Misc

Pisco what now?

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It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m sick again.  So I’m here on the sofa drinking tea and watching Martha Stewart.  And for whatever reason I start thinking to myself, “Waterlily, we certainly have a lot of Pisco.”  Now what else can you do with Pisco that isn’t a Pisco Sour?  If you don’t know, Pisco is essentially a brandy made from grapes that is particular to Chile and Peru.  Kinda like champagne, there is debate about what can be called pisco, depending on the origin of the grapes.  According to Chilean law, for a spirit to be called pisco, it must be made from muscat grapes from particular regions of Chile (regions 3 and 4 to be exact).  Anything else will not be recognized as pisco.  Of course, don’t tell that to any Peruvians since there is an actual town called Pisco, which is the origin of the brandy.

After a trip through the kitchen, I came up with some rhubarb syrup, pisco, cognac, rum, and lime juice.  What I can up with is kinda like a Sidecar.  And since it’s Valentine’s Day, I christen this drink the Rhisco Kiss.  Here’s what you need:

  • 2 oz. Pisco
  • 2 oz. Rhubarb syrup
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. rum
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • ice

Line the rim of a martini glass with some sugar.  Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker to combine.  Strain into the glass and drink up!

Rhubarb syrup
I just like to colors of the drink and the rhubarb syrup

Notes — I get a lot of my booze know-how from drinking experience and from the program Three Sheets.  It aired on the Mojo network a few years ago, and after that network went belly up, it made the rounds on several other channels.  I lost track of it after that, but what I liked about the show was that you got a chance to actually learn about different cultures, traditions, and the booze that they drink.  I’ve seen a couple of newer versions of the program, but they focus more on drinking than on culture.  I haven’t been as enamored about those shows as I am with Three Sheets.  If you get a chance check them out.  It’s on Hulu and YouTube and the like.  I’ll post a video of the Chilean show on my Facebook page, so go visit me there and like my page.  I’m up to five likes now!

Rhisco Kiss

February Foodie Holidays

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Punxy Phil is so friendly!

So this is a little late, and I apologize.  As I said in my last post, I’ve been having issues with the editing software on here.  I did a little adjusting of the settings here and there and I think I’m set.

No pictures of Daisy or Cooper this time.  But since Groundhog Day is February 2, I did include some pics from Punxsutawney, PA.  We made a stop there on the way moving from Maine back to Michigan.  It was a little bit out of the way (well a lot out of the way, and it was especially difficult driving a moving truck on those twisty mountain roads), but I couldn’t resist meeting the famous groundhog!

In addition to Groundhog Day, we celebrate National Cherry Month, National Grapefruit Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Macadamia Nut Month, and National Snack Food Month.  Plus we get National Pancake Week during the last week of the month!  Here are some of the fun holidays (along with some links, as always) we have this month:

The origins of Groundhog Day

1 – Baked Alaska Day

3 – Carrot Cake Day

4 – Stuffed Mushroom Day

7 – Fettuccine Alfredo Day

8 – Molasses Bar Day

9 – Bagels and Lox Day

10 – Cream Cheese Brownie Day

11 – Peppermint Patty Day

12 – Plum Pudding Day

13 – Tortellini Day

14 – Cream-filled Chocolates Day, Valentine’s Day

15 – Gumdrop Day

16 – Almond Day

We knocked, but Phil wasn't home. As you can see, this was no where near Groundhog Day when we stopped by.

17 – Indian Pudding Day

19 – Chocolate Mint Day

20 – Cherry Pie Day

21 – Sticky Bun Day

22 – Cook a Sweet Potato Day, Margarita Day

23 – Banana Bread Day

24 – Tortilla Chip Day

25 – Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day, Clam Chowder Day

26 – World Pistachio Day

27 – Strawberry Day, Kahlua Day!

January Foodie Holidays

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Here's Cooper and Daisy with the monthly holiday announcements!

