Category Archives: Special Occasion

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.
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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.
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1/2 gallon apple cider
1 orange
12 cloves
4 cinnamon  sticks
1 star anise (optional)
Fireball to taste
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  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

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

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

Smartini ~ Basil & Acai Berry Cocktail

My brother Martin is finally getting hitched, so I figured we needed a stout yet sassy beverage for his engagement party. In the name of printing up (completely unnecessary but adorable) little St. Patrick’s Day menu cards, this cocktail was named “the Smartini” as a Martin/Sarah mashup.

healthline.com

As a general rule, I think most dudes will drink a fruity cocktail as long as it:

  1. isn’t bright pink
  2. uses some sort of unorthodox ingredient, and
  3. doesn’t come in a fancy cocktail glass that makes you inclined to raise a pinkie.

And this cocktail passes all of those tests. The Acai Berry liquor is a trendy new kind of booze we had in Charleston while dining at Cypress (the oysters, OH THE OYSTERS!), and The Chef and I are pretty much basil sluts on every level, so this was a no-brainer.

While I didn’t squeeze the 3 dozen lemons it would have required to make a pitcher of this stuff, if I were making smaller batches, I’d definitely use the fresh stuff. Also, this has agave nectar in it, which is just nature’s fancy-sounding answer to Splenda, so do not be afraid.

The bottom line: this was refreshing and delectable, so throw it in your spring rotation.

2 parts Acai berry liquor (Veev)
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 part agave nectar
2 parts club soda
1 package basil, roughly chopped
cucumbers and lemons, sliced for garnish

  1. Pour your Acai berry liquor in a pitcher or tupperware container. Add basil. Let steep for 1-4 days, depending on desired strength of basil flavor.
  2. Combine all ingredients and chill.

I made this in a much larger quantity – i.e. used two bottles of Veev and increased amounts of the other ingredients proportionally – and that worked very well. Put it in a pitcher and dress it up with the cucumbers and lemons, and you got one pretty and potent cocktail.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beverages, Special Occasion

Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte with Ginger Crust

myrecipes.com

As I frequently mention, I am not a dessert person. With my salt and starch addictions, I’d rather use those calories for another bowl of pasta most of the time. This dessert, however, reminded me why sometimes sweet is the way to go.

Judy made this for Brantley Thanksgiving 2K11, and it was so good that everyone insisted on having their own slice. And this was on top of the four course meal we’d already had (and the FatFest The Chef and I had already been a part of that morning with the Akins), so that speaks to the crazy-goodness of this.

The pumpkin and spices make this great and seasonal, but the tangy ice cream and nutty crunch keep it fresh and lively. And let’s be honest: it’s just downright gorgeous to look at.

8 oz ginger snap cookies
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 can pumpkin, chilled
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 qt vanilla ice cream
1 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup fudge sauce or chocolate ice cream topping
candied walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Crush cookies and mix with sugar and melted butter.
  3. Press mixture in bottom and sides of a springform pan.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then chill or freeze.
  5. Mix pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin and 1/4 cup caramel topping. Blend til smooth,then add ice cream.
  6. Working quickly, layer ice cream mixture with caramel and fudge toppings and walnuts, and then drizzle more caramel and fudge on top. (I used more than a quart of ice cream and more toppings, so it depends somewhat on the size of your pan.)
  7. Chill until firm, pop out of pan and slice.

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Filed under Christmas, Dessert, Special Occasion, Sweets, Thanksgiving

Akin Family Oyster Dressing ~ Groundhog’s Day 2K12

So despite my moral dilemma of yesterday, I’ve decided to go ahead and pull this one out of The Vault. (As it turns out, my threshold for withholding secret recipes is quite shallow, which is probably to be expected from a person who has a blog about recipes on the Interwebs.)

foodnetworkasia.com

Anyway, perhaps the groundhog will take a page from my book – you know, bringing things to light and such – and ignore his stupid shadow so we can get on with Real Spring instead of this faux Fall we’ve been having.

Annnnnd, rambling is now over. As I mentioned previously, this recipe has been a long time coming. My cousin Melissia had to watch my Aunt Sylvia make it three times to come up with the recipe because it had never even been written down. So it’s old school traditional is what I’m saying.

I’m also saying it is delectable, so even if you have to tinker with it a little bit to get it right, your efforts will be rewarded.

1 pan cornbread
4-6 biscuits
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 raw eggs
2-3 boiled eggs, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 can oysters
1 tsp+ poultry seasoning
1 tsp+ sage
salt & pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook celery and onion in broth until tender.
  3. Crumble breads and mix all ingredients together. Taste and season accordingly. (This is where the extra sage or poultry seasoning comes in.)
  4. Pour into 9×13 pan.
  5. Bake for at least 40 minutes (longer if all of the excess moisture hasn’t evaporated).

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Filed under Christmas, Comfort food, Seafood, Side dishes, Special Occasion, Thanksgiving

Akin Hot Damn Cider

craftyladyabby.blogspot.com

Despite the long absence from you, Num, I have returned. And I have brought with me the spoils of my annual Ripley Christmas trip.

Namely, the somewhat hyped and super delicious cider recipe from Uncle Stewart’s tailgate… and Akin Oyster Dressing. (I’m still debating the morality of posting that second one since it took me several years to annoy my cousin Melissia and Aunt Sylvia into relinquishing it, so time will have to tell on that one.)

For the moment, this simple sipping cocktail will have to suffice. And I guarantee it will quench any thirst, a winter one especially.

Cider Spices
Apple Cider or Juice
Hot Damn

  1. Mix cider and spices as directed on package. (Incidentally, the spices come in an adorable milk carton package, so this drink is both cute and yummy.)
  2. Add Hot Damn to taste.
  3. Heat (do not boil) and imbibe.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beverages, Special Occasion