Month: October 2013

Fun with pumpkins

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This year we decided to pay a little tribute to Mosely in an attempt to carve a french bull dog face in our pumpkin.  It was a little tricky and it took a rainy afternoon and loads of patients, but we did it.  I really have a lot of respect for professional pumpkin carvers. (Is that a thing?)

It is not easy.

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Fall sips… Spiced Pear Collins

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INGREDIENTS

1½ oz. gin
1½ oz. pear puree
¾ oz. rosemary- and clove-infused simple syrup
¾ oz. lemon juice
Dry sparkling wine or soda water, to top
1 spring rosemary, to garnish

FOR THE PEAR PUREE
2 pears, such Bosch or Bartlett, peeled and pitted
1½ oz. lemon juice
1½ tsp. fresh rosemary

FOR THE ROSEMARY AND CLOVE SIMPLE SYRUP
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 oz. whole cloves
3 sprigs rosemary

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Make the simple syrup: Combine the sugar, water, cloves, and rosemary in a saucepan over low heat. When it reaches a boil, remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain into a jar and store in the refrigerator until use. Will yield enough syrup for approximately 5 cocktails.

2. Make the puree: Slice the pears and combine with lemon juice and rosemary in a blender. Blend until smooth; gently strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and discard any solids. You will have roughly 1 cup of puree, which makes about 5 cocktails. If not using right away, the puree can be frozen in an ice cube tray and then stored in an airtight contained in the freezer to be used for individual cocktails in the future.

3. Combine the puree, syrup, lemon juice, and gin in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Pour into a High Ball or Rocks glass and top with a small splash of sparkling wine or soda water. Garnish with rosemary to serve.

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Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Blue Cheese Naan Pizzas

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Serves 4 (1 naan pizza each).  I recommend serving them with a side salad.
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large sweet onions, peeled and sliced into half moons
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 caramelized onion flavoured naan breads (if you can’t find them, plain naan is fine)
1 Gala apple, thinly sliced right before using
4-5 oz blue cheese, crumbled (or about 1/2 cup crumbled)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Directions:
First, caramelize the onions (this can be done ahead of time, just keep them in the fridge).  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, stir to coat with oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Spread onions out evenly across the pan and let cook, stirring only occasionally, until softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Add sugar and balsamic vinegar, stir to coat, and let cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring only occasionally.  Once they are caramelized to your liking, remove from pan and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Prepare naan pizzas by dividing toppings evenly among each naan bread.  Top each first with a layer of caramelized onions, followed by sliced apples, crumbled blue cheese, and fresh thyme.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes and serve.
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The Autumn Challenge

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Take The Autumn Challenge.

I would love to see some of your fall and autumn decor.  Please send me some before and after photos of creative ways that you have transformed your space.  This can include furniture transformation, table settings, pumpkin carving and outdoor decoration.  I will be choosing the top 5 entries and featuring them on my blog in one week.  

Lets get creative!

I can’t wait to see your work and ideas!

thirstygardener@gmail.com

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