The PPD Cocktail

I have your next hit cocktail — it’ll be gangbusters. Prepare yourself. For The PPD.

FullSizeRender

“What is The PPD?” You may ask. It’s the perfect thing to impress your date. It will run out at your party, leaving people begging for more. It suits both chick flick night and sports night without fail.

PPD Cocktail.jpg

The PPD is, dare I say, magical in its symphony of flavors. Dark caramel meets sweet and juicy pineapple where it becomes candied, and a subtle heat is then introduced with chili flakes. The pineapple is reserved for garnish, because I love it when my drinks come with snacks, don’t we all? …keep reading…

Advertisements

Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Bourbon Glaze

Glazed cinnamon rolls

I’ve done something terrible. And by terrible, I mean ridiculously awesome. I’m sorry to torture you with this when there you are (probably), comfortably not thinking about fresh cinnamon rolls, ooey and gooey with their decadent cinnamon filling, slathered with a coffee bourbon glaze, and turning your kitchen into the smell of a heavenly bakery with that beautiful yeasted dough.

Oh boy, I really went off there…can you tell I’m in love? Seriously guys, these came out of the oven around 6PM yesterday and promptly turned into dinner….a three bun dinner. I regret nothing.

Rolled yeast dough

This feels like a “I’m sorry/you’re welcome” kind of recipe. …Keep reading!

Cheddar Biscuits

Biscuits. Cheddar biscuits.

Cheddar Biscuit Glory

I’ve been on a warpath lately – luckily for you (and my roommates) this warpath is filled with fierce love, cold butter, and lots of shredding on a quest for my perfect cheddar biscuit. Through all my baking adventures, my mom always says, “If you only master good bread and biscuits, you’re set. Everyone will love you.” When it comes to these biscuits, I think I’m well on my way. Man, I hope my future husband isn’t gluten intolerant. That would be a deal breaker huge hurdle. “No bourbon” would also be a problem, but I suppose I can always make an Old Fashioned for one.

Biscuits used to scare me. I don’t know why, but I think it had something to do with all the fuss over the size of the butter and the speed at which you incorporate it into the dry ingredients so your hot little hands don’t melt the dang butter. I’m here to tell you, don’t be a scaredy cat like me – jump in the biscuit dough, the butter’s fine! …or something like that.

Biscuit Dough

Fast to come together and no rest or rise time, biscuits are a dream bread. They successfully masquerade as breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. Sweet or savory? It’s a choose your own adventure sort of bread once you’ve mastered the basics. My great aunt made a mean biscuit, but this recipe works as a great base biscuit (just leave out the cheddar…although that seems foolish).

If you have the same fear of

Continue reading

Bourbon Ginger Brioche Bread Pudding with Caramelized Pears and Sour Cherries

Bourbon Bread Pudding

Is everyone aware of Rusty the red panda? He’s the adorably cheeky redheaded escape artist at the National Zoo – and I’m in love. It all started with the tremendously amusing media coverage he got during his escape, “He left no note, no tracks and no clues. But Smithsonian National Zoo officials believe Rusty the red panda, who decided Monday was a good day to get out and take in the sights, may have used overlapping, rain-heavy tree limbs and tall bamboo as a bridge to the outside world.” (Don’t worry; said limbs have since been cut back.)

Though this online quiz tells me that my spirit animal is a hummingbird (which actually makes sense – apparently the hummingbird generally symbolizes enjoyment of life and playfulness, as well as adaptability), I’ve decided that the red panda is my spirit animal.

Aside from the fact that I take no stock in this sort of thing, it’s fun to have one. Shockingly, You’re wondering how this will relate to bread pudding. Keep reading…

Bourbon Molasses Pumpkin Pie

Bourbon Molasses Pumpkin Pie

Let’s talk turkey. And by turkey, I mean pie. Last week we continued the annual tradition of Friends-giving at our apartment with the tiny kitchen that really should only have one…mayyyybe two people in it at any given time. But hey, you work with what ya got, right? This is the sort of thing that forces one to learn to prep ahead of time.

