Make Ahead Caramelized Onions

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I was at Cash and Carry recently (a restaurant supply store open to the public) and for some reason thought I should buy a 50 pound bag of onions.  By the time I got home I knew exactly what I was going to make with them!  We love adding caramelized onions to all kinds of things, on sandwiches, burgers, spreads, on top of biscuits, not to mention french onion soup.  My big 20 quart roaster pan fit almost half of the bag.  I used my Cuisinart to make slicing the onions quickly too.
They filled the roaster pan all the way to the top but they will cook down A LOT.
Here they are at the beginning:
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And at the end you have this!
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If you don’t have a roaster pan you could use a slow cooker, just cut enough onions to fit the size you have.  Cook for the same amount of time on high.
I put some in 8 oz containers for adding to sandwiches or smaller uses like that.
Then I put some in quart containers for making a quick french onion soup.
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Make Ahead Caramelized Onions

20 pounds onions
1/2 cup unsalted butter

Spray the roaster pan with nonstick spray. Set on 250 degrees.  Place the butter in the roaster pan to warm while you slice the onions thinly and place in the roaster pan along with the butter.
Cook for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally (every hour or so).
Leave lid ajar and continue cooking for 2 hours, stirring more often, at least every 30 minutes.
The onions should be cooked down and most the liquid evaporated.
Cool completely before putting in freezer containers.

Make Ahead Caramelized Onions

Ingredients

  • 20 pounds onions
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Spray the roaster pan with nonstick spray. Set on 250 degrees. Place the butter in the roaster pan to warm while you slice the onions thinly and place in the roaster pan along with the butter.
  • Cook for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally (every hour or so).
  • Leave lid ajar and continue cooking for 2 hours, stirring more often, at least every 30 minutes.
  • The onions should be cooked down and most the liquid evaporated.
  • Cool completely before putting in freezer containers.
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    Instant Pot Chicken Stock

    There is no comparison between homemade chicken stock and what you can buy at the store.  I do keep chicken base on hand for emergencies but I keep my freezer well stocked, especially in the fall and winter when I make more soups.  The instant pot makes chicken stock a breeze and I found that I can reuse the bones an extra time.  The trick is mixing the first and second batch together.  Below in the picture you can see the first batch on the left, and the second on the right.  The first batch is incredibly rich and flavorful, while the second is weaker – all though still very flavorful- is more similar to the canned chicken broth in the store.
    By mixing them together I find it perfect balance for soups, sauces, or just drinking plain when you’re sick.
    I freeze it in quart and pint containers since I use both those amounts.
    Oh, and no instant pot? Just simmer on the stove for about 8-12 hours, until desired stock is achieved.

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    While most recipes will have you add vegetable scraps I found that I like making it without, all though you could if you want.  I used to add peppercorns and bay leaf but since I use the bones a second time (and didn’t want to fish out little peppercorns) they become more bitter after 2 batches.  Besides the fact that I season the broth when we go to use it.

    One other trick.  I buy one or two rotisserie chickens pretty much every time I go to Costco.
    I shred the meat and package in freezer bags.  Then I use the bones to make a ton of stock.  If I don’t have time within a couple of days I just freeze the bones until I do.  I even throw the skin in with them.
    That precooked chicken comes in handy often for nights I need to make a quick dinner.
    And if your family is anything like mine you’ve all ready had a couple of colds or flus go through the house this fall.  Being able to throw some of that cooked chicken and broth in a pot to simmer is perfect for getting everyone feeling better again.

    INSTANT POT CHICKEN STOCK
    Makes approx. 4 1/2 quarts (18 cups)

    Bones from 1 chicken
    16 cups water, divided
    6 T vinegar (white or apple cider), divided

    Place the bones, 8 cups of water, and 3 T vinegar in the instant pot.
    Set for high pressure, 60 minutes.
    When done, I use the quick pressure release and strain bones from stock.
    Place bones back into pot and add another 8 cups water and 3 T vinegar.
    Cook again on high pressure for 60 minutes, but allow to come down in pressure naturally this time to give it a little more cook time.
    Strain bones and combine the 2 batches of stock.  Cool, then pour into freezer containers and freeze.
    Keeps in fridge for 5-7 days, or freeze for up to 1 year.

