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Instant Pot BBQ Ribs If you’ve ever made BBQ ribs before, you know it can be a long process if you want fall off the bone, melt in your mouth, meat.  Thanks to Instant Pot, you can shave 4-5 hours off this process now!  Using the pressure cooking component of the Instant Pot, you can pressure cook your ribs for 30 minutes and get the same effect you would have if you had slow cooked your ribs in the oven for 4 hours.  I seasoned my ribs with a dry rub, and refrigerated
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Beef Stew For Fall

5 November, 2014, 0 comments, on

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With autumn upon us, it’s time to start experimenting with new comfort food recipes!  I set out to make the perfect beef stew.  I realize most of you are thinking, there is nothing “new” about beef stew, but what I mean by new, is just something different from what my granny used to make.  No offense to granny, she made great food, but it was pretty basic in that it was made with canned vegetables and lacking in the fresh herbs department.  The recipe I chose was from Food & Wine 2003.  This stew takes 2 days to make, so plan accordingly.  I will assure you that it is well worth the effort!  For the full recipe that I used visit http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/beef-stew 

I used a 3.5 lb chuck roast.  Begin by trimming off the fat and cutting into 1-2 inch cubes, and season generously with salt and pepper.  Next you will want to brown the meat on all sides   I chose to use my cast iron enamelware pot for this task because I knew it would take me from start to finish.  As a side note this was given to me by my ex-boyfriend, whom I refer to “as the one that got away” every time I use my Le Creuset because this is by far my favorite piece of kitchen cookware.  If you do not own one, I strongly suggest investing in one! (Click read more to get the rest of this recipe!)

beef, stew, recipe

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Milkshakes For Big Kids!

9 September, 2014, 0 comments, on

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It was a steamy hot summer night in my lil ole apartment in Baltimore.  My roommate had foolishly decided to crank the oven up to 400 to bake a sweet potato for dinner, which only added to the sweltering effect.   I needed to cool off and chill out fast!  I took stock of what I had in the freezer and pantry and decided a spiked milk shake would take care of this situation right quick!

I have recently become quite fond of bourbon, so I decided I would use bourbon and some crème de coco (because what gal doesn’t like chocolate?!) as my spirits in this shake.

milkshakes, desserts, icecream, recipe

icecream, milkshakes, recipe, desserts

I wanted to add some texture to the shake as well, so I decided to pulse some pretzels and dark chocolate in the blender to add to the shake at the end.  I also decided that some banana could add a nice depth of flavor, and I just happened to have one already frozen.  Once I had pulsed the pretzels and dark chocolate in the blender until fine, I set these aside to add later.

Lastly and most importantly, a high quality ice cream is a must!  I grew up on Bryers ice cream.  I remember as a child growing up in a large family, my mom would send all of us kiddos down separate check- out lanes at the grocery store when it was on sale (BOGO), and we would end up with at least 8 half gallons of Bryers ice cream!  Gone are the days when they actually used to sell ice cream in half gallon sizes (currently most are sold at 1.5 quarts!), but the flavor and quality remain the same.

icecream, milkshakes, desserts, recipe

I creamed the ice cream, bananas, and spirits in the blender on medium speed, adding milk as needed to thin it out.  Once this was blended smoothly, I incorporated the reserved pretzel chocolate pieces.  I would recommend a wide straw, or using a spoon, as these will clog a normal sized drinking straw.  I poured the shakes into some old fashioned ice cream parlor glasses and garnished with a pretzel.

icecream, milkshakes, dessert, recipe

Not only did it serve cool my roommate and I off on the sweltering summer eve, but it also relaxed us very much thanks to the bourbon!  I highly recommend experimenting with other flavors of ice cream, and using other spirits.  Get creative, and be prepared to want seconds of these milkshakes for big kids!

milkeshakes, icecream, recipe, desserts

-Emily

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Rosemary Ginger and Apple Berry Crumble

26 August, 2014, 0 comments, on

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Yes, it’s a mouthful in the literary sense, but well worth the gastronomic effort! With only a short time to throw something together for a Memorial Day party, I decided to make a crumble. I adore fruit crumbles, for their yummy from your grandma’s kitchen flavor and texture. They also scream American summertime to me, and on Memorial Day I could think of no more appropriate dessert to make!

As the title suggest, this is not your granny’s cobbler, well at least not mine. I have been growing herbs on my deck, and the rosemary was begging for a non-traditional role to play. I have also recently been on an Asian kick, so I decided to make use of some ginger I had on hand.

strawberries, blackberries, berry, berries

ginger root, ginger, rosemary, herbs

I peeled and cut 5 large apples, and combined with 1 qt of blackberries and 1 qt of strawberries. Next I chopped about 2 tsp of fresh rosemary and grated 1 Tbsp. of fresh ginger. I combined the rosemary and ginger with the fruit, and sprinkled with 2/3 cups of sugar, and 2 tsp of cornstarch. Now this was starting to look, and taste fabulous. Yet, I had to take it one step further by adding ¼ c of Bullet Bourbon! A quick taste of the filling made me fall head over heels in love, thankfully my roommate wasn’t around to witness this! Folks, remove the cornstarch, and you have the great beginnings of some Sangria fruit here, but I digress.

apple, fall

bulleitt bourbon, ginger, rosemary, crumble, fall

No crumble is complete without that beautiful oat topping. For the topping I pulsed ¾ cups of old fashioned oats, and ½ cup of flour in the blender, with 1/3 cup of brown sugar, and 1 tsp of sea salt. Next I transferred to a bowl, and cut in 1 stick of chilled butter.

