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Make the perfect holiday hostess gift - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Make the perfect holiday hostess gift

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -  Bringing a gift is an easy way to show your appreciation for your holiday hostess. But why not trying making something instead of buying something? 

Gina Bullard got some great ideas from the ladies at Chef Contos Kitchen and Store.  

Amaretto Cherries

5 cups tart cherries (unsweetened)

3 cups red wine

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 cup amaretto plus 1/4 cup

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

pinch of salt

thyme (optional)

Cook all ingredients together except the 1/4 cup amaretto. Cook until syrupy, 10-20 minutes. Add the rest of the amaretto. Place in jar and keep in the fridge for weeks! Use in holiday drinks and desserts

Santa Salt

Sea salt

Pink peppercorns

Rosemary, chopped

Mortar will and use on meats, roasted nuts and vegetables.

Tahini

makes 3/4 cup

1 cup sesame seeds

2 tablespoons or more mild olive oil, a neutral oil such as grapeseed oil, and/or a small amount of sesame oil

Salt (optional)

Toast raw sesame seeds (optional): Toasting raw sesame seeds gives the tahini a nuttier flavor. On the stovetop, place the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium

heat, stirring them frequently with a wooden spoon. Toast the seeds until they are lightly colored (not brown) and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a large plate or tray and let them cool completely. Alternatively, toast the seeds in the oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the sesame seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the seeds, stirring once or twice, until they are lightly colored (not brown) and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a large plate or tray and let them cool completely.

Place the sesame seeds in a food processor: Place the sesame seeds in a food processor fitted with the S-blade. (Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle or a blender, although success may depend on the particular blender.)

Grind the sesame seeds: Process for 2 to 3 minutes until the sesame seeds form a crumbly paste.

Add oil: Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the food processor. Process for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture forms a thick and fairly smooth paste.

Add more oil (optional): For thinner tahini, add more oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and process until the desired consistency is reached.

Add salt (optional): Add salt to taste and process until combined.

Store the tahini: Transfer the tahini to a jar or other airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for a month or longer. If the mixture separates, stir the tahini to redistribute the oil.



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