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The Delicious Sour

Posted by Jenn. Comment (0).

labeled cocktail

Apples seem to be taking over the blog. Not just mine, but a lot of food blogs. It’s all because Thanksgiving is next week and apples are of course a big part of the celebration. You can find them in pies, stuffings, sometimes they’re even added to cranberry sauces. So I thought if we’re going to be eating all these apples, why not drink them as well?

I know I did an apple cocktail last week, but I wanted to keep the trend going since there are just a couple weeks left to fall and as I said apples are all the rage right now. Unlike last week’s Applejack Rabbit which is made with just a few ingredients, the Delicious Sour is more complex and so a more robust cocktail. While both are good, what makes this one “delicious” is the peach brandy and egg white.

Yes, this is another classic that uses a raw egg. But as with other classics, you don’t need to be afraid of the egg. Instead, relish it. See, the egg white, which is very common in classics like the sour and the flip, are used because they add a nice, rich texture to the drink. It also adds a thick foam to the top that looks really pretty and finishes it off. How do you get this thick froth? By shaking the hell out of the drink. The shake emulsifies the cocktail, causing that pretty froth I’ve been talking about and love so, so much.

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Now, I know with all the salmonella outbreaks, there’s cause for worry and a lot of you may not like the idea of using raw eggs in your cocktails, but I’m here to tell you the odds of getting salmonella are pretty slim. There’s supposedly only 2 – 5 bacteria per egg, and if you keep the egg cold, there’s even less of a chance of getting sick. As a matter of fact, according to the American Egg Board, on average only one in every 20,000 eggs might be infected with salmonella. But if you’re still concerned about getting sick, there is a way to get that great froth without the threat of salmonella: just use a pasteurized egg.

The Delicious Sour hails to us from 1892 when it first appeared in William Schmidt’s book The Flowing Bowl. He created all the cocktails in his book and some of them even tasted good. The fact that it uses Applejack only adds proof to the cocktail’s age. See, Applejack has long been considered the original American native spirit. According to Laird’s website, Robert Laird was a Revolutionary War soldier serving under George Washington. Washington was a huge fan of Applejack, so the Laird family supplied the troops with Applejack. Schmidt took what he knew about sour cocktails and put his own spin on it by adding the hearty American spirit.

Now, I know a cocktail called “delicious” is quite a name to live up to, but I’m here to tell you Schmidt aptly named this drink. It’s very, very good and that thick layer of froth only adds to its deliciousness.

liquor bottles

Delicious Sour


  • 2 oz. Applejack
  • 2 oz. peach brandy
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg white


  1. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least a minute.
  2. Strain into a coup or cocktail glass and serve.

labeled clafoutis

It’s that time of year when apples and cranberries are being turned into all sorts of sides and desserts. Sometimes they’re combined, sometimes they’re separate, but they’re always good. One of the most common ways you’ll find these two fruits together, especially during this time of year, is in pies. Pies are the typical choice when it comes to a Thanksgiving dessert, but if you’re looking for something a little less time consuming, and just as delicious, this clafoutis is absolutely the way to go.

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I’ve made clafoutis before and what I really love about them is how easy they are to make. They usually only take about 30 minutes and they look gorgeous when they come out of the oven. This apple clafoutis is no different. Short of peeling and chopping the apples, this version also only took me 30 minutes to whip up from start to finish. That’s way faster than pie. So, while there should still absolutely be a pie (or two) on your Thanksgiving table, if you’re like my family and strongly believe the more desserts the better, make sure to add this to your dessert menu.

over head

Apple and Dried Cranberry Clafoutis (adapted from Fine Cooking)


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 – 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons Laird’s Applejack
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 apples, like Pink Ladies or Granny Smith, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and butter an 11 x 1-1/2-inch baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle the bottom of the dish with one tablespoon of sugar. Arrange the apples evenly in the baking dish and set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs with the remaining sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the flour, Applejack, vanilla, zest and salt until just combined. Set aside for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the batter over the apples, sprinkle the dried cranberries over the surface and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is set, about 30 – 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Applejack Rabbit Cocktail

Posted by Jenn. Comments (2).

labeled cocktail

With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away and us being right in the thick of fall, I’m all about the fall-themed cocktails. What makes a fall-themed cocktail? For me, it’s those drinks that are made with Applejack or bourbon; cocktails that have a heartier flavor and are usually served up as opposed to on the rocks.