    Instant Pot Chicken Stock

    Yield: Approx 4 1/2 quarts

    Ingredients

    • Bones from 1 chicken
    • 16 cups water, divided
    • 6 T vinegar (white or apple cider), divided

    Instructions

  • Place the bones, 8 cups of water, and 3 T vinegar in the instant pot.
  • Set for high pressure, 60 minutes.
  • When done, I use the quick pressure release and strain bones from stock.
  • Place bones back into pot and add another 8 cups water and 3 T vinegar.
  • Cook again on high pressure for 60 minutes, but allow to come down in pressure naturally this time to give it a little more cook time.
  • Strain bones and combine the 2 batches of stock. Cool, then pour into freezer containers and freeze.
  • Keeps in fridge for 5-7 days, or freeze for up to 1 year.
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    Best Ever Burritos (Freezer Friendly!)

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    There are 2 types of food that I know without a shadow of a doubt, my hubby will LOVE.  Pizza and Mexican.  Pretty much any variety of either.  Well, almost.  There was the cauliflower pizza crust experiment.. we don’t talk about that. 😉

    I love keeping these on hand in the freezer, either for dinner or lunches.  I make them lots of ways, and we like them equally with shredded chicken too.  Homemade enchilada sauce and refried beans aren’t a must but if you want the best EVER you really should put in the extra time on those, they are so much yummier.
    You can adapt these to your own taste, if I have leftover refried beans I sometimes whip some up with just beans and cheese in them too.
    I’ve even made them with leftover turkey from a holiday.  Adding the enchilada sauce to the meat helps it stay moist.

    BEST EVER BURRITOS
    For the beef:
    2 lbs roast
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp chipotle powder
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp garlic powder

    To assemble:
    Flour Tortillas
    Homemade Enchilada Sauce, or store bought
    White or Red Rice
    Refried Beans
    Shredded cheese, I use a combination of monterey jack and cheddar

    To serve:
    Shredded lettuce
    chopped tomatoes
    Guacamole
    Sour Cream
    Sliced olives

    Combine all the spices together in a small bowl.  Coat the roast with the spices.  Heat a drizzle of oil over medium high heat in a heavy oven safe pot and sear all sides of the meat.
    Add 1 cup of water, cover, and bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours or until roast falls apart. (TIP: If your roast doesn’t have much marbling of fat or is a cheaper cut, cut into smaller pieces so it will break down faster.)  Shred meat and toss with enchilada sauce.
    To assemble burritos:
    In a flour tortilla, place rice, meat, and beans.  Fold up one long side, then the short sides, and then roll tightly.
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    In the picture I also have shredded chicken tossed with enchilada sauce since I was making some chicken ones for the freezer as well.
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    If I’m freezing them, at this point I roll it snugly in foil then place them in a ziplock bag.
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    Place on a baking sheet and top with a little enchilada sauce (more if you want a “wet” burrito) and some cheese.
    Bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted and warmed through.

    Best Ever Burritos

    Best Ever Burritos

    Ingredients

      For the meat
    • 2 lbs roast
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • To Assemble:
    • Flour Tortillas
    • Homemade Enchilada Sauce, or store bought
    • White or Red Rice
    • Refried Beans
    • Shredded cheese, I use a combination of monterey jack and cheddar
    • To serve:
    • Shredded lettuce
    • chopped tomatoes
    • Guacamole
    • Sour Cream

    Instructions

    Make the meat:
  • Combine all the spices together in a small bowl. Coat the roast with the spices. Heat a drizzle of oil over medium high heat in a heavy oven safe pot and sear all sides of the meat.
  • Add 1 cup of water, cover, and bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours or until roast falls apart.
  • (TIP: If your roast doesn't have much marbling of fat or is a cheaper cut, cut into smaller pieces so it will break down faster.) Shred meat and toss with enchilada sauce.
  • To assemble burritos:
  • In a flour tortilla, place rice, meat, and beans. Fold up one long side, then the short sides, and then roll tightly.
  • If I'm freezing them, at this point I roll it snugly in foil then place them in a ziplock bag.
  • Place on a baking sheet and top with a little enchilada sauce (more if you want a "wet" burrito) and some cheese.
  • Bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted and warmed through.
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    Holiday Sausage Rolls

