I am continuing to love cooking through the Dirt Candy cookbook. This recipe for fennel-pear compote was a relative cinch to pull together. It is meant to be a component in a more complex dish (Portobello Mousse). Sophie wouldn't touch mushroom anything, even on a desert island. We served it with bread and goat cheese, and it was delicious. Definitely sweet with the dried cherry and candied ginger, I could see it baked into a tart and topped with a little vanilla ice cream. I am so hoping that we will be able to scoop up a seat at the Dirt Candy restaurant on our NYC trip. I have a huge (mostly) food-driven to-do list at this point anticipating that all the miles of walking will offset any calorie intake. I should be able to wear my Converse sneakers in NYC in late March without fear of frostbite, right?
Does the world need chai liqueur? Possibly, and certainly more than it needs cotton candy vodka. I first learned of this elixir on the drink menu at Redwood--spiking a hot cider beverage. We didn't try it that night since only one of my chai-loving children is of legal drinking age--although I suspect once turning 21 will be exactly the type of consumer cotton candy vodka was created for. I brought a bottle home from the state liquor store and created a spicy warming beverage last weekend. Honey ginger tea is readily available in Korean markets. It is delicious as a stand alone non-alcoholic beverage--swirl a couple of tablespoons in a mug of hot water. If you are of legal drinking age adding an ounce of chai liqueur will turn this into an even more delicious adult version I am calling "The Movie Star." If you have been stupidly wandering about outdoors in near freezing temperatures wearing your Converse sneakers, the world's least insulated shoe, this should warm you right back up.