Monday, December 17, 2018

Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Bacon Recipe

by Kris Mulkey (recipe inspired by Ina Garten)

I'm always looking for new side dish recipes that are tasty and easy. Who doesn't want that? We all have busy lives and want yummy food on the table fast. After a long day we're tired, hungry and really just want to sit down and relax. Am I right?

So last Saturday I was watching the Food Network. Three of my favorite shows were on - the Barefoot Contessa, Trisha Yearwood and the Pioneer Woman. I always get great tips and recipe ideas from these shows so I was excited when Ina said she was making Shaved Brussels Sprouts. 

I realize that sounds strange. Who on earth gets excited about Brussels Sprouts? Well, I do!

We eat them all the time because they are so easy to make. I usually just roast them in the oven with some EVOO and seasoning and they always come out nice and crispy and super tasty. 

Ina's recipe calls for the sprouts to be shredded in the food processor (which I have. yay.)  But I also know you can buy them shredded at Whole Foods. So, this just got real. This could turn into a weeknight favorite! 

Plus, the other ingredients are fridge staples in my house: Butter, shallots, and bacon. 

Her version called for Pancetta. I didn't have that. But I did have bacon. And let me tell you it is delicious with bacon. (But what isn't delicious with bacon! Bacon makes everything better.)  

This new recipe may be my new favorite for Brussels Sprouts. The veggies are tender. The bacon is crispy. And the splash of balsamic gives it a nice subtle tang! 

And, to make it even better, it's really fast and easy to make.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Bacon Recipe

3 T Olive Oil
3 slices of bacon, sliced into small pieces
2 T unsalted butter
3 large shallots diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
2 packages fresh Brussels sprouts trimmed and shaved (sliced thin in a food processor or by hand)
1 1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. pepper
1 T Balsamic Vinegar

1. Cook bacon pieces in 1 T olive oil in a large saute pan until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel.
2. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter to the same saute pan. Add the shallots and cook 5-7 minutes until they are starting to brown. 
3. Add the Brussels Sprouts to the pan with the shallots. Season with the salt and pepper. Saute 5-7 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender. Add the bacon. Cook one more minute. 
4. Take off the heat. Drizzle the Balsamic over the cooked Brussels Sprouts, season to taste. Serve hot!

*Recipe inspired by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Kiwi Mojito Recipe

We started getting a box of fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to our home about a month ago. It's been great getting the freshest seasonal items delivered right to our door every two weeks. I chose the box that is random items because I think it's fun to try new things. This week we received 4 fresh kiwis. Yum! I thought I would just cut them up and eat them and then I noticed they have a recipe for kiwi mojitos in their newsletter. I love mojitos, so I knew I had to try this recipe.

The mojito is delicious! The combination of kiwi, lime, and mint is so refreshing and delicious it may become your new favorite mojito flavor.

If you've never had a kiwi you should try one. They have hints of other fruits like strawberries, melons, pineapples, and bananas. They can be eaten in salads, on yogurt, in a fruit salad or fruit tart, or a mojito.

Kiwis have more Vitamin C than an orange and are a good source of dietary fiber and Vitamin E.

Did you know the fuzzy peel is edible?? I did not! You can eat it just like an apple. Just rinse it off, rub off a little of the fuzz and eat away. If that's not your thing you can peel off the skin with a potato peeler or paring knife.

An unripe kiwi can be a little tart. You'll know it's ripe when there is a little give when pinched - like an avocado.

makes two cocktails

2 medium kiwis, peeled and coarsely chopped
8 mint leaves
1-ounce simple syrup
2 ounces Bacardi White Rum
1-ounce fresh lime juice
club soda or sparkling water

  1. In a food processor or blender, puree the kiwi and mint leaves until smooth.
  2. Strain the blended mixture into a measuring cup to get out all the liquid. Discard the seeds and pulp.
  3. Add the simple syrup, lime juice, and rum. Test for sweetness. You may need to add more simple syrup.
  4. Add ice to each glass. Pour the mixture over the ice in the two glasses. Top with soda water or club soda.
  5. Garnish with a mint leaf, wedge of lime and slice of kiwi.
To make your own simple syrup dissolve 4 tablespoons of sugar in 1/2 cup boiling water. Let cool.


