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Cozy Southern Dinner

The Blue Ridge Mountains form an idyllic backdrop for an elegant autumn dinner party

Written and produced by Krissa Rossbund
  • Matthew Benson

    Menu and recipes begin here.

    Celebrity designer leaves the limelight of Tinseltown for a simpler rural life. Could be the storyline of a TV sitcom, right?     

    It’s not. In fact, it’s the real-life story of Michelle Workman, her husband, Justin, and their two young sons. The family left Michelle’s native Hollywood seeking an idyllic life of calm and quiet, complete with arresting Tennessee mountain views and a barn full of animals.

    Michelle and husband Justin greet guests. 

    Photography: Matthew Benson

  • Matthew Benson

    Stylish Setting

    Now that they’re all settled, the farmhouse is perfect for a gathering with new friends—one that leaves the boots outside and brings some Hollywood glitz in. From the dinnerware’s Chinese-inspired pattern that saturates the table with color to vintage stemware and monogrammed linens, Michelle has created an inviting but robust backdrop for a hearty Southern menu. “This party is a heartfelt thank-you to the warm welcome we’ve received from the community,” says Michelle.

    The formal table glows from flickering candles in vintage candlesticks. Champagne-colored “Fez” placemats and “Herringbone” linen napkins embroidered with Michelle’s monogram, both from Kim Seybert, accent the colors of the intricate design on the dinner plates.  “Constellation” napkin rings, also from Kim Seybert add sparkle. 

  • Matthew Benson

    Southern Hospitality

    For a delicious beginning to an evening of Tennessee hospitality, designer Michelle Workman offers guests appealing appetizers on the “Ruffles” buffet plate from Annieglass. The drink options include a grape-and-sage-infused chardonnay plus a cocktail made of Tennessee whiskey and chile pepper liqueur. 

  • Matthew Benson

    Vintage Finds

    Michelle found the vintage gold-plated flatware at a Beverly Hills estate sale. 

  • Matthew Benson

    Colorful Plates

    An “Arc de Ciel” service plate anchors a “Tobacco Leaf” dinner plate, both through Mottahedeh. 

  • Matthew Benson

    Great Glassware

    Saint-Louis Crystal’s “Tommy” champagne flute complements Michelle’s vintage stemware. 

  • Matthew Benson

    Fresh Cut

    Flowers from Chattanooga’s Grafe Studio add lively color to the tabletop. 

  • Matthew Benson

    Sweet Favor

    Each guest went home with chocolate truffles from The Hot Chocolatier, a Chattanooga confectionery. 

  • Matthew Benson

    Southern Soiree

    Designer Michelle Workman’s warm Southern hospitality inspired chef Mary Payne Moran to create this dinner menu that is both sophisticated and approachable. There’s bountiful food and drink, and traditional dishes that have been given a contemporary spin.

    Menu

    Fire and Ice Cocktail

    Harvest Chardonnay

    Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Peppadews

    Red Leaf Salad with Spiral-Cut Vegetables; Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

    Roasted Pork Top Loin; Balsamic-Glazed Apples and Pears

    Roasted Garlic

    Garlicky Mashed Red Skin Potatoes

    Creamy Green Beans

    Home-Style Popovers

    Blackberry and Blueberry Slab Pie

    Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey

    Shopping List

    We’ve organized a shopping list to make shopping for this party menu easier for you. Package sizes are included so you have enough for duplicated recipe ingredients. You may need to order the pork top loin roast ahead of time; check with your butcher.

    Check your pantry for these necessary items before shopping:

    Note: Unless specified, when we call for “butter,” we mean the unsalted variety. When we call for “eggs,” we are suggesting large eggs unless specified. When we call for “brown sugar,” we are calling for light brown sugar.

