Category Archives: Recipe Box

A collections of all the concoctions I’ve made with other perishable items.

Domestic Dispute Retreat [Bozeman Office Bonding Experience]

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Last spring, our office was getting pretty tense. We decided we needed to “air our grievances” and “do some bonding.” Or something like that. So we went to  cabin at an undisclosed location near Pony, Montana, former home of the Duck Races, for our Domestic Dispute Retreat. At least that’s the story we told the bosses.

The cabin is one of my coworkers little hideaways and it was effing adorable and perfect. The location is up a dirt road along a little creek. There is no internet and terrible, if any, cell service. No one is anywhere near you. There is a main cabin with a kitchen, living room and bathroom and then three sleeper cabins down a little boardwalk.

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Look at that stove! And the farm sink!
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Required fireplace
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And that bath!
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Sleeping Cabins

We had ribs that were being smoked with a secret recipe, lots of booze and bobcat cornhole. And that was basically what we did all afternoon until dinner was ready. I did whip up a quick Raspberry – Rhubarb Tart for dessert.
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Note a hydroflask is an excellent rolling pin in a pinch
After dinner we headed down to the famous Pony Bar for a few drinks and pool. We stopped by the horse on the hill for a required team building exercise: getting J on the horse and in the correct photo position.
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Watch your step
Once we made our way back to the cabin, the guys stayed up playing poker and the girls crashed. The next morning our host made an amazing egg bake thing in a dutch oven over a camp fire before we all headed home with our hang overs. All grievances cleared and ready to head back to the office on Monday, until the snow clears this spring…
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Cookies, Candies and Cocktails 2015! [Seventh Annual Party]

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I realize that I am bit behind on getting some of these post up, but whatever, I’m going to assume it doesn’t really matter. I mean in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t, right? Anyway, on with the post!

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I cannot believe I have hosted this party for seven years now. This was the first time outside of Brooklyn, I missed a couple years while I was in transition. But now it is back and just as awesome as it was all those years before with an entirely different crew. Not to say that the old group was not missed or on my mind that day, (I do love all my New York friends! Thank you for starting this party with me!), but we had a great time. I named it “The Three C’s Party,” for Cookies, Candies, and Cocktails. It was later brought to my attentions that it should have been “The three C’s and No Seamen Party.” Next year.

I didn’t do anything crazy for appetizers this year, just chips and salsa and cheese and crackers, but I did have some awesome cookies prepared. The weekend before over Thanksgiving, we made candy cane cookies at home that I shared and I made angeletti cookies too. Now that I have the secret recipe, (EC, I PROMISE TO NEVER SHARE IT!!), I can share my favorite little cookies with my friends in Montana.

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I did spend some time making a couple awesome drinks for us. The first was a Spiked Chai Latte  and second was Caramel Hot Chocolate. I’ll share the Chai Latte below. The hot chocolate drink is just that with caramel vodka. Peppermint schnapps is also great to mix in your hot chocolate. I didn’t mix the alcohol in the drinks to start so people could mix them as they wished. MK brought over a strawberry champagne drink for us too. We were set on drinks.

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There were a lot of different things made this year. I went with my traditional chocolate cover peanut butter balls, peanut butter sandwiches  and oreos balls. One friend made some adorable snowmen on a stick with oreos, there were sugar cookies, chocolate cookies and fruit cookies/shortbreads. Everyone did awesome. My favorite was these frosted peppermint brownie cookies that I will be making in the future. They were not too sweet and perfectly pepperminty.
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After the party, most of us headed downtown to the annual Christmas Stroll. We packaged up the extra treats and shared them with the boys that have yet to be invited to the party. I can’t wait to see what people come up with next year!
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Spiked Chai Lattes (via)
Makes 8 servings

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups bourbon (I used Bulleit)
  • 3 cups chai tea
  • 3 cups milk (I had almond and whole milk on hand)
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • ice
  1. Make honey syrup: Combine honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature. (Cover and keep extra refrigerated for up to 2 weeks)
  2. In a glass with ice mix 2 oz bourbon, 1 oz honey syrup, with 3 oz each chai tea and milk. Stir with a cinnamon stick.

Enjoy!