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Peanut Butter Pie

I know what you're thinking? Peanut butter pie? Is it like Reese's peanut butter cup? Or a peanut butter cookie? No, it's not. It's so much more.

Think creamy vanilla custard with a buttery crust and creamy peanut butter. It's heaven on a plate.

Before Don and I were married we were living in Houston, Texas. We had a few favorite restaurants we would frequent on a regular basis. One of them was called Calypso Caribbean Cuisine. They had really great jerk chicken and pork, and ginger chicken with mango. But our very favorite thing was dessert, specifically, their Peanut Butter Pie. The peanut butter crumble on the crust topped with vanilla custard, homemade whipped cream, and a few more peanut butter crumbles on top made our mouths water. The recipe was handed down to Tim McGann from his mother. A family gem for sure.

Lucky for us, the great chefs and caterers in Houston put together a cookbook with some of their favorite recipes. Our favorite Peanut Butter Pie recipe was in the book, so of course, we grabbed a copy.

There are a few other amazing recipes in this book. There's one from Carrabba's - before they were a chain. And were one of the hardest restaurants to get a table at.

Other restaurants include Cavatore's, La Tour D'Argent, Ninfa's, Post Oak Grill, Rao's, Four Seasons, Jalapeno's (famous spinach enchiladas), Adam's Mark, Backstreet/Prego, Jack's on Woodway, Fu's Garden, and more. I have no idea if any of these restaurants are around anymore, but the recipes stand the test of time. And now that I've rediscovered this cookbook I can't wait to make the artichoke fritters with curried yogurt sauce recipe from the Rainbow Lodge.

Happy eating!

Peanut Butter Pie
Recipe from Calypso Caribbean Cuisine, Houston, Texas

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 cup solid all-vegetable shortening
3/8 cup milk

Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until the size of course cornmeal. Add half the milk all at once, then add more gradually until dough is wet enough to hold together without being sticky.

Divide in half. Reserve half for future use (freezes well.) Roll dough into a ball. Roll dough out slightly larger than a 9-inch pie plate between sheets of plastic wrap. Dampening counter with a wet sponge will help keep bottom piece of wrap from sliding.

Remove top piece of wrap and turn the dough into pie plate. When centered, remove wrap and crimp edges. Pierce dough all over with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees until brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 T cornstarch
Dash of salt
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 t vanilla
1 cup whipping cream + 1 T sugar

Mix powdered sugar and peanut butter in food processor and process until crumbly. I use my mini food processor. Don't over mix. You want it to be crumbly. Spread two-thirds of the mixture in baked pie shell. Set remaining third aside for topping/garnish.

Heat milk in a saucepan until warm. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Beat in egg yolk. Whisk in a little of the warm milk. Mix well, then add this mixture to remaining milk in the pan. Cook, whisking until thick and bubbly. Cool slightly; add vanilla.

Pour over peanut-sugar mixture. And let chill.

Whip cream and 1 T sugar (chill cream, bow, and beaters well before whipping.) Cover top of the pie with whipped cream and sprinkle rest of peanut sugar mixture over top. Refrigerate several hours before serving.

Note: pie can be made ahead and refrigerated and whipped cream added just before serving. I do this most of the time unless we are serving it at a dinner party. I just sprinkle the remaining peanut butter mixture on the custard then add whipped cream to each slice.

Crust: You can use a store-bought crust. I do that all the time to save time.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cheesy Egg Bites Recipe

I am so excited to share this recipe with you! The egg bites have a creamy, cheesy texture just like the egg bites at Starbucks and they only have three ingredients! You don't need a crazy Sous Vide cooker thing. All you need is a pan and water. 

The egg bites are perfect for busy weekday mornings. You can blend everything up, pop them in the oven, go get ready, then have this super yummy low-carb, high-protein breakfast ready to devour. Trust me when I say they are delish.

