Author Archives: RipleyPickles

About RipleyPickles

Media manager & writer in Nashville who loves my gremlin Ripley, pickle juice, awesomely bad TV, tween vampire novels, blogging, reading, cooking & Dotritas.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Well, fellow Southerners, The Polar Vortex is upon us. Or what the rest of the world knows simply as winter.

While my dentist tells me he “doesn’t believe in global warning and all that hippie crap,” he sure does believe that it’s “cold as a witch’s t*tty” right now, and I would have to agree. About the cold; Not about choosing to ignore science.

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 3.54.50 PMIn honor of my dentist, here’s a drink that’s the liquid equivalent of a cavity. It’s hot, spicy, strong and chocolate, much like my girl Sophia from Orange Is The New Black. Let this keep you warm until she returns.

(Which will be “sometime in 2014.” Netflix, you are a flippity trick but I. LUV. U.)

Disclosure: The non-boozy version of this drink was originally published in Southern Living, but according to our bylaws, we cannot publish beverages that do not have an alcoholic option, thus the hooch.

3 cups milk
1 cinnamon stick
3 tbps unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 (3.5-oz.) chili chocolate bar, chopped
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 shot Kahlua or Bailey’s per mug
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 tbsp powdered sugar (optional)

  1. Mix everything but booze and cream and cook over low heat until chocolate is melted.
  2. Mix heavy cream and powdered sugar in a separate bowl and whip (ideally with a stick blender because it is so much easier and you don’t want to get The Carpal Tunnel).
  3. Pour hot chocolate into glasses, add liquor and garnish with cream and a cinnamon stick.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beverages, Mexican food, Sweets

Fire Cider

If you have ever heard the song “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” you will appreciate why I am considering booze at noon.
——
mug of cider and fireball

Fireball. Now with slightly more class & less judgment.

Of all the adult beverages we have here at Nummy, this one is the simplest and most seasonal.

Even better – It’s the fastest way to get Fireball into your system since Matt Hinson moved back to Memphis.
——
1/2 gallon apple cider
1 orange
12 cloves
4 cinnamon  sticks
1 star anise (optional)
Fireball to taste
————–
  1. Stud your orange with cloves (i.e. jam cloves into the outside of an orange).
  2. Simmer all ingredients except Fireball for 30 minutes. (Reminder: Star anise tastes like liquorice, so if you Hate Licorice like I do, skip it.)
  3. Strain and add desired amount of Fireball. Serving suggestions per mug are as follows:
    1. One splash for fuzzy memories
    2. One shot for slightly sloppy
    3. Two shots for telling your sister what you really think of her boyfriend
  4. Garnish each mug with a cinnamon stick and a slice of orange peel.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beverages, Christmas, Special Occasion

Funeral Sandwiches ~ Ham & Cheese Sliders

ham and cheese sandwiches

Bib not included.

First things first: why are these called “funeral sandwiches?” In short, I don’t know, but I’d guess it’s because the only time you wouldn’t feel guilty about stuffing this many lip-smacking nitrates into your face would be after the death of a loved one. Luckily for you, I eat like I’m in mourning all the time, so let’s dig in.

These are somewhat similar to Ham Delights (though that link is not to the Dot-sanctioned recipe), but Morg voted that these are better, and I agree. The brown sugar and smoked salt really punch these up. Plus they’re just the right mix of sloppy and fancy, and that’s the way we do things here at Nummy.

1 pkg (12) Hawaiian buns
1 1/2 pkgs sliced ham
1 pkg sliced Swiss cheese
1 stick butter
3 tbsp Worcestershire
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp bourbon
1.5 tbsp minced onions
1 tsp smoked salt (you can use regular salt here if you need to)
white pepper

  1. Layer a few slices of ham and cheese on each bun and place them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Melt together the rest of the ingredients and ladle this mixture over the sandwiches.
  3. Put the sandwiches in the fridge for 24 hours.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, pull the sandwiches out and cut them in half diagonally with a pizza cutter.
  5. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes.

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Filed under Appetizers, Christmas, Comfort food, Party food

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

If the name of this side dish wasn’t enough to get your attention, the following were overheard at Akin Thanksgiving re: these potatoes:

“I want to stick my face in that.”

“I would like to be alone with the potatoes.”

“I can’t say what I want to do with these potatoes in front of my Mom.”

This recipe was originally a Michael Symon jam, but we’ve increased the ratio of butter to potato because Duh.

brown butter mashed potatoes

Rice that sh*t or The Chef will come after you.

