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Launch the new year with a simple, chic gathering - The Galveston County Daily News : Features

November 27, 2014

Launch the new year with a simple, chic gathering

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Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 12:30 am

End the year with a bang, and begin the new one with a brunch. Try these clever and easy entertaining tips for a New Year’s Day gathering, conceived by Alicia Cahill, who styled the concepts with the help of her co-creative director, Lindsay Canright.

Center of attention

The island’s famous Kon Tiki Club, known for its DJs, dancers and female impersonators, has been closed for years, but its disco ball glitters on. Find your own creative centerpiece and add pops of color with flowers, like these hot princess roses from Knapp Flower Shop, 1122 45th St. on the island.

Styled by Alicia Cahill, owner of The Kitchen Chick, 528 23rd St., and Lindsay Canright.

Brunch

Invite friends and family to feast on a late-morning menu of egg bites, cinnamon rolls and oyster shots. (16-inch Grillware Platter by Wilton Armetale, $52.50, The Kitchen Chick).

Breakfast Bread Pudding Cups

Servings: 24 to 30 individual cups

INGREDIENTS

1 onion, finely chopped 

1 pound breakfast sausage

3 cups milk 

10 large eggs 

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 loaf day-old brioche or country white bread, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar  

DIRECTIONS

Heat a medium to large skillet over medium-high heat and brown sausage, breaking it into small crumbles. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and transfer into a shallow bowl. Allow sausage to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile add onions to the pan and sauté until translucent. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Using a spatula, fold in bread, sausage, onions and cheese. Spoon mixture into individual muffin cups. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Preheat your oven to 350 F and bake cups for 25 to 30 minutes. Tops should brown and crisp; egg mixture will no longer appear runny. Serve immediately. 

(Festive metallic cupcake liners, $2.50 for a 30-pack, The Kitchen Chick)

Third Coast Oyster Shooter

Servings: 12 shooters

INGREDIENTS

12 freshly shucked raw oysters

¾ cup spicy tomato juice

1⁄3 cup cocktail sauce

1 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish (well drained prepared horseradish can be substituted)

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Tito’s Texas vodka

1 lemon, cut into 12 wedges 

Hot sauce

Celery

DIRECTIONS

In a pitcher combine tomato juice, horseradish and pepper. Mix thoroughly and place in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes. 

Remove from freezer and give mixture a good stir. Pour 1/2 shot of tomato juice mixture into a small glass. Add to that 1/2 a shot of vodka. Top each glass with 1 raw oyster, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Garnish with celery.

Mini Cinnamon Buns

Servings: 24 mini rolls

INGREDIENTS

½ package frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 tablespoons butter, melted

6 tablespoons light brown sugar

4 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin with butter. In a small bowl, whisk together light brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

Place puff pastry, long side facing you, on a lightly floured surface. Brush with butter. Evenly sprinkle pastry with cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving a ¼-inch border around all sides. Roll pastry up, jellyroll style, into a log. Brush top with butter and cut into ½-inch rolls. Place a roll cut-side down in each muffin tin. Bake until pastries are puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool then run a sharp knife around sides of pastries and release from pan.

(Lollipop sticks, $2.99 for a 24-pack, The Kitchen Chick.)

Caramel Dipping Sauce for Cinnamon Buns

INGREDIENTS

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup cream, divided

3 tablespoon unsalted butter

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS

Bring the brown sugar, ¼ cup cream, butter and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar. Add remaining cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve a thick, but pourable consistency.

Styled and prepared by Alicia Cahill

Pomegranate Margarita

Servings: 1 drink

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces Grand Marnier

1½ ounces Tequila

2 ounces pomegranate juice

2 ounce lime juice

1½ ounces simple syrup

Lime and pomegranate arils for garnish

DIRECTIONS

For simple syrup: combine equal parts sugar and water, bring to a boil and let sugar dissolve, then turn off heat and let cool completely.

Fill your glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, Grand Marnier, pomegranate juice, simple syrup and lime juice with ice, and shake for about 30 seconds. Pour over ice and squeeze in extra lime slices. Add some pomegranate rils for decoration.

This recipe can be easily doubled, quadrupled, etc. Since everyone’s tastes differ, add simple syrup ¼ cup at a time and go from taste. Be prepared to squeeze a lot of limes.

Garnish with a lime wedge on a bamboo pick ($4.50 for a 50-pack, The Kitchen Chick).

Styled by Alicia Cahill and Lindsay Canright

Mimosa bar

Help your guests kick off their heels and kick their hangover to the curb with one of the most socially acceptable morning-time adult beverages, the mimosa. Arrange a row of blood orange, orange and grapefruit juices in glass pitchers and offer a selection of berries so guests can play mixologist to their heart’s content. Keep a couple of muddlers on hand to ease the process (muddler, $5.50, The Kitchen Chick.). To keep the drinks crisp and cool, drop in a wine pearl (by Sparq, $25 for a four-pack, The Kitchen Chick). Lessen the stress with shatterproof stemless glasses by Govino, $12.95 for a set of four, The Kitchen Chick).

Raspberry Mimosa

INGREDIENTS

Raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord

8 raspberries, plus more for garnish

3 cups fresh orange juice

1 bottle Champagne or Prosecco

DIRECTIONS

Pour 1⁄8 teaspoon of raspberry liqueur into each Champagne flute. Add a raspberry to each and muddle. Fill the glasses halfway with orange juice and finish with Champagne.

Blood Orange Mimosa

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle Prosecco

1½ cups fresh blood orange juice

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

2 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

DIRECTIONS

Combine fresh blood orange juice with sugar and orange liqueur and stir to combine. Refrigerate until chilled. To serve, fill a Champagne flute with 1⁄3 juice and slowly top off with chilled Prosecco.

DIY Sparkly Drink Stirrers

Serve your guests cocktails that sparkle. 

MATERIALS

Silver tinsel garland, craft store

12-inch bamboo skewers ($3 for a 100-pack, The Kitchen Chick).

Hot-glue gun or double-sided tape

Scissors

DIRECTIONS

Cut a 1.5-inch piece of tinsel from a garland.

Cut bamboo skewers to the height of your glasses.

Use hot glue or a piece of double-stick tape to attach the tinsel to the end of each skewer.

Drop it in a glass.

Styled by Alicia Cahill