Best Buckeyes

Merry Merry and Happy Everything!!!

This post is going to be short and sweet. I stumbled across hundreds of Buckeye recipes. I combined a few of my favorite ones and created THE BEST RECIPE EVER for Buckeyes. Seriously, these are most delicious ones I’ve ever tasted or made. Rich, creamy, smooth….I could go on and on about them….but I won’t. So, here ya go:

Buckeyes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Stick Salted Butter, softened
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 1/4 – 3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 pack (14 oz) Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers
  1. Using a stand mixer, beat Peanut Butter and softened Butter until well mixed.
  2. Add Brown Sugar and Vanilla Extract and mix.
  3. Gradually add Powdered Sugar, one cup at a time, until completely combined.  (Start with 3 1/4 cups and adding more if needed)
  4. Scoop into desired size ( tablespoon)  and roll into balls in between your palms. ( If dough is sticking to hands…. add a little more powdered sugar until correct consistency.)
  5. Line Cookie Sheet with wax paper and place balls on it (not touching). Freeze  at least 20 min.
  6.  While PB balls are in the freezer, melt the Chocolate Wafers according to package directions. (I also add in a 1/2 teaspoon Coconut Oil to help give the chocolate a gorgeous sheen!)
  7. When chocoate is ready, take PB balls out of the  freezer. Spear top of each ball with a toothpick, and holding the toothpick, dunk into the melted chocolate, place on wax paper and remove toothpick. Repeat for all balls.
  8. When finished, using the pads of your finger, gently rub out the toothpick hole on the top of the PB ball.
  9. Return to fridge or freezer to let chocolate harden.
  10. Enjoy!!!!

 

EDB Tips:

*When adding in the powdered sugar, add all 3 cups (one cup at a time).  Once you add the last 1/3 cup, your dough may be perfect.  If the dough is sticky or won’t hold a ball shape, you need a add more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time until you get the perfect consistency….smooth and creamy

*These are best kept in the fridge or freezer ….if you leave them out, they tend to magically disappear! 😉

*You can use any chocolate, but I prefer the dark to balance out the sweetness of the powdered sugar

*If you don’t use Salted Butter, be sure to add a pinch of salt before you add in the vanilla!

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Baked Camembert Wreath

Happy Holidays!!!

Cheers!

The Tree is Trimmed…so it must be time for Prosecco, Pear Nectar, Ginger Liquor and Pomegranate Arils.…a delicious concoction….Try It IMMEDIATELY, you won’t be disappointed!

 CHRISTMAS EVE RUDOLPH PANCAKES

These Rudolph Pancakes for the kids Christmas Eve Breakfast were a hit!!!  And pretty simple to make.  Bacon Antlers, Banana and Blueberry Eyes and a cute Strawberry (or Raspberry) Nose <3

Happy New Year to You and Yours!!!

I don’t know about you, but my Holiday was a whirlwind of crazy, happy, exhausting fun.  We ate too much, we drank too much….but, lucky for you, I was constantly making cocktails, apps, food and desserts….it felt like,  24/7.  On the plus side, now I can share them with you!  First, my most requested recipe: Camembert Holiday Ring.  Not only is it stunningly gorgeous, it is simple to make and beyond delicious……..one of my biggest party hits this season!  I hope y’all enjoy it as much as we did…a few times!!!  Feast your eyes upon this, and imagine the amazing smells……

Baked Camembert Wreath with Rosemary, Garlic, Honey and Pomegranate Arils

I mean, you have absolutely no idea what a hit and a super huge crowd pleaser this is!  Give it a shot.  The prep is super easy, but the rolls take a LONG time to rise.  Make sure you give yourself 3 HOURS to let the frozen rolls rise, or 2 HOURS if the rolls are thawed.

Trust me, it is worth the wait!!!

 

Ingredients

Camembert Cheese in box
Frozen Parkerhouse Style Yeast Rolls
Garlic Slivers
Honey to drizzle over the cheese
Fresh Pomegranate Arils

Organic Rosemary sprigs
Organic Cracked Black Pepper

Maldon Sea Salt

Instructions:
Cover a large baking pan with parchment paper (or use a baking or pizza stone). Place the Camembert IN THE BOX in the center of the baking pan. Arrange frozen dough balls into 2 Circles surrounding the Cheese….be sure to leave about a little space in between the rolls and between the circles.  Remove Cheese and Refrigerate until ready to bake. Thaw Rolls in a warm, draft-free area for a hour. Then, allow rolls to rise (double in size) for another 2 hours.
When the rolls are almost ready, its time to prepare the cheese!  Cut slivers into the cheese and stud with garlic slices. Poke small Rosemary branches into the cheese. Drizzle with honey, EVOO, and Fresh Black Pepper. When the rolls have risen and you are ready to bake, brush rolls gently with melted butter. Place Prepared Camembert into the middle of the wreath of Rolls in the cheese box it came in!  Bake 375° for 13 – 15 minutes or until Camembert is melted and Rolls are golden brown. Using parchment paper, slide wreath off onto serving platter, or go for the rustic look and serve as is!  To Serve: Brush Rolls with Butter (yes, again!!!) and sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt, Pomegranate Arils, and Fresh Chopped Rosemary and a drizzle of fresh Honey (if desired).  TIP: Let Cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into the cheese….so it has time to set back up a bit and is not too runny.

