The Elegant Cook

M-J de Mesterton

Dinner and Drinks Parties

The Elegant Cook's Notes

Elegant Cook Pages

The Elegant Cook's Latest Visitors

Google Translator

M-J's Elegant Websites





Elegant Cocktail Buffet


M-J's Elegant Angels on Horseback, as Pictured in Foreground

Whole water chestnuts

Streaky American-style bacon

Teriyaki sauce

Soy sauce

Aluminium or aluminum foil Barbecue grill, gas or charcoal-powered

Flat baking-sheets

Toothpicks, preferably the round variety

Marinate the (drained) water chestnuts in a combination of teriyaki sauce and soy sauce for several hours (three hours minimum for best results).

Chop bacon into thirds, making a series of short strips, each about two inches long.

Wrap a strip of bacon around each water chestnut, secure it with a toothpick, then set them on a cookie-sheet, inside of which lies a sturdy platform of foil--you can construct it with two sheets layered, with the sides folded up an inch around the perimeter. You will lift the foil out and onto the barbecue grill when your assembled angels on horseback are ready to cook. Pierce a few fine holes into the foil so that the smoke reaches them from the bottom. When the bacon is browned to your satisfaction, gently lift the foil assembly back onto your cookie-sheet. Remove angels on horseback to a serving platter. If you cannot use an outdoor barbecue, an oven broiler will work just fine, but you can skip the foil and just cook the angels on horseback in the grill-pan, turning them once. Tip: you can make your own teriyaki sauce.

Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2001


No wonder this glass of Burgundy wine has a heart-shaped bit of candle-light on it: my elegant cheese log, rolled in chopped almonds, is made from two shredded cheeses, butter, summer savoury, and fromage à la crème (cream cheese).

America's best dry salame has been made in San Lorenzo, California, near San Francisco, by the Gallo company, since 1910. This Italian-style sausage is perfect with red wine, French bread and cheese. 

Saint Albray cheese, a perfect complement to dry salame, French bread and red wine. It slices beautifully and is mild and moist, but still retains its body despite its creamy nature. Saint Albray's enduring success comes from its distinctive taste. As a young soft ripened cheese, St. Albray resembles a rich and mellow Camembert, but with a less intense flavor. Within its mysterious aging process, St. Albray develops the hearty, robust flavor of a traditional washed-rind cheese. Its ivory center contrasts well with its colorful rind. Serve Saint Albray with a Pinot Noir or other red wine such as Chianti.


M-J's Tahini and Cucumber Canapés

Making canapé cups from thin tortillas is easy. Coat them with olive oil on both sides, cut into small round shapes (I use an empty tomato-paste can) and place in a mini-muffin pan, then bake them in a moderately hot oven until puffy and light brown. Mix tahini with lemon juice and seasoning salt. Using a pastry bag, fill the puffy areas of the cups with this sauce, or simply spread it onto their surfaces. Top these with pieces of cucumber.
©M-J de Mesterton

 Sazerac, the Official Cocktail of New Orleans

Ice cubes, approximately five per drink (they will be strained out of the final product)

1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon Peychaud's bitters

1/8 teaspoon angostura bitters

1 teaspoon of  water

1/4 cup of  whiskey 

2 teaspoons of Pernod Liquor (France)

1 small piece of lemon peel


 Fill a higball glass with ice. Place the sugar in a separate glass.

Pour the Peychaud and Angostura bitters, then the teaspoon of water over the sugar;  tap it with a spoon until sugar dissolves. Add ice and whiskey to the glass. Let this mixture stand, stirring  a few times, for five minutes. Dump out ice from the first glass; add Pernod. Strain whiskey mixture into the glass. Wring the lemon peel above the Sazerac cocktail and run it along the glass' rim.


~~M-J de Mesterton 
Elegant Party Wines
Below: Titolo 2004, by Elena Fucci of Italy

M-J’s Low-Carb Pizza Canapés

1 Aug

My pizza canapés are simply composed of thinly-sliced pepperoni and pieces of Muenster cheese broiled on low-carbohydrate almond crackers (see my photo below for the brand). That’s the kind of cheese I had available–you could use mozzarella or shaved parmesan.

