ENTERTAINING: A LITTLE OF EVERYTHING IN THESE COLD WINTER DAYS

EntertainingTime Out

 

We´ve got a little bit of everything to make and share with your family and friends on these cold winter days.

 

By Mary Canovas

 

 Submerged Flower Centerpieces

 

When you combine candlelight with flowers, crystal and water you have a centerpiece that is elegant, romantic and spectacular –  great for any occasion – a celebration, an intimate dinner, wedding, holidays…

Decorate with several of them as centerpieces or place one at each plate with a single candle. Depending on the occasion, you can use different kinds of flowers or evergreens with any baubles like hearts, or decorations you can think of.

Materials:
• Martini, gin goblets or similar glasses
• Flowers – depending on whether they will be under water or not: real or natural, paper, silk, dried etc., figurines . . .
• Tea candles or short wide candles, floating candles
Stones, marbles etc., pebbles

For glasses with water:
• Natural, artificial or silk flowers – NO PAPER
• Nuts and bolts, thin wire

Follow our How-To tutorial video in Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh4R7534dDY

 

Hot Chocolate Mix

(Video tutorial in Spanish:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02mSVpC5UwQ )

Here´s a ready to go mix for the best tasting hot chocolate you can find anywhere.  Our own Supreme Hot Chocolate.

We´re making enough for 6 cups.  Keep all the ingredients in a sealed container and use it for one or more servings.  Have it on hand – just like Nesquik but this hot chocolate is way and above.
This mix is the perfect hostess gift.  Just make sure your container has a pretty bow on it with the written directions we give you.

Ingredients:
• 6 – can be doubled
• 1/4 cup or 50 gr. vanilla sugar (if not – just use regular sugar)
• 1/2 cup or 65 gr. icing or confectioner´s sugar
• 2/3 cup or 80 cocoa powder
• 4 oz. – 120 gr. grated dark chocolate
• 1/2 teaspoon regular or decaffeinated instant coffee
• 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions:
• Place the grated chocolate in a large bowl and sift the cocoa powder, the two types of sugar and cornstarch over the chocolate.
• Stir to mix well.
• Pour into a glass screw lid container.
• Store in a cool dark place.
• Attach tag below on how to use the mix.

Hot Chocolate Mix (for 1 cup):
• Heat 1 cup of whole milk
• Add 2 or more heaping tablespoons of mix.
• Stir continuously over low heat 1 minute or until it begins to thicken.
• Serve immediately

 

Chorizo Burgers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqEa2yKXFmA (Complete tutorial)

We love burgers and chorizo drives us crazy. Here the perfect marriage – a Chorizo Burger.
Our own version – topped with caramelized onions, Manchego cheese, garlic sauce….
Try it – you´ll love it.

Ingredients:
• 1/2 kilo – 1 pound ground beef
• 1/2 kilo – 1 lbs. fresh uncured chorizo without casing –  I highly recommend Julian Martin chorizo a la parrilla.
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 medium onion, minced
• 150 gr – 5 oz.Manchego cheese, Gouda, Cheddar etc. sliced
• Salt and pepper to taste

Aioli mayonnaise: 1/3 cup Mayo, 1 clove garlic
Caramelized Onion: 2 large onions, salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sugar
6 hamburgers buns – depending on size
Optional: Gherkin or Polish pickles, lettuce, ketchup

Directions:
• Mix ground beef with chorizo, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl
• Make patties and coat using hands with a little oil and reserve.

Make caramelized onions
• Cut onion into thin rings.
• Fry the onions at low heat (add salt and pepper and optional sugar ) until browned and caramelized. This takes a little time but the end results are really worth it.

Make aioli
• Blend 1 garlic clove with 1/3 cup mayonnaise on high in you blender or processor until all the garlic is well incorporated.  You can use more or less garlic according to taste. Put aside .
• Toast the rolls on inside only. Put on plate.
• Fry the burger patties with little oil over medium-high or on a barbecue grill until they are complete done. Approximate 5 to 6 minutes on each side.
•  When you flip the burger and it´s almost done, top with a slice of cheese so the cheese melts on top.

