Here’s to a bubbly 2013


2012 was a tumultuous year all around.  My husband and I pulled up deep roots in California, and shifted all our worldly goods to the Northwest in a chaotic move.  Meanwhile, politics kept the entire nation on edge with a nail biter of an election and the economic game of chicken playing out in Washington.  Natural disaster and the nightmare in Newtown capped it all off.

I’m ready to bid this year good riddance and welcome 2013 with open arms.

To toast the occasion, I propose a bubbly new cocktail combining ginger liqueur, a splash of tangerine juice and Prosecco.  The liqueur brings new depth and a spicy kick to the sparkling Italian wine while the tangerine juice adds a tropical note.  It’s a festive libation made to order for New Year’s Eve.

I had never even heard of ginger liqueur before I chanced upon it as an ingredient in a couple of baking recipes this fall.  I tracked down a bottle of Domaine de Canton, a French product made with baby ginger and Cognac, and was hooked.  Although it has the syrupy texture associated with a liqueur, it’s only lightly sweet.  The ginger flavor, bright and true, is the perfect accent for an inexpensive sparkling wine like Prosecco.

Add a bowl of salted nuts and you’ve got a party.

Happy 2013 everyone!


Makes 1

Pour 1 ounce of ginger liqueur into the bottom of a chilled flute.  Add a splash of tangerine juice.  Top off with Prosecco or other dry sparking wine.  Serve.

Aleta Watson

A brunch for a bunch

Along with the holidays come the house guests. We’re all happy to see them, but sometimes feeding them becomes a challenge.

For me, breakfast is the most difficult meal to pull off. I’m not really that hungry myself in the morning and there’s usually so much to do to prepare for the day’s celebrations. (Plus I hate facing a sink full of dishes first thing.)

One answer for the harried host is this eggy casserole that can be made the night before and slipped into the oven to bake while you attend to other tasks.  It contains all the basic breakfast food groups in one tasty dish that’s always popular with my family.  Continue reading A brunch for a bunch

A plethora of persimmons


For the first time ever I have more persimmons than I know what to do with.

Who knew that little tree in the backyard of my new house would bear so much fruit?

Don’t get me wrong. I still adore the bright orange fruit that I used to track down at farmers markets, feeling lucky if I scored half a dozen.  A whole tree-full is a big responsibility, though.  I’ve given a bunch away to neighbors and family but there still are trays of ripening persimmons covering the counters in the laundry room and more in bowls in the dining room and kitchen. Continue reading A plethora of persimmons