    • Butter (almost 5 sticks total)
    • Sugar (about 1-1/4 cup)
    • Powdered sugar (need 2 tablespoons)
    • All-purpose flour (need 6-1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons)
    • Cornstarch (need 1 tablespoon)
    • Eggs (need 6)
    • Vanilla extract (need 1 teaspoon)
    • Paprika (need 1/4 teaspoon)
    • Dried thyme leaves (need 1/2 teaspoon)
    • Salt (need 2 teaspoons plus more to taste)
    • Kosher salt (to taste + 1-3/4 teaspoons)
    • Freshly ground black pepper (plenty to taste + 1 teaspoon)
    • Angostura aromatic bitters
    • Mayonnaise (need 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon)
    • Dijon-style mustard (need 1/2 tablespoon)
    • Worcestershire sauce (need 1/4 teaspoon)
    • Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce or other hot sauce (need 2 drops)
    • Extra-virgin olive oil (need almost 1 cup)
    • Balsamic vinegar (need 1-1/4 cup)

    ________________________________________________________

    Produce

    • 1 bunch mint
    • 2 bunches sage
    • 1 bunch parsley
    • 1 bunch chive
    • 1 bunch dill weed
    • 2 medium shallots
    • 7 heads garlic
    • 5 pounds red skin small potatoes
    • 12 lemons
    • 4 Bosc pears
    • 4 Fuji apples
    • 2 yellow onions
    • 1 bunch seedless green grapes
    • 1-1/2 pounds fresh blueberries (frozen can be substituted)
    • 1-1/2 pounds fresh blackberries (frozen can be substituted)
    • 1 bunch green onion
    • 1 bunch baby bok choy
    • 1 pound beets
    • 1 package carrots (need 2 medium)
    • 2 medium zucchini
    • 2 pounds green beans
    • 1 head red leaf lettuce

    Grocery

    • 1 (8-ounce) bottle 100 percent pomegranate juice
    • 2 (32-ounce) bottles sparkling water (for adding to cocktails, if desired)
    • 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimiento
    • 2 to- 3 (14-ounces) jars Peppadew peppers (need 3 dozen peppers)
    • 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
    • 1 (32- to 64-ounce) bottle apple juice

    ________________________________________________________

    Baking aisle

    • 1 (1-pound) package walnut pieces
    • 1 (5-ounce) package almonds (need 2 tablespoons)
    • 1 (15-ounce) container fine, dry breadcrumbs (need 3/4 cup)

    Butcher

    • 1 (5-pound) boneless top loin pork roast

    ________________________________________________________

    Dairy

    • 1 (4-ounce) package cream cheese
    • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
    • 1 (half-pint) container buttermilk (need about 2/3 cup)
    • 1 (half-pint) container half-and-half
    • 1 (1-pint) container heavy cream (need 1-3/4 cup)
    • 1 quart whole milk (need 3-1/4 cups)
    • 1 (8-ounce) container salted, high-fat butter, such as Plugra

    _______________________________________________________

    Cheese aisle

    • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
    • Grated Parmesan cheese (need 1/2 cup)

    Alcohol

    • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey or other 100-proof bourbon or other high-quality bourbon
    • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur
    • 4 bottles oaky Chardonnay (enough for 12 cocktails)
    • 1 bottle dry white wine for cooking (need 1 cup)
  • Peter Krumhardt

    Fire and Ice Cocktail

    This aptly named cocktail has a wonderfully bracing flavor perfect for the chill of a fall evening. It’s the creation of Tim Wells, bar manager at Revival Social Club in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. Make sure to use a high quality, high-proof whiskey or bourbon—we like Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey. Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur provides the kick and fire. For more info on both, click here.

    Prep: 15 minutes

    • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1-1/2 ounces Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey (94 proof) or other near 100-proof bourbon or 2 ounces if proof is considerably less than 100
    • 1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur
    • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
    • 3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
    • Ice cubes
    • Mint sprig and lemon wedge

    For pomegranate syrup, combine pomegranate juice and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. (Heating the mixture over low heat will make mixture dissolve more quickly, but will give it a slightly cooked flavor.)

    In cocktail shaker combine 1/2 ounce pomegranate syrup, whiskey, ancho liqueur, lemon juice, and bitters. Add ice cubes; cover and shake until very cold. Strain liquid into ice-filled glass. Garnish with mint and lemon. Makes 1 cocktail.

    Note: For 12 servings, in a pitcher combine 2-1/4 cups whiskey or bourbon, 3/4 cup ancho chile liqueur, 3/4 cup pomegranate syrup, 3/4 cup lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon Angostura aromatic bitters. Add ice cubes, mint sprigs, and lemon slices to pitcher. Serve over ice.

    Note: When we tasted this recipe in our Test Kitchen, some people added a splash of club soda for a lighter cocktail.

