Monday, June 18, 2018

Magazine Monday #25: Sweet Basil-Orange Mojito


I feel like I need to clarify something here.

I don't generally sit around in my day-to-day life and make fancy drinks.  (Or gross drinks.)  My blogging habits and my drinking habits don't so much match up.

What usually happens is that I remember on Saturday or Sunday that I need to have a Magazine Monday post ready for the following Monday, and I pull out my binder of magazine recipes, and then I get sidetracked, and then I remember later I still haven't made anything, and then I go to the drinks section of the binder because drinks are easy, and I tend to have everything I need, except maybe the specific booze, which I can just walk up to the store and get.

When I first started Magazine Monday, I had a plan; I had a calendar that lists which National Specific Food Day corresponds with which Monday, and I would try to find specific magazine recipes to go with each specific day.

That worked for a few weeks.  I worked ahead, was super proud of myself, got a little cocky...

But now here we are.  With many recipes for drinks which makes it look like I'm way fancier than drinking Trader Joe's canned cabernet or rosé.

Food blogging is hard, y'all. I don't know how some people churn out new posts every day with tons of social media stuff to go along with it.

Regardless, this is a nice summery drink, and could probably be made in a pitcher or something if you're having a gathering.  Cheers!

(Oh, and, if you wondered, I made this drink on Saturday and am writing this post on Sunday, so I'm ahead of the game and should have a celebratory glass of rosé!)


Sweet Basil-Orange Mojito
Makes 1
From Better Homes & Gardens, June 2012

Ingredients


Handful of basil leaves
1 orange, cut into fat wedges
2 tsp. sugar
1 shot rum
Club soda
Ice

Add the basil to the bottom of a tall glass.  Place 1 orange wedge in the glass, and top with the sugar.  Smush these ingredients with the handle of a wooden spoon (or muddler).

Top with ice, add the rum, and fill the rest of the glass with club soda.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Magazine Monday #24: Sticky Honey-Pineapple Custards



Third time's the charm, I guess!

After two disastrous Magazine Mondays in a row, I finally hit a home run with this one.  This recipe had to be tweaked a little, but I thought it was great, and both Dennis and my work wife, Tracy, thought it was good.  Hooray!

There's a lot of sadness and weirdness in the world right now, so why not give yourself a minute to enjoy a rich, fairly easy dessert?


Sticky Honey-Pineapple Custards
Makes 4 custards


Ingredients


1 3/4 cups half-and-half
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can pineapple rings (or you can use fresh pineapple.  I just didn't have the patience.)
Kosher or sea salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F and heat a small pot of water to boiling.

In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half over medium heat until bubbly.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, 1 Tbsp. honey, and vanilla until just combined.  Whisk in the hot half-and-half.

Place 4 ramekins (mine are 4 oz.) in a roasting pan.  Pour the custard in the ramekins.  Place the pan on the oven rack and pour the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the ramekins.

Here's the part where the recipe & I differ.  It says that if you're using shallow dishes, you should bake for 20-25 minutes, and if you're using deep dishes, it should be from 35 to 40 minutes.  However, my shallow dishes took a total of 55 minutes.  So start out with 25 minutes, and check them every 10 minutes thereafter if they need more time

You'll know they're finished when you insert a knife near the center, and it comes out clean, while the center jiggles slightly.

Remove the dishes from the water and place on a cooling rack, then cover and chill for 1 to 8 hours.

Before serving, in a large skillet, heat the remaining honey and the pineapple slices.  Bring the honey to a low boil over medium heat and boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes until the honey has thickened and darkened and the pineapple is tender.

Place a pineapple ring on each custard, drizzle with pineapple-infused honey, and sprinkle with salt if you want it.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Magazine Monday #23: Citrus-Glazed Bacon


Sometimes, in the world of food blogging, especially when you don't create your own recipes, and when your first shot is the only shot, things just go horribly, horribly wrong.

This one was one of those days.

I found this recipe for Orange-Glazed Bacon in a Rachael Ray magazine.  I hadn't picked a Magazine Monday recipe, and this one seemed simple enough, plus, the only thing I was missing was the main ingredient: bacon.

