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Drinks

Ginger Lime Daiquiri

 

Ginger Lime Daiquiri

Did you know rum used to be an accepted form of currency in the United States? This was, of course, a really long time ago. Before whiskey and beer took firm hold of the American liquor scene, the US was all about the rum. So what happened? I blame frat boys and The Captain for our current view of rum, but these days rum is starting to find it’s way back into the hearts of craft liquor lovers. I’m not much of a hard liquor drinker, I tend to favor good beer and cheap wine, but after researching the history of rum for an article I wrote, I have a newfound respect. I also found the taste of Ten Cane Rum to be stellar, by far my favorite of all the rums I sampled.

Ginger Lime Daiquiri2

I also realized that although most people think of that syrupy pink blended guy as a daiquiri, the original version is all about well made rum and some lime juice.

And I threw in some ginger simple syrup for good measure.

 

Beer Battered Avocado Tacos with Fresh Corn Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 12 tacos

Ingredients

    For the Tortillas:
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup warm IPA
  • For the Avocados:
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 12 ounces IPA
  • 3 avocados, ripe but still firm
  • For the Corn Salsa:
  • 1 ear of fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off
  • 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onions, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbs chopped scallions
  • juice from one lime
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Make the tortillas:In a large bowl, add the Masa and the salt, stir to combine. Add the beer and stir to combine. If the dough is too dry to hold together, add additional beer or water. If it is too wet, add more Masa. It should be the consistency of Play-Doh.
  2. Form into balls a bit larger than golf balls. Prepare a tortillas press by wrapping in plastic wrap or covering with parchment paper (you can place tortilla ball between two sheets of parchment and use a rolling pin). Place one ball in the center. Press, rotate, press again.
  3. Heat a griddle (or cast iron skillet) to a medium high heat (about 350 for electric griddles). Cook until slightly brown on the bottom (about 30 seconds to a minute) flip and cook on the other side. Don’t overcook.
  4. Make the Avocados:Add about 4 inches of oil to a saucepan, clip a deep-fry thermometer onto the side (make sure the needle is not touching the bottom of the pot. Bring to 375-400 degrees (adjust heat to maintain that temperature).
  5. In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Add the beer and stir until combined (should have the consistency of pancake batter).
  6. Cut the avocados into thick slices (about 4-5 per half) making sure the skin and seed is removed.
  7. Dip the avocado slices into the batter and fry for about 1 minutes, flip and fry until golden brown, about an additional 2 minutes. Remove from fryer and allow to drain on a stack of paper towels. (only fry 2-3 slices at a time or the oil temp will drop and batter will become overly oily).
  8. Make the salsa: Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine.
  9. Assemble tacos and serve.
https://domesticfits.com/ginger-lime-daiquiri/

 

Ginger Lime Daiquiri3

Jalapeno Peach Martini

 

Jalapeno Peach Martini 3This knife is bad ass.

There are much more eloquent ways of explaining how fantastic this Wüsthof  knife is, like it’s forged from a single piece of specially tempered high carbon steel to ensure outstanding strength, or that The slight curve of the blade makes the Chai Dao ideal for cutting, but that just doesn’t get to the meat of the explanation.

This knife is bad ass.

Jalapeno Peach Martini 5

 

It’s a strong cleaver that’s the perfect size, large enough to slightly scare anyone in your immediate chopping vicinity, but not so large that it’s unmanageable.  It’s also sharp enough to slice jalapenos paper thin.

Although I don’t think it’s necessary to buy high end when it comes to all kitchen equipment, knives are the exeption. Knives are an important investment, a tool that will last long enough to pass down to your children, spend money on knives. Don’t buy a cheap block with multiple cheap knives that you will inevitable have to replace in a year (we’ve all done that).

Instead, start to collect. Build your collections one at a time.  Start with the basics, and build. This is a great knife to add to your collection. If you are just starting, here are my recommendations:

Wüsthof Grand Prix Chefs Knife (my first big girl knife, I still use it all the time)

Wüsthof Grand Prix II Hollow-Edge 8 inch Chef′s Knife

Wüsthof Classic Ikon Paring Knife

Wüsthof Classic Chai Dao (Bad ass knife)

Jalapeno Peach Martini 4

 

Because I had this knife, and was able to slice thin jalapenos, I made a cocktail. Maybe this doesn’t scream MOTHERS DAY, and fit the theme of this weeks giveaways,  but I’m a mom and I love a good spicy cocktail and a sharp knife. Cocktails and knives are the new mothers day, I swear.

But maybe you wield the knife and start to chop things up with your bad ass knife before you drink that cocktail,  mkay?

 

Jalapeno Peach Martini 2

 

 

Congrats to our winner, Kelly!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Mirin Stout Glazed Roast Chicken with Maple Sweet Potatoes topped with Caramelized Shallots and Balsamic Glaze

Yield: Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

    For the Brine:
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbs kosher salt
  • 12 ounces brown ale
  • 2 cups ice
  • 4 chicken leg quarters (or 1 whole roasting chicken, cut into quarters)
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup stout
  • 2/3 cup mirin
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 3 tbs honey
  • For the Sweet Potatoes:
  • 2 large shallots, sliced (2/3 cup)
  • 2 tbs butter, plus 4 tbs divided
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbs real maple syrup
  • 2 tbs heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tbs balsamic gaze

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat, add the water and the salt. Stir until salt has dissolved, remove from heat, add the beer and ice. Stir until ice has dissolved and brine is at room temperature or below.
  2. Add the chicken quarters to a large bowl. Pour the brine over the chicken, cover loosely with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 3 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425F.
  4. Add the stout, mirin, soy, chili powder, cornstarch and honey, whisk to combine. Add sauce pan to high heat, allow to boil until slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, place a wire rack over the foil lined baking sheet.
  6. Remove chicken from brine, discard the brine. Rinse the chicken well and pat dry. Place chicken on the wire rack.
  7. Brush liberally with the glaze.
  8. Roast at 425F for 45 to 55 minutes, brush with glaze every 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven when the internal temperature reaches 175F.
  9. While the chicken is cooking make the sweet potatoes. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook over medium-low heat until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
  10. Boil the potatoes in a pot of lightly salted water until fork tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain, return sweet potatoes to the dry pot. Add 4 tbs butter, cream, maple syrup, salt, and nutmeg, mash with a potato masher until well combined and potatoes are well mashed, transfer to a serving dish. Top with caramelized shallots, chopped pecans and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Notes

Balsamic glaze can be bought at the store, often by the balsamic vinegar, or you can make it by reducing 1 cup balsamic and 1 tbs white sugar or honey in a saucepan until reduced and thickened.

https://domesticfits.com/jalapeno-peach-martini/

Jalapeno Peach Martini_

 

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops

Pineapple season is here! Although it’s still a tad colder here in the US than in the tropics, it’s still completely acceptable to soak your vacation-related produce in booze. My hard liquor consumption is fairly infrequent, but lately booze has worked it’s way into my kitchen. I’m much more of a beer and wine kind of girl, but rum has some beautiful flavors that pair nicely with pineapples.

Although this would make an excellent blended drink, there is something that feels special about eating liquor right off a stick.

Just soak

Pinneapple Rum Pops

 

Skewer

Pinneapple Rum Pops2

 

and freeze

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops2

 

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • ½ cup English peas
  • 3 cups Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the beer, cream and lemon juice; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. About a tablespoon at a time, add the Parmesan, stirring until melted before adding more.
  3. Add the dry pasta, water and peas, simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes

To make this recipe using fresh, not dried, pasta, omit the water.

https://domesticfits.com/rum-soaked-pineapple-pops/

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops3

Red Rover Blood Orange and Bourbon Cocktail

 

Red Rover Bourbon Blood Orange Cocktail_

I’ve never liked ginger, it always just served as a bit of color on my sushi plate, or the stuff I would pick out of a salad.And then this cocktail happened, and I decided to fall in love with ginger when it’s mixed with bourbon.

My husband invented this beautiful drink, and it’s amazing in that get-this-away-from-me-or-I-will-drink-an-entire-pitcher kind of way. The bourbon, blood orange and ginger just meld in a perfect way that makes you wonder where this drink has been your whole life. To be honest, I cringed a bit when my husband started to grate the fresh ginger into the glass. But paired with the bourbon, it has more of a ginger ale taste that is really lovely, completely compliments and brings together all the other flavors.

Red Rover Bourbon Blood Orange Cocktail 2

Beer and Butter Poached Lobster with Saison Risotto

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

    For the Risotto
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs chopped shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¾ cups arborio rice
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Saison Beer, plus 2 tbs, divided
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbs heavy cream
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbs chopped chives
  • For The Lobster:
  • 2 ½ cups unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Saison beer
  • 2 fresh lobster tails

Directions

  1. Place the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a mild simmer, keeping to warm, but not boiling.
  2. In a separate pot, add the butter and allow to melt over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, but don’t allow to brown. Add the garlic and cook until you can smell them, about 20 seconds
  3. Stir in the rice, (if pan is dry, add the oil) cooking until the rice is completely coated with butter and it smells slightly nutty, don’t allow to brown. About 2 minutes.
  4. Add ½ cup of the beer and cook until the pan begins to dry, stirring frequently. About 6 minutes.
  5. Add about ½ cup of broth into the rice. Stir frequently until the rice is almost dry, and then add another ½ cup and repeat. This process should take about 20 minutes. Don’t leave the risotto while it’s cooking, the rice on the bottom of the pan burns easily. (if you run out of broth, just use hot water the same way you would broth)
  6. Once your risotto is cooked through (taste it to verify that the rice is cooked and not crunchy), turn heat to low and add the cheese, cream, remaining 2 tbs beer and salt and pepper to taste. Risotto should be soft and wet, not dry like typical rice. It should be firm enough to be served as a side on a plate, but soft enough to jiggle when the plate is shaken.
  7. While the risotto is cooking, start working on the lobster. Using a sharp pair of kitchen sheers, cut a straight line down the tail shell, carefully remove the tail meat in one piece.
  8. In a small sauce pan (if the pan is too big, the lobster will not be covered by the butter and beer), melt the butter. Don’t allow to brown or simmer.
  9. Add the beer and clip a cooking thermometer on the side of pan, making sure to maintain a temperature between 160 and 180 degrees. Do not boil or even simmer the poaching liquid.
  10. Once the poaching liquid has reached the proper temperature, add the tails. Cook until the tails have turned red and the meat is just opaque, about 6 to 8 minutes. Don’t overcook or tails will be rubbery.
  11. Divide the risotto between two plates, sprinkle with chives.
  12. Top with lobster tails, serve immediately.
https://domesticfits.com/red-rover-blood-orange-and-bourbon-cocktail/

Red Rover Bourbon Blood Orange Cocktail 4

Blood and Glory: Blood Orange Cocktail

 

 

 

Here it is:

Blood and Glory Blood Orange Cocktail 3

 

The first Blood Orange Cocktail dreamed up by my incredibly talented (and incredibly sexy) husband.

Chris dodd

It’s really beautiful cocktail with a citrusy sweetness that’s perfectly balanced. It’s prefect for a Ladies Night, a Dinner Party Night, or just a Netflix Night.

Blood and Glory Blood Orange Cocktail 4

I’m already starting to grieve the end of the Blood Orange season, which usually ends in March. If you can’t get your hands on these, or when the season ends, muddle some raspberries and naval orange juice in a cocktail shaker to get close to these great flavors and the amazing color.

Blood and Glory Blood Orange Cocktail_

 

Chocolate Chip Stout Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dark stout beer (I strongly recommend Old Rasputin)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 tbs (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • (makes about 16)

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat, cook the beer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10-15 minutes. Place in the refrigerator in order to chill to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, both types of flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. All types of flour have different properties and will produce difference results, the combination of these two different types gives you cookies that are both soft and chewy. You won't get these results if you just use one type or if you use all-purpose flour.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with both types of sugar, scraping the bottom of the bowl periodically to ensure the ingredients are well combined. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl at least once. Add the reduced and cooled beer, beating until it is combined.
  4. Reduce speed on the stand mixer to low and add the dry ingredients until just barely combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that the butter and flour are all combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated. You don't want to over mix or your cookies will be tough.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and using a cookie scoop, or an ice cream scoop, make balls of dough that are a bit larger than a golf ball. Place on a baking sheet, with ample space between each cookie. Only about 6 cookies will fit on each sheet.
  6. Place the cookies in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, and up to 12. This is important, don't skip this step or the cookies will spread and become dry and crispy. The butter needs to reconstitute as a solid in order for the cookies to bake properly.
  7. Preheat oven to 350. Bake each cookie sheet one at a time for 21-23 minutes or until the cookies are just starting to look dry on top. Don't over bake, the cookies will continue to bake about an additional 10 percent after being removed from the oven. Immediately transfer to a wire rack or a row of paper towels.
https://domesticfits.com/blood-and-glory-blood-orange-cocktail/

Blood and Glory Blood Orange Cocktail 5

Bleeding Mimosa: Champagne and Blood Orange Ice Cubes

Blood Orange Mimossa

I have such a huge culinary crush on blood oranges, it’s almost embarrassing. I drove all over the city looking for these things, giving Sad Eyes to all the produce guys who told me they didn’t carry them. Then, thanks to the magic of Whole Foods, I came into ownership of about 6 pounds of these babies.

Blood Orange Mimossa5

 Last year I gave you the Hot Blooded cocktail during my fling with blood oranges, and this year I wanted to do an entire week. I got a bit of a late start this week because of a Super Secret project I was involved in that required I be sequestered without internet and phone for three days. I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but that will have to wait a few more months.

Blood Orange Mimossa3

I have some real life cocktails coming up for you that have been dreamed up by my husband, who happens to be  trained bartender (which is actually a little known fact). He is an incredible cocktail inventor and I can’t wait to show you what he came up with.

I juiced most of my 6 lbs of blood oranges for what ended up being Team Dodd’s Naptime Cocktail Hour, and froze the leftovers. The results were incredibly gorgeous cubes of ruby red orange juice that made the most amazing and beautiful pink Mimosas.

I used these square ice cubes trays, and if you love to make cocktails for guests, they are a great way to impress with very little effort.

Beer Braised Chicken Sliders With Hoisin Beer Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

    For the Barbecue Sacue:
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup beer
  • For The Braised Chicken:
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups beer
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 15 mini Hawaiian bread rolls
  • Yield: 15 sliders

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tbs canola oil in large pot or Dutch oven. Sprinkle the chicken with salt on all sides. Place in the pot and cook on each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Cover with 1 1/2 cups of beer and 1/2 cup chicken broth, cover and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.
  2. While chicken is cooking, prepare barbeque sauce by warming olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds; add 1 cup beer, hoisin sauce, chili powder and soy sauce. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until thickened and reduced, remove from heat.
  3. When chicken is cooked, remove from pot and allow to cool. Using two forks, shred chicken to as thin slices as possible, then add to hoisin barbeque sauce pan, tossing well to coat.
  4. Split rolls in half across the middle to resemble small sandwich buns, fill with chicken.
https://domesticfits.com/bleeding-mimosa-champagne-and-blood-orange-ice-cubes/

Blood Orange Mimossa4

Strawberry Sriracha Margarita

I’m not much of a hard liquor drinker. That was something I inadvertently gave up when I became a mom, along with sleeping past 7am, peeing alone, and buying anything for myself without feeling selfish. It’s worth the price of admission, this tequila free/up at dawn/spectated toilet runs/"why am I buying this for myself when I could be buying something for my kid," life that I live as a person who grew another human in her guts.

Because she’s really amazing.

(Me & Tater in the healing waters of Santa Barbara a few days ago)

So I drink beer (the good stuff) or wine (the cheap stuff) unless you tell me that there is a cocktail on the menu that’s spicy. I love a nice hot cocktail. Lately, jalapenos have been popping into drinks all over the country and I couldn’t be happier about it.

My undying love for the Rooster Sauce put the idea for a red hot cocktail in my head a few months ago. And adding strawberries gave the perfect balance. Be careful, alcohol intensifies heat so start with a small amount (this recipe calls for only 1/2 tsp) and then decide if you want to add a bit more.

If you love Sriracha as much as I do, I would suggest you add The Sriracha Cookbook to your culinary library, or follow Randy Clemens blog, The Sriracha Cookbook Blog.

 

Maple & Bourbon Beer Glazed Salmon

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ponzu sauce
  • 3/4 cup bourbon barrel aged beer
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbs lime juice (about 1 large lime, juiced)
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 4 to 6 oz each)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, add all ingredients (other than the salmon) stir until well combined. Add to a large zip top freezer bag. Add the salmon and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Place in the fridge, allowing to marinate for one to two hours, rotating at least once.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Remove the salmon from the bag and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Place the marinade in a pot over medium high heat. Boil until reduced and thickened, stirring frequently, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Brush the salmon with the marinade glaze.
  6. Place under broiler and cook until salmon flakes easily, about 6 minutes. Brush salmon with glaze several times during cooking.
  7. Serve over rice or pasta.
https://domesticfits.com/strawberry-sriracha-margarita/

Jalapeno & Blood Orange Whiskey Cocktail

I don’t have a name for this drink. I like names. I love this cocktail. So you can see what type of conundrum this has created in my life. I’ve even gone against suit and made this three times since it’s invention two weeks ago. 

If you have a creative, fun name for this cocktail, let me have it. I’ll give you full credit and I will finally be able to refer to this properly when I make it for guest.

Update: This drink now has a name: Hot Blooded

I’ve also learned a few things about drink making with peppers, something I am completely and whole heartedly in love with. Spicy drinks have even lured me away from my one try love of the drink world: Craft Beer. While beer will still hold the number one rank in my drinking life, spicy cocktails have snuck into a close second spot. But there are rules when concocting libations from such unpredictable ingredients. Here are some rules to keep in mind:

1. Most of the heat from pepper are in the seeds. The more seeds you leave in, the hotter it will become. Exponentially.

2. When peppers sit in alcohol it only takes seconds for the heat level to go from hot to way too hot. It happens faster than you would expect.

3. No two peppers are the same and there is no way to predict how hot the ones you have chosen will be. 

4. Alcohol intensifies heat. I learned this when writing an article about How To Pair Food & Wine, high alcohol beverages increase the heat level in food. The same rule applies to making cocktails with peppers. 

5. Sugar mellows heat. Adding more sugar can lower the heat level a bit.

6. Use gloves. For the LOVE. You only have to forget once, and then try to take your contacts out a few hours later to NEVER do that again. If you do forget, the best way to remove the peppers evilness from your fingers is to rub copious amounts of olive oil into your hands for about 5 minutes, and then wash the olive oil off with very warm water and dish soap. 

Hot Blooded:

Jalapeno, Blood Orange & Whiskey

(Named by Seth)

1 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice

2 tbs Agave

1/2 cup whiskey

1 medium sized jalapeno, chopped, stem removed (about 2 tbs)

In a cocktail shaker, add the blood orange juice, agave and whiskey, stir until combined. Add the jalapenos, replace the shaker cap and shake three times, immediately pour through a strainer into highball glasses filled with ice, straining out the jalapenos. Discard the jalapenos. 

*I made this cocktail three times. The first time I made it with hand squeezed blood oranges, by far the best choice. Knowing that blood orange season is on it’s last legs, I wanted an alternative. I made it with regular orange juice and it just wasn’t as good. I also made it with Tropicana Trop50 Red Orange, while not as good as hand squeezed blood oranges,it was much better than regular orange juice, a fine substitute. And you can buy it in most grocery stores.  

Update: I think we have a name. I had so much suggestions sent to me via email, Facebook, twitter and comments, but the one I can’t get out of my head is: Hot Blooded. Thanks in no small part to Foreigner. I also LOVED the idea of a TrueBlood name, since I am shamelessly addicted to that show, Bon Temp Sunrise?? Maybe not. Thank you to Seth for the new name! I can now get some rest. 

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Homemade Bourbon Cherry Cordials & A Bourbon Cocktail Recipe

I’m SO excited about this post! Mr. Fit’s first recipe. It’s a bourbon cocktail recipe, he’s so good at cocktail makin'. I’ll share that with you all at the end.

First, these super fun chocolates that make a perfect last minute hostess gift. Or a fun addition to your holiday dessert tray.

Nothing like soaking fruit in liquor to help you get through the holidays!

While my cherries where soaking in bourbon, the three of us headed over to Travel Town to take a few shots of Tater.

I’m trying to challenge myself to get better at photography by taking pictures of non-edible things like humans. Even though she’s so cute I wanna bite her little cheeks!

Even though I am way too hard on myself, I think it is really important for me to take steps towards bettering myself in a lot of different ways. If I want to be a better photographer, it isn’t just going to all of the sudden happen one day. I have to work on it, read, study, shoot, and re-shoot. And I get to take pictures of Tater, and she is pretty stinkin' cute.

When we got back, and I had finished the cordials, I had a 1/2 cup of perfectly good bourbon and nothing to do with it. I hate to waste perfectly delicious booze, so I gave it to Mr. Fits and he wrote up a recipe for us all.

Use good bourbon for this recipe. You taste it, and you want it to taste good. My recommendation is Buffalo Trace. It’s a beautiful, artisan bourbon and it’s affordable. Shocking, I know. It is one of those magical products that is loved by bourbons snobs and inexpensive enough to go out and buy. Don’t tell those Buffalo Trace people that they could probably double the price and I would still buy it. It’s the only bourbon I actually like to drink.

Bourbon Soaked Cherry Cordials

30 fresh, sweet cherries (like Bing, don’t use sour or pie cherries)

1/2 cup Buffalo Trace Bourbon

2 cups dark chocolate (60%-70%)

Pit all thirty cherries and place then in one tight layer on the bottom of a loaf pan. Pour the bourbon on top of the cherries and toss to coat.

You want the cherries to be sitting in the bourbon, about half way covered.

Allow to soak for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature, tossing to redistribute the bourbon every 20-30 minutes.

Remove from the liquid with a slotted spoon and place cherries on a plate covered with 3-4 paper towels. Allow to drain and dry for about 10 minutes. Reserve the bourbon for the below cocktail recipe.

Place chocolate in the top or a double boiler. If you don’t have one (and to be honest, I don’t even have one) add water to the bottom of a pot, then place a metal bowl over the pot (this is what I do). Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water, very important. I have also heard that you can place the metal bowl on an electric heating pad, but I have never tried it.

Place the chocolate in the bowl, set heat to medium-low. Stir constantly. Use a food thermometer to measure the temperature. You want it to be between 90 and 93 degrees. This is so your chocolate gets that beautiful shine to it and has that crisp snap when you bite into it. If you heat it too much or too little, it won’t have that. 

Once the right temperature is reached, remove the bowl from the heat. Add the cherries in batches (about 8-10 at a time) roll them around in the bowl and remove with a spoon.

Place on wax paper to dry. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. 

NOW that cocktail recipe I promised you. He even wrote it down for me, I love his handwriting:

Sunday Bourbon Fits

2 oz Cherry Infused Bourbon (from the above recipe)

1 tsp Grenadine

1 tsp Powdered Sugar

1 oz Lemon Juice 

1 Orange Slices (plus 1 additional for garnish)

1 Cherry (for garnish)

(makes one cocktail)

In a shaker half full of ice, add bourbon, grenadine, sugar and lemon juice, stir to combine. Add one orange slice, replace shaker cap, and shake well. Pour into an Old Fashion glass. Garnish with one orange slice and a cherry. 

Watermelon Jalapeno Margaritas

Jalapenos have been popping up in cocktails all over the place lately. Are you skeptical? Scared? Intrigued? I’m just plain excited. I have a deep love in my culinary soul for jalapenos, as you can see, I’ve add them to my Mac N' Cheese, as well as my Bacon Cornbread. Why not cocktails? And I dare you to find a better adult beverage than a margarita to showcase this beautiful pepper.

Watermelon Jalapeno Margaritas

4 cups seedless watermelon chunks

1 1/2 tbs chopped fresh jalapenos, seeds removed (very important)

1 cup of tequila

1/2 cup triple sec

1 tbs Agave nectar

1/4 cup lemon juice

Put all of these ingredients in a blender and blend for about a minute.

Taste to see if you want to booze it up and bit and adjust accordingly. Now, you can add ice and blend or you can serve it on the rocks. Either way, you will porbaly need about 3 cups of crushed ice or ice cubes.

You can rim the glass with either sugar or salt, this recipe lends itself very well to both.

I added a jalapeno ring as a garnish, but that is totally optional.