Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cocktail of the Week

As one who used to tend bar on occasion, I love trying new cocktails.  I was watching The Kitchen yesterday on Food Network and Geoffrey Zakarian always incorporates a new cocktail at the end of the show.  This episode it was the Southside Cocktail.  And I happened to have all the ingredients.  Imagine that?  Yes, a former bartender usually always has everything on hand to make any cocktail known to man!

So, last evening I commenced to making this delightfully light cocktail.  It's very yummy!!  Try it!

 Southside Cocktail    

Yields: 1 Servings
2 ounce Gin
1 ounce Lime juice fresh squeezed
3/4 ounce Simple Syrup
1 sprig Mint
1 Mint leaf

Combine the gin, lime juice, simple syrup and mint sprig in a shaker. Add some ice cubes and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Peanut Butter Bars

I came across this recipe recently and just had to make it.  It reminded me of the peanut butter bars that they served with our school lunches in elementary school.  I don't know a kid, parent, teacher, or administrator who didn't love Mrs. Baggett's Peanut Butter Bars.  Hers were just like these but instead of having the chocolate covering, they were sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.  Next time, I'll make them just like that in memory of Mrs. Baggett. 

They are yummy either way you do it - try them!! If you have kids, they'll be happy you did!

 Peanut Butter Bars    

Yields: 50 Servings
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Brown Sugar packed
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Peanut butter
2 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar
2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips 

1. Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave until butter and peanut butter are melted, one to two minutes (time will vary by microwave).
2. Remove from microwave and use a large spoon to stir all of the ingredients together until they form a ball of dough that leaves the side of the bowl. Pat into a 9x13 pan.
3. Pour chocolate chips into another microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until completely melted. Spoon over top of peanut butter mixture and spread evenly.
4. Allow to cool completely at room temperature until chocolate hardens again or place in the refrigerator for faster hardening. Cut into squares and serve to some awfully happy people!
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Monday, February 03, 2014

Super Bowl Fare

While I'm not big on pro football (unless I'm there in person) I always take the time to watch the Super Bowl game, year after year.  Mostly due to the commercials, as with many other folks in the country.  So, with that being said, one must provide some munchies for said football game and I came across this recipe recently that was perfect.  A little labor intensive on the front end but worth it on the back end. 

Only thing I changed was to increase the amount of hot sauce from the original 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.  A little more liquid was needed to be able to combine the chicken, cheese, pepper, and scallions into balls. 

Another thing I might change would be just to simply use a good blue cheese dressing out of the bottle.  The dip was good but seemed a bit rich and the chicken balls are rich enough on their own. 

All in all, this is a great recipe and was a great excuse to pull out my Fry Daddy!

Yields: 12 Servings
1 Chicken store bought rotisserie
1/2 cup Hot pepper sauce Frank's Red Hot
1 teaspoon Black pepper
1 3/4 cups Sharp cheddar finely grated
1/4 cup Scallion finely sliced
1 cup All purpose flour
3 Eggs lightly beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
2 cups Panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Blue cheese crumbled
1/2 teaspoon Hot pepper sauce Frank's Red Hot
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Lemon juiced
1 teaspoon Garlic chopped



Have oil heated to 350 degrees F.

Pick meat from the chicken, chop finely. Discard chicken. Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the hot sauce, pepper, cheese and scallions. Toss to combine. Roll the chicken into 2-ounce balls, about the size of a golf ball.

Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls. Roll each ball in the flour, then the egg, then the Panko crumbs. Set aside.

When the oil is hot, fry the chicken balls in batches. Cook for about 2 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken to paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil.

To make the sauce, combine the mayonnaise, crumbled blue cheese, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, lemon and garlic in a large bowl. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve the chicken alongside the dipping sauce.

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