Cheesy Egg Bites
serves 2

2 eggs
1/4 cup cottage cheese (I used small curd)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Parmesan (or whatever cheese you have on hand.)
Dash of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Salt and Pepper
Cooking Spray

1. Add eggs, cottage cheese and cheddar cheese into a mini-cuisinart (or blender.)
2. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Pulse until mixture is liquified.
4. Spray two 1 cup glass bowls with cooking spray.
5. Divide egg mixture into each bowl.
6. Top with a pinch of cheese on each
7. Place bowls in a glass baking dish filled with about an inch of water
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or the eggs are golden brown and solid.

I want to try adding a few ingredients next time: diced peppers, mushrooms, spinach, bacon bits, sausage, etc. Would also be great with a dash of Sriracha hot sauce.

You can easily double or triple this recipe.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Game Day Menu

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

The key to a great game day party (or any party for that matter) is great food and drinks. Without that, well, it's just another Sunday. 

I love creamy spinach and artichoke dip, crunchy veggies so I feel like I'm eating something healthy, salty chips and nuts, and something easy like chili for the main dish. I don't want to be a slave to the grill or stuck in the kitchen. So find things you can make ahead of time or buy pre-made. 

A signature cocktail which you can make in one large batch is easy and fun for you, and your guests. Add a bucket of beer, some chilled bottles of wine, and specialty sodas (from Cost Plus or BevMo!) so even if you're not drinking alcohol you have something interesting to sip on. 

Game Day Menu


Herb Salt Roasted Almonds

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Roasted Tomatillo Dip
served with tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream

Veggie Tray
Carrots, Celery, Peppers, Jicama, Radishes

Main Dish

Chili and Cornbread

The Bar
Signature Cocktail: First Kiss 

Beer and Wine

Something Sweet
Praline Popcorn

Links to a few of my favorite recipes below.

Easy Egg Cups with Spinach and Mushroom

Two of my favorite shows are Top Chef and Chopped. I love watching the chefs create something delicious and unexpected out of random ingredients. I raided the fridge to make these egg cups. It felt a bit like a Top Chef Quick Fire challenge because I knew what I wanted to make but didn't really have a plan. LOL. You can make these egg cups with any veggies you have on hand. You don't need much to make them tasty.

These can easily be made ahead and refrigerated for 1-2 days for a quick and easy breakfast which can be reheated in the microwave. (I do not recommend freezing them. The texture changes.)

Step 1: Raid the fridge!

Step 2: Saute the veggies and whisk the eggs.

Step 3: Fill the muffin tins to the top.

Step 4: Bake the eggs until firm.

Step 5: Eat!

Spinach and Mushroom Egg Cups
makes 6 egg cups

7 eggs
1/3 cup diced onion (yellow or red)
1 large mushroom diced
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 slice of ham, diced
1 T shredded cheddar cheese
olive oil
unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter six cups in a regular size muffin tin.

Saute the diced onion with a little olive oil and butter until translucent. Add the diced mushroom and spinach and cook for a minute more. Take off the heat and set aside.

Whisk the eggs with a splash of water in the mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the onion mixture and shredded cheese. Stir to combine.

Pour the egg mixture into the prepared muffin tins. Fill all the way to the top. Bake for 12-15 minutes until no longer runny.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

My favorite Maker's Mark cocktail recipe

This was the most popular cocktail we sampled when I was doing events at BevMo! Hands down. It was a winner with everyone - even folks who thought they didn't like whiskey. People would linger near our table to get another sample. It was quite funny.

A key ingredient in this recipe is the Maker's Mark whiskey. I've tried it with a variety of whiskey's, but Maker's Mark is the way to go. The sweetness in the whiskey is just the right flavor. I never use another brand.

This cocktail is great for any party, celebration, wedding or fun get together (like football parties!) where you want an easy signature cocktail which everyone will like - and can be self serve.

makes 40 cocktails

1 bottle (25oz) Maker's Mark Whiskey
12 oz Triple Sec
64 oz Simply Lemonade
16 oz Simply Orange Juice
1T orange marmalade
1/2 jar maraschino cherries
Garnish: cherries, lemon and orange slices

Mix whiskey, triple sec, lemonade, orange juice and marmalade in a large punch bowl or drink dispenser. Add 1/2 jar of cherries (not juice.) Serve each beverage on ice.

Garnish with a cherry, lemon or orange slice.