Backyard Summer Soiree

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via Domino

I have no yard. I borrow my friends yards or force them to throw the parties I want to have. I have been wanting to host a dinner party forever. So when the image above landed in my inbox at the start of the summer and knew I had to have this party. I sent the picture to Dr. K who sent it to her roommate, S, who agreed that this was a party that needed to happen. So we sat down over a bottle of wine one night an planned.

It was to be a bohemian summer party. Something whimsical and relaxed, but still requiring people to dress up. We wanted to make everything ourselves and we wanted it to not cost an arm and leg. This being the case, we knew we couldn’t feed all of our friends, so we went through the painful task of figuring out a guest list. We figured 12 to 16 people total would be all we could handle. In the end, the best way to decide  was to invite people who knew all three of us and mostly knew each other in some way.

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Once the list was settled, we started looking the menu and decor. Dr. K took over the food for the most part, and I defaulted to the decorations and drinks. S was our go between helping make decisions. We got a couple sheets of plywood and cinder blocks to make our low table. We found some lovely table cloths and rugs to sit on with pillows. Untitled
Around the yard, we strung up twinkle lights that extended down the table top. I found some lovely air plant containers to hang from the trees with candles in them instead and I strung up some lamp shades in the largest tree.
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At the bar, I used the suitcase side table my sister made me and a large flower arrangement.
UntitledWe had mason jars with candles and flowers all over. By the time we finished decorating, S declared that it looked like someone should get married back there.

For the menu, we planned things that would be able to be completed ahead or would need little prep. I had a few whole chickens in the freezer, thank you mom and dad, so we decided to roast them with veggies. We had grilled asparagus and a huge salad as well. For appetizers, there was my favorite avocado dip, brie baked with honey, olives, and chips with salsa. Dessert was a yummy chocolate cake and for the non chocolate people a rhubarb and strawberry pie. Untitled
I made the most wonderful Summer Sangria ever, recipe below.  It was a bit deadly, most people did not realize how much alcohol was in it, but it was so good. Everyone loved it.

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Final prep, getting the dang candles to stay lite- via S

Everyone did a great job of dressing up for the party and we were so excited. We did have to send some pictures and explain a time or two what exactly “bohemian fancy” is. Basically we wanted fancy hippy, not dirty hippy.   Untitled
The ladies
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Some of the boys via Erin
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They all did well. We had a cocktail hour before we actually sat down to dinner and everyone who didn’t know each other was introduced. Dinner was delicious and no one had trouble sitting on the ground. We were not sure if people were going to hang around after dessert or not. A few people left, but most hung around and the music eventually changed and we had a little dance party in the backyard. It was so much fun. I was so happy with how everything turned out after prepping all day for it and throughout the week before. We were up until 3 AM and maybe not quite ready for bed even then. Untitleds
Even the dogs had to get in on the fun- Via S

Now I need to come up with another awesome party idea and you need to try this sangria!

Summer Sangira
Make 24 servings

  • 12 oranges
  • 12 limes
  • 8 lemons
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 20 ounces frozen raspberries
  • 4 cups vodka
  • 2 cups Limoncello (I had to use little bottles, so I think we ended up with a tiny bit less)
  • 4 bottles of Prosecco, chilled
  • Juice 8 oranges, 8 limes and 4 lemons to measure approximately 2 cups of juice. Combine the citrus juices and the sugar in a saucepan and warm over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool.
  • Thinly slice the remaining oranges, limes and lemons.
  • In a large pitcher, combine citrus slices, raspberries, vodka and Limoncello and stir.
  • Top with Prosecco; stir gently.
  • When ready to serve, gently add ice and stir again.

Enjoy!

Eggs Benedict with Avocado & Prosciutto

Eggs ben (1)I have decided that I really like Eggs Benedict. It has become my favorite thing to order for breakfast. I finally decided I should try making it. I hadn’t tried before because I was a little afraid of poaching eggs.

Over the holidays I was going to try it at home, but mom has an egg poacher so I didn’t actually have to make them. The Eggs Benedict was still pretty good via machine, even if it over do them a little bit. When I finally decided to make them one morning for The Sexy Master Electrician and I, I did what everyone does, consulted the internet. It was pretty easy, just moves quickly. Do not be afraid of egg poaching and have everything ready.

