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50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #22 Amanda Hesser - Cranberry Liqueur

In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
the "Gourmet" prompt...
22. Amanda Hesser- The New York Times food writer’s genius Food 52 combines blog with community with recipe trove with contests with shopping. Oh, and her Essential New York Times Cook Book won the 2011 James Beard Award in the General Cooking category.

When I hear the name Amanda Hesser, I think simply Food 52.  It's not a place I've spent much time in the past, but I know lots of people who have and who have earned a place in the Food 52 cookbook.  She grew up in a family where everybody cooked.  She is the former food editor at the New York Times.  She wrote the latest edition of The Essential New York Times Cookbook (following in the footsteps of the great Craig Claiborne).  Many of you may recognize her from Julie & Julia...she played herself in the movie adaptation of the book.  Her name is synonymous with food and I'm happy that this has given me a chance to learn a bit more about her.
Cranberry Liqueur
yield: ~2 c.

2 c. cranberries
1 c. + 2 Tbs. sugar
½ c. water
12 oz. vodka
2 cinnamon sticks
Combine cranberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil until cranberries are soft and start to pop, 5-10 minutes.

Transfer to the jar of a blender or food processor and puree.  Pour into a jar.  Add vodka and cinnamon sticks.  Refrigerate for at least three days and up to several weeks. 

Strain through a sieve (use fine mesh lined w/ a cheesecloth if you don't want any straggling seeds) before serving.  Refrigerate or store at room temperature for up to a year.
I thought this was great sipped cold just as is.  I didn't line my sieve with cheesecloth, so I did have a few seeds floating around...but I thought it was rustic and beautiful.  You could use this in a cocktail like a...

Cranberry Cosmopolitan (from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2004): Place some crushed ice in a cocktail shaker.  Add ½ cup Cranberry Liqueur, ¼ cup Cointreau, & 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice.  Shake it up and strain into 2 martini glasses.

I like the idea of making it to give as a holiday gift.  Bottle it or jar it and put on a pretty label with instructions for storage on the back.
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?

I am sharing this post with:
Katherine Martinelli Friday Blog Hop: DIY
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