Invite the flavors of fall to your next bonfire. As you collect wood to prepare for the bonfire, you must also collect and prepare for the social gathering, whether large or small. Fall is almost here and a little preparation to welcome this popular time of the year is in order. It is a good time to organize and take a quick inventory of your pantry in order to have all the necessary items for the holiday cooking period. As you start working on your pantry, take a notepad and write down things that you know you will need to create your favorite holiday dishes. It is a good idea to make sure not to overlook your spice rack. When was the last time you used your nutmeg, ginger, cloves or cinnamon? Are the containers half empty and the product clumped together and past the expiration date? Don’t take any chances as baking powder, yeast, baking soda and other ingredients may lose their usefulness if old, or exposed to humidity and changes in temperature. Check your liquor cabinet and replenish those bottles that you use for baking and flavoring meals and desserts. Lots of recipes call for wines ‘red or white’, rum and liquors such as Amaretto, Cointreau and Kahlúa. Another advantage of knowing what you have on inventory is the chance to buy those non-perishable ingredients that are put on sale and you can take advantage of great discounts. Evaporated and condensed milk, vanilla, granulated and powdered sugar, pie fillings, pumpkin puree and flour, aluminum foil, wax paper, chocolate chips and candy coating are a few items that you can buy ahead of time and store in your kitchen to avoid the rushed holiday trip to the store and buying items at full price – if available.
Make sure to have a good list handy when you find yourself shopping at your grocery store. Free grocery list apps are available for iphones and droids and they are extremely handy. Now, how about that bonfire; make yourself a little fall cocktail like this pear spiced martini and relax roasting marshmallows and knowing that you are way ahead of the game.
Pear Spiced martiniQuickly muddle mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and add pear nectar, rum, lime juice, simple syrup. Vigorously shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with pear slice and dust with nutmeg.
Quickly muddle mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and add pear nectar, rum, lime juice, simple syrup. Vigorously shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with pear slice and dust with nutmeg. Enjoy it!
2 large mint sprigs
1 ounce pear nectar or 1 ounce juice
1 1/2 ounces spiced rum
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 slice pear, for garnish (optional)