Confession: I didn’t even used to read all the way through a recipe before starting it; which, as we all know, can catch us unawares as we start cooking, only to realize that the dough has to chill for TWO HOURS until you can get any further in the recipe. So guess what? I totally Don’t stop! Keep reading…

My Perfect Old Fashioned

Ok, I’ve been thinking about this for you. Ready?…

Old Fashioned

10 great ways to spend your time:

  1. Watching the Food Network on the treadmill. (Seriously, you get some great recipe ideas with the added benefit of being a boss.)
  2. Trolling http://animalstalkinginallcaps.tumblr.com
  3. Wandering around a city – new or old
  4. Making a pitcher of cocktails for your friends, because they’ll love you, duh. (The 712 CocktailThe Gin Sour, or The Cinnamon Cidercane would be a great place to start.)
  5. Planning a road trip
  6. Re-watching all of the old Arrested Development
  7. Perusing thrift stores
  8. Lounging on the roof with wine and cheese (Once a week? Twice? No one’s judging.)
  9. Going to a free salsa/swing dancing night and resultingly either embracing how ridiculous you are or flaunting your sweet new moves ;)
  10. Spending an entire week perfecting an Old Fashioned

Definitely time well-spent.

I’ve done all of those pretty recently, but I need someone to keep me accountable for #4, #7, and #9 soon. Any takers?  #10 happened last week in LA with my family. Man, I love my family. Do other families do this? I mean if the first Old Fashioned wasn’t quite right, we have to make a second…obviously. And the second was good but could’ve used a little more bitters, soooo… And then I honestly just wanted to become pro behind the bar, so my family lovingly endured another few Old Fashioneds throughout the course of the week. And I think we came away with something pretty great here.

Easy Cocktail

Here’s what I did:

Old Fashioned

In a tumbler, stir together:
-1 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water boiled, cooled)
-4 dashes of angostura bitters (ends up being about 6 drops)
-3 oz. (2 shots) of good bourbon

Drop in:
-2 jarred sour cherries (like Morello, or another tart preserved cherry. *Just DON’T use maraschino…unless you’re that one person who likes them and can’t give it up for some weird reason.)
-a few cubes of ice

Obviously this is all to your liking – if you like it a little sweeter, try more simple syrup. Try more or less bitters (I happen to think 4 dashes is great, but some people like 2 and my mom likes 5). Try different kinds of bitters. Try it with an orange twist. Try it in a box. Try it with a fox. Just don’t dye it green ;)

*French phrase for fun:

Je ne les aime pas, moi, je m’appelle Sam.

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Sweet Tea Mint Juleps

Controversial topic alert!…

 Sweet Tea Mint Juleps

How do y’all feel about country music? Yep, I’m finally broaching the subject here. I gather it’s usually a love it or hate it situation, but isn’t there a “tolerate it but wouldn’t listen to it on my own” crowd? I used to be in that last category until I started sharing a car with my mom when I was living in California. Sometimes we’d switch it up, but I know she prefers the country radio station, so that was on all. the. time. (Looooove you, Mom.)  Admittedly not my favorite thing at first – I didn’t do well with the super twangy, “beer and fishin” type songs (still don’t actually), but I did start to find some gems that I really enjoyed in the Keith Urban, The Band Perry, and Thompson Square genre. And then, slowly but surely I started listening to it on my own and discovering much much more.

I think I really love country music because it’s just honest, straight-shooting music that makes you feel good. Lots of ballads which are usually about love or heartbreak and songs just celebrating the countryside or summertime. It’s the perfect thing to listen to say when you’re enjoying a wonderfully refreshing cocktail out on the balcony as the sun sets…perhaps when you’re enjoying a Sweet Tea Mint Julep?  :)

E's roof

Don’t stop now! Keep reading…