Friday, December 16, 2011

Hot Chocolate Remix

Remember how a while ago I talked about cheating on my mom and finding this fabulous recipe for hot chocolate?  Well friends, I have an even better way to enjoy this lovely-ness.  I call it adult hot chocolate.  I'm sure you're getting where I'm going with this.

After finishing my last final yesterday, I settled down to nice cup of this and just soaked in the freedom of the break ahead of me.  It was glorious.  Really, it didn't settle in until last night when I was hanging out with some friends that I finished my first semester of law school.  Law school people.  It's like I just turned around and instead of being a scared little 1L in August, I am now in December and finished with my first semester.  Where did all the time go??? I know they told me it would go by fast, but I had no idea it would go by this fast.  Ca-razy!

 I made some wonderful mudslide cupcakes back in the summer and well, you cannot buy Kahlua or Baileys in tablespoon increments so I ended up with quite an excess.  One night while studying, Mike and I decided it was time to break out the hot chocolate.  As I searched through the fridge for cream, I stumbled upon the remnants and a little light bulb lit up over my head like in the cartoons.  Thus, the adult hot chocolate was born! Through all the craziness and stress, it was always nice to come home and make myself some hot chocolate, adult or regular style, it always did the trick! So now I'm going to share with you.

Adult Hot Chocolate:
Hot Chocolate Mix
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Cream
1-2 T Baileys
1-2 T Kahlua

Optional Garnish:
Bourbon Whipped Cream

Make Hot Chocolate as usual, before pouring the hot mixture into your cup, add the Baileys & Kahlua to your cup, as much as your liking dictates.  (Honestly, the goal here is not to get even slightly buzzed; I could never even taste the alcohol, but it does give the hot chocolate an even silkier, richer taste).  If only have Baileys or Kahlua, I'm sure those would be just fine, double the amount if desired.  Pour in your hot chocolate mix and garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows, cinnamon or I highly recommend the bourbon whipped cream.  You're probably thinking, uh gross. That's a lot of different types of flavors mixed together and I agreed with you at first, but don't fear, it all mixes together in a warm chocolatey haze of goodness.  Sip and enjoy with ones you love.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out Starbucks

Anyone ever been to Starbucks and had their delicious caramel macchiato biscotti?  Well, so have I many, many times.  After consuming about a billion of those little guys, I finally cracked the secret to the illusive caramel macchiato biscotti recipe and I'm willing to share.

Remember this post where I talked about entering two recipes and one of them winning and then never gave you the second recipe?  Well, the day is here to share the second.  Here's a hint.  It's the caramel macchiato biscotti.

These cookies are easy to combine, but beware, they make a lot and they take a while to complete.  That being said, they are well worth all the work!  I gave some of these to my supervisor at the law library and she called them crack biscotti because she thought they were that good!  *No crack is actually contained in the biscotti, don't worry.*

So, after much adieu, here is the recipe for the first place Caramel Macchiato Biscotti

Caramel Macchiato Biscotti
Inspired by Starbucks

Coffee Biscotti:
2 tpsp of instant coffee 

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder
1 bag Caramel baking chips

Vanilla Biscotti:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup white granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 long vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped using the back of a knife

Caramel Icing:
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup packed brown sugar

For the Coffee Biscotti:
Preheat the oven to 300ยบ F. Beat the butter, sugar, and egg together until fairly smooth. Add coffee and caramel chips. Mix flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl, then add to the other mixture. Mix everything just until dough begins to form. Cover and set aside in the fridge while you prepare the vanilla dough.
For Vanilla Bean dough:
 In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, and baking powder.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds until light in color and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, beating well.  Add the second egg and beat again.  Scrape down the sides.  Mix in the dry ingredients.

Take out the coffee dough and divide the dough in fourths; shape each quarter into a 12-inch long, 1 1/2-inch wide log. Dough quarters should be thin.  Divide vanilla dough into quarters placing on top of coffee dough. Lightly press the vanilla dough into the coffee dough so that it adheres together.  Transfer two of the logs to the baking sheet. (Unless you have large pans or two ovens, these will have to be baked two at a time, or two can be frozen for further use)  Bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes.  The dough will be slightly soft to the touch.  Allow the dough to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.  

