French Chocolate

Here is a great chocolatie beverage for a cold day. Enjoy!!

4 oz. Unsweetened chocolate
¾ c. water
¾ c. sugar
Pinch of salt
½ c. heavy cream, whipped
1 qt. Milk, heated but not boiling
6 oz. Kalhua
Whipped cream & chocolate shavings for garnish

Combine chocolate and water in small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted. Add sugar and salt, and boil gently for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and fold in whipped cream.

Put 1 tablespoon of this chocolate mixture in each cup with 1 oz. Of Kahlua, add hot milk to fill & stir. Top with spoonful of whipped cream & chocolate shavings.

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Rainier Cherry Day

Even though this Bourbon Cherries recipe does not use Rainier cherries specifically, they are still a tasty topper to ice cream or just by themselves.

12 oz. Bag frozen pitted tart red or dark sweet cherries
3 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Tbsp. Bourbon
½ tsp. Ground ginger
Pinch kosher salt
1 Tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small roasting dish stir together cherries, sugar, bourbon, ginger and salt.

Roast about 25 minutes or until cherries have released a lot of liquid and mixture smells very fragrant, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla. Let cool. Transfer to a clean jar and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature or warm gently in a saucepan over low heat.

Lime Matcha Mousse

Today being the first day of summer I thought this refreshing dessert would be great to share.  It is from Rebecca Miller French who is a contributor for epicurious.com.  It is a lot of work to hollow out the limes just so you can use them to serve the mousse in.  Next time I will probably just serve is small dessert bowls with a lime peel for garnish.

 

8 large limes
2 tsp. Matcha powder, + more for dusting
6 eggs at room temperature, separated
2/3 c. sugar (Stuvia)
1 c. whipping cream

 

Cut stems off limes so they can stand upright being careful not to cut through the flesh. Then cut the tops off the limes a quarter of the way down from the top. With a sharp knife, hollow out limes, scooping the flesh and juice into a bowl. Set the hollowed-out limes aside and press flesh and juice through a fine-mesh strainer, set juice aside.

 

In a small saucepan, whisk together matcha and egg yolks until smooth. Add sugar and whisk until combined. Place pan over medium heat, add ½ cup of the strained lime juice and whisk occasionally until just simmering. Lower heat and stir with a wood spoon until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, and let cool completely, stirring mixture occasionally.

 

In another large bowl, beat egg whites until they hold stiff glossy peaks; set aside. In a separate bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into cooled matcha mixture, then fold in the whipped cream. Chill the mousse for 2 hours, then pipe or spoon it into hollowed-out limes; dust with additional matcha. You’ll use about half the matcha mousse, store the rest in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Crazy Herb Seasoning

I was supposed to share this recipe for Crazy Herb Seasoning before Fathers Day.  Due to my new job, I did not get it posted. I made this seasoning to go along with my Dad’s Popcorn Snack Pack. Combine all ingredients listed below.

4 Tbsp. parsley
3 Tbsp. basil
3 Tbsp. oregano
2 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper

I put this seasoning in a shaker jar with a label on the front

and instructions on the back how to make a dressing and a dip.

Garden Hot Dog Topping

This being Memorial Day weekend, I will be grilling hot dogs with a couple of toppings.  Below is the Garden Hot Dog Topping.

¼ c. vinegar
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ small yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ small green bell pepper, chopped
½ small orange bell pepper, chopped
Cream cheese, softened
Tomatoes, chopped

To make pickled peppers, whisk together vinegar, sugar & garlic in a bowl. Add peppers. Chill 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve hot dog with pickled peppers, cream cheese & tomatoes

Beverage Day

Over the summer we like refreshing and tasty beverages. Today try this great tea drink with a little kick of bourbon for Beverage Day.

 

Peach Tea with Bourbon

10 bags peach flavored tea
20 thin slices ginger
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. bourbon
¼ c. lemon juice
Mint for garnish

 

In medium saucepan, heat 4 cups water to simmering on high. Remove from heat. Add tea; steep 10 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Transfer tea to large pitcher. Add 3 cups cold water; refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine ginger, sugar and 2/3 cups water; heat to simmering on medium. Reduce heat to maintain simmer 15 minutes. Strain out and discard ginger. Refrigerate syrup until cold.

Stir cold ginger syrup into tea along with bourbon and lemon juice. Makes about 10 cups. Serve over ice, garnish with mint.