I made a Maple Leaf Cocktail a few weeks ago because it was made with bourbon and maple syrup, two things that scream fall to me. This recipe is similar because it also has maple syrup in it, but instead of bourbon, the drink calls for Applejack. Applejack is an apple brandy that’s blended with neutral spirits like whiskey and bourbon. But where other apple flavored liquors use flavored syrups, Laird’s uses real, whole apples to give the liquor its distinct apple flavor. It’s a delicious liquor that’s perfect for fall cocktails like this one and many others on my site.

While the Applejack kick starts that delectable fall taste, it’s really the maple syrup that takes it into the red zone. Now, I know maple syrup may seem like an odd choice for a cocktail, but if you think about it, it’s just a different type of sweetener. A lot of cocktails, both vintage and modern, call for sweeteners like grenadine or simple syrup. If you go back even further to the days of Harry Craddock and David Embury, a couple of the original mixologists, gomme syrup was actually the sweetener of choice. So, it only makes sense that if you want to give a cocktail an autumn flavor, you’d use a sweetener that’s a little more complex, a sweetener like maple syrup.

The cocktail was first published in 1930 in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book, but was probably created before.  His version is very different from David Embury’s more popular choice. Craddock’s calls for almost equal parts lemon and orange juice, Applejack and maple syrup. It sounds too sweet, too tart, too… well, just too. But then David Embury published his version in the popular Art of Mixing Drinks which came out in 1948. Embury’s version is definitely more palatable because it cuts everything except the Applejack in half, making for a much more enjoyable drink.

So, if you’re looking for a cocktail that really is perfect for a fall night, your upcoming Thanksgiving feast or a holiday party, this is the one. And if you’re still concerned about a cocktail made with maple syrup, don’t be; as Embury writes, “Don’t shy away from it. It’s not half bad.”

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Applejack Rabbit Cocktail (David Embury’s version)


  • 1-1/2 oz. Applejack
  • 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. maple syrup


  1. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for a minute. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.

labeled creamed onions

Thanksgiving has got to be my favorite holiday of the year. Not just because of all the family and friends that get together to hang out, but also because of all the food. Yes, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I love food. But it’s not just about the food. Of course the food is always good, but what I really love is all of us in the kitchen cooking together.

See, I grew up in a family that shared Thanksgiving. It was never up to just one person to cook the whole feast. We treated Thanksgiving like a big potluck and everyone that came contributed. It made the whole event easier because there wasn’t as much stress about what to cook, and when or if things would be done on time. How did we decide who made what? Easy, everyone made their favorite dish. That’s why we always had a green bean dish, a yam dish, mashed potatoes (just in case there were those that didn’t like yams), cranberries, stuffing… all the stuff you’d expect to find on a Thanksgiving table.

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But as the years went on, the dishes changed depending on who came to Thanksgiving. Sometimes we had roasted potatoes instead of mashed. Sometimes there was a salad. One year we had appetizers… though I have no idea why. This constant change in sides is how I discovered that mac & cheese as well as pearl onions were both popular Thanksgiving sides.

I’ve always loved onions. It doesn’t matter if they’re raw, caramelized, purple, brown or white. I love them in all their shapes and sizes but they’ve always been part of the recipe, never the star. This dish however puts those little pearl onions front and center and it’s delicious!

onions and cranberries

I decided to make this creamy side thanks to Melissa’s Produce who were nice enough to send me 2.5 pounds of the little round roots. What was especially cool about Melissa’s delivery was not just the size of the container, but the variety. Unlike the bags of pearl onions you get at the store which contain just the white pearls, the box I received from Melissa’s contained 3 different kinds. Yes, there were the standard white pearls, but there were yellow and purple as well. Since I had the variety, I chose to use all three types to make this dish. The variety in color and flavors of the three different onions gave the side a depth of flavor I never would have imagined. It was rich and creamy and kept my family coming back for seconds. But it was the cheesy breadcrumb crust that really rounded out the dish with it’s delicious buttery crunch.

