Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Blog! With Poutine!


Hey guys! So, as you know, "quarter life" more or less ends once you hit the big 3-0. Since I only have a YEAR AND A HALF left until that happens, I figured I should start building myself a new home.

Let me introduce... Forking Up!



Don't worry, I won't be abandoning this blog altogether (I've worked hard to build a following here, and I know it won't transfer overnight), but I may post slightly less frequently. The new blog will have recipes, but also some lifestyle-esque stuff.

Please please please add ForkingUp.com to your feed readers, follow it on Facebook, and show some support, I'd really appreciate it!

And go check out my recipe for some killer poutine... you won't be sorry!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hot Buttered Rum - AKA Your New Favorite Drink

Nothing that has butter can be bad. Now, it can be bad FOR you, but it can't be bad. Which is why I'm now SO confused as to why I seemed so adverse to trying it. Butter and rum just didn't seem tasty to me.

How wrong I was.

Guys, trust me, this is going to be your new favorite beverage. You probably have MOST of the ingredients in your cupboard already, and if you don't have a heat-safe blender (I used my Ninja Blender and it worked perfectly) an immersion blender should work just fine.

Tiny kitten (Marceline!) wanted to try a sip. It's that good.


And... Christmas is like, tomorrow. How did that even happen? I'm so lazy and it's so warm out... sorry these pics aren't top quality, it's just not in me right now. You understand.

...do any other bloggers end up just writing nothing so that they can break up the amount of pictures? Not that I'm doing that or anything... heh.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all! See ya in the new year <3



Hot Buttered Rum

  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice)
  • 3 cups spiced rum
  • 1 shot butterscotch schnapps
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups boiling water


-In a heat-safe blender, blend together the butter, sugar, and spices. Add the cream and blend until smooth.

-Add the boiling water and blend until incorporated, then mix in the rum.

-Serve hot, whipped cream optional.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Homemade Peppermint "Oreos"


Uhhhh guys. Christmas is NEXT WEEK. Can you believe it? This is the first year I'm not going home for Christmas--though I WILL be home for New Years thanks to a voucher I had--and Austin is lovely and warm, so... honestly it doesn't feel too much like Christmas just yet.




Despite the fact that I've created a three foot tall booze advent calendar and decked my tiny halls (600 ft apartment) with everything the Target dollar bin has, hah.

My office's "ugly sweater party and cookie swap" is today, so although I've been back in Texas for about 40 hours after my Grand Canyon trip (pics to come!) not only did I make a full batch of these crazy-delicious cookies, I sewed some Christmas flotsam and jetsam onto a sweater for the occasion. You can kind of see the sweater being used as a backdrop, hah.

I take holidays seriously, guys.


These "oreos" are amazing. Even better than the store-bought holiday ones, because the filling is a marshmallow creme with candy canes in it. None of that dehydrated non-dairy nonsense. And they're bigger because everyone needs more cookie, always.

You'll need black cocoa, but other than that you'll probably have everything on hand that you need. You can find black cocoa at specialty cake stores and on Amazon. I have a small bag I bought at Make It Sweet last year and it was SO worth it.


Homemade Peppermint "Oreos"
For the cookies
(recipe via Make It Sweet in Austin)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup black cocoa powder*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
For the filling:

  • 3 candy canes, pulverized
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1/8 cup milk or whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar


-Sift together the dry ingredients for the cookies, making sure the black cocoa is fully incorporated.

-In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla.

-Pour in all of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be crumbly but stick together when pressed.

-Roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness between two pieces of parchment paper and place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

-While dough is chilling, prepare the filling: In a stand or hand mixer, blend together the butter and marshmallow creme. Slowly pour in the confectioner's sugar. Use the milk/cream to get the filling to the proper consistency. Fold in the crushed candy canes. The filling should be soft and sticky, but hold together and not have a drippy liquid consistency. It will be slightly thicker than royal icing. Set aside.

-Cut out 2" circles and place on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees F for ten minutes each.

-Let cookies cool for about 15 minutes or more. Divide cookies in half (each sandwich = 2 cookies) and scoop (or pipe) about 1 tbsp of filling onto the top of each cookie. Let sit for ten minutes, until filling has dried slightly. Top with second cookie.

-If you're feeling fancy--brush the tops of the sandwiches with sugar water, and sprinkle any remaining candy cane powder or sprinkles on top. Let dry overnight.



*If you don't have black coca, regular cocoa or dark chocolate cocoa WILL work, but the color won't be as deep.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Heat Miser and Snow Miser Baked North Poles - FFFBs Holiday Movie Challenge!

For the Fuckin Fab Food Bloggers' December Challenge, we had to make a recipe based on our favorite holiday movie. Here's mine.

