by Bette Lee Crosby | May 14, 2014 | Taste of the South
In the middle of celebrating, Naomi from The Pub and Grub Forum has been feeling under the weather. We've got this great drink recipe to share from her site. This recipe is slightly adapted from Toxicology 101. It's getting warmer and Cinco de Mayo has kicked off the celebrating with cocktails! Share your favorite and maybe we'll be able to feature it on Mid-Week Mixers.
Naomi says: In the original version from Toxicology 101, this drink is actually a cocktail and not a tini. When I made it, I wasn't that impressed with how it presented and thought it would do much better as a tini. Those who are my drink tasters agreed! Just look at that beautiful foam!! It was as good tasting as it was beautiful looking!
So, here we go!
1.5 oz Pear Vodka (Grey Goose makes a wonderful one)
3 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1) In a CHILLED metal shaker, fill half way with ice.
2) Pour in all liquids and shake for no less than 60 seconds
3) Pour into a CHILLED tini glass and garnish with pineapple wedge!
Find more recipes on The Pub And Grub Forum with Naomi Blackburn – CLICK HERE
by Bette Lee Crosby | Apr 30, 2014 | Taste of the South
Yay! Cinco de Mayo is coming to The Pub and Grub Forum and Bette Lee Crosby's Mid-week Mixers! I love this time of year. I get to cook what I love best-Mexican food and treats. This will include several weeks of two-fers. Yeppers, two recipes in one post!
I found these recipes in one of the best cookbooks I grabbed last year. Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn was pretty dang unusual, but had some rockin', easy to prepare recipes in there. I am now getting around to “taste test” and present these and these are the first from that cookbook.
As I normally do, I tweaked the Mexican Hot Chocolate and added a shot of Kahlua in one and tequila in another. Not a drinker, early morning drinker or serving it to kids, omit the alcohol. It was fine without it. I simply wanted to see what it did.
So, here we go!
Mexican Hot Chocolate (Serves 2)
2 cups WHOLE milk
1 T. light brown sugar
4.5 oz BITTERSWEET chocolate chopped (Nestle does a nice one)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. ground cinammon
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 shot Kahlua or BLANCO tequila (optional)
1) Place milk and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan and SIMMER.
2) Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne.
3) Allow to steep for 3 minutes and reheat just to a simmer.
4) Ladle into mugs. Add liquors at this time, if desired. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.
5) Serve alone or with Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts.
I pulled out my mini doughnut pan to make these lil gems. I was reminded of the old Hostess product called little gems minus the coconut that was part of theirs. These doughnuts were SO simple to make. The toughest thing of these was the pain in the butt sifting, but it is necessary. I like the fact that I didn't have to put the batter in a pastry bag like I have done with other doughnuts. It was a much cleaner and faster treat to make.
I tested the doughnuts dipped both sides, one side and not dipped. Hands down, the dipped both sides won out. Be sure to use UNSALTED butter for the dipping. My husband and I decided that they were better the next day when everything had a chance to settle down.
So, here we go!
Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts
You'll need a small or standard doughnut pans
2 cups all purpose flour
1.5 cups sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 XL egg, lightly beaten
1.25 cups WHOLE milk
2 t. UNSALTED butter, melted
2. t. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the topping:
1 stick UNSALTED butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon (I bumped mine up to 3/4 t., but I love cinnamon)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the heck out of your doughnut pans!
2) Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a large bowl.
3) In a smaller bowl, combine the whisked egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla.
4) Stir the wet into the dry ingredients until JUST COMBINED. DO NOT over stir unless you want tough doughnuts.
5) Spoon the batter into the baking pans. Fill just under 3/4 full. Bake for 17 minutes for large doughnuts and 13 minutes for small doughnuts. Testing with a toothpick, it should come out clean.
6) Dip baked doughnuts in melted butter and then in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.
by Bette Lee Crosby | Apr 23, 2014 | Taste of the South
After a bit of break we get a new drink recipe, Naomi's Special Palomas, over at The Pub and Grub Forum and we're happy to have it! What's your favorite drink?
My favorite Mexican drink is the margarita. Not your typical Americanized, restaurant style, margarita mixer margarita, but an old fashioned, top shelf, agave margarita with fresh juices. My second favorite Mexican drink is the Paloma. I have to admit though that the combination of lime juice, grapefruit soda and tequila just got downright boring to me. As I always do, I looked for ways to “soup” them up and this is what I came up with.
One thing that I did with my Paloma is that I tried muddled pineapple, mango and strawberries in the base of the drink. While each had their own unique flavor, I enjoyed the strawberry the most.
I serve mine in a canning jar with or without the salt. If doing for a crowd, I would go without the salt. It is definitely a time saver.
What I love most about this drink, unlike the margarita, is that if you are doing them for a crowd, they can be prepared ahead of time sans the grapefruit soda. When ready to serve, throw some ice in the canning jar, top with the soda and give a slight stir. Voila…it is ready to go!
So, here we go!
