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Caramelized

Mirin Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

I’ve reached a goal of sorts, and I wanted to tell you about it. When I started this blog in 2011, it was as a direct response of having to put my 4 month old in the arms of stranger, turn around, and drive to an office.

Tater 6 months I love my job, and I love my babysitter, she has become a part of the family. But at the time, I didn’t know her, she was just the woman who had babysat my friends daughters. If you’ve never had to leave your baby,  it might not sound that terrible, but at the time it felt like a part of my heart was being torn out.

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Every morning when I left her I cried, and my babysitter understood. She has four grown boys of her own, and started watching babies as a way to stay home with them, "I’d worry about you if this didn’t bother you. It’s OK, everyone cries when they leave their babies," She had told me. Somehow, that made me feel better.

I decided to try and find a way to work part time, in order to stay home with her more and maybe, when I decided to have Baby #2, I would be able to stay home longer. For some reason, a blog was my brilliant idea. It wasn’t until after I had fallen in love with blogging that I discovered that the average blogger only makes $40 a month. Although I am lucky enough to make much more than that off my ad revenue, it isn’t enough to quit my job. Even though the income isn’t what I hope, my complete love and utter obsession with food writing, blogging and recipe develop makes up for that. But I needed other ways to make money. Little by little, small job by small job, I’ve been able to nickel and dime my way to part time.

I’m part time!

I only have to go to an office 3 days a week. It really is amazing. One of the ways I’ve been able to do this is freelance writing. I wrote an article last year for Honest Cooking that I was so proud of, I just have to tell you about it. More than 100 food writers and bloggers pitched for only 10 slots in the new Honest Cooking iPad magazine and I was given one of those spots. I was so grateful, but once I got the green light, I froze. Could I do it? Could I really write something I was proud of, that could stand up to the work of real life food writers? Writing this article I was able to prove to myself that I am able to do this. It was a turning point for me, proof that I really can do this. I can move forward in this world I so badly want to be part of. And next time, maybe I wont have to put my infant in the arms of a stranger.

The article I pitched was on a non-profit that I’m a bit starry eyed over. Homeboy industries helps Los Angeles gang members get out of gangs by turning them into chefs and bakers. It’s an incredible organization and for so many people, the only way out of gang life. It is the most successful gang rehabilitation program in the world.

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I spent three days interviewing ex-con, ex-gang members, visiting "urban gardens" spread across East Los Angeles, farmers markets and Homeboy Cafes. I left so inspired, by the people, their stories and the fight they fight daily to pull themselves out of the gangs they were often born into and give themselves and their children a good life.

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So, please, if you have an iPad, please download the app and read my article. It’s a free app full of great food related articles and inspiring stories.

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I also have some Brussels sprouts for you! I love these vegetables, but so far, my husband isn’t a fan. I’ve tried so many methods, braising, bacon fan, roasting and yet he remains unimpressed. Until I poured some Mirin  into a cast iron skillet. It gets a bit sweet and caramelized, giving a new life to there little green guys.

He loved these, more than even the bacon fat version. I hope you do too.

Mirin Brussels Sprouts

Beer and Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Adapted from Claritha's Fried Chicken, Ruth Reichl, Tender at the Bone

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1 to 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups blonde ale
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Yield: 4servings

Directions

  1. Place chicken in a wide bowl. Cover with salt, place uncovered in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove chicken from the bowl.
  2. Rinse the chicken well and clean the bowl to remove all the salt. Add buttermilk, beer and onion slices to the bowl, stir to combine. Add the chicken back in the bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight, 8 to 20 hours.
  3. Add the flour, salt, cayenne, brown sugar, and pepper to a bag, shake to combine. Drain the chicken. add chicken to the bag, shake until the chicken is well coated. Place chicken on wax paper or parchment paper. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1/2 hour.
  4. In a large skillet melt the vegetable shortening and butter over high heat. Add chicken (working in batches if necessary), cover and lower heat to just above medium. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, turn and cook on the opposite side for about 8 additional minutes or until cooked through.
https://domesticfits.com/mirin-caramelized-brussels-sprouts/

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Saison Caramelized Pineapple Beer Shortcakes

Beer people are so often missunderstood and stereotyped.

Don’t mistake our inherent low maintenance for a lack of opinion. Don’t think that our love of indulgence translates to a lack of self-control. Just because we have a adoration for a high calorie beverage, doesn’t mean that we aren’t concerned with healthy living. And our love for a good ole fashion dive bar doesn’t tarnish out Mensa standings.

And as much as we would love for you to understand exactly why we drive 20 minutes out of our way on Friday afternoon to make sure that we have an exciting stash of Craft Beer for the weekend, we also want you to drink what you want. If you love wine, or whiskey, or even a famous Macro brew, that’s ok. More of the good stuff for us.

And if everyone else in the world stopped drinking Lost Abbey Carnevale Ale, or if it became so fervently distributed to every home in America that it was dubbed the new King of Beers and the Beer Snobs decided it was no longer desirable, it wouldn’t matter one bit. I would still drive to Northridge on Fridays to make sure I could find a bottle or two for the weekend, if need be.

I’m pretty sure that it was just a coincidence that the first time I was able to get my hands on this Special Release from Lost Abbey, was also the same day that I saw fresh pineapple at my local market for the first time this year, but it could also be fate. The flavors mixed so beautifully that I’ll have a hard time ever baking with pineapple again and not having the urge to reaching for this beer.

Saison Caramelized Pineapple Beer Shortcakes

For the Beer Shortcakes:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup Saison Beer(Los Abbey Carnevale recommended)

For the Saison Caramelized Pineapples:

4 cups fresh pineapple, chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 stick butter

1 cup Saison beer (Los Abbey Carnevale recommended)

For the Ale Chantilly Cream:

1 1/3 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tbs Saison Beer (Los Abbey Carnevale recommended)

(6-8 servings)

Preheat oven to 425

In a food processor, add the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup sugar, pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until it resembles coarse meal. Add the beaten egg and the beer and process until just barely combined, abut 30 seconds. Don’t over process or your shortcakes will be tough.

The shortcakes will be very moist, and have more of a "drop biscuit" style than those that you roll out.

Place a sheet of parchment paper over a baking sheet. Using your hands, or two spoons, place about 1/4 cup of the dough onto the parchment paper and form into a loose ball. Dough should make between 6 and 8 shortcakes, depending on the size you want.

Bake for 12-15 minutes of until the shortcakes have turned a light golden brown and a tooth pick in the center comes out clean. Slide the parchment paper off the baking sheet and onto a flat surface and allow to cool.

Add all of the Caramelized Pineapple ingredients to a pan over high heat. Stir frequently (or continuously) until the liquid has reduced so much that the pan seems to only contain pineapples and frothy bubbles, about 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Just prior to serving, make the whiped cream.

Add all of the ingredients to a stand mixer and beat on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.

To assemble, just split the shortcakes in half down the center, add the whipped cream, then the pineapples. Serve with a cold glass of Lost Abbey Carnevale.