Sunday, September 29, 2013

Too Damned Easy Banana Cream Pie

     I enjoy pie. I generally do not enjoy the work required to make pie. I tend to look for shortcuts. This recipe is basically one giant short cut. It made a tasty pie, though. The wife especially liked it frozen entirely through. She just carried the slice around and ate it like a Popsicle.

Too Damned Easy
Banana Cream Pie
  • 9" graham cracker pie crust
  • 1-20 ounce can banana cream pie filling
  • 1 large banana, sliced
  • 1 container whipped topping
I hope you weren't expecting something fancy.
  1. Spread a layer of whipped topping along the bottom of the pie crust
  2. Add a layer of sliced bananas
  3. Spread the banana cream pie filling over the sliced banana layer
  4. Add another layer of sliced banana over the top
  5. Refrigerate until firm or freeze for a frozen pie
  6. Top with more whipped topping
I told you it was too damned easy.
Good times!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Coconut Chicken Curry

     I think curries are wonderful during fall and winter. There's just something about a good curry on a cold day that makes everything a little bit better. I found this particular curry recipe in Taste of Home Slow Cooker. This recipe is very simple and was a huge hit. We took the leftover coconut milk and used it in cooking the rice. The result was a creamy curry with just a little bite. The garnishes really helped step this up from just another slow-cooker meal to something I'd be happy to serve to company. As always, changes and notes are in blue.

Coconut Chicken Curry
via Taste of Home Slow Cooker
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each) (or just use 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken)
  • 1 cup light coconut milk (can't be bothered with light. We used regular)
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium chicken boullion granules (didn't have reduced sodium, used regular)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omitted; there's enough sodium from the boullion)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • Raisins, flaked coconut, chopped unsalted peanuts, optional
  1. Place potatoes and onion in a 3-4 quart slow cooker (we used a 2.5 quart cooker. FIGHT THE POWER). In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown chicken on both sides. Transfer to slow cooker. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine coconut milk, curry, garlic, boullion, salt and pepper; pour over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or until chicken is tender.
  4. Serve chicken and sauce with rice; sprinkle with green onions. Garnish with raisins, coconut and peanuts, if desired.
No, just regular curry.
Good times!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Slow-Cooker Bean Medley via Taste of Home Slow Cooker

     Occasionally I find myself with an incredible surplus of canned beans. It doesn't appear we're due for an apocalypse, so I need to use them. This recipe from Taste of Home Slow Cooker intrigued me because it uses an ass-load (pardon the pun) of beans. This is the kind of recipe that could conceivably either end a marriage or bring two people closer together than they've ever been. Mutual suffering does that sort of thing. We also added a can of yellow squash because we're daring like that. In the end, this tasted pretty good, but I needed to jazz it up with a bit of hot sauce. On its own, it was a bit sweet for my taste. After the addition of a smoky, salty hot sauce, this beantastic recipe really came together. Then I doubled over in pain and headed to the bathroom. As always, notes and changes are in blue. 

Slow-Cooker Bean Medley
via Taste of Home Slow Cooker
  • 1-1/2 cups ketchup (catsup is ok if ketchup is not available in your area)
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped (no celery in the house; omitted)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (used two large shallots instead. Why? Why not?)
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped (no green pepper handy, used a yellow pepper instead)
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (all cans used will be around 15-16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can lima beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can yellow squash with Vidalia onions, drained
  1. In a 5-quart slow cooker (started off in typical fashion here. I didn't read this part and started with a 2.5-quart slow cooker. Then a 3-quart slow cooker. Then I realized I needed a 5-quart but totally didn't give a shit at that point. We were using the 3-quart come hell or high water), combine the ketchup, vegetables, brown sugar, water, Italian dressing, bay leaves, vinegar, mustard and pepper. Stir in the remaining ingredients (who writes recipes like this? Why is it needlessly complicated and wordy? Try this version: "Combine and stir all ingredients in the slow cooker, then have a drink." Simple.)
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours or until onion and peppers are tender. Discard the bay leaves (I never forget to remove bay leaves. My mother used to tell me if you leave a bay leaf in the food, somebody will choke to death. EVEN IF THEY DON'T EAT THE MEAL. They don't even have to live in the same state. Every time you forget to take out a bay leaf, somebody needlessly chokes).
Vancouver: over 40 years of forgotten bay leaves.
Good times!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Too Damned Easy Bourbon Apple Butter