I also decided to get a little innovative and make not only bacon glazed with orange marmalade but also bacon glazed with lemon curd.  I'd never tried lemon curd before, but when I tasted the jar I had in the cabinet, I loved it, and decided that if orange was good enough for bacon, so was lemon.  For my first batch with the orange marmalade, I also decided to use brown sugar instead of the called-for white sugar, since I was pretty sure brown sugar was used to make candied bacon,

Well.

I followed the directions in the magazine to a T (minus the fact that I'd subbed brown sugar for white sugar).  It came out looking like this.


Not great.

Despite its horrific appearance, Dennis picked up a piece (the second from the bottom on the left, to be specific) and took a bite.

I have literally never seen him react to eating anything the way he reacted to that bacon.  At first, he didn't think it was terrible.  Then, about 10 seconds in, he turned to the sink, spit it out, and spent the next few minutes gagging and rinsing his mouth out.

He had some stuff to say about it.  I won't repeat it. He says I've put him off bacon forever.  I'm ever-so-slightly sorry about how hard I laughed for 20 minutes after the fact. (I did try it myself.  Although I didn't have the same reaction he did, it was most decidedly not good.)

Later, I asked for an official statement.

Dennis: "You said you couldn't repeat most of the stuff I said."
Me:  "I just said I wouldn't use the F-bombs."
Dennis: "Well, that's what I had to say about it.  I don't want people thinking I'm being negative about something you made."
Me: "If it was bad it was bad!" 
Dennis:  "OK. Say it was like rancid zombie flesh, cremated.  Burned to a crisp."

So there you go.  Rancid, Cremated Zombie Flesh Bacon, burned to a crisp.  This is week 2 that Magazine Monday went badly. (Although, to be fair, I determined that last week's recipe went so sideways because the donuts themselves weren't good.  I had more donuts from the same place later that same week, and they were just as disappointing.)

I tried the bacon a second time with the lemon curd, used regular sugar on some of it (the three on the left) and no sugar on some of it, and cut the temperature down by 100 degrees. It wasn't...the worst.


It was not good, mind you.  Just not the worst.

I'm not even going to replicate the recipe here, because I don't recommend it at allHere is the original recipe, though, if you're a glutton for punishment.  If you do make this, don't pre-heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit like the recipe calls for; do it at 300, and do it for a total of 23 minutes.

Godspeed.

The only photo I got of the finished product. I call this "Running, Madly, From Bacon."

Monday, May 28, 2018

Magazine Monday #22: Grilled Doughnuts with Strawberry Basil Dip & Mint Julep Dip


I'm confused by this recipe.

It sounded good.  (OK...it sounded interesting.)  Grilled donuts?  Good.  (Maybe?)  Strawberry dip?  Good.  Mint Julep dip (complete with bourbon)?  Good!

But I can't really get behind it.

I'd love for some people to try this and let me know if it's just me being disappointed in this, that it's actually delicious.

I was just...very disappointed.

I'm giving you the recipe anyway.

I just...I don't know.

Please try this and let me know if I'm crazy.


Grilled Doughnuts with Strawberry Basil Dip & Mint Julep Dip
Makes 8 donuts


Ingredients


8 glazed doughnuts
1 batch Strawberry Basil Dip
1 batch Mint Julep Dip

Strawberry Basil Dip
6 oz. (1 1/4 cup) strawberries, hulled
4 oz. (1/4 cup) cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. packed basil leaves

Mint Julep Dip
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. packed mint leaves
6 oz. (3/4 cup) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 Tbsp. bourbon


To make the Strawbery Basil Dip:  In a blender, combine strawberries, cream cheese, and honey.  Blend until smooth, scraping sides of the blender as necessary.  Add basil, and pulse until just chopped.

To make the Mint Julep Dip:  Combine the sugar and mint in a bowl and mash until fragrant.  

In a blender, combine sugar mixture, cream cheese, milk, and bourbon until smooth, scraping sides of the blender as necessary.

To grill the doughnuts:  Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium, or heat a grill pan on the stove over medium heat. 

