Category Archives: Bourbon

Swap Town: Buckwheat

Hi Internet! You’re looking… large?

Let’s keep that up!

I’ve got a buckwheat cacao nib shortbread recipe for you to load your beautiful faces with.

These cookies keep very well, so they’re great for shipping… in case there’s another cookie swap happening that I don’t know about, or you just need to send some to yourself to slow down the face stuffing process.

Unfortunately I’m using a friends computer (and I’m an idiot about non-macs) so I can’t show ya’ll any pictures right now, but they looked kind of like these, as I adapted them (just barely) from Heidi Swanson’s post.

I’ll do a follow up post at some point with the info from my fellow cookie swappers and pictures of my dorky packaging situation.

… I behaved like a fifth grader with a crush… there were check-boxes involved… it was awkward…

Anyways, I’ll be back in the near future to update this cookie swap deal and tell you where the heck I’ve been and maybe tell you about the success or failure of the persimmon ginger cream scones I’m about to make.

Also latkes.

Happy Holidays, Weirdos.

Buckwheat Cacao Nib Shortbread

Adapted from Alice Medrich and 101 Cookbooks

Cream:

2 sticks of softened salted butter

1/2 cup sugar

until just combined, don’t turn this into fluffsville (the longer you cream, the more air you incorporate, the less like shortbread- dense- your cookies will be)

mix in:

the scraped out guts of 1 vanilla bean (save the skin part for roasted fruit or an ice cream base… or just stuff it into your sugar and forget about it)

1 1/2 tsps bourbon (you can skip this but that would be silly. Unless you have cream to use up. Or aren’t using a vanilla bean)

7 tbsps cacao nibs

scrape down the bowl and sift in:

1 cup each all purpose and buckwheat flour

mix until combined and form into 2-3 disks or logs (disks to roll out for cookie cutters, logs to slice and bake) and chill for a couple of hours or overnight.

Slice (or roll out to) 1/4 inch thick cookie bits and bake on parchment until set and just golden on the sides- these are easy to overbake and your times will vary based on the size cookies you end up with so check them regularly (starting around the 7 minute mark).

The number of cookies you get will vary too, probably ranging between 48-60… so unless you’re sending them to people… and you should totally send them all over the place all the time… but if you’re not, I’m sure a half batch would work just fine and yield a less bananas amount of stuff… or you could freeze some of the dough and have cookies, like, whenever. It’s your life, buddy.

 

 

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Filed under Bourbon, Chocolate, Cookies, Room Temperature Butter

Siren Songs and BLTs

Can we talk siren songs for a minute?

A siren song can be just about anything that you shouldn’t do that calls to you. Hard.

I hear them, like, everyday. I have for my whole life.

When I was three, four and five my siren songs were super dicey. Mostly because, at those carefree ages, I always went with my impulses.

Siren song: Play with the shiny big ‘toy’ cars racing through busy intersections.

Result: Dislocated shoulder.*

Siren song: Touch every open flame around.

Result: … I touched a bunch of fires. Ouch?

Siren song: Stand and rock on a chair with inexplicably sharp edges.

Result: Chin chok-a-block full of stitches.

Siren song: Stand on a wheely chair while leaning out our second story window.

Result: I couldn’t go to story time.

That was the worst.** Also, one of the only punishments that wasn’t just a short time-out. I got away with so much.

My siren songs have changed a bit over the years.

Siren song: Buy every issue of Locke & Key.

Result: Poorness.

… But read this if you haven’t. It’s incredimazeballs.

Siren song: Put bourbon in everything.

Result:

 Bourbon spiked Arnold Palmers.

Siren songs I hold off on:

Putting my hand in the running garbage disposal.

Walking into the giant ovens at my baking school.

Jamming the spokes of other people’s bikes.***

Shouting in theaters during live productions.****

Eating bacon every day… I don’t hold off on this one voluntarilly, I just can’t afford that much bacon.

I ate a friend’s bacon today… that sounded… not ideal.

#No shame

A couple weeks ago I made myself a BLT that I’m still salivating over.

 Sorry, the picture’s a bit fuzzy but I took it on my phone with the low-blood-sugar/why-isn’t-that-in-my-face-yet shakes.

It’s a loaded Spring BLT. Like a salad in bread and full of bacon. So, it’s exactly how I like all my salads.

In case you want to eat this beautiful monster…

Thinly slice a small red onion and a handful of radishes.

In a bowl, pour enough red wine vinegar over the sliced onion and radishes to completely cover them.

(Later, you’ll want to save the un-absorbed oniony vinegar for dressings!)

Add a couple pinches of salt and dried dill.

Let it sit and get pickly while you get to the good stuff.

Fry several pieces of bacon, pat off excess fat and set aside.

Drain most of the grease from your pan and sautee a handful of trimmed, rinsed asparagus on high heat for a couple of minutes, until they’ve got some color on them but are still a bit crisp.

Rinse and dry something like lettuce (I used red leaf and spinach. This really was a salad. I’m bonkers, I’ve accepted it).

Slice a tomato and some Dubliner.

Toast a couple slices of sourdough and mix together a couple tsps of whatever mustard you have around with a couple tbsps of greek yogurt (I was out of mayo. This actually worked pretty well. Shocking stuff) and some black pepper.

Assemble and destroy.

You look like you could use a good sandwich.

Treat yo self.

A little quick real life talk? My days have been chaotic, I’ve been sick or fighting something off for weeks and am just now feeling like myself again. I’m gonna work on building up this weak immune system of mine while working my tail off in this baking program and looking for paying work. I don’t know how much time I’ll have for this blogging business. I’m gonna try to post more, but I can’t promise anything regular. I’m gonna shoot for a post every other week, for now.

And now, a request: TELL ME YOUR SIREN SONG.

Too intense?

Well, guys, I really wanna know.

Throw a girl a bone, will ya?

*Or elbow. Probably elbow. But who can keep track of their own medical history? Squares is who!

**I love you mom. I’m obviously only alive ’cause you made the tough decisions. But I’ll probably never get over this.

Also, Everyone, tell me a story. It’ll be awesome. For me.

***My siren songs would be dicks. Obvi.

****As someone who’s done some little bits of theater and has many friends who are actively pursuing a life in that industry, this is the one that feels the worst to me. But the urge is never not there. I figure when I’m older, I’ll snap and be the worst audience member ever. Like a living version of Thespis, but less creative.

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Filed under 'Cause I'm A Kid, Bacon, Bourbon, Drinks, Green, Sandwiches, Spring

Oprah Style

I can’t decide if this post’s title means I’m going to tell you about my favorite things (stop looking under your chair, there will be no giveaways. Despite my childhood beliefs, I’m not actually Oprah) or show you a bag of chips I ate, tell you about my regrets and then get Gayle to feed me salads on a yacht while I nap and Stedman moves my legs.

Maybe there’s something more doable in between. ‘Cause I don’t know Gayle or Stedman and I totally don’t have a yacht. Or know where to find one.

Ok, let’s forget ‘favorite things’ and the fact that my dinner last night consisted of taste testing chips (shut up, it was for science).

Real life things! I got sick again this week. I blame children. They’re always covered in jam and cooties. Mostly cooties.

 These are my favorite hot drinks for my least favorite times. Xiao’s blend from Peet’s (pricey but pretty damn perfect) and homemade ginger tea.

Fresh ginger tea is spicy and amazing and cheap. Peel a hunk of ginger and slice, chop or grate it into a pot, cover with multiple cups of water (about 1 cup water for every inch of ginger- this is a strong ratio and will seriously clear your sinuses), slowly bring to a boil, stock-like, for the most possible flavor, strain into cups with honey and lemon juice and breath in the steam. If you’re really sick throw in a crushed clove of garlic and a 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper for every 2 cups of water- I start on the weaker end of the ratio with these additions.

When I’m extra lazy I just throw a few slices of ginger in a mug with honey, top it off with hot water and lemon juice. Works in a pinch. The real benefit of making a whole pot of the stuff is that you can just throw more water in once it’s gone and you’ll have a new, slightly weaker batch of tea in twenty minutes and your sick self won’t have to chop or peel again for days.

I’ve also been known to just drink hot water with lemon and honey. ‘Cause of how uncoordinated I get when sick and half asleep. Safety first!

I’m gonna backtrack a bit now.

But Rosie, why would you want to go backward?*

Because hot buttered grits with brown sugar is stupid good.

Are you guys eating grits yet? If you haven’t started yet… maybe you shouldn’t. It’s much harder not to eat grits constantly once you know how good they are.

But surely you’re making sundaes.

 You’d be bananas** not to.

And if you want to skip the scary sugar boiling thing I did last week, you can do what I did this week and make a small batch of Deb’s butterscotch sauce in the microwave. Yeah. I’m gonna tell you about this and trust you not to die immediately. You have self control, right?

You’ll need:

a microwave safe bowl

… a microwave

a spoon for stirring every minute or so

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsps dark brown sugar

2 tbsps heavy cream

a pinch of salt

a scant 1/2 tsp vanilla (sometimes I skip the vanilla and just use bourbon***)

Combine all ingredients except for the vanilla in your bowl, microwave for 3-4 minutes (until it has bubbled a bit and everything’s all copacetical), stopping and stirring every minute, add vanilla, stir, cool slightly and use a ladle to pour it into your face. Or just dump other sundae stuff into that same bowl. Or be nice and share as there should be enough for two. Or do like me and make a mini apple crisp and eat the entire thing in one night with ice cream and this microwavable miracle while sick like a hungry hungry fool.