Cinco de Mayo

Today being Cinco de Mayo makes it ideal to share this Sangria Mexicana recipe. Enjoy!

2/3 c. freshly squeezed lime Juice
2/3 c. suga
3 c. dry, fruity red wine (Beaujolais, Zinfandel)
1 c. sparkling water
4-6 wheels of lime, with cut made on side

Make lime-sugar syrup by mixing lime juice, sugar and ¼ cup water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Just before serving, pour wine into a pitcher and stir in lime syrup and sparkling water. Serve over ice in tall glasses, each garnished with a wheel of lime wended onto the rim.

Garlicky Pickled Veggies

Today is Garlic Day and Amaretto Day. I couldn’t find Amaretto at my local grocery which makes it a little hard to make a drink for Amaretto Day. So I will share this recipe for Garlicky Pickled Veggies from Better Homes and Gardens. I made some adjustments to the recipe because I didn’t have quart jars. At the beginning of April, I mixed everything and put them into two half gallon mason jars. After waiting the week needed for the pickling, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a great way to pickle any vegetables you have around. I will probably put more garlic in next time I make it because the garlic in this batch is sort of overpowered by the red pepper flakes. These pickled vegetables are great as an appetizer or on a veggie tray for company.

3 c. cauliflower florets (1 head)
2 med. Red bell peppers, seeded & cut into 1: pieces
12 oz. Green beans, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
2 med. Carrots, cut into 1/2” slices
1 med. Onion, cut into thin wedges
4 c. vinegar
2/3 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. Salt
12 garlic cloves, smashed
1 ½ tsp. Crushed red pepper

 

In a large pot, combine vegetables. Add enough water to cover. Bring to boiling. Cook uncovered, 3 minutes, drain.

 

In another large, nonstick, heavy pot combine 4 cups water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to boiling, stir to dissolve sugar.

 

Pack vegetables into hot-sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2” head-space. Add garlic and red pepper evenly between the jars. Pour hot vinegar mixture over vegetables, maintaining the 1/2” head-space. Wipe jar rims; screw on lids.

Let cool 30 minutes. Chill for at least 1 week before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.

National Beer Day

I do like to cook with beer but today I’ll share a recipe for Beer Mojitos. I find that Mexican or dark beers can be kinda heavy so by adding a mojito (basically) it lightens it up but still gives you the refreshing beer that you may be craving.

¾ c. sugar
48 large mint leaves
½ c. fresh lime juice
½ c. white rum or silver tequila
4 12-oz cans of Tecati or Dos Equis beer

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and ¾ cup water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. (This is called a simple syrup. When you make it just have the same amount of water as you have sugar.) Cool.

 

 

For each drink, place 6 mint leaves in the bottom of a 10-12 ounce glass. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar syrup plus 1 tablespoon each of lime juice and 1 tablespoon of rum or tequila. Muddle the mint into the liquid with a muddler or the back of a spoon or fork to release its flavor. Fill the glass about ¾ full with ice cubes. Slowly pour in half of one of the beers, stir well with a long-handled spoon and serve right away.

 

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

A couple of days ago, I posted a recipe for Mandarin Champagne Splash.  That beverage used some juice and segments from canned Mandarin oranges.   This recipe, from Martha Stewart’s  magazine, uses the orange segments as a topper to a very tasty panna cotta.  I believe these could be served at breakfast, brunch or even for a dessert.

buttermilk-panna-cotta-2¼ oz. Pkg gelatin
¼ c. water
1 ¼ heavy cream
1/3 c. sugar
Pinch ground cardamom
Pinch kosher salt
2 ½ c. buttermilk
¼ c. pomegranate seeds or blueberries
Mandarin oranges, sliced
¼ c. toasted coconut flakes

In a small saucepan, soften/dissolve gelatin in water for 5 minutes. Add cream, sugar, cardamom and salt; heat over medium, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in buttermilk.

buttermilk-panna-cotta-7

 

 

Pour into a 1 ½-quart dish and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

 

 

buttermiilk-panna-cotta-served-3

 

 

Serve sprinkled with pomegranate seeds or blueberries, oranges and coconut.

 

 

 

buttermilk-panna-cotta-5buttermilk-panna-cotta-10

Couple of things to mention.  As I did not have any ground cardamom.  I took the cardamom pods I had and removed the outer shell and ground the seeds to provide the ground cardamom needed for this recipe.  And you will notice that I combined the oranges and blueberries and let them get to know each other while the panna cotta was setting in the fridge.