     My in-laws both have access to a fairly large collection of apple trees. This means that each fall we find ourselves in the possession of 40-60 pounds of apples. One of our go-to methods of working those apples is to render them into apple butter. Years ago I found a recipe online for how to do it and have tweaked it out for my own use. For the life of me I can't recall where I got this. If anybody knows, let me know and I'll give credit for the inspiration where credit is due. This variation uses brown sugar and bourbon and gives a sweet and mellow taste. About 35 medium apples will yield a little over 4 pints of apple butter. These can be processed in a boiling water bath for long term storage. If you are doing pint jars, give them 15 minutes in the bath. (Once again, please defer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation for clear instructions) As always, any notes are in blue.
Too Damned Easy
Bourbon Apple Butter
per 10 apples

  • 10 medium apples peeled, cored and thickly sliced*
  • 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/4 cup bourbon 
  1. Load the apples in a large pot over medium heat. Add cinnamon, water, bourbon, and sugar. Cook until the apples get soft.
  2. Use an immersion blender to blitz the apples until they are the desired consistency (if you don't have a hand blender, you're going to have to mash the apples up by hand. Good luck)
  3. Load the sauce into a large slow-cooker (if you're like me and used 30+ apples, you're going to need at least a 5 quart slow-cooker). Prop the lid slightly off the lid. Cook on low overnight. 
    In the morning, you'll wake up to something like this.
    The same thing applies if you ate Taco Bell.
*NOTE: If you have a food mill, you can do this a lot quicker. When I used a mill I simply quartered the apples and boiled them for about 10 minutes. I then loaded them in the mill and basically made applesauce. If you do it this way the directions will change. Just load the milled apples into the slow cooker and mix in the remaining ingredients. You will need to cut the amount of water you use by half if you do it this way. Don't cut the bourbon. NEVER CUT THE BOURBON.

If there is an easier way to do something, I will certainly use that method.
Good times!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Potato Soup

     With winter around the corner, the slow cookers are seeing regular use. One of our standards is a soup for the week, the heartier, the better. We found this recipe in a cookbook we keep forgetting we own: Fix It and Forget It Lightly. This book is a treasure trove of healthier options for the slow cooker. We went with the Cream Cheese Potato Soup. It is a rich and satisfying soup, and with the substitution of neufchatel for cream cheese, fairly low in fat. As always, changes and notes are in blue.

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Potato Soup
via Fix It and Forget It Lightly
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup ham, diced
  • 5 medium-sized potatoes, diced fine
  • 8 ounce package fat free cream cheese, cubed (as always, we used Neufchatel)
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon Old Taylor Street Cheese Sprinkle from The Spice House
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker
  2. Cover. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are as soft as you like them.
  3. Turn to low until ready to serve (We turned ours to warm. YEAH! WHAT NOW?)
Good times!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sriracha Sauce via Hot Sauce!

     We have just been pepper fabulous all season in the garden. The cayenne came up late, but boy howdy did they make up for lost time. Naturally, we turned to the book Hot Sauce! for a recipe to burn through the inventory. Since Sriracha is one of my favorite sauces, we figured we would pull the recipe from the book to try. With a little doctoring we came up with a sauce that I feel is superior to Huy Fong Sriracha. That's a big claim, but I'm sticking to it. The recipe below is showing double the amount listed in the cookbook. We found out the hard way that even though the book says their measurements yield one cup, we called bullshit. We needed to double off everything to come up with a half pint. One warning, if you choose cayenne peppers it will be a Colossal Pain In The Ass to seed them; wear gloves unless you're a fan of screaming a lot. As always, any notes or changes are in blue.

via Hot Sauce!

(this recipe will yield 1/2 pint of sauce)

  • 2 cups assorted fresh red chiles (habanero, jalapeno, serrano, and/or cayenne), stemmed, seeded and chopped (we use cayenne. If you choose cayenne, you're in for some work. Seeding them is fairly labor intensive. Make sure you wear some rubber gloves)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, plus more as needed (we used 3 teaspoons total)
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed (we used 2-1/2 teaspoons total)
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until blended. Taste and adjust the amount of salt or sugar if needed (we felt it was needed. The adjustments are listed in the ingredients section)
    For added fun, leave the access chute open when you do this
    and see who can stay in the kitchen the longest!
  2. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the sauce loses its raw vegetable smell.
  3. Let cool, then pour into a bottle (we bottled it hot since we planned on water bath canning for long term storage. We processed half pint jars for 15 minute. As always, please consult the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more information. I won't be held responsible for you poisoning yourself)
Good times!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Slow-Cooker Korean Barbecue Beef

