Category Archives: Alcohol

brownies2

Bailey’s Irish Cream Brownies

Looking for a last minute potluck treat for St. Patrick’s Day? Make some Bailey’s Brownies! These are wicked easy, and absolutely delightful. There is a subtle hint of Bailey’s flavor mixed in with the awesomeness of chocolate. It was really hard to photograph these and not eat them at the same time

But I did it anyway.brownies2

 

I wasn’t really sure what I was doing with this, so I guessed at some measurements and they came out really fantastic. I used a box of Duncan Hines (13×9 Family Sized) Chewy Fudge Brownies. Looking at the instruction on the box, there was a total 1 cup worth of liquid added (water and oil) so I figured if I did 1/2 cup of Bailey’s and 1/2 cup of oil it would be fine. And I added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips because why not? They were easy to get out of the pan once cooled, had a nice slightly crisp edge, and were still chewy.

I’m trying out this recipe feature my website template comes with…so click/look below for the recipe! Let me know what you think!

brownies

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Nutty Irishman

We’re getting closer to St. Patrick’s Day! Obviously this makes me think of food and beverages that have the word “Irish” in them somewhere. Which reminded me of how much I adore Nutty Irishmen. If you look at my recipe list you’ll notice that I made a similar recipe once, the Nutty Irishmen Semifreddo. That might be a bit too complicated if you’re just looking to relax this weekend, so here is the original beverage version for your enjoyment.

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It’s simple, really. First, you brew coffee. Brew it however you like! Get a mug, add 1 shot (1 to 1.5 oz) each of Frangelico and Baileys Irish Cream. Add coffee. Stir. Top with whipped cream (optional) enjoy! This can also be served over ice if that’s your preference.

I always like to have this with whipped cream. To make mine, use 8oz of heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp Frangelico and whip it until it formed soft peaks. Then I sprinkle it with cocoa powder if I think it needs flair. This doesn’t come out very sweet, but that’s how I like it.

Go on, you know you want to try it!

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chili bowl

Chili Experiments

If you read the title, you’ll realize I felt the need to experiment with chili. Chili isn’t hard to make, and I always ignore the beans-vs-beanless chili battles and just make whatever I want. I wanted to make chili to go with the beer bread (see previous post) for my dad because he was visiting this past Wednesday. I didn’t want to make him wait forever for dinner though, so instead of cooking the chili for hours and hours, I simply made it the night before and put it in the fridge over night. When I got home from work on Wednesday I took it out, added a bottle of beer, and cooked it until it was heated through. Easy!

chili bowl

A scoop of sour cream and some cheese is all you need to finish it off.

I didn’t make this into a thought out, thorough recipe, because that’s just not how I cook. Also, I was trying out products I don’t usually use. You’ll figure it out.

Here are some things I tried out:

bacon

I had such a good experience with Trader Joe’s cut pancetta, I figured I might as well try the bacon too. I DID NOT LIKE IT. It was gross. It was all one big lumpy clump of thick hunks of fat. I ended up cooking it for flavor, then removing most of it because it looked awful. I will not be trying this again.

 

 

mirepoix

 

 

I wanted this to be wicked simple and lazy to make. So for the first time ever I bought prepared Mirepoix at the grocery store. It wasn’t anything exciting, but it sure was easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tomatoes

 

 

If you’re going to add diced tomatoes, why not have them be fire roasted and come with chiles? It made sense to me, and so I tried it, and I liked it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also used ground beef, obviously. And kidney beans too. For flavor I used paprika, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, Worcestershire Sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and a bottle of beer.

chili

Heating it up with beer, right before serving.

 

 

bread

Beer Bread

This is one of the easiest and most delicious breads I have ever made, and as a former baker that’s certainly saying something. It has very few ingredients, and is really quick to make. And it’s fun! Because it’s made with beer! It goes really well with chili (which you’ll learn about tomorrow, and also contains beer), and probably with a lot of other meals as well.

sliced bread

The flavor isn’t super beer-y, but you do taste it. I don’t know if I’m explaining that very well, you’ll just have to make it and try it for yourself. I also have no idea what kind of beer would be best; I just used what was in my fridge. Play with the recipe, it’s fun!  I first thought of trying it when I found this recipe , and after reading the comments decided to try it with some of the suggestions that people made. And if you don’t feel like buying self-rising flour, you could easily make it yourself.

Check it:

recipe

This is how I write recipes

 

3 cups self-rising flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 (12oz) beer

1 Tbsp butter

 

 

 

mixing

 

Mix flour and sugar. Add beer and mix until everything is just combined.

 

 

 

 

proof

 

Pour into greased 9×5 pan. Let sit for 30 minutes, then pour melted butter over the top. Bake at 350° for 40-55mins, or until lightly browned.

 

 

 

 

 

Let cool on wire rack about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and continue to cool.

Slice and eat. Preferably with chili.

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Drunken Spaghetti

It’s almost Valentine’s Day…you know what that means, right? Wine! Lots of wine!(And chocolate too, but let’s save that for later) Whether or not you’re in a relationship, this recipe is a winner. If you’re by yourself (like me!) this is a good excuse to go through a bottle of wine alone. If you’re cooking for a special someone (I kind of hate you) this can be a fun, romantic meal. You choose.

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So what is Drunken Spaghetti? Excellent question! It’s spaghetti cooked in wine and water. How fun is that? It makes the spaghetti a neat color too. I chose to do equal parts wine and water to make things easier on myself, so all I did was pour a bottle of wine into the pot, then refill the bottle with water and add that to the pot as well. Easy! If you’re thinking to yourself, That’s such a waste of wine!!!! Calm down, I bought $2.99 bottles at Trader Joes. It’s not like I’m using something amazing and delicious.

You’ll notice that I’m using pancetta in this recipe. Pancetta is fancy Italian bacon, and normally way too expensive for me. I was going to just use regular bacon (you know, because romance) but I saw this super cheap package of chopped pancetta at the store and simply had to get it. You understand.

pancetta pkg

This isn’t really much of a recipe, just a guide. Good luck!

First you add equal parts red wine (I used a cheap Cabernet Sauvignon). It doesn’t have to be exactly half. Just close. If you don’t want to open another bottle later, set aside about a 1/2 cup of wine to add at the end.

pouring wine

When it comes to a boil, add 1lb of spaghetti and cook following package directions or until done.

Meanwhile, start cooking your pancetta/bacon/mushrooms/whatever you decide. I added a little salt, pepper, and 21 Seasoning Salute (from Trader Joes). You can use Italian Seasoning if you don’t have 21 Seasoning Salute. Add a happy amount.

pancetta1

Stir and cook on medium high heat until browned.

pancetta2

When pasta is cooked, strain it and return it to the pan.

strained pasta

Stir in pancetta and a 1/2 cup red wine. Serve with cheese and love.

pasta

Have an awesome Valentine’s Day!!!

 

PS – My new camera is crazy awesome. These are my first pics with it!! Hopefully I get better at it.