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    Sausage rolls are mainly from England and Ireland, making appearances in a couple other countries as well.  Basically they are sausages wrapped in pastry.  A tasty finger food served for parties and holidays.  Sausage rolls are usually made with puff pastry but I like making them with pie crust.  Especially my pie crust 🙂 Super flaky, buttery, and makes my hubby one happy guy.  My 8 year old is becoming quite the pie dough expert and I can’t wait to make these with her again for the upcoming holidays.
    These are a great appetizer for taking to parties or serving before a holiday meal.  You could even make them ahead of time, a few days even and rewarm in the oven before hand.  If you want to make them further ahead of time, I would bake them, then freeze.  Thaw in the fridge and then rewarm in the oven at 350 degrees. (You could probably bake straight from the freezer okay).

    HOLIDAY SAUSAGE ROLLS
    makes 32 pieces

    Double pie crust dough, a double batch of this recipe
    Egg wash (one egg beaten with 1 T water)

    Filling Spices: (OR use a seasoned pork sausage and skip the seasonings.. but this makes them super yummy!)
    1 tsp dried thyme
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp dried parsley
    1 tsp dried fennel
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp dried basil
    1/2 tsp dried sage

    Filling:
    1 lb ground pork
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp cornstarch
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    1 egg

    Grind spices in a spice grinder if desired.  mix with remaining filling ingredients until well combined.  Divide into quarters.
    Roll out half of the pie dough on a lightly floured surface to about 9 by 13 inches.  I have a silicone mat this size I use for a guide.
    Cut in half lengthwise.
    Shape one quarter of the filling into a log and place on the center of one of the strips of pie dough.
    Repeat with another quarter of filling on the other half.

    Holiday Sausage Rolls

    Brush the length of pie dough and wrap around filling snugly to seal.
    Holiday Sausage Rolls

    Cut each roll into 8 equal pieces.
    Holiday Sausage Rolls

    Place rolls on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Cut slashes in top if desired and brush with egg wash.
    Repeat with remaining half of dough and filling.
    Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and pastry is golden and flaky.

    Holiday Sausage Rolls

    Yield: 32 pieces

    Ingredients

    • Double pie crust dough, a double batch of this recipe
    • Egg wash (one egg beaten with 1 T water)
    • Filling Spices: (OR use a seasoned pork sausage and skip the seasonings.. but this makes them super yummy!)
    • 1 tsp dried thyme
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp dried parsley
    • 1 tsp dried fennel
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp dried basil
    • 1/2 tsp dried sage
    • Filling:
    • 1 lb ground pork
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
    • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    • 1 egg

    Instructions

  • Grind spices in a spice grinder if desired. mix with remaining filling ingredients until well combined. Divide into quarters.
  • Roll out half of the pie dough on a lightly floured surface to about 9 by 13 inches. I have a silicone mat this size I use for a guide.
  • Cut in half lengthwise.
  • Shape one quarter of the filling into a log and place on the center of one of the strips of pie dough.
  • Repeat with another quarter of filling on the other half.
  • Brush the length of pie dough and wrap around filling snugly to seal.
  • Cut each roll into 8 equal pieces.
  • Place rolls on lightly greased cookie sheet. Cut slashes in top if desired and brush with egg wash.
  • Repeat with remaining half of dough and filling.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and pastry is golden and flaky.
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    Sweet Pulled Pork

    Sweet Pulled Pork - freezer friendly!

    This is one of those things I am so glad to have in the freezer when we have a hectic night and I am more parts tired mom than I am food blogger… okay, I’m always more parts tired mom… but some times more than others. 😀 Pork shoulder is a cheap cut, locally I can get it at United Grocers Cash and Carry (No, you don’t have to own a restaurant or have a business license to shop there) for around $1.50 lb.  But you do have to get a pretty big bag of it.  Winco is having a case lots sale through this week and has them for only 95 cents a lb.  They weigh around 10 lbs each and do have a bone but it doesn’t account for much of the weight at all.  I bought a few for the freezer (they came in sealed packages and can be frozen for up to 12 months) and went ahead and cooked one up for some freezer meals.  From one 10 lb piece I got about 5 quarts.  I freeze it in quart containers, that’s about right for our family.  For best quality use the cooked pork within about 3 months.

    SWEET PULLED PORK (For the freezer!)