©M-J de Mesterton


Blue Diamond Nut Thins have only 17 grams of carbohydrate per 22 crackers.



Detail of Still Life by Spanish Golden Age Painter Francisco de Palacio


Elegant Buffet Dessert Table


 M-J's Dessert Table is part of her traditional cocktail buffet. The photo shows a white cake with royal icing and Dragée almonds from Paris, some home-made chocolate chip cookies, and her walnut brownies.

Elegant Dinner Parties, Elegant Drinks Parties, Elegant Cocktail Parties, Elegant Buffet, Elegant Cocktail Buffet, Elegant Entertaining, Elegant Dining, Elegant Recipes, Elegant Dishes, Elegant Entertaining, Elegant Canapés, Elegant Appetisers, Elegant Appetizers, Elegant Dishes, Elegant Party, Elegant hosting

Hosting an Elegant Drinks Party at Home

For an affordable yet elegant drinks party, make all the canapés yourself and arrange on your prettiest plates and platters, spreading them around a central table. Place stacks of small plates and cocktail napkins conveniently among the offerings. The hostess (wife) can carry platters around to guests often during the party, ensuring the land-locked chatters an opportunity to eat. Wine and soft drinks are sufficient, if you'd like to keep the drink-dispensing simple (cocktails are potent and complicated to mix; the price of a DWI being exorbitant, one wants reasonably sober guests leaving one's domicile...). The husband is in-charge of filling and refilling drinks. Walking about the rooms with a wine bottle to give refills on the spot is a good idea. The wife can monitor the food table to keep it neat, as well as make the rounds talking and relieving guests of empties. This sort of drinks party provides people with enough nourishment to make dinner unnecessary. Some components of your savoury items can be prepared in the two days preceding the event. Offer a platter of brownies or cookies for those who prefer sweets. Clean-up is easy. A team effort of husband and wife is ideal, but, coordination being essential, any two people who work well in tandem will serve.
Food Quantities and Conservation
Provide an average of four canapes in each category per-person.  Not every guest will partake of every offering, so this scheme usually works well. In the case of leftover items like angels-on-horseback (bacon wrapped around a water chestnut) and broiled), they are excellent re-heated the next day.Coat your appetizer shells with unsalted butter on the inside before filling them (unsalted butter has less moisture in it.) Butter will act as an insulator against moisture, ensuring that the canapes will not become soft from their contents, and will also be edible the next day. When creating platforms for your canapes, save the extra bread trimmings in a freezer-bag, and use them later for breadcrumbs or in a Swedish meatball recipe.
For Those Who Desire Household Help for the Party
Purchase a server's uniform (black vest, black bow tie, white shirt, optional white gloves) in a size large, so that it may be worn by whomever you find to help, then washed, stored and re-used on the next occasion.
Hospitality for Your Guests' Coats
Instead of having your friends throw their coats on a bed or sofa, empty your coat closets and chuck your own coats onto the bed instead. This way, your guests have the dignity of  hanging their coats in  an orderly fashion, and of locating them easily for a smooth exit. This is an elegant, kind way to make your company comfortable, and all it requires is a bit of elbow grease. Emptying your closet for a couple of days just might facilitate a welcome closet re-organization, which is a  great mood-elevator.
Cocktail Buffet, Drinks Party, Elegant Party, Do-It Yourself Drinks Party, Elegant Cocktail Party, How to Have a Cocktail Party, Wine Buffet, Cocktail Buffetm Elegant Cocktail Buffet, Elegant Entertaining

Elegant Canapés in the Making

M-J's elegant canapés begin with her home-made bread fashioned into toast platforms. They are now ready for filling with refined ingredients.
©M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Asparagus Hors d'Oeuvres

Asparagus-Ham Rolls  

These rolls of asparagus, mayonnaise and ham are perfect for a spring-time cocktail party, or as hors d'oeuvres before an elegant dinner party.