9 large russet potatoes, peeled and chunked
1 1/4 sticks of butter
1 cup milk
1/4 cup crème fraîche

  1. Bring potatoes to a boil in salted water. Simmer for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Whisk the butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes to turn it a golden brown, caramel color.
  3. Put the potatoes back in the pot and cook them on high for 1 minute. (This will help them suck up all the fatty goodness.)
  4. Mash your potatoes or pass them through a ricer.
    Note: A ricer, or food mill, is a schmancy chef thing that makes your potatoes smooth as silk. While that texture is nice, it’s by no means necessary. But do not say that to a Chef. You will get punched in the face.
  5. Add the milk and crème fraîche and stir well. Season with salt (it won’t need much) and white pepper.

You can make these a few days in advance because sheer amount of lard inside will keep them well preserved. See: Any fat Southern woman.

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Filed under Comfort food, Potatoes, Side dishes, Special Occasion, Thanksgiving

Brantley Milk Punch

Yes, Nummy neglects, I’ve decided the first post in more than a year deserves to be the first one with the married name. In no small coincidence, this recipe is seasonal and full of alcohol, just like our happy newlywed home.

Milk Punch is basically Egg Nog‘s thinner, livelier cousin, which means Egg Nog hates Milk Punch and is always throwing sideways glances at her at family gatherings.

Let it flow.

As the napkin says, let it flow.

But seriously, this drink is easy, delicious and it won’t force you to choose between a seasonal beverage and an extra serving of ham. NEVER force a lady to choose between booze and ham.

Bottom’s up.

2 cups of milk
2 cups of half & half
1 cup bourbon
1/2 cup amaretto liquor
3 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Whole nutmeg

  1. Pour all ingredients except powdered sugar and nutmeg into a pitcher and stir.
  2. Whisk in powdered sugar.
  3. Serve over ice and grate fresh nutmeg on top.

These should be served in seasonal glasses. If you don’ have seasonal glasses, exit this blog immediately and never return.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beverages, Christmas, Party food

Antipasto Pasta Salad

foodnetworktv.com

As Morg and I chatted today about a blog she reads called Sarcastic Cooking (which is awesome despite the fact they clearly stole my name), I realized how much I’ve been denying this blog in the name of work. Let’s abruptly put a stop to that shall we?

I made this recipe a month or so ago to take to the lake, and as any meat-laced pasta salad is sure to be, it was a winner. This is a recipe from Giada de Laurentis, who, I’d like to reiterate, cannot possibly be eating the food she cooks on TV. She should look like Paula Deen with all the butter and sugar that goes into everything, yet she’s one bikini and dye-job away from being a Playmate. I do not buy it, Giada. Just know that.

Anyway, a pasta salad recipe that uses salami and olives is a slam dunk with me in any capacity; however I have modified this recipe slightly because our Italian sister went ape crazy with the oil. Seriously, I had to strain the pasta salad after I made it because it was swimming in extra virgin. But fear not – proportions have been corrected accordingly, so whip up with confidence.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and leaves chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (add more later if too dry)
1 lemon, juiced

Antipasto Salad:
1 pound fusilli pasta
1/2 cup hard salami, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup smoked turkey, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
1/4 cup provolone cheese, cut into strips
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons green olives, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
  2. In a blender, add the basil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until the herbs are finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Add lemon juice to taste for acidity purposes. Serve.

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Filed under Comfort food, Italian food, Pasta, Side dishes

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

afoodcentriclife.com

My favorite thing about talking to some of our less-cheffy friends is that they make you feel super impressive and creative, even when your ideas are pretty standard. For example, Liza was recently telling The Chef and me about how there’s only so much you can do with chicken and vegetables, and you just can’t make pork tenderloin for two.

To which I said, um, depends on how large and fattening your portion sizes are, but that’s really not the point. Tenderloin is surprisingly simple to make, and it’s just about the best snack ever.

So when The Chef told Liza about this sweet and tangy marinade and the ways you could re-purpose your leftovers – tenderloin tacos, quesadillas, on buns with horseradish or honey mustard – she acted like he had just discovered fire. It was hilarious.

So this one’s for you, young Liza. Treat yo’self!

1 1/2 cups of maple syrup
1 cup of creole mustard
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs, chopped
salt and pepper

  1. Whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Pour marinade over tenderloin and marinate for 4 hours – overnight, depending upon how intense you want the flavor to be.
  3. Grill (or bake) until a thermometer registers 150 degrees. (If you are a little braver and like the pink, you can stop at 140.)
  4. Let the tenderloin rest for 30 minutes before slicing. Or, if you’re making this ahead of time for a specific occasion, refrigerate and slice when ready to serve. Tenderloin is just as good room temp.

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Filed under Main Course, Marinades, Pork, Southern food, Special Occasion