Saturday, December 5, 2015

Cocktail Hour-Holiday Cocktail Recipe Roundup

In honor of the anniversary of the repeal of the Volstead Act on December 5, 1933...and The Fat Chick's Holiday Shindig last night, this issue of Cocktail Hour brings you all the holiday party beverages you could want! (Until we find more we deem worthy of excitement.)

1-Spice Cider

This cider recipe from SpoonForkBacon combines my favorite apple cider with amazing spices and a splash of bourbon for a grown up twist on an old classic. 

2-Whiskey Punch

Looking for another mass alcohol delivery for a crowd?  Try this Citrus Whiskey Punch from Bon Appetit. Try Power's Irish Whiskey for a smooth taste. 


Ah, mimosas.  As we say, they're the classy way to drink before noon.  Think beyond the OJ with these six holiday versions from Delish


While I typically view sangria as a summer drink, this winter version looks absolutely delicious. Check out this Apple Cinnamon Sangria from Better Homes and Gardens  

5-Mulled Wine

Now here is my favorite way to drink wine in the winter-mulled.  Food and Wine has all the tips and tricks you need to make your own.

So there you have it!  But what about hot toddies and buttered rum and wassail and egg nog and all those others?  Check out this article from Real Simple for 9 more classic Christmas cocktails. Heh. 
In mutual hangover, 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving-The Meats

While planning our menu, and reviewing The List, we decided to start with the easiest one first.  Since there were only 4 of us eating, and some of us (not me) don't like turkey, a tenderloin seemed the best bet.  With that, and the theme "Spiced Up Turkey" I set to work concocting a delicious marinade.  

Mix all ingredients, add poultry and soak for 12+ hours.  Roast until internal temp reaches 165ºF.  Let rest 40 minutes before cutting, and carve against the grain. 
This recipe we found via the Stir The Pot Recipe Group on Facebook. In the Midwest, it's quite common to have ham alongside turkey for Thanksgiving.  In fact, you might even call it tradition!  And what better twist than adding booze. 

And there you have it!  Two delicious meats, and two items knocked off our list.  Let's see the update. 
Stay posted for our next installment-The Sides!

Yours in Meat Sweats, 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Reveal

Ever though we (attempted to)live Facebook the making of our lovely feast, we avoided specifics because post topic ideas are like gold, and we're gonna milk this meal as long as we can. Without any further ado.....

Look at all that deliciousness.  Just look at it!  We made it all....even if bits involved simply warming. Holly didn't own a microwave until yesterday, so it counts as cooking in my book.

When we first realized that my trip home had been extended, and we could all be together for the holiday, the guest count was at 12, and rising.  We knew the menu would include traditional favorites, but we wanted to put some twists on our table, too!  Ideas were kicked around but really, it was a tad overwhelmed.  

Until I discovered this article by Delish, "10 Seriously Hot Thanksgiving Trends of 2015."  The tagline used ("Here's what all the real cooks are doing.") was the kicker, because of course we're real cooks.  This article was obviously for us.  Let's skim the list...

When I first discovered this list, and presented it to Holly with much aplomb (as I do many things.  We're easily excitable people who thrive on presentation) I announced our menu must meet every single item. Luckily, Holly knows us, and suggested we aim for seven.  After some grumbling (for show) I acquiesced. Here's the final menu-

Since it there were just four of us for dinner, we opted to go with a turkey tenderloin instead.  I have to brag that this was the first ham I'd ever made and it was AMAZING.  What would Thanksgiving be without Green Bean Casserole?  We stuck to the traditional here (with extra bacon because of course.) so we won't mention it further.  And yes, that's two dishes of mashed potatoes, as Kiddo barely tolerates taters, and loathes cheese because she likes to make meal planning as difficult as possible. ;)  I didn't even have room to try Holly's broccoli salad until the next day....when I easily ate a bazillon servings over two days.  

Ignore the two types of corn, please.  Holly and Kiddo discovered they both loved cream corn, and Jonny and I have taste, so...two sides of the same veg it was. The stuffings were amazing, and is there anything better than cold dressing for the morning after?  Two varieties again-one for the adventurous, one for the traditionalist.

