I met Jacques Pepin once. Even though he lived one town a way from me in Madison, Connecticut, we met for one minute in Lisbon–a minute I will never forget. We were being blown around in a cold,torrential rain storm, yet he was warm and charming.

I love Jacques, his recipes, books and his public TV shows with Julia…Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.

Although French, he knows,”The best food is always the simplest.”

Jacques Pepin has written 21 cookbooks as well as receiving the highest honors, the Chevalier des Arts et Letters and the Le’gion d’Honneur.

Here is an easy way to serve champagne or sparkling wine, anytime.

Champagne on Fruit “Rocks”

As we recommended in the pear puree recipe (see Sips, Paopao Champagne Cocktail 8/5/08)pureed pears are perfect for this sparkler.

Puree pears, peaches or berries.
Place the puree into ice cube trays and freeze.
Put the berry cubes in a chilled champagne flute and pour the bubbly over the cubes.

Voila… a festive cocktail to begin a meal with cheeses – or an elegant ending with cookies or cake. I love these fruity bubbles with Jacques’ Poached Pears in Honeyed Wine.

A more simple variation is to pour fruit juice into the ice cube trays and freeze.

Maralyn and I often add a small berry or grape in the trays before freezing for added flavor, color and whimsy.

Brenda C. Hill
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