Let´s make the Chorizo Burger
• Spread some aioli on the lower half of the toasted bun
• Top with burger with melted cheese.
• Place the caramelized onions on top.
• Optional – can add a leaf of lettuce and some pickles and ketchup.
• Cover with top half of bun and serve immediately.

 

Nutella Mousse in Chocolate Cups

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9f0WsNBGxM

Elegant dessert or snack:  Dark chocolate cups filled with Nutella Mousse.  Make the mini or maxi version – just use your cupcake molds, mini or regular.  These will be the hit of the party.

Very easy to make. You can prepare the chocolate cups in advance and fill them with mousse when you’re ready.  This mousse is light and heavenly with a mild chocolate hazelnut flavor.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup – 240 ml. heavy or whipping cream
• 1/2 cup Nutella or Nocilla
•Dark or semi chocolate bar or tablet
• Optional for garnish: cocoa powder, chocolate chips

Directions:
• Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
• Coat the inside of mini molds or regular cupcake molds using a brush then let it harden in fridge. Repeat again adding a second coat. If needed add more coats, letting them harden inbetween.
• Your bowl and beater should be cold as well as the heavy cream.  Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
• Gently fold in 1/2 cup Nutella with a spatula (do not beat – fold). This is your mousse.
• Refrigerate until ready to use.
• Fill a pastry bag with Nutella mousse and fill your prepared chocolate cups.
• To serve, sprinkle with some cocoa and chocolate curls.
• You can make, fill and freeze them but add topping after defrosting.

 

Hot Coffee Cocktail Amore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZzgJ4U6mew

Remember the song “Baby, it´s cold outside”.  Well this is one way to get warm with or without your sweetheart –  The Italian Amore Hot Coffee Cocktail. Have fun!!!

Ingredients for 1 cup:
• 1 oz – 30 ml of cognac or brandy
• 1 oz – 30 ml of amaretto liqueur
• Hot Espresso or strong Coffee
• Chantilly or whipped cream (from a can)
• Optional: Sugar , almond slivers

Directions:
• Brew a cup of hot coffee – espresso is great but you can substitute with a strong cup of coffee
• Pour in a cup (Irish coffee cups are perfect) and add the brandy and amaretto – if you need to -add some sugar, and mix well.
• Top with off with a huge topping of whipped cream or Chantilly.  Decorate with sliced almonds (optional).

 

 

Frozen Hot Chocolate – Serendipity Copycat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNSXpZTt2jI

This is the drink/dessert that many of the most famous celebrities in the world have fallen for: the Frozen Hot Chocolate  made famous by   Serendipity 3 Restaurant in New York. You can see the place in the romantic comedy movie “Serendipity” starring  John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale.

Jackie Kennedy, Andy Warhol, Tennessee Williams even Oprah Winfrey have all been regulars at this famous restaurant and they all went for their Frozen Hot Chocolate. Oprah said it was one of her favorite things and Jackie asked the management for the recipe to serve it at the White House.  Our version is almost as rich but so easy to make at home and at a very reasonable price.  Now you and the family and friends can enjoy this great drink / dessert without having to fly to New York.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup – 240 ml whole milk
• 1/2 cup – 120 ml heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
• 1/2 cup – 100 g sugar
• 1/2 cup – 90 gr dark chocolate cup in small pieces
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 to 2.5 cups crushed ice
• Whipped cream – home-made or can
• Chocolate shavings

Directions:
• Heat on medium-high milk, heavy cream, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and dark chocolate stirring constantly until all the chocolate has been incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
• Remove from heat and let cool
• Once at room temperature or cold, pour the chocolate in a blender with crushed ice and beat until well blended like a frozen daiquiri. (Not overbeat)
• Pour into glasses and add a large dollop of heavy cream on top.
• Sprinkle with chocolate shavings as a garnish.
• Serve with spoon and straw.