Coat doughnuts in olive oil (or nonstick cooking spray).  Grill doughnuts until lightly browned, 30 to 60 seconds on each side.

Serve with Strawberry Basil Dip and Mint Julep Dip.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Magazine Monday #21: Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Pecans, and Basil



I don't know about y'all, but I freaking love gnocchi.

The problem I have with it is that it's so good, I always eat way too much, and when I eat way too much, I find that the carb content sends my blood sugar levels into outer space.

Enter Trader Joe's and their Cauliflower Gnocchi to save the day.

You guys?  This stuff is a revelation.  I ate an entire bag of it, and it didn't ruin my life.

You can for sure make this (delicious!) recipe with regular gnocchi, but if you're carb-conscious like I am, these are an excellent substitute.

(As always, this is not sponsored by Trader Joe's, and as always, I wish Trader Joe's would sponsor me!  Call me, TJ's!)

Also, speaking of sponsoring, don't forget about the Kitchen-Aid Mixer Giveaway several other food bloggers and I are sponsoring.  See the details below, and enter to win a Kitchen-Aid mixer in your choice of color!  Also, make sure to check out the Magazine Monday recipe below the giveaway info!



  • 1 winner will receive a KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt stand mixer in their choice of color. If the winner is from the continental U.S. they will receive the mixer directly. If the winner is from elsewhere, they will receive an Amazon gift card for the list price of the mixer.
  • The giveaway will end on May 26, 2018 at 11:59 PM. Any entries made after this point will be invalid. A winner will be drawn at random and emailed within 72 hours to claim the prize. If no response is received, a new winner will be drawn.
  • You must complete the mandatory Instagram follows as listed below in order to enter. You can complete additional Instagram follows as listed below to gain more entries. You may only enter with one Instagram account. If you enter using multiple account, all entries will be invalid.
  • Giveaway is open worldwide, except where prohibited. You must be 18+ (21+ in some locations) to win. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries we receive.
  • For a complete list of terms and conditions, please see the link below via the Rafflecopter giveaway widget.
Enter now: a Rafflecopter giveaway This giveaway is not sponsored by KitchenAid, Amazon, Instagram, or Facebook. The following bloggers have made this giveaway possible: The PinterTest KitchenShockingly DeliciousThe Baking FairySweet + SavorMakes, Bakes and DecorCindy's Recipes and WritingsBlogghettiThe Simple SupperChef Sarah ElizabethCheese Curd In ParadiseThis is How I CookThe Redhead BakerFix Me a Little LunchMoore or Less CookingSarah Cooks the BooksThe Spiffy CookieBusy Bee Kate • Missy's Views and Savings CluesSeasoned SprinklesLong Distance BakingJonesin’ For Taste2 Cookin MamasKaren’s Kitchen StoriesMyStyleSpot.net


Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Pecans, and Basil
Serves 4(ish)
From Real Simple Magazine, July 2017

Ingredients

2 16-oz. packages potato gnocchi (or 2 bags Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 chopped pecans
A squeeze of lemon juice (you decide how lemony you want it to be)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 cups torn basil leaves
1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook gnocchi according to package directions.

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.  

Add the pecans and cook, stirring often, until the pecans are toasted and the butter is beginning to brown.

Add the gnocchi and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, and basil.  Squeeze lemon over the top and toss.

Serve topped with cheese.

So easy.  So delicious.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Magazine Monday #20: Spicy Tomato and Goat Cheese Penne (Plus a Kitchen-Aid Mixer Giveaway!)



Happy Magazine Monday!

You guys?  

I love pasta.

I'm not really supposed to eat pasta, so I don't have it often, but when I do, I enjoy the hell out of it.

I'm not saying I made this pasta dish on Saturday, and it was gone by Sunday night.

But I'm also not not saying that.

Dennis doesn't like cherry tomatoes, so I was on my own with this one.  And when I'm left alone with pasta?

It's a massacre.

This recipe was in Real Simple magazine, and it was actually one of those things like, "Here are three things you can do with penne pasta!"

Let's just say I'm really glad I chose the one I did.

Also, side note, if you wanted to make this recipe and sprinkle it with Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning?  No one would be mad.