It’s good to be back after taking a little bit of time off for the holidays.  So I do apologize that this is a day late.  Hopefully all the hangovers and “bad-decision juice” has been worked out of everyone’s systems.  But with all the focus on physical recovery and recuperation, let’s not forget all those National Holidays that are taking place this month (there is another “National Pie Day” this month on the 23rd; the other one was last month).  I know when we think of January, New Year’s Day is always on everyone’s mind.  It is also National Hot Tea Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Slow Cooking Month, and National Soup Month.  Here are some of the National Holidays that we should be celebrating this month:

Buffet Day, Cream Puff Day

Chocolate Covered Cherry Day

Spaghetti Day

5  Whipped Cream Day

Shortbread Day

Tempura Day

8  English Toffee Day

Apricot Day

It's obvious these two don't get along! At least they're cute when they're trying to stay warm

10  Bittersweet Chocolate Day

12  Marzipan Day

13  Peach Melba Day

14  Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

15  Strawberry Ice Cream Day

16  Fig Newton Day

18  Peking Duck Day (yum!)

20  Buttercrunch Day, Cheese Lover’s Day

21  Granola Bar Day

22  Blonde Brownie Day

24  Peanut Butter Day

25  Irish Coffee Day

26  Peanut Brittle Day

27  Chocolate Cake Day!

28  Blueberry Pancake Day

29  Cornchip Day

30  Croissant Day

31  Popcorn Day

December Foodie Holidays

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Just slowly working away at what's left of the holiday pumpkin

Happy December everybody!  Been out of commission for a while due to an increasingly packed schedule.  But it’s the first of the month and it’s time to learn about our disavowed national holidays from Mr. Squirrel (or is it Mrs?  maybe Ms.?).  It really is the holiday season, but there are other days that deserve recognition, like World AIDS Day which is on the 1st.  Of course, there are the biggies that (mostly) everyone knows (and these are in chronological order according to my Just Chocolate Labs calendar) — Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Eve.  But here are some of the other national holidays that we should incorporate into our regular rotation.

1  Pie Day

2  Fritters Day

4  Cookie Day

Sacher Torte Day

Gazpacho Day

7  Cotton Candy Day

8  Brownie Day

Pastry Day

10  Lager Day!!!

11  Noodle Ring Day

12  Ambrosia Day

13  Cocoa Day

14  Bouillabaisse Day

15  Lemon Cupcake Day

16  Chocolate Covered Anything Day

18  Roast Suckling Pig Day

21  French Fried Shrimp Day

23  Pfeffernuesse Day

24  Egg Nog Day

25  Pumpkin Pie Day

26  Candy Cane Day

27  Fruitcake Day

30  Bicarbonate of Soda Day

There are lots of links for folks to check out this month.  Personally, my favorite is “Chocolate Covered Anything Day”, but how can you not love a holiday all about Baking Soda?

November Foodie Holidays

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A chill is in the air and those lovely leaves are turning, so that means that autumn is in full swing.  Daisy, of course, fell in love with autumn at an early age, as you can see.  Even at the ripe old age of 2 (as you can see in the second picture), she still loves playing in the leaves.  But this all means that it’s November and holiday season is fast upon us.  Now everyone thinks of the traditional holidays like Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving (in the United States, that is), but there are others that we don’t take time to celebrate.  For example, November is:  National Fun with Fondue Month, National Pepper Month, National Georgia Pecan Month, National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month, and National Raisin Bread Month.  Here are some more of those unloved holidays:

1 – 7  National Fig Week

Deviled Egg Day

4  Candy Day

Nachos Day

7  Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

8 – 13  National Split Pea Soup Week

10  Vanilla Cupcake Day

12  Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

13  Indian Pudding Day

14  Guacamole Day

15  Spicy Hermit Cookie Day

20  Peanut Butter Fudge Day

23  Cashew Day

24  THANKSGIVING DAY

25  Parfait Day

26  Cake Day

27  Bavarian Cream Pie Day

28  French Toast Day

29  Chocolates Day

30  Mousse Day

Versatile Blogger Award

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I admit that I had been putting off writing about this award for a couple of weeks, mainly because I was trying to figure out how to best fulfill the requirements of what this award entails.  Plus I really have not been feeling well, not that that’s a good excuse.  Now I’m not sure I can list “award-winning chef and author” on my resume, but anything helps in this current job market.  And I send a sincere thanks to Blue Jellybeans for passing the award on to me.

