Whiskey-Glazed Carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter (we used unsalted butter)
  • 2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup Jack Daniels or other whiskey (we used Jack Daniels)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Take half of the butter and place it in a large skillet (make sure the skillet has a lid that fits for later on), turning the heat up to high. Once the butter’s melted, add half of the carrots to the skillet, stirring continuously just long enough to brown the carrots (about 1 minute). Take the carrots out of the skillet and transfer them to a plate. Do the same thing with the other half of the carrots (just don’t add the other half of the butter, that’s for step 2).
  2. Take the skillet off the heat just long enough to pour the whiskey in, returning the skillet to the heat afterwards. Allow the whiskey to bubble up and cook for 3 minutes or until the whiskey looks like it’s reduced a little. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the remaining half of the butter in, stirring it around until the butter’s fully melted. Add the brown sugar in, stirring to combine, tossing all the carrots back into the skillet, stirring to coat the carrots in the sauce.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and put a lid on the skillet, letting it cook for 5 minutes. Take the lid off and let the carrots cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you add enough salt to balance out the sweetness !

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

The alcohol will get cooked off but you can still taste the flavors that went into making that whiskey and it gets imparted into the carrots. The sauce turned into a nice glaze on the carrots and is slightly syrup-like by the end of the cooking process. The salt really brings out the flavors of the dish while also keeping the dish from being a one-note sweet tasting side dish.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Jack Daniels.

Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits

Ingredients

  • For the biscuits:
    • Cooking spray
    • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 ½ teaspoons sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
    • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 6 ounces grated yellow cheddar cheese (about 1 ¼ cups)
    • ¾ cup whole  milk
  • For the garlic butter:
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 clove garlic, smashed (we used 2 cloves since our cloves looked small)
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley (we used flat leaf parsley)

Directions

  1. Move your oven rack into the upper third of the oven and afterwards preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Take a large baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil, lightly spraying the foil afterwards with the cooking spray.
  2. Take a food processor out and add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt to it, pulsing afterwards to combine. Add the shortening to the food processor and pulse until it’s combined with the other ingredients. Now add the butter in and pulse 4 or 5 times or until the butter looks like it’s been broken down into pea-sized pieces. Toss the cheese in and pulse another 2 or 3 times. Add the milk in and pulse just long enough for the mixture to get moistened and form a loose dough. Take the dough out of the food processor and place it on the counter. Gently knead the dough just enough for the dough to come together (overwork the dough and the biscuits will come out tough).
  3. Drop ¼ cup portions (filled just to the edge of the measuring cup, maybe even a little bit below the edge) onto the lined baking sheet you sprayed earlier, trying to keep 2 inches in-between the portions (should get between 12 to 14 biscuits, we got 12). Stick the baking sheet in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the biscuits look nice and golden.
  4. While the biscuits are in the oven, you can make the garlic butter. Take a small saucepan out and add the butter and garlic to it, turning the heat up to medium and letting it cook for 1 minute. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the parsley. Once the biscuits are fully cooked, brush the garlic butter over them and serve right away.

We loved these biscuits. They’re the closet we’ve tasted to reminding us of those scrumptious biscuits from Red Lobster. They’re tender and flaky and you can taste the cheese a little. The garlic butter really makes it taste even better. We wish we could taste the garlic even more but you do taste it in the background. If you miraculously have leftover biscuits the next day, we’ve found that letting them come to room temp. rather than microwaving them is best. Still not as great tasting as the first day but pretty close. You do need to wait to make the garlic butter until the biscuits are just about to come out of the oven or else the butter starts to solidify again.

We got this recipe from a Food Network magazine.

We weren’t paid in any way to promote Food Network or Red Lobster.

Take care everybody !

Ranch Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds whole button mushrooms
  • 2 (1-ounce each) envelopes ranch salad dressing mix
  • ½ cup garlic-flavored olive oil (we couldn’t find any garlic-flavored olive oil so we just used ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil with 1 teaspoon minced garlic)

Directions

  1. Place the mushrooms in the slow cooker followed by the garlic oil and the dressing mix (we chose to mix the dressing mix and oil together before adding it to the slow cooker), stirring well*. Put a lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours or on HIGH for 1 ½ to 2 hours (we went with the Low option).

*Our slow cooker was so full that we didn’t have room to stir the mushrooms around so we just poured the oil mixture over the top before the mushrooms started to cook. Once the mushrooms were done cooking, we stirred the mushrooms around to ensure they were all coated in the oil-dressing mixture.

