Apple, Gorgonzola, and Bacon …. Salad

So … the bacon caught your attention didn’t it ?? It also slightly distracts you from the word salad. Do not let the fact that this sounds healthy fool you. It’s ridiculously delicious and easy to make. Don’t worry about the dressing either …. because you can make your own if you’d like. I’ll post that recipe here on this post as well. It makes a great summer dinner. You can throw some cubed chicken on this puppy as well 😉

 

Apples-and-Bacon-with-Maple-Vinaigrette

Ingredients: (serves two hungry people)

  • 4 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 8 Slices of Bacon fried till crispy, and then crumbled
  • 3 Medium Red Apples of choice, chopped
  • *optional* 8 to 10 Strawberries
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, or Feta may be used as well.

Dressing:

  1. 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  2. 4 Teaspoons Golden or White Balsamic Vinegar
  3. 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  4. *optional*  1/2 teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
  5. 2 Tablespoons of Real Maple Syrup …. you can use the others but its sweeter so be prepared
  6. Salt and Pepper to taste
  7. Mix in a small mason jar or anything you have for dressing and shake shake shake …. boom.

Because you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to make a salad , my only instructions will be …. fry that bacon up first and set aside. Mix all the dressing ingredients … shake and refrigerate. Then throw all that good salad stuff together and put as much dressing on as you like. You can always make more ….. and you will because its soooooooo good.

 

Peanut Butter Fudge with Chocolate

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Fudge. Well what can I say ? You either love it or your wrong.

I don’t make it often because I  usually get it on the boardwalk, or in Candy Shops, visiting quaint little towns. I do know that it is just like having a tiny square of butter and sugar heaven in your mouth. I will make it during the holidays however. This way I get to enjoy it and then give most of it away. Best part is … its just so damn easy to make. A lot easier than cookies …. 😉

 

Ingredients :

  • 1 Full Stick Unsalted Butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Pound Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Extra Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 and 1/3 Cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips *optional*

 

Directions:

  1. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan along with the ground nutmeg. Stir in the brown sugar and milk, removing any lumps, and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes .
  2. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla, then the peanut butter. Stir well.
  3. Put the powdered sugar in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Then, pour the hot peanut butter and sugar mixture on top of the powdered sugar, and beat with a spoon until smooth.
  4. Pour into an 8×8 inch  baking pan, cover the top with parchment, and press down to smooth out the top. Set aside to cool slightly for 10 minutes, then place in the fridge to cool completely.
  5. If you decided you want Chocolate on top (I know I do) I melt the chocolate chips on low until completely smooth. I chop my fudge in little squares and smear just a little chocolate on top. I also sprinkle a little bit of coarse sea salt on top of the chocolate when I have some. But the peanut butter is also pretty darn tasty without all that jazz.

Coconut Curry Mussels

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I enjoy Thai food. I mean who doesn’t ???

This is a mild dish that is not only plenty of delicious fresh mussels, but kinda doubles as a soup too. It has wonderful flavors of smooth subtle coconut milk curry, with hints of ginger, lime, and shallots. Topped off with fresh chopped cilantro …. and served with baguette slices. Heaven in a bowl.

Ingredients : (serves 4 as a meal – 6 to 8 as an appetizer)

  • 2-1/2 lbs of fresh cleaned and de-bearded  mussels
  • 2 Tbsps of Canola oil
  • 3/4 Cup Diced Shallots
  • 2 Tbsps Minced Garlic
  • 2 Diced Red Bell Peppers
  • 1/3 Cup Red Curry Paste
  • 2 Tsps Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 1/8 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Can of Coconut Milk (15oz cans)
  • 2 Tbsps Fresh Lime Juice
  • Cup of Cilantro for chopping and sprinkling just before serving
  • salt to taste if desired
  • Lime Wedges for serving
  • Baguette for the soup left over

 

Directions :

  1. In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, warm the canola oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallots and bell pepper and sauté until the shallots are translucent and the bell pepper is soft, (3 to 4 minutes.)
  2. Add the curry paste, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk,  and lime juice and bring a boil.
  3. Add the mussels to the pan, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover the pan and steam the mussels until they open, lightly stir occasionally so they cook evenly, 4 to 6 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Season to taste with salt.
  4. To serve, spoon the mussels into  soup bowls, ladle some of the broth over them and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve with lime wedges alongside.