This is how I remember it, but I was probably about five, so it's likely I have it wrong. I remember sitting on the floor of the first home I can remember--an apartment on the West side of town. I was looking up, wide-eyed at the tv, because my very favorite Christmas movie, Rudolf, was on. One of the classic Rankin Bass holiday movies with the stop motion.


My mom and dad were on the couch (or perhaps mom was cleaning up dinner, I can't remember) and my dad says, "Lesa, isn't this your favorite too?" My mom, who hated cartoons, surprisingly replied  "oh, no, my favorite is the one with Snow Miser. They never play it." And then she began humming the song.


That tune quickly became stuck in all our heads. My little kid mind was in awe--not only did my mom like a CARTOON, but my mom's favorite Christmas movie wasn't Rudolf?? But Rudolf was the BEST Christmas movie! Better than that dumb one with the redheaded Santa, that one had hardly any animals in it. So my Dad, in these days before Google, wracked his brain trying to figure it out. and I forget who remembered in the end (it very well could have been Nana), but I do remember finding the coveted VHS tape at CVS soon after. It wasn't called Snow Miser, it was called The Year Without a Santa Claus, but the Miser brothers had the catchiest number in the whole movie.

Image via Cartoon Lagoon

Seriously, listen to it. I dare you not to get it stuck in your head.



Obviously because I was five, and thought my parents were the coolest and wanted to be just like my mom, I decided this, too was my favorite movie. I must have played that tape until it broke. Even in the summer. I think I played it so much that even my mom got sick of it. Eventually it got put back into the rotation for Christmas movies on tv, with a live action adaptation, but the old claymation one will always be my favorite.

Christmases are the most magical when you're that small. Those are the Christmases you remember.



In the movie, the Miser Brothers (who control the Sun and the Snow respectively) make a bargain: If Heat Miser will let it snow in SouthTown, thus allowing the mayor to declare Santa being able to take a year off, then Snow Miser would allow a spring day at the North Pole.

I thought little Baked Alaskas would be the perfect way to honor them both. I mean, Baked North Poles. Crispy on the outside, frozen on the inside.

Don't forget to check out the other Fuckin Fab Food Bloggers' recipes!



Baked North Poles a la Heat Miser & Snow Miser
  • 6 peppermint sandwich cookies (holiday Oreos)
  • 6 small scoops peppermint stick ice cream
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 drops red food coloring
  • 1 pinch salt


-In a six-cup muffin tin, place a cookie in each well. Top with a small scoop of ice cream (I used a cookie scoop for this, it was the PERFECT size) and put in freezer for an hour, until firm.

-In a stand or hand mixer, whip the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks. Stream in the sugar and alternate drops of food coloring until the whites hold stiff peaks.

-Turn the oven to BROIL. Remove the cookies with ice cream and cover liberally with the egg whites, being sure there are no holes for the ice cream to seep through.

-Place on a cookie sheet and put in the oven. WATCH CLOSELY. As soon as the tips begin to brown, take the sheet out of the oven. Serve immediately.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

25 Days of #Boozemas with a Boozy Advent Calendar!


LOOK AT THAT AMAZINGNESS UP THERE. I won't deny that I adore a good cocktail. So, I decided what better way to count down the days until Christmas than by making a boozy advent calendar?

Check out my first unveiling below! I'll be posting these videos as I make them, or as long as I feel like it, heh.



I figured I'd put as much of a How-To together as I could. See below!



Boozy Advent Calendar Instructions
You'll Need
  • 3 large poster boards
  • 1 roll black duct tape (or one that matches the color of your poster)
  • 1 sheet wrapping paper (roughly the size of your poster board)
  • 25 assorted tiny liquor bottles


Tools:
  • X-acto knife (or box cutter)
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharpened pencil
  • Paint markers (or paint, for decorating)
  • Bows and other decorations


-Assemble your liquor bottles on one of the poster boards, and tape into place by putting a ring of duct tape behind each bottle and pressing it into place. Make sure to leave about an inch and a half space around each.

-Using a sharpened pencil or toothpick, mark an outline around each bottle, giving a little bit of space around it.

-Follow the outlines with the X-acto knife, cutting through the poster board to make the windows. Keep the bottles in order.

-Place the poster board you just cut windows out of on top of a full poster board and outline the windows in the poster board to make guidelines for where you'll want to tape down your bottles. 

-Tape the cut out bottles to these outlines. Tape down a sheet of wrapping paper to the inside of the windows, so that they are covered.

-Use the measuring tape to determine the height of the tallest bottle (taped down). Add an inch to this measurement, and cut strips of the third poster board that match this width.

-Tape the strips you just cut to the edges of the poster board with the liquor bottles.

-Place the window-cut poster board on top of the box, and tape down.

-Decorate as you please!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Four Roses Holiday Spiced Punch #sponsored

Disclaimer: I received a free bottle of Four Roses to facilitate this post. As always, opinions are my own, and I would never back a product I didn't believe in!

