by Jodi Hortze
Owner, Griddle Café, Hollywood, California
Even if you don’t have a “significant other”, you have several excuses to do a “girls’ night in” to celebrate any time of year. When it comes to bonding and connecting, I always recommend stirring up a little trouble and fun with some decadent food and beverage when you get together for a girls’ night in.
Whether you make it a movie night, dinner party, or your own home-grown day spa, do it right with indulgent-but-comforting dessert–brunch fare and champagne (preferably something top-drawer like my favourites in Veuve Clicquot’s range). If you are attending as a guest, you can always bring me to the party, via my Red Hot Red Velvet pancake mix ($14, thegriddlecafe.com and Kitson Stores), which can be made and served with and without spirits.
To get you started and inspired, here’s the home-version of my Red Velvet pancakes with champagne cream cheese icing.
• 1 c Red Velvet pancake mix
• 2/3 c water
Whisk until blended. Pour a desired amount into a non-stick or buttered pan and cook and flip until the pancake is slightly crisp on each side.
Champagne cream cheese icing
• 1/8 oz package of cream cheese
• 1½ c confectioners’ sugar
• 1 stick (4 oz) butter
• 1 t vanilla extract
• 3 T of chilled Veuve Clicquot champagne or rosé champagne*
(* You will use the remainder of bottle for your raspberries and champagne cocktail.)
In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sugar and butter with an electric mixer until you get a creamy consistency. Add vanilla and champagne until thoroughly blended. With a spoon or frosting bag, swirl the icing onto finished pancakes.
Jodi’s raspberry and champagne cocktail
In several 6 oz flutes, add 1 T of fresh muddled raspberries per drink. (Note that frozen fruit also works. However, if you go frozen, make sure to and feel free to add a teaspoon of the juice left behind from the frozen raspberries.) Fill each glass slowly with champagne to the top. Pour slowly to prevent champagne from bubbling too quickly.
Another variation to “batch” the cocktail: in a large glass pitcher, pour two cups of raspberries, add champagne from your bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, and chill for another 20 to 30 minutes. Pour into glasses and enjoy this beautiful duo.