 

~ Impress Your Guests, Relax, pour some Prosecco and Enjoy ~

 

I hope you make this and knock it out of the park!  This does serve a bunch of people, so if it is a small dinner party or cocktail party, you can always use half the amount of rolls and cut the baking time a bit.  Don’t be fooled by the little bitty frozen rolls….they really proof and rise and turn into a generous sized yeast roll!

 

Can’t wait to share more with you all!

                Merry Merry & Happy Everything!!!

Kari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Eat, Drink & Be Kari

 

Ice Cream Sandwich Cloud

ice cream sandwich cloud layer cake

Ice Cream Sandwich Cloud

Ice Cream Sandwich Cloud

this will be the easiest, tastiest, loveliest layer cake you’ll ever make!  so simple, that my kids did most of it!!!

 

As promised, I’m getting this recipe out for the upcoming Holiday weekend.  This simple showstopper will be a HIT at your 4th of July Cookout with both kids and adults.  You can also customize the cake in tons of ways!!!  Set up a cute little topping stations with:  Chopped Nuts, Caramel, Hot Fudge, Strawberries, Cherries…just set the toppings out and let the partiers go wild!!!  You can also make it smaller or larger by adding more Ice Cream Sandwiches…just be sure to buy a little more Cool Whip as well!  The hardest part of this cake is to make sure you have enough room in your freezer to store it.  I put mine on foil on a baking pan to make it and transfer it back and forth.  That worked perfectly.  Just make sure there is room in our freezer for it to sit straight!  I used our deep freezer.  Ok, so this is going to be a quick, basic recipe blog post because I don’t have time to edit and take quality photos.  The Cloud was demolished so quickly, I’m going to have to remake the cake to take better pics.  These are the ones I snapped along the way with my iPhone.  They will do for now, so my lovely readers can get ready for the weekend!

It cuts beautifully and is a fun presentation!

It cuts beautifully and is a fun presentation!

Layered Ice Cream Cloud Cake

INGREDIENTS:

1 box Ice Cream Sandwiches (12 Sandwiches)

1 Large Container Cool Whip (16 oz)

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Assorted Toppings

*Cover Baking Sheet with foil.  Lay another LONG sheet of foil on top with enough excess foil to lightly cover and protect your cake!  Unwrap 4 Ice Cream Sandwiches and lay them side by side, touching.  Open Cool Whip and add 1 tsp Vanilla.  Lightly fold in top half of Cool Whip with a spatula.  (TIP: This is what makes the flavor POP a bit more and makes the Cool Whip taste more homemade!!!)  Add a few dollops of Cool Whip on top of 4 Sandwiches.  Drizzle light layer of Hot Fudge on top.  Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes to let the first layer of Cool Whip and Hot Fudge harden on the Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Take out of freezer and add 4 More Ice Cream Sandwiches on top.  Repeat with Cool Whip and Hot Fudge.  Put back in freezer for 15 minutes.  Take out of freezer and add remaining 4 Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Now, drizzle a bit of Hot Fudge on the last layer of Ice Cream Sandwiches.  You should have about a 1/2 carton of the Cool Whip left.  Add your  other teaspoon of Vanilla to the Cool Whip and fold in with spatula.  Carefully Coat the ENTIRE CAKE with the remaining Cool Whip.  Its fun, its simple….just make it look like a fluffy cloud.  Pop back in the freezer until ready to serve!!!!  Enjoy!

 

let me break it down for you!

Lay out 4 Ice Cream Sandwiches

Lay out 4 Ice Cream Sandwiches

 

Add 1 tsp Vanilla to Cool Whip and gently fold in with a spatula

Add 1 tsp Vanilla to Cool Whip and gently fold in with a spatula

 

Add a layer of Cool Whip and drizzle of Hot Fudge

Add a layer of Cool Whip and drizzle of Hot Fudge, then pop in freezer for 10 minutes

Add 4 More Ice Cream Sandwiches on too (making sure you always layer them the same way!!!!)

Add 4 More Ice Cream Sandwiches on too (making sure you always layer them the same way!!!!)

 

Repeat: Cool Whip, Hot Fudge Drizzle, Freezer

Repeat: Cool Whip, Hot Fudge Drizzle, Freezer

 

Add last 4 Ice Cream Sandwiches for the last, top layer

Add last 4 Ice Cream Sandwiches for the last, top layer

 

I didn't get a pic of this step, so instead I'm showing y'all my lovely helpers!! But, here you add a drizzle of Hot Fudge directly ON the sandwiches BEFORE you do your final coat of Cool Whip and create the "Cloud" effect

I didn’t get a pic of this step, so instead I’m showing y’all my lovely helpers!! But, here is where you add a drizzle of Hot Fudge directly ON the sandwiches BEFORE you do your final coat of Cool Whip and create the “Cloud” effect

Flavor the last half of the Cool Whip with 1 tsp Vanilla

Flavor the last half of the Cool Whip with 1 tsp Vanilla

 

CAREFULLY coat the entire cake with the remaining Cool Whip then freeze for a few hours or until ready to serve!

CAREFULLY coat the entire cake with the remaining Cool Whip then freeze for a few hours or until ready to serve!

 

Ice Cream Sandwich Cloud

Ice Cream Sandwich Cloud

It cuts beautifully and is a fun presentation!

It cuts beautifully and is a fun presentation!

 

I cut the large pieces into half for the kids and let the go wild with their toppings of choice!

I cut the large pieces into half for the kids and let the go wild with their toppings of choice!

 

Happy 4th Of July to you and yours!!!  I hope y’all enjoy this as much as my kids and our friends did!  Get the kiddos in the kitchen for this one and let them help!!!

