Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hurricane Recipe

Today I'm sharing the recipe for a Hurricane.  This potent cocktail, created by Pat O'Brien in New Orleans, is more associated with Mardi Gras than Thanksgiving, but given its strength, it might come in handy when dealing with family gatherings.  I got the classic recipe from Beach Bum Berry Remixed - it's a great recipe book for tropical cocktails.


  • 4 oz dark Jamaican rum
  • 2 oz passionfruit syrup
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.

Pour into a hurricane glass (or a tiki mug) and enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I'll be putting up some of our Thanksgiving recipes later this week (and next).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic and today I'm sharing my recipe for this tasty favorite.

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Yield: Approximately 36 cookies.

Beat butter, Crisco, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in the chocolate morsels and nuts.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 375ºF for 10 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets on wire racks for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks until they cool completely.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Key Lime Pie

A week ago, it was my mom's birthday.  Along with crab cakes eggs benedict and crawfish étouffée, I made her Key Lime Pie.  It was so tasty!  I got the recipe for the graham cracker crust from Betty Crocker's Cookbook and I followed the instructions on the back of the Nellie and Joe's lime juice bottle to make the filling.

  • Graham Cracker Crust
    • 12 full graham cracker sheets, crumbled
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • Pie Filling
    • 2 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1 cup Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime juice
  • Whipped Cream
    • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Makes 1 10-inch pie.

To make the graham cracker crust, mix the crumbs, sugar, and butter.

Press the mixture firmly and evenly against the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes.

To make the pie filling, combine the milk, egg yolks, and lime juice.

Blend until smooth.

Pour the filling into the pie shell.

Bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes.  Allow the pie to stand for 10 minutes before refrigerating.  Chill the pie until cold.

When you're ready to serve the pie, make the whipped cream by beating the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form (about 1 minute).

Top the pie with whipped cream and serve!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Poltergeist Potion Cocktail

Today I'm sharing Halloween cocktail I created called Poltergeist Potion. I've had a lot of fun making these and hope y'all have fun drinking them!

  • 1 oz orange vodka
  • 1 oz passionfruit rum
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat
  • 1 cup crushed ice 

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.

Serve in a tiki mug or your glass of choice and enjoy this hauntingly good drink!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Zombie Cocktail Recipe

I'm continuing with the Halloween cocktails - today's recipe is for the Zombie.  There are different recipes for Zombies - all of them involve rum and a mix of fruit juices.  This is the Trader's Vic's recipe from Trader Vic's Tiki Party!.

  • 1 oz silver rum
  • 1 oz dark rum
  • 1 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz blue curaçao
  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • 1 cup crushed ice 

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.

Serve in a tiki mug or your glass of choice - I picked a skull mug for this one!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Bruja's Brew Cocktail

Today I've got another Halloween-inspired cocktail I created - the tequila-based Bruja's Brew.  And while the ingredients don't include eye of newt or toe of frog, the drink has a complex taste - at once peppery, herbal and tart.

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 2 oz blood orange juice (can substitute regular orange juice)
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz creme de cassis
  • 1/4 oz chartreuse
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.

Serve in a tiki mug or glass of your choice, and enjoy this potion!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vicious Vamp Cocktail

Since it's almost Halloween, I felt like making some spooky cocktails.  These would be perfect to serve at a Halloween party (or to enjoy any time!) Today I'm sharing the recipe for one I created called the Vicious Vamp. It's a pinky-peach cocktail with a splash of red - it looks like a vampire just finished with a victim!

  • 2 oz grapefruit vodka
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Combine the grapefruit vodka, grapefruit juice, lime juice, orgeat, and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.  Add the grenadine as a float.

Serve in a tiki mug or glass of your choice, and suck it down!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Thai Peanut Sauce Chicken Pasta

This is one of my favorite recipes - my family discovered it years ago when it was published in the Dallas Morning News.  It is really easy to make and really good - if you like spicy Asian food, you'll love this.

  • Peanut Sauce
    • 4 cloves fresh garlic (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
    • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
    • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
    • 1 tbsp. onion powder
    • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
    • 4 tsp. ground ginger
    • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (I used penne this time)
  • sliced green onions
Yield: 4 servings

Gather all the peanut sauce ingredients and place them near the blender. Drop the cloves, one at a time, into the blender while it is on. Turn the blender off. Place the lemon juice, peanut butter, water, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, peanut oil, ginger, vinegar, onion powder, sesame oil, and red pepper into the blender container. Pulse at high just until combined (5-10 seconds). Turn off. Scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula, and pulse again until well blended.

Pour the peanut sauce into onto the drained pasta. Add the chopped grilled chicken and green onions. Stir and serve immediately.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Chocolate Cheesecake

For my sister's birthday dessert, she chose chocolate cheesecake. My mom and I made her cheesecake using this recipe from The New James Beard.

It was really delicious and is a perfect dessert for a special occasion. A note about the cream cheese - it is really worth it find a natural cream cheese to use as opposed to the kinds that contain bean gum. The recipe recommends it, and it makes the cheesecake lighter and taste better.

  • Crust
    • 2 cups graham-cracker crumbs
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • Filling
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1 pound cream cheese, cut into cubes
    • 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup hot strong coffee
    • 2 tbsp dark rum
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Whipped Cream
    • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Yield: 1 cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan.

Melt the 1/2 cup butter for the crust.

Blend the crust ingredients in a bowl.

Pat the crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan.

Set aside while preparing the filling.

Beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar in an electric mixer until thick and lemon-colored.

Beat in the cream cheese and continue beating until smooth.

Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water.

Blend in the hot coffee, rum, vanilla, and salt.

Beat this mixture into the cream cheese mixture.

 In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks.

Gradually beat in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar until you have a stiff meringue mixture with glossy, upright peaks.

Fold this gently into the chocolate mixture.

Pour into the prepared crumb crust.

Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour.

Turn the oven off, but leave the cake inside until it is completely cooled (we left it in overnight).

When ready to serve, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan.

Make the whipped cream by beating the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form (about 1 minute).

Spread the whipped cream on the cheesecake. And enjoy!