Bloody Caesar

I’ll take one of these over a Bloody Mary any day of the year.

The Vodka

1 liter good vodka
2 cups grated horseradish
1/2 cup black peppercorns

Pour the vodka in a large jug, add the horseradish and peppercorns and shake it up. Let it sit for 10-12 hours, but give it a shake every couple of hours. When it’s done, strain it through a coffee filter and pour it back in the bottle. Don’t worry about the color… that just means it’s absorbed all that horseradish and pepper.

The Mixer

48 ounce bottle of tomato juice
3 8 ounce bottles of clam juice
1 tablespoon Montreal Steak seasoning
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Pour it all in a jug and shake it. Refrigerate for several hours until it’s good and cold.

The Drink

Fill a glass with ice. Give the mixer a good shake. Add the spicy vodka and mixer to the glass according to your tastes — 1 part vodka to 3 parts mixer works well. Stir and garnish with a celery stick or wedge of lime.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 pounds stew beef
  • 1 cup flour
  • oil, for browning meat
  • 1 package Crockery Gourmet Seasoning For Beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can Condensed French Onion Soup
  • 1 can Condensed Beef Consomm√©
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 potatoes, cut into 1 1/2″ chunks
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 celery, cut into 1/4 ” chunks

Directions

  1. Coat stew beef with flour and brown in hot oil over medium high heat 2 minutes per side. Do not crowd pan.
  2. Transfer beef to bottom of slow cooker.
  3. Combine beef seasoning and water. Add soups, water, garlic and tomatoes. Pour over meat.
  4. Spread potatoes, carrots and celery on top of meat.
  5. Cook on high 6 hours or low 10 hours.

Wicked Easy Pork Loin

Weekends were made for crockpot cooking. It’s the one time when you can actually sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal, but who wants to spend a lot of time preparing it? Crockpot to the rescue.

What you’ll need…

1 3-4 lb. boneless pork loin (not tenderloin — they’re not the same thing)
1 pkg. Superior Touch Crockery Gourmet Seasoning Mix for Pork
1 can Campbell’s Condensed French Onion Soup
2 cans water
course black pepper
dried herbs (optional)

What you’ll do with it…

Place the roast fat-side down in the bottom of a crockpot.
Mix the seasoning mix, soup and water with a whisk.
Pour the soup mixture over the roast.
Sprinkle on a liberal dose of pepper and herbs. Don’t add salt… the onion soup has plenty.

Cook on low 2 hours.
Turn the roast fat-side up and baste.
Continue cooking on low 5-6 hours more, basting every 2-3 hours.
Let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before cutting.

Serve it au jus with the liquid straight from the pot or use the liquid to make gravy if you want something a little thicker.

If you don’t want to worry about turning the roast, start it fat-side up… but I think it turns out better if you turn it and baste it.

Holiday Leftovers: HoneyBaked Ham & Bean Soup

Ingredients:

Bone from HoneyBaked ham (fat and scraps in tact)
1 pound bag of dried mixed beans
12 cups water
1 T garlic powder
1 T dried onion flakes
2 T cajun seasoning
2 T Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
1-2 cups diced onions and carrots
1-2 cups diced ham

Directions:

Soak beans in room temperature water for 24 hours. Don’t attempt to cheat with the hot water method. It’s not the same.

Place the beans, water, ham bone, water, spices and vegetable base in a large crock pot. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Add the onions and carrots. Continue cooking on low for another hour.

Add the diced ham and cook on low for one more hour.

What the heck is kombucha?

Surviving Whole Foods

ROFL.

My Mom ate white bread, cooked with real fat and would have probably assumed that a place with the name Whole Foods was a farm stand. And while she was a little bit nuts when she died at the young age of 92, we’d be lucky to be half as healthy as she was. I seriously doubt she ever tasted whole wheat bread, much less a substitute for it. I do remember she once bought a jar of Oil of Olay, but gave it away something like 10 years later unused. And if you dared to Namaste her, she’d probably be tempted to smack you for sassing.

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Rosemary

Wicked easy, goes with anything and extremely forgiving so you can focus on the rest of your dinner menu without having to worry about perfectly timing your starch item.

Something wonderful happens when you combine olive oil, garlic and rosemary. When I’m having guests over for dinner, I make sure the skillet is in the oven about 15 minutes before they’re scheduled to arrive. The aroma gets their attention the minute they walk in the door.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add 1-2 tbs olive oil, 1-2 tbs chopped garlic and 1-2 tbs chopped rosemary to cast iron skillet. Fresh rosemary is best, but powdered or dried works too.
Place skillet in oven for 3-5 minutes until oil starts to infuse with garlic. Your nose will know when it’s ready.
While you’re waiting for the garlic to sizzle and bloom, cut 3-5 of your favorite potatoes into bite-sized pieces — skins on or off, doesn’t matter. New and red potatoes are great, but russets and regular old Idaho’s work well, too.
Toss potatoes in the garlic-infused oil and return to oven. The trick is getting the right amount of oil… after you toss the potatoes, they should be well-coated — really shiny, but not floating in a pool. Resist the urge to add butter or any other kind of fat — you’ll be disappointed.
Roast for 25-30 minutes, toss and return to oven.
Roast for another 20-25 minutes until fork-tender.

The potatoes are plate-ready after about 50 minutes, but if the rest of your dinner is delayed it’ll stay happily in the oven for another 30-40 minutes without being ruined. I once reduced the oven temperature to 200 and ignored them for an hour and they were great — it doesn’t matter whether the potatoes are simply roasted ’til done or whether they’re a little browned and toasty.

Best of all, this is the mother of all base potato recipes. Substitute different seasonings for the rosemary: italian seasoning, cajun seasoning, plain old salt and pepper. Add shallots, chopped scallions, thinly sliced onion or finely chopped bell pepper. Go crazy!

Eat well and have fun! Life’s too short to settle for a normal potato!

Super Easy Bok Choy “Stir Fry”

Bok choy is my new favorite vegetable. Add a little garlic, ginger and vinegar and you’ve got a great summer side in 15 minutes.

Mix a few tablespoons each olive oil, minced garlic and minced ginger in a cool dutch oven. Just let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients.

Remove any wilted leaves from 8 or 10 stalks of bok choy. Cut off and discard the root end; cut the rest into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Leave the little center heart in tact.

Cut 6 to 8 shiitake mushrooms into bite-sized chunks and coarsely chop a red bell pepper.

Warm the oil in the dutch oven over medium high heat until it starts to sizzle. Toss in the red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Toss in the shiitake and cook for another minute. Pour in a few tablespoons of lime-flavored Kikkoman Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Dressing & Sauce, 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, toss it around and simmer for another minute.

Add the bok choy and stir well. Make sure it’s coated with the garlic infused oil and vinegar. Cover the dutch oven, cut the heat back to medium and let everything steam for a few minutes — 3 minutes will give you cooked but still crunchy bok choy.

If you want to make it a complete meal, toss in thinly slice grilled steak tips and serve it with sweet (aka sticky) rice.

Country Style Pork Ribs

Tender, tasty & easy!

Ingredients:

  • 3-5 lbs. country style pork ribs, bone in
  • 1 pkg. French’s slow cooker chicken & herb flavored seasoning mix
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 pkg. baby carrots
  • 2 pkg. Birds Eye pearl onions in cream sauce, thawed
  • flour
  • vegetable oil

Instructions:

  • Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Dredge ribs in flour and brown on both sides. Transfer to crock pot.
  • Mix seasoning mix and water. Pour over ribs.
  • Layer carrots on top of ribs.
  • Layer onions on top of carrots.
  • Cover and cook on low setting for 5-7 hours until tender.