Eat: Keri’s Ying Yang Bourbon BBQ Sauce

I love BBQ in all forms.  Wet, Dry, Beef, Pork, Chicken, Links, Veggies… Texas, Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis…. Lean, Moist…. WHATEVER – it all has goodness in it’s own fabulous regional BBQ-y way.

THAT BEING SAID – If we are going to have a sauce at home, I like a balenced mix of sweet, tang, heat, and smokieness.

Oh and bourbon.  Because for goodness sakes, why not!?

It recently came to my attention that I don’t actually have my  Basic BBQ sauce recipe anywhere on ED&BK…  My Southern Sloshed Party Pork recipe uses bottled sauce (and I tend to use bottled when I do that recipe, which I do often, because I doctor it up so much and it all just cooks so long anyway… why not take the help on that one?)  But for other applications – something to slather on Brisket after it has cooked with a dry rub, basting chicken or ribs at the end of cooking on the BBQ,  dunking anything I can get my hands on into, etc, I start with this basic recipe.

Then I branch out.

Sometimes I add honey and make it a little sweeter.  Or an adobo pepper for lots of heat.   Or a teaspoon of my favorite Tomato Basil Chipotle seasoning from Mondo Market to give it a certain “hmmmm, what is that yummieness?”

But just as it is, it is the best of all the things I like – it isn’t too sweet, or too vinagary, or so spicy that you can’t taste anything else.

It’s like the perfect Ying Yang BBQ Sauce.  Let’s call it that – Keri’s Ying Yang Bourbon BBQ Sauce.  :::pausing to alter post title:::

WHAT YOU NEED:
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2 cups kechup

4-6 dashes liquid smoke (I like the liquid smoke, but it is concentrated, so be careful if you don’t like a lot of smoke – I go 6 dashes)

3/4 cup Bourbon (I like Jim or Jack for this – but here I am using the The Hub’s Weller, because I wasn’t impressed with it, and because I am tired of hearing him affect a wierd southern general accent when he says it “I duh-CLARE – it’s the Well-ahhh”  (no)

1 cup brown sugar (I pack it down pretty good in the cup)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne/ground red pepper

4 tablespoons apple cider vinagar

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

3/4 teaspoon garlic paste (I use the tube because I don’t want chunks)

2 teaspoons dry mustard

 

WHAT YOU DO:

This is an “everybody into the pool” situation – combine everything into a pot (I spray mine with cooking spray before adding the ingredients, as it gets pretty sticky and the spray makes clean up easier.)
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Then give it all a good wisk over high heat and let it come to a boil:
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Drop the temp to low or medium low and let the sauce simmer 30 minutes (you want bubbles, but not a thunderous boil) uncovered.

A NOTE:  It is messy – get your wet paper towel ready and just wipe things down when you occassionally stir the sauce – if you cover it, it isn’t going to thicken, and that will make you a sad sauce panda.  Embrace the mess (but look out for the spatters, molten, sticky sauce leaves marks.)

After 30 minutes, pull the sauce off the burner and coat the back of a spoon with it, then run your finger through.  Does the line you made stay clean?  That is what the french folks call “nape” and it is sauce-consistancy perfection. Also, this sauce thickens a bit more as it cools, so you will get a good coating on your desired sauce carrier.
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Cool and store in a covered container in your fridge – I have kept it up to 10 days and had no issues (keep in mind, you are reheating as you use.)

Here’s a country-style pork rib that has been given the Ying Yang treatment.  Mmmm.  Lunch.
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Or package some up as the perfect fall party host gift!
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Drink- Palisade Peach Citrus Fizz

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It’s peach season – YAAAAAYYYYY!!!
I love peaches.   Peach was my favorite color in childhood.  Peach was Jr’s first “favorite food” (well, peach puree, but still. )  Peach ice cream and peach cobbler are both long-standing family obsessions traditions on my mom’s side.
Peach is the reason that boring no-carb Keri has been tamped out, releasing EAT-ALL-THE-THINGS Keri back into the kitchen to whip up more deliciousness to share with you.
Peach is just Peachy to me.

So are adult beverages.
Put them together and you have sure-fire Keri Bait… and something that is sure perk up your waning days of summer.

WHAT YOU NEED

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- 2 ounces vodka
– 1 very ripe peach
– 1 lemon wedge
– sparkling water (I like the lemon lime variety )

WHAT YOU DO
-Peel and slice the peach into a shaker (or other sturdy container)
-Add vodka and squeeze lemon wedge to release the juice into the cup as well. (You can muddle with the lemon in the shaker for extra lemon flavor if you’d like)
-muddle like crazy (seriously – Searching for that perfect gift for Keri? Get her a muddler!)

