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Image: Crate and Barrel

Image: Crate and Barrel

Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday alongside my brother-in-law’s, which is just ten days before mine. Since we have such a large family, and it can be quite difficult to pin everyone down for a party, we always combine our birthday’s into one making it easier for everyone to come over, as well for the hostesses (my sister and I)!

 Since the event was planned last minute (again trying to pin everyone down for one day), there wasn’t too much time to decorate a birthday theme so my sister and I decided to keep it festive with the Holiday season, especially because all her Christmas decorations were already up and scattered across the house.

The evening got off to a good start with a Whiskey Sleigh Cocktail, which not only did extremely well the ladies but the men drank a few too!

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Whiskey Sleigh Recipe

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 ½ oz. Whiskey
  • ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz. pear juice
  • 2 oz. pomegranate juice
  • Pear sliced into slivers
  • Pomegranate seeds

Start Mixing:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients expect for pear slice and pomegranate seeds. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with a pear slice and pomegranate seeds.

Makes 1 Drink

For appetizers, my sister made some baked Brie with spiced mango chutney, served with baguette slices and apples. The apples kind of make you feel like your eating healthier but you know down deep inside that you’re only telling yourself that so you can eat more of the yummy cheesy goodness!

Baked Brie with Spiced Mango Chutney

Baked Brie with Spiced Mango Chutney Recipe

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet thawed
  • 2 tbsp spiced mango chutney (or any flavored chutney/jam)
  • 1 small round of brie
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts toasted

Start Cooking:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C). Lightly grease a baking pan.
  2. Slice the wheel of Brie in half, horizontally, so that the halves are two, flatter wheels of Brie. Lay the puff pastry in the baking pan. Place half of the Brie (rind-side down) onto the pastry dough. Spread the chutney evenly over the top and then sprinkle the walnuts over the chutney. Place the other half of the Brie (rind-side up) over the walnuts. Bundle the pastry dough around the Brie.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

For Dinner, we served multiple dishes including two different kinds of meat which were a ground beef wellington from Chef Jamie Oliver, and maple glazed pork loin from Chef Ross Dobson. These two men rule my kitchen at home, and I suggest you buy all their cookbooks just as I have…you will not be sorry!

As for dessert, I served white chocolate pistachio truffles (made from scratch). I found this recipe from the latest LCBO Food/Drink Holiday 2012 magazine. Although I love the satisfaction I get from making food from scratch, the white chocolate truffles were quite easy to make but extremely greasy/fattening. Let me explain; as I rolled the chocolate balls in my hands to create several round balls the chocolate left my hands VERY greasy and sort of felt like you just lathered your hands in melted butter. This could make some people think twice before eating these delicious treats – I did however eat one (I had too!). The truffles were quite tasty although a bit too sweet. Next time I would opt for using milk chocolate instead!

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