Pear Vanilla Martini

pear vanilla1

 

In an attempt to not spend $15.00 on a special martini at a restaurant, I created this Pear Vanilla Martini for my wife so she can enjoy them at home.

Not that I mind going out and spending money on a good meal and drinks every now and then. But sometimes you just want to stay home and relax. Not worry about a sitter or what dress shirt you have clean…just make up a few martinis and watch the game. Or whatever movie the wife ordered up on Netflix.

I’ve never bought an actual vanilla bean before – and good thing I haven’t need to before ’cause these things are expensive!

Really, it’s like 13 dollars for 3 vanilla beans. But still, that will make 6 martinis…still cheaper than paying for one at a restaurant.

We don’t get into NYC too often, but when we do we do it right, Eataly, Del Posto, Delfrisco’s. All expensive places – but all worth it once in a while. When I say once in a while, I mean like once a year, or two. With the exception of Eataly…I try to get there as often as I can!

But when it came time to do another cocktail for Food Fanatic, I thought of our recent trip to the city, and all the pricey drinks. So with this Pear Vanilla Martini recipe you can make up a batch right in your own kitchen. For half of what you would have to pay ordering it out.

Click over to Food Fanatic for the full post and recipe, and check out some of their other food and drink recipes too…like how about these Baked Chili Cheese Fries?

Now everyone’s happy. My wife can have her fancy martini’s – and I can have some beer and a platter of those chili cheese fries.

 pear vanilla martini

 

Salty Nut Shot

salty nut1

 

To finish up peanut week, I give you a Salty Nut Shot.

Maybe that didn’t sound so good.

But the shot is really, really good. I promise.

What else would I call a peanut flavored shot with salt around the rim?

It’s salty and nutty and very, very tasty.

So yes you’ll have to be a fan of peanuts to like this shot. And be a fan of salty things. But if you do like both – then this is the drink for you.

A Salty Nut Shot.

It’s a catchy name, right?

I combined Frangelico (one of my favorite liquors) with NutLiquor vodka, some peanut butter and a little cream. And shook the hell out out it with some ice. You can see all the ice chips floating to the top of the shot. It’s pretty awesome.

And just to amp up the peanut and salt flavor a little bit more, I rimmed the shot glass with crushed peanuts and kosher salt.

Are you still with me here? I know you’re still processing the name…

You can serve this as a dessert shot with some coffee, or during appetizers with some wings. It’s perfect for drinking with spicy food – it puts the fire right out.

As I have mentioned before, I am always sneaking off into the kitchen and whipping up shots of some sort. No one even asks where I’m going anymore – they all know.

But there wasn’t a party going on when I came up with this one. It was just 5:30 on a Tuesday. Just the wife and I.

We played around with some different ratios of the Frangelico and the Nutliquor Vodka until we came up with the perfect flavor combination.

I think it’s perfect anyway.

So get your peanut loving friends together, make up some Chicken Satay Bruschetta or some Thai Pulled Pork Sandwiches and serve them up some of these Salty Nut Shots!

 

 

salty nut shot2

 

 

 

Salty Nut Shot

Yield: 2 Shots

Salty Nut Shot

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Frangelico liquor
  • 1 1/2 oz. Nutliquor Vodka
  • 2 T. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 T. heavy cream
  • For rimming the glass
  • 2 T. crushed peanuts
  • 1 T. kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Take the heavy cream and pour it over the peanut butter in a small dish.
  2. Heat in the microwave for 15 seconds then stir until smooth.
  3. Mix the crushed peanuts and salt together in a small bowl,
  4. Pour out into a shallow dish.
  5. Slightly wet the rims of each shot glass and then dip into the peanut and salt mixture.
  6. Add the Frangelico, the vodka and the peanut butter mixture to a shaker with ice.
  7. Shake well and strain into 2 shot glasses.
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Thai Pulled Pork Sandwiches

thai pulled pork top2

 

 

I think you’re all starting to get it now, I’m trying to cook as much food as I can with beer…like with these Thai Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

That’s really not my goal. I’m kidding – sort of.