Hey y'all! Happy Thanksgiving!




It's no secret I love bourbon. Especially Four Roses! This holiday season, I was tasked with coming up with a holiday punch recipe, and I think I nailed it!



I typically use rum in my punches, unless I'm making a sangria. So bourbon was a challenge. After some thinking, I decided to take the flavors I know mesh well with Four Roses (hello, peach!) and add a few more punch staples.

I served this at my Friendsgiving celebration this week and it was a hit. Then I brought the rest to my improv show, and nobody could believe there was liquor in it. It's sweet, slightly spicy, and definitely perfect for any holiday celebration.




Four Roses Spiced Holiday Punch

  • 2/3 bottle Four Roses Bourbon
  • 32 oz Pineapple juice
  • 32 oz White Cranberry Peach juice
  • 32 oz lemon lime soda
  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 tsp whole nutmeg
  • 1 sprig rosemary (plus more for garnish)


-In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon stick, star anise, allspice berries, nutmeg, and rosemary. Cover with 2 inches of water, and let simmer until sugar is dissolved, and the spices are fragrant (about ten minutes). Let come to room temperature.

-In a punch bowl or other large container, combine the bourbon, pineapple juice, and white cranberry peach juice. Immediately before serving, strain the cranberry mixture over the top of the punch (this gives it that cool ombre effect).

-Serve with the lemon lime soda on the side and a sprig of rosemary for garnish.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Amp Up Your Thanksgiving with Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms! - Fool-Proof Roast Turkey #sponsored

This post is brought to you via a partnership with Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms and I received promotional product and compensation for my posts. As always, opinions are my own, and I would never post about a product I didn't believe in.

IT'S TURKEY WEEK!! Every food lover's favorite time of year. And if you're hosting a family or friend event, you want to make sure your turkey game is strong. But don't worry, I'll help you.

Not only am I going to share my fool-proof recipe for the best Thanksgiving turkey you've ever had, but I'm going to let you in on a not-so-secret-secret: Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms are the best turkey you're going to find for your money on the shelves.

Plus they raise their birds hormone and antibiotic-free, and they support independent farmers and still manage to keep their turkeys affordable. Now that's a tasty turkey!



Are you preparing your first turkey this year? Don't fear, call the  Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White Turkey Hotline at 1-800-810-6325, where they're on hand to help you select, prepare, cook and carve a turkey for the holidays. Or live chat with turkey experts via 700reasons.com ‘Contact Us’ at 700reasons.com.

PLUS--who ever said selfies were selfish? Upload the photo to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #TurkeySelfie to be entered to win a $500 giving card to donate to a food bank of choice. The contest runs Nov. 1 through 30, so gather your fam and your selfie stick and enter! I'll be submitting mine during my Friendsgiving on Thursday :D



Now, about this recipe: it's my go-to. I edited my recipe from last year and it was even BETTER this year. A few more sweet additions, and the savory giblet gravy. Guys, don't fear the giblets. The giblets are amazing. I don't have a picture of the gravy because we ate it all. It was that good.


Fool-Proof Roast Honeysuckle White Turkey with Giblet Gravy

  • 1 Honeysuckle White or Shady Brook Farms turkey
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 gallon chicken broth
  • 1/2 gallon vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 ginger knob, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 gallon of water

Aromatics

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 apple, sliced in half
  • 1 lemon, sliced in half
  • 1 orange, cut in quarters
  • 1 cup water


Herbed Butter

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons herbs de provance
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1 tsp fleur de sel


For the gravy

  • Neck and Giblets from the turkey
  • Drippings from the cooked turkey
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Brine
-At least 24 hours before you plan on cooking your turkey, combine all of the brine ingredients in a large stock pot (big enough to hold your turkey!) stir well until salt is dissolved (it helps if the broth is a bit warm), and place the turkey in the pot.




Cooking
-Mix together the ingredients for the butter. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry.

-Use a sharp paring knife to make small cuts in the turkey skin. Use your finger to make space under the skin, and stuff the butter under the skin. Gently pat the turkey all over to evenly distribute the butter as much as possible.



-In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the aromatics and microwave on high for one minute. Drain off the water, and stuff the turkey cavity with the fruit.

-Set oven to 500, and roast the turkey for a half hour. Remove from the oven, and place tinfoil over the breast ONLY. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and roast for another two and a half hours, or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the bird reads at least 160 degrees F.

Gravy
-Cover the neck and giblets with an inch of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let simmer for one hour.

-Drain the drippings into a pan, removing any burnt pieces, and set the heat to low. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk into a roux.

-Once the giblets are cooked through, tear the meat off the neck and chop up with the giblets. Save at least a cup of the water. Add the meat to the roux and stir in the wine and broth.

-Add some of the reserved water and whisk until desired thickness is reached.