    Recipe from Chef Tim Wells

    Harvest Chardonnay

    Choose an oaky, mature Chardonnay for this cocktail. The grapes and sage add a distinctly autumnal feel to the Chardonnay, turning a glass of wine into a cocktail of note.

    Start to finish: 5 minutes

    • 6 green grapes
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 sage leaf, torn into 3 pieces
    • 8 ounces buttery, oaky Chardonnay
    • 1/4 cup ice cubes
    • Sparkling water (optional)
    • Additional sage leaves (optional)

    In cocktail shaker or jar combine 3 grapes and sugar. Muddle together. Add sage leaf; muddle into grape mixture. Add wine over top and give it a quick shake/stir.

    Strain cocktail into an ice-filled glass. Top with sparkling water, if desired. Garnish with remaining green grapes and sage leaves, if desired. Makes 1 cocktail.

    Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Peppadews

    Of the many foods that define Southern cuisine, pimiento cheese surely ranks high. The peppery bite of Peppadews is a great foil to the velvety cheese mixture.

    Start to Finish: 30 minutes

    • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
    • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
    • 2 tablespoons minced baby bok choy
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced shallot
    • 1 tablespoon good-quality mayonnaise
    • 2-1/2 teaspoons diced pimiento, drained
    • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
    • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 dozen pickled Peppadew peppers, rinsed and drained
    • Baby bok choy leaves, for serving

    In medium mixing bowl combine all ingredients except for whole bok choy and the whole Peppadew peppers. Gently mix to combine taking care not to overmix. Transfer cheese mixture to piping bag fitted with large open tip (or quart-size resealable plastic bag with corner snipped for piping).

    Carefully pipe filling into peppers. Garnish platter with additional baby bok choy leaves, as desired. Serves 12 (36 stuffed peppers).

    Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Red Leaf Salad with Spiral-Cut Vegetables; Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

    “Spiralizing” vegetables is an artistic way to change up your presentation game. There’s more to it, though. Spiral-cut vegetables give you alternatives for pasta, veggie bakes, and sautéed toppers for roasted meats and chicken. Click here for info on our favorite spiralizer

    Prep: 20 minutes

    Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:

    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1/3 cup buttermilk
    • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced (1-1/2 tablespoons)
    • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
    • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh dill weed
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 drops original Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper

    Red leaf salad:

    • 1 pound beets, trimmed, peeled and spiral cut
    • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in ribbons with a vegetable peeler
    • 2 medium zucchini, washed and spiral cut
    • 1 head red leaf lettuce, washed and dried and torn (12 cups)
    • 1 cup toasted walnut pieces
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper

    For Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, in medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, parsley, lemon juice, chives, dill weed, garlic, Tabasco, paprika, and salt. Season to taste with pepper. Cover; chill until ready to use.

    For Salad, bring large saucepan of salted water to boil. Blanch beets 2 minutes. Shock beets in ice water. Drain; dry on paper towels.

    Place leaf lettuce on 12 salad plates. Top with spiralized vegetable and walnuts. Serve with Ranch Dressing, salt, and pepper. Makes 12 servings.

    Make Ahead Tip: You can make the dressing and prepare the beets, carrots, and zucchini ahead of time and keep chilled separately up to 24 hours, until ready to serve. The dressed salad can chill in the refrigerator up to 3 hours.

    Recipes from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Roasted Pork Top Loin; Balsamic-Glazed Apples and Pears

    Put the garlic for Roasted Garlic in the oven to cook just before marinating the pork. The apples, pears, and roasted garlic are delicious fall complements to the pork roast. This recipe is definitely a crowd-pleaser.

    Prep: 25 minutes Marinate: 1 hour Roast: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes at 325° F

    • 1 (5-pound) boneless top loin pork roast
    • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 cups apple juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
    • 4 Bosc pears
    • 4 Fuji apples
    • 2 yellow onions, peeled
    • 3 large heads Roasted Garlic (recipe follows)
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 1 cup dry white wine

    For marinade, combine 1 cup balsamic vinegar, apple juice, thyme, and crushed garlic. In very large food safe bag or large bowl, pour marinade over roast. Refrigerate and marinate roast about 1 hour, turning several times. Cut pears, apples, and onions in quarters; remove cores from apples and pears.

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove roast from marinade; pat dry. Lightly season with salt and ground black pepper. Reserve marinade.