 

Browned Butter Bourbon Chocolate Chip and Peacan Cookies

 

 

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Yes…. it’s a mouth full. Just try and say it 5 times fast. I will tell you, the positive side  is once you try these, you’ll never make a plain ole chocolate chip blah cookie again. I”ll admit I was skeptic about the bourbon part,  because I’m not a fan, but I can say bourbon belongs in this cookie. Take them to a holiday party, serve them at your next dinner or hell make some for the next kids birthday party you go to I’m sure the parents need them 🙂

Ingredients: (makes approx. 3 dozen cookies)

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter (1 cup)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 full egg and 1 yolk
  • 1/4 cup Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of all- purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • parchment paper – (do not use wax paper)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Once the butter is melted continue cooking, (Do not walk away and let it burn) swirling the pan constantly until the butter has reached a deep amber color. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 350 *
  2. In the large bowl  mix together browned butter and sugar, mixing until smooth.
  3. Add in egg, yolk, bourbon, baking soda and salt mixing until smooth.
  4. Add in flour until just combined. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips and mix well.
  5. Place bowl inside the refrigerator covered for at least 30 min to 1 hour. Remove and stir again.
  6. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and using a measuring tablespoon scoop out dough, roll it into a ball and  drop dough onto prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. If dough gets sticky return bowl to fridge for a few minutes.
  7. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
  8. Transfer cookies to a wire rack or slide paper and cookies onto a cool counter top to cool.
  • Tip: when storing cookies always make sure they are completely cooled. If putting in baggies place a paper towel inside to absorb moisture. If storing in a container place a small half piece of white bread inside for freshness and to absorb extra moisture 🙂

Baked Apple Pie – Moonshine

F5NHZG9HOTIZSPO.LARGEYep here it is. Ive been saying I am going to post this one for over a year and finally decided to do it. This is the best moonshine recipe I have come up with thus far and every time I make it everyone wants the recipe so here it is. Just remember it is strong even if it tastes good so drink sparingly and be responsible ….. enjoy 🙂

This recipe makes about a gallon and a half. You can use  jugs or large mason jars.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon apple juice
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 4 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 cups 190 proof grain alcohol (such as Everclear®)
  • 2 granny apples peeled and cut into slices
  • 1 small box of raisins
  • sprinkle of cinnamon, white sugar, brown sugar, and a tablespoon of melted butter.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Peel and cut apples into 8 to 10 slices.
  3. In a bowl add slices, raisins and melted butter, toss to coat, sprinkle some cinnamon, white and light brown sugar on the apples.(be generous with the sugars) Toss well until everything is coated .
  4. Place onto a foil lined baking dish all spread out.
  5. Bake for about 6 minutes, stir flip and move around the slices and bake for another 5 minutes. You dont want to bake too long or the apple slices will become too mushy and not hold their shape.
  6. Remove from oven and set aside for later.
  7. Bring the apple cider, apple juice, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, white sugar, and brown sugar together in a large pot; reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. (never add alcohol to the hot mix it changes the flavor and you loss alcohol content)
  8. Once cooled stir in grain alcohol and the apple slice mixture. Stir well.
  9. Add to jugs jars or whatever you are using, making sure to get some cinnamon stick and apple slices in every container.
  10. Chill in fridge for at least 2 days (I make this a week before hand for best results)
  11. Shake before pouring or sipping.

*note: The apple slices will give off all of their flavor in the drink, so when you get to the end of your moonshine the apple will only taste like pure alcohol …. you have been warned :))

Pickled Eggs with Beets

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Being from Pa and loving Amish foods pickled beets are one of my favorite things to eat of all time. I cant remember a holiday dinner growing up without my grandmother making a huge jar of them. If you have never tried them you should. You can eat them just as they are, incorporate them in salads, or just for hors d’ouevres plates. They are also a good source of protein and diet friendly ….. if your into that kind of thing 😉

Ingredients:

  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 cans whole beets
  • 12 hard-cooked eggs (peeled)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Make 12 hard boiled eggs, then peel. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_perfect_hard_boiled_eggs/
  2. Drain beets, but save the juice !!  Place beets and eggs in a large container of your choice.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water, vinegar and reserved beet juice to a boil. Pour over beets and eggs while hot and cool on counter top until room temp .
  4. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 48 hours before serving.