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- pour into ice-filled glass and top with the fizzy water – you can strain it if you like, but I wouldn’t dream of wasting those fabulous peachy bits!!
*Some optional additions or variations, should the mood strike you: a sprig of mint or or a drizzle of honey before muddling; substituting lime for the lemon; or switching out the vodka for bourbon (mmmm, peach and bourbon – yes please! )

Cheers to squeezing the last bright, glorious, beautiful bits out of summer!!

 

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Drink – The CLASSIC Daiquiri

Disclaimer – I am not (much to the chagrin of my Southern-raised husband,) refering to the sugary frozen booze bombs served at the Daiquiri Shacks of his fresh-from-college Louisianna memories.

No – this is not the daiquiri you over-indulged in last winter while on the run from the snow south-of-the-boarder on vacay.

This is the real, true, original.

A true and perfect classic.  Like Sinatra.  Or Ford Mustangs.  Or Keri.  (A-ha.  ha ha. ha ha.)

Simple simple simple.

What You Need:
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1 oz lime juice

1 teaspoon simple syurp* (or super fine sugar if you would like, but I can never get that to truly blend)

2 oz white rum

What You Do:

Put all of the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker, and shake to blend and chill.

Strain into Cocktail glass
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Enjoy the sweet, pucker-y perfection.  Just enough of everything – perfectly balenced.

 

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Eat – Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs

We all know Keri loves to eat EVERYTHING.  With carless abandon.

BUT – much like I find myself partaking in ninja-secret wee-hours workouts (if ninjas grunted and fell over a lot while working out,) occassionally I have to check myself in the feeding department.

My check of choice in the eating dept is a good old-fashioned (well, not THAT old, but still,) carb cleanse.

Out with the white and startchy junk, in with the protein and good fats and veg.

When the voice inside my head starts screaming for ice cream and french fries 24/7 – I know it is time to reset the old insulin situation in Keri-land.

Right after we were married, The Mr and I did the South Beach Diet.

It really made a difference in the way I felt, and so it is an idea I return to from time to time when the bread basket starts becoming my BFF/Worst frinemy ever.

Incidently, The Mr is NOT allowed to cut carbs ever again – he NEEDS the carbs.  The carbs (evidently) are his happy food.  During the SB Diet phase of our first married year, I looked over at him one day and realized he looked thin and angry.  We have friends who swear they will sabotage any efforts he attempts to make by sleep-feeding him bagels.   But as usual I digress.

Anyhoo – one of my favorite things to play with for easy low carb snacking is the meatball.  You can do ANYTHING with a meatball – any flavor you love translates into a meatball (aside of maybe cupcake… but that is a cakeball – and that kind of misses the point, yo.)

They are easy to make, easy to freeze, easy to pack and easy to eat warmed up or cold.

How about Keri stops blabbing and we make-a the meat-a ball-a, eh?

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 lbs ground meat – chicken, turkey, beef, whatever – but go with a lean variety or it gets a little messy

1 teaspoon each of: garlic powder, salt, pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

2 eggs

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use turkey bacon, but you do you -whatever you want)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

-Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

-In a bowl, add the eggs, seasoning, and Worcestershire Sauce to the meat:
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-Now use the best meatball mixing tools EVER – your clean hands – to mix that in well

-Add the bacon and the cheese:

-And repeat with awesome mixing tools:
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-Spray sheet pan(s) lightly with cooking spray

-Roll the meat into 1 and a half balls and place on baking sheets:
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-Bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes

-Remove from the pan to cool:
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How does Keri like to enjoy?  With pickles, of course – what is a bacon cheeseburger with no pickles?

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I get about 30 meatballs out of this, and they go right in my freezer after cooling. Then I can grab as few or as many as I need and reheat.

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Drink- Summer Jam

Patio living is in full swing at The Casa right now, and nothing says “sip me out-of-doors” like a nice fizzy drink.

Now don’t misunderstand, Prosecco is a warm weather fave of mine with no doctoring needed – but for a happy hour  hosted on the patio, this plused-up-Processo cocktail gives guests a fizzy and fun little extra something to sip on.

WHAT YOU NEED:

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-1oz Vodka (hello, Tito’s)
-1 tablespoon Orange Liqueur
-1 tablespoon strawberry jam (exact measurement not needed here – just get a spoonful)
-Prosecco

WHAT YOU DO:
In a shaker filled with ice, combine the Vodka, Orange Liqueur, and jam and shake  thoroughly.  (This is key- give it a good long shake to really break up the jam. )
Strain the mixture into a serving glass. Add processo to fill glass.