After logs have cooled, cut the logs into 3/4 -inch wide diagonal slices using a sharp or serrated knife.  Place the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheets.  Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, turning the biscotti over halfway through. Cool on the baking sheets.  

While biscotti are cooling, make caramel icing. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, cream, and brown sugar over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to boil; remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool then stir in confectioner's sugar. Icing should be thin.  If it is too thick, thin down with milk.  If too thin, add additional powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved.  You’ll want to dip all the biscotti while the frosting is still warm.

When biscotti are cooled, drizzle or dip each biscotti into icing.  Allow to harden and enjoy.

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to Jill!

Well friends, I am almost unofficially done with finals!  After tomorrow afternoon's final, I only have one two hour easy-peasy exam and then I am officially done.  Let me tell you, it is about time too!  For example, my brain has decided that everytime I read a computer screen, I must have a headache and I mean head. ache. in a big way.  I've come to the conclusion that law school is out to make me blind, just like justice.

However, one very big reason that finals need to be over now is that as of today, I am an Aunt! My sister-in-law Courtney just had a sweet baby girl a mere few hours ago.  Sounds like everything went great and everyone is doing great.  Since I found out about baby girl's arrival, I've been planning and making some great crafts for her.  I know right now I'm the only aunt she has, but that could be subejct to change and no offense to the could-be aunt, but I really want to seal the deal of favorite Aunt award!  That's mostly a joke, but seriously, I have to make up for being in a different state in some way! I am not above straight out bribery!

I'll give everyone a hint on her name:

Okay, that was kind of a trick; her full name is Jillian Rose.  So, to help her to spell her name and be a smarty before everyone else in her future classes, I made her these yarn wrapped letters.  I told Courtney my ideas and she helped me pick out the colors.

Believe it or not, wrapping these are harder than it seems.  There were times I'd be like, "ugh...which way do I wrap this now without it looking like a 2 year old did this?" Thankfully, it's easy to pick up and I finished these just in time for her arrival!  Lots of prayers, hugs and love to the new mom, dad, and daughter.  Can't wait to see you all soon!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One Week Down, One Left to Go.

You might have noticed that I didn't post yesterday and well, you'd be correct.  Apart from having two finals this week, I've had various other um, unplanned activities occur this week.  

To begin with, I had a minor melt down Thursday morning when my computer started making a mysterious ticking noise and flashing a file folder with a question mark.  I mean really computer, if you don't know what's going on, then I don't either so stop asking me with that stupid flashing question mark!  

Anywho, Friday rolled on and I met the first test of my life where I honestly think I failed.  Good news is, that's was the general sentiments of the entire class, so we can't all have failed.  Here's to just passing that class - I have no delusions of grandeur.  

Lastly, my sweet Father who is never sick has all kinds of sickness goin' on and is in the hospital - that is after she convinced him to go after he drove 4 hours from Dallas to Chickasha with a kidney stone and kidney infection.  He told me he only almost took out one mailbox on the way...I think it's safe to say irrationality and stubbornness runs deep in my heritage.  My family would love any prayers you could offer up on his behalf, or you can just drop by the hospital in Chickasha if you want. 

So, all that to say, "gee-whiz! What a ridiculous week!"  I'm only half done people!  I'm almost afraid to see what outside stressors next week hold for me.  Okay, okay, I'm sure it will be fine, but I'm always lookin' for the worst case scenario as preparation.  

What awaits me next week?  Contracts, Lawyering, and a massage.  Yay for livin' the dream. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snow Way! Christmas Card Hanger and Happenings of Late.

Here's a couple things that have been happening lately (to catch you all up) and of course something fun to create.  This will be a picture intensive post - I know, there's much rejoicing that i won't be typing much.

First, it snowed yesterday before my first final.  Snowed people.  People are stupid here when it snows. So there's that.  Oh yeah, I also finished my first final! Woo-hoo! Now only if three weren't three others to take...

Kora remains herself as always, cute and playful. We found out yesterday that she LOVES snow. I mean LOVES. She tried to snort it up her nose and then barked at it.  Just normal stuff ya know.

And Mike remains the same as always, cute and playful. Woops! That was the dog.  Mike did no-shave November and this is him finally shaving it off bit by bit.   There was much rejoicing on my side but I think his face misses the warmth.

Oklahoma State beat trounced OU.

But lost out on a national championship.