     If you work in a school, you are regularly assaulted by students shilling overpriced stuff for fundraisers. I have the standing rule of buying one item from any given fundraiser. Just one. First kid who asks gets the sale. It will always be the single cheapest item in the catalog. It is usually one of those tiny, spiral-bound cook books. This particular cook book was the Crock-Pot Potluck For All Occasions cook book.  The recipe I decided to cook from it was Korean Barbecue Beef. I made a big change by using a roast instead of ribs and wound up putting the ingredients in the cooker in the wrong order. Regardless of my ineptitude, the resulting meal was very tasty and versatile. We originally served some up on rice, and have since made burritos and hoagies. As always, any changes or notes are in blue.
Korean Barbecue Beef
via Crock-Pot Potluck For All Occasions

  • 4 to 4-1/2 pounds beef short ribs (we used a 3 pound beef roast)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce (I'll be honest. I have no idea what the hell tamari sauce is without Googling it. I just used soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup beef broth or water (we went with water)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (no fresh ginger on hand. We used 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (put out sesame seeds to use and then promptly forgot to use them)
  1. Place meat in slow cooker. Combine green onions, soy, broth, brown sugar, ginger garlic and pepper in medium bowl; pour over ribs (naturally I missed the part about combining in another bowl and just threw everything in on top of the meat. I just wound up stirring it all up in the slow cooker). Cover; cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or until meat is fork tender.
  2. Remove meat from liquid. Cool slightly (that didn't happen). Trim excess fat and discard. Cut meat into bite sized pieces, discarding bones, if any.
  3. Let cooking liquid stand 5 minutes to allow fat to rise. Skim off fat and discard (look, that's not going to happen. I'm eating now. After the leftovers have sat in the fridge overnight I can just pry the layer of fat off the top). Stir sesame oil into cooking liquid (WHOOPS! I put the oil in at the start. No harm, no foul). Sprinkle with sesame seeds (as mentioned, I totally forgot to use the seeds)
Good times!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Too Damned Easy Stuffing Balls

     Sometimes you come across a recipe of such deceptive simplicity it boggles the mind. Years ago, while visiting friends in Kentucky, we went to a little restaurant called Cloud's Country Cooking in Salvisa. I was intrigued by their special of the day: Dressing Balls with Corn Pudding. I ordered it and was not disappointed. However, every time I came back there, it wasn't on the menu. I was left with no choice but to make them myself. Same for the corn pudding. It turns out the Dressing Balls were easier to replicate than I expected! I used chicken (they used turkey) and I changed up the name to "Stuffing Balls" since stuffing/dressing is a regional distinction. These are a whole lot of fun to serve. There's a lot you could do with these. If you were truly daring, you could even take my Chicken Cordon Bleu Stuffing Casserole and make them into stuffing balls! As always, any notes are in blue.

Too Damned Easy
Stuffing Balls

  • 2 boxes pre-packaged stuffing (we generally choose some form of herb mix stuffing)
  • 1-1/2 pounds pre-cooked chicken, chopped
  • Gravy of your choice (I found a decent gravy recipe on Allrecipes to use)
  1. Prepare stuffing according to directions (we make ours in the microwave as this tends to leave the stuffing damp and mushy, which is what were looking for in this recipe)
  2. Throw the chopped chicken into the stuffing. Grab a handful of the chicken and stuffing mix (I hope you waited for the stuffing to cool. This step is hard to do with first and second degree burns on your hands) and form the mixture into a ball roughly the size of a tennis ball. (If you want to be truly fancy, make a pocket in a wad of stuffing and put some chicken in there. Then form a ball around the chicken center. Now you have a sort of Reverse Stuffed Cornish Hen thing going on)
  3. Put onto a lightly greased baking sheet and cook at 350F for about 20 minutes. You are looking to create a nice, crunchy outside.
    Ready for the oven! Notice the consistent sizing of the stuffing balls.
    That's what happens when you cook after three Jim Beam and Ginger Ales.
  4. Move stuffing balls to a plate and top with gravy.
Stuffing Balls with a heaping side of Jalapeno Corn Pudding!
Good Times!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hot Mango Flush Hot Sauce

     I've been on quite a hot sauce kick this summer. Mostly this is due to the fact that making hot sauce is the most efficient way to use up lots of garden produce in one shot. This time I decided I was going to make my own hot sauce from scratch. I know that mango is a solid accompaniment to most hot peppers, so I used jalapenos and mangoes as the base. From there I just sort of went bat-shit crazy and started adding stuff. What I ended up with elicited tremendous positive response from the The Wife and our friend Dan. This sauce starts with a straight shot of jalapeno then opens up into a finish of fruit and a bite from the rum. We put the naming rights up for a vote on my Facebook page and the hands down winner came from The Wife. She knows that my favorite band is Jethro Tull. Most of the band members are huge pepper heads and really enjoy spicy foods. They make mention of hot foods more than once in their music. She suggested naming the sauce after one of their songs: "Hot Mango Flush." I know a winner when I hear one!
As always, any notes are in blue.
Hot Mango Flush

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 12 jalapenos stemmed and seeded (or leave the seeds in if you want more heat)
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup gold rum
  • 1 teaspoon Ukrainian Village Seasoning from The Spice House (this seasoning is a blend of salt, garlic, onion, pepper, green onion, and red and green peppers)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft. 
  2. Load everything into a blender and pulse until smooth.
    Looks like a sneeze gone wrong. I assure you it does not taste that way.
  3. If you are using right away, just put in a container and refrigerate. If you plan on long term storage, this will yield a little over one pint of sauce. Load into two half pint jars and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (As always, if you're not familiar with canning, refer to the National Center for Home Food Preparation to learn how not to accidentally poison your entire family)
Good Times!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Monday Recipe: Jalapeno Corn Pudding via Bon Appetit

     Monday is once again upon us and that means another recipe. Last week I posted on my Facebook page about a jalapeno feast I cooked over the weekend.  Logically, I waited over a week to post a recipe from that meal.  This recipe is always a favorite in my house. While it is a bit labor intensive, it's worth it. The consistency is similar to a very moist corn bread. It's a great side for just about any meat. 

     A nice thing about this recipe is that it's easy to customize. If you don't like jalapenos, leave them out. If you want more heat, add a couple more or swap out a hotter pepper. I tend to use a heaping 1/3 cup of jalapenos. I like the flavor and the added heat gives the dish a little more punch. Enjoy!
Jalapeno Corn Pudding

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/3 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeños
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup cornmeal
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers (from jar, drained is ok)
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup coarsely grated Manchego or sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 2-quart shallow baking dish
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, corn, jalapeño, garlic. Sauté until soft, about 4 minutes
  3. Stir in cornmeal, add milk and cream. Stir over medium heat until thick batter forms (about 2 minutes)
  4.   Transfer to large bowl, stir in red peppers,green onions, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper. Cool 15 minutes. Stir in eggyolks
  5.  In mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.Fold into batter.
  6.   Transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.Bake until top is golden brown and center is just set (about 35 minutes). Serve immediately
Good times!

Sausage and Kale Biscuit Pie

     It's always fun when I decide to freestyle in the kitchen. It's also generally messy, but the end results are worth the destruction. The whole inspiration for this recipe came from a tube of butter-flavored biscuits that was sitting in the fridge. We tend to leave them in there until they explode, so I figured maybe I should use it. I also had a surplus of Polish sausages in the freezer, so I decided those were going in, as well. From that point I decided I was going to make a quasi pot-pie. The addition of malt vinegar was a last minute decision and one the wife and I were very pleased with. I undercooked the potatoes a bit by mistake, so in the recipe I suggest par-boiling them. If you're looking for a tasty mid-week filler meal, this might be for you! As always, any notes are in blue.

Sausage and Kale Biscuit Pie
  • 1 16-ounce tube butter flavored biscuits
  • 1 package (13-16 ounces) of Polish kielbasa, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 small red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 4 cups kale, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Malt vinegar to taste
  1. Par-boil potatoes, about 10 minutes.
  2. Get a great big pot and sautee all the vegetables for about 10-15 minutes. (You're basically making sure the potatoes get cooked enough so they're not crunchy when you go to serve them).
  3. Add the kielbasa, oregano,black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in the cream of mushroom soup and stir everything so the soup is coating all the ingredients evenly. 
    You should be looking at something similar in your pot at this point.
  4. Pour the bowl into a lightly greased baking dish. Sprinkle a few dashes of malt vinegar over the top of everything. Take the biscuits from the tube and lay them out in a single layer.  Bake at 350F for about 12-15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown (the underside of the biscuits may be a bit squishy. There's not much you can do about this.) Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake another 3-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Good times!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sparkling Basil Lemonade via BHG

