Archive | October, 2010

Halloween Sundries

29 Oct

Hand-carved, hand-stamped tickets for Booze and Boos:

A Halloween visitor we found in our bathroom sink last night:

Happy (almost) Halloween!

 

Pumpkin Bourbon

28 Oct

I’ve been infusing pumpkin bourbon for Booze and Boos this Sunday and it’s just about ready to be enjoyed. You, too, can infuse your own fall spirits.

Step 1: gut a pumpkin and cut it into thin slices.  lay slices on a cookie sheet and baste with a mixture of the following: 2 T pomegranate molasses, 1 C honey, 2 t cinnamon, 1 t cloves, and 4-5 pieces of candied ginger, chopped.  bake in a 400 degree oven for about an hour until pumpkin is tender.

Step 2: place pumkin slices into a large jar, jug or other vessel that can be tightly sealed.  pour bourbon (I used Evan Williams) over pumpkin.  let it sit for at least 1 week (2 or 3 is better).

Step 3: strain bourbon through a cheesecloth or coffee filter (the coffee filter will take longer, but will yield a product with fewer little bits and pieces floating around.

Step 4: enjoy!  it’s delicious mixed with hot or cold cider, tea, or ginger ale.

As a bonus, I tried infusing bourbon with candy corn.  It initially looked beautiful, but after 6 hours, the candy corn had completely dissolved, yielding a thick sweet bourbon syrup that I’ll be using to drizzle on ice cream and othe desserts, but will certainly not drink.  It did look beautiful while it lasted, though:

Boo!

27 Oct

1 mini pumpkin + 2 mini gourds + 1 small black cat statue + a pack of target Halloween stickers = 1 cute Halloween display

Halloween Bunting

26 Oct

I’m banner crazy these days!  I made this Halloween bunting to decorate the bar at Booze and Boos.  It’s hard to read in the pictures, but it says, predictably, “Happy Halloween.” I cut out the flag shapes from an old pillow case and used fusible webbing (if you’ve never used this stuff before- it’s an amazing)  to iron lace and deep orange triangles onto the flags.  Then I cut out felt letters and hand-stitched them to the flags.  Use more fusible webbing to fold the flags over a piece of sturdy lace ribbon and iron them closed, and here we have a Halloween Banner.

Ginger Ale Taste Test

25 Oct

My beau and I are always on the hunt for the perfect ginger ale/beer. Both of us favor versions that are not too sweet, crisp and spicy. I finally decided to see if I could create a ginger ale at home to our tastes.  To begin what I’m starting realize may be a very long endeavor, I made two versions.

One version came from a “ginger ale soda base” I bought at a home brewing store here in Knoxville.  I added sugar, water and champagne yeast.  This version was a deep brown.

The second version I made from fresh ginger that I simmered for 20 minutes before adding sugar and more water.  It’s a very pale yellow.  I added champagne yeast to this one as well for carbonation.

We had some folks over for dinner and decided to try these out.  We had a ginger ale taste taste consisting of six different versions.

1. Blue Sky Jamaican Ginger Beer

2. Main Root Ginger Brew

3. Homemade Ginger Ale- fresh ginger

4. Schweppes Ginger Ale

5. Homemade Ginger Ale- ginger base

6. Red Rock Ginger Ale

All were tasty, but the favorites seemed to be:

2) The Main Root Ginger Brew, favored for it’s strong ginger taste (folks thought this was the one I made from fresh ginger, but was much stronger than the homemade version)

5) The homemade ginger ale made from base, which we liked because it was dark, spicey and even a little pine-y

6) Red Rock Ginger Ale, which I loved because it was mellow at first but then hit you with some ginger heat at the end.

Booze and Boos!

24 Oct

 

Knoxvillians- come on down!  What better way to spend Halloween than sipping seasonal cocktails (pumpkin infused bourbon with ginger ale, pear and peppercorn vodka champagne cocktail, or hot apple cider) and watching a delightfully creepy performance.  I’ll be bartending and then playing my ukulele with Sweater Weather in between acts.  You’ll be out at a reasonble hour if you still have partying to do or have work Monday morning.  What’s more, your $5 donation not only gets you a drink and a great show, all profits will go towards a community art project we’re planning for the winter.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

22 Oct

One of my favorite parts about carving pumpkins is roasting the seeds afterwards.  I wash them thoroughly, toss them with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and smoked paprika before spreading them on a cookie sheet and roasting them in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  Delicious on salads or as a workday snack.