And somehow amidst all the finals craziness, I made this lovely. I have to brag because I kinda made it up my self. (Yes, I am patting myself on the back.)

It was super easy.  It might have taken me thirty minutes to make.  I used:
Yard stick (mine had handy holes at each end for hanging, but you cold always drill your own if they're missing).
Scrapbook paper
Mod Podge

Basically, I glued the ribbon to the yard stick.  It did leave some little discolored spots so if you don't like that I would recommend double stick tape.  I didn't think of that, so learn from my mistakes people.  I cut the ribbon a couple inches longer than the yardstick to wrap around to the back; it hides the edges that I'm sure will fray eventually.  Just glue them securely.

Clothespins were the easiest thing I've ever done.  I had a TON just hanging around from a previous project.  I cut out a piece of scrapbook paper a little larger than the surface of the pin (you can pick either side or do both if you wish!).  Mod podge it onto the clothespin.  Wait till the surface of the paper is dry. (By the time I finished mod podging my last pin, the first one was dry - works out perfect!) Then cut away the excess.

Voila! Christmas card hanger.  If you'll notice I only have one. card. Someone please send me some cards!

Let me know what you think! Stay warm wherever you are!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Spinach Salad with Chicken, Apple & Pomegranate

During this crazy, busy, stressful time, I have tendencies to reach towards the junk food while studying.  So, to offset that, I've been trying to offset my increased junk food intake with healthy, nutritious meals.  Thankfully, we watch Biggest Loser every week and they have a smorgasbord of delicious, nutritious meals.

So here is my take on one of their yummy salads.

You may be thinking, "hmmm the title says apple, but I don't see any apple." Well, you'd be extremely observant and correct.  There's not apple in this photo because I forgot it.

This salad has everything. Savory, tart, sweet, and sour; it not only has every taste, but all kinds of nutrition for you - it is the perfect winter salad (in my completely biased opinion).  So if you're stressed and busy, eating well is simple (yes, I realize I sound like a trainer from Biggest Loser - just go with it).

Spinach Salad with Chicken, Apple & Pomegranate
adapted from Biggest Loser

3 T apple cider vinegar
2 T honey
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T olive oil

1/2 medium red onion
1 medium apple (gala, fiji, etc.)
1/2 t cider vinegar or lemon juice
8 oz. baby spinach leaves
2/3 cup pomegranate arils
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup of cubed rotisserie chicken

In a small bowl (or mason jar), combine vinaigrette ingredients and whisk (or shake) until well combined.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Shake or re-whisk before serving if liquid has settled.

Slice onion in half and then into half moon slices.  Remove core from apple and cut into small cubes combine in a bowl with lemon juice or vinegar to prevent browning.  Place all salad ingredients into a large salad bowl and toss to combine.  Serve with dressing (1 1/2 t per person). Serves 10 salad portions or about 5 entree portions.

Eat and bask in the healthiness.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cheating on My Mom

I was blessed with a mother who is a wonderful cook. Seriously, I owe all of my kitchen proficiency, among other things, to her.  She crafted and continued many of the 'family' recipes I still use today.  So that's why it's so hard when I stumble across a recipe I favor more than my mom's version. I ultimately feel like I'm cheating on my mom by even entertaining the thought of using this recipe, let along actually using it and favoring it more! (Now you're understanding this title aren't you?)

This hot cocoa recipe is exhibit A in the case of me cheating on my mom.  My mom's recipe is thick, rich and wonderful, but there's just something about this cocoa mix that looks at my mom's mix and points and laughs hysterically.  So all that to say, sorry mom, your recipes will always be first and sorry I cheat on your recipes.  Now more about this cocoa mix!

Not only does it have the normal sugar and cocoa in it, but it has chocolate chips.  Yes. Chocolate chips people. You're beginning to see my dilemma aren't you? It makes a wonderfully, sinful, comforting cup of hot chocolate on those chilly winter nights.  It's really what has kept me going through this last Missouri winter (Snowpocalypse anyone?) and I'm sure what will keep me going through this winter! So now you have a perfect excuse to stay inside and add your winter poundage layer through this next cold spell! Cheers! 