My recipe is a variation of this recipe, also where I found the video. Since it was not the day after eating a turkey, and TSME does not like Canadian bacon, we used prosciutto instead. We also added avocado, my favorite thing to include on just about anything. And I did not make the English muffins. Do not care that much, that may shock some, but it is true. I really love the quick way they make the hollandaise sauce in the blender. They highly recommend using pasteurized eggs since you do not cook the sauce. It’s quick and delicious.

That’s all I got. Go make some Eggs Benedict.

Eggs Benedict with Avocado & Prosciutto

Makes 2 serving

For hollandaise sauce:

  • 2 large egg yolks, see note above
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Using a blender, puree the egg yolks together for a few seconds.
  2. Slowly pour in the melted butter, just a little at a time, and turn on the blender (puree setting) and puree for about 10 seconds. Turn off the blender and pour in a little more melted butter and puree again. Repeat until all of the melted butter has been incorporated.
  3. Add in the lemon juice, Dijon mustard and salt and puree again for about 8 to 10 seconds.
  4. Taste and adjust any seasoning as needed, puree again and set aside.

For eggs benedict:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 4 eggs, cracked open with whole eggs in individual cups
  • 2 English muffins, split and toasted
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 4-6 slices of prosciutto
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  1. Using a big pot or large, deep saucepan, heat the water over medium-high heat. As the water begins to heat and you see bubbles forming, add the vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon. Eggs ben (2)
  2. After you have reached a slow boil, turn the heat to medium-low and, using your wooden spoon, make a whirlpool in the center with the water and slowly add your eggs, one at a time, into the whirlpool.
  3. The egg whites should wrap around the yolks. Repeat until all of the eggs are in the pot. Eggs ben (3)
  4. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and let cook for another 4 minutes.
  5. When your egg whites have set and the yolks are still soft, using a slotted spoon, remove each poached egg onto a plate and get ready for assembly.
  6. While waiting for your water boil or eggs to cook, toast your English muffins.
  7. Spread half of the avocado on each muffin and split the prosciutto between the two.  Eggs ben (4)Place two poached eggs on each sandwich and pour your hollandaise sauce over each sandwich. Season with red pepper flakes if desired.

Enjoy!

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I Made Cauliflower Soup and I LOVE it.

Prepare to be amazed

Prepare to be amazed

So perhaps I should give a tiny bit of background here. I was not really a fan of cauliflower. It’s never been a vegetable I used or purchased. Occasionally I would eat a raw piece off a veggie platter but that’s about it. To completely kill my interest in cooking it, I was at an event and they had some sort or cheesy cauliflower dish that smelled so atrocious and exactly like something I will not mention to spare you all, (it has to do with animals), that I couldn’t believe other people were eating it. The smell made me want to vomit. So cooking cauliflower not high on my list.

But, lately, almost 10 years later, my mom has been doing some cooking with cauliflower as a substitute for carbs and other not-so-healthy-things and The Sexy Master Electrician has made a few things that have been pretty good. None of these have had a smell that has caused the upchuck reaction. After getting too much cauliflower to try it as a rice substitute, I needed to make something else. I was craving soup so I decided to try this Cauliflower Soup with Chrispy Chorizo Breadcrumbs.

IT WAS AMAZING. I was in love with this soup. TSME is sick of me telling him how much I love this soup. I made it again this week and I rarely repeat recipes that quick. It was good the first night, it was good the 3rd night. I didn’t make it with chorizo, I made the mistake of looking at the ingredients and put it back. I picked up a ground pork burger with andouille seasoning instead. I also added some Tony’s seasoning to it. I also added some other herbs, and  I didn’t really measure, so the amounts below are a bit of guess. Either way all an awesome idea. I’m just saying, give it a try.