     The Wife found a punch bowl and set of cups at a garage sale years ago and it has sat quietly in a cabinet since the day of purchase. On several occasions she has threatened to use it, but never had until now. We were having a party for our 10th wedding anniversary and she was determined to find a way to use the punch bowl. She searched around and found a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. The original recipe called for jalapeno slices, but she figured that might be a little off-putting for our guests so she made an executive decision to replace them with lemon slices. It was the right decision. The basil and lemon made for a refreshing and delicious drink that benefited greatly from the addition of vodka! She did a double batch and we were only left with maybe a pint after the party. This recipe will definitely be made again. As always, any changes and notes are in blue.
Sparkling Basil Lemonade
via Better Homes and Gardens
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1-1/2 ounces) (we used a combo of lemon basil and regular basil)
  • 2 1 liter bottlesclub soda, chilled
  • 2 cups lemon juice (we used bottled lemon juice)
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, sliced* (omitted, replaced with thin lemon slices)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Vodka
  1. For basil syrup, in a large saucepan combine water, sugar, and basil. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain syrup and discard leaves. Cover and chill syrup for 2 to 24 hours (totally forgot how long the syrup needed to chill. It got thrown in the freezer for about an hour)
  2. For lemonade, in a very large punch bowl combine chilled syrup, club soda, and lemon juice. Serve over ice and garnish with jalapeno slices (lemon slices in our case) and fresh basil leaves.
Good times!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Wife's Choice Bloody Mary Mix

     The Wife isn't a big drinker, but she does enjoy a Bloody Mary something fierce. This is fortuitous considering the vast overstock of tomatoes we are enjoying right now. We've long considered juicing the tomatoes, but I felt that was a fairly boring way to use up produce. Once we decided on a format that worked well with booze, my opinion changed. This particular mix has just enough of a kick without being overly spicy. It pairs wonderfully well with bison grass vodka, but feel free to use your vodka of choice. A pepper or bacon vodka would probably be great here as well. As always, any notes will be in blue.

Wife's Choice Bloody Mary Mix

  • Around 6-7 pounds of tomatoes (enough to make 2-3 quarts of juice)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons dill weed
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  1. Run tomatoes through a mill to juice them. Run the pulp through the mill a second time to get all possible juice from the tomatoes (if you have a juicer, even better. We used the food mill attachment for the Kitchenaid)
  2. Pour the juice into a large non-reactive pot. Bring to a low boil and reduce to a simmer; add all the seasonings and stir well (feel free to adjust seasonings to taste. You're not going to hurt my feelings)
  3. Using quart jars, put 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt in each jar. Fill jar with Bloody Mary mix to within 1/2" of top. 
  4. Seal jars and process in boiling water bath for 45 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool and wait for the rewarding "thunk" noise when they seal up for good. (As always, if you're not familiar or comfortable with canning, you should head over to the National Center for Home Food Preservation and read up on canning. Remember: if you poison yourself, it's totally not my fault)

Bison Grass Bloody Mary
  1. In a pint glass filled about 1/4 with ice, add 1-1/2 ounces of Sobieski Bison Grass Vodka (unflavored vodka will obviously work, but the bison grass adds a nice earthy and herbal flavor that works perfectly with the Bloody Mary mix)
  2. Top glass with Bloody Mary mix; stir
  3. Garnish with a piece of celery

Good times!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Too Damned Easy Cucumber Tomato Salad

     This is the point in the summer where we start trying to use our garden produce in vast quantities. That's where the wife's recipe for cucumber tomato salad comes into play. This recipe couldn't be any more simple. Just about any tomato will work, but we have been using these orange tomatoes since they are super sweet and mild.

Too Damned Easy
Cucumber Tomato Salad
  • 2-3 large cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 large onion, cut into about 1” pieces
  • 3-4 tomatoes of your choosing, sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar 
  • ¾ cup water 
  • ¾ cup sugar (or six packets of your favorite carcinogenic sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 
  • dash cayenne pepper 
  • dash parsley 
  • dash basil
  1. Mix vinaigrette ingredients in large bowl until sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Add vegetables. 
  3. Let marinate in refrigerator 1-2 hours.
Good times!