Dash just couldn't help himself!!!

Dash just couldn’t help himself!!!

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Eat, Drink & Be Kari

@eatdrinkbe

@eatdrinkbeKari

 

Sage Butter Pork Chops with Beet Puree and Swiss Chard

This recipe popped up on my email the other day from www.FoodandWine.com and it looked absolutely GORGEOUS! Take a look….

C John Kernick

© John Kernick

See, I told you!!! The vibrant colors. The simple, rustic plating. It was also right down the hubbys alley! So, I got the ingredients and gave it a go….and the outcome was mouthwatering delicious. The meat was succulent, savory perfection atop the sweet, rustic beet (and potato!!!!) purée.  The combo was killer, and I can not WAIT to make the purée again and again. Honestly, it was the star of the show. I had no idea it was going to turn out bright magenta and my favorite item on the plate. Surprisingly, my hubby agreed. The beet purée was his favorite as well. I followed the Food and Wine recipe as closely as I was able, but I did make a few adjustments. Here is the basic recipe from Food & Wine:

Pork Chops in Sage Butter with Beet Purée and Swiss Chard

INGREDIENTS

2 large red beets (1 pound), halved
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (1/2 pound)
1 stick unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Pepper
Four 12-ounce bone-in pork rib chops, cut 1 inch thick
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sage sprig
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 pounds Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large saucepan, combine the beets and potatoes. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the beets and potatoes are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and potatoes, and then coarsely chop; transfer to a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet. Rub the pork chops all over with 2 tablespoons of the olive 
oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat until golden brown on the bottom, 7 to 8 minutes.Turn the chops and add the garlic, sage and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook until the chops are golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°, about 7 minutes longer. Transfer the pork chops to plates and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the butter into the skillet; season with salt. Strain the sage butter through a fine sieve over the pork chops. Reserve the crispy sage leaves and discard the garlic.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chard in large handfuls; let each batch wilt slightly before adding more. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the chard is wilted, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the pork chops with the beet puree and Swiss 
chard and garnish with the crispy sage leaves.

MAKE AHEAD
The beet puree can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.
SUGGESTED PAIRING
Pair this dish with a lightly earthy Burgundy.

www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pork-chops-sage-butter-beet-puree-and-swiss-chard

Ok, so there is the original recipe. I only changed up a few things. A few simple additions to brighten the flavors of the purée a bit and a small addition to the lemon-butter sauce made this recipe a bit more Karified….you know I can’t follow a recipe if my life depended on it! I’ll make the final adjustments and share the www.eatdrinkbe.com version with you all! But, I had to give credit to the F&W peeps for this creative, vibrant, luscious, rustic dinner and share the recipe with y’all asap!!! TRY THE BEET PURÉE….YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!!!!!

 

Cheers!!!

@eatdrinkbe

 

 

Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers

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Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Gather Ingredients

Gather Ingredients

Make Cheddar Scallion Cream Cheese

Creamy Cheddar Scallion Cream Cheese

Creamy Cheddar Scallion Cream Cheese

Halve and Seed Jalapeños

Cut Jalapeños in half and remove Seeds and White Membrane

Cut Jalapeños in half and remove Seeds and White Membrane

Slice Jalapeños in Half.  TIP: Remove Seeds AND White Membrane. This is where the heat hides!!! 

Filled Jalapeños

Filled Jalapeños

 Stuff with cream cheese mixture using a small spoon or your fingers.  Be sure to press in firmly.Pop into fridge or freezer.

Toss gently to combine

Season Panko

Make Seasoned Panko.  Add Spices and Gently Toss to Combine.

Bath time!

Bath time!

Make Buttermilk/Egg Batter.  Dip Stuffed Pepper to coat.

Roll in Panko.  Tip: use a spoon

Awesome Panko Coating

Then, roll Pepper in Seasoned Panko.  One Pepper at a time.  TIP: Use a spoon to lightly spoon over pepper and roll to coat sides.   ****Now is when you can refrigerate or freeze for later.)****

Spray with Coconut Oil and Bake

Spray with Coconut Oil and Bake

Give a quick spritz of Coconut Oil and Bake.  350 for 20 mins.

Bake

Baked, not Fried!

Out come little perfect bites.  Spicy, Crispy, Gooey, Creamy….yummmmm….

Just look at that Crispy Coating!!!

Just look at that Crispy Coating!!!

TIP: Be sure not to over bake  or the cheese might explode and ooze out, or seemingly evaporate into thin air!

Plate it up with a creamy, cool dipping sauce

Plate it up with a creamy, cool dipping sauce

I served it with a Homemade Buttermilk Ranch.  Cool and creamy to combat the spiciness.

Seriously, healthy!?!?!  Wow!!!!

Seriously, healthy!?!?! Wow!!!!

Just one bite and you’ll be addicted.  And astounded in the huge amount of fat and calories you are saving!!!

Here's your new go-to recipe

Here’s your new go-to recipe

Perfect for Football Season.

The Perfect Skinny Popper

The Perfect Skinny Popper

Less Fat, Full Flavor

Less Fat, Full Flavor

The cool Ranch was the perfect compliment.

The cool Ranch was the perfect complement.

These will NOT disappoint!

These will NOT disappoint!

Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers

  • 6-12 Jalapeños, sliced and seeded

CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE:

  • 4-8 oz. Low Fat Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4-6 oz. Cabot 50% Less Fat White Cheddar, shredded
  • 4-6 Scallions, chopped white and green parts
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

SEASONED PANKO

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Panko (or regular, or gluten-free)
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Ground Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Roasted Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Urfa Chiles (or 1/2 tsp Chili Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Aleppo Chiles (or 1/2 tsp Ancho Chili Powder)
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Coarse Ground Pepper

BATTER

  • 1/2 Cup Egg Whites (or 3 Egg Whites, or  2 Whole Eggs)
  • 1/4 Cup ButterMilk (or at least 2% Milk)

*Preheat Oven 340.  Cover 9 x 13 Baking Sheet with Parchment.

*Slice, seed and take out membrane of each jalapeño.

*Make Cream Cheese Mixture:  Combine Cream Cheese, Grated Cheddar, Chopped Scallions in small bowl.  Mix to combine.  Season with Salt and Pepper.

*Fill each jalapeño half with Cream Cheese Mixture.  Using a small spoon or your fingers, press filling FIRMLY in the pepper.  Pop in fridge or freezer for a quick chill until ready to batter.

*Make Seasoned Panko: Mix Panko with all listed spices and seasonings.  You can omit or substitute as needed.  The listed ones are the ones I chose.  You can also make your own variations.  If you don’t have either of the crazy dried chilies I used, you can always substitute 1 tsp Chili Powder and 1/8 tsp Cumin.  Or just use a  seasoning packet of Ranch or Italian Dressing!

*Make Batter: Mix 1/2 Cup Egg Whites with 1/4 Cup Buttermilk.  Season with Salt and Pepper.

*Take one pepper half at a time.  Dip into Batter.  Then, roll into Seasoned Panko.  Use a spoon to lightly coat the top and gently roll to coat the sides.  Place on pan.  ***This is where you would freeze if using later***  Lightly Spray with Coconut Oil, or cooking spray of choice, and bake for 20 mins or until brown and crispy on top.  Let cool for 5 mins.  Plate and Serve with Ranch.

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Healthy-ish Sausage Balls

Healthy-ish Sausage Balls

NO Bisquick!

No Unnecessary Fillers!

First of all: Happy 2014!!!

Let’s start the New Year off right by eliminating unnecessary CRAP from our diet.  It all starts at home with YOU and your choice of ingredients.  Some choose to take the easy way out….but little do they know how simple the healthier version is.  Healthy doesn’t always mean more difficult.  I’ll prove that to you, just wait and see….

Cheddar Sausage Balls

Cheddar Sausage Balls with Mustard Dipping Sauce

These are super tasty and at least a little guilt free!  Adding in a bit of Whole Wheat Flour and using herbs and spices really makes the flavors POP!  And the guilt-free mustard dipping sauce is a super healthy addition and really adds some zing.  When I got these off the baking sheets, they were virtually grease free.  I was super impressed….as were all the people enjoying them!!!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

So, here is what I started with:

  • Flour (1 Cup Whole Wheat King Arthur Flour & 1 Cup Whole Wheat White King Arthur Flour)
  • Baking Powder
  • Fresh Grated Cheddar (please grate your own…this is a simple step that most people use a shortcut for….you WILL be able to tell a difference in the end result….trust me)
  • 2-3 cloves minced Garlic (can use garlic powder)
  • Dry Mustard
  • Onion Powder (not pictured)
  • 1 lb Nesse’s Sausage (original, hot or extra sage are all delicious!)
  • Champagne with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.  This helps, I promise!!! (this is for YOU, not the recipe…in case there is any confusion)

TIP: You can also use Turkey or Chicken Sausage as well….it just needs a little extra fat, so be sure to add in a couple Tbs of melted butter or oil so your sausage balls won’t dry out.  I’m also wondering if you could use applesauce……hummm…might try that next and let you know how it turns out. Probably would be good with Chicken Sausage and maybe some apples and fontina cheese…..

Herb and Spice Additions

Herb and Spice Additions

That’s when I realized I didn’t buy the HOT sausage, so I needed to spice it up some with:

  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Dry Mustard
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Salt

*Add as much or as little of these as you’d like.  You can add anything you want to change the taste of these!

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Put all your dry ingredients into a large Mixing Bowl.  Flour, Baking Powder, Garlic,  Onion Powder, Dry Mustard, Red Pepper Flakes, Sage, Salt & Pepper.  Mix to Combine.

Add Cheese

Add Cheese

Add Grated Cheddar Cheese to Dry Mixture and toss to combine and coat the cheese.

Add Sausage

Add Sausage

Next, add the UNCOOKED sausage to the mixture. Use your hands and really get in there!!! Don’t be scared.  You need to break up the sausage and make sure it is all mixed in together.

Binder Time

Binder Time

You’ll notice it is not binding completely together. You need a little liquid to help this.  Add 2-4 TBS 2% Milk until just moist.  Add it in a little at a time so you don’t overdo it!!! I’m also going to experiment and use beer next time!  It should look like this and shape into a ball easily!

Get Ready to Bake!

Get Ready to Bake!

Roll them into Bite-sized Balls and place them on a cookie sheet.  I had enough to fill 2 full cookie sheets (24 on each) and most of a 3rd cookie sheet.  I made about 67.  So you should get anywhere from 55-70 depending on the size of your balls.

Little Bites of Heaven

Little Bites of Heaven

Pop them in the Oven on 350 for 15-20 mins or until browned and sausage is fully cooked.

Browned and Delicious

Browned and Delicious

Tasty little morsels right out of the oven!!!

