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Too Many Cooks

Archive for December 2013

Tis the season for holiday cocktails

Looking for something to fill your glass of holiday cheer this season?

Here are some favorite winter cocktail recipes from local bars and lounges.


Benevolent Spruce (or Blushing Pine)

Developed by Kristi Gamble at Clover in Spokane’s Logan Neighborhood

1.5ounces Dry Fly Gin

0.75ounces POM Pomegranate Juice

0.25 ounces Campari

0.25 ounces Allspice Dram (an allspice liqueur)

0.25ounces lemon juice

4 dashes Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters

3 sprigs of rosemary (2 shaken in cocktail, 1 for garnish)

Yield: 1 serving

Hot Oatmeal Cookie

From The Onion Bar and Grill, downtown Spokane

½ shot butterscotch schnapps

½ shot Baileys Irish Cream

½ shot Jägermeister

½ shot Goldschläger

8 to 10 ounces ohot cocoa

Dollop of whipped cream, for garnish

Sprinkling of cinnamon, for garnish

Yield: 1 serving


Chata Coffee

From The Onion Bar and Grill, downtown Spokane

¾ shot Chata Rum

½ shot Kahlua

½ shot dark crème de cocoa

8 to 10 ounces of coffee

Dollop of whipped cream, for garnish

Chocolate drizzle, for garnish

Yield: 1 serving


Hot Jac’d Apple

From The Onion Bar and Grill, downtown Spokane

1 shot Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

8 to 10 ounces hot cider

Cinnamon stick, for garnish

Yield: 1 serving


Hot Buttered Fireball

From The Onion Bar and Grill, downtown Spokane

1 shot Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

8 to 10 ounces  hot buttered rum mix

Dollop of whipped cream, for garnish

Cinnamon stick, for garnish

Yield: 1 serving



Developed by Amanda Pankratz at Butcher Bar at Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, downtown Spokane

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 pint whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

3 ounces bourbon

1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

4 egg whites

1.5 ounces Torres 10 Year Imperial Brandy

In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks. Add 1/3 cup of sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg. Blend well. Chill to below 42 degrees. When ready to serve, beat egg whites to soft peaks in another medium bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of sugar. Then, whisk gently into cooled mixture, steam or heat to order, and add brandy. Serve warm.

Yield: 6 to 7 servings


Hot Buttered Rum

Developed by Amanda Pankratz at Butcher Bar at Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, downtown Spokane

2 ½ tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon cane sugar

½ teaspoon powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon clove

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1.5 ounces Amrut Old Port Rum

 Yield: 1 serving


Bourbon Tea

Developed by Amanda Pankratz at Butcher Bar at Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, downtown Spokane

6 ounces Tea Forté citrus mint, steeped and muddled with

1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

0.5 ounces local honey

Handful of fresh mint leaves

1 drop On Guard essential oil from dōTERRA (clove, cinnamon, wild orange edible essential oil)

1.5 ounces Woodinville Whiskey Bourbon

Yield: 1 serving


Spiked Clove-Infused Cider

Developed by Amanda Pankratz at Butcher Bar at Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, downtown Spokane

8 ounces steamed cider

1.5 ounces of Kirk and Sweeny Rum

1 drop of clove-infused high-proof neutral grain spirit tincture (or steeped cloves)

Yield: 1 serving


Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake Martini

Northern Quest Casino and Resort, Airway Heights

2 ounces Stolichnaya Razberi vodka

0.5 ounces Godiva Chocolate liqueur

0.5 ounces Baileys Irish Cream

Place ice cubes in metal shaker. Add remaining ingredients. Shake until blended. Strain into cocoa-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a fresh raspberry. Serve immediately.

Yield: 1 serving


Winter Mojito

Northern Quest Casino and Resort, Airway Heights

1.5 ounces Mount Gay Rum

0.5 ounces fresh lime juice

1.5 ounces simple syrup

4 fresh cranberries, for garnish

8 to 10 fresh mint leaves

Place ice cubes in metal shaker. Add remaining ingredients. Shake until blended. Strain into highball with fresh ice. Garnish with a few whole cranberries and mint sprig coated in powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Yield: 1 serving


Tea Toddy

Northern Quest Casino and Resort, Airway Heights

1 Earl Grey tea bag, steeped in 8 ounces of hot water

1.25 ounces Baileys Irish Cream

0.75 ounce Black Velvet Caramel

1 teaspoon sugar

Steep a fresh cup of hot earl grey tea while leaving space in the glass for 2 ounces of liquor. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Yield: 1 serving


Basil Gimlet

Northern Quest Casino and Resort, Airway Heights

5 fresh basil leaves (reserve 1 for garnish)

1.25 ounces Hendrick’s Gin

0.5 ounces agave nectar

0.75 ounces lime juice

 In a pint glass, muddle fresh basil, agave nectar and lime juice. Add ice and gin. Shake vigorously and pour into martini glass. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Yield: 1 serving


 Pumpkin Pie Martini

Northern Quest Casino and Resort, Airway Heights

Crushed graham cracker

1.25 ounces Absolut Vanilla Vodka

0.75 ounces Baileys Irish Cream

0.75 ounces Kahlua

1.25 ounces pumpkin liqueur

Pinch ground cinnamon and nutmeg, for garnish

Coat rim of 10-ounce martini glass with graham cracker crumbs. Pour vodka, Irish cream, Kahlua and pumpkin liqueur into a shaker over ice. Cover and shake until the outside of the shaker has frosted. Strain into glass. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Yield: 1 serving

Priest River Hardwood Grill offers Christmas Eve Dinner

If you’re in Idaho on Christmas Eve and don’t want to cook, Priest River Hardwood Grill is serving a special, four-course dinner.

