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 ‘Contact Us’ at

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


  • 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

-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.

-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.

-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.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

FFFB's Mic-Dropping Side Dishes - Kickass Green Bean Stuffarole #micdropper

Guys. I'm not the best at side dishes. I literally only ever think of them on the fly, and when I do, they're typically just "uhhh I guess I'll put something green on the plate and cover it with butter?" Seriously, the "side dishes" part of my recipe collection up there is HURTING.

So when the Fuckin' Fab Food Bloggers decided our November Theme would be "Mic-Dropping Thanksgiving Sides" I have to admit--I was stumped! Should I do something with Brussels sprouts again? Another carrot dish? Mashed potato whatever?

Then I attended a potluck where an amazing dish was served: some sort of stuffing with green beans. It was SO GOOD (or, maybe I was kind of drunk) that I ate three helpings. I'm a one-helping kind of gal, so you know this was legit.

I used what my foggy brain could remember about the dish to create this: the most amaze-ballz, MIC-DROPPING side dish for your turkey day EVER. I call it a "Stuffarole" because it's half green bean casserole, half meat-filled stuffing. Bring this to your family gathering, your office potluck, whereever, and you can drop the mic yourself, I promise.

Check out the other Fuckin Fab Food Bloggers' Mic-Dropping Creations!
Creamed Spinach with Bacon from Bread Booze Bacon 
Cranberry Port Ring from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Ultimate Thanksgiving Stuffing from NY Foodgasm 
Pumpkin Pie Bars from Nomageddon 

Kickass Green Bean Stuffarole
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 package maple bacon, chopped
  • 1 package breadcrumb-style stuffing
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 3 cups green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large casserole dish, set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and whisk in the chicken broth.

-In a large saucepan, cover the green beans with water and set to a low simmer. Simmer until tender.

-While the green beans are cooking, fry the bacon in a deep frying pan. When the bacon is just beginning to crisp, add the sausage, crumbling into the pan.

-Once sausage has browned, use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a large bowl. Mix in the breadcrumb stuffing, and pour in the chicken broth. Mix well, let sit until fully absorbed.

-Keeping the leftover fat in the pan, toss in the onions and season with salt and pepper. When onions are transluscent, add the mushrooms. Splash with the red wine, and let cook until wine is reduced and mushrooms are soft.

-Pour the cream of mushroom soup into the pan. Add a bit of water until mixture is thick but flowing.

-Press the saturated bread crumb and meat mixture into the greased pan. Place green beans on top, and pour mushroom mixture over the whole thing.

-Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and add cheese. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Feel Good About Your Turkey Day with Honeysuckle White! #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.

Thanksgiving is almost here! Do you have your turkey yet? When you're picking out the perfect bird for your family, don't you want one that is free of antibiotics and hormones? And that supports independent family farmers, but most of all--keeps all this good stuff while still keeping cost down?

Then you definitely have to check out Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms. Not only do they raise their birds hormone and antibiotic-free, but they support independent farmers and still manage to keep their turkeys affordable.

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 ‘Contact Us’ at

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 posting my perfect turkey recipe soon, using Honeysuckle White, but I wanted to make sure I got word out of their awesomeness while everyone is prepping for the big day next week. Happy Thanksgiving Prep Week, everyone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Brooklyn Brewery MASH Returns to Austin! #press #sponsored

 Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to a number of these events for press coverage.

The Brooklyn Brewery MASH returns to Austin this week! It's well underway right now, so hop on these great events and check out some fantastic beer!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015:
Behind the Beer with Steve Hindy
  • What and Who: Get the inside scoop on a selection of rare Brooklyn Brewery beers and stories from our early days from co-founder and chairman Steve Hindy
  • WhereEasy Tiger, 709 E 6th Street
·         WhenStarts at 6:00 PM

Thursday, November 12, 2015:
·         What and Who:  Brooklyn Brewery’s Steve Hindy moderates a panel of Austin’s finest brewers (including Michael Graham of Austin Beerworks) alongside All About Beer’s John Holl, who discuss the hot button issues of today’s beer landscape. Where: Austin Beer Works, 3009 Industrial Terrace
·         When:  Starts at 6:00 PM (Tickets: $6) 

  • What and Who:  The Found Footage Festival returns to Austin with a hilarious showcase of found video clips from across the country. Curators Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prueher (Letterman) take audiences on a guided tour of their latest and greatest VHS finds, providing live commentary and where-are-they-now updates on the people in these videotaped obscurities.
·         Where:  Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S Lamar Blvd.
  • When:  Starts at 7:00 PM (Tickets: $12)

Friday, November 13, 2015:
  •  What and Who:  Chef Andrew Gerson and the Dinner Lab crew have come together to curate a pop-up dining experience in a surprise, non-traditional location. Expect an innovative multi-course menu alongside pairings of rare Brooklyn beers, Cholula Hot Sauce and a local band.
·         WhereSurprise location, announced two days prior
·         WhenStarts at 7:00 PM (Tickets: $70-80)

Saturday, November 14, 2015:
  • What and Who: Post-black metal rockers Deafheaven pound the Mash closing party into the Texas dust along with lots of Brooklyn Brewery beer and Swedish openers, Tribulation.
  • Where: The Mohawk, 912 Red River St.
  • When: Doors at 7:00 PM, show at 8:00 PM (Free with RSVP)

Sunday, November 15, 2015:
  • What and Who: Three chefs, three beasts, one afternoon of live music, locally sourced food and beer all for a good cause. Chef Andrew Gerson (Brooklyn Brewery), Chef Zack Northcutt (Swift’s Attic), and another surprise Austin chef each prepare a unique whole animal for this fall feast, benefiting The Food Trust.
  • Where: Location TBA
  • When: Starts at 3:00 PM (Tickets $35)

TAP ATTACKS (non-ticketed tap-takeover events)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015:
Uncommon Brooklyn
  • What and Who: Come one come all for some limited, rare and wondrous Brooklyn beers that rarely leave the borough.
  • WhereWaller Creek Pub
·         WhenStarts at 6:00 PM

More tap takeovers announced in the coming weeks at

Follow The Brooklyn Brewery @brooklynbrewery #AustinMASH


Friday, October 30, 2015

OXO and Cookies for Kids Cancer - Pumpkin Pie Cookies #sponsored #OXOGoodCookies

This post is brought to you through a sponsorship with OXO. I received free products for the purpose of this post. However, all opinions are my own, and I would never post about a product or brand I didn't believe in!

