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A super sipper for your next big event

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By Judyrae Kruse
Herald Columnist
Just because the holidays are gone now, taking with them the majority of our big fancy celebrations, doesn't mean we won't have at least a few wonderful events to look forward to before we're once again involved in next year's plans for Thanksgiving.
When you're anticipating one of those special happenings, here's a sparkling new sipper to consider.
It can be made with either champagne or sparkling juice, all but the quick finishing touches can be done ahead of time, and it's the super invention of the Chilean Blueberry Committee.
Chilean fresh blueberry and pear champagne aperitif
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed
2 medium bartlett pears, washed, peeled and chopped
2 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup champagne or your favorite sparkling fruit juice
Garnish: whipped cream and fresh blueberries (optional)
Turn the blueberries, pears, water, sugar, lemon and orange juices into a saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, puree and strain. Chill until needed
When ready to serve, stir 1/2 cup champagne or sparkling juice into the cold fruit mixture and serve in cordial glasses.
If desired, garnish each glass with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh blueberry.

Switching subjects now, Everett contributor Gary Hinz tells us, "I made the recipe for Everett cook Carol Wilson's pumpkin streusel muffins and they are great!
"I'm not very skilled ploppin' the stuff in the muffin tins, so I put the batter in a self-sealing plastic bag and cut a corner out. It works nicely for me.''
Not too long ago, frequent Forum contributor Lavon Woodey of Everett passed along a super way to speed up the muffin process to save time, especially if you want to serve a piping-hot batch first thing in the morning.
She suggests combining all of the wet ingredients and refrigerating them until needed. Then stir together all of the dry ingredients, and last, stir together any toppings, cover them and sit them out until needed.
Has anybody else discovered some nifty-swifty way to make muffins (or anything else, for that matter) faster and easier? If so, don't hesitate to send them along to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, WA 98206. Please remember that all letters and e-mail must include a name, complete address with ZIP code and telehone number with area code. No exceptions and sorry, but no response to e-mail by return e-mail; send to
The next Forum will appear in Monday's Good Life section.
Story tags » CookingFood

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