What fun was had the evening of our last CCA (Culinary Cultural Adventures) event. We began with a yummy non-alcoholic cocktail that was not punch. We put our own twist on the Fresco Ice, substituting Johannisberry juice for cranberry.
It was tasty, not too sweet, and sophisticated. A great alternative to the everyday choices of juice, tea or soda. Next we began experimenting with Bellinis, mixing Prosecco with both peach nectar and with the syrup from canned peaches. Quite different! We mostly seemed to agree that the peach nectar tasted like a great brunch drink, one we'd prefer to Mimosas. The one with the syrup of canned peaches was more subtle, perhaps a nice drink in the afternoon or as an apéritif. Then, cocktail in hand, we were ready to whip up some appetizers. We began with a caviar dip that always pleases, great with hearty potato chips, pita chips, or basic crackers. Next we did Napoleons, a wonderful warm eggplant/cheese treat.
After that we did our cheese truffles/dip/cheese ball - the adaptable yummy crowd pleaser. We dipped it in pecans, among other things.
We then sampled Blue Cheese Souffle and Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Bites before moving on to our last cocktail, Ginger Martinis, with freshly squeezed ginger juice.
How to make ginger juice? Just grate it finely (a Microplane grater works beautifully for this) and then grab the grated ginger in hand and squeeze through a sieve. Notice the starch in the bottom of the shots of ginger juice. We left it to sit for about 20 minutes before pouring into the drinks to leave the starch behind.
What a lovely finish to our evening. We all were fans of ginger and it was a good thing, as this drink may only be for ginger lovers. It was both warming and refreshing, and what a beautiful color! May all your holiday gatherings being filled with warmth of friendship, refreshing conversation, and beautiful color! Happy holidays to all.