Hot Cocoa Mix
2 vanilla beans, scraped and seeds removed
4 cups white sugar
24 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped in food processor (small pieces)
9 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped in food processor (small pieces)
2 cups cocoa powder

Combine everything together until it turns the same color. This makes A LOT. It will keep forever in an airtight container - we're still working on our batch from last winter and it tastes just as good.  

To make hot cocoa:

Combine 1/3c cocoa mix, 1 cup milk (any fat %) and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (trust me, you want the cream!) in a saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk vigorously until the cocoa mix is dissolved.  Heat milk mix until just before boiling.  This should be a few minutes; you want to give the chocolate enough time to melt.  Pour into a cup and adorn with marshmallows, cinnamon, whipped cream or any garnish of your liking.  Devour and feel the warmth! 

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, my wonderful husband asked to me to marry him.  I said yes and haven't regretted one minute of it.  Sure, wedding planning was stressful, but I'd do it a hundred times over if it meant I got to marry him.  So, to celebrate the momentous occasion that occurred two years ago, here are some pictures from our life.

Calling the parents after the proposal.

Here's to many more proposal-versaries in the future!

(All photos except the first are courtesy of Shelby Hurst.  Check out his wonderful work here!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winner! Winner! Cupcake Dinner!

If you follow me on facebook, you probably noticed I posted this link last week.  Well,  here are my pictures of my cupcake - you'll notice my pictures aren't quite as good as the Tribune's...something to work on over Christmas break I suppose!

The competition was a lot of fun to compete in and I'm looking forward to next year's competition already!
This is how the whole process worked: I entered my recipes online, and waited patiently anxiously for a month until they notified finalist. *Bragging ahead* I have to say I was proud when they notified me I was the only finalist to have two recipes chosen! Another post about the other recipe later.  I made both recipes, delivered them for testing/photographing and then again, waited for the awards the next week.  These cupcakes took third in the filled category, not my ultimate goal, but still highly respectable.  So here they are:

Don't worry, I actually piped the frosting for the official ones!

If you've been on pinterest you may have seen a couple pins about filling cupcakes with apple butter - well, that's exactly what I did. Everyone that had one really seemed to enjoy them, of course that was mostly my family and they're a little biased, so take that with a grain of salt!  Here's the recipe; hope you enjoy them!

Apple Butter Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting
(Don't worry, it sounds more complicated than it really is!)

2/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk

Apple Butter (or if you're a food snob like me, you make your own)

2 sticks butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease a cupcake tin. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extracts.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, and baking powder. Beat 1/3 of flour mixture into wet ingredients. Alternatively add the flour mixture and milk/sour cream to the wet ingredients, blending until smooth after each addition.
Fill the cupcake liners about 1/4 full. Create a crater with the back of a small cookie scoop and drop in 1-1/2 tablespoon of apple butter into each cupcake liner. Fill the liners with rest of batter until about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (It’s OK if the apple butter leaves residue on toothpick). Allow to cool completely before frosting.

While cupcakes cool, place all frosting ingredients in a bowl. Mix until frosting comes together and is smooth. Do not mix too fast, to avoid whipping any air into the frosting. Frost cupcakes to taste.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Finals, Pork, and Wrecks. Oh My!

Hello all! if you've noticed a hiatus from posting, then you'd be very observant.  With the past week of Thanksgiving and studying I just did not meet up to my lofty ambitions of blogging more than three days a week.  Well fail. But that's okay, absence makes the heart grow fonder right? So...are you all fonder now?

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of thoughts of thankful things and lots of delicious food! I have to say, on Saturday, I was extremely thankful after we got through a minor wreck unscathed.  God was definitely watching over what could have been a big wreck and turned it into hardly anything but a scare.  What are you all thankful for?

It's hard to imagine that this time next week I will be freaking out over my first big girl law school final.  I'm feeling a little something like this right now.

except that I refuse to wear anything but sweat pants and forgetting to shower has become a norm.  Sorry husband! Just look at those wedding pictures from when I was pretty for the next three weeks! With all this finals craziness, I do have to say that I'm looking forward to a couple things after finals are over, in no particular order:

  1. Christmas
  2. A massage (thank you Lexis Nexis points!)
  3. Getting my hair cut - don't worry, nothing drastic
  4. Christmas
  5. Christmas parties
  6. Sleeping
  7. No studying for a few weeks
  8. Florida (perk about being married to a youth minister, they pick good places for conferences!)
Until then though, it's back to studying, wearing comfy clothes and not showering.

