Chicken Thighs in Honey-Sesame Marinade. Shipman On The Stereo.

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A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

Chicken thighs are my favorite cut to grill. I find them easier to get uniformly done without overcooking or undercooking. Here they are marinated overnight in a thick, spiced up marinade which packs a huge flavor punch. Really good.

Take care to avoid the flames from shooting up as the honey makes the meat vulnerable to burning.

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Chicken Thighs in Honey-Sesame Marinade

Ingredients:

1 cup honey
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper
12 boneless chicken thighs

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the honey, sesame seeds, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, lime juice, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Pour honey mixture over the chicken thighs and marinate, covered, overnight in the refrigerator.

3. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and grill about 6 to 8 minutes on each side, being careful not to let the flames flare up. (If broiling, place on a greased baking sheet and cook 5 inches from the heat.)

Serves 6

Recipe From Nathalie Dupree Cooks Great Meals For Busy Days
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I’m grillin’ and chillin’ listening to this awesome tune from Missouri-based band Shipman.

“One day this ship will sail
taking me to places better than
the empty desert here
but you’ll always have a place inside my heart”

Check out Shipman on Facebook. You can buy their music on Bandcamp.

Cheers!

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Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cake

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I like to make really fun cakes for my kids on their birthdays. Well, this Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cake sure fits that bill.

It’s size alone is pretty impressive. Then there are all those supremely yummy components.

A super rich, fudgy brownie base is topped with a strawberry packed cake layer. A wicked chocolatey icing coats the sides.

Then….ta da! The Hi-Hat.
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A piped crown of whipped topping gets coated with creamy milk chocolate which hardens into a crisp shell.

Wow!

Fun and delicious.

A few things to note:

You will want to have a look at Amanda’s cake by clicking on the link at the end of the recipe. Her’s is absolutely stunning.

My strawberry cake tasted amazing, but came nowhere near the lovely pink hue of Amanda’s.

Also, I used milk chocolate instead of milk chocolate chips since I had a ton of it on hand. I couldn’t get the chocolate to melt as smoothly as it was supposed to, so mine went on a bit thickly with some small chunks of chocolate. It might not have looked as breath taking as it could have if completely smooth, but it still hardened up into a delectable coating. So, use the milk chocolate chips.

Finally, next time I make this cake, I think I will divide the strawberry cake batter between two 9-inch pans since putting all the batter in one made for a very large cake that sunk a bit in the center as it cooled. Then I would sandwich the brownie layer between the two strawberry layers. Amanda leveled her strawberry cake to the height of the brownie, but my brownie layer was way too thin to want to lop off that much of my strawberry cake.
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Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cake

Decadent Brownie Cake (recipe follows)
Strawberry Cake (recipe follows)
Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
32 ounces whipped topping, such as Cool Whip, very well chilled (I only needed 24 oz)
12-ounces milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup canola oil

Directions:

1. Place the brownie cake on a cake stand, then set the strawberry cake on top.

2. Using an offset spatula, cover the sides of the cake with the chocolate buttercream.

3. Place the whipped topping in a pastry bag and cut off the tip so that you have an opening about 1 inch wide. Pipe out a circle of whipped topping around the perimeter of the cake. This helps to keep the whipped topping in place.

4. Scoop extra whipped topping onto the cake and smooth it with an offset spatula.

5. Moving slightly in, pipe out another circle on top of the layer of whipped topping. Fill the center with more whipped topping. Continue this process until whipped topping comes to a point on top.
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6. Freeze the cake for at least 30 minutes before coating it in chocolate.

7. Pour the chocolate chips and the canola into a heat-safe bowl. Heat 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it comes to a simmer. Set the bowl of chocolate over the saucepan and heat, stirring, until the chips are melted.

8. Pour the chocolate into a high-sided container. Let sit for a few minutes to cool down.

9. Lay 4 pieces of parchment around the base of the cake. Pour the chocolate over the cake, coating the whole thing.

10.. Let the chocolate set for about 5 minutes, then remove the parchment paper. (I didn’t use the parchment. I just let the chocolate pool at the bottom of the cake plate.)

11. Keep the cake chilled in the fridge until ready to serve. Dip a knife in hot water before using it to cut the cake.

Serves 16 (or more!)

Decadent Brownie Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment.

2. In a standing mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended.

3. Combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture on low speed.

5. Fold in the chocolate by hand, using a rubber spatula.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the brownies for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (a crumb or two is fine). Let the brownies cool to room temperature in pan.

Strawberry Cake

Ingredients:

4 large eggs, separated and room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup strawberry purée (Blend one cup of thawed frozen strawberries and 1 tablespoon water)
2 cups fresh strawberries, diced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. Grease one 9-inch round cake pan.

3. In a stand mixer, with the whisk attached, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about three minutes.

4. Add 1 cup of the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, to the egg whites while continuously mixing. Transfer the egg white mixture to a large bowl and clean the mixing bowl.

