Thirsty Thursday

Another Thursday, another cocktail. Here’s a good one… Hot Caramel Apple Hard Cider! Perfect for the winter. I found this great recipe at Cooking in College.

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Ingredients
1/2 gallon Apple Cider (I used spiced cider)
1/2 bottle of Caramel Vodka
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions
Mix all the ingredients in a large pot. Heat over low-medium heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture begins to steam (Don’t overheat. The alcohol will burn off.)

While the cider is warming, take your glasses and rim them with brown sugar.

Drink Up!

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Mesa Grill NYC

I am lucky enough to live 20 minutes outside of New York City and I am there all the time. I have a great passion for the shopping, the culture and, of course, the amazing culinary scene. I have tried everything there is to offer at least once (unless it has goat cheese, it’s the only cheese I don’t like). Last Saturday I got the pleasure of dining at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill as a treat for my 23rd birthday. I am a huge Bobby Flay fan so this was a very special meal for me.

The place was incredible. High ceilings, dark lighting and a great buzzing atmosphere.

There were 16 of us so bear with me, there was a lot of food.

Drink:

Mesa Grill Margarita: Not too sweet and perfectly tart.

Bread:
To start they brought out a bread basket with, not only, great warm rolls, but these amazing jalapeno corn muffins and thyme rolls. All served with butter. Really, how could you go wrong?

Appetizers:

Rough Cut Tuna Nachos – This dish was amazing. The tuna was lightly seared and served with a great avocado cream and homemade tortilla chips.
Blue Corn Pancake – This was like a pancake wrap with marinated duck in the middle (my first experience with duck). Love it!
Cremini Mushroom Quesadilla – My favorite app. There was a fried egg on top. YUM!
Goat Cheese “Queso Fundido” – I will admit, this was the one app I didn’t eat. I don’t like goat cheese.
Baby Romaine Salad – A very nice refreshing salad to go along with some heavy guilt ridden appetizers.

Entrée:
The portion sizes were on the smaller side, just the way I like them. If you are looking for a big entrée, go elsewhere.

I ordered the Cornmeal Crusted Chile Relleno (pictured below) and in my opinion, it was the best dish of the night. I shared with my mom who ordered the Mango & Spice Crusted Tuna Steak  which was also fabulous. I tried a little of a bunch of other entrees as well, including New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin and the Ancho Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon.

Dessert:

Chocolate Pretzel Tart: This was far and beyond the best dessert of the night. It came with a peanut butter ice cream that had this really great spicy kick to it.
Apple Pie Sundae: This wasn’t my favorite. I usually LOVE an apple dessert but something about the nutmeg ice cream didn’t work for me.
Toasted Coconut Layer Cake: Dee-lish! They brought this one out with a candle on top and sang me Happy Birthday :). It was about 7 layers high and so good!
Sticky Toffee Pudding: Another one that I didn’t love. It was good but not great.

Overall, the meal was amazing! It certainly wasn’t cheep but worth the price. If you are ever in NYC check it out. He also has a Mesa Grill location in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

Fall Baking

So, Fall begins on Saturday and you know what that means… FALL BAKING! My favorite time of the year. Anything involving apples or pumpkins is A-OK in my book. I am going to post a list of some of the goodies I am looking forward to preparing this season.

Apple Pie
Apple Crumb Pie (Yes, they’re different!)
Apple Sauce
Apple Butter
Caramel Apples
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake

What other fall recipes should I make? Any suggestions?