Home-made or store-bought mayonnaise

Thinly-sliced squares of delicatessen ham

Asparagus spears, blanched or steamed until edible

Spread each slice of ham with mayonnaise. Place an asparagus spear on an end of each one, and roll it up. If the ham is not sliced thinly enough, this will not be possible. Ideally, you would use a thick mayonnaise that you have made yourself. See M-J's mayonnaise recipe on this page of elegant dinner and drinks party recipes.

Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 1996



Scottish Oat-Cakes, a Platform for Savoury Canapés

Scottish Oat-Cakes, Updated

2 cups of Oatmeal
½ cup of regular or unbleached flour
1/3 cup of buttermilk
¼ cup of hot water
1/2 teaspoon-full of Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon of crushed flax-seeds (optional; these seeds make the oat-cakes more health-promoting, and they add nearly no calories)
1/2 teaspoon of aluminum-free baking powder, such as that made by Rumson  or Bob's Red Mill
¼ cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pat this mixture into a baking sheet until flat and about 1/8 inch thick. Heat your oven to 350 F.
I sometimes use a wafer iron or a quesadilla machine, and cook the oat-cake mixture until it stops steaming and releases from the iron easily. Bake until oatcake is brown and as crisp as possible.
Variations: add two teaspoons of sugar and/or ground walnuts.
©M-J de Mesterton
©The Elegant Cook 2010 

Cool Summer Hors d'Oeuvres

Cucumber sandwiches: white bread with crusts removed, buttered on one side and spread with mayonnaise on the other, filled with finely sliced cucumbers. Optional: add a little white pepper

Cucumbers stuffed with cream cheese and grape tomatoes: put seasoned cream cheese or farmer's cheese into1.5-inch thick cucumber sections which have been slightly hollowed-out. An old-fashioned crinkle-cutter (a curly blade on a wooden handle) is helpful for removing the outer peels of these cucumber-cups in an attractive, classic style. 

©M-J de Mesterton 2010 



Croquembouche: Photo and Recipe Copyright Elegant Survival, 2008 (click image to enlarge)
My Recipe Makes about Forty Choux or Puff Shells, for Filling with Cheese or Cream

These pastry puffs make excellent hors d'ouevres or elegant dessert offerings. 

In a two-quart, heavy saucepan, boil one cup of water,
Six tablespoons of butter,
One teaspoon of salt,
One teaspoon of sugar (OR one 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, depending upon whether the choux-paste will be used for cream puffs or savoury cocktail offerings),
and a pinch of nutmeg.

When butter has melted, remove pot from heat.
Pour into the mixture one cup of flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until the lot is blended.
Put pot back on cooker at high heat, and continue to beat until the contents separate from the sides of the pot. Remove pot from heat again.

Now, you will need four large eggs.
Making a well in the potful of paste, break one egg into it. Beat it into the mixture, and repeat with the following three eggs, one at a time. Continue beating by hand until the paste is smooth.

You are now ready to fill a pastry bag and squeeze the paste onto a buttered baking sheet. In the absence of a pastry bag, you may use a gallon-sized, disposable zipper-bag like Zip-Lock, cutting off a 1/2 inch at one corner of it to emit pâte à choux. If this is still a problem, you may use a spoon to drop the paste onto the baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 425* Fahrenheit.

Use the pâte à choux while it is still warm.

Form the pâte à choux into one-inch diameter circular mounds, 1/2 inch high. Space them two inches apart.

Brush each mound very lightly with beaten egg.

Bake for about twenty minutes. When the puffs are double their original size, golden brown and crusty, they may be removed from the oven. Make a 1/2 inch slit on the side of each puff to release steam.

I like to fill these puffs with Crème Pâtissière, or pastry cream:

In a 3-quart mixing bowl, beat
One cup of granulated white sugar into
6 egg yolks. Continue beating until the mixture is pale yellow.
Add one half cup of full-fat milk.
Beat in one cup of sifted white all-purpose flour. Mix this very vigorously until the small lumps of egg-yolk disappear into the flour and sugar.

