As New Year's Eve approaches, we want to wish everyone a great (and safe) evening, and a wonderful new year ahead. Here are suggestions for our fellow lovers of sparkling wine, as well as a Bacon Crab Dip appetizer to start the party. Classic Champagne Cocktail 2 sugar cubes 4-6 dashes of Angostura bitters Champagne or other sparkler 2 ounces brandy 2 slices of fresh orange, for garnish 2 Maraschino cherries, for garnish Place 1 sugar cube in the bottom of each of 2 champagne flutes Saturday the sugar cubes with dashes of Angostura bitters. Add brandy, then fill the flutes with champagne. The sugar cubes will begin to dissolve. Garnish with orange slices and the cherry. Makes 2 cocktails.
Sparkling variations Kir Royale: A dash (or three) of creme de cassis (black current liqueur) with champagne French 75: 1 ounce gin, juice of 1 lemon, 1 ounce simple syrup, 4 ounces champagne. Shake together the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice, strain into tall glass. Add the champagne, stir.Bacon Crab Dip Sometimes, you just can't make a recipe the way it was written. The following recipe below is based on a Paula Deen recipe for Kraft, but a few substitutions were made here and there to adapt it to different tastes. For example, Deen included powdered sugar and there really is no need for it. Plus, if you don't like mayonnaise, you can always use sour cream. Plus, celery leaves make a great substitute for parsley, if you don't have parsley on hand. If you want to see the original recipe, click here. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup mayonnaise or sour cream 1/4 cup chopped green onions or scallions 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 8 ounces fresh lump crabmeat 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled into tiny pieces, divided use 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chopped celery leaves Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic, mayonnaise or sour cream, green onions or scallions, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and mustard until combined. Gently fold in crab and all but 1 teaspoon bacon. Spoon mixture into a greased ovenproof dish. Combine bread crumbs, butter, parsley and remaining 1 teaspoon bacon. Sprinkle over dip. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with crusty bread, pita chips or cucumber slices. Makes about 3 cups. Adapted from Paula Deen