When one hears the words "classic cocktails," martinis and Manhattans instantly come to mind. But did you know that champagne has its own signature preparation that dates back to the mid-1800s? It's a simple, but delightful combination of sugar, bitters, and sparkling wine. If making this drink to celebrate the New Year, be sure to select a good quality bubbly. It's not like a mimosa where the flavor of the sparkler will be overshadowed by orange juice; in the champagne cocktail, the bubbly is enhanced by the bitters and sugar. Read more to learn the easy technique.
Although the traditional white clam chowder has origins in New England, the hearty soup is enjoyed throughout the entire United States — especially in San Francisco where it's commonly served in sourdough bread bowls. Since I grew up eating the hearty and creamy soup, I find it incredibly tasty and absolutely comforting. A combination of bacon, potatoes, clams, and milk, it's the perfect one-pot meal for a cold and stormy evening. A cream-based soup isn't the healthiest of dishes, but with a side of mixed greens, it makes for an informal celebratory meal. For my favorite recipe, keep reading.
Got leftover roast chicken, but don't have time to make chicken enchiladas? Then throw together this scrumptious chicken sandwich. Layers of succulent chicken meat, mashed avocado, and melted cheese combine to make a simple but satisfying sandwich. The secret ingredient is a quick homemade Russian dressing; it provides a rich creaminess that ensures the sandwich isn't too dry. Although the recipe calls for whole-wheat bread, feel free to use whatever bread you have on hand, just be sure it's toasted! Learn the uncomplicated method after the jump.
When I was trying to determine which cookbook was my favorite - for our current summer reading challenge - The New Basics by Sheila Lukins & Julee Russo, came in at a close second. What I love about this cookbook is that it covers everything from appetizers and cocktails to sauces and desserts. This cookbook lives at my vacation house so I make dishes there while relaxing at the cabin - except for the few that I have memorized such as tasty chicken, bacon, and avocado sandwich or the classic mustard vinaigrette.
The New Basics is such a complete and reliable source for recipes that I never have to pack my cookbooks or recipe folders. In summer, I make the key lime pie and in winter I make the cheese and beer soup. Usually I prefer cookbooks with lots of colorful images, but the blank pages and black and white illustrations are oddly comforting. If you are looking for a cookbook that basically covers everything, I suggest checking this out!