    10 lb pork shoulder (also called pork butt, pork picnic)
    1 T onion powder
    1 T garlic powder
    1 T smoked paprika
    1 T kosher salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    2 tsp chipotle powder (more if you want it spicy)
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 (12 oz) can root beer (or cola)

    Place the pork in a large roasting pan.  Combine the spices with the brown sugar and coat the pork with it.  Pour the root beer or other liquid over the top.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 hours, until meat falls off the bone and shreds easily.
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    Remove any fat (this should be fairly easy to remove off the outer layer) and bones.
    Meat should be very easy to shred.  I just stir it with tongs.
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    Remove from remaining liquid and cool if not using immediately.
    Package in freezer containers or bags  (I get about 5 quarts from this recipe) label and freeze.

    To serve: (Makes sweet pork like Costa Vida or Cafe Rio)
    1 quart pork
    1 cup root beer (or cola)
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 T tomato paste

    Put the root beer, brown sugar, and tomato paste in a skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring to combine well.
    Add pork and continue to heat for about 15 minutes, until sauce is mostly absorbed.

    USES:
    Serve in tacos, burritos, on taco salad, enchiladas, taquitos, tamales, pizza, on rolls.  Or my favorite, sweet pork tostadas!
    If you want a less sweet pork, replace the root beer with something neutral like chicken stock for the cooking part. (Or leave the root beer in the cooking section and just skip the serving sauce.)  This makes amazing sloppy joes as well.
    Use as is to serve or heat with another sauce such as BBQ.

    Sweet Pulled Pork

    Ingredients

    • 10 lb pork shoulder (also called pork butt, pork picnic)
    • 1 T onion powder
    • 1 T garlic powder
    • 1 T smoked paprika
    • 1 T kosher salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 2 tsp chipotle powder (more if you want it spicy)
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 (12 oz) can root beer (or cola)
    • To serve: (Makes sweet pork like Costa Vida or Cafe Rio)
    • 1 quart pork
    • 1 cup root beer (or cola)
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 T tomato paste

    Instructions

  • Place the pork in a large roasting pan. Combine the spices with the brown sugar and coat the pork with it. Pour the root beer or other liquid over the top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 hours, until meat falls off the bone and shreds easily.
  • Remove any fat (this should be fairly easy to remove off the outer layer) and bones.
  • Meat should be very easy to shred. I just stir it with tongs.
  • Remove from remaining liquid and cool if not using immediately.
  • Package in freezer containers or bags (I get about 5 quarts from this recipe) label and freeze.
  • To serve:
  • Put the root beer, brown sugar, and tomato paste in a skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring to combine well.
  • Add pork and continue to heat for about 15 minutes, until sauce is mostly absorbed.
  • USES:
  • Serve in tacos, burritos, on taco salad, enchiladas, taquitos, tamales, pizza, on rolls. Or my favorite, sweet pork tostadas!
  • If you want a less sweet pork, replace the root beer with something neutral like chicken stock for the cooking part. (Or leave the root beer in the cooking section and just skip the serving sauce.) This makes amazing sloppy joes as well.
  • Use as is to serve or heat with another sauce such as BBQ.
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    DIY Bagel Dogs

    DIY Bagel Dogs
    I have a secret to tell you… soft pretzels and bagels.. basically the same thing, just in a different shape.  Honest.  I have another secret.  Bagel dogs are the secret to a happy life.  Well, happy kids and that’s basically the same thing. 😉  I keep my freezer stocked with these at all times and they are a total life saver for crazy days when you need something quick for the kids (okay, some adults too).  When we have company over for dinner, no matter how nice of a meal it is, I will have some of these out for the kids too.  Often times kids won’t want to eat something new, especially when they are having fun playing at a friends house.  They are super easy and way better than what you’d get at the store.  Best part is you control the hot dog component so if you want them to be organic, chicken, turkey, heck even vegan, you can do that.  This dough is the same as the soft pretzel dough so you can even make some of each.  I usually make a double batch, and make half into bagel dogs, and the other half into soft pretzels.
    Now let’s make some!
    DIY Bagel Dogs

    DIY BAGEL DOGS

    For the dough:
    1 1/2 cups warm water
    1 T sugar
    2 tsp kosher salt
    1 pkg active dry yeast
    4 1/2 cups flour
    2 oz butter, melted