Let em cool

Let em cool

So. Darn. Good

So. Darn. Good

Cheddar Sausage Balls

Cheddar Sausage Balls

ENJOY & DEVOUR!!!

This recipe is basic and can be changed up in so many ways.  I’ll also post another flavor change up for you, but here is the Basic Cheddar Sausage Ball Recipe:

Healthy-ish Cheddar Sausage Balls

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat White Flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 1/2 TBS Baking Powder
  • 4-6 oz. Freshly Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 lb Nesse’s Sausage
  • 2-4 TBS 2% Milk (2 Tbs at a time)

TIP: Above is the BASIC recipe.  You can change/add any herbs/spices from here on!

  • 1 TBS Rubbed Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1-2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2-3 Cloves Minced Garlic (or 1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • Pinch Salt

Mix all ingredients (flours, baking powder, herbs & spices) to combine EXCEPT the Cheese, Sausage & Milk.  Next add grated cheese to dry ingredients and toss to coat cheese.  Then, with your hands, crumble the sausage into the mixture…breaking it up and incorporating it into the mixture.  Do not overwork!!! Add enough milk to moisten the mixture, 2 TBS at a time.  (Tip: if you used turkey or chicken sausage, it might take a little bit more!!!)  Roll into bite sized balls.  Bake 350 for 15-20 mins until browned and sausage is cooked through.

Mustard Dipping Sauces:

* Combine equal parts, or 2-3 heaping TBS, Creole Mustard and Dijon Mustard.  Mix.

* Combine equal parts Yellow, Dijon & Whole Grain Mustard with a dash of Worcestershire. Mix.

* Combine 2 TBS Whole Grain Mustard & Dijon Mustard, 1 TBS Mayonaise, Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt.  Mix.

And there you have it, folks.  Probably one of my husband’s favs.  I hope you enjoy the sausage balls as much as my family does.  I’m also going to quickly share a flavor change up for you!  Here goes:

Cheddar Jalapeño Sausage Balls

Cheddar Jalapeño Sausage Balls

These are out of this world!!! But, careful, the pack quite a kick!!!

Basic Dry Ingredients

Basic Dry Ingredients

Here I used the same dry ingredients in my basic recipe, but added in 2 TBS dried jalapeño bits. These bad boys are SUPER spicy!!! You could also substitute fresh jalapeño.  Depending on your spice preference, one should do the trick…or even half if you don’t like heat.  I also omitted the fresh garlic and red pepper flakes.

  • 2 TBS Dried Jalapeño Bits
  • 1 TBS Rubbed Sage
  • 1 TBS Dry Ground Mustard
  • Fresh Black Pepper & Salt
Cheddar & Scallions

Cheddar & Scallions

Next add in your freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese and 3 diced Scallions. (whites and green parts)  Toss to combine and coat in dry mixture.  Add the sausage.  Mix with hands.  Add a bit of milk until moistened.

Pop in the Oven

Pop in the Oven

Roll into Bite Sized Balls and Pop into the Oven.

350 for 15-20 mins.

Dee-damn-licious

Dee-damn-licious

These are super tasty and bursting with flavor!!!

Careful if you don't care for Spicy Sausage Balls

Careful if you don’t care for Spicy Sausage Balls

If you don’t like spice, or heat, just stick to the regular basic recipe!

So Yummy!

So Yummy!

Moist and Delicious because no one likes dry Sausage Balls!!!

Enjoy!

Happy 2014!

Cheers!!!

eat.drink.be Kari

Homemade Cranberry Vodka

Cranberry Lime Vodka

&

Cranberry Orange Vodka

Homemade Flavored Vodka.  The PERFECT Gift!

Homemade Flavored Vodka. The PERFECT Gift!

   Happy Holidays, Y’all!!!

So, every year  I give homemade gifts.  From Tins filled with cookies and candies, homemade canned goodies from the garden, jams and jellies, to scented bath salts and oils.  No matter what I give, one things seems clears.  There is always one favorite: ALCOHOL!

I have made different variations on Vodkas, since that seems to be the liquor that really mixes with anything…and MY personal favorite!  Here are some other gift ideas I have done in the past and loved:

  • Pomegranate Vodka (full of Pom Ariels)
  • Bloody Kari Vodka (a KILLER Spicy Vodka for Bloody Mary’s…full of various hot peppers from the garden and garlic)
  • Rosemary Lemon Oil
  • Hot Pepper Oil with Hot and Spicy Oregano
  • Blackberry Thyme Oil

I could literally go on and on.  And that’s not even including baked goods.  I’ll save that for another day and get back to why you come here.  Vodka.  Sweet Delicious Elegant Festive Vodka.

Absolutely Lovely Gifts!

Absolutely Lovely Gifts!

There are a few steps to creating these gorgeous bottles, but they are pretty basic and simple…..just a tad time consuming.  I tended to do these in batches of 4 or so at a time, finally realizing that it is best to get somewhere comfy that you can spread out and get off your feet.  I found settling down in front of the TV and Christmas Tree and having a glass of wine or a cup of hot tea helped pass the time!  TIP: If you decide on the Hot Tea, be sure to squeeze some of that fresh orange juice into it after you have used the peel!  Delicious and a great way to use that Orange and get in a healthy kick of Vitamin C!  Ok, here are your basic steps.  Be sure to wash your bottles first in hot soapy water and let them dry completely.  I washed mine the night before and let them dry overnight.  I got mine from Ikea, but you can also get them from any craft store!  Alright, let’s get this party started:

Gather Your Ingredients and settle in!