These are some scrumptious mushrooms. It’s super easy to make and because it tastes so good, there’s never any leftovers when this gets made ! You get a wonderful tanginess from the ranch salad dressing mix and the garlic olive oil lends a wonderful flavor as well. The oil mixture is so tasty you just want to drink it !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, cut in half*
  • 4 Tbsp. peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided (we used peanut oil) (accidentally used 4 Tbsp. for tossing the Brussels sprouts with but still used another tablespoon later on)
  • Salt and pepper (we used kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger**
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2-3 tsp. red chile paste (used 3 teaspoons) (used Thai Kitchen red curry paste)
  • 8-10 dried chiles de arbol*** (used 8 chiles)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp., plus 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts

Directions

  1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil (makes cleanup a breeze later at the end).
  2. Now you’re supposed to toss the Brussels sprouts in 3 (used 4) tablespoons of oil before placing them on the lined baking sheet but we just put the sprouts on the lined baking sheet and tossed them in the oil there (saves you from cleaning up an additional item). Lightly season the Brussels sprouts with the salt and pepper.
  3. Stick the baking sheet in the oven to cook the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 25 minutes (20 minutes worked for us), stirring halfway through the cooking time.
  4. Take a saucepan out during the last 5-10 minutes of cook time on the sprouts and pour a tablespoon of oil into the saucepan. Set the heat to medium and wait for the oil to get hot. Toss in the ginger, garlic and green onion, cooking for one minute.
  5. Add the red chile paste, chiles de arbol, soy sauce, 3 Tbsp. sugar, rice vinegar, and 1/2 cup water to the saucepan, stirring to combine. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water together, adding it into the saucepan afterwards. Bring the saucepan mixture to a simmer and let it cook long enough for the sauce to thicken. Try a little of the sauce and if you think it tastes salty but not very sweet, just mix in that last teaspoon of sugar (we didn’t have to).
  6. Drizzle the sauce over the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with peanuts afterwards.

*This is what a Brussels sprout looks like after it’s been halved and a small cut’s been made into the core (don’t they look like little baby cabbages?)

DSC_0105

**We wanted to show what ginger looks like and how we peel ginger. Using a spoon to peel makes it so much easier to get the skin off the ginger:

DSC_0101DSC_0103

***There are so many peppers out there, dried or fresh. We wanted to show you this picture of our chiles de arbol so you’d know what to look for:

DSC_0110

This is the finished product:

DSC_0113DSC_0117DSC_0119DSC_0121DSC_0131

This was actually the first recipe we ever fixed involving Brussels sprouts and it was scrumptious ! This recipe has made us excited to see Brussels sprouts in any recipe. The Brussels sprouts were tender but still had texture and the sauce was sweet with just a tiny bit of heat. You take a bite of the chiles de arbol though and you’ll have your heat ! That pepper is really spicy so just take a small bite of it the first time you try it to guage how much you can handle in one bite. The peanuts don’t actually add any flavor as far as we could tell but it did add another texture to the dish which is really nice.

We think we got this recipe from Spicy Southern Kitchen.

We weren’t paid in any way to mention Thai Kitchen or Spicy Southern Kitchen.

Take care everybody !

Tom Ka Gai

We don’t know how authentic this recipe is or not but we do know that it tastes delicious !

Ingredients

  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • ¼ cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, halved and bruised (or 2 tsp. minced lemon zest) (We used 3 or 4 small pieces that you find in plastic packages. We cut off the ends and peeled the outermost layer off before halving and bruising the lemongrass.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14-oz.) can coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Serrano chile, sliced (we used 2 with the seeds left in)
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) cubed or sliced cooked chicken (we shredded a rotisserie chicken breast)
  • Chopped fresh basil, cilantro and mint (We just used mint that we sliced. We tried all three before and thought that the basil and cilantro didn’t really add that much flavor to the soup.)

Directions

  1. Take a large saucepan out (we used our big glass pot) and pour the oil in, setting the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, toss the shallots, ginger, lemongrass and garlic in, stirring continuously so they don’t get browned (the original recipe never says how long to cook the ingredients so we just moved onto the next step when we saw some of the ingredients were just starting to get golden).
  2. Add the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, heavy cream, and sugar to the saucepan, stirring to combine. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the Serrano slices, sliced mushrooms, and chicken to the soup, stirring everything together. Let the soup simmer for 3 minutes or until the chicken is heated through. Take out the lemongrass stalk and throw it away (you have to be thorough when you search for the lemongrass, we had some layers separate from the stalk and you definitely don’t want to bite into lemongrass stalk).
  4. Get your individual servings and garnish each portion with however much basil, cilantro and mint as you like.