But it just seems that so many things I’m making taste so much better if you just add a bottle of beer. It also gives you an excuse to get beer out of the fridge before noon.

I mean if you’re just cooking with it, right?

Anyway, the theme this week is really more about peanuts. First the Chicken Satay Bruschetta and now these Thai Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Friday will be the boozy version of peanuts…it’s a good one, stay tuned.

So this version of a pulled pork sandwich gets cooked in beer and a spicy peanut sauce in your slow cooker. 8 hours on low will do it – but I’ll confess, I cooked mine more like 13.

13 hours for a pulled pork?

Yeah, well I sort of forgot about it.

As soon as the wife texted me a reminder (she knows I can be a little forgetful) I rushed downstairs thinking it would be ruined, but it wasn’t.

It was actually perfect.

So I’m not going to tell you to cook your pork butt for 13 hours, but if you want to, go right ahead. It just gets better!

It starts with a simple dry rub then into your slow cooker with a beer and your peanut sauce.

8 (or 13) hours later, pull it out and let it cool enough so you can shred it.

Pour the sauce from your slow cooker into a large pot and turn the heat onto medium-high. Thicken the sauce with Wondra┬« Flour and let simmer until you’re ready.

The asian slaw takes just a few minutes to put together since I used a store bought bag of cole slaw mix for the base…No need to go crazy chopping cabbage.

When you shred up your pork, take a few ladles of the thickened sauce and mix it in. As little or as much as you want – I don’t like pulled pork swimming in sauce so I just added a little to coat the pork.

And that’s all folks – Pile it up on a big bun and throw some of that slaw on top.

Oh, and some beer to wash these down too?

Absolutely.

Thai pulled pork 1

Thai Pulled Pork Sandwiches

51

Yield: 10-12 sandwiches

Ingredients

    For the Pork
  • 5 lb. pork butt
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 t. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. cumin
  • For the peanut sauce
  • 1/3 c. peanut butter
  • 1 bottle of beer
  • 1/2 c. light coconut milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 t. sriracha
  • 1/4 - 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • For the Asian Slaw
  • 1 16 oz. bag cole slaw mix
  • 1/2 c. shredded carrots
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. sesame oil
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 1/2 t. sugar
  • 1/2 t. fresh grated ginger
  • 4 T. rice wine vinegar
  • For Serving
  • 1 package Hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. Mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the mixture all over the pork butt covering all sides.
  3. Place the pork butt in your slow cooker.
  4. Mix the ingredients for the peanut sauce together in a medium sized bowl.
  5. Carefully pour in the bottle of beer.
  6. Don't whisk the mixutre or the beer will foam up, just stir gently to combine.
  7. Pour into the bottom of slow cooker and set to cook on low for 8 hours.
  8. Put all the ingredients for the asian slaw into a bowl, mix together and place in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
  9. After 8 hours, remove the pork butt to a platter to cool.
  10. Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a large pot and turn the heat to medium.
  11. Add 1 T. Wondra flour to the pot and bring to a boil to thicken, then let simmer until you're ready.
  12. Shred the pork into bite sized pieces, removing any visible fat.
  13. Add in a cup or 2 of the sauce to coat the pork, as much or as little as you like.
  14. Put a heaping scoop of the Thai Pork on a bun, then top with some of the asian slaw.
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Chicken Satay Bruschetta

 bruschetta single7

 

 

Bruschetta is always a go to appetizer for me, especially when I can turn a meal into a bite sized appetizer like this Chicken Satay Bruschetta!

I love bruschetta in all different forms, like my whipped feta bruschetta or a light tropical shrimp bruschetta.

What are you going to serve to drink with this? Beer, and lots of it. The spicy peanut chicken topped with sriracha is just yelling for you to go and grab a few cold ones.

The peanut sauce for this recipe is one that my wife has been using for years, we use it as a base for a lot of recipes. Make up the satay sauce and pour it all over the chicken, throw some scallions on top and bake it in the oven.

You could stop right at this point and serve this chicken over rice. It comes out of the oven looking like this – awesome chicken satay.

 chicken satay

 

But we’re going to turn this chicken satay into party food today!

Chop up the chicken into small cubes and place it all in a bowl. Spoon over some of the satay sauce from the baking dish and stir it all together.

