fennel raspberry rosé spritzer

fennel raspberry rosé spritzer | A Brown Table

My mom is coming to visit! She finally booked her tickets and will be here for a month. She says she wants to visit Alaska in December though she found San Francisco too cold in May, I'm not sure how this works. Yes, this is my mom! It will be a month of fun, she will try to spoil my pets and M, despite my objections. She doesn't like to cook and unlike most regular families, there will be some role reversal where I will be making her food for her to try out. This weekend, I won't get to spend Mother's Day with my mom, I'll call her up and talk to her over the phone and listen excitedly to her as she lists all things she wants to see and do while she visits. My mom is pretty cool and selfless, I love my mom. 

My mom likes port wine, I think it is the only alcohol besides beer that I have ever seen her drink in my lifetime. So did my grandma but I think I might have seen my grandma drink whisky (not completely sure) though I know she loved chocolates stuffed with liqueurs. So I figured if I were to create a Mother's Day drink, I should make a cocktail with wine for her (even though she won't able to drink this over the weekend, I will drink one for her) that's lightly sweet. This drink is also an excellent spring and summer drink for brunches (or anytime you want a refreshing cocktail).

This cocktail is easy to prepare, it uses a simple syrup infused with fennel seeds. I then smash fresh raspberries and mix this into the fennel simple syrup and strain this mixture. The spritzer then comes together with the addition of rosé and club soda. Serve it chilled!

fennel raspberry rosé spritzer | A Brown Table
fennel raspberry rosé spritzer | A Brown Table
fennel raspberry rosé spritzer | A Brown Table
fennel raspberry rosé spritzer | A Brown Table
fennel raspberry rosé spritzer | A Brown Table
fennel raspberry rosé spritzer | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing this cocktail;

  • Use fresh good quality raspberries, I used Driscolls. Make sure the fennel seeds are not old or the flavor won't be as good. 
  • You can serve this over ice cubes, I didn't but either way it is delicious!
fennel raspberry rosé spritzer | A Brown Table

fennel raspberry rosé spritzer

yields: 4 servings

ingredients

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds

1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/4 cups) Driscoll’s Raspberries

300mL rosé

120mL club soda

4 thin lime slices

extra raspberries for garnish

1. Prepare a simple syrup by mixing the water, sugar and fennel seeds in a medium-sized thick bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 2 minutes. The sugar should be completely dissolved. Allow this mixture to cool for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Strain and discard the fennel seeds by passing the syrup through a sieve. Refrigerate to chill the fennel infused simple syrup for at least 2 hours.

2. Place the raspberries in a large measuring cup and smash to form a smooth pulp. Add the chilled simple syrup to the raspberry pulp. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Then strain this liquid through a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Discard the solids in the strainer. 

3. In a large jar, mix the fennel-raspberry infused liquid along with the wine and club soda. To serve pour the chilled cocktail into four glasses and garnish with a slice of fresh lime and a few raspberries.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Driscoll's. All opinions expressed are solely my own. . Visit Driscoll's for more berry recipes & enter to win the Sweetest Berry Sweepstakes

cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port

cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table

I perpetually spend my time looking for shortcuts in the kitchen. Sometimes they're easier to find and sometimes things can get a little more complicated or drawn out than I'd like them to be. When planning a meal for a bunch of people, I usually compromise with this rule - if dinner is going to require more effort, then make dessert simple or vice-versa, I find that this little rule brings harmony to my crazy kitchen and I have time to do a whole lotta other things in life. Some of these things currently include: find time to sign up for a sourdough bread class, plant a couple of trees, pick bathroom tiles, teach the cat to walk on a harness, make the dog meatballs.

This dessert checks all those requirements for me. It's easy to prepare and looks and tastes fancier, it's all about making an impression when it comes to entertaining! You literally take an apple, core it out, then stuff the core with some more apples and raisins and then cook them in port wine. The green cardamom and vanilla bean tie the flavor components of the apples and the wine by giving it a gentle floral and sweet flavor. If you want to make it even fancier, I'd highly recommend a scoop of good vanilla or coconut ice cream on the side.  You can grab the recipe here!

The folks at Wolf Gourmet are giving away one of these gorgeous 10-piece cookware sets made from shiny stainless steel and contain an inner aluminum core for uniform heat transfer. Their stainless steel cookware is easy to maintain, foods cook well due to the smooth transfer of heat and they're easy to clean! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below and tell me what is your one favorite meal that you love to make every spring and how you keep the preparation simple. Due to shipping reasons, this contest is only open to residents of the United States and subscribers. The giveaway will run for a week and end on April 14th, 2016 at 12pm. I'll announce the winner back on this page and contact them via email. Good luck and happy cooking!

cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table
cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table
cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing these apples,

  • Use good baking apples that hold their shape well on exposure to heat.
  • The green cardamom and vanilla bean are the big flavor boosters in this recipe so skip the extracts in this one.
  • Use a good port wine, one that you like to drink.
  • If there's any leftover port sauce, I'll collect it in a jar and refrigerate to use as a sauce over plain vanilla ice cream. It's good!
cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table

Disclaimer: Thank you to Wolf Gourmet for sponsoring this post and giveaway! All opinions expressed are solely my own.