Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Berentzen: Bushel & Barrel

There are very few times that I will taste a new liquor and enjoy it so much that I don't immediately start thinking of pairing opportunities. This is one of those times. It is the perfect blend of apples and Kentucky Bourbon. They meld together so well, and it is such a smooth taste, that you don't need to add anything to enjoy it. I normally like my bourbon neat, but this worked well with just one ice cube, I felt it made the apple flavor stand out more.

Of course, that doesn't stop me from trying to discover different means of enjoying this particular libation and I am working on sharing a few recipes with you guys soon. My favorite so far may not actually be one you drink, but one you top your burgers with. I used this to make a sweet and spicy bourbon sauce and it is fantastic.

Here are a few notes, directly from Berentzen.

Tasting notes.

A perfect complement of flavors that delivers the scent of crisp fresh-sliced apples followed by a long, warm finish of oak, caramel and vanilla tones. An artfully crafted and carefully matured experience
"The combination of two time-honored crafts. We sourced Straight Kentucky Bourbon, distilled and aged to specification, and mingled it with authentic Berentzen liqueur to provide an artfully crafted and carefully matured spirit of two great traditional flavors."

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GF Nutella & Peanut Butter Cookies

This simple recipe came from mom I nanny for. I actually have a couple of recipes that I have adapted from her and her husband I plan to share. When I got there one morning, I spied a carton of cookies. They smelled delicious and I kept looking at them with my mouth watering, but didn't sneak a bite for fear they were for a gathering. Later, she offered me one...and so good!

These are not the most eye appealing cookies, but the best way to describe these would almost be a chewy brownie bark. At least the version I made with nutella. There is no flour so they seem a tad oily by appearance, but they are so light. Perfectly crispy edges and a chewy center. Perfect afternoon snack.

The original recipe used just peanut butter called for a cup of sugar and I knew my husband wouldn't go for that. He is one of "those" people. So I adapted to please him. Because I am sweet like that. And they still were tasty.  Win-win.

1/2 cup nutella
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar (or sugar/splenda mix)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Drop by tsp or tbsp on a lined cookie sheet. bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes. They will appear undercooked, they're not. And instead of vanilla, I used coffee extract, I thought it would pair well with the richness of the nutella. 

The second time I made these, I added a very ripe and mushed banana to the mix. about a half a cup. I think the next time I will probably add peanut chips. 

What is your favorite gluten free cookie recipe?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Derby Days

One of my favorite weekends of the year is finally here. Derby time. Hats, party dresses, horses and my personal favorite: bourbon. I showcased two bourbon cocktails for you already this week. The Big Cherry and The Not So Old Fashioned. But today, here is a round up of five bourbon based drinks I think you should try. 

1)Pineapple Mint Julep. I spotted this on How Sweet Eats and it just looks divine. Excuse me while I omit the mint. I suppose it will then just be a pineapple bourbon cocktail. Fine by me. 

2)Strawberry Bourbonade Popsicles. I came up with this recipe on my other blog last summer and it is one of my favorites. I can't wait till the pool opens again in a few weeks. 

3) The Naughty Southerner. This drink combines my love of blackberries, pineapple and bourbon. I came up with this cocktail loosely based on a drink we had at the Trellis in Williamsburg. 

4) Blackberry-Lemon Sparkling Mint Julep. As I said about my previous drink, I heart some blackberry and I doubly heart anything with bubbles. Sign me up, this is courtesy of Mason from Mason Like The Jar ( Raleigh Gal, this also makes me happy)

5) And this drink is aptly titled for the upcoming derby, Louisville Limeade. I concocted this during basketball season last year and the next week, Louisville won the national championship. So, there's that.

What are your plans for the Derby? Do you ever celebrate with a party or watching the ponies?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Not So Old Fashioned

Ok. I am going to say this and I do not say it lightly...this may be my favorite cocktail that I have ever had. It is certainly the best I have ever made. Again, as I stated yesterday, you can't really try to compete with classic cocktails. They are a stand by for a very good reason. And so I am not going to pretend that if you are old school, that you're going to fall over yourself like I did. But if you look at it for what it is, a tasty drink, then I think you would enjoy it.

As always, I will straight up tell you that the best way to enjoy good bourbon is neat. For me, there is no better. Especially if I am trying a new flavor. I want to let it roll over my tongue. That is about as close to bliss as you can get. But sometimes, I have company and want to create different libations for them. Because most of them haven't yet learned to appreciate bourbon the way it was meant to be. Never fear, I have hope I can get them on board. Except for my gal, Kat. Kat gets it. 

Even if you are not a big bourbon drinker, I think this cocktail would be one you'd enjoy. The added flavors of pear and apple meld perfectly with the bourbon. It is sweet, yet not overly so. And while I am a bourbon kinda gal, the original uses rye, which is making a come back. 

The Not So Old Fashioned  

2 maraschino cherries
2 oranges
1 tsp sugar or 1 small sugar cube
1 or 2 dashes of angostura bitters
1 tsp water
1 oz bourbon (or the original, rye)

Muddle 1 cherry, 1 orange slice, and the sugar, bitters, and water in a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Remove the orange rind. Add the bourbon, liqueurs and ice; stir. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.

I like to use my wild cherry bourbon soaked cherries for this also, you can see my recipe for those here.

Just a few days left until Derby Day! What are you drinking?

Linking up with the pin junkie