I created this recipe before my daughter entered the world and my life changed in so many ways, so coming back to it, and finding that it still fits into my cooking philosophy is comforting and empowering. I think you’ll notice in the coming months that practices, procedures and recipes are going to get even easier here at Dirty Laundry Kitchen. I still fully believe in my mission of comfortable, elegant entertaining. But the addition of a child … Continue reading

Apple Cider Margarita

Apple Cider Margaritas for fall

This year, this Apple Cider Margarita has been my drink of choice, especially when I’m entertaining. I’ve made it for almost everyone I know at this point, which means, that after a whole season of pours and tweaks it’s finally time to measure it out, write it down and share my Apple Cider Margarita with you. There are a few twists and turns in my Apple Cider Margarita that admittedly bring into question naming this lovely fall cocktail after the margarita at all. But because of the lime juice and the tequila, and because it’s just so tasty, I feel confident that no matter you call it, guests are going to accept the glass graciously and then praise it genuinely. I add a little bit of the Italian bitter Cynar, to give the cocktail some extra depth, but there’s no need to wait to make my Apple Cider Margarita if you don’t have any on hand. I assure you that you’ll love this cocktail equally well with and without the bitter oomph, and of course, you could always add a dash of any bitters that you do have on hand instead. The striking garnish adds a festive quality that bridges … Continue reading

Grown Up Root Beer Float

Grown Up Root Beer Float with stoli vanilla

Summer BBQs are a great time for classic root beer floats; you can take it to the next level with vanilla vodka and make my Grown Up Root Beer Floats. While of course the vanilla vodka is an extra little treat your guests won’t necessarily be expecting, you can dress this up even more with some fancy straws and your iced tea spoons, if you have them. What a fun reason to break out the silver. Guests will love the whimsy- talk about comfortable, elegant entertaining. When it comes to ratio, it’s all about personal preference in a Grown Up Root Beer Float. Definitely let guests mix their own so they can get just what they want. And you may wish to put out bottle of classic coca-cola as well. For many people a vanilla coke will take them right back to memories of old fashioned soda fountains. To prevent a spill over, start with the ice cream. When you add the soda, the Grown Up Root Beer Float will foam and fizz. Make sure you go slowly, kind of like pouring champagne. With a little vanilla vodka in the Grown Up Root Beer Float, kids and big kids alike … Continue reading

Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks

Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks baked

What’s a girl to do when it gets to be grilling season but she’s got no grill? Make Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks of course! This chicken recipe is really simple to make and delicious all year long, but the best news is, it’s just as easy for a city mouse as it is for a country mouse. And even if the chicken will never have those beautiful char marks, it’s flavorful marinade and golden brown crispy skin make my Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks the perfect accompaniment for hot weather food. It’s perfect with corn on the cob and summer salads of all sorts. The well-balanced marinade pairs well with Asian and Mexican salads for sure because I’ve been doing lots of improvising, but I’m sure you’ll find this sweet, spicy, rich chicken will pair with just about anything. And don’t let the scale of the recipe hold you back ;the leftovers are awesome, hot or cold. Of course, leftovers require that you and your guests haven’t already polished off every last piece of Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks. … Continue reading

Ramp Butter Duck Breast Tartine

Ramp Butter Duck Breast Tartines

A Ramp Butter Duck Breast Tartine just might be the best possible way to wish a Happy Mother’s Day! to the ones you love best. It’s fun to make and even more fun to eat. The crunchy, sweet and savory toast slathered in decadent ramp butter and topped with thin slices of grilled duck breast are rich and flavorful. A drizzle of aged balsamic seals the deal. This lovely Ramp Butter Duck Breast Tartine works equally well when served as a rich dinner or as a slightly lighter appetizer (okay, it’s really not any lighter, you just eat less of it). I like pre-slicing the tartine for my guests because when left intact, the duck breast pieces are hard to bite and it makes eating the Ramp Butter Duck Breast Tartine just a little too messy a prospect, especially considering the elegance of the dish. But four little pieces of the Ramp Butter Duck Breast Tartine are the perfect solution. I feel like I should warn you so that you can best plan ahead, this tartine is so good, it’s on my list of dishes worthy of the wine cellar collection. So if you don’t have one handy, or in … Continue reading

Grilled Ramp Butter

Grilled Ramp Butter on buckwheat cherry bread

While Grilled Ramp Butter, isn’t actually a meal in and of itself, and it’s really simple, just two ingredients: grilled ramps processed with salted cultured butter, I think it’s the ultimate in decadent Spring condiments. This delicious butter is amazing on grainy toast with a poached egg, a slice of fancy cheese, a little ham, or, it’s the base for my amazing duck tartines. Keep this Grilled Ramp Butter in the fridge for a week or so and you’ll find it dangerously disappears. A tablespoon will slip into the spring peas you make as a side for dinner, a teaspoon will be on a late afternoon piece of toast with a sliver of good parm. A dallop will land in a cup of store-bought soup. This Grilled Ramp Butter is a special spring treat that helps make ramps season (one of my all-time favorite seasons) last just a little longer. Because, of course, if you haven’t eaten it all too quickly, Grilled Ramp Butter could also be squirreled away in the freezer. … Continue reading

Lavender Rosemary Goat Cheesecakes

Lavender Rosemary Goat Cheesecakes honey drizzle

I perfected these Lavender Rosemary Goat Cheesecakes some time ago (read: a really long time ago) for a fabulous dinner party but for some reason, I’ve been holding out on you. My friend was serving some very special wines, including a dessert wine that had been bottled in the 1920’s. It was an amazing, Spanish Sherry, caramel-y and rich with a hint of orange. It turned out that these little cakes were a perfect pairing, because they are not too sweet and they are full of rich goat cheese. All in all, great for pairing with dessert wine, since they’re almost like a little cheese course in a crust. So if you’re thinking of trying something new this Valentine’s Day, then forgo the champagne (or who am I kidding- just commit to an extra indulgent meal) and buy a dessert wine to serve with these Lavender Rosemary Goat Cheesecakes. They’re creamy and smooth with herbaceous and floral notes. And the honey. Oh man, the honey. I try hard not to send you on wild goose chases for specific ingredients, but this honey is serious business and absolutely makes the cheesecakes all that extra special. If you’re not going to track … Continue reading