    10 cups water
    2/3 cup baking soda
    egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 T water)
    pretzel salt, optional
    24 hot dogs

    Combine all the dough ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer (you could mix this by hand as well of course).
    Mix until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
    Place in an oiled bowl and cover for 1 hour.
    Heat oven to 450 degrees and bring the water to a boil with the baking soda (A wider pot will come in handy here too).  While the water is heating form the bagel dogs.
    Divide the dough into half, then each half into 12 equal pieces.  For each piece of dough stretch into a rectangle and shape around the hot dog, leaving the ends exposed, and pinching well to fuse the dough together, making sure the dough is snug around the hot dog.
    Place on a greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining hot dogs and dough.  (I used 2 baking sheets)
    Working with a few at a time (I use a big pot so I can fit about 6, just make sure they have room and are single layer) place in the boiling soda water bath for 30 seconds.
    Remove with a slotted spoon and place back on the baking sheet, leaving some room around each one.
    Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pretzel salt if using.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown.

    To freeze, cool first then place in freezer bags or containers.  I’ve never flash frozen these and have never had them stick together.  Reheat in oven or microwave.

    DIY Bagel Dogs

    Ingredients

    • 10 cups water
    • 2/3 cup baking soda
    • egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 T water)
    • pretzel salt, optional
    • 24 hot dogs
    • For the dough:
    • 1 1/2 cups warm water
    • 1 T sugar
    • 2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 pkg active dry yeast
    • 4 1/2 cups flour
    • 2 oz butter, melted

    Instructions

  • Combine all the dough ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer (you could mix this by hand as well of course).
  • Mix until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  • Place in an oiled bowl and cover for 1 hour.
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees and bring the water to a boil with the baking soda (A wider pot will come in handy here too). While the water is heating form the bagel dogs.
  • Divide the dough into half, then each half into 12 equal pieces. For each piece of dough stretch into a rectangle and shape around the hot dog, leaving the ends exposed, and pinching well to fuse the dough together, making sure the dough is snug around the hot dog.
  • Place on a greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining hot dogs and dough. (I used 2 baking sheets)
  • Working with a few at a time (I use a big pot so I can fit about 6, just make sure they have room and are single layer) place in the boiling soda water bath for 30 seconds.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place back on the baking sheet, leaving some room around each one.
  • Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pretzel salt if using. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown.
  • To freeze, cool first then place in freezer bags or containers. I've never flash frozen these and have never had them stick together. Reheat in oven or microwave.
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    Freezing Corn

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    When corn on the cob went on sale for 10 ears for $1 at our favorite produce store, I couldn’t resist grabbing some (okay…40 ears) for the freezer.
    This is my easy, mess-free way of doing it.

    Corn on the cob
    Large pot of boiling water
    Large container of ice water (Unless you have an industrial ice maker, buy a bag of ice)
    Large bowl and small bowl for cutting corn in.
    Electric knife
    Freezer storage containers or zip top freezer bags.

    First, remove husk and silk from ears.  Have water boiling in a large pot (biggest you’ve got!).
    Drop corn in water and let cook for 4 minutes.  Immediately pull corn out and submerge in ice water.
    Depending on how much corn you have you’ll need to work in batches.
    When corn is cool, remove from ice water.
    Now for the part that is usually messy, the cutting.
    Place a small bowl upside down in the large bowl.  Holding the corn at an angle, resting one end on top of the small bowl’s bottom, cut the kernels off 2/3rds of the depth of the kernels with the electric knife.
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    (For cream style corn, cut as much of the kernels off as you can, then scrape the milk off the cob as well.)
    I use my super big shallow stainless steel bowl (If you need one, save your money and go to a restaurant supply store where they are super cheap!) and my 4 cup glass pyrex measuring cup for the small bowl in the middle.  I don’t have a single stray kernel on the counter when I’m done, plus the electric knife makes it super quick and easy!
    Put corn in freezer containers or bags and label, and freeze.  Done!

    Freezing Corn

    Ingredients

    • Corn on the cob
    • Large pot of boiling water
    • Large container of ice water (Unless you have an industrial ice maker, buy a bag of ice)
    • Large bowl and small bowl for cutting corn in.
    • Electric knife
    • Freezer storage containers or zip top freezer bags.

