Day 2 of A Week of Holiday Cocktails – The Pomegranate Lush

The Pomegranate Lush

My seester’s in-laws have an old tree that grows the sweetest pomegranates I’ve ever tasted. The seeds are sugary sweet with just a hint of tartness. And the color is an intense deep shade of burgundy. I love to throw these gems into salads, parfaits, desserts and most recently, to flavor vodka. Infused vodkas are super easy to make and add a great flavor and kick to cocktails.

To make pomegranate infused vodka, fill a mason jar (or other clean, resealable container) about 2/3 way up with pomegranate seeds. Top off the jar with vodka and use a wooden spoon to crush up the seeds a bit to help release some of the juices. Cap the jar and refrigerate for about 2 weeks, shaking the jar every few days.

Voila! Pomegranate infused vodka at your disposal.

The Pomegranate Lush

This boozy goodnes is perfect for holiday cocktails because of it’s gorgeous hue and it packs a devilish punch. The vodka goes down quite smooth since it’s so tasty which can be a dangerous combo.

For this little number I wanted to combine the flavored vodka with a little bubbly…it is the holidays after all. Which is why I’m calling this The Pomegranate Lush –booze on booze on booze :)

Cheers!

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The Pomegranate Lush
Serves 1

Ingredients:

1½ ounces pomegranate infused vodka
dash of simple syrup
juice from 1 lime wedge
chilled sparkling wine

Pour the vodka, simple syrup and lime juice into a glass or champagne flute. Slowly fill the glass with the sparkling wine and enjoy!

Pomegranate Mojitos – A Super Cocktail!

Pomegranate Mojitos

Is it in poor taste that I’m starting off the week with a post on Cocktails?

Nah!!!!!!!!

Especially when the cocktails are these fab Pomegranate Mojitos! Mint + Pomegranate Juice + a little Booziness —how could that be bad?

Pomegranate Mojitos

And aren’t pomegranates a super food? So as far as cocktails go….you could think of this one as being somewhat “healthier” for you.

Yup. You’re welcome.
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Pomegranate Mojitos
Serves 1

Ingredients:

15-20 Fresh Mint Leave
½ lime, cut into small wedges
½ tablespoons sugar
2 ounces light rum
4 ounces pomegranate juice
2 ounces club soda
1-2 cups crushed ice

In a cocktail shaker, thoroughly muddle the mint leaves, lime wedges and sugar. Add rum, pomegranate juice and fill the shaker with ice. Vigorously shake for 20 seconds and strain the liquids into a tall glass filled with ice. Top off glass with club soda. Garnish with lime slices and mint leaves.

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts + Nambé GIVEAWAY

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts

If you are anything like me, you’re still finalizing what dishes you’ll be making for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I’ve got the desserts squared away but still need to commit to an appetizer or two……Baked Brie? Cheesy Mushroom Bread? Oh, the options…

But if you are in need of a dessert to wow your guests, you must try out these beautiful Pomegranate-Pear Tarts.

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts

You can use whatever types of pears you like but I find that either Bartletts or Anjous work out best. I also put a light honey-glaze to provide a little bit of sweetness and a sheen. As for the pomegranates, they added a great freshness and crunchy texture while giving a bit of tart flavor. Alternatively, you can sprinkle the tops with crushed pistachios.

Not only are these tarts eye-catching and delicious but they only take a few minutes to put together! Perfect for holiday entertaining when I always seem like I’m racing the clock.

And since this is a time for giving Thanks….our amazing friends at Nambe are giving us a chance to say THANK YOU to our readers with a giveaway!

One reader will have the chance to win this gorgeous Handled Tray !

How to Enter: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED…Thanks!

Leave a comment and tell us what the first thing you’ll serve using the Nambe Handled Tray

For extra chances to win, leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did:

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The deadline to enter is Monday, November 26th at 5pm (PST) and the winner will be announced the next day.

THANKS so much Nambé and HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!

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Pomegranate-Pear Tarts
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Bartlett or Bosc Pears, cored and sliced lengthwise to 1/8 inch width
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon warm water
¼ cup pomegranate arils
fresh whipped cream or ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the puff pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut the sheet into 4 equal squares.

Transfer the puff pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving ample space in between each square.

Leaving a ½ inch border of the puff pastry around each square, shingle the pear slices so that all 4 pieces have been covered. Gently fold over the dough on each side of the squares and pinch the corners to seal.

In a small bowl, mix the honey and water together until combined. Brush the tops of the pear slices with the honey glaze. Transfer the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking.

Remove the tarts from the oven and cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the tarts with the pomegranate arils and serve immediately with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

New Year’s Toast with a Cutie-Pom Cocktail

Cutie Pom Cocktail


2010 is quickly coming to a close…….and 2011 is quickly approaching.

