Wednesday, January 28, 2015

BBQ Beef Brisket Chili

BBQ Beef Brisket Chili in bowl with jalapeño garnish

Beer and barbecue sauce add zip to this cold weather pleaser

Using up leftover BBQ Beef Brisket generally isn’t a problem. Still, a brisket yields a lot more meat than most of us can eat at one meal.

You could make a sandwich (or two) the next day, of course. But how about trying something different? When the weather is cold (as it currently is throughout most of the US), nothing warms you up better than a bowl of chili. So why not use your leftover barbecue brisket to make chili—complete with sauce. It’s like barbecue in a bowl.

And speaking of bowls, if you haven’t already planned the menu for your Super Bowl festivities, this would be a great dish to serve. You can easily prepare it ahead of time and then reheat it on game day.

Plus, it’s a dish that will be new to many of your guests. And since both teams in this year’s Super Bowl have been there before, it’s nice to see at least something new, right?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef Brisket

Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef Brisket

Outdoor flavor cooked indoors

BBQ beef brisket cooked over a slow, smoky fire? Nothing better. But when the weather is cold—as it currently is throughout much of the US—most of us don’t venture outside to tend a smoker or grill.

We’re happy to turn on the oven, though. Which is handy, because brisket “barbecued” in the oven can have flavor that’s almost as good as the outdoor kind. It even takes a bit less time to make. And it requires very little attention from the cook.

That gives you more time to enjoy other things—like chatting with your guests at the annual Super Bowl party. This year, maybe you’ll even get to see the whole game.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Green Chile Chili Beans with Bacon

Green Chile Chili Beans with Bacon on plate, with jalapeño garnish

The perfect side dish for your Super Bowl shindig

Here in the US, we’re starting to plan Super Bowl parties. Down under, folks are finalizing plans for Australia Day barbecues. And most of us know what we’ll be serving for the main course. But, hey, party feasts are all about those sides.

So if you’re looking for a flavorful dish that will complement a wide variety of foods, you won’t go wrong with spicy Green Chile Chili Beans. We love to serve these beans with BBQ Spare Ribs or BBQ Pulled Pork. They can even be a meal in themselves—just add a slice of cornbread, and you’re all set.

Best of all, these chili beans are cooked with bacon. Enough said.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Smith and Curran Cocktail

The Smith and Curran Cocktail

AKA Smith and Kearns, this tastes like a boozy chocolate egg cream

This drink goes by many names. It’s often called the Smith and Kearns, the Smith and Kearn (or Kern), or the Smith and Currans. Different monikers, same drink.

But its proper name is the Smith and Curran. That’s because it was named after two oilmen, Wendell Smith and James Curran. Over the years, people apparently misheard “Curran” as “Kearns.” Hence the differing names.  But no matter what you call it, this is a great drink.

More cocktail history later.  Right now, let’s learn how to make one of these lovelies.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Milk Punch Cocktail

Milk Punch Cocktail in glass with grated nutmeg garnish, and cookies in background

What Santa really wants you to leave out for him

Milk and cookies—that’s what kids will be setting out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. But we think ol’ Saint Nick might prefer something with a bit more, um, substance.

Enter the Milk Punch Cocktail: All the goodness of milk. All the fun of booze.

You can serve this drink chilled, or warm up the milk and serve it hot on a snowy evening. Best of all, the Milk Punch Cocktail is refreshing, and not too heavy—just what Santa needs. After all, you want him to be able to get back up the chimney.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup in bowl

A perfect starter for festive winter meals

December means parties, entertaining, and festive events all around. So we need to whip up some guest-pleasing delights—especially if we’re hosting big dinners.

Main courses always seem to sort themselves out, but what about starters? We want something hearty (to take the edge off those winter appetites). Something out of the ordinary, too—but not difficult to make.

So how about cooking up some homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup? It’s rich and delicious, but not time-consuming.

Once you try it, you’ll never go back to the canned stuff. Ever.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Scofflaw Cocktail

Scofflaw Cocktail in cocktail glass with orange slice garnish

The drink that thumbed its nose at Prohibition

Everybody knows what a scofflaw is, right? But you may not know that the term was coined during the Prohibition era in the US.

Prohibition (which was in effect from 1920 to 1933) banned the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages. It failed spectacularly, however. Many people ignored the law and just kept on drinking—both in the privacy of their homes and in unlicensed saloons called speakeasies.

So widespread was this behavior that in 1924, the Boston Herald newspaper ran a contest asking people to create a moniker for these lawless tipplers. The winning entry was “scofflaw.”

A few days later, a bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris created a tasty new drink—and named it the Scofflaw Cocktail (how could he resist?)

Prohibition finally ended in the US on December 5, 1933. So this Friday marks the anniversary of that happy day. Guess what we’ll be drinking to celebrate?