Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cooking Up Holiday Spirit

This week's cookbook is Thanksgiving 101 by Rick Rodgers

Autumn Glow Punch

Makes 12 to 16 servings

Make Ahead: The punch can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead.

There are two kitchen aromas guaranteed to make your guests feel all warm and fuzzy. One belongs to a roasting turkey, and the other comes from a simmering pot of mulled cider. So your friends don't get too warm and fuzzy, make the punch without any alcohol, but have a bottle of dark rum available for those who wish to spike their cup.

1 teaspoon allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
Two 3- to 4- inch cinnamon sticks, broken
2 quarts apple juice
One 32-ounce bottle cranberry juice cocktail
2 large oranges, sliced into rounds
Dark rum, optional

1. Place the allspice, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a tea ball, or tie into a bundle with cheesecloth and kitchen string. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the apple juice, cranberry juice, orange slices, and spices until simmering. (The punch can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead of serving and kept at room temperature. Reheat gently before serving.)

2. To keep punch warm, transfer to a slow cooker or place the saucepan on a hot plate. Serve hot, allowing each guest to add rum as desired.

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