1. Consisting of members or elements of different kinds; of mixed character: a book of miscellaneous essays on American history.

2. Having various qualities, aspects, or subjects: a miscellaneous discussion.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Is it September 23rd yet?

In my blog Mars VS. Venus, I discussed how, in my opinion and by my observations, men & women strongly differ in their love of seasons, specifically summer and autumn.  In my home, while Kevin does not welcome the coming of fall, he does welcome some of the treats that have become staples for us when the weather turns chilly.

I also have a strong fondness for all things British.  I fulfilled an item on my bucket list before I even HAD a bucket list, and that was a trip to England the summer I graduated from college.  When I was introduced to this blog by my best friend (and travel partner to England) I fell in love instantly.  I don’t consider myself a vintage housekeeper, so to speak.  But Alison’s ideas are heavenly even to a “Yank” and I can’t wait to incorporate some of her ideas in the coming months.

So put some mulling spices on the stove to simmer, pour yourself a mug of tea or cider, and plan to follow Alison’s tips AND make my recipes…

When I read the recipe for these gorgonzola phyllo cups, I knew it would be perfect.  It contained all my favorites in one delicious little bite and happily announced “Fall is here.”  A few notes from my personal experience:

·       I did not specifically use Gorgonzola when I made this. “Regular” bleu cheese was just fine.
·       A 6 or 7 oz package of cheese crumbles would be sufficient, if you’re wondering what “1-1/3 cups of cheese” equates to.  Personally I found 1-1-/3 c. makes almost too much filling.
·       I toasted the walnuts at 400ยบ for about five minutes before adding them to the mixture.  You don’t have to do this, I just prefer walnuts toasted.  Alternately you could toast them in a pan on the stovetop, watching closely so that they don’t scorch.
·       As stated in the recipe, they are great both warm AND at room temp, which in my opinion makes them a perfect appetizer.

I enjoy watching Ina Garten every chance I get.  Sadly that is not as frequent as I would like.  However, I managed to catch a fantastic episode one day and thought, “This recipe would be excellent for a thank-you luncheon for my best friend & her mom for all the ways they help me with my daughter.”  I was right.  I actually served two halves as a lunch portion for each of us, and had warm rolls on the side.  FABULOUS.  And by the way, you’ll already have the bleu cheese, walnuts, and dried cranberries on hand from making those amazing phyllo cups!

Since you’ll want a perfect Fall dessert, I can provide a recipe for that as well!  I always keep a couple cans of solid pack pumpkin in my pantry because there are so many delicious recipes that call for it.

I have mentioned that my favorite go-to baking book is Good Housekeeping’s “Baking.”  This is just one of many recipes that has been made time and again, as the sticky page will attest to.  My apologies for the format of the link but you get the recipe for Pumpkin-Spice Cake and I get to save myself the hassle of typing it out.

I will admit I have never made the glaze, although it sounds delicious.  I made this once as directed in the Bundt pan.  After that, I started making it as cupcakes.  Since it is a Bundt pan recipe, it does yield a lot of batter.  Be prepared!  It makes four dozen mini cakes plus 1½ dozen regular cakes.  (I think it would also be fun to make them in mini size Bundt pans, but I don’t own those.)  If making cupcakes, I highly recommend topping them with Glory’s (from Glorious Treats) cream cheese frosting.

I think fall is a wonderful beverage season.  In the morning you can warm yourself with a cup of tea.  From plain black tea to special blends, it’s a perfect sipper.  Spiced cider is a treat, and for the “over-21 and after-5:00 pm crowd” you can’t beat a shot of brandy or rum added in.  But really, what says “Fall fabulousness” better than a pumpkin martini?  I’ve seen a million recipes online but decided to create my own a couple years ago.  Kevin prefers a “clear” pumpkin martini to the “creamy” recipes out there that include using half and half and whipped cream.  You could rim your glass with a combo of sugar and graham cracker crumbs if you like.

Jennifer’s Soon-To-Be-Famous Pumpkin Martini is just the thing to top off a warm and comforting fall meal:

Pumpkin Martini
Serves 1

3 oz. Vanilla Vodka of your choice
2 oz. Hiram Walker Pumpkin Spice liqueur
1 oz. Amaretto

Pour into an ice shaker to blend and chill.  Strain into a well-chilled martini glass and garnish as desired.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do.  When you make them, please leave a comment and let me know how your family liked them!

No comments: