January 24, 2009

Chocolate Irish Cherry

Who doesn't love a good dessert drink? This is one of our favorites.


2 parts Bailey's
2 parts Godiva Chocolate-Caramel liquor
2 parts brandy
1 part Chambord
1 part butterscotch schnapps
1 graham cracker, crushed
chocolate shavings

In one shallow bowl, pour a thin layer of water. In a second, the crushed graham crackers. Dip the edge of a martini glass first in the water, then the graham crackers.

Meanwhile, mix the first 5 ingredients in a shaker, then strain into the glass. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Cheddar-Jalapeno Beer Bread

Today, I wanted bread. It was a spur of the moment decision, so my sourdough starter wasn't ready. I decided I'd try a whole-wheat bread instead. So I hopped online to search for a recipe. Of course, I am easily distractable, so I ended up with beer bread instead! I found this recipe over at Farmgirl Fare. True to form, I tweaked it a bit - and wow. This bread is amazing and simple! I used Alaskan Amber (of course!), and baked it while wearing my new Tastiest Catch shirt, courtesy of the husband.


1 c whole wheat flour
2 c bread flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1 T baking powder
1 c grated cheddar cheese
4 slices jalapeno, minced
12 oz beer
1 egg
2 t water

Preheat oven to 375. Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a bowl. Slowly add the beer and mix well. Pour into a greased 8 inch bread pan. Meanwhile, beat the egg and water together and brush over top. Bake about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

January 23, 2009

Zuchinni Spaghetti

This is a new one for me... vegetarian! The horrors! But it was actually pretty darned good. I suspect my husband wouldn't agree with me, though!


1/2 zuchinni (lengthwise) sliced into very thin strips
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cloved garlic, minced
small handful of kale, diced
1/4 c olive oil
fresh grated parmesean and asiago cheese

Sautee the garlic and bell pepper in the olive oil for a few minutes. Add the kale and zuchinni. Sautee until softened. Serve with freshly grated cheese.

Next time, I think I will add a slice of jalapeno into the oil to spice things up.

January 17, 2009

Pots du Creme and Creme Anglaise

I have a bad habit. I constantly change and adjust recipes... before I've even tried them once! But it worked out alright this time. This dessert is quite decadent and is now a new favorite in this household!

Chocolate-Irish Cream Pots du Creme

3/4 c heavy cream
1/8 c Baileys
1/2 c milk
1/4 c sugar
4 egg yolks
3 oz chocolate
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 325.

Combine the cream, milk, and chocolate in a saucepan. Heat and stir constantly to melt. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, blend yolks, sugar, and salt until pale yellow. Mix in the chocolate, then add the Baileys. Strain into a large 4 cup measure.

Place ramekins in a deep baking dish. Pour the chocolate evenly into each ramekin. Carefully pour hot water into the dish until it is about a half inch from the top of the ramekins. Cover with foil and bake until just set, approximately 20 minutes.

Carefully remove from the baking dish. Cool, then cover with plastic wrap and chill 3-4 hours.

Makes approximately 4 pots.

Creme Anglaise

1/2 c milk
2 egg yolks
1.5 oz sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t brandy

Pour the milk, vanilla, and brandy into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, blend the yolks and sugar together until they are a very pale yellow.

Remove the simmering milk from heat and slowly pour half over the egg mixture, stirring constantly.

Still stirring constantly, pour the egg mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk. Return to heat.

Cook for a short time over medium heat to thicken, stirring constantly. Scrape the sides and bottom regularly and do not boil.

Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Stir continuously for two minutes to cool. To complete cooling quickly, place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice and stir the creme until cool. If you have more time, you can place the bowl in the freezer, stirring periodically until it's cool. If you don't use one of these methods, a skin will form on top of the creme.

January 16, 2009

Meat Sauce

Nothing better than pasta with a good meat sauce! This recipe is based off of my Uncle Carl's sauce, but I've added a few twists of my own.


1 lb ground sausage
1 lb spicy ground sausage
1 slab baby back ribs, cut into individual rib pieces
1 stick pepperoni, diced
3 28 oz cans diced tomatoes, Italian flavored
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
16 to 18 oz tomato paste
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 T Italian seasoning
2 to 6 T olive oil
2 t sugar – add more to your taste
4 fresh or 2 dried bay leaves
2 t each salt and pepper or to your taste.
Dash of cayenne pepper

Brown the sausage in a skillet and set aside. Slice the ribs apart, rub with salt and pepper, and brown them as well. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.

Transfer to a large pot and add in the sausage and pepperoni. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir well and add Italian seasoning, some of the sugar and bay leaves as well as the cayenne. Then add the paste. Stir very well and let simmer for several hours. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

The sauce is done when the rib meat has fallen off the bones. Remove the bones and the bay leaves.

Take a handful of kale and slice it a few times. Toss it in the skillet with a bit of oil and a spoonful of sauce and sautee for a few minutes. Stir into the sauce and serve over fresh pasta.

January 15, 2009

King Crab

The hardest part of making crab is getting the crab. This is one of the wonderful benefits about living in Alaska - there is crab everywhere!

So you've managed to hunt down some crab - hopefully red King, though golden is acceptable. Dungeness and snow also work, and may be easier to find depending on where you live. You have crab, of one kind or another... but it's frozen, big, and prickly. Now what?

It's really quite simple.

You'll need to plan ahead, so that you can thaw your legs out in the refrigerator. This takes about a day. Once the legs are nicely thawed, preheat the oven to 350. Wrap the legs in tinfoil, leaving a small hole at the top. Use this hole to add about a quarter cup of water. Cover the hole with additional tinfoil. Pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes and you should be ready to go!

Some people advocate salting the legs before heating. I consider this unnecessary. The poor animal has been swimming in an ocean his whole life - he already has plenty of salt!

Remember, frozen crab legs have already been cooked. All you are doing is heating them up. Once the meat is warm to the touch, they're done.

For ease of eating, run your kitchen shears along one side of the leg, slicing it open. Serve with rice and melted butter.

January 6, 2009

Butterscotch Brownies

Chocolaty and Delicious.


1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c butterscotch chips
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 T vanilla
1 T butterscotch schnapps
4 T Baileys
1/4 cup hot water
4 eggs
1 c butterscotch chips

Melt butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips together.

In a small bowl mix flour and baking soda together.

Put melted chocolate mixture in a large bowl. Add sugar and beat for about 5 minutes until smooth. With mixer on add vanilla, butterscotch schnapps, and Baileys, and gradually add water. Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition.

With mixer on low add flour mixture until blended. Fold in remaining 1 cup butterscotch chips.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 35 to 45 minutes. Cool. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

January 4, 2009

Cheese Soup

As you may know, I love cheese. Especially melted, and extra especially mixed with beer. So this next recipe should come as no surprise to anyone. After having made the discovery that this kind of soup exists in the first place, I decided to try to make my own. Since this was my first experiment, all measurements are very, very approximate.


8 oz Chicken stock
8 oz Beer
horseradish sauce
Dijon mustard
Worcestershire sauce
1/2 minced zuchinni
a handful finely sliced ham and sausage
8 oz grated cheese (I used mostly a sharp orange cheddar, with some fresh Parmesan and asiago)
roux (made with flour and butter)

Simmer the stock and beer. Add the next three ingredients to taste. Toss in the zuchinni and meat. Stir well and continue to simmer.

While simmering, melt butter and blend in flour to make a roux. This is used to adjust the consistency - the amount needed will vary. Add to the beer mix, stirring well.

While stirring continuously, melt the cheese into the beer mix. Add spices to taste an simmer to blend the flavors.

January 2, 2009

Beer-Cheese dip

This delicious almost-fondue is the perfect addition to any football party. Quick and easy to make, it is always a hit!

Update 2/11: For a delicious twist, stick the shredded cheese in the smoker for 30-60 minutes.  Drain off the fat and continue!


~8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
6 oz of your favorite beer or ale
horseradish sauce
Dijon mustard
garlic and wine seasoning
Worcestershire sauce

In a saucepan, simmer the beer for several minutes. Add a dash each of the horseradish, Dijon, garlic, and Worcestershire. Mix thoroughly with a fork. Add the cheese in small handfuls, stirring constantly to melt. In between handfuls, add a dash of flour to create the proper consistency.

Once the cheese is completely melted, transfer to a crockpot and set on warm. Serve with pieces of bread, veggies, or chips.