Month: March 2017

Blushing Whiskey Sour

You asked for it, here it is! This is the most delicious and refreshing cocktail incorporating Irish Whiskey and lemon simple syrup. Oh, and blackberries which give it a little flavor and that beautiful pink color. I tend to gravitate to pink cocktails since pink is my favorite color.

Those who know me, know I used to bartend which means nothing except that I love finding (and testing, of course), new drink recipes.

This one, my friends, is definitely a keeper. Get your lemon simple syrup made, get your blackberries (and they are already beautiful) and get that bottle of Bushmills Irish Whiskey. You’ll thank me later!

Live it up and drink it down!

Blushing Whiskey Sour
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Serves: 1
Ingredients
Lemon Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1½ cups Fresh Lemon Juice
Whiskey Sour
  • Blackberries
  • 2 ounces Lemon Simple Syrup
  • 1 ounce Bushmills Irish Whiskey
  • Crushed Ice
Instructions
To make simple syrup:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Add in lemon juice and stir well.
  4. Transfer to sterilized bottles. Refrigerate - keeps indefinitely.
To make cocktail:
  1. Add 2 ounces lemon simple syrup, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, and three blackberries to a shaker and shake vigorously until blackberries start to break up to give that gorgeous bush color.
  2. Strain into glass packed with fresh crushed ice.
  3. Garnish with additional blackberries.

 

More Irish Goodness

There is no better chocolate loaf than the one you are looking at right now. It’s moist, very chocolatey with a Guinness undertone that is barely noticed. The glaze is a but more powerful with the Bailey’s but it all marries quite nicely.

The title indicates it’s a “bread” but it’s really much more than that. It’s really a dessert cake. Soft and spongy in texture, and just sweet enough. Paired with a cup of coffee (or a shot of Bailey’s) and it’s the perfect ending to a delicious meal!

Definitely something you’ll want to bake more often than just around St. Patrick’s Day!

Bon appétit!

Bailey's Dark Chocolate Guinness Bread
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups All purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon White pepper
  • ½ cup Semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup Walnuts chopped
  • ½ cup Unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup Brown sugar packed
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 Cup Guinness beer
  • 1¼ cup Powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 2 teaspoon Half-and-half cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×5 pan with baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and white pepper. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the edges of the bowl, then mix in egg. Add beer and mix for 30 seconds, just enough to break apart butter mixture into the beer.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients, mixing gently in between. When all dry ingredients have been added, mix until just combined, when dry ingredients are no longer visible.
  5. Gently fold in chocolate chips and walnuts, then pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a tester comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Let bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, Baileys, and cream.
  9. If you’d like the frosting to be thinner, add a small splash of baileys until desired consistency is reached. If you’d like the frosting to be thicker, add 1 tbsp powdered sugar at a time until frosting is thick enough.
  10. Once bread has cooled, drizzle Baileys glaze on top of bread.
  11. Bread can be stored in a sealed container and kept on the counter for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 405 Fat: 19g Saturated fat: 9g Unsaturated fat: 3g Trans fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 51g Sugar: 34g Sodium: 299mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 8g Cholesterol: 129mg

 

The Irish are Coming!

Not really but it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and I have a few Irish inspired recipes for you starting with this one today. I’ve seen this recipe on the Internet with a variety of ingredients and even varying measurements but my dear Aunt Anne (who has since passed away) shared it with me many moons ago.

My family and I would go visit my Aunt, Grandma, Great Aunts and Uncles, and cousins during the Christmas holidays up at Allanton (Florida) where they used to live. They’d serve some of Granny’s homemade Scuppernog wine and Aunt Anne’s homemade Irish Cream. And we were only teenagers at the time! You see, it all starts at home! Ha ha! I have to say both concoctions were quite delicious.

I just looked up Allanton and it appears it has grown quite a bit since those days. I’m pleased to see a Davis Point Road in the area which leads to Davis Point. The Davis’ are relatives on my Grandmother Hayzelle’s side of the family. Lewis Cass Davis (my Great Great Grandfather) homesteaded in the area opening a general store, a small sawmill and he was the postmaster. At one time, the Davis’ were one of a handful of families living in the area. And I see a Poston Road and Poston Drive near Cook’s Bayou! The Poston’s were from my Grandpa’s side of the family. Great Grandfather James Emanuel Poston, Sr., served as the area’s only medical doctor way back in the day. Yes, I’ve been working on our family genealogy since the 90’s. It’s very interesting – I only wish I had more time to devote to that passion of mine.