    Instructions

  • First, remove husk and silk from ears. Have water boiling in a large pot (biggest you’ve got!).
  • Drop corn in water and let cook for 4 minutes. Immediately pull corn out and submerge in ice water.
  • Depending on how much corn you have you’ll need to work in batches.
  • When corn is cool, remove from ice water.
  • Now for the part that is usually messy, the cutting.
  • Place a small bowl upside down in the large bowl. Holding the corn at an angle, resting one end on top of the small bowl’s bottom, cut the kernels off 2/3rds of the depth of the kernels with the electric knife
  • (For cream style corn, cut as much of the kernels off as you can, then scrape the milk off the cob as well.)
  • I use my super big shallow stainless steel bowl (If you need one, save your money and go to a restaurant supply store where they are super cheap!) and my 4 cup glass pyrex measuring cup for the small bowl in the middle. I don’t have a single stray kernel on the counter when I’m done, plus the electric knife makes it super quick and easy!
  • Put corn in freezer containers or bags and label, and freeze. Done!
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    Blackberry Basil Lemonade

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    This is the best lemonade you’ll ever have.  Promise.  And if you don’t agree.. well, I don’t think I know you anymore.  At the bottom of the recipe I have directions for freezing this ahead of time and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used it that way.  It makes a great quick summer treat and is great to have on hand for BBQ’s.. or mondays…
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    BLACKBERRY BASIL LEMONADE

    For the basil simple syrup:
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil

    To serve:
    6 cups water
    1 1/2 cups lemon juice (fresh is best)
    2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)

    Make the basil simple syrup.  Put the sugar, water, and basil in a pot and bring to a boil.  Let cool then strain.
    Puree the blackberries and strain.  You should have 1/2 cup.  Mix with the lemon juice, water, and basil simple syrup.  Chill, serve over ice.

    For a fizzy drink, replace the 6 cups water with seltzer water.
    To make ahead: Place a batch of basil simple syrup in a freezer container with the 1/2 cup blackberry puree.  When ready to serve add water and lemon juice.  I don’t even thaw it, it will quickly thaw enough to mix together and makes for a very cold refreshing drink.

    Blackberry Basil Lemonade

    Ingredients

      For the basil simple syrup:
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil
    • To serve:
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice (fresh is best)
    • 2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)

    Instructions

  • Make the basil simple syrup. Put the sugar, water, and basil in a pot and bring to a boil. Let cool then strain.
  • Puree the blackberries and strain. You should have 1/2 cup. Mix with the lemon juice, water, and basil simple syrup. Chill, serve over ice.
  • For a fizzy drink, replace the 6 cups water with seltzer water.
    To make ahead: Place a batch of basil simple syrup in a freezer container with the 1/2 cup blackberry puree. When ready to serve add water and lemon juice. I don't even thaw it, it will quickly thaw enough to mix together and makes for a very cold refreshing drink.
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    Smoked Pulled Pork

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    I know it’s fall now, but we’re still trying to get in as much grilling and smoking as we can before it gets too cold. 🙂
    I had some pork butt left over from making sausages and we decided to try smoking it.  It was so easy, and delicious!
    The leftovers got put to good use, in some baked beans, and I can think of lots of other things this would be great in as well.
    DSC01736

    SMOKED PULLED PORK
    5 lbs boneless pork butt
    Pineapple juice (or apple would work too)
    BBQ Sauce, for serving

    RUB:
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup paprika
    1 T Coleman’s mustard
    2 T kosher salt
    1 T black pepper
    2 T garlic powder
    2 T onion powder
    1 T chili powder

    Inject pineapple juice into pork.  Every time you inject, only pull the needle out halfway, then push it in another direction and inject again.  So at each injection site you should actually inject 2 or 3 times.
    Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl, and liberally rub on all sides of the pork.
    Hot smoke for at least 3 to 4 hours.   Place in a pan and cover with a lid or foil and bake at 300 degrees for 3 more hours, or until pork falls apart easily.  The point is to cook it long enough to break down the connective tissue so it will just fall apart.

    We served it tossed with some barbecue sauce on buns, topped with coleslaw.

    VARIATION: I used the leftovers to make baked beans, I made my recipe, found here, except I replaced the bacon and ham with pork.

