For New Years I wanted to do something very special. I decided to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner using champagne as a key ingredient in each recipe. I also prepared 3 separate champagne drinks to compliment each meal. I am fairly sure I have given a new meaning to the term “24/7 champagne diet.”
strawberry champagne pancakes and mimosas
Every meal I made used the same champagne or “champagne” as the drink that accompanied it. I differentiate “champagne,” from champagne, because my dinner champagne was the only true French champagne (and boy did the price reflect the difference). The breakfast mimosas were made with Yellow Tail. I like this “champagne” because the bottle is resealable, it is cheap, and it is very tasty. When you reseal the bottle, the contents stay good for days without losing the effervescent nature of the “champagne.” That is a major plus for me especially when cooking. The mimosas were an easy 1/2 and 1/2 “champagne” and oj, which was good because I definitely did not want to wake up today and have to mix up some difficult cocktail.
The pancakes were about as simple to make as the mimosas that accompanied them. I got instant buttermilk pancakes from Publix, put two cups of mix in a bowl, added one cup of water, 1/3 cup “champagne,” and then tossed in some fresh strawberries. I had originally thought about making champagne cake as a dessert after my dinner course, but I thought that would be too cliche. Brainstorming past that idea is how I came up with the idea for these babies, and boy were they delicious!
Seared tuna over a berry salad and lime & mint champagne cocktails
These cocktails were so much more beautiful than the pictures can do justice. They were limey, minty, and so refreshing. I could see myself buried down in a hammock, in the Florida Keys, hiding from the world, and sipping on one of these. I wanted to use mason jars for these cocktails, not only because of the current mason jar craze, but because mason jars are great containers for fitting in many different ingredients and have lids if you think your drink may need a shake. Using mason jars for drinks will make picnicking with cocktails so much easier this summer. I used 1/2 a lime, 3 pinches of fresh mint, ice, limeade, and Barefoot Bubbly for these poorly named bad boys. Out of the 3 drinks I made today, these are my favorite:]
The salad turned out beautifully. I could not have been more happy with how it looked and tasted. I used fresh greens, strawberries, craisins, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh mint. For the dressing, I used a balsamic herb vinaigrette, enhanced with a few splashes of “champagne.” It was absolutely scrumptious. I served the salad with seared tuna fillets. The fillets were delicious, but turned out an ugly grey color:[ To cook them, I splashed the fillets with lime then sprinkled them with sea salt. I think my downfall was using frozen tuna fillets instead of fresh ones. I think next time I will put steak over this salad anyway:]
Champagne shrimp scampi and “Pretty Woman” French Champagne
This Champagne, the only true Champagne of the day, was 4 times more expensive than the other two, but well worth the money. It also came enclosed in its own personal cooler. The cooler kept the Champagne chilled for a couple hours, which meant my friends and I could drink leisurely without running the bottle back to the fridge after each pour. I am definitely saving the Champagne coozy to use again later.
The traditional French Champagne glasses I used, I inherited from my great grandmother. The glasses and Champagne were chilled before dinner, and just like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” I plopped in a couple strawberries.
The scampi was hands down my favorite dish of the day. All the flavors blended together perfectly with the Champagne to really make this dish shine. Beware though, this dish is made with heavy cream. That means you may turn into a heavy weight if you crave this dish too often. Besides heavy cream, I added shallots, butter, baby bellas, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Champagne, shrimp, grated parmesan, fresh Italian basil, and a tiny pinch of better than bullion (the chicken flavor). Once the sauce was cooked down I served it over a bed of al dente angle hair pasta. Here’s a little personal pasta tip, I never make the whole box of pasta at once, unless I know I need it, because leftover noodles are disgusting. I also never overcook my noodles, mushy noodles drive me crazy!