Pumpkin is a scrumptious shining star of most holiday tables, but to reach that status it takes some supporting characters like spices, cheese, and herbs.
The November challenge for my Recipe Swappers group was to create a holiday side dish. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to devise my own pumpkin mac and cheese. The first round featured beer, the typical roux, no cranberries, and no Panko bread crumbs or butter in the topping. Well, the beer was overpowering, the roux somewhat pasty, it was flat without the sweet cranberries, and a little dry without the butter.
Next round, another alcohol that blends with pumpkin...I chose whiskey. Butter, onions, whiskey, and we were off to a delicious start!
Remember Pop Rocks, the 1970's carbonated candy? When I served this apple pomegranate cocktail at a brunch recently one guest commented that it reminded her of Pop Rocks because of the fizzy reaction it created on her tongue.
New Age wine is from Argentina and has more bubbly than most sparkling wines, which produces a tingling affect on the palate when combined with the spicy cinnamon and clove apple puree and sharp tangy flavor of pomegranate juice.
When brainstorming recipes for November's #DessertChallenge sponsored by Sheryl over at www.ladybehindthecurtain, I first thought of poached pears swimming in a shimmery maple cognac sauce or tucking the sweet slices away into a buttery puff pastry pocket topped with butter pecan ice cream and a maple cognac syrup.
As yummy as all of that sounded, I decided instead to give my new tart pan a run with a pear and walnut torte. I love the concept of walnuts in the crust. They lend a delicious dimension to the homemade pastry. Both the crust and filling incorporate confectioners sugar rather than granulated.