The rules of the award are as follows:  1)  list seven things about yourself; and 2)  pass the award on to 15 others.  So let’s begin.  Seven things about myself. . .

  1. I am a stickler for correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  I’m sure that is difficult to see given all the weird vernacular and idioms that I use constantly, ya reckon?
  2. I am a firm believer in “retail therapy”.  Sometimes you really can buy yourself a little happy. . . sometimes
  3. Along those lines, I am a sucker for anything that is a “gift with purchase”.  You mean that all I have to do is spend $50 to get your $2 tote bag?  I am on it!
  4. I am willing to try anything once.  Except maybe seal eye balls and lutefisk (really?  fish soaked in poison?)
  5. When I am sick, one of the things I tend to do is clean.  Like a get-down-on-your-hands-and-knees-and-scrub-with-a-toothbrush kind of clean.  Of course, if I am too sick, I usually just lie down on various surfaces in the house and just moan.  Maybe that’s how I figure out what needs a good cleaning!
  6. I have a background in music.
  7. There are certain movies that I will watch without fail if I find that they are on TV.  These include:  Notting Hill, 50 First Dates, While You Were Sleeping, any of the “good” Star Treks, and any of the Lord of the Rings movies.
  8. I am a Gator, Seminole, and a Spartan (in that order, although I did go to Florida State first), and I’m begrudgingly considering becoming a Wolverine (ugh!).  But really, I love any obscure college team (Go Fighting Okra!)

I guess I did an extra one there.  Lo que sea.  And now to pass the award on!  These are some of the blogs that I read on a regular basis (and these are in alphabetical order), but I know of several that have been nominated already.  If I know that they’ve been nominated, I decided to try to pass this on to someone new.  Some of these folks I’ve been following for some time now.  Some I just started following, and then I realized, I read a lot of their stuff anyway, so why not subscribe?  Here are my 15+1 nominees:

  1. Aubergine & Butterbean
  2. Cakealogue
  3. Clever Muffin
  4. Cooking is Life!
  5. Frugal Feeding
  6. Passioneats
  7. Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide
  8. Savory Simple
  9. Sensible Lessons
  10. Simply Breakfast
  11. Syrup and Biscuits
  12. Tart to Heart
  13. The Answer is Always Pork
  14. The Hungry Artist
  15. The Little Loaf
  16. The Wholesome RD

Happy Blogging everyone!

I’m in shape. . . “round” is a shape, right?

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I think the "October" plate adds a nice touch of class.

I am sick.  And when I am sick, several things can happen.  These may include:  1)  my social filter switching to “off”; 2)  impulse control going out the window; and 3)  delirium.  So I’m thinking all three played some role in my thinking that posting this would be a good idea.

Anyhoo, I have found my new favorite recipe.  It’s so simple and easy to do.  Now I don’t recommend this for everyone, but if you’re feeling like I do right now, this might be just the thing for you.  Here’s what you need:

1.  Place handful of Cheez-its in mouth.

2.  Add rum.

3.  Enjoy!  Repeat as necessary.

Notes — This is just like that old staple of wine and cheese — except that there’s no wine and no cheese. . . I wouldn’t recommend a spiced rum for this.  I don’t think the flavor profiles would work well with the Cheez-its.  And it would be best if the rum had some age to it, but don’t go wasting some 30-year-old stuff on this recipe. . . Pretzels might work in a pinch, but I like the more diverse tastes you get from the Cheez-its