easy

The Best Bloody Mary

The title of this post is “The Best Bloody Mary”! Although I have little experience drinking these, I did make a gazillion of them as a bartender and certainly served just as many as a waitress. I have only recently tried the Bloody Mary myself. It is truly an acquired thing, much like a good Scotch. But I digress. . . this Bloody Mary is quite good and is the best in my book. It’s quite flavorful with just the right amount of spice!

Kick off your Sunday morning brunch with a round for everyone. You’ll thank me later!

Live it up and drink it down!

The Best Bloody Mary
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 6 ounces Tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon Olive juice
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4-6 shakes Tabasco
  • pinch celery salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • lime juice
  • coarse sea salt
  • various veggies for garnish
Instructions
  1. Dip pint glass in lime juice. Roll in coarse sea salt. Fill glass with ice.
  2. In a shaker, add a few cubes of ice. Add all ingredients (minus the toppings) and shake to combine.
  3. Strain into the pint glass. Garnish with chosen veggies!

 

Crock Pot Beer Chicken

One day I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. With beer being one of the key ingredients, I figure it had to be good, right? And it is!  It’s also low fat and low calorie and did I mention good? And oh so easy!

I usually make it for dinner one night and then make Chicken Salad out of the rest or even Barbeque Chicken Sliders. It’s great either way. Watch for both of those recipes shortly! They’re a coming!

Bon appétit!

Crock Pot Beer Chicken
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (use eight 4 oz breasts)
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts into crock pot. Add beer. Sprinkle spices on top. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Delicious!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 oz Calories: 257 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 1g Unsaturated fat: 1g Trans fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 3g Sodium: 491mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 44g Cholesterol: 116mg

 

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
 
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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.

 

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!
 
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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

 

It’s Soup Time!

Being a Florida girl, I have to admit I have little experience making soups but through my years of living in Atlanta, I am definitely learning. Growing up I remember Mom making Chili, of course, Beef Stew, White Bean soup (oh my, so delicious), and 4 Bean soup.  I think that was it or at least that’s all I remember. We just didn’t have that many cold days to warrant soup!  But she did manage to squeeze in a nice soup every now and then.

With all that being said, I absolutely love making soup and do it often during the colder months. This Broccoli and Cheddar soup is delicious. It thickens up quite a bit so doesn’t render itself well to left overs but you could always add a bit more chicken broth the next day to loosen it up a bit.

Although the picture above is this recipe using Mild Cheddar cheese, I prefer to use White Cheddar Cheese.  I’m just not a big of fan of “orange” cheese. If you use a White Cheddar Cheese, the soup would look like this. Now, isn’t that more appetizing?

Add a slice of crusty bread and you have a hearty, stick to your ribs, warm you up, meal!!

Bon appétit!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 6 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ lb. fresh broccoli (about 1 cup),finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces white cheddar, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside. In a large pot, whisk together the melted butter and flour over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in the half and half and chicken broth. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on medium low for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
  4. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper and cheddar cheese. Let the cheese melt and then serve. For a smooth soup, puree it using a stick blender. (I did not do this for mine as I prefer the chunks.)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1¼ cups Calories: 304 Fat: 23 g Saturated fat: 14.4 g Carbohydrates: 10.7 g Sugar: 5 g Sodium: 624 mg Fiber: 1.3 g Protein: 14.3 g Cholesterol: 70 mg

 

A New Twist

Peach Shortcake

If you’re from the South or anywhere in the country for that matter, I’m sure you’ve had Strawberry Shortcake. Just that title alone can mean a multitude of different dishes. The strawberry component is usually the same but you can have many different “bases” such as biscuits, angle food cake, and sponge cake but, I ask, have you ever tried it with Elvis Presley Pound Cake and used peaches instead of strawberries? A new twist to an old favorite!

It’s the best summer dessert I can think of. Fresh Georgia peaches are abundant and this year they are sweeter than ever. Just slice them up, add a bit of sugar, let them macerate a bit in the frig and you’re ready to build your shortcake.

mixer
KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red

And you have to serve fresh whipped cream (none of that stuff in the can). Just take 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and whip with your hand mixer or stand mixer. It’s the best. Yes, fresh is the best!

If having dinner guests, why not provide a few varieties of toppings for the Elvis Presley Pound Cake (and you have to use the pound cake), such as blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries. Any berry will do. Just add a bit of sugar (to taste) and again, let the mixture macerate a bit before using. Your guests will love having a choice. Everyone will be happy! Kids included!

Bon appétit!

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