Boil 4 cups of full-fat milk. Add it gradually, in a small stream, to the egg and flour mixture, while stirring. Pour the mass into a heavy 6-quart saucepan and set the stove burner on medium high heat. Stir with a wire-whisk or an electric mixer, careful to include the mixture at bottom of pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula at intervals. When this reaches the boiling-point, turn down the heat to low, continue to beat for 2 to 3 minutes in order to cook the flour thoroughly. Don’t let the custard at the bottom of the pot get scorched.

Remove from heat, and incorporate one tablespoon of butter and one teaspoon of vanilla.

Choux à La Crème

When the crème patissière is cool enough, use it to fill choux. Dust choux with powdered sugar, drizzle with melted chocolate or with hot caramel sauce.

Crème patissière will keep in the refrigerator for a week, or may be frozen.

Petits Choux au Fromage

To make thsavoury cheese puffs: omit the sugar, add a half-teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and add a cup of grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese to the warm pâte à choux. Bake at 425*F for about twenty minutes or until golden brown. Pierce to release steam from each cheese-puff.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

 Elegant recipes, Elegant Canapés, Elegant Hors d'Oeuvres, Elegant Appetisers, Elegant Appetizer, Croquembouche, Profiteroles, Mountain of Profiteroles, Pâte à Choux, Choux à La Crème; Petits Choux au Fromage, Profiteroles, Choux Paste, Puff Paste
Miniature Brioches au Sucre: See Elegant Bread for M-J's Brioche-Making Method

Merguez Sausage with Dijon Mustard on Split Brioches 



Elegant Hommos bi Tahini

M-J’s elegant recipe for hommos bi tahini, hummus bi tahine, tahina or whichever way you prefer to spell chickpea and sesame dip: mash the chickpeas and add sesame paste, preferably a very liquid one with lots of natural oil in it, and squeeze into this mixture the juice of a lemon, add salt, red pepper and olive oil to your taste. Mix until almost smooth. Serve hummus bi tahini with warm pita bread, Moroccan olives, shawarma, and whatever else you have on your meze table. Hummus is a perfect dip for summer entertaining. And without the addition of raw garlic, which no one will miss, this dip is more socially acceptable. The lemon component is very refreshing, the sesame paste is tasty, and the garbanzos (chick-peas) are light and airy. Combining these simple ingredients results in a magical dish that is very popular at parties.
©M-J de Mesterton
Please see Elegant Bread for M-J's pita recipe. 

Elegant Mayonnaise and Canapés

M-J's Elegant Mayonnaise

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon of dry English mustard (or two tablespoons of prepared Dijon mustard)

1 teaspoon of salt, and a 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper if desired
1 tablespoon of sugar, white or brown

1 1/2 – 2 cups of olive, corn or peanut oil, other vegetable oil or a combination of oils, depending upon your taste and available supplies. Some people find olive oil overpowering, or incompatible with the main dish to which mayonnaise would be added. Tailoring the taste of home-made mayonnaise is part of the fun. And, the amount of oil varies from one episode of mayonnaise-making to the next, depending upon the phase of the moon and other variables, such as the size and quality of eggs, so I say one-and-a-half cups to two cups.

2 tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar

In a bowl of a food processor put the two egg yolks, the dry English mustard, salt and pepper. Process these ingredients for a minute. Begin adding the oil in a thin stream, a little at a time. After half a cup of oil has been added, incorporate the vinegar and sugar into the mixture. Continue adding, gradually as before, the rest of the oil, until the mayonnaise is thick and glossy. Don’t process it until it’s chunky, but if this happens, add more oil, a tablespoon at a time and whirl gently till smooth again.
Additional ingredients to custom-tailor your mayonnaise: green peppercorns in brine, crushed; dried green chiles, strained horseradish, roasted garlic for aioli (never use it raw), red chile powder, wasabi. One extra ingredient per batch is the limit for an elegant and simple spread.

