Super Bowl Sliders

As a kid, eating out was a rare occasion. In addition to being too expensive, piling eight of us into the wood-panel station wagon was enough to spoil all of our appetites. Even a trip to a drive-through was reserved for special occasions.
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Hot Toddy to the Rescue!

The holidays have come and gone and they’ve left me with a cold. Thankfully this unwelcome house guest showed up after Christmas and I was still able to attend all the fun parties and enjoy more than my share of delicious food before my head filled with concrete and I lost my sense of taste. Continue reading “Hot Toddy to the Rescue!”

Doodle-Pop

I remember sitting in the family room as a kid with my mom while she watched Dynasty and Falcon Crest. My Dad would affectionately refer to the evening soaps as “The Jerk Shows”. Hardly age appropriate programming for me but I always looked forward to those nights. Not because I wanted to find out what Krystle and Alexis were up to, but rather, for the big bowl of homemade popcorn my mom would make. Right before the shows would begin, she’d pop-up a batch of kernels on the stove and then drizzle the crunchy bits with melted butter, and finish it with a generous sprinkling of salt. Next she’d flip the cap off of a bottle of Diet Rite and pour it over ice and we’d head to the TV. To this day when I smell diet pop jumping off of ice cubes, and homemade popcorn cooking on the stove, I think of those evenings.

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Quick Pickled Red Onions

PickledRedOnion

I see pickled veggies on restaurant menus all the time but I hadn’t tried making them because I was intimidate by the pickling process. I assumed it involved a labor intensive canning technique for which I’d need to buy a bunch of new tools, only to find them gathering dust in my hobby graveyard. I was completely wrong.  Continue reading “Quick Pickled Red Onions”

Breathtakingly Simple Vanilla Ice Cream

It was 95 degrees outside, sunny, and humid. The air was heavy and the smell of sunblock and a fresh cut lawn filled our lungs. Thankfully, our friends have a gorgeous pool and generous hearts, and offered to host a a BBQ. I agreed to bring dessert and on a hot and humid day I wasn’t about to turn the oven on.

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Cloud Cookies

I’ve been making these cookies a lot lately and they are always a hit anywhere I bring them. Imagine a cupcake colliding with a cookie. The soft sugar cookie combined with the fluffy vanilla frosting make for a blissful combination. The only frustrating part is that they don’t stack well, but the flavor and texture makeup for any packing misfortunes.

Cloud Cookies
Cloud Cookies

Mise en Place:

1 box white cake mix (with pudding in the mix)

2/3 cup cake flour (you can use A.P. if that’s all you have)

2 large eggs

1/3 cup canola oil

2 T sour cream

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl sift together flour and cake mix
  • In a small bowl mix eggs, oil and sour cream.
  • Add egg mix to flour mix and beat until combined.
  • Chill for about an hour
  • Scoop, roll, press onto a baking sheet
  • Bake until you see the slightest hint of brown on the edge (about 10 minutes but every oven is different so you’ll have to check. You want them soft.)
  • Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

While the cookies bake make the frosting.

1 ½ stick unsalted butter, softened

3 c. powdered sugar

Pinch of salt

2 t. vanilla (or more)

Milk/cream to thin out (shouldn’t be necessary if butter is soft enough, sometimes I just add a bit more vanilla to adjust)

  • Whip it like crazy until nice and fluffy
  • Spread onto the cookies.
  • Add sprinkles right after you frost.

Enjoy!

Pork Corn

Pork Corn
Pork Corn

Bacon makes everything better, right? I remember when I was a kid  on Friday nights I would watch Dallas and Falcon Crest on TV with my mom along with a big bowl of popcorn and a Diet Rite. My father affectionately refered to these TV programs as “The Jerk Shows”. My mom would always make popcorn on the stove and toss it with real butter and lots of salt…yum!

My sister-in-law Stacey inspired this version of popcorn as her grandmother used to make it for her and her brothers. I like to save bacon fat and keep it in the fridge because it is a great way to add flavor to any hot dish, including popcorn.  Regardless if you have bacon fat in your fridge or not, make the stove top version rather than microwave popcorn. It tastes better, is much cheaper, and you won’t miss all of the chemicals.

Bacon Fat
Bacon Fat

Mise en place
Large pot with a lid
4 slices of bacon
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Salt to taste (or other dry seasonings)

  • Cook the bacon in the same large pot you will use for the popcorn.
  • Remove and finely chop the cooked bacon
  • Add the popcorn to the bacon fat in the pan, cover with lid and cook over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile melt the butter.
  • Listen to the popcorn, as it heats it will begin to pop. Using pot-holders shake the pan with the lid on tight and  allow the bacon fat to coat all of the kernels and ensure even popping
  • Heat until the popping slows and almost stops. Be careful not to burn the kernels.
  • Remove from heat, add the butter and finely chopped bacon, cover and shake.
  • Pour into a bowl and serve. Add salt as needed.

Note: Eat slowly, the rich flavor will catch-up and you may regret those last few handfuls.

Enjoy!