    Smoked Pulled Pork

    Ingredients

    • 5 lbs boneless pork butt
    • Pineapple juice (or apple would work too)
    • BBQ Sauce, for serving
    • RUB:
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup paprika
    • 1 T Coleman's mustard
    • 2 T kosher salt
    • 1 T black pepper
    • 2 T garlic powder
    • 2 T onion powder
    • 1 T chili powder

    Instructions

  • Inject pineapple juice into pork. Every time you inject, only pull the needle out halfway, then push it in another direction and inject again. So at each injection site you should actually inject 2 or 3 times.
  • Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl, and liberally rub on all sides of the pork.
  • Hot smoke for at least 3 to 4 hours. Place in a pan and cover with a lid or foil and bake at 300 degrees for 3 more hours, or until pork falls apart easily. The point is to cook it long enough to break down the connective tissue so it will just fall apart.
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    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Waffles

     

     

     

    DSC00963

    We love brupper.  You know what brupper is don’t you? Breakast and supper combined, of course! 🙂
    When I was a kid, and my mom worked on saturdays for a while, my dad would make us pancakes for breakfast… only different.  He liked to try adding different mix-ins, like granola, fruit.. and other not so successful things. 🙂
    These remind me of him, and are so much fun to make as a family.
    My girls love “brupper” probably more than any other dinner.    And these are by far our favorite waffles.  I think it’s the cornstarch and rice krispies that help them stay so light and crispy.  They hold well in an oven while you cook them all too, just put a wire rack over a cookie sheet in a warm oven.

    DSC00960

    These freeze amazingly well, sometimes I’ll even make a triple batch to stock up the freezer with some quick breakfasts.

    LIGHT AND CRISPY BELGIUM WAFFLES

    Makes about 8 (7 inch round) waffles

    1 1/4 cups flour
    1 cup Rice Krispies
    3/4 cup cornstarch
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    3/4 tsp salt
    2 eggs, separated
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup vegetable oil

    In a large bowl, stir together the flour, rice krispies, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and oil.

    In another medium bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.  Set aside.
    Pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture and whisk to combine.
    Add the beaten egg whites and whisk in just until combined.

    For a 7 inch round waffle iron, use about 2/3 cup batter.  Cook according to your iron’s instructions.

    To freeze, I place in a single layer on a cookie sheet until frozen, then put in a freezer bag.  You could also layer waxed paper between waffles and put in a bag or freezer container if you don’t have room to flash freeze.

    To reheat, microwave briefly or heat in a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

    For Cookie Dough Waffles:
    1/4 cup butter, room temp
    2 T sugar
    1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 T milk or cream
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup flour
    1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

    Beat butter and sugars together in a large bowl until well combined and fluffy.
    Add vanilla and milk, stir well.  Add salt and flour, mixing well.
    Stir in chocolate chips.
    Pour waffle batter into iron, then immediately drop 4-6 spoons (I do about teaspoon size balls) into top of batter.  Close iron, cook as usual.
    Serve with chocolate whipped cream and extra mini chocolate chips, or butter and syrup is fine too.

    Waffle recipe source: The Cook’s Country Cookbook
    Cookie dough recipe source: The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook by Lindsay Landis

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Waffles

    Yield: 8 (7 inch) waffles

    Ingredients

      For Waffles:
    • 1 1/4 cups flour
    • 1 cup Rice Krispies
    • 3/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 2 eggs, separated
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • For Cookie Dough Waffles:
    • 1/4 cup butter, room temp
    • 2 T sugar
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 1 T milk or cream
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

    Instructions

    For regular waffles:
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, rice krispies, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and oil.
  • In another medium bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Set aside.
  • Pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Add the beaten egg whites and whisk in just until combined.
  • For a 7 inch round waffle iron, use about 2/3 cup batter. Cook according to your iron's instructions.
  • To freeze, I place in a single layer on a cookie sheet until frozen, then put in a freezer bag. You could also layer waxed paper between waffles and put in a bag or freezer container if you don't have room to flash freeze.
    To reheat, microwave briefly or heat in a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
    For Cookie Dough Waffles:
  • Beat butter and sugars together in a large bowl until well combined and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and milk, stir well. Add salt and flour, mixing well.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour waffle batter into iron, then immediately drop 4-6 spoons (I do about teaspoon size balls) into top of batter. Close iron, cook as usual.
  • Serve with chocolate whipped cream and extra mini chocolate chips, or butter and syrup is fine too.
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