Posts Tagged ‘brandy’

Pear Rosemary Sparkler

Making a cocktail is easy when you start with delicious simple syrups. Try this pear-rosemary sparkler for all your holiday parties!

Pear Rosemary Sparkler 3
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Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

How many of you woke up to piles of snow yesterday? According to the internet, my hometown Rochester (where I am currently for the holidays) got 9 inches. But when my dad went outside he thought we actually accumulated a foot in our location. And the best part is, this is a town that knows how to deal with snow. Whether it’s 9 inches of 12 it’s a piece of cake. But regardless, it was definitely a great day to cozy up.

For the many of you who will be partaking in resolutions of healthier eating in 2013, make this chicken NOW or be prepared to cheat a little on that resolution. Not only is there heavy cream in the mustard sauce, but brandy as well. It’s pretty much impossible to resist. As such, I served it with chopped broccoli to make up for all the cream.

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

One year ago: Cranberry and Orange Granola

Two years ago: Chicken Scallopine with Sage and Fontina Cheese
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Butter Pecan with Brandy Ice Cream & Ice Cream Happy Hour Cookbook Giveaway

Yes I made ice cream during the fall. But the weather has bounced back into the 70s here so can you really blame me? Besides, this ice cream definitely applies for this time of year. Or any time of the year actually, because it’s always the right time for an ice cream happy hour! Oh yea, you heard/read correctly – this ice cream is not for kids.

Thanks to Ulysses Press, I received a copy of the cookbook, Ice Cream Happy Hour. Inside you will find ice cream flavors inspired by your favorite cocktails. My first order to the bartender was for this recipe because it sounded a bit fall-y to me. The candied pecans were the stars of this ice cream, while the brandy had the role of side-kick. Gets your spoons ready!


Makes about 1-1/2 quarts


1 cup milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 vanilla bean

4 egg yolks

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

1 packet (1 Tbsp) gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup cold (refrigerated) brandy

2 cups candied pecans (recipe follows)


  1. Mix the milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  While the milk mixture is heating, split the vanilla bean down the center lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Whisk seeds into the milk mixture, then add the empty pod to the pan. Continue heating until the mixture is steamy and makes a slight sizzling noise when you move the pan.
  2. Once the milk mixture is scalding, remove pan from the heat and cover it. After about 15 minutes, remove the vanilla bean pod.
  3. Reheat the milk mixture back up to scalding. While the milk mixture heats to scalding, whisk together the egg yolks with the brown sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Gently stream about one-third of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking continuously.
  4. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the rest of the milk mixture in the saucepan and stir continuously on low heat until thickened (the custard should thicken rather quickly because of the cornstarch). Make sure you scrape the bottom evenly while you continuously stir. The custard custard is thick enough when you can draw a line on the back of a spoon with your finger and the line retains its shape.
  5. Strain the custard, cover with plastic wrap so that it’s directly touching the entire surface of the custard and none of it is exposed to air (this prevents a skin from developing), and chill the custard in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  6. When the custard is cold and you are ready to churn the ice cream, dissolve the gelatin in the cold water in a small saucepan. Allow to sit until the gelatin appears to have absorbed as much water as it can, about 2 minutes. Gently warm over low heat and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the liquid, about 3 minutes.
  7. Pour the gelatin into a medium bowl and whisk in the cold brandy until combined. Stream the alcohol and gelatin mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the custard and whisk until thoroughly blended.
  8. Pour the cold custard immediately into the ice cream maker and churn as directed by your ice cream maker.
  9. Scoop about one-third of the ice cream into a freezer-proof container and sprinkle about one-third of the candied pecans on top. Repeat layers twice more with the remaining ice cream and pecans, then gently fold it all together. Be sure to work quickly – if the ice cream melts too much, it will just get icy once it’s in the freezer. Freeze for at least two hours before servings.


Makes about 2 cups


2 cups pecan halves

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Once the pecans are toasted, roll them in the butter and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Put the sugar in a large saucepan. Add just enough water to the sugar until it is the texture of wet sand (you might not use all the water). Cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, continue cooking until is is soft-cracked, about 15 minutes. At this point the sugar should be colorless but viscous, and the bubbles should be on the small side. You can also use a candy thermometer; the temperature should be between 270 and 290.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the toasted pecans. Tilt the pan at an angle and rapidly stir the pecans to aerate and evenly coat them with the sugar syrup.
  6. Once the pecans are evenly coated, return the pan to the stove over low heat and periodically stir the pecans until the look like they’re coated with crunchy caramel and white sugar, about 5 minutes.
  7. Cool the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once they’re completely cool, chop them.

Source: Ice Cream Happy Hour


In case you haven’t added this recipe book to your online cart and checked out already, I thought you’s also like to know that I am giving away a brand new copy of this cookbook to one wonderfully lucky reader! First you must answer the question, “What is your favorite cocktail?” (non-alcoholic options are acceptable). And then there are 3 more ways you can enter! See below:

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