Crimson Champagne Cocktail

Brandy-cranberry syrup

  • 1 quart cranberry juice cocktail
  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece star anise

This will make enough for ten drinks

Champagne cocktail

  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • Champagne
  • 1 fresh cranberry, for garnish
  • Jar of pickled hibiscus flowers

For cranberry syrup
In a medium saucepan, boil the cranberry juice cocktail, the ginger, the cinnamon stick, and the star anise for half an hour or until reduced to 1 cup. Let cool.

For cocktail
Fill a Champagne flute half-full with Champagne and add the brandy. Add 1 ounce Brandy-Cranberry Syrup and mix. Garnish with fresh cranberry and a pickled hibiscus flower

Pig-in-a-Blanket Lollipops

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 24 mini hot dogs or sausages
  • Puff-pastry sheets, defrosted
  • 24 skewers

For the sauce

  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo
    1 jar of nacho cheese sauce

In a small mixing bowl combine ½ cup cheese sauce with 1 Tbs. chipotle peppers. More if you really like the heat. Microwave to heat serve with wrapped links

Parmesan Stuffed Dates

18 (1- by 1/4-inch) sticks Parmigiano-Reggiano (from a 1/2-lb piece)
18 pitted dates (preferably Medjool)
6 bacon slices, cut crosswise into thirds

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Stuff 1 piece of cheese into each date, then wrap 1 piece of bacon around each date, securing it with a pick. Arrange dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.
Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper bag or parchment. Serve immediately.

Tomato Soup with Lemon-Rosemary Cream

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth 
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients. Cover; cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth. Cover and simmer vegetables 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Cover; chill. Rewarm before continuing.) Whisk cream, rosemary and § teaspoon lemon peel in bowl until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir remaining 1§ teaspoons lemon peel into soup. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle cream mixture over and serve.

Serve in shot glasses

Courtesy: The Chef's Academy