Manhattan Cosmo

When family was here for Thanksgiving, we started looking through my liquor cabinet and determined I had far too much liquor in there that wasn’t quenching anyone’s thirst.  I found a bottle of raspberry schnapps in the cabinet and started looking online at something to mix up with it.  I decided to adapt a recipe from that incorporated some local bourbon and a Raspberry Cranberry Spritzer I found at Trader Joe’s.  It was a nice, refreshing drink.

Manhattan Cosmo.jpg

Manhattan Cosmo

3/4 oz Raspberry Schnapps
1 1/4 oz Bourbon
1 oz Trader Joe’s Raspberry Cranberry Spritzer

Stir together with ice or serve over ice.


Slow Cooker Bourbon-Peach Baked Beans

I don’t know why, but I’ve been in a baked beans mood lately.  It might be a desire for some comfort food as the weather is getting colder.  Over the summer, I’d clipped this recipe from Cooking Light’s July 2017 magazine and had been looking for an opportunity to make it.  So, over lunch one day, I threw it in the crockpot and came home to some delicious baked beans.  The peach flavor was extremely subtle, whereas the bourbon flavor hit the nostrils.

Slow Cooker Bourbon-Peach Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Bourbon Peach Baked Beans

3 center cut bacon slices, chopped
Cooking spray
2 cans unsalted cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans unsalted pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 ripe peaches, peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c ketchup
1/2 c bourbon
1/4 c maple syrup
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high.  Add bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove bacon from skillet.  Coat inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add bacon, beans, and remaining ingredients.  Stir well.

Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours.  Keep covered until beans are ready to serve.

Double-Frosted Bourbon Brownies

My dog Meg has a best dog friend.  She gets along with all the dogs in the neighborhood (or at least those who tolerate her), but has a special adoration for her friend Daisy who lives down the street.

Due to a number of different circumstances (mostly working on my doctoral degree), I have not branched out much to get to know the people in the neighborhood until Meg arrived in my life.  I have become 1,000 times more social with the folks around here since that occurred.  As a result, I’ve come to adore Daisy’s owners/parents/insert-preferred-dog-language-here.  As they are getting ready to move away from the neighborhood, each step of the journey has occurred, from selling the house, to one of them finishing up her work last week as the school year ended.  Meg and I wanted to acknowledge the day, but Meg ended up getting sick on the last day of school and so we were delayed by a day in helping her start her celebration of being done with work.  But I think these turned out pretty well.  The bourbon flavor is light, and not overly noticeable.  The recipe came from the Iowa State Fair cookbook.

Double Frosted Bourbon Brownies

Double-Frosted Bourbon Brownies


3/4 c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c vegetable shortening
2 Tbsp water
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c chopped walnuts (I omitted — because I forgot about them entirely)
4 Tbsp bourbon whiskey

White Icing

1/2 c butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 c powdered sugar

Chocolate Glaze

1 Tbsp vegetable shortening
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Sift together flour, soda, and salt; set aside.  In a saucepan, combine sugar, shortening, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add flour and walnuts; mix well.  Spread in a greased 9-inch square pan.  Bake for 30 minutes in a 325-degree oven.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with bourbon; cool.

Icing: Combine butter and vanilla; beat until creamy.  Add powdered sugar; beat until smooth.  Spread over cooled brownies

Glaze: In a saucepan, melt shortening and chips.  Spread over iced brownies.  When glaze has set, cut into squares.

Pork on the Rocks

On occasion, I have come across a recipe in a cookbook that makes me wonder what it must taste like.  My favorite example of this is a recipe for coffee jello which I have not yet been brave enough to try, but keep reading.  Someday it might come along.

So, when I found myself cooking through the From Minnesota with Love cookbook recently, I had to try this recipe for Pork on the Rocks.  It never hurts when I have all of the ingredients on hand to make something, but this appeared to have some real possibilities.  Mind you, I have never had this recipe growing up and I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a Minnesota-heavy recipe, but I supposed when one is making a cookbook, not every recipe can be connected back to one that continues to be served in the area.

When it came down to it, this pork was a little dry for me.  However, I should have started checking the cooking time a little bit more quickly than I did.  I blame it on user-error and not the fault of the recipe.  So, if you have some booze to use up and are looking to tenderize your meat with it (true fans of alcohol might say this was a waste of it), this recipe is one to check out.  The alcohol did not add significant flavor to the meat when it was all said and done.


Pork on the Rocks

1 c soy sauce
1 c brown sugar
1 c bourbon
3/4 in to 1 in pork chops

Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, and bourbon; marinate pork chops in sauce 4-6 hours or overnight.  Grill chops on Weber kettle about 30 minutes, basting often.  Remaining marinade can be stored in a covered jar in refrigerator; before using, shake well and add a little more bourbon.