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    Average: 3.8 (4 votes)
So as you all have probably realized – I am obsessed with peanut butter. I found this recipe online and the great thing about it is that it is 21 Day Fix approved so it’s a great treat for those trying to watch what they are eating but still craving something savory. I decided to whip up this treat for my husband and I while we were stuck at home during the Blizzard of 2016! We ended up getting over 3 feet of snow!  This bark was super easy to make and only took a few minutes
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Top 5 Cookies - Holiday Cookies We'd Love to Get!

23 December, 2013, 0 comments, on

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The holidays are a wonderful time to slow down, eat, drink and relax and one of the best ways to do that is with a little baking for family and friends.

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Chicken Fricassee by Emily

18 December, 2013, 0 comments, on

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After a long day at work I decided to treat myself to a nice homecooked meal!  Being a single gal it’s sometimes hard to cook for one.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe, which I found in my bonapetit magazine, or online. There was no way I wanted to cook a whole 3 lb chicken for just myself!  I instead opted for a 4 pack of bone-in, skin-on organic chicken thighs.  A 4 pack of chicken thighs I have found is perfect as far as amounts go.  If you’re really hungry you will eat two and still have leftovers, but not a fridgefull!

I started by prepparing the onions, garlic, and fresh thyme.
 

Once these were prepared I began by sautéing the onions in my grandmother’s cast iron skillet.  Granny D’s skillet has never let me down.  A family heirloom that’s not only sentimental, but extremely practical!
 

I then proceeded to chop up the baby bella mushrooms (the recipe called for shitake, but baby bella is what I had available).

Once this was accomplished dinner practically made itself! I browned the chicken in the oven on a rack placed over a cookie sheet.  I baked until the skin was beginning to brown and it was almost cooked through.   

As the chicken was baking I added the wine and the chicken stock and reduced to half. The kitchen at this point smelled heavenly, and I’m pretty sure my neighbors within sniffing distance were probably pea green with envy!

Once the liquid had reduced I removed the skillet from the heat and added the greek yogurt and the sour cream. Next time I think I will just opt for using all sour cream instead of half yogurt, half sour cream.  I am guessing that the greek yogurt is supposed to make it a “healthier option”, which at this point I say if you’re going decadent go all the way!  

At this point I added the chicken into the pan and put it back over the heat to cook until heated all the way through.

Lastly, I turned off the stove and added the chopped celery leaves.  The recipe suggest serving this with rice pilaf, but as I didn’t have any rice on hand I cooked some egg noodles to serve it with instead.  The results were marvelous!  

My only suggestion with this delightful meal is make sure you don’t have plans after dinner.  This meal is to be savored.  I had made plans with a girl friend for a glass of wine after dinner, and had to rush through my meal!  Next time I make this I will invite someone over and ask them to bring a bottle of wine with them.  Perhaps not fit for Julia Childs as far as french cuisine authenticity goes, but certainly fit for a single gal living in Baltimore.

-Emily

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Brew Drinks at Home. Drink Brews at Home. Get Started Homebrewing.

4 December, 2013, 0 comments, on

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Kicking back in your favorite chair with an ice cold beer and your desired TV show on seems like the perfect way to unwind after a busy day at work. You get home from a long day and are pumped to just sit back, put on the DVR and crack open your favorite brew but then something seriously goes wrong. You open the fridge and realize you are out of beer! This tragedy is a major setback in the plans you had for your evening of unwinding. So what do you do? Put off your plans for another day and surrender to an evening of TV without beer? No! You run to the beer store and grab your beloved six pack and then you find out how to create your own beer at home so that you don’t run into this problem again!

Seems simple enough right? If you like to drink beer at home why not make the beer right there so that you never need to run to the beer store again! Nearly 1 million Americans are homebrewing while you read this post so don’t be afraid to jump into the process.

Please note that homebrewing is completely legal for you to do in all 50 states however, it is illegal to sell your homebrews. So keep the goods to yourself!

I bet your wondering … Do I have the skills to make my own beer? The answer is if you can heat up a can of baked beans, make easy mac, or even do your own laundry then you already have too much knowledge for this process.