October, my favorite month that contains both my birthday and favorite holiday (Halloween, duh.) is coming to a close. But before it's totally over, there's one more thing--OXO is supporting Cookies for Kids' Cancer, and donating $100 for every blog post its blogger network publishes in October with the #OXOGoodCookies campaign!

From the OXO website:
Cookies for Kids' Cancer was founded by two OXOnians (OXO employees) who were inspired by their son Liam's battle with pediatric cancer, a disease which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. Cookies for Kids' Cancer provides inspiration and support to allow anyone to easily get involved in fundraising to find a cure for pediatric cancer.

OXOnians regard each other as family. The news of Liam's diagnosis hit us hard and we have been personally involved with this worthy organization from the beginning. As a formal show of support, in 2015, OXO will donate up to $100,000* to support Cookies for Kids' Cancer.

Here's the deal: we each created an original cookie/cupcake/brownie recipe using some of OXO's awesome products. I used the Non-Stick Pro Half Sheet Pan, the Medium Cookie Scoop, and Cookie Spatula to make these amaze-balls Pumpkin Pie Cookies for the cause!

I absolutely LOVE OXO's products, and I was excited to receive these tools in the mail. I typically use a regular spoon and spatula for my cookies, but having a perfectly measured scoop and cookie-sized spatula to release the warm cookies from the sheet made the whole process so much better. And 25 cents for each specially marked product (with the green sticker below) will go towards supporting pediatric cancer research up to $100,000.

By the way, these cookies are pretty awesome. I thought they'd come out like chewy chocolate chip cookies, but instead they baked up fluffy and almost like muffins. Either way, they're bursting with pumpkin pie flavor. Definitely make them while autumn is still in the air!

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used bourbon vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and ground cloves)
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-In a stand mixer, whip the butter with the sugars until fluffy. Slowly add in the eggs and pureed pumpkin and let mix until uniform in color.

-In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips and walnuts). Slowly add the dry to the wet, mixing well in between each. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

-Let the dough chill for at least one hour, then use your medium cookie scoop to scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the nonstick pro half sheet pan.

-Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until the edges have just begun to brown and the center doesn't look completely wet. Let stay on pan for 5 minutes, then use your cookie spatula to remove them from the sheet and to a cooling rack.

The fine print: Cookies for Kids' Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids' Cancer fund pediatric cancer research. OXO will be donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign in October (up to our $100,000 commitment*.) In 2015, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer through product proceeds, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

FFFB Blogoween - RedRUM Cocktail

I used to be a reader. I like to think I still am, but the truth is I've read maybe two books this year, and I'm not even sure I've done that many. But as a kid, I was a READER.

If you haven't noticed, I love all things creepy and spooky (Halloween = FAVORITE holiday, hands-down). So it's no surprise I developed an early love of Goosebumps. I devoured them all in a matter of months, collected every book, and waited patiently for each to come out each month. Then, around age 10 or so, I made a shocking discovery.

Goosebumps were fun, but they just weren't scary. And, for whatever reason, I wanted to be scared. Me, the kid who spent the whole Girl Scout Haunted Hayride trip in my troop leader's lap. Who would get scared at the PICTURES ON THE VHS TAPES in the Horror section of Blockbuster. I wanted scary.

I complained to my Dad, and his response was to hand me The Shining. At ten years old. (I guess he was forgetting King's penchant for awkward sex scenes? yikes...)

Anyway, I DEVOURED this book. I loved it. It's one of the few books I've read multiple times. A year later, he let me rent the movie during a sleepover. I loved it, all of it. It was creepy and captivating and a true work of horror. It began my long-held love of Stephen King that continues to this day. I agree that the book and movie are very different works, and that the book is worlds better, OBVIOUSLY, but both are solid in their own right.

So when the Fuckin Fab Food Bloggers decided to do a Halloweeny post based on a horror movie, I knew exactly what I was going to pick. And under the suggestion of another FFFB member, I decided to make a RedRum cocktail.

Based on my childhood favorite, a Shirley Temple, with a spicy kick. Something dark, something innocent, it works thematically.

Check out the other FFFBs' Halloweeny Recipes!
Evil Dead Velvet Pecan Pie from NY Foodgasm
Ghost with the Most Roasted Sweet Potato Ravioli from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
The Power of Christ Compels Soup from Nomageddon
Reanimation Reagent Rum Jello Shots from Bread Booze Bacon

RedRUM Cocktail

  • 1 oz spiced rum
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1/2 oz grenedine
  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • 2 cocktail cherries

-In a cocktail glass (martini preferred) pour in the grenedine and then the rum, being careful not to disturb the grenedine.

-In a cocktail shaker, shake together the remaining ingredients. Carefully pour on top of the rum.

-With a small spoon, spoon more grenedine around the edge of the glass for a bloody effect. Garnish with cherries.