Slice an italian baguette into 1/2″ thick pieces and place on a sheet pan.

Brush lightly with olive oil and then top the bread with some salt and pepper.

After it bakes, set the toast aside to cool for a few minutes and grab your other ingredients. The shredded carrots, scallions and the sriracha.

Assembling the rest takes just minutes. Spread some satay sauce on each toasted bread slice, then some shredded carrots, a spoonful of the diced chicken and top with chopped scallions.

 Chicken Satay Bruschetta

 

Again, you can stop there – but all of that topped of with a drizzle of sriracha makes it that much better!

A platter of this Chicken Satay Bruschetta will make any meal a party – or it will become the meal like it did at my house!

Just don’t forget the brewskies to wash them down.

 

chicken satay bruschetta1

 

Chicken Satay Bruschetta

51

Yield: 24 appetizers

Chicken Satay Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Italian baguette (long and skinny)
  • 1 bag shredded carrots
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • sriracha sauce
  • For the Satay Sauce
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. light coconut milk
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add all the ingredients for the satay sauce into a medium sized bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  3. Place the chicken in an oven safe dish.
  4. Cover the chicken with the satay sauce and top with 1/3 of the chopped scallions.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Take the foil of and bake another 15 minutes until the sauce is browned and bubbling.
  7. Take out and let cool while you toast the bread.
  8. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees.
  9. Slice the baguette into 1/2" slices and place on a baking sheet.
  10. Brush each slice of bread with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  11. Place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes, then turn and bake for another 5, checking to make sure they don't get too brown.
  12. While the bread is toasting, dice up the chicken and place into a bowl.
  13. Spoon some of the satay sauce over the diced chicken and stir to coat all the chicken well.
  14. When the toast slices are done, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  15. Spread some of the satay sauce on each slice of bread.
  16. Top with shredded carrots, then a spoonful of the diced chicken.
  17. Add the chopped scallions on top and repeat with the rest of the toast slices.
  18. Top with sriracha or serve on the side.
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Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium

Back in September my family and I had the most amazing lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium, we do get there often, but this lunch was the best we’ve ever had.

I tried to get to as many Yankee games as I could this season.

My son is a huge Derek Jeter fan so he had a mission to see as many of his last games as possible. And I got him to a whole bunch of them.

We even took a road trip to Boston to see Jeter play for the last time at Fenway, what a great way to end the summer!

My wife and I took the kids to one of the last Jeter games at Yankee stadium and we were lucky enough to get treated to lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was amazing – the manager Theresa and the wait staff couldn’t have been nicer. And the food just kept on coming…

Lunch at Hard Rock Cafe is always good, I’m actually there at the one at Yankee Stadium a lot. But right now, Hard Rock is in the middle of their annual “Pinktober” campaign in the fight for Breast Cancer awareness, so every time you order one of their signature Pinktober items on the menu (or the bar menu) it will benefit various breast cancer awareness charities.

You can order the tasty “Flight for a Cure” margarita flight like the wife did –

 

the wife

 

The cocktails were amazing, but lunch was even better!

We started out with this bruschetta because I love the stuff – and the Hard Rock is serving it up right! Of course the kids dove in first…

 

bruschetta

 

We ordered a variety of lunch entrees…salmon, fajitas, burgers…we tried to get a bunch of different things that we could all share.

Then came the desserts.

We were a week to early to try the Pintktober Red Velvet Cake but we did get a huge slice of house-made oreo cheescake that we were all “too full” to eat.

 

oreo cheesecake

 

But we managed to get it down!

Then out came the boozy milkshakes.

 

milkshakes

 

It’s funny how you think you’re SO full…and then a boozy milkshake appears and all of the sudden your sucking down a candied bacon bourbon filled milkshake. Who could say no to that?

We gave the kids the rest of the cheesecake for themselves.

It was a beautiful September day, an awesome game and an unbelievable lunch.

So next time your looking for a place to eat lunch or dinner check out your local Hard Rock Cafe and help “Raise the Bar” for breast cancer awareness.

And definitely save room for a boozy milkshake!