5. Using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, cream butter and the remaining cup of sugar in the clean mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

6. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each is added.

7. In a medium bowl, mix the 3 cups of flour, salt and baking powder together.

8. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and thoroughly incorporate.

9. Add half of the strawberry purée, followed by half of the remaining flour mixture.

10, Add the remaining strawberry purée and then the rest of the flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. The batter will be thick.

11. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter.

12. In a medium bowl, combine the diced strawberries with the two tablespoons of flour. Fold gently into the cake batter.

13. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

14. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Carefully remove and transfer cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup milk

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cocoa, and vanilla at medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, adding some milk whenever the icing gets too stiff.

3. After 4 cups of sugar have been added, add the rest of the milk and mix until the icing is smooth, about 2 minutes. If icing needs to be stiffer consistency, add more confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time.

Recipes from Surprise-Inside Cakes by Amanda Rettke
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What to pair a crazy Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cake with?

How about some Sexual Neopolitan? With some Ass-Tro Zombies?

You will never unsee that Taco Bell tatoo on that ass.

Check out Sexual Neopolitan on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Brownies, Cake | Leave a comment

Moroccan Lamb Steaks On Couscous. Listening To Candlepower.

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Moroccan Lamb Steaks On Couscous would be equally at home on a dinner party table or for a quick midweek meal. The soy-honey-rosemary marinade is so good. I don’t normally think of that flavor combo as Moroccan, but I guess the couscous makes it legit.

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Moroccan Lamb Steaks On Couscous

Ingredients:

4 large boneless lamb steaks
300g/10 oz couscous
600ml hot vegetable stock
1 lemon

Ingredients for the marinade:

1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp honey
1 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the marinade ingredients. Add lamb, turn to coat, and refrigerate for one hour.

2. Put the couscous in a bowl and cover with the vegetable stock. Cover and leave for 5 minutes. Uncover and squeeze with the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Grill the lamb for 5 minutes each side. Heat any remaining marinade and serve with the lamb and couscous.

Serves 4

Recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine
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I’m thinking if Scott Kaufman, of NY-based band Candlepower, decided he wanted to produce an album and Make It Beautiful he absolutely succeeded. (No doubt in part that some of the album was made in Vermont.) The 2014 release is packed with thoughtful songs all having a lulling effect on me. Fantastic.

“what would it take for you to believe
I’m on your side, on your side
This runaway train is locked from the inside
I go along whenever you’re the one tragedy chooses
I’ll be holding on
I’ll be standing strong till gravity loses”

Check out Candlepower on the band’s Website where you can link to buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Lamb, Main Courses | Tagged | Leave a comment

Red Ribbon Cocktail. Listening To Flagship Romance.

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The Red Ribbon Cocktail is like an Aperol Spritz with an even more pronounced orange flavor and color from the addition of a shot of blood orange juice. Very cheerful and quite delicious.

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Red Ribbon Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 Tbs Aperol
3 Tbs blood orange juice
Dash of orange bitters
Sparkling wine
Orange slice, to garnish

Directions:

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with orange slice.

Makes 1 drink

Recipe from Food Network Magazine
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Kick back, relax and get some ‘La da da da da da’ going on.

Check out Flagship Romance on the band’s Website, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Beverages | Leave a comment

Salted Caramel Shortbread. AJ Edwards On The Stereo.

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I’m close approaching the need for an intervention to limit my Salted Caramel (and Salted Chocolate) obsession. I just find it hard to pass on any recipe I come across. That sweet-salty thing is so good.

In this recipe for shortbread, the salted caramel is chopped into small pieces and pressed into the buttery dough. Once baked, the shortbread slices are drizzled with dark chocolate (I used bittersweet) and a bit more salt.

Salted Caramel. Salted Chocolate. The intervention will have to wait.

Salted Caramel Shortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread

Ingredients:

300g butter
150g (about 3/4 cup) golden caster sugar
350g (2 1/2 cups) flour
100g (3/4 cup) rice flour
150g dark chocolate, chopped
Salt flakes, for topping
Salted Caramel (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Combine the butter and sugar in a food processor until a smooth paste forms.

2. Add the flours and a pinch of salt and process to form a dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, pat into a rectangle and sprinkle with the caramel chips.

3. Fold dough in half lengthwise and then transfer to a 20 × 30cm (or similar) tin (about 13 x 9-inch) and press into an even layer. Chill for 30 minutes.

4. Heat the oven to 180℃/350℉. Bake the shortbread for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, mark into long bars with a knife and then cool completely. Cut along the marked lines into serving pieces.

5. Melt the chocolate until smooth.

6. Arrange the shortbread bars next to each other with a tiny gap in between them on a cooling rack and drizzle over the chocolate. Before the chocolate is set, sprinkle with some salt flakes. Leave to cool completely.