Anyway, I haven’t been to the Allanton area since years before Aunt Anne passed away, I have to say. I definitely need to take a drive out that way the next time I’m in Panama City.

Ah, but those were wonderful times with great memories. I make this recipe every so often. It’s really rich and oh so good!  And I thank my Aunt Anne for sharing it with me so many years ago.

Live it up and drink it down!

Irish Cream
 
Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Ingredients
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1⅔ cups Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Set on high speed for 30 seconds. Bottle in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. The liqueur will keep for at least two months if kept cool. Be sure to shake the bottle well before serving.

 

Special Brunch

For years I’ve made a Breakfast Brunch casserole for Christmas morning and other special occasions.  That is until now . . . I think this Buttery Breakfast Casserole will have to be the “go to” breakfast casserole for all holidays and special occasions going forward.

This version you make the night before.  It’s very much like a savory bread pudding.  It is delicious, decadent,and satisfying.  As Emeril Lagasse might say, this casserole definitely kicks it up a notch. 

Add a glass of Prosecco to complete the decadence of this meal.

Bon appétit!

Special Brunch
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Beginnings
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 package Hot ground pork sausage Jimmy Dean's
  • 1¼ cup Parmesan shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 Green onion white and light green parts, sliced
  • 1 pound Croissants about 5-7
  • 3 cups Whole milk
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 8 Eggs
  • 2 cups Gruyere shredded
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Spread croissants on a large baking sheet and toast, cut side up, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes (watch carefully to see that they do not burn). Let cool, then tear into large bite-size pieces.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage until brown and crumbly. Drain. Toss together sausage, Parmesan, and next three ingredients.
  3. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, and 1½ cups Gruyere cheese.
  4. Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Turn croissant mixture into pan, spreading it out evenly over the bottom. Pour custard into pan, pressing croissants down gently to help absorb the liquid. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the remaining grated cheese over the top of the casserole. Transfer to oven and bake until casserole is golden brown and firm to the touch, 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion tops before serving.
Notes
You can substitute Swiss cheese for Gruyere cheese.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 522 Fat: 33g Saturated fat: 18g Unsaturated fat: 3g Trans fat: 10g Carbohydrates: 28g Sugar: 10g Sodium: 1177mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 27g Cholesterol: 290mg

 

Hot Chicken Wings

Yum, hot chicken wings. It’s funny, I didn’t always love them but I absolutely do these days. I think my love affair with chicken wings started when I worked at Slocum’s Tavern and Grill, way back in the mid 90’s. Yes, when I was a tiny baby. Who am I kidding?

Back to the story – Slocum’s had the best wings. They would make some wet like those in this recipe and some dry, which I actually prefer.  Some were mild and some were spicy hot. My preference . . . the hotter, the better.  In fact, you just can’t beat a wonderful plate of really crispy hot wings and a pitcher of cold beer. That is a perfect meal in my book.

This recipe will not disappoint. We all know the wing sauce is what makes the wings really tasty and this sauce is the best. It’s quite flavorful with just enough heat.

Try this recipe the next time you have a small gathering at your home or anytime you plan to sit and watch a ballgame with a few friends! Your guests will be begging for more!

Bon appétit!

Hot Chicken Wings
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 24 Chicken wings mix of drums and flats (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon Grapeseed oil
  • ⅓ cup Sriracha chile sauce
  • ¼ cup Malt vinegar
  • ¼ cup Soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 cloves Garlic very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Scallion very thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Pat the wings very dry with a paper towel. Heat a large(14-inch) cast-iron skillet or two smaller cast-iron skillets over high heat until smokin' hot. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Using tongs, set the wings in the pan in a single layer with the meatiest side down. This will help render the fat. Cook the wings for 2 minutes, then transfer the skillet to the oven for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and, using tongs, flip the wings over. Continue baking until the wings are cooked through and the juices run clear, another 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the sriracha, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cut the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the sauce into a large bowl and toss in 1 tablespoon of the scallions.
  4. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and, using tongs, transfer the wings to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the remaining 3 tablespoons scallions.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 pieces Calories: 364 Fat: 13g Saturated fat: 3g Unsaturated fat: 5g Trans fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 11g Sugar: 8g Sodium: 2542mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 49g Cholesterol: 148mg

 

Sourdough English Muffins

A while back we made some sourdough starter whom I named Fred.  It’s time we use Fred, wouldn’t you say?  There are many things you can make with sourdough starter including bread, pancakes, muffins and rolls and probably many other items I just don’t know about yet.  Suffice it to say, after your starter is ready, I doubt you’ll be at a loss as to what to do with it.