 This is about 1/3 of said crisp. It had a crunchy oat and pecan laced topping and sweet and sour cinnamon covered fuji and granny smith apples underneath. It was glorious.

Hey. I made apple crisp the last time I was sick too. Weird. I developed a new habit!

You know what else happened the last time I got sick? A wonderful lady brought me bread. The bread she gave me this time had fruits and nuts in it.

 We covered that bread in this glorious stuff. It’s like smushed up marmalade made of ginger and I love it and I’m gonna put it in french toast with something creamy and die of joy.

That’s what’s gonna happen. With mimosas. ‘Cause we’re princesses.

So I guess I sort of do have a Gayle. Now all we need is a yacht.

 

*Does it freak you out how well I know your mind? The answer is yes.

**Yup. Still doing that. Just try and stop me. Because I can’t. Seriously. Help.

***Bourbon is totally my spirit animal.

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Filed under 'Cause I'm A Kid, Bourbon, Breakfast, Drinks, For the Sick, Girly, Heavy Cream, Ice Cream, Melted Butter

Cake Shake

 Hello! I’ve been gone again for quite a time. What’s with that? Well, I went and visited some lovely friends of mine and was entirely off of the internet place.

But that was only five days.

The rest of the days were… less than inspiring.

That’s my way of saying my cooking consisted of flops.

I was all set to tell you about a pie I made for my mom’s birthday that, though delicious, had pretty much been an emotional sponge. I made it in a disaster of a mopey mood and the custard turned a sad brownish gray and slumped across our plates when it was meant to stand up and hold the imprints of our forks. It made me want to read ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ again.

 And not make pies.

Which is a wrong sort of feeling. Pies are the best.

But that feeling was reinforced when I made a vegan pie for Ginger and wanted a new crust, more apples, a bucket of caramel and a thicker layer of crunchy crumbly cookie gunk to press into the top.

My baking brain never thinks I’ll need very much crumb topping. My baking brain is foolish. Maybe it’s too full of sugar.

 I tried making orangettes. I couldn’t handle the suggested sugar to water ratio so I cut back on the sugar and ended up with overly sweet orange peel mush. I forgot that I was making candy. And that candy is full of sugar. And that I need to get over that.

I made a mess of a soup. I was trying to clean out the fridge and had been curious about the creamless creamy soup idea (where you put bread in broth and blend it). A failed experiment. It’s still loitering in my fridge waiting for someone (ok, me) to grow a set and dump it out.

 I’m full of dread.

I made weird banana pancakes.

I ate day old doughnuts.

Times are rough.

 Ganache tends to fix things.

Did something go wrong with your day? Need to reset? Cleanse?

Juice is dumb. Go get some heavy cream.

 See the cake under that layer of creamy chocolatey magic? Another flop. Perplexingly bland for something with chocolate, stout, homemade vanilla extract, bourbon, sour cream and a good dose of butter. The crumb coulda been better too. Ok, now I’m splitting hairs but it was my time consuming sad sack of a chocolate cake and so I’ll be* a little unreasonable in my complaining. I mean, look at that sexiness. Shoulda been deloicious.

Anyways, all of these kitchen failures were bumming me out a bit. Then I realized this cake was still covered in ganache. And that I had left over heavy cream. And coffee ice cream in the freezer.

I made whipped cream and ate the slice up in that picture but wasn’t entirely satisfied.

Then I remembered the genius of Jessie and the beauty of the cake shake.

I then also remembered that I totally had more bourbon.

And that bourbon is beautiful.

These beauties go together.

 The cake had been for St. Paddy’s day. It’s totally in the Irish spirit to take something mediocre and turn it into a liquid with (more) booze.

I don’t think I need to tell you guys how to make a milkshake. I figure those of you who are in the milkshake** lifestyle have already science-ed your way through this one.

Booze complicates things slightly what with the lack of freezing and all, so if you’re looking for a thick milkshake that requires a hoover for a mouth to get anything up a straw, skip the bourbon and throw in just a little bit of milk in it’s place. And if you want to make a group size version of this (for yourself or an actual group), blend up the ice cream and cake and let people do their own booze-ing to avoid things turning extra liquidy faster. Plus, then those uninterested in the alcohols aren’t left out, you’ll hang on to more of your bourbon and the kids who break into your house to steal desserts won’t accidentally get drunk! Win win win.

Boozy Cake Shake:

3 parts coffee ice cream to 1 part bourbon and 1 part cake covered in ganache.

Leave the cake out till the very end if you want bigger chunks.

Cover in whipped cream.

Inhale.***

*Pandora is playing ‘It’s Getting Hot In Here’. My words brain froze. I had to bust a move. Forgive me.

** I had a ‘milkshave’ typo. I was a little into it.

***Don’t listen to me. That’s a horrible instruction. Consume it. Rapidly. Then be responsible and drink some water before driving. Safety first.

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Filed under Bourbon, Cake, Chocolate, Drinks, Heavy Cream