Makes a lot

Salted Caramel

Ingredients:

100g (1/2 cup) golden caster sugar
Sea salt flakes

Directions:

1. Heat the sugar in an even layer in a frying pan until it melts. Swirl the pan to keep the melting and browning even. Remove from heat before caramel starts to bubble to avoid it burning.

2. Add a good sized pinch of salt flakes and tip the caramel onto an oiled baking sheet or baking sheet lined with non-stick foil. Cool and then break into chips with a rolling pin.

Recipes from Olive Magazine
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Loving me a little slice of Boston-based band AJ Edwards. The pedal steel gives the tune some alt-country chops. Really pretty.

Check out AJ Edwards on the band’s Website. You can buy the music on Bandcamp.

Cheers!

Posted in Dessert | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pear And Roquefort Tart. New Music From Josh Warren.

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I didn’t want to believe that my husband, a road worker, was stealing things from his job. But when I got home, all the signs were there.

Sorry. Looks like I am really scraping the bottom of the joke barrel!

I’ll make up for it with a nifty tart.

Pears and Roquefort are a perfect match. Throw in some bacon and bake it up in a mascarpone based custard and you have one delicious dish.

I found the pastry a bit crumbly to work with given the amount of flour. For an easier but less rustic crust, this one is a winner.

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Pear And Roquefort Tart

Ingredients:

Pastry Crust (recipe follows)
3 ripe pears, quartered and cored
2 tsp olive oil
100g smoked bacon, chopped
150g mascarpone
2 eggs, beaten
50ml whole milk
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish
150g Roquefort cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

2. Blind bake the pastry case for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for 10 minutes more until the pastry begins to turn golden. Remove from the oven, brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk, then return to the oven for 5 minutes.

3. Arrange the pears in neat circles to cover the bottom of the pastry. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the pears begin to soften.

4. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the bacon until golden, then set aside.

5. Decrease oven to 180°C/350°F.

6. Beat the mascarpone with the eggs and milk until smooth and combined. Season with black pepper then stir in the chopped thyme.

7. Scatter the bacon and the Roquefort over the softened pears then pour over the mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle with a few small thyme sprigs.

8. Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling is set and golden. Once cooked, leave to cool in tin before removing.

9. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8

Pastry Crust

Ingredients:

225g (1 3/4 cups) flour, plus extra for dusting
110g chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
1 egg yolk, plus an extra yolk, beaten, to seal
2-3 tbsp chilled water

Directions:

1. Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add butter and rub in, using your fingers, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg yolk, then gradually add just enough chilled water to bring the mixture together into a firm dough (Alternatively, pulse the flour, salt and butter in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the egg yolk and the water. Pulse to bring the dough together.)

2. Roll out the dough into a circle on a lightly floured surface. Loosely roll the pastry around the rolling pin. Unroll it over a lightly greased 23cm/9 inch fluted tart tin with a removable base. Press the pastry into the tin. Roll the rolling pin over the top to trim the edges. Prick the base all over with a fork, line the case with baking paper and fill with baking beans or beads. Chill for 30 minutes.

Recipes from Delicious Magazine
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This is new and very beautiful. It’s from the debut EP by Arizona-based Josh Warren.

“Oh, do you know
How much I’ll care about you when I’m gone?”

Check out Josh Warren on his Website. You can buy the music on Bandcamp.

Cheers!

Posted in Tart | Tagged | Leave a comment

Grilled Italian Burgers With Balsamic Grilled Zucchini

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How does a cat even jump like that!

Ok. Moving along.

Grill time in no time!

Grilled Italian Burgers couldn’t be easier and are a fun stand in for your usual hamburgs. Grilled zucchini, also flavored Italian-style are a light and yummy side.

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Grilled Italian Burgers

Ingredients:

4 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 pound ground beef
Marinara sauce, warmed

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 of the cheese and seasonings. Add beef and mix gently to combine. Shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

2. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat 4-5 minutes on each side.

3. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and grill, covered, 1-2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve with marinara sauce.

Serves 4

Recipe from Simple & Delicious Magazine
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Balsamic Grilled Zucchini

Ingredients:

2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or crushed garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Black pepper, to serve

Directions:

1. Preheat grill for medium-low heat and lightly oil the grate.

2. Place zucchini in a plastic bag with the olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Toss to coat the zucchini.

3. Grill zucchini until beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the zucchini from grill to a serving platter. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with black pepper.

Serves 4

Recipe slightly adapted from Allrecipes.com
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‘Tears In The Sun’, by Wisconsin-based band Double Ewes, is such a cool blend of synth and mournful folk. I love the singer’s voice and that drum kit beat.

“Should of. I could of. Could of walked away.
The root of, fruit of, truth of. Inviting me to stay.
They invited me the stay. I can take it. Just be honest.”

Check out Double Ewes on Bandcamp, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Beef, Main Courses, Vegetable | Tagged | Leave a comment