    In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter over medium-high heat. Brown roast on all sides. Transfer roast to roasting rack in large roasting pan.

    Toss apples, pears, and onion with remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Add to roasting pan with garlic heads. Roast 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in loin registers 145°F and fruits have softened and caramelized.

    Transfer roast and fruits to serving platter. Cover with foil. Allow to rest 10 minutes. Squeeze roasted garlic from whole heads into small bowl; mash with a fork. Stir in 2 tablespoons softened butter.

    Place roasting pan over burner and add white wine and reserved marinade to pan. Bring liquid to rolling boil and scrape brown bits from bottom of pan with wooden spoon; reduce slightly.

    Carve roast into slices and serve with fruit. Pass garlic butter to spread on roast slices. Pass sauce. Serve with Garlicky Mashed Red Skin Potatoes, Creamy Green Beans, and Home-Style Popovers. Makes 12 servings.

    Roasted Garlic

    This recipe for Roasted Garlic yields enough garlic to prepare the Roasted Pork Top Loin and Garlicky Mashed Potatoes. Keep the recipe on hand for making the best garlic bread you’ll ever have.

    Prep: 5 minutes Bake: 1 hour at 325°F

    • 6 large heads whole garlic
    • 1/3 cup olive oil

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove outer skin from garlic, keeping heads intact. Cut tops from heads of garlic. Arrange top side up on large piece of foil. Drizzle oil over garlic, letting it run between cloves. Tightly wrap foil around garlic heads. Cover; bake 1 hour or until cloves are very soft and tender. Cool. Gently squeeze garlic cloves from heads. Use as directed in recipes. 

    Recipes from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Garlicky Mashed Red Skin Potatoes

    Use the remaining three heads Roasted Garlic to prepare this recipe. Garlic sweetens as it roasts so it’s not as intense as you might think. Start with the cloves from one head, taste, and add more garlic until you are satisfied with the flavor, tasting along the way.

    Prep: 15 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

    • 5 pounds red skin small potatoes
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup half-and-half
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • Roasted garlic (recipe precedes)
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    In 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook potatoes, covered, in enough simmering, lightly salted water to cover them for 30 minutes or until tender.

    In small saucepan heat butter, half-and-half, and cream.

    Drain cooked potatoes. Return hot, drained potatoes to hot Dutch oven. Use a whisk to break up potatoes.

    Add cream mixture and stir well. Fold potatoes and roasted garlic together to taste. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Makes 12 servings.

    Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Creamy Green Beans

    This riff on the classic green bean casserole could just become your new holiday dinner favorite. The crispy shallots, Parmesan, and toasted almonds in the crunchy topping give the recipe contemporary flair. We wouldn’t mind tossing in some sautéed mushrooms just before serving, either.

    Prep: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 shallot, sliced
    • 3/4 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
    • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds, chopped
    • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cups milk
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    In small skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot. Cook and stir 10 minutes on medium low heat or until shallot is slightly crispy and golden brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel to drain.

    In small bowl combine breadcrumbs, green onion, Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, and toasted shallots. Set aside.

    Preheat oven to 325°F. In 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook green beans in enough lightly salted boiling water to cover 6 minutes or until tender-crisp; drain. Place green beans in 3-quart au gratin or baking dish.

    For sauce, in medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook and stir 1 minute. Add chicken broth and milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened. The sauce will be fairly thin. Add salt and pepper.

    Pour sauce over green beans. Top with crunchy topping. Bake 45 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. Stir before serving. Makes 12 servings.

    Feeding a crowd: This recipe can be easily doubled.

    Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Home-Style Popovers

    Using a high-fat butter, such as Plugra, makes these popovers extra-rich. This recipe can easily be doubled. Prepare one batch at a time. Preheating the muffin pan prior to filling is an important step for baking popovers; don’t skip it.

    Prep: 15 minutes Bake: 25 to 30 minutes at 425°F

    • 3 eggs
    • 1-1/4 cups milk
    • 1/4 cup buttermilk
    • 2 tablespoons salted high-fat butter, such as Plugra, melted (plus additional butter for greasing)
    • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Whipped Plugra butter, for serving*

    Preheat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk, buttermilk, and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add flour and salt and whisk until smooth.

    Generously grease twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with additional butter. Place muffin pan in oven for 2 minutes. Remove pan from oven and fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with batter (about 1/4 cup each).