Make it for a potluck.  Make it for a midnight snack.  Just make it and enjoy it!

Also?  Who wants to win a KitchenAid stand mixer!? I’ve joined forces with 20 food blogger friends to put together this giveaway. You’ll gain another entry every time you follow one of us on Instagram. Here are the details:
  • 1 winner will receive a KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt stand mixer in their choice of color. If the winner is from the continental U.S. they will receive the mixer directly. If the winner is from elsewhere, they will receive an Amazon gift card for the list price of the mixer.
  • The giveaway will end on May 26, 2018 at 11:59 PM. Any entries made after this point will be invalid. A winner will be drawn at random and emailed within 72 hours to claim the prize. If no response is received, a new winner will be drawn.
  • You must complete the mandatory Instagram follows as listed below in order to enter. You can complete additional Instagram follows as listed below to gain more entries. You may only enter with one Instagram account. If you enter using multiple account, all entries will be invalid.
  • Giveaway is open worldwide, except where prohibited. You must be 18+ (21+ in some locations) to win. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries we receive.
  • For a complete list of terms and conditions, please see the link below via the Rafflecopter giveaway widget.
Enter now: a Rafflecopter giveaway This giveaway is not sponsored by KitchenAid, Amazon, Instagram, or Facebook. The following bloggers have made this giveaway possible: The PinterTest KitchenShockingly DeliciousThe Baking FairySweet + SavorMakes, Bakes and DecorCindy's Recipes and WritingsBlogghettiThe Simple SupperChef Sarah ElizabethCheese Curd In ParadiseThis is How I CookThe Redhead BakerFix Me a Little LunchMoore or Less CookingSarah Cooks the BooksThe Spiffy CookieBusy Bee Kate • Missy's Views and Savings CluesSeasoned SprinklesLong Distance BakingJonesin’ For Taste2 Cookin MamasKaren’s Kitchen StoriesMyStyleSpot.net

Spicy Tomato and Goat Cheese Penne Pasta
Serves 6 (or me, over 2 days)


Ingredients


1/2 lb. penne pasta
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 oz. crumbled herbed goat cheese
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove the seeds and membrane if you don't want it super hot)
Salt & Pepper
Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (Optional, but HIGHLY recommended)


Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Salt & Pepper to taste.

(See how easy that was?)



Monday, May 7, 2018

Magazine Monday #19: Pub Burgers with Hot Beer Cheese



In the 6 years I've been doing this blog, I've made very few hamburgers.  This is my 7th burger in the time I've been doing this blog, and the reason I don't make them very often is that they often fail.  (Like this one.  And this one.  Aaaaand this one.)  Of course, sometimes, they more or less work.  (Like thisthis, and this.) 

But now there's another one to add to the win column.  And this one is a solid win!

The trouble I usually have with burgers is that I don't put enough binder in, and they fall apart.  This one seemed like it was going to be one of those because the only thing that could potentially hold them together was grated onions.  I figured it was another one of Rachael Ray's tricky tricks.

But no!  They held together and were delicious.  It made a ton of the cheese sauce, so I'm also looking forward to putting it on some fries later.

Oh, and the recipe calls for pretzel rolls, but I don't much like those, so I used some cheesy rolls.  Delicious.

Pub Burgers with Hot Beer Cheese
Makes 4 burgers


Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs. 80% lean ground beef
3 Tbsp. grated white onion
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup beer (the original recipe calls for a lager; I used Guinness)
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. powdered garlic
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 oz. shredded sharp yellow cheese
Rolls
Toppings:  Grainy Dijon mustard, dill pickle chips, lettuce

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, onion, and Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Form the meat into 4 large patties and cook in the heated pan for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally.

While the burgers are cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the butter.  When it melts, whisk in the flour and add salt to taste. Gradually add the milk. Then cook, whisking, until the sauce thickens.  Whisk in the beer, mustard, garlic, and cayenne.  

Reduce the heat to low, then add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt the cheese between additions.

Create your burger by putting mustard on the bottom bun, then adding pickles, the greens, the burger, the cheese sauce, and the bun top.