Mandarin Tahini Cake

I’ve wanted to write a baking recipe for the blog using tahini for forever and now it’s finally here. Tahini by itself can be kind of bitter but in baking it lends this awesome deep nutty flavor to anything, without being so transparent as its loud cousin, peanut butter. That is, it plays much more nicely with others, such as the mandarin orange.

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4 Pickles Walked Into a Bar

You know one thing that remains under-appreciated at bars? The Pickleback. If you don’t already know, a Pickleback is a drink in which you chase a shot of whiskey with a shot of pickle juice. Usually I have to force people to do them with me. But not only are they fun, they also balance each other out well.

This got me thinking about how pickle juice isn’t utilized in cocktails enough. That’s not to say that it isn’t used at all, but it doesn’t get a wide variety of uses and the pickle juice itself rarely gets the same thought put into it that, say, selecting a liquor would. In a recent chat with Marie Teckmyer from Happy Hour Collection, we decided it would be fun to try to come up with some interesting cocktail recipes using some awesome local pickles. Okay fine, it was more like I dared her. But of course Marie is always up for a collaborative challenge.

We of course wanted to use Randy’s Pickles for this. If you haven’t had them, I recommend you try one or all of them. They’re way better than your typical store-bought jars of boring bland dill. My favorite is definitely the Sideburns ones, so that’s where I started with the drinky drinky recipes. Continue reading 4 Pickles Walked Into a Bar

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter, Pecans and Bleu

I’m bringing you a recipe perfect for fall today, and it isn’t even a dessert or baked good! I know, right? Who even am I?

But never fear, it does have sweet potatoes. Which of course are the desserts of vegetables. This recipe comes together in like half an hour and takes very little effort, so even I can manage to motivate myself to make it on weeknights. And yes, I do eat this as an actual dinner. For those of you who need a protein and 2 sides to consider something a “real dinner,” you’re welcome to just use this as one of those sides.

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Pulled Pork with Pineapple BBQ Sauce and Apple Jicama Slaw

Whew! It’s a scorcher out there!

Or, I don’t know, some other clich√© expression of summer. Point is, it’s the beginning of barbecue season! I’ve never been one for pools. Or sandals, volleyball, heat, sweating, mosquitos or sun burns, for that matter. But when it comes to summer picnics and barbecue, count me in!

And to kick things off, my dear friends and mom, I have THREE recipes today! Okay, so they’re kinda just 3 parts of one meal. But STILL.

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Bourbon Chocolate Cake

It’s Derby Day!

I grew up in Kentucky, and even though I moved away 6 years ago now, I’m still surprised when people from other states don’t watch the Derby every year.

Come on, guys, it’s the perfect setup.

  1. You get to spend the entire day drinking mint juleps and eating bourbon-infused desserts.
  2. Unlike sports with human athletes, there aren’t those fans who know every statistic for every player and over-anazlyse the entire game all day. You just pick a horse that looks cool, has a cool name, or that was shown playing in a mud puddle earlier in the day (oh, or I guess you can look at the official odds, if you wanna be THAT person). Bets are pretty low-stakes at $2 and up, so you can bet on your favorite just to give you someone to root for.
  3. The actual race takes likes 2 minutes, so even the shortest of attention spans can handle it.

Now, traditionally the dessert at any derby party is either Derby pie or bourbon balls. But I’ll let you in on a little secret that people who still live in Kentucky wouldn’t dare admit– Continue reading Bourbon Chocolate Cake

Blood Orange Carrot Cake

You know how when you finish watching the finale of a TV show you like, you feel like you just could not possibly wait another minute to start the next season? I feel that way about winter right now. We’ve had a taste of spring, so WHY is it not just actually HERE yet?

Fortunately, we do have something to tide us over in the meantime,¬†kinda like the DVD special features. Alright, that might be enough of that analogy. What I’m building to here is that we are still in the end of the peak citrus season, so blood oranges are still pretty widely available.

For me, no food says “It’s Spring!” like a good ol’ carrot cake. Well, that and peas. But cakes are, of course, way more exciting, and this one gives us the perfect hybrid of the end of winter citrus with the beginning of spring desserts.

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