We love this soup ! You have multiple textures from the different components and you taste that funky, umami flavor from the fish sauce, get heat from the Serrano slices, taste the lemongrass and lime and the mint adds this great fresh, flavorful component that complements the flavors in the soup. The shiitake mushroom slices and chicken also help bulk up the soup and make it filling.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stemmed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces rotini pasta, cooked

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take a rimmed baking sheet out and line it with parchment paper. Add the Brussels sprouts to the lined baking sheet, pouring the olive oil over them afterwards, tossing them around to ensure the Brussels sprouts are coated in the oil.
  2. Stick the baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts look like they’re beginning to caramelize. Leave the Brussels sprouts off to the side for now.
  3. Take a large skillet out and set the heat to medium. Once the skillet’s hot, add the bacon in and let it cook for 8 minutes or however long it takes for the bacon to get crisp. Using a slotted spoon, take all the bacon out of the skillet and place it on a paper towel-lined plate for it to drain on. Leave 4 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the skillet. Toss the onion and garlic into the skillet, stirring constantly for 3 minutes or until they look softened. Now add the flour into the skillet, whisking continuously for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, continuing to stir after it’s all poured in for 5 minutes or until the mixture looks thickened. Stir in the salt, mustard, and red pepper, taking the skillet off the heat once those three ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Add the cheese to the skillet, stirring until the cheese has completely cooked. Now mix in the pasta, Brussels sprouts, and bacon and serve immediately.

Much like when you eat macaroni and cheese, we decided you can never have enough, which is why we have so many pictures of the mac and cheese !

We love Brussels sprouts but this was the first time we’d ever had it in a macaroni and cheese dish or with bacon and it’s now another way we enjoy eating them ! The pasta was perfect for catching the sauce with, the bacon gave the dish a nice crisp texture and of course we enjoyed the roasted Brussels sprouts being in there !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Won Ton Soup

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sliced scallions (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 14 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups chopped bok choy
  • 8 oz. ground pork
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp. minced scallion greens
  • 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. ground white pepper
  • 32 won ton wraps
  • Low-sodium soy sauce to taste
  • Sliced scallion greens

Directions

  1. For the broth, pour the two tablespoon of toasted sesame oil into a large pot, setting the heat to medium-low. Once the oil’s hot, add in the ¼ cup  of sliced scallions, garlic, ginger and sliced shiitake mushrooms. Put a lid on the pot and let them sweat for 5 minutes.
  2. Take the lid off and stir in the 10 cups of chicken broth as well as the ¼ cup of soy sauce. Turn the heat up to high so the soup comes to a boil. Now that it’s boiling, turn the heat down low enough so that the soup is just at a simmer, allowing it to continue simmering for 15 minutes. After those 15 minutes pass, stir the bok choy in and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. For the won tons, take a large mixing bowl out and combine the following ingredients together in it: pork, egg yolk, minced scallion greens, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the toasted sesame oil, pepper flakes, and the white pepper.
  4. Now for the assembly of the won tons ! Scoop 1 tsp. of the pork mixture into the center of each won ton. Brush the edges of the won ton with water (you could use a brush but we preferred to just use our fingers to spread water around the edges of the won ton wraps and we kept a small bowl of water nearby to save on time when applying the water). Seal the won tons in triangle shapes (we like starting to seal from the center around the filling and working our way out so no air gets trapped), bringing two of the points together afterwards to form the dumplings*. The original recipe doesn’t say to, but you should lay damp paper towels over the dumplings after they’re formed so they don’t dry out and helps them stay sealed longer.
  5. Take a saucepan out and fill it with either water or chicken broth (we used chicken broth) and bring it to a boil. Add in a portion of the dumplings and let them cook for 3-5 minutes or until they float to the top (you have to watch out for the dumplings potentially sticking to the saucepan and not floating even if they are cooked). The original recipe doesn’t mention this, but the boiling liquid will reduce as the batches of dumplings get cooked so you’ll either need to refill the liquid and wait for boiling to occur again before cooking more dumplings or the last few batches may have to have less dumplings in them so that they can stay submerged during the cooking process. Once all the dumplings are cooked though, add them into the soup and if you think the soup needs it, season with additional soy sauce (we didn’t think the soup needed any extra soy sauce). Scoop out individual portions and garnish with the sliced scallion greens.

*In case you’re someone who does better with visuals, we took pictures of the process involved with making the dumplings:

This is what the dumplings look like after they’re done cooking in the saucepan:

Here is the final scrumptious product:

Oh this is so freaking delicious ! It was nice eating this after going for a walk outside in the cold.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !