So it’s a new year! I know I’ve been MIA for more than a while now and I did promise (if you’ve been following me of the Facebook) that I’d post something before the new year. But I thought I’d wait until today, you know new year / new start and all. And this ain’t even food-related, just a little reintroduction of sorts.
Not much has really changed for me. Met some new folks, tried to reconnect with others, ended relationships, realized I need more musicals in my life (go see La La Land and Sing!!! Like right now), failed at being a pastry chef… again (more on that later maybe). The dogs are still doing dog things, although Daisy has been upping her counter surfing lately, work is still providing a paycheck, and gas will be going up in price around $0.07 per gallon today. Life goes on.
I got the chance to eat at some fun places and I’m falling in love with the Eastern Market more and more. I’m still baking and cooking but just not writing about it. No groundbreaking work, but I’m always trying some new angle on things. Weirdly I’m making more meringues (I made some gianduja-stuffed ones for Christmas) and shortbread type things. I’m gonna have a dumpling party soon so I can write about that!
Anyhoo, I’ll do better about posting and hopefully y’all haven’t forgotten about me. Any questions, just ask. Here’s to 2017 and y’all leave Mariah Carey alone! Team Mariah for life!
Alright, here is the first of the recipes and of course I start with booze! This recipe I found on Saveur’s website. I thought it sounded amazing and it was! How can you go wrong with bourbon and cider? I make a similar version that involves bourbon, cider, and sparkling wine — very festive. Anyhoo, here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. cider syrup
- strip of lemon zest
Combine bourbon and cider syrup over ice and stir. Twist the lemon zest to release the lemon oil and drop into the drink. Stir again and serve!
Notes — Cider syrup is essentially some cider that has been really boiled down. I started out with about 6 – 7 cups of cider and boiled it down to about a cup or a cup and a half. It maybe filled the syrup dispenser shown in the pics to about 80%. According to the recipe, you’ll need to boil it down gently for about 2 hours; mine took about 3. . . The bourbon that I used is from the Grand Traverse Distillery in Traverse City. I had gone up there for a vacation just before the summer tourist season started. I was absolutely floored by it! This was one of the places that I had definitely wanted to visit while up north and I was not disappointed. They only make some small batches and they only had a few bottles left when I was there. Luckily I had picked up a bottle for me and one as a gift. What’s nice is that they do their very best to use locally produced grains to make their spirits. I believe that everything is Michigan made, except for the bourbon — I think they need to get the barley from out-of-state. If I remember correctly, it is 70% corn, 20% rye, and 10% barley. I was familiar with their high quality vodkas and now they are working on making a gin and rum as well. I can’t wait to go back and see what else they’ve got and luckily they are building a tasting room in Novi, MI so I won’t have to drive up to Traverse City to get myself a taste!. . .
I completely forgot it was Chocolate Day! I need to eat some right now!
What? October 28 doesn’t ring any bells for you? You didn’t see the greeting cards?
Well, let me tell you that today is National Chocolate Day!
I admit I’m a choco-holic. My family will tell you that I’ve always had a sweet tooth and that my sweet of choice has always been the melt-in-your-mouth variety. When someone says “kisses,” my first thoughts are of the foil wrapped variety not the smooching type. My husband has grown accustomed to seeing bags of chocolate chips in the vegetable crisper and has long since given up asking if I knew they were there. My favorite sweatshirt has always been the one that proclaims “Give me chocolate and no one gets hurt.” (Sadly, it wore out about 10 years ago. But it’s still my favorite.)
In the summer, chocolate shakes are a must. Hot chocolate is a…
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Hi everybody! I just wanted to take a look back at some of my old posts and see if anything needed to be addressed. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 2 1/2 years since I started this blog! As an aside, I wanted to thank all my readers for allowing me into your culinary lives. Y’all are the best!
Anyhoo, this Coconut Pie was the first recipe I had posted ever. And weirdly, I did not include any pictures of any kind. So this post hopefully fixes that. Of course I made some changes, just to switch things up a little bit. It has been a while since I’ve made this, but from what I remember, the pie still didn’t quite set up correctly. I made some tweaks and I like the final product. And this time I made it Gluten Free, so yay! Now these changes, in addition to some boozy cranberries, seems to work. The original recipe that I found from Penzey’s did not have a picture so I just kinda had to guess what it was supposed to look like. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/2 c. bourbon
- 1/4 c. dried cranberries
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 c. coconut flour
- 1/4 c. cornstarch
- 2 c. milk
- 14 oz. shredded coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring the bourbon up to a boil over medium heat. Add the cranberries and turn off the heat. Set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (including the cooled cranberries and bourbon) and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 10-in. pie plate. Bake for about 45 minutes until browned and the middle is set. Let cool. Run a thin knife around the rim of the pie plate to help release before cutting.
Notes — I think this would be good with some pistachios. . . This probably could have stayed in the over for another 5 or 10 minutes. . . Might try baking this in the lower half of the oven and see if that can help develop the crust. . . I have tried grating the nutmeg on top of the pie instead of putting it in the batter. I actually liked the results, especially if the pie is still warm!. . .
Alright, I know that I’ve posted a pesto recipe before. But this one is different because I used hazelnuts! Plus I fiddled with the ratios on this one to get a more standardized version. If you’ve made a pesto before, you understand how easy making this can be. But you also understand how important it is to use high quality ingredients. If anything you use is of a lesser quality, you will definitely notice it.
Now using hazelnuts in this recipe can be slightly problematic, since they do have those pesky husks on them (I am not sure that terminology is right). It does take some effort to get those things off, but I think it’s worth it. This recipe makes a big batch. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3/4 c. hazelnuts
- 5 c. fresh basil leaves, packed tight
- 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 c. olive oil
- juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 c. grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper, to taste
1. Roast the hazelnuts in either a preheated 350 degree F oven or in a pan over medium heat. Roast them until they become fragrant and slightly browned. Transfer them to a plate and cover with a light towel and allow them to cool. While they are covered they can steam which helps release them from the husks. Now rub the nuts with the towel to clean off husks and set aside.
2. In a food processor, place hazelnuts and pulse to chop for a few seconds. Add the basil and pulse again. Do the same when you add the garlic.
3. With the food processor running. drizzle in the olive oil to combine. Add the lemon and pulse for a few seconds. Transfer to a serving bowl or storage container. Stir in the Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Notes — I made a batch of Garlic Confit and added a little bit of the infused oil into the pesto. I didn’t put too much because I just wanted a hint of the flavor. Maybe I used a couple of tablespoons. . . I like putting lemon in my pestos which most people don’t. Maybe it makes it too much like a gremolata for folks. I just like the brightness it adds, plus it helps keep everything green. . . Roasting hazelnuts is made more idiot-proof because of their husks. The husks help protect the nuts from burning so even if you get a little charring on the husk, the nut may actually be just fine.