Some food, some drink.
My lovely wife and dear daughter recently had a family baby shower to put on; and around here, part of entertaining the shower crowd is making your own mints. Oh sure, you cold buy a big bag of those butter mints and call it done, but if you really want to add a personal touch to that next baby shower that's yours to throw; or even if we're talking about your own wedding reception, then making your own mints is the way to go. This time-tested cream cheese recipe is ubiquitous enough so as to be included with just about every pack of those flexible candy molds that are all but a necessity for this method (These are the ones the ladies used here).
Even though the mint mix itself comes together quick, you'll have a significant chunk of time invested…
Chile and chocolate is one of those combinations that's hard to get until you've tried it; but once you have, you tend to find yourself looking for reasons to work it into any recipe that lends itself to the flavor profile. The back of a jumbo can of Ass-Kicking Peanuts features a recipe for peanut cookies that I took the opportunity to try for myself; however not before I made some adjustments, including the addition of a shot of Bourbon Whiskey, and a dip thru a pool of molten semi-sweet chocolate. The combination of habanero-spiked peanuts and sweet, creamy chocolate is a tug-of-war for the tastebuds that leaves you wondering "what just happened there?" as you reach for another cookie!read more >
Sometimes, practical overrules in the kitchen. However, that caramel apple dip they sell in the tub around the corner from the produce section simply isn't worth the trade-off in convenience when I can grab three ingredients from my kitchen and put something much better together. Leveraging some individually-wrapped caramels and your trusty microwave, you can put together a peanut butter caramel dip that'll make your pretzel sticks cheer and your apple wedges swoon. I guarantee Your kids are gonna love it! (...unless your kids are allergic to peanut butter and/or dairy; then probably notsomuch.)read more >
Spaghetti and meatballs is an American institution. And while pasta and sauce may be a turn-key event, many folks seem to shy away from making meatballs and just dump the ground beef into the sauce. I think that somewhere along the way, we all got duped into thinking that homemade meatballs were difficult and messy to make. Those in the know will tell you that this couldn't be further from the truth. If you've got a cookie scoop and a couple of other kitchen essentials, making meatballs from scratch is as easy as making meatloaf; and just like meatloaf, the best place to cook a mess of perfectly portioned orblets of beef is your oven.read more >
Now that both kids are in school and I'm doing more consulting work than ever, it's getting tougher to strike that balance between daily demands and family time. All the same, I will always pump the brakes for birthday cakes. This time however, I didn't leave myself with much stopping distance, and I needed an easy from-scratch birthday cake that presented well and tasted just as good. Chocolate sheet cakes are tasty and easy; and with a simple trick and a minimum of kitchen tools, you can transform one into a four layer spectacle that you'll be proud to present at a loved-one's birthday spread.read more >
Sugar and fat-laden beverages are the bane of most New Year's resolutions. They go down easy, and essentially contain a half-meal's worth of the worst kind of stuff for a dieter's total caloric intake. I was asked by one of the good people at Hays Kansas' own Main Street 24 Hour Gym and Fitness Center to come up with an enjoyable way to ensure that their clients stay on task, with one stipulation: Whatever I created had to contain chia seed. What I ended up concocting was a health drink in the guise of a frozen coffee beverage that's high in protein, low in fat, weighs in at under 200 calories, is chock-full of vitamins, and has all the fiber and those wonderful omega-3 fatty acids that chia is known for. This frozen coffee works great as a post-workout meal replacer and will keep you full until it's time for dinner!read more >
Truth be told, I've never been a huge fan of kettle corn. Oh sure, I'll eat the stuff, but I've always thought it a bit monochromatic where taste is concerned. When I came up with this recipe, I was making a lot of popcorn on the stove, and it occurred to me that popcorn cooked in bacon grease finished with some homemade apple wood smoked salt might be a winner. As the fat hit the pan, I made an impulse decision to dump a shot of real maple syrup into the as-of-yet-to pop corn, and after a brisk amount of agitation during the popping process, what I happened to end up with was a kettle corn. Unlike traditional kettle corn, this is not a one-note snack. With the richness…read more >
I have a pretty extensive background in the sciences; and that's probably because I'm one of those people that really want to know how something works. I also love me some gin. So you can imagine my delight upon opening up The Homemade Gin Kit on Christmas. Here is a gift that puts you in control of your neutral grain spirit destiny: You pick a vodka, you add the botanicals, you steep the hooch, and you filter and bottle. Sound like fun? Yeah I thought so too; and that's why I've taken down my impressions of The Homemade Gin Kit for your review!read more >