Ingredients (per drink):
1.5 oz BLANCO tequila
1 oz triple sec or orange liqueur
1.5 oz FRESH SQUEEZED lime juice
1 oz FRESH SQUEEZED orange juice
Fresh fruit, as desired
Grapefruit soda, such as 50/50 or Fresca
garnishes of lime, strawberries, oranges, etc. if desired.
1) In a canning jar, place tequila, triple sec, fresh squeezed lime juice and fresh squeezed orange juice. If you are serving immediately, salt rim of jar PRIOR to adding juices/tequila
2) If desired, add fresh fruit and muddle. Place lid on jar. If serving immediately, obviously the lid on the jar would be a skipped step.
3) When ready to serve, give lidded jar a slight shake and remove. Add a significant amount of ice and top with grapefruit soda. Garnish as desired!
by Bette Lee Crosby | Apr 16, 2014 | Taste of the South
We're getting into the fiesta mood around here on Mid-Week Mixers. Naomi from the Pub and Grub is going to share some of her favorite recipes. Please comment and let us know what your favorites are!
Naomi says: I LOVE MEXICAN RICE. No, I mean I REALLY LOVE MEXICAN RICE!
It used to frustrate me because, while I could learn how to make EVERY other Mexican dish, including tamales, I could never figure out how the restaurants made their rice. I would try and try and each recipe that I tried was that nasty wet rice that couldn't even remotely compare to the restaurants.
One day, I just got fed up and went on a long and exhaustive search and found a site called Center Cut Cook. She had a recipe that called for an extra step-the washing of the rice. Also, the rice was baked versus simmered, so I was intrigued. I ran out and immediately purchased every ingredient that was called for and prepared it. I followed each step to a “T”. At first, I was disappointed. It looked exactly the same as my rices before. I then put it in the oven. With each stir required by the recipe, I found myself becoming more and more excited. IT WAS TURNING OUT JUST LIKE THE RESTAURANT STYLE.
I was giddy as a school girl. As I have made this more and more, I have found just how magical this recipe is. It freezes well. The sauce freezes well, so it is actually enough sauce for 2 batches. This is now my standard Mexican rice recipe.
One very special note, it is imperative that the rice be washed. DO NOT SKIMP ON THIS STEP. You will pay in the end!
So, on that note, here we go!
1 (24oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes drained.
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 jalapenos, chopped finely (seeds/ribs removed)
2 cups long grain white rice
1/3 cup canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1.5 t. salt
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 t. cumin
lime wedges for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) In a blender combine tomatoes and onion until smooth. Pour 2 cups into a measuring cup and set aside. Freeze or discard remaining two cups.
3) In a fine strainer, rinse rice in warm water. Do not skimp on this step and do it for a good 3-4 minutes! DO NOT OMIT THIS STEP! Allow rice to drain and dry slightly.
4) In an ovenproof pan, heat the canola oil. When hot and shimmery, add the rice and fry for about 10 minutes or until the rice turns a golden brown. Don't allow it to burn!
5) Add in jalapenos and garlic and fry a couple of minutes longer.
6) Stir in broth, the 2 cups of set aside tomato/onion mixture, salt and cumin. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
7) Cover the pan and place in oven.
8) Every 10 minutes, remove from oven and stir. Do this for 35-40 minutes total.
9) When done, add in cilantro and stir. Garnish with lime and serve immediately!
by Bette Lee Crosby | Apr 9, 2014 | Taste of the South
Mid-Week Mixers loves copycat recipes and the fact that Naomi shares them with us like this Margarita Grilled Chicken. Dig into this recipe and let us know what your favorite copycat recipe is in the comments.
Naomi says: My favorite chain restaurant, hands down, is Bahama Breeze. I love EVERYTHING about that place. Food, atmosphere and drinks that just can't be beat. One of my favorite dishes of theirs is Margarita Grilled Chicken. Although, I go round with the dishes that I get there because they are all so good, frequently I will head back to this one. Again, I prefer using a thinner cut chicken breast with this. I have found it cooks in a more balanced manner.
Although the original recipe calls for honey, I switched the honey out for Agave nectar. Agave nectar is much more authentic to Mexican cooking and is much softer than honey.
I saw many a recipe for this dish, but this recipe from Allrecipes.com is my all time favorite and comes closest to Bahama Breeze's version.
So, here we go!:
2/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 T. Adobo seasoning
1/2 cup commercial margarita mix
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup olive oil
2 T. Agave nectar (look for it in your grocer's natural foods section)
3 T. triple sec
3 T. blanco tequila
6 thin chicken breasts ( I use Purdue or cut the store breasts in half)
1) Pour all marinade ingredients into a blender and mix until well blended.
2) Put chicken breasts and marinade into a Ziploc bag. Allow to marinade for no less than 5 hours.
3) Prepare grill and grill chicken for 10 minutes each side.
4) Serve with Mexican rice and corn on the cob. Frequently, I will make a Mexican salad to boot. Sheer heaven!!