Friday, January 29

Herbed Firecracker Butter

Here is a quick and easy compound butter perfect for steaks, potatoes, and sautéed vegetables. With a little kick and a lot of herb-this one will go far.

Full time 2 hours (includes 1 1/2 hour set time)
Makes 1/2 cup

The needs-

1 stick butter, mostly melted
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley 
1 tsp ground black pepper 
1 tsp ground red pepper 
1/2 tsp salt

The know-

In a sealable container place butter.

Add in chopped herbs and stir to wilt into butter.

Add in pepper and salt.

Once fully blended let sit 5 minutes on countertop.

Seal container and place in freezer for 1 1/2 hours.

You can now use butter for sautéed recipes, on cooked steaks, or just to replace butter in any recipe.

Keeps for two weeks in sealed container in refrigerator. Cheers!

Monday, January 25

HOW TO: Whip Cream with a Stand Mixer

I often get asked how to use a stand mixer instead of a hand mixer to whip cream. Here is a simple and easy way to make a light, airy, and sweet whipped cream.

Full time 10 minutes 
Makes 2 cups 

The needs-

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp fine granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla 

The know-

Place sugar and vanilla in bowl of mixer.

Add in cream.

Whip on medium speed until short stiff peaks form, approximately 5-7 minutes.


Friday, January 22

MAKE IT: Johnny Rockets Donkey Kong Milkshake

The other morning I was making a smoothie to take to work, to my surprise I accidentally figured out how to make one of my favorite milkshakes. Next thing I knew I was remaking the smoothie with Ice cream and just had to drink both-poor me. Here it is, the yumminess of a chocolate banana milkshake (or hey use yogurt instead and have a smoothie)

Full time 5 minutes 
Makes 1 shake

The needs-

1 large banana, sliced thin
1 envelope Carnation Instant breakfast chocolate 
3/4 cup French vanilla ice cream 
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp chocolate syrup 

For serving-
Whipped cream

The know-

In a personal blender* cup place ice cream.

Add in Carnation and chocolate syrup.

Add in milk.

Top with bananas.

Put on lid and give a quick shake to make air bubbles rise from base.

Blend on high 30-40 seconds.

Top with whipped cream and enjoy.

* if using a standard blender reverse order of ingredients added

Monday, January 18

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Shredded Pork

Barbacoa is a Mexican cooking/seasoning method in which the meat is traditionally shredded for use in everything from burritos to my personal favorite street tacos. Barbacoa has a nice subtle seasoning which lends itself to various forms of protein, I personally enjoy using it on pork the best.

Serves 4-6
Full time 4 1/2 hours high or 6 1/2 hours low

The needs-

2-3 lb. bone-in pork shoulder
4 dried chilies or chipolte peppers
4 bay leaves
1 large onion, diced fine
3-6 cups warm, not hot water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For serving-
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 tsp salt, based on flavor and preference
1/2 tsp hot sauce* optional

The know-

Start by trimming your shoulder, there is usually a large piece of fat running along one side of it, remove this and toss.

Place pork in slow cooker and add in diced onions.

Top with cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.

Add in vinegar and lime juice.

Pour in water, just to bring to roughly 1/2 below surface of pork.

Add in dried peppers and bay leaves.

Cover and cook for 4 hours on high heat or 6 hours on low heat.

Carefully remove lid to avoid steam and remove pork to a cutting board.

Drain all but 1 cup liquid out of slow cooker, running thru colander to keep onions.

Return onions and reserved liquid to the slow cooker.

Shred pork and remove any large fat pieces or bones. Return to slow cooker.

Check for seasoning and add in salt, cilantro, and hot sauce.

Mix to completely incorporate.

Move to serving bowl. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 12

Easy Butterfinger Fudge

Ever have one of those nights you just really want something sweet? Or last minute guests you need to make a dessert for? Or a bake sale you were informed about the night before about? Here is a great solution, fudge. 

Makes 32 1" squares
Full time 40 minutes (includes setting time)

The needs-

2 12oz bag chocolate chips  
2 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup chopped butterfinger bars
1 tsp vanilla extract

The know-

In a microwave safe bowl place 1 bag chocolate chips and 1 can sweetened condensed milk.

Microwave for 30 seconds.

Stir vigorously to create a smooth and even texture.

Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment and spray lightly with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter.

Pour fudge mixture into pan and spread out even with a spatula.

Spread across 1 1/4 cup butterfinger pieces.

Repeat with remaining chocolate chips and condensed milk and spread across top.

Sprinkle across last of butterfinger bars and gentle press down to ensure they stick into top of surface.

Place in freezer for 40 minutes.

Gently remove fudge by lifting up on parchment.

Place fudge on a cutting surface and slice into squares.

Fudge should be kept at room temperature for up to one week.

If desired fudge can be wrapped and frozen for future enjoyment, allow fudge to come to room temperature before serving. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 5

HOW TO:Cook a Frenched Pork Roast

Large roasts are always a hit at holidays, family gatherings, special occasions, and my personal favorites birthday parties.

There are a few key elements to making a moist and flavorful roast. 

First let us talk time-To begin you need to know how heavy the roast is, you will need to cook twenty minutes for every pound. You will also need an extra fifteen to twenty minutes after cooking for resting.

To prepare the roast start by completely patting it dry with paper towels.

Get oven preheated to 425'. Move roast to a baking sheet.

Next lightly coat the surface with olive oil.

Now very lightly season the roast, to much will over power the simplicity of a good roast. Start with the following:
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika 
1 tsp onion powder 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper 

Move roast to oven and cook fifteen minutes just to crisp up the outside. 

Drop oven temperature to 350' and cook twenty minutes per pound, subtracting the fifteen minutes from the total cook time.

Remove roast from oven and move to cutting board to let rest fifteen to twenty minutes, if desired tent with aluminum foil.

Slice evenly and serve immediately, cheers.