Onward to the recipe.
Remember a couple weeks ago when I made this. Well this is what we had it on:

Pulled pork. I think my husband fell in love with me all over again.  Secret is, it was super easy. We're talking crock pot easy, also delicious. Since it's just the two of us, we froze half of it and saved it for later and surprise of all surprises, it was just. as. good.

Without delay, here it is!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

3-4lb. pork shoulder
2T yellow mustard
1/4 c paprika
1/4 c sugar (brown or white)
3 T garlic powder
3 T salt
2 T onion powder
2 T black pepper, ground
1 T dried parsley
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c barbecue sauce (your favorite)
2 c. water

Hamburger buns
Barbecue sauce (your favorite)

In a small bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.  Slather pork with yellow mustard - just enough to cover the outside of the meat in a thin layer.  Rub the dry ingredients into the mustard coated pork and put in crock pot.

Cover the pork with ketchup, barbecue sauce and water.  Cover the crock pot and set on low for 8-9 hours or until meat is tender.  Remove cooked pork from crock pot and shred with forks.  Serve on buns with barbecue sauce.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Remember how last week was comfort food week at our house?  Well here's another fruit of my labor:  Chicken tortilla soup.  I am a big fan of soup and also a big fan of Mexican food.  This of course was the perfect combo, even Mike said this was a soup he could eat a lot of - high praise from that meat loving man.

I'm just going to let most of the pictures do the talking on this one.

I've become a kind of connoisseur of chicken tortilla soups if you will and this one has all the good stuff from all the soups I've had.  Hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do; my mouth's watering just looking at these pictures.

Chicken Tortilla Soup


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 jalapenos, finely diced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 bag boil-in-bag brown rice, cooked (or 2 cups prepared rice)
3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Option garnishes
1 cup shredded cheese
avocado slices
tortilla chips

In a large saucepan heat the vegetable oil. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Once the onions have softened add the garlic and jalepenos and cook for another minute. Pour the chicken broth, water, tomatoes, corn, rice, and beans into the pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil lower heat to simmer and add your chicken breasts. Cook the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes. Once chicken is cooked remove from pot. When cool enough to handle shred it and set it aside, or place in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with paddle attachment and shred that way (believe it or not, it works like magic!) Return chicken to pot and add lime juice and fresh cilantro. Garnish with tortilla chips, cheese and avocado if desired.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turkeys For My Favorite Turkeys

As Thanksgiving quickly sneaks up on me approaches, I've come to realize that I'm running out of days for Thanksgiving themed foods/crafts.  Sure, I could do all of them after Thanksgiving, but I just don't think my heart would be in it.  It's like singing Christmas carols in July, it's just wrong.  So since a class was cancelled today, and since I spent three hours going through one last final hardcore edit on that monster paper, I made these...

...for my little turkeys, aka the youth group kids.  Being a youth minister's wife means I have a lot of interaction with the teens.  As we all know, teens eat...a. lot. So I oblige, regularly.  

Now don't get me wrong when I call them turkeys, I love those kids a lot. However, most of the time instead of being the fun, young adult, I end up acting like a mom.  Even when I try I can't keep from saying "that's not a good idea". I have gotten better at it, but anytime I "mother" them, it comes from a place of love.  Even though it's hard for me to be carefree and let them be, I still have a lot of love and compassion for those kids and I am thankful for all their unique traits that make them who they are and the wonderful Christian young people they are growing to be.  So little turkeys, if you read this, it's just one more reminder that I love you all.

On to the how-to's of the turkeys:
Well, it's simple.  It took me about 20 minutes to make 20 of these.  

You will need:
Golden Oreos (double stuft) 
Mini Nilla Wafers
Candy corn (5 per turkey)
Almond bark - any flavor, melted

Dip the back of Nilla Wafer into the almond bark and attach to one side of the Oreo.  Using a toothpick, make eyes on the top of the Nilla Wafer.  Using a spoon, make a thin strip of almond bark at the top of the Oreo in the gap between the cookies and attach 4 candy corn, like so: 

Last, cut off the yellow part on the candy corn (one candy corn per turkey), now you've got your nose.  Attach the nose with a bit more of almond bark (I used the toothpick for this, my fingers are too fat for anything else).  Let the cookies dry and harden and voila! 