Seal your  mayonnaise in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for a week maximum.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

Elegant Cuisine Beef Canapés

I’ve just given you a recipe for home-made mayonnaise and variations on flavoring it. I’ve also provided my recipe for tri-tip beef roast. For an elegant hors d’ouevre at your next dinner, cocktail party or wine buffet, spread some of your Elegant Mayonnaise on petite toasts, croutons or croissants, adding thin slices of tri-tip beef which has been chilled. It’s very easy to slice thinly when it is cold, but don’t try it when the beef is still warm. You can, of course, keep the beef pink and its juices will coagulate upon chilling.
My special version of this basic appetizer has been a hit at all of our parties. I’ll give specifics on that and my other original appetizers when my recipe book is published. Until then, remember that an elegant dish or appetizer depends upon very few ingredients, combined with proper and careful preparation
Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008



 M-J's Parmesan Pine Nut Cocktail Crisps

October 4, 2008 Every time I make these simple pan-cooked wafers, no matter how irregularly shaped they may be, they are consumed with great enthusiasm. I'm not bragging; it's just because the ingredients in them are so pure and they complement wine or drinks perfectly.

Heat a flat, large frying pan or griddle to medium-high. No need to grease the cooking surface--the Parmesan cheese will provide enough fat while cooking to ensure the wafers won't stick.

Grate two cups of Parmesan cheese, any brand. You can even chop it up in a food-processor or a blender.

Add a half-cup of chopped pine nuts (pignolia in Italian or pinon in Spanish), and mix well.

Season with a little red pepper. Do not add salt, because the cheese is salty enough.

Place a tablespoonful of this mixture on the hot griddle, and spread into thin round shape, about 3 inches diameter. These constructions can be a bit lace-like, as they melting cheese bits will form a strong matrix and will hold together. Repeat this process as many times as you can fit on your pan at once.  There will be no need to flip these over; just remove them when they are golden brown, and set them on your serving tray. I like to line mine with a large paper lace doilie to soak up some of the fat.

Tip: these Parmesan Pine Nut Crisps can be moulded while still warm in miniature muffin tins, then filled with compatible ingredients.

Parmesan Pine-Nut Cocktail Crisps must be prepared right before your party. They're so simple to make that your guests can watch you do it without rattling your nerves. These are perfect snacks for the person on a low-carb diet, since they are virtually carb-free.

Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008


Petits Choux au Fromage/Gougères: See Pâte à Choux au Fromage 

Cheese Bennies

1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
1/4 lb. butter, soft
1/2 teaspoon. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/4 c. white flour
1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds

Cream together the first 4 ingredients. Add flour and knead until just blended. Add sesame seeds to the dough, and knead it to distribute them. Form into 5 long, thin rolls. Chill in wax paper several hours. Slice into thin dimes. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. The prepared Bennie dough can be frozen in rolls and used later. These cocktail offerings are always a winner, and disappear quickly. In fact, for large parties, keep extra rolls of Bennie dough in the refrigerator so that they can be sliced and baked on demand. "Bennies" is another name for sesame seeds.
Chile-Spiced Nuts

Dry-roasted peanuts can be turned into interesting party snacks. Never serve oily nuts at a gathering; people will inevitably get oil on their clothes and everything they touch, including other people's clothes. Always offer nuts that have been dry-roasted or baked in the oven.
The nuts pictured here were coated with wet and dry ingredients in a mixing bowl: water, Himalayan salt, cayenne pepper, and Bueno brand New Mexico red  chile powder, then roasted for half an hour on the middle rack of moderately hot oven. Below: coating the nuts in a mixing-bowl before baking.

M-J, December 6th, 2009

M-J's Roasted New Mexican Chile Almonds
Soak one pound (16 ounces) of raw almonds in brine (I use health-promoting Himalayan salt) and red chile powder (New Mexican is the best). A teaspoon of sugar or honey added to the brine will ensure that the mixture adheres to the nuts. I like to use agave nectar when it is available. After ten minutes, drain them and spread almonds out on a baking sheet. Reserve the chile/salt liquid. Roast in medium-hot oven for half an hour. Test for crunchiness only when completely cooled. If they are not tasty or crunchy enough for your taste, repeat the process by just dredging the almonds in the reserved liquid, then bake again for ten to twenty minutes, being careful not to burn the nuts. Almonds ought not to be eaten raw, as they contain a small amount of cyanide until they are roasted. A three-pound bag of Diamond Raw Almonds from California is available at Sam's Club for about ten dollars. These roasted nuts are an excellent party offering.~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2007


