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Weekend Today
updated 10/27/2006 6:23:47 PM ET 2006-10-27T22:23:47

Recipe: Halloween Punch with Black Ice

Ingredients
  • 6 cups black currant nectar
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup cassis
  • 2 cups sparkling apple cider
  • 2/3 cup vodka
  • 1 cup club soda
Preparation

1. To make Black Ice, pour 2 cups black currant nectar into an ice cube tray. Transfer to freezer; freeze until solid, at least 3 hours. In a medium saucepan combine black currant nectar, sage leaves, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove sage leaves and cinnamon sticks.
2. In a large punchbowl combine nectar, cassis, cider, vodka, and club soda. Serve with Black Ice.

Serving Size

Serves 8 to 10

Recipe: White Bean and Sausage Stew in Pumpkin Bowls

Ingredients
  • 2 cups dried navy beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
  • 5 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 12 sugar pumpkins (about 2 pounds each), washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 3tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound turkey sausage, casings discarded, coarsely chopped
  • 3 dozen red pearl onions, peeled
  • 14 small red fingerling or new potatoes (about 12 ounces), halved lengthwise
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise, rinsed well
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 pound white button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1cup fresh shelled or thawed frozen baby peas
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Preparation

1. Put beans into a medium bowl; cover with cold water by 2 inches. Refrigerate 8 hours (up to overnight). Drain beans and transfer to a large stockpot.
2. Make bouquet garni: Place bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and the peppercorns on a square of cheesecloth; tie into a bundle with kitchen twine. Add stock, onion, and bouquet garni to pot with beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Discard bouquet garni.
3. Preheat oven to 350°. Using a keyhole saw, cut out tops of pumpkins, and reserve. Remove seeds. Rub inside of each pumpkin with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place pumpkins and tops right side up on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 25 minutes. Remove tops; let cool completely on a wire rack, and reserve for garnish. Turn pumpkins upside down, and bake until flesh is tender but firm, about 25 minutes more. Let cool completely on rack.
4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add sausage. Cook, stirring, until sausage is browned, about 7 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the pearl onions, potatoes, carrots, leeks, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 12 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and peas. Stir in flour, and cook 2 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to medium. Add milk; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in beans, reserved cooking liquid, sage, thyme leaves, and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer; cook until thick, about 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 350°. Divide the stew among pumpkin shells. Place on baking sheets, and bake until pumpkins are soft, about 15 minutes. Garnish with tops.

Serving Size

Serves 12

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