Andoulille Cauliflower Soup with Pork Breadcrumbs

Make 5 servings  as a main dish

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp  dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp Tony’s Creole seasoning
  • 1 medium heads of cauliflower (3 3/4 pounds), cut into 2-inch florets
  • 3.25 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces ground pork, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup panko
  1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter. Add the diced onion, crushed garlic cloves, thyme rosemary, and oregano. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets, Tony’s, and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the cauliflower is very tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  3. While the cauliflower cooks, prepare the pork breadcrumbs. In a medium skillet, cook the chopped pork over moderate heat until it is almost crisp, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the panko and cook, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl.
  5. Once the cauliflower is done, carefully puree it in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Pour the soup into the pot and set it over low heat.
  6. Stir in the half and half and season the cauliflower soup with salt and black pepper.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and serve at once, before the bread crumbs get soggy.

Side note: I kept the soup and crumbs separate storing them as leftovers. I also warmed them up individually and sprinkled the crumbs on top like they were fresh.

Enjoy!

Changing your Taste

The first weekend of January, some collage friends were back in town visiting and another invited ups up to his family’s Big Sky condo to hang out. I was all too willing to accept, even if I wasn’t going to be skiing, a mini get away with old friends is always fun. One of my friends brought Miracle Berries, the true reason for this post.

I had heard about these taste- altering berries awhile ago and was exited to give them a try.  They are a naturally occurring thing from West Africa that make sour things taste sweeter. The kind that we tried was Miracle Frooties. It was a tablet that you let sit on your tongue until it dissolves and then your taste will be altered for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or so. I guess it just depends on how you react to it.

MF (2)We tried some pretty sour stuff that tasted amazing. My favorite was the Kiwi. We had some pretty unripe ones that tasted so good to me. Robin was in love with the lime and ate so much it made her stomach hurt. I thought it was good, but it was almost too tart & sweet tasting to eat to much. Lemon was okay and kumquats were yummy. We also tried sour cream, which was rumored to taste like cheesecake. I think it just made it edible without anything else, but not like cheese cake. I didn’t think the sour patch kids were that sour to begin with, (am I crazy?), so they didn’t really do it for me, but others really liked them. The prosecco, already sweet, was way to sweet to drink while the berry was working. The last thing we tried was some super salty taco chips that lost their saltiness.

Some of the random things we tried. Minus the buns, they were just in the way.

Some of the random things we tried. Minus the buns, they were just in the way.

All in all it was a pretty fun little thing to do. I would love to try it with grapefruit, mango, tart apples, and goat cheese. I’m sure there are other things I also need to try it with, but that was a good start, and this would be a good follow up. Anyone else out there tried them?

Eggnog French Toast [apparently “the” breakfast this holiday season]

I think I saw a post of it on instagram, I’m not entirely sure, but I saw it somewhere and decided I wanted to make Eggnog French Toast. I like eggnog, The Sexy Master Electrician likes french toast. He didn’t not like french toast the last time I made it, but it wasn’t the best either, so I figured I would up my game and actually look at a recipe.

I found the one linked above with a raspberry sauce and was sold. It was easy, it didn’t have to sit over night and I could easily cut the recipe in half. I thought it was delicious. TSME is thinking that maybe he doesn’t really like french toast as much as he thought. Or mine all suck. Either way you should give it a try, apparently everyone is this season. As I was running through my Feedly that I had neglected since Thanksgiving, I came across several posts on eggnog french toast. I still think this one is one the best looking.

IMG_2748Eggnog French Toast with Raspberry Sauce

Makes 2 to 4 servings (6 bread slices)

  • 3/4 to 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 Tbsp cold water
  • 6 slices bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cups eggnog
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Start the raspberry sauce first: heat the raspberries, water, and honey in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. When the mixture resembles a thin sauce and is slightly bubbling around the edges, add the dissolved cornstarch and water and stir to combine. Continue to heat for a few minutes so that the cornstarch thickens the sauce just slightly.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand while you prep the French Toast. If you want a thicker sauce, add more cornstarch.
  4. To make the french toast: Preheat your skillet over medium heat.
  5. Whisk the eggs, eggnog, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon together until mostly smooth.
  6. When the skillet is hot, place a small pat of butter on it to melt.
  7. Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture and flip back and forth several times to fully saturate. Place the dipped bread on the hot, buttered skillet and fry for about 5 minutes, flip once, and fry for another 5 minutes or until both sides are evenly golden brown.
  8. Plate the individual slices of French toast and top with the raspberry sauce and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!