And so it was one weekend morning I decided to make some English Muffins with some of my Fred.  I fed him the night before so he was ready for the task at hand.

Below is the recipe and it is the best.  As I always say if it’s made from scratch, it will be well worth the effort and time. These muffins are no exception.  I doubt you’ll buy them at the store ever again!

Bon appétit!

Sourdough English Muffins
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breads
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups warm water (110°F-115°F)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1 cup sourdough starter, fed
  • 7 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup nonfat dry milk
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • cornmeal for dusting
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cornmeal, in a large bowl.
  2. Mix and knead — by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine — to form a smooth dough. The dough should be soft and elastic, but not particularly sticky; add additional flour if necessary.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set it aside to rise for about 1½ hours, or until it's noticeably puffy. For most pronounced sour flavor, cover the bowl, and immediately place it in the refrigerator (without rising first). Let the dough chill for 24 hours; this will develop its flavor.
  4. Gently deflate the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it, and let it sit for a few minutes, to relax the gluten. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll ½" thick, and cut in 3" rounds. Re-roll and cut any remaining scraps. Repeat with the remaining half of dough.
  5. Alternatively, divide the dough into 24 pieces (total). Shape each piece into a round ball, then flatten each ball into a 3" round. For a somewhat more even rise as the muffins cook, flatten each ball slightly larger than 3", and trim edges with a 3" cutter (or trim all around the edge with a pair of scissors). Muffins with cut (rather than flattened) sides will rise more evenly.
  6. Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal sprinkled baking sheets (12 per sheet). Sprinkle them with additional cornmeal, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise until light and puffy, about 45 to 60 minutes. If the dough has been refrigerated overnight, the rise time will be about 2 hours.
  7. Carefully transfer the rounds (as many as a time that will fit without crowding) right-side up to a large electric griddle preheated to 350°F, or to an ungreased frying pan that has been preheated over medium-low heat.
  8. Cook the muffins for about 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a muffin registers 190°F. The edges may feel a bit soft; that's OK.
  9. Remove the muffins from the griddle, and cool on a rack. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature for 4 or 5 days; freeze for longer storage.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 171 Fat: 2.3g Carbohydrates: 32g Sugar: 1g Sodium: 270mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 5g Cholesterol: 6mg

Mardi Gras!

“A day late and a dollar short” as my Mama might have said, but here is my contribution to the week long celebration that is known as Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Lent, as it is more commonly known, starts on Ash Wednesday (the day after Fat Tuesday), concluding 47 days later on Easter Sunday.  Whew!  Did everybody get that?

So, to commemorate Mardi Gras I made this fabulous Cajun inspired Shrimp Creole. It is quite simple and packs tons of flavor. Add a few extra dashes of Tabasco sauce to “kick it up a notch”. Paired with cooked white rice and you have a delicious meal.

Bon appétit!

Mardi Gras!
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Cuisine: Cajun
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 pounds shrimp unpeeled
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 14 oz cans tomatoes drained and chopped
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • dash Tabasco sauce
  • 2 cups cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large Dutch oven; add shrimp and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well; rinse with cold water. Chill. Peel and devein shrimp.
  2. Saute onion and green pepper in oil. Drain. Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, Worcestershire, oregano, salt, lemon pepper, pepper, and Tabasco sauce in large Dutch oven. Add green pepper and onion. Simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp are heated. Ladle hot shrimp creole over hot white rice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ Cup Calories: 338 Fat: 6g Saturated fat: 1g Unsaturated fat: 2g Trans fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 36g Sugar: 5g Sodium: 479mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 35g Cholesterol: 230mg

 

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