I placed the fruit in a 9x13 pan and then sprinkled with the topping, and baked at 375 for approximately 60 minutes. The results were mouthwateringly delicious! The rosemary and ginger served to add a new depth of flavor, and complimented the strawberries and blackberries beautifully. I strongly suggest serving this with vanilla ice cream, or vanilla infused homemade whipped cream. Enjoy!

ginger rosemary apple berry crumble

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Not Your Momma’s Grilled Chicken

20 June, 2014, 0 comments, on

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The changing of seasons always inspires my cooking. With the warmer weather finally upon us, I have been very excited to try new grilling recipes.  This recipe was inspired by my ardent love for fresh dill and citrus!

Here is what you’ll need:

ingredients

1 (3-5 lb) whole chicken.  I strongly recommend organic not only for the health benefits, but because the taste is so much better!

1 lemon

Approximately 1 cup of chopped fresh dill

1 quart of buttermilk

4 cloves of fresh garlic

Salt and pepper

Pour the buttermilk into a large bowl (large enough to marinate the chicken).  Slice the lemon and add to the buttermilk along with the dill and grated garlic, and season generously with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken in the bowl, cover and leave it to soak up the glory for 8-24 hours!  

brined chicken

Be sure to remove the chicken from the fridge 1 hour prior to cooking, so it can warm up.  I have found the best method for cooking a whole chicken on the grill is to butterfly it, which will also lead to beautiful browning of all the skin as well.  You will need a sharp knife or good kitchen shears, but basically all you need to do is remove the backbone so that it will lay flat.

brined chicken, recipe

recipe brined chicken

Fire up your grill!  I prefer a charcoal grill for the flavor, but it is a little harder to keep at a consistent temperature.  I highly recommend banking your coals to one side so you can have an area of indirect heat to cook the chicken and better control the temperature.  Be sure to grease the grill surface with Crisco to avoid the skin from getting stuck.

brined grilled chicken recipe

Now you are ready to cook this bird!  Before placing the chicken on the grill be sure to season the skin side with more salt and pepper.  Place the bird over the indirect heating area and place two bricks (wrapped in foil) on the top to weigh it down.  Cover and cook rotating at least once.  Depending on the size of your bird this will take 45 – 75 minutes to cook.

brined chicken grilled recipe

salad cherries feta cheese pecans

The end results were delicious.  The brine served to infuse the chicken with a beautifully refreshing flavor and helped to keep it moist during the cooking time.  I threw together a salad of romaine lettuce, fresh cherries, dill (can’t have too much!), feta cheese, and some chopped pecans and dressed it with a citrus poppy seed dressing.  There you have it folks, the perfect way to enjoy a summer’s eve.  

Drink.Eat.Relax!

-Emily

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Bacon Vodka 3 Ways!

25 March, 2014, 0 comments, on

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For all of our bacon and cocktail enthusiast, you are in for a treat!  I was recently given the joyous task of creating three simple cocktails with bacon flavored vodka.  It was surprisingly easy and fun!  For this experiment I used the Bakon brand of bacon vodka, which to my knowledge is the only brand with this flavor.  For a little more about this unique vodka visit http://www.bakonvodka.com/

After a little brainstorming with a friend and a quick perusal at some recipes, I decided to make a Smoky Screwdriver, a Bacon Bloody Mary, and a Bacon Chocolate Martini.  Here are the results for you to try for yourself! In addition to the Bakon vodka you will need

Orange Juice
Bloody Mary Mix (I used George’s Bloody Mary Mix)
Crème de Cocoa
Milk
Ice
Jigger
Cocktail shaker

I set out to make the Smoky Screwdriver first.  I mixed 1.5 oz Bakon vodka with 3 oz of orange juice.  Shake over ice, and strain into a glass.

bacon vodka recipe

bacon vodka recipe

The results were great; sweet with a nice smoky flavor at the end!  The perfect drink to go with your brunch or breakfast.

Next I whipped up a bloody mary.  I shook 1.5 oz Bakon vodka over ice with 3 oz of George’s Bloody Mary mix over ice and poured into a glass.  I garnished with the classic celery stalk, but a beautiful piece of cooked bacon would be quite nice as well.  This was a delightful marriage of flavors.  George’s bloody Mary mix is spicey which paired very well with the smoky bacon flavor of the Bakon vodka. All in all, a great way to jazz up a classic cocktail.

bacon vodka recipebacon vodka recipe

I think I saved the best for last though folks!  For this final experiment I mixed 1.5 oz Bakon vodka, 1.5 oz crème de cocoa, and ¾ oz of whole milk.  Shake over ice, and strain into a properly prepared martini glass.  I found that the drizzled chocolate around the edges of the glass to be a must for this beauty, but do as you see fit. 

bacon vodka recipe

bacon vodka recipe

Well there you have it, bacon flavored vodka in three easy to make, fun to drink, cocktails.  Enjoy!

- Emily

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