You have turkeys for your little turkeys.  Enjoy and be thankful for the little turkeys in your life! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Honey-Garlic BBQ sauce

Last week was comfort food week at the Coghill house seeing as I needed lots of comfort to get through this stinking paper.  But good news: I am finally in the editing phase which means the end is near! So to kick off our unofficial "comfort food" week, I made some bbq sauce.

Yep. It's pretty delicious (this is coming from the girl that doesn't really care for bbq sauce).  It's also fairly simple to make; it's one of those wonderful set it and forget it type things.  Also, it makes a lovely companion to things like pulled pork sandwiches (hint, hint).

In addition to making wonderful yummy food last week, I also have been religiously listening to My Hope Is In You.  If you haven't heard it, you should because it's great (forewarning though, the music video's kinda sad!).  It's been my great reminder that the end is near on the semester of law school!

Alright, enough yammering, here's the recipe.  Happy Monday to you all!

Honey-Garlic BBQ Sauce
adapted from All Recipes

            2 cups ketchup
            4 cloves crushed and peeled garlic
            1 cup water
            2 tablespoons hot sauce
            1/4 cup honey
            1 T garlic powder
            1 T onion powder
            2 tablespoons molasses
            2 tablespoons brown sugar
            1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
            1 teaspoon soy sauce
            1 teaspoon salt
            2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
            1 pinch paprika
            1 pinch crushed red pepper
            1 pinch ground white pepper
            1 pinch ground black pepper
            1 tablespoons cornstarch
            1 tablespoon water
            1/2 cup butter


In a large saucepan over medium low heat, mix together everything but the last three
ingredients (2 T cornstarch, 1 T water, 1/2 butter). Allow the mixture to simmer approximately
30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water. Adjust amount of water as
needed to fully dissolve cornstarch. Stir into the sauce mixture. Continue simmering
approximately 2-3 minutes. Stir butter into the sauce mixture. Continue simmering mixture
approximately 5 more minutes, or until butter is melted and the sauce has begun to thicken.
Serve over meats prepared as desired.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with Sugared Walnuts and Bourbon Whipped Cream

I dare someone to say the title five times fast.  My fingers felt tired just typing that title!  In all seriousness though, this recipe is amazing. I was creeping on some facebook pages when my friend Jason Pelache posted this beauty. Sadly Jason is in Japan without a stove. So if you make these, think of Jason and savor every bite.  Needless to say, this one goes out to him in Japan.

As complicated as this title seems, it's not really too bad to make.  I made most everything the night before and it was extremely smooth.  Everything in this recipe works together; its really the epitome of teamwork in action.  Added bonus: anyone you make these for will instantly love you - so cook away my friends.  It's certainly a perfect weekend recipe - one more reason to look forward to the weekend (unless you're a law student with a paper due and finals coming up that is!) Enjoy & have a wonderful weekend!

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with Sugared Walnuts & Bourbon Whipped Cream

Sugared Walnuts
*Do these the night or a couple days before; they're seriously good on almost everything!

Adapted from

16 oz. pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon

Turn slow cooker on High for 15 minutes before use.  Once slow cooker is hot, stir nuts and butter together.  Add in powdered sugar blending until coated evenly.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and uncover.  Cook uncovered for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until nuts have a crisp glaze. Transfer to another bowl and add cinnamon.  Store for 2-3 weeks in an airtight container.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with Bourbon Whipped Cream
Adapted from Foodie Buddha

1 1/2 cup flour
1 T sugar
1 t cinnamon
3 ½ t baking powder
1 1/3 cups milk
1 t vanilla
1 egg
3 T melted butter

Whipped cream:
2 T powdered sugar
2t bourbon (optional)
1 c heavy whipping cream

apple slices

Sift together first four ingredients and place in a bowl.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and place the milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter.  Whisk dry into liquid until mostly combined (a few lumps are won't be problematic).
In a hot greased skillet, pour desired amount of batter (we liked about 1/3 cup) and top with apple slices.  When bottom is light brown, flip pancake over and cook until golden brown on both sides. 
Yields about 8 medium pancakes.

Whipped cream:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mix and whisk until stiff peaks form. 

Assembly: pancake, pecans, (butter if desired) syrup topped with whipped cream.  Eat & enjoy!