Gather Your Ingredients and Settle In!

Resealable Glass Bottles, Cranberries, Limes, Oranges, Sharp Paring Knife, Bamboo Skewer (or poker of some sort), Citrus Zester (if you want), Sugar, Funnel.

Get Your Work Station READY!

Get Your Work Station READY!

Cranberries

Cranberries, Time to get Poppin’

Ok, now here’s where all your time is spent.  For EACH LITTLE CRANBERRY, YOU MUST POKE A HOLE IN IT BEFORE dropping it into the bottle.  I found the best tool for this was a bamboo skewer, but you could also use the tip of your pairing knife.  You don’t have to put it all the way through the berry, just a little POP to break the skin so the gorgeous vodka can penetrate the hard skin of the cranberry and get that vodka flavored! You can not skip this step, as the cranberries are too hard and won’t flavor the Vodka as much as you’d like.  I tried numerous ways to do this.  Find one that you like the best and stick to it.  I poked a bunch of holes and then tried to funnel them into the bottle….unsuccessful because the cranberries were too large to fit through the funnel.  Then I did it one at a time…took too long.  Finally I settled on taking 2 larger or 3 smaller cranberries and hold them between my middle finger, pointer finger and thumb for balance and use my right hand to pop the berries with my skewer.  That was I could do 2 or 3 at a time and it seemed to speed up the process.  (I found that trying to hold any more resulted in flying and rolling cranberries as I tried to drop them into the bottle!!!!)  Also, discard any cranberries that are smushy, mushy, or bad!  You do NOT want them in your beautiful bottles!  I also found that to fill up 1 bottle, it took OVER 1 bag of cranberries.  So, be prepared.  This is NOT a quick project and it took a lot more cranberries than I realized!!!  TIP: Be sure to rinse  your cranberries well.  I put them in a colander then into a glass bowl for drainage.  Also be sure to wash your limes and oranges well, as you will be using the peel and zest.  I, personally, bought organic for this reason.  I ALWAYS buy organic when I can, but especially when I am using the outer peels!

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TIP: This is why I love using the Bamboo Skewer, it’s the best tool I found to pop the cranberries easily and long enough to put down into the bottle to adjust your citrus peels if need be!

Fill the bottle 1/3 full with Cranberries

Using your Pairing Knife, carefully cut some of the peel of the Lime or Orange and drop it into the bottle.

Repeat about 4-6 times depending on the size of your peels.

Using your skewer, adjust peels to look pretty!

You can also add swirls of zest here if you have  a zester!

Fill up bottle with more Cranberries until 2/3 Full.

Repeat Previous Steps Adding Peels and Zest.

Fill with Cranberries to the Top!

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Just a Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go   Down!

Bottles Full and Ready for some Sugar!

Bottles Full and Ready for some Sugar!

Using your Funnel, Fill each bottle with a spoonful of sugar to sweeten it just a little.

TIP:  Fill your ready bottles with sugar first before you move to the Vodka (the funnel won’t get wet and have the sugar stick!)

Simply Gorgeous

Simply Gorgeous, I just had to share this pic!

I know some of these are hard to see in front of the tree, but they just looked so pretty I had to share.  Here are some pics I took a few days before when I did 2 bottles in the Kitchen.  They are easier to show what I am saying:

Both Have Sugar Added

Both Have Sugar Added

Bottle on Left has Vodka Added.  Bottle on Right has Sugar.

Bottle on Left has Vodka Added. Bottle on Right has Sugar.

Both Bottles DONE!

Both Bottles DONE!

When you fill your bottles with Vodka, be sure to fill it all the way to the top!!!

Then Seal Bottles with Stopper and Shake/Tip Over a few times to help the Sugar Dissolve.  TIP:  You want to go give it a shake every day or so to make sure there is no sugar settling at the bottom.  These will keep for a few weeks to months!  Be sure to do them a few weeks ahead of time so the Vodka has sufficient time to absorb all the yummy flavor!!!

You can see where the Vodka has

You can see where the Vodka has absorbed and needs a topping off!

 Some of the Vodka will steep into the Cranberries and you will have to “top of the bottle” with Vodka again the next day… and possibly one more time after that as well.  TIP: You want to be sure your cranberries are covered at all times so they won’t be likely to mold!!!

The bottles in front are in need of a Second Topping off!

The bottles in front are in need of a Second Topping off!

Again, don’t let any of those cranberries be uncovered!!!

Just Give Em a Quick Vodka Topper!

Just Give Em a Quick Vodka Topper!

Tis the Season!

Tis the Season!

Tie with beautiful ribbon and add  a sweet note.

For a Festive Drink: Mix with Soda Water, Sprite, Lemonade, Cranberry Ginger-ale, or Simply on the Rocks!

Or Make a Festive Holiday Martini!!!!

Waste Not, Want Not TIP: Use all the leftover fruit to make Flavored Water!

Enjoy!

Happy Holidays from Hotcookin’

eat.drink.be Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Ok, so this is going to be a quickie post.  I’ve got so much going on right now.  But, I know if you are like my family…we are getting a bit tired of Turkey.  So, here’s a quick twist on it for ya.  You can basically use most of your leftovers….in a new way!

Fresh Ingredients

Fresh Ingredients

That’s right.  Other than leftovers and a bottle of wine….this is all I used.  So easy.  I chopped up 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks and 2 cloves of garlic. I would have used an onion as well if I hadn’t used a TON in the green bean casserole.  So, feel free to add an onion or shallot if you need to!

