Do you like the combination of orange and chocolate? It might sound a little strange and not one you would be immediately drawn to, but there is just something about it that works. With a fresh batch of orange earl grey flavored sugar on hand, and the chocolate orange flavor combination in mind, Sally decided to create a chocolate chip cookie that tasted eerily similar to my favorite ice cream.
If you have ever been to Student Union at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI, you can get a scoop or three of my favorite ice cream! Orange Custard Chocolate Chip might sound like a strange ice cream combination, but ever since giving it a try my freshmen year I have been hooked. Whenever I am back in Madison, it is on my list of foods to eat. Yes, even when there is snow on the ground, I will have a scoop.
While I would love to have some orange custard chocolate chip ice cream to accompany me as I watch my Badgers in the Final Four tonight, Madison is a little too far away. But fortunately I have found a substitution. These Orange Earl Grey Mini Chip Cookies will be my snack throughout the game. These cookies aren’t just for Badger fans, they work well for a tea party, picnic, or can be frozen and enjoyed whenever you have a cookie craving.
Making Lemon, Ginger and Orange Earl Grey sugars can enhance the fun factor in many a recipe. The making of flavored sugar alone, is like returning to childhood sandbox play! Lemon sugar is a delightful addition to a sugar cookie recipe. Use Lemon Sugar to up the volume of a simple syrup for a whiskey sour base. Rim a glass with Ginger Sugar when making a Moscow Mule. Mix the Ginger Sugar with cinnamon and make zesty cinnamon toast or add it to your favorite ginger bread recipe. Orange Earl Grey Sugar bolsters the flavor of hot tea. Mix the Orange Earl Grey Sugar in Vanilla yogurt for a flavorful topping for fresh fruit. Muffins, scones, cookies and quick breads will all benefit from using a flavored sugar in place of granulated sugar.
Baked chicken is one of those staple recipes that you can always count on to feed a crowd or as the foundation for the coming week’s make ahead meals. There was a few month stretch where every Sunday afternoon was baked chicken day. I would fill a sheet pan with 6 to 8 chicken breasts. After a sprinkling of salt and pepper, it was off to the oven. Once the chicken’s skin was crispy and the meat had cooked through, I would let it cool and then pull the meat off the bone to use as lunch or dinner throughout the week.
A little warning for you guys out there who are recently married. Pulling chicken can be a slippery business. I lost my wedding ring, for the first time, when pulling apart baked chicken. Luckily a dig through the trash revealed that it had slipped off while pulling.
I was looking to up my baked chicken game, so I turned to my Mom (Sally) for help. I explained to her about the chicken rut that Sara and I were starting to fall into and she had one word to solve our problem: PAPRIKA.
I wasn’t sure what my Mom had planned, but upon seeing a sheet pan of deep red colored chicken with vibrant orange pan juices emerge from the oven, it became clear that Sally was right. Paprika was exactly what my baked chicken needed. The mix of smoky, sweet, citrus, and the smallest amount of heat was a welcome change to my traditional baked chicken. This Paprika Baked Chicken pairs well with Elegant Cauliflower Puree or can be a great foundation to a chicken salad. If you find yourself in a baked chicken rut, give Paprika Baked Chicken a try.
In the 1960’s, little cabbage flowers (cauliflower) were frequently seen as part of a crudite platter, served with curry dip (also all the rage back then). Sadly, cauliflower was also boiled until it was as limp and grey as wet newspaper! To avoid serving this grim side dish, cook your cauliflower with milk and broth. The milk keeps the cauliflower blonde and the broth acts as a flavor booster. Creamy Cauliflower Puree is smooth and velvet on the tongue. Visually, this side dish is ivory and oozing elegance. The puree can be served immediately or chilled and reheated the next day. Thin any leftover puree with stock or cream, adjust the seasonings, and you have have a sophisticated cold soup.
Mama J and Big Carl (Taylor’s country ham loving grandfather) are now enjoying well-deserved down time in the part of heaven reserved for biscuit makers and lovers. I have passed the biscuit craft on to Taylor and his three siblings as a way to mark a tradition for their families going forward. I must confess, Taylor currently makes a mean biscuit, bacon and egg sandwich! The following recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits, Country Ham, Red Eye Gravy and Molasses is great for a weekend breakfast. Or, serve these ham biscuits as a brunch item along with creamy scrambled eggs, ambrosia, and B&B Mango Bellinis
An Open Faced Breakfast Sandwich with Cheddar Hot Sausage Gravy is a meal designed for any occasion where you are looking for a satisfying meal that will leave you full until dinner. My favorite time to eat one is when adult beverages are involved. Planning on a long day of tailgating? This sandwich is perfect for a noon kickoff where you only have time for one meal, or an early morning reward for those who were there to set up the tents and claim your game day parking spot. Taking a weekend trip to the beach, mountains, or lake? This sandwich is the perfect Sunday brunch item to wipe away any hangovers before loading up the car and heading home. So if you find yourself feeling rough after a weekend of too much green beer or Midori Sangria this weekend, give the Open Faced Breakfast Sandwich with Cheddar Hot Sausage Gravy a try.
Get to know pan rolls over the long haul. I have been making All-Purpose Pan Rolls for almost 35 years of family meals and celebrations. Like a good partner, these rolls always make me (and others) smile!
As luck would have it, the forecast calls for temperatures to take a downward dip. Cold enough to warrant warm soup for supper. Golden Onion Soup is a tawny version of the classic French onion soup. Lighter in color, but not lighter in taste! Served with Jarlsberg Swiss cheese toast and garnished with chives, this soup promises that Spring is just around the corner…
Occasional, as well as occupational, Quartermasters will appreciate this easy to prepare, palate pleasing Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing. Buttermilk Blue is the creamy, mellow cousin of some of the more assertive members of the blue cheese family. This versatile dressing is piquant yet not overwhelming. Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing will transform game day takeout wings and elevate weeknight burgers and salads to first string status. Take it to your next pot luck with cut vegetables. Try a dollop or three of dressing on your steak and potatoes. Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing is a great provision to have on hand the next time you are in charge of feeding your “troops!”