    Bake 25 to 30 minutes until puffed and well browned. Do not open oven until done. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto clean kitchen towel. Stand popovers straight up to cool. Serve with whipped butter. Makes 12 popovers.

    *Note: Allow 1/2 cup of salted Plugra butter to come to room temperature. Whip with spatula or electric mixer on low speed until light and airy.

    Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Blackberry and Blueberry Slab Pie

    This dessert is both down-home and elegant. Sage gives depth to the berries, the lattice crust gives the pie high style, and lemon-infused whipped cream adds sophisticated flavor.

    Prep: 45 minutes Chill: 20 minutes Bake: 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes at 325° F

    Crust:

    • 5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 3-1/2 sticks (1-3/4 cups) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 additional egg for egg wash
    • 3-1/2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

    Pie Filling:

    • 1-1/2 pounds fresh blueberries (frozen can be substituted)
    • 1-1/2 pounds fresh blackberries (frozen can be substituted)
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 lemons, juiced (6 tablespoons)
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Lemon Whipped Cream:

    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • 1 lemon, zested (2 teaspoons)

    In large bowl combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, sage, and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until pieces resemble small peas. Add lightly beaten eggs and half the ice water; toss with fork.

    Sprinkle a little ice water over part of the flour mixture; toss with fork. Push moistened flour mixture to side of bowl. Repeat moistening flour mixture, using a little water at a time, until flour mixture is moistened. Gather flour mixture into ball, kneading gently until it holds together. Divide into 2 uneven balls; one ball should contain two-thirds of pastry. Cover; chill 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in large bowl combine blueberries, blackberries, remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, lemon juice, butter, cornstarch, and vanilla. Let stand 15 minutes.

    Place larger ball of pastry between two pieces of lightly floured waxed paper. Roll to 17x12-inch rectangle. Remove top piece of waxed paper. Carefully invert pastry into lightly greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Peel off waxed paper. Press pastry up sides of pan.

    Spoon filling evenly over pastry. Roll remaining pastry to 16x11-inch rectangle between 2 pieces of lightly floured waxed paper. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Cut pastry lengthwise into 3/4-wide strips. Arrange pastry strips in lattice pattern on top of pie. Trim edges of lattice strips 1/2-inch beyond edge of pan. Fold bottom crust over ends of strips and pinch to seal. Crimp edge with fork, as desired. In small bowl whisk together remaining egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush pastry with egg mixture.

    Bake 70 to 80 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool pie on wire rack.

    Before serving prepare Lemon Whipped Cream. In medium bowl beat cream, sugar, and lemon zest with electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). (Lemon Whipped Cream can be prepared in advance and stored, covered, in refrigerator until serving time.) Serve with pie. Makes 12 servings.

    Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey and Ancho Reyes Ancho Pepper Liqueur

    To craft his Fire and Ice cocktail, Revival Social Club bar manager Tim Wells uses a high-proof ovenproof bourbon to make sure the bourbon flavor is prominent and most of all smooth. For Michelle Workman’s Tennessee location, the switch to a local Tennessee whiskey was a given, but not a sacrifice to taste or quality.

    Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey is 94 proof. Each bottle is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee, population 600. With notes of caramel and spice, it exhibits a robust character paired with sweet aromatics that derive from direct contact with barrel aging. Find this elegant, smooth whiskey here.

    Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur has been produced in the Mexican city of Puebla, where the ancho chile is considered to be the region’s signature crop. The liqueur has a deep bronze color. Its slightly pungent nose contains cinnamon, tamarind, hints of herbs, and of course, dried chile. You’ll taste moderate heat, with hints of spice, cocoa, apples, and plums.

    The liqueur is medium-bodied and has a high viscosity, making it a pleasant stand-alone after- dinner cocktail. It also mixes well in a classic Old Fashioned, margaritas, and sours. Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur is available nationwide; visit their website for retail vendors and additional recipes.

  • Peter Krumhardt

    OXO Spiralizer

    “Spiralizing” might be an invented word, but it’s one we like. With a twist of the wrist a spiralizer turns vegetables into a healthy alternative for pasta or gives fruits and veggies an interesting look for salads. We like this spiralizer from OXO for it’s sturdy construction, easy cleanup, safety, and three blades for different cuts. Find it right here.

  • John Cain
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