Now that I’ve had creamed pearl onions as a side, I’m definitely going to make it more often. It may even make an appearance on my Thanksgiving table this year. After all it’s a nice alternative to mashed potatoes and I think it’s an unexpected delight.

plate of food

Creamed Pearl Onions (adapted from


  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1-1/2 pounds raw pearl onions peeled
  • 1-1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup Panko (breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, butter a 2 qt. casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Combine onions, fennel, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 3/4 cup water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the onion mixture and transfer to the prepared dish.
  3. Bring the cream and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then pour over onion mixture. Bake 15 minutes.
  4. While the onions bake, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley and fennel fronds with a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the remaining melted butter over the breadcrumb mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Remove onions from oven and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Return to the oven and continue baking until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the cream is bubbling around the edges, 25–30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.



Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Melissa’s provided me with the pearl onions for recipe testing. As always, any opinion expressed is my own and is not influenced in any way by the manufacturer/PR firm as I only review products that I have personally tested and endorse.

Forum Cocktail

Posted by Jenn. Comment (0).

labeled cocktail

In case you didn’t know, the newest Bond movie opens today, and as I’m sure you all know, Bond loves his martinis. He takes them with vodka “shaken not stirred”. I’m also a vodka martini fan. But the original martini was actually made with gin. I don’t know about Bond but I’ve never been a big gin fan. I’m a vodka girl. But ever since I started mixing up all these classic cocktails, I’ve developed a palate for gin. Don’t get me wrong, I still take my dirty martinis with vodka, but now I enjoy a plethora of gin cocktails as well. The reason: it’s all about the brand of gin.

close up with gin

I’ve never been a Tanqueray fan. I know it’s very popular, but I’m just not wild about the taste. I do like Bombay and Aviation. But recently I received a bottle of French gin: Citadelle and I think I’m in love. This gin is unlike any other I’ve had before. It’s smooth and sweet and has a definite floral finish. The flavor comes from a few factors. First this gin isn’t made like most others. It’s a small batch made in copper stills in a cognac distillery.

Alexandre Gabriel, the man behind Citadelle, owns a cognac distillery in Chateau de Bonbonnet, France. But his copper stills were only being used 6 months out of the year to make cognac due to the strict French AOC laws. So Gabriel made a bold choice and decided to use those same stills to make gin the other 6 months. Once the decision had been made, Gabriel did his research and found a recipe from the 18th century using a complex medley of spices. Gabriel updated the recipe using juniper berries of course, but he also added coriander, orange peel, cardamom, nutmeg, licorice, violet, star anise and several other flowers, herbs and spices to achieve this amazing gin that is wonderful on its own but makes a fabulous martini.

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I know it makes a delicious martini because that’s essentially what this week’s classic is. I say essentially because the only difference between the Forum and the martini is one extra ingredient: Grand Marnier. According to Doni Belau and her new Paris Cocktails book, this recipe was created at the iconic Le Forum Bar in Paris, France in 1929 as their spin on the classic martini. The Grand Marnier and the twist of orange gives the martini a nice citrus flavor that brightens up the classic, especially when combined with the deliciously smooth Citadelle gin.

This recipe is just one of over 100 French cocktails in this awesome new book. But what I really like about Paris Cocktails is that unlike other cocktail cookbooks, Belau doesn’t just focus on the drinks. She talks about the Parisian bars in eloquent detail and even describes popular parties they hold. Her descriptions combined with the beautiful photographs make me want to get on a plane tomorrow and do the same Parisian bar tour that Belau did. Maybe now that I have the girls guide I will. If not, at least I have the cocktails to make me feel like I’m there. If the rest of drinks are anything like the Forum, something tells me I’ll be tripping off to Paris quite often.

book & gin

Forum Cocktail


  • 1-1/2 oz. gin
  • 2 teaspoons vermouth
  • 4-5 drops Grand Marnier


  1. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and stir to combine the flavors.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass, add a twist of orange and serve.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I was provided with the Paris Cocktails book and Citadelle gin. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or PR firm.