Carrots and Celery

Carrots and Celery

Sauté carrots and celery in 1 tsp EVOO until softened, about 5 mins.  Season with Salt and Pepper.  Do not brown!

Add Garlic and Fresh Parsley

Add Garlic and Fresh Parsley

Next, I added my fresh garlic and a handful of fresh parsley I had.  Feel free to add any fresh herbs you need to use up!!! Parsley, thyme and sage would all be great additions!!!  Sauté about 2 mins, or until the garlic is fragrant.  DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC or it will turn bitter.

Leftover Green Bean Casserole

Leftover Green Bean Casserole

I took my Green Bean Casserole and my Kitchen Shears and cut any large beans I had into smaller bite size portions.  Most Pot Pies call for Cream of Something Soup (or you can use flour and fat).  I used the rest of my leftover Green Bean Casserole to act as the “binder” for the pot pie.  If you don’t have any GB Casserole left, feel free to sub on of these!!!

GB Casserole ontop of Veggies

GB Casserole on top of Veggies

Then I just plopped the GB Casserole on top of the Sautéed Veggies and let it warm up so it would mix.

TURKEY TIME!

TURKEY TIME!

When I got it all mixed together, I took all the little pieces and bits of turkey that you’re not sure what to do with (too small for a sandwich….) and threw them in the pan!  If you only have larger pieces, just shred them up with your fingers or chop them up with a knife!

Wine & Gravy, Baby!

Wine & Gravy, Baby!

If you have any gravy leftover, this is a great place to use it!  It will also act as a “binder” and add a little bit of creaminess to it.  I needed a little liquid, so I also added about a cup of white wine.  You could use red wine, beer, or  stock/broth for this part as well.  Just use enough so your pie won’t dry out and it will be creamy!!

Thyme

Thyme

Hot Paprika

Hot Paprika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next add any herbs and spices you might want to use.   I had smoked my turkey, so I wanted to amplify that flavor.  I used a Hungarian Paprika and Thyme.

Peas, please!

Peas, please!

Next I added a handful (cup or so) of frozen peas.  You can add these or leave them out.  We just adore peas in our pot pies!  Also, you can use 2 cups of frozen mixed veggies at this step if you didn’t have any green bean casserole leftover.  That works great!

Pie Dish

Pie Dish

Simply spray a pie plate and spoon the pot pie mixture in it!  Can it get any easier than this?!?!!

Ready to pop in the oven

Ready to pop in the oven

Last, roll a pre-made pie crust out an inch or so (or make your own).  Be sure it will cover your entire pie with a bit leftover to tuck into the sides of the pan so the toppings won’t spill out.  Then cut a few slits in the top!  You can brush with an eggwash or with milk to get a nice crisp browned top.

I am right here, right now….at this step.  I will bake it 400 for about 30 mins.  (until brown and bubbly)

Pictures to follow.

Just wanted to help you out if you were getting sick of leftovers too!

eat.drink.be Kari

Sensational Make Ahead Stuffing

Sensational Stuffing

For Anyone Interested in a Turkey Day Time Saver!

Make Ahead!!!

Make Ahead!!!

Ok.  So, with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I am always scrambling at the last minute.  This year I VOW NOT TO DO THAT!!!  (ha, right?!?!?!)  Seriously.  At least I’m going to put forth some effort.  So, I am trying to do a few Make Ahead things to help myself out.  This recipe is only HALF COMPLETE!!!! So, I am posting what I have done so far, so you, my dear reader, can be ahead of the game right along with me!  You’re Welcome!!!  All I am doing is making the super yummy “filling” for the stuffing.  I have made TONS of different types of stuffings over the years.  From Homemade Corn Bread to Rye Bread, Oysters to Sausage, and finally to Pepperidge Farms in a bag.  This year I am sharing a Semi-Homemade Version using the Pepperidge Farms Stuffing Mix you can pick up at your local grocery store.  Yes, I know…..this is not how I usually cook.  But I was thinking of you, my reliable reader, who prefers a quick and easy method that still tastes delicious.  I think you will be pleased with this one.

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

  • INGREDIENTS:
  • Neese’s Sausage (I would have preferred the Sage but couldn’t find it)
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 Shallots, diced
  • 2 Medium Carrots, diced
  • 3 Celery Stalks & Leaves, diced
  • 1 Carton Baby Bella Mushrooms, torn
  • Handful Dried Cranberries
  • 3-5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary (can use 1 T dried)
  • Few Sprigs Thyme (can use 1 T dried)
Saute

Brown Sausage, Veggies & Aromatics

This is super easy to make.  Just get a big skillet.  The biggest one you have.  Or you can always use a pot if you have to.  Heat up the Skillet.  Add the Sausage FIRST so it can start to brown.  Crumble it up a bit and now add all your chopped veggies in, minus the Mushrooms, Garlic & Dried Cranberries.  Season with a little Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.  Mix and let the sausage cook with the veggies.  Meanwhile, if you like mushrooms, just take one in your hand and tear/crumble it into the skillet.  This creates a different “meatier” texture that you will love.  You can slice them if you want, but I have been just tearing them into pieces with my hands for all sorts of different recipes (especially Chili) and have been so impressed.  I really think you will like it if you give it a try!  And, its super easy!!!  Next add your herbs on top!