Make Your Own Elegant Tortilla Chips

Posted at 12:16 PM on November 27, 2009  


You don't have to throw out your tortillas if they are past their prime. Make them into tortilla chips, which will be very popular with your family and guests, as they are pleasingly different from those bought in the store.Take a stack of tortillas and dust between the layers with salt, pressing it into them. Then, with a large knife, cut them into quarters. Lower a handful at a time into bubbling hot oil. For this light and crispy batch, I used a combination of soy oil, which is now sold as "vegetable oil", and lard. Peanut or corn oil are also good for deep-frying tortillas. When the chips themselves have developed bubbles and are slightly brown, it's time to remove them from the pot with a runsible or slotted spoon. Drain them on paper towels, and dust with more salt if desired. The cooking oil may be strained, refrigerated and re-used for French fries, yams or potato chips.




M-J's Elegant Guacamole Recipe

There are so many recipes for guacamole that contain anti-social ingredients like raw garlic and/or onions. My elegant, all-green version contains avocados, lemon or lime juice, olive oil, strained or dried green chiles, a hint of onion powder and some Himalayan salt. No tomatoes, please! Elegance and purity of flavour and colour go hand-in-hand.



M-J's Low-Carb Cocktail Burgers

M-J's Elegant Low-Carb Burger Canapés

Posted on May 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM
Toast-rounds made with whole-grain bread, topped with malt vinegar mayonnaise and Worcestershire-flavoured hamburger patties make a low-carbohydrate, low glycemic-index canapé or luncheon dish. Flatten slices of whole-grain bread with a rolling pin. Cut out round pieces from their middles--I use a water chestnut can. Brush the rounds of bread with melted butter and bake until lightly toasted. Following my recipe for mayonnaise, use malt vinegar for the acid component. Mix ground beef with Worcestershire sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Flatten the meat mixture and cut out round pieces the same size as the toast rounds. Fry or grill the burgers until they do not emit pink juice (this is a neat cocktail burger that everyone can eat, not a recipe for steak tartare). Set the hamburger patties to drain on a plate. Spread  mayonnaise on the circular pieces of toast. Assemble the burgers just before serving them. Do not top the burgers with more toast. Classic canapés have toast as a base. These elegant, simple low-carb burgers are easy to eat by hand or with a knife and fork. Men love them!
Photo and Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2010

Elegant Drinks

Elegant Wines

An Elegant  Wine: Côtes du Rhône 2007 Caves des Papes

Côtes du Rhône 2007 Caves des Papes, an Affordable Elegant Survival Wine Choice
You might also like:


Elegant Survival Wine Recommendation

La Crema 2009 Pinot Noir from California's Sonoma Coast is an Elegant Cook Favourite Wine

Photo of Torres Malena Garnacha bottle copyright M-J de Mesterton (Click to Enlarge)

Elegant Survival's November 2008 Wine of the Month, Torres Malena garnacha 2006, Produced by the Torres Family of Spain 

Le Pigeoulet en Provence: a Reasonably-Priced Red Wine from Southern France's Vaucluse Region

Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2007


Elegant Survival's Wine of the Month for September, 2007:

Perrin & Fils Vinsobres Les Cornuds, Côtes du Rhône: popular for decades in Orange, France


Photo copyright M-J de Mesterton,  2008
Penascal Tempranillo Red Wine, 2005
Wine of Spain

Usually available in the U.S. for 5.99 per bottle. Tempranillo is the emblematic Spanish grape, and these are grown in the Castillo y León region of northern Spain. Hints of cherry, blackberry, and strong minerality combined with spicy leather and pepper notes make this a full-bodied red wine, yet it is not heavy on the palate. Its tannins are smooth, with a hint of oak. In 2005 and 2006, we served Penascal Tempranillo Red Wine 2003. It was always popular with our guests, and so is Penascal Tempranillo 2005. With the price of nearly everything going up, you need to have a good wine (and a good whine), at a low price.