I like using a martini glass (because pretty,) but I know some will feel like the lifespan of your bubbles is affected by the glass- so a flute or a white wine glass would be lovely as well.

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From my patio to yours – cheers!

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Eat – Garlic Lemon White Bean Dip

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So “Garlic Lemon White Bean Dip” is what I call this dip, and it is also pretty close to the entire list of ingredients you need to whip it up.

Calling it “quick and easy” wouldn’t even do justice to just HOW quick and HOW easy it is .to put together(Hello, lazy person’s way to crush a pot luck contribution or last minute entertaining opportunity!)

Bonus lazy cook fact: It is good for crackers…. or any manner of veggies….  or toast up some bread, smear it on and BAM, crostini bliss.  So whatever you have in the kitchen can get served up to accompany it.

WHAT YOU NEED:
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- 1 can white beans (I used great northern, because they were in the pantry – but cannellini or navy beans would be a-ok.)

- 2 cloves garlic, ground to a paste (you could use roasted, or you can be lazy and use the squeezy tube, like Keri.)

- juice of 1/2 lemon

-  2 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil, plus additional drizzle for garnish , if desired

-minced fresh herbs or scallions for garnish (optional)

WHAT YOU DO:
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RINSE YOUR BEANS!!!  I can’t say it enough, if you used canned beans in something, rinse those puppies off!!!  I know some folks are fans of that startchy, salty, goopy liquid that they are sitting in, but in my humble opinion it is just too salty, too startchy, and takes the control for adding flavor to the beans out of my hands.  I rinse until they stop making all kinds of crazy, almost soapy looking bubbles.

Then add the beans, lemon juice (no seeds, please,) garlic, and 2 tablespooks of olive oil into your food processor and blend until gloriously smooth.
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Taste and add salt or more lemon juice if desired.

Scoop into a serving container.  If you refridgerate before serving, take the dish out of the fridge 1/2 hour before diving in so the chill can come off of the dip.

Just before serving, drizzle with a bit more olive oil, and add a sprinkle of chopped fresh herb or scallions if you have some (if not, no biggie.)
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Plate it up with whatever afore-mentioned crackers, bread, or veggies you have around and marvel at dippy prowess. (Keri has long ago embraced her dippiness.  heh heh heh.)

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Eat – Bacon, Bourbon, and Blueberry French Toast Casserole

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I always loved the concept of an overnight french toast casserole – toss it all together and stow it in the fridge the night before a holiday breakfast or brunch, then just shove it in to bake the next morning while you start working on your all-important mimosa drinking family time.
Genius. Except they all seemed so sicky-sweet during Pinterest research. Not really my breckie M.O….. what’s a girl to do?

WING IT, OF COURSE!

The general concept is simple, it just needed Keri-ing up a bit.
I love bacon. I love bourbon. I think blueberries are swell and it never hurts to incorporate them into breakfast, yes? (Trust me. Yes.)

What You Need

½ cup butter 1 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons bourbon (seems sad to use such a small measuring device for bourbon)

6 oz fresh blueberries

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 loaf old French bread (a bit stale, not ANCIENT) cut into 1 and ½ inch slices (depending on your loaf, you may need extra – enough to cover the bottom of a 9-13 baking pan.)

4 eggs

1 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

What You Do

-Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, and then add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Allow the mixture to bubble and thicken, stirring regularly (don’t walk away from this, it all happens quick,) for 2 minutes.

-Remove from heat, add in 2 tablespoons of the bourbon and stir again.

- Spray the bottom of a 9”-13” baking pan lightly with nonstick spray, then pour the sugar/butter/bourbon mix into the bottom of the pan and spread evenly over the bottom.

-Sprinkle ½ of the blueberries and ½ of the bacon crumbles evenly over the mixture in the bottom of the pan.

-create a single layer of bread slices, close enough to be touching each other, on top of the blueberries and bacon you just sprinkled In the pan. (Or see note at * below.)

- in a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, remaining bourbon, vanilla, and nutmeg until completely blended.

-Slowly and evenly pour the mixture over the bread.

* Alternatively, you can dip each slice of bread before laying it in the pan to ensure even coverage, but Keri is kind of lazy.

-Sprinkle the remaining berries and bacon over the top, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

-in the morning, take the cold pan out of the fridge, set it (still covered) in the cold oven, and turn the oven to 350. Bake for 1 hour.

 

YES!  (See, I told you.)

 

 

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