Garlic & Dried Cranberries

Garlic & Dried Cranberries

When the sausage is fully cooked, go ahead and add in your garlic and dried cranberries.  Cook for a few more minutes so the garlic will soften and you should be able to smell it.  Also, the cranberries will plump up a little bit from absorbing all of the yumminess.

Should look like this:

Should look like this:

This is as far as I have gotten so far.  I let it cool then put it into the fridge.   I plan on warming it and adding it to the stuffing.  I’ll cook the stuffing per the instructions on the package.  (I think you just add some vegetable stock or water…).  I’ll post the rest on Wed when I make it!!!  But, it should be pretty simple and straightforward from here on!  The directions on the bad just say Onions and Celery….but trust me…..this is WAYYYYY better!!!!

Sorry to post half a recipe, but I figured some of you might want to go ahead and do this part!!!

Happy Cooking!!!!

See Ya in a Few Days!!!!

eat.drink.be KARI

AND I’M BACK!!! PART 2 OF:

SENSATIONAL STUFFING!

OK, so I left off with the Sausage Mixture for the stuffing in the fridge/freezer.  Hopefully if it was in the freezer, you took it out last night and let it thaw out.  Now, we are ready to go!

Here's what you Need

Here’s what you Need

Get out your Sausage Mixture, Stuffing Mix (or homemade breadcrumbs/cornbread), and one Organic Low Sodium Broth.  (I used Chicken.  Any stock/broth will do.  Try NOT to use water….you really need that extra flavor.  But try and always get the Low Sodium!!!  I have found my favorite brands are Pacific and Imagine….and I usually buy whichever is on sale.  If neither of them are, I buy the one with the Least Sodium!!!)

Seriously, this is ALL YOU NEED!!!! It can NOT get any easier than this!

Warm the Sausage Mixture

Warm the Sausage Mixture

In a large Pot, warm the Sausage Mixture over Med.

Seasonings of Choice

Seasonings of Choice

Next, add a few herbs of choice for a flavor boost.  I used an Italian Mix.  Sage is the BEST!!!!

Stuffing & Broth

Stuffing & Broth

Gently Mix 1/2 of Stuffing and 1/2 of Broth.  Stir. Add rest of Stuffing and enough broth to moisten.  Gently Stir to Combine.

So Easy!!!!

So Easy!!!!

Spray your baking dish and add stuffing.  I had about 1/3 of the box of broth left.

Stuffing

Stuffing

Pour another 1/2 cup or so of broth over the top to keep moist while baking.

Yummy!!!!

Yummy!!!!

Cover and Refrigerate until ready to bake!

Bake 350 for 30 mins.

***For a Crispy Top, bake UNCOVERED***

I can’t WAIT to get ours into the oven!!!!  I’ll post some pics later on, but for now:

Go Get Your Stuffing ON!!!!!

Gobble Gobble Gobble till ya Wobble Wobble Wobble!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Be Kind.

eat.drink.be Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Pondering Pomegranates???

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Pomegranates:

  • High in Antioxidants
  • Contains 50% of recommended daily dose of Vitamin C
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Aids Weight Management
  • Prevention of Heart Disease & Cancer (phytochemicals called polypheols)
  • Good for your Whole Body (Heart & Blood Vessels)
  • Fights Cell Damage & Helps Strong Healthy Bones (Vitamin K)
  • Helps Depression
  • Prevents Muscle Cramps (Vitamin B5)
  • High in Fiber & Low in Calories (3/4 Cup has 4 g Dietary Fiber and about 83 Calories)
Pomegranate arils

Pomegranate Arils

The word “Pomegranate” is Latin and means “seeded apple”.  Each fruit contains about 600 seeds called arils.  The arils are edible part of the fruit, not the white pith.  There are numerous methods to harvest the seeds.  I have tried various approaches, and have found my favorite.  The Water Bath Method is what works best for me.  And, I’m happy to share it with you!  Pomegranates are messy and can stain, but if you know how to get the seeds out properly, it is well worth it!  Toss them on salads, overtop meat, pasta or you can also float them in a festive drink!

Look at the vibrant color

Look at the vibrant color

How to Seed a Pomegranate

The Pomegranate

1: Buy a Pomegranate and Locate a Knife

Step 2: Slice it in Half

Step 2: Slice it in Half

3:

3: Admire the beautiful flowerlike design of the Seeds

4: G

4: Get ready a Large Bowl of cool water and quarter the Pom

5:

5: Making sure the Pom quarter is entirely covered by the water, start popping the seeds out with your fingers

6:

6: Don’t worry about being gentle.  Some take a little more force.  Should be clean of seeds when finished.

7:

7: Repeat with other quarters.  The seeds will sink to the bottom and the pith will float to the top for easy removal.

8: Scoop out the floating pith with your hands, and drain seeds into a strainer.

8: Scoop out the floating pith with your hands, and drain seeds into a strainer.

You will be surprised how many arils come out of just one single pomegranate!

9; TaDa!!! You will be surprised how many arils come out of just one single pomegranate!

Pretty Simple, eh?

Now, take the GORGEOUS fruits of you labor, and ENJOY!!!

Now, take the GORGEOUS fruits of you labor, and ENJOY!!!

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND:

Making a Festive Beverage

Making a Festive Beverage

Pomegranate Arils, Pama Liquor & Prosecco

CHEERS!!!!

(You can also substitute Pomegranate Juice for the Liquor and Champagne or Sparkling Wine for the Prosecco).

And I give you, The Cham-Pom

And I give you, The Cham-Pom

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com