A Reliable, Classic French Red Wine: Côtes du Rhône Parallèle "45" 


The Last Drink of the Night: Milanese Aromatic Bitters in the Venerable Liqueur Fernet Branca 

Serve plain on the rocks or mixed with cola. 


The Official Cocktail of New Orleans

Sazerac, the Official Cocktail of New Orleans


Ice cubes, approximately five per drink (they will be strained out of the final product)

1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon Peychaud's bitters

1/8 teaspoon angostura bitters

1 teaspoon of  water

1/4 cup of  whiskey

2 teaspoons of Pernod Liquor (France)

1 small piece of lemon peel


 Fill a higball glass with ice. Place the sugar in a separate glass.

Pour the Peychaud and Angostura bitters, then the teaspoon of water over the sugar;  tap it with a spoon until sugar dissolves. Add ice and whiskey to the glass. Let this mixture stand, stirring  a few times, for five minutes. Dump out ice from the first glass; add Pernod. Strain whiskey mixture into the glass. Wring the lemon peel above the Sazerac cocktail and run it along the glass' rim.


~~M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cuisine, Elegant Entertaining

Elegant Egg Nog Recipes

Here is my recipe for elegant egg nog, a winter holiday tradition (Anchor Hocking 16-Ounce Mug from Wal-Mart for about $2.00):

Christmas Egg Nog

Equipment: a blender, a medium-size mixing bowl, a rotary mixer, and a freezer-safe jug


Four eggs, separated

One cup of heavy cream, whipped until stiff

One half-cup of powdered sugar

One cup of milk

One half-teaspoon of nutmeg

Two tablespoons of rum extract

One teaspoon of vanilla

Two jiggers of brandy

Whip the egg-whites until stiff, incorporating the powdered sugar into them as you beat.

Pour the milk into the blender, together with the four egg-yolks and mix them.

With a spatula, slip the beaten egg-whites into the blender. Do the same with the cream.

Add the nutmeg and blend for a minute.

Pour this mixture into a freezer-safe jug and store in your freezer until very cold.

Serve the egg nog in festive glasses. Distribute the foam on top of each, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Adding additional whipped cream on top, or stiffening the drink with more liquor, is optional.

Makes 1.25 litres.

Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2007
Update: Alton Brown used these "Elegant Survival Mugs" on one of his holiday season shows this year, 2009

Cooked Egg Nog  


1/2 c. sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. whole milk
Dash salt
3 egg whites
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
One half-cup of rum


This egg nog may be safer than ones in which raw eggs are used. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 egg yolks, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 4 cups of milk. Cook this in a double-boiler, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a gentle rolling boil. Remove the pot from heat.

Beat egg whites with a dash of salt until they form stiff peaks. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and vanilla; beat well. Pour egg white mixture into the cooked mixture and with a hand beater beat until thoroughly mixed. Fold in the rum. Chill and serve in glass mugs. Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired.

Serves 6-8.

Elegant Cuisine's Favourite Smoothies, Coffee and Tea Drinks

M-J de Mesterton: Still Life with Smoothie

M-J’s 2009 Article on Health-Enhancing Blueberries

Ginger, Chilean black grapes, plain yoghurt, bananas, apples, oranges, frozen blueberries, strawberries and a bit of honey are blended in an Osterizer for a health-enhancing morning drink.
~~M-J de Mesterton, 2009

M-J's Diuretic Smoothie

Posted at 11:18 AM on November 28, 2009  

One half-cup of water, one fourth-cup of lemon juice, one jalapeño pepper (roasted, pickled or fresh), two stalks of celery, one-half of a cucumber, one tablespoon of thick yoghurt, and one tablespoon of parsley, all whirled in a blender till smooth. Add water if necessary for processing.

Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

Celery, Cucumber, Pepper (Capsicum), Lemon Juice and Yoghurt Smoothie