So how can you make all these amazing dishes?  How did we do with our self imposed guideline? How many pants sizes did we gain?  Stay tuned all this week (or so) and find out!
In exhaustion, 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Cocktail Hour-Cider Apple Mimosa

The First Official Fat Chicks Joint Thanksgiving (trademark pending) has ended, and it was a great success. That said, Holly and I set a very low bar when it comes to accomplishing anything major while we're together, and we didn't eat until almost 9.  (I should also mention, I wound up in the ER two days before, with dehydration (like a Hilton) in the middle an icky stomach bug.)

The one thing that got us through?  These amazing Cider Apple Mimosas.  Check it out.

Technically, it's not actually a mimosa since there's no citrus juice, but it makes it sound pretty and it's rather tasty, so no one will mind.  If someone does, show them the door.  We don't need that kind of negativity.  Here's what you'll need-

Just because it's called a mimosa doesn't mean your kids should miss out!  You can make this with sparkling white grape juice in place of champagne for a kid friendly version.

We used a Moscato champagne, but any other variety will work.  Next time, I'll probably try a Brut, as the Moscato was a bit sweet, especially when paired with cider. 

Our cinnamon and sugar is a pretty even blend, but feel free to add less.  The rim garnish hardens to a lovely crystal crust which was absolutely delicious!  

Look at that!  Doesn't it look tasty?  That garnish looks down right professional! While these were amazing for fall, I was pleased that the favor would work so well for the coming holidays, too!  What an easy, quick, impressive drink to show off, just in time for the party season, and celebrating with friends and familes.  Or by yourself.  On a Tuesday.  In sweats.  
Without judgement, 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Butter double, toil and trouble.

Though we begged our friends to send us any issues or questions they had so we could Google the answers and pretend we know what we're doing, I honestly didn't think anyone would humor us. Luckily, someone did, and so the hour I spent making a special graphic was NOT a waste after all!

And so, our very first helpline request deals with adding too much fat to a baking recipe.  Check it out.

Dan from Kansas writes us to say-

Dear Fat Chicks, While making my traditional rum cake for the holiday, I accidentally doubled the amount of butter the recipe calls for!  It still creamed together well, so I didn't realize my mistake until it was too late!  My cake is already baked, but I'm worried about the flavor.  Any idea what I'm in store for?

Whoops!  I'd be lying if I didn't say I've had this issue before, myself.  Once, while making blondies with my kiddo, a bowl of melted butter was sloshed, baptizing the oven in a slippery mess.  We guesstimated how much butter we'd have to add, and as any amateur baker will tell you...baking is not kind to the eyeballing of key ingredients.  They. Were. TERRIBLE.  Even though we'd used unsalted butter, the bars were so soaked with butter that all we could taste was salt and sugar battling it out for the right to wow our palates. Salt won that fight, and we had to trash them.

So, the taste could be off, yes, but the rum might help offset! Expect a really moist cake...very in "It might fall apart" moist.  The purpose of fat in a baking recipe is to shorten the gluten strands, which is a fancy way of saying it controls how far the flour will expand, which determines how light and fluffy your cake will be.  In this case....not so light and fluffy. Additionally the water content of the butter has been doubled, which means the batter didn't get to form those stable little air bubble that help keep it...well....stable.

So, you could have a salty, moist, dense cake....or it could be fine, just a bit rich.  The best way to know for sure before serving it and watching in panic as the first bite is taken?  Try it.  (Since you used a bundt pan, just carefully take two tiny, even slices from opposite sides of the cake, and gently move back together.)  If it's edible but dense and falling apart, call it a twist on bread pudding and serve with ice cream or egg nog.

And if it's not edible?  Just show up with the rest of the rum, and I'm sure all will be forgiven.

In empathy,

Welcomes and Salutations!

While we've been running the Facebook page for quite awhile, what better day to officially start a food blog than this, the most foodiest of holidays, American Thanksgiving.

Saint Julia, Patron Saint of servantless American cooks. That works double on Thanksgiving. 

We're hitting the ground running over on our fabulous Facebook page today, so please do join us for cooking tips, last minute recipes, and Kat answering submitted panicky questions.  Later in the day we'll be live FBing out own feast preparations as we celebrate our first joint Fat Chick Thanksgiving.  
You should probably stick around tomorrow, too, for great recipes that bring new life to leftovers.  Of course, then we launch in to Baked Good Season, and holiday entertaining, maybe some foodie gift guides, and even a contest or two.  

Really, you should just get comfy.  You're gonna like it here. 


PS- Facebook Page.