Now I know what you’re thinking again … How much money am I gonna have to dish out for this new found hobby? Basic beginner’s equipment kits start at around $80 and the ingredients cost around $25-$45 per 5 gallon batch. 5 gallons makes roughly 2 cases of beer. So if we average that out you will be making each 12oz. beer at anywhere from $2.10 to $2.60. Compared to the prices of craft beers on the market today that is a huge savings and think of all the money you will save not having to tip anyone but yourself. Oh and taxes? Ha you get to keep all those pretty pennies to yourself instead of paying off the alcohol tax gods.

Now our plan does have a slight problem …. That problem being that it takes 2 hours to brew the beer and 2 weeks to ferment. This in addition to the 1 hour it takes to bottle the beer and then 2 -4 weeks it takes to condition the beers in the bottles. Overall the process takes roughly 4 weeks.

Now I know what your going to say – Holy Crap! I have to wait 4 weeks? Well the bottom line is that if I had written this post 4 weeks earlier or you had read it 4 weeks earlier then you wouldn’t be thinking that! Sorry friends but we promise you that it will be worth the wait because not only will you sit back in your favorite chair with your favorite TV show on but the ice cold beer in your hand will be one of a kind and hand crafted by the coolest person you know … yourself!

So take on the challenge and learn to brew your own beer at home so that you can drink it at home whenever the heck you want!

Stay tuned here because we are going to start brewing our own beer and wine right away. We have a homebrew store located right across from our office and are taking a walk over to get ourselves set up with some equipment. We will let you know how it goes!

For more information on homebrewing and how to get started visit www.homebrewersassociation.org

Cheers & Good Luck Brewing!

-Sara

 

 

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Thanksgiving Feast Essentials!

14 November, 2013, 0 comments, on

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Thanksgiving is a time to hang out with family, watch football, and of course eat a ton of amazing food. Each holiday throughout the year has its various dishes that families enjoy and request time and time again, however it seems to vary from family to family. Thanksgiving is NOT one of these holidays. From talking with others we have found that Thanksgiving seems to have the most established menu of ANY of the holidays. 

Although the Turkey is key to most Thanksgiving meals the side dishes are just as important and really make the meal what it is! Here is our list for those must have dishes on Thanksgiving Day.

Turkey. Roasted or the recently popular Fried Turkey are the way to go.

Stuffing. Bread stuffing, with onions & celery and some sausage r bacon.

Mashed Potatoes. Of course with gravy!

Green Bean Casserole. 

Canned whole cranberry jelly. There is no swapping this one out.

Crescent rolls. You know - the ones that come in the airtight can that pops when you open them – the best kind ever!

Pie. Pie. And More Pie. Pumpkin, Apple, Pecan … the possibilities are endless but pie is a must for any true Thanksgiving Dinner.

Once your meal is complete you can enjoy the rest of the evening fire side, watching football, in your largest pair of sweat pants because the greatest part of a big meal like Thanksgiving is being able to enjoy the food coma after. 

-SJ Duvall

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Thanksgiving Cocktails!

14 November, 2013, 0 comments, on

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Thanksgiving is not only great for the food, family, and football, but it is also the perfect chance to try out a new cocktail!

This year - Try some of our picks for your Thanksgiving Gathering!

Pumpkin Pie Martini Recipe
(recipe from MixThatDrink.com) 

2 ounces vanilla vodka
2 ounces white creme de cacao
1/4 cup heavy cream
1.5 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (pie mix)
1 dash of ground nutmeg (for garnish)
Powdered graham cracker (for the rim)

Rim two martini glasses with crushed graham cracker. Fill a shaker with ice and add the vodka, creme de cacao, cream and pumpkin puree. Shake well until it’s chilled. Strain into the martini glasses. Sprinkle the ground nutmeg on top for garnish.

 

Spiked Apple Cider Recipe
(from foodnetwork.com)

1/4 gallon apple cider
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup cinnamon schnapps
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cut into large chunks
1/2 lemon, juiced

Mix together the cider, rum, and schnapps in a large pitcher. Add the apples to a small bowl and toss them with the lemon juice. Thread the diced apples onto skewers. Pour the spiked cider into glasses filled with ice, then garnish with an apple skewer and serve.

- SJ Duvall

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