Merry belated Christmas to you and yours! I had best intentions to stick to a regular posting schedule, but that all went out the window as we bounced from family in town to our own little Christmas celebration. And, let me tell you, Christmas with a 2-year-old is fun, but it is also exhausting.
I made gingerbread the night before Christmas, so we’d have a special breakfast to munch on in the morning (and, let’s face it, a nice, warm snack that evening).
Although I recall my grandmother making a mean gingerbread, that recipe is likely lost to the ages, so I used the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated’s Baking Illustrated, and it was predictably delicious. Moist, dense but still fluffy, and nicely spiced. Next time I think I’ll add some crystallized ginger for more of a kick.
Today is Cocktail Thursday, and, alas, I seem to have lost track of my days in the holiday madness, so I don’t have a new cocktail for you this week. But, it also happens to be the Thursday before New Year’s Eve, so the natural choice is, of course, champagne. I’d never dream of drinking anything else on NYE!
If you are in the market for a nice bottle of bubbly to celebrate, I humbly offer my two cents. Veuve Clicquot yellow label is a classic, and predictably good, but also predictably overpriced. In my opinion, it’s about a $30 bottle, so don’t spend much more than that on it. If you have a good wine shop nearby, you may be able to find a bottle of Egly-Ouriet Brut instead, which is a much better value with a similar taste profile. One of my favorite stateside choices for sparkling wine is Schramsberg’s Blanc de Noirs, which I was actually able to score at my local grocery store. Their J. Schram is also flipping fantastic, but more of a splurge.
* I can’t say the same for their more widely available sparklers, as I have never been more hung over in my life than the day after I finished the bar exam and enjoyed (maybe a bit too much) of their Blanc de Blancs. But that’s neither here nor there.
I’m not yet sure what we’ll be toasting with this New Year’s Eve, but you can bet it’ll be one of those bottles.
What are your plans this NYE? Are you planning to crack open a special bottle?