Peppermint Twist

On the eleventh day of Christmas my bartender made for me, a Peppermint Twist so yummy…

I got this recipe from my sister; I’m not exactly sure where she got it. This turned out to be exceptionally good. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and peppermint.

Peppermint Twist
Printer-friendly recipe
Makes 1 large or small 2 cocktails

3 oz crème de cacao (dark)
2 oz cream
2 oz peppermint schnapps
Crushed peppermint candies

Put peppermint candies in Ziploc bag and crush into small pieces; put on plate.
Line glass rims with crème de cacao, press into crushed peppermint candies. Shake ingredients with ice; strain into glass(es).

Note: the original recipe calls for the drink to be served in two vignette Port wine glasses. Our bartender suggests either pouring the entire drink into a highball glass or into two rocks glasses or 2 martini glasses.

The 12 Cocktails of Christmas

I have been waiting to post about this for weeks. But, since it relates to Christmas (and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet), I forced myself to wait until November to share this with all of you. That way, if you want to participate, you have a month to come up with some drinks.

I came up with the idea of doing a 12 cocktails of Christmas, where each day, Dec 1-12, I’d feature a new holiday cocktail. I’ve been brainstorming different flavor combonations and drinks, along with the help of my sister-in-law (an NYC bartender). So many people do 12 treats or desserts of Christmas that I thought it would be fun and different to feature cocktails instead.

I’m extending an open invitation to any blogger who wants to join in. You drinks can be virgin, spiked, old posts, new posts; there really are no rules except it has to be a beverage. You can join me in posting every day or once, twice, as many times as you want, I’m pretty easy going.

If you’re interested, leave a comment or email me (surlykitchen@gmail_dot_com). That way I can remind you as the time comes closer to December 1st. I’m setting up a code for the picture above, which will serve as a button in your blog’s side bar, if you want to add it.

I’m actually really excited about this because it involves no cooking! I’m still adjusting to my new doses of medications, and have no energy and no desire to cook. But I promise as soon as I feel better I will post all kinds of deliciousness.

Pork and Sauerkraut

Everyone, I’m sure has their own New Year’s traditions. Southerners eat black-eyed peas (which resemble coins), Italians eat lentils (which, again, look like coins), some eat fish (fish swim forward, therefore, by eating fish you can move forward in the new year), greens (kale, cabbage, collard greens, because green=money) and of course pork (since pigs root around and push their snouts forward). Growing up in my family, my grandmother, who is of German descent, believed firmly in eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s day. Grammy’s secret to making sauerkraut more palatable was to sprinkle brown sugar over it. Any New Year’s that I stopped by for a visit this dish is what she would have in the oven. As kids, my sister, brother, and I were never really excited to eat sauerkraut. It smelled so bad, kinda like sweaty feet. But my sweet Grammy would make all of us eat at least one bite of sauerkraut (which was usually mixed in with mashed potatoes) to give us luck in the coming year. As I got older and my tastebuds changed, I began to warm up to sauerkraut, happily eating it on New Years. Sadly, to this day, neither of my siblings upholds the tradition of pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s. I have been faithful to this tradition, though. Even in college, I would make pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s day for myself and any friends who wanted to join me. Grammy would be so pleased when I would call to wish her a happy New Year and to let her know that I was being a good German girl by eating my pork and sauerkraut.

Now, it’s my turn to make sure that my boyfriend, who isn’t a fan of sauerkraut, eats at least one bite on New Year’s for good luck. Usually, I’m the one who ends up eating the sauerkraut leftovers, but this year that all changed. My boyfriend actually willingly ate 2 servings of sauerkraut, and even ate most of the leftovers. I was shocked and happy. I tweaked my methods slightly this year and came up with how I will probably prepare my sauerkraut next year. Also, I noticed that this year my kitchen didn’t reek of cabbage, nor did the refrigerator. I’m not sure what my luck was, but I’m going to guess it was from the apple and apple juice I added this year.

Pork and Sauerkraut
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Serves 4

4 boneless pork chops
1 bag sauerkraut
1 apple, cored and sliced (I used a gala)
Brown sugar, to taste
Cinnamon, to taste
Apple juice or apple cider

Season both sides of each pork chop with salt and pepper. Sear in skillet over med-high heat until each side is lightly browned.*

Put some sauerkraut in the bottom of a baking dish, and sprinkle with brown sugar, then assemble the pork chops in dish. I laid the apple slices around the pork and sprinkled them with cinnamon and brown sugar. Then top the pork chops with the rest of the sauerkraut, and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Pour some apple juice or cider over everything (I didn’t measure, but I think I used about 1/3 c). Cover with foil and bake in oven at 350F until the pork is cooked through. My pork chops were thick so this took about 45 minutes.

When I check the pork for doneness (after about 30 min), I also test the sauerkraut to make sure it’s no longer sour, but nicely sweetened. If it still tastes sour I just sprinkle more brown sugar over it.

I baked the pork uncovered for the last 5-10 minutes to reduce the apple juice a bit. Serve and enjoy a New Year filled with luck.

*Note: sometimes I don’t sear the pork, I just put it into the dish and let it bake. It’s up to you and if you want to dirty another dish