Cheers….to a bubbly, bittersweet New Year!!

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I hope your Holidays were full of Love, Joy and Celebration!
As the last week of an intense year winds down, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy, creative, prosperous New Year.
This holiday season I tried 2 new sparkling cocktail recipes from Serious Eats. The Bellisimo Aceto, and the Minnesota Good-bye. Both of these cocktails are great holiday variations on the French 75 Champagne Cocktail. I love them first because they are bittersweet as opposed to sweet, and second the color is beautiful, festive and perfect for your New Years Bash 2017….
Cheers, Carlita….

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FALL COLORS….

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The fall landscape is rapidly moving from orange and golds, to the neutral browns and greys of bare trees and solid ground. I always look forward to fall vegetables, the dark greens of kale and bright warm colors of fall squash. Besides the sweet and earthy flavors and the burst of color on the plate, these foods are packed with iron, vitamin A and other essential goodies.

Pepita Salsa is a specialty of the Yucatan. My litmus test for authentic Mexican restaurants is the salsa they are serving in season. Winter salsas are usually made from dried chilies nuts and various herbs. If you want this salsa hotter, throw in a Serrano or jalapeno pepper. I enjoy the subtle taste of the spaghetti squash and don’t want to overwhelm it with too much spice. This is a great side dish and perfect for your vegan friends. If you have any leftover salsa it is awesome with chips!

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SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH PEPITA SALSA, serves 4-6

1 Spaghetti Squash

¾ cup pepitas, roasted on baking sheet in oven until brown around edges, 5-7 minutes.

1 poblano pepper

1 clove garlic

½ cup cilantro

½ cup parsley

¼ cup chopped chives (garnish)

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup hot water

salt and pepper

Cut spaghetti squash in half, seed, rub cut side with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast @ 400 for 40 minutes.

While squash is roasting, put the pepitas on a baking sheet and toast until brown around the edges.

Char poblano pepper on gas flame or under broiler until blackened, put in plastic bag for 15 minutes, peel and seed.

Put pepitas, poblano pepper, cilantro, parsley and garlic in food processor, slowly add the olive oil, then hot water and salt.

If the salsa is too thick add a touch more hot water. Shred the spaghetti squash, toss with salsa and top with chopped chives.

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