Endings and New Beginnings.

And whether you’re giving immense thanks for 2010 or cannot wait for 2011 to start, I have a great cocktail for you to toast in the New Year with.

In California, you can’t really pass a market these days that aren’t stocked with “Cuties”. Cuties are a hybrid citrus–mixed between two types of mandarins. And with tons of little munchkins around in our family, Cuties are the perfect way to get their vitamins in during the chillier months. So when I began rummaging around the kitchen to concoct a New Year’s Cocktail, I found an abundance of Cuties and some leftover Pomegranate seeds.

Add some sugar, lime juice, and a few other kitchen staples—and BADA BING, BADA BOOM! Cocktail Time! Want to make a version for the kiddies or those who want to pass on the alcohol? Simply omit the vodka. These Cutie-Pom Cocktails are just as delish and refreshing without the “added kick”.

And with that Dear Friends…..Here’s to You and the Wonderful Foodventures that await in 2011!

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Cutie-Pom Cocktail

Ingredients:

2 Ounces Fresh Cuties Juice (or other Mandarins/Clementines)
1 Ounce Premium Vodka
1 Tablespoon Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
1/2 Ounce Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 Tablespoon Sugar (or Simple Syrup)
2-3 Ounces Lemon Lime Soda
Crushed Ice

In a glass, muddle the pomegranate seeds with sugar. Add Cuties Juice, Lime Juice, Vodka and stir until all the liquids are incorporated. Fill the glass with crushed ice and top off with lemon lime soda. Garnish and enjoy!

Asian Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Asian Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

 

My siblings and I live all over the country so when we come home for Christmas, we try and squeeze in as much time with each other as possible. And of course when we’re together, there is always some type of cooking, eating, laughing….and sometimes even a little bickering. Hey—just because we’re older, we’re still siblings after all :)

Before joining our extending family for dinner and presents on Christmas Eve, the siblings (sibs-in-laws, kids, and 4-legged furry kids) gathered for lunch. The menu included Peach Bellini Cocktails, Cosmopolitan Martinis, Lemon Bars, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Rosemary Bread, Pear and Gorgonzola Salad, and a decadent Seafood Cioppino in honor of our Mom.

I thought this Asian Pear and Gorgonzola Salad would be a nice compliment to our lunch spread—-plus the green and red colors added a lovely festive touch. When I initially thought of making it, I had intended to use Bosc or Bartlett Pears. But when we had some juicy Asian Pears on hand, my sister suggested that they would be a nice alternative. You’ll also find that most pear salads will have walnuts in them. But since walnuts are my least favorite nuts, I swapped them out for one of my favorites—pistachios. Yum.

I think the end results was a bright dish that had great texture balance from the crunch of the pomegranates and pistachios to the creamy and slightly piquant flavor from the gorgonzola to the verdant essence from the greens.  As for the Pomegranate Vinaigrette, it brought together all of the components without overpowering them.

Would our Mom have enjoyed the meal? I have no doubt she would have loved it.

And I think she would be extra proud of us for eating our veggies. :)

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Asian Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

8 Cups Mixed Greens (ie. Arugula, Baby Spinach, Mâche, etc.)
2 Small Asian Pears, sliced paper thin
1/3 Cup Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
½ Cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
1/3 Cup Pistachio Nuts, roughly chopped

Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
2 Tablespoons Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
½ Teaspoon Sugar
2 Shallots, thinly sliced
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste

Prepare Vinaigrette. In a small sauce pan or skillet, heat olive oil on low. Add shallots and cook until softened—about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Place pomegranate seeds in a small bowl. Using a fork, crush the seeds to allow the juices to come out. Add shallots, sugar, and red wine vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil from the shallots until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the greens onto a large platter. Place the pears over the greens and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and gorgonzola on top. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve immediately.

Pomegranate Margaritas

Pomegranate Margaritas

 

Antioxidants? Goodness for your body. Antioxidants in a Cocktail? Goodness All Around!

There’s so much I could write about regarding our Pomegranate Margaritas but I just don’t think it could do justice as if you just made them yourself. Tart, sweet, boozy….what could go wrong?

And let’s not forget how pretty the color is—particularly for the holidays!

Cheers Friends! :)

 

Santa's Happy Hour
ps. Since the Big Guy will be pretty stressed over the next few days, one of these plus one of our Green Appletinis will make a FABULOUS Happy Hour for Santa!

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Pomegranate Margaritas
Serves 2

Ingredients:

4 Ounces White Tequila
4 Ounces Pomegranate Juice
2 Ounces Cointreau
2 Ounce Fresh Lime Juice
Margarita Salt
Ice

Fill two margarita glasses with ice and rim with salt. Fill a large cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add all liquids and vigorously shake for 15 – 20 seconds. Pour into the glasses and garnish with sliced limes. Cheers!