The holiday menu  is being offered from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 24

The first three courses are an antipasti plate, acorn squash soup with freshly grated nutmeg, and a mixed green salad. That’s followed by an entrée of your choice: Beef Wellington, Cornish game hens roasted with rosemary and garlic, fire-grilled prime rib with cranberry horseradish, applewood-grilled Salmon Oscar, walnut and spinach cannelloni and osso buco. Prices range from $18.99 to $25.99.

Dessert – apple pie à la mode – is also available for $5.99.

Split entrées won’t be available for the holiday.

Priest River Hardwood Grill specializes in grilled and smoked meats and vegetables, cooked over hardwood, mostly local fruit wood. It's normally open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 5634 Highway 2 in Priest River. For more information, call the restaurant at (208) 448-4489.

Dorothy Dean’s Russian Tea Cakes

Too Many Cooks received a call inquiring about a misplaced Dorothy Dean recipe for Russian Tea Cakes.

Teddy Pulley, a home cook and baker in Spokane Valley, said she had been making them for some 50 years. So Too  Many Cooks thought others might be interested in the favorite recipe, too.

Here it is, just in time for holiday cookie baking:

Russian Tea Cakes

(Mexican Wedding Cakes)

1 cup soft butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for rolling

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or blanched almonds

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour and nuts. Blend thoroughly. Chill dough several hours. Shape into 1-inch balls, mounds or crescents. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while warm; cool on rack.

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.



Mary Ball Washington, mother of George, was known for her gingerbread

Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother, is credited with creating her own gingerbread recipe, featuring “West India molasses,” a “wine glass of brandy,” orange rind and raisins. She supposedly served some to General Lafayette – along with a mint julep. Here are a couple of takes on early American gingerbread recipes, both connected to either Mary Ball Washington or General Lafayette.

Lafayette Gingerbread (1827)

From “The American History Cookbook” by Mark H. Zanger (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003)

This recipe was likely developed as a result of the French general’s 1824-1825 tour of the United States. As the story goes, the Revolutionary War hero had enjoyed gingerbread made by George Washington’s mother during a 1784 visit. (A recipe for that version is listed below.)

½ pound fresh butter

The juice and grated peel of 2 lemons

5 medium eggs

½ pound brown sugar

1 pint sugar-house molasses

4 rounded tablespoons ginger

1 level tablespoon cinnamon

1 ½  level tablespoon allspice

1 level teaspoon cloves

1 ½  pounds flour (or about 4 ½ cups sifted white flour, 1 cup white whole-wheat flour and 6 tablespoons wheat germ)

Take butter from the refrigerator about an hour before starting. Zest and juice the lemons. Beat the eggs very well. Stir the butter and sugar to a cream. Pour the molasses, at once, into the butter and sugar. Add the ginger and other spices, and stir all together well. Put in the egg and flour alternately, stirring all the time. Stir the whole very hard, and put in the lemon at the last. When the whole is mixed, stir it until very light. Bake in glass loaf pans on the middle rack of a 350-degree oven; loaves are done when a toothpick or wire cake tester comes out clean.

Yield: 3 loaves

Mary Ball Washington’s Gingerbread (1784)


The website lists at least two recipes for Mary Ball Washington’s Gingerbread. This one is adapted from instructions that were added in 2005. A recipe contributed in 2007 calls for double the amount of dark molasses as well as ½ teaspoon of salt.

½  cup butter or ½  cup margarine, soft

½ cup fine packed dark brown sugar

½ cup honey

½ cup molasses

¼ cup cream sherry (or rum, bourbon or brandy)

3 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground mace

1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup warm milk

2 tablespoons grated orange rind

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (reserve rind)

1 cup raisins

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons warm water

Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer till creamy; gradually add sugar, beat well. Add honey, molasses and sherry, beat well. Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternate with milk, beginning and ending with four mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition till blended. Stir in orange juice, rind and raisins. Dissolve soda in warm water; add to batter, stir well. Pour batter into greased 13-by-9-by-2 pan. Bake 350 for 40 to 45 minutes till toothpick tested comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

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We never really believed that old cliché anyway. We're collaborating to share our cooking inspirations, favorite recipes, restaurant finds and other musings from the local food world and beyond.

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Adriana Janovich writes for and edits the Wednesday food section.

Carolyn Lamberson Features Editor for The Spokesman-Review. She's a foodie who has no time to cook. Still, a girl can dream ...

Ruth Reynolds is a copy editor at the SR. "I would bake and cook more than I do if I didn't have to keep cleaning off my kitchen counters. My favorite kitchen appliance is my rice cooker. No. My immersion blender."

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