Not your moscow Mule

My husband is kind of a mixologist. He does really well with texture and flavor, so when he asks if I want a beverage, my answer is ALWAYS yes.

This drink is not too sweet, but just sweet enough. What I love about Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. cherries is that they are great in Manhattans, Old Fashions and really, any drink. The cherries are Bing, and not overly sweet. Plus the syrup they’re in is great to use as an ingredient.

ingredients

3 oz Ketel One Vodka
6 oz Cana Dry Sugar Free Ginger Ale
4 Fresh Mint Leaves
1 – 2 Cherries from Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.
Spoon-full of syrup from Cherries.

directions

  1. In your Cocktail Shaker, fill 1/2 way with ice.
  2. Combine Vodka, mint leaves, and cherry syrup.
  3. Using a Muddler, muddle for a good 20 seconds, sing happy birthday, etc.
  4. Into a glass with ice and cherries, strain and empty contents of shaker.
  5. Finish with Ginger Ale and however many cherries you want to eat!

Smoked Mussels with Beer, Shallots and Garlic

We don’t have a smoker, but we do have charcoal! This recipe is super easy and my husband really enjoyed making this dish. During this quarantine we have been shopping at small businesses like our local fruit stands, Meat Markets and Fisheries like the Taylor Shellfish Farm. This recipe is another gem from the Weber New American Barbecue Cookbook.

I didn’t use the mayo dip that they suggest you use, the mussels are SO GOOD solo. But what I DID do is toast some Rye Bread I stored in the freezer from St. Paddy’s day, slathered some butter on that beast and dug in! My one suggestion is to have a bottle of hot sauce and a beer near by. This is the perfect late lunch for 2 or appetizer for a group of 4.

Ingredients

1/4 Cup ( 1/2 stick) of butter cut into tablespoons
1/2 cup Chopped Shallots (I didnt have shallots but I did have an onion, and that turned out great!)
4 garlic cloves (I used 6 but, I am italian)
2 12 oz Bottles of wheat, amber beer or Pale Ale. We used Montucky Cold Snacks.
6 sprigs or fresh thyme
4 lbs Live mussels, scrubbed and debearded.
1 tsp kosher Salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

directions

Prepare your charcoal grill for direct heat, temp should be 350 degrees.

  1. Place butter, onions/shallots/garlic in pan and close the lid.
  2. Cook until butter is melted and onions/ shallots are tender for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add beer and thyme, cook until mixture is steaming.
  4. Once mixture is hot enough, add Mussels into the pan. Cook mussels uncovered over direct heat with the grill lid closed until the mussels open, about 5-15 minutes.
  5. discard any un opened mussels and thyme sprigs.
  6. Season the cooking liquid with the salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh, chopped parsley.

Fluffy Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bars

These are not Paleo, or Whole 30 BUT these ARE Sugar free and it is great for anyone watching their sugar intake, or on Weight Watchers. This recipe will give you soft but cake-like breakfast bars.

Ingredients

2 Bananas
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Molasses
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil Melted (But not super hot because you dont want to scramble the eggs)
3/4 Cup Monkfruit Sweetener
1 Cup King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Cup Quick Oats
1/4 Cup Bob’s Mill Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
1 Cup Dried Cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a square baking dish with parchment paper.

  1. Combine all wet ingredients and Monkfruit sweetener, whip for a solid minute.
  2. mix all dry ingredients (but not the cranberries and Coconut) together.
  3. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  4. Once all combined, add Shredded Coconut and Dried Cranberries.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until top starts to brown/ toast.
  6. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into bars and wrap individually. Bars will keep for a week.


Pickled Red onion


I keep a jar of these in the fridge at all times, they go well with most anything! For more quick pickling recipes, definitely check out Foolproof preserving by America’s Test Kitchen!

You will need a small mason jar or glass storage container you can keep in the refrigerator

Ingredients

½ cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (or sugar alternative, our favorite is Monkfruit sweetener)
1 ½ teaspoons sea or kosher salt
1 cup of water
1 red onion sliced thinly

Directions

*you can adjust the sugar to your liking, if you like a sweeter pickled onion! Also add in bay leaves and mustard seed to mix it up!

  1. Mix the first 4 ingredients until the salt dissolves.
  2. Fill the jar with the sliced onions then pour the mixture over.
  3. Let sit out at room temp for 2 hours then refrigerate.

Paleo Tortillas

This gem is taken from the Nom Nom Paleo Cook Book – something EVERYONE should have, whether they’re paleo, whole30 or not.

Grain Free Easy and Delishy – Ingredients

2 Cups Cassava Flour
3/4 Cup arrowroot powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup ghee, lard or olive oil
1 1/4 Cups hot water

directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, arrowroot and salt.
  2. Work the fat in with your fingers until fully incorporated, add water and knead until ball is formed.
  3. Divide dough into a dozen even size pieces, weighing them works great!
  4. One by one, flatten between parchment paper or plastic wrap using a rolling pin, tortillas press or a couple of heavy books.
  5. Heat a dry skillet or griddle or med high heat, transfer flattened tortilla onto skillet.
  6. Cook for 1 minute or until air bubbles form on the surface.
  7. Flip the tortilla and cook for 1 minute more.
  8. Transfer each tortilla to a plate as it finishes cooking and cover with a clean towel.
  9. Enjoy!

Cashew Milk, its stupid easy.

No, seriously. Just look at these ingredients!

ingredients

1 cup of raw unsalted cashews
4 cups of water

Directions

  1. Soak cashews overnight in water, drain and rinse.
  2. Add the cashews and 1cup of water to your food processor and blend.
  3. Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of water and blend for a total of 2 mins.

Moral dilemma? To strain or not to strain?


I personally don’t strain and find that the sediment settles on the bottom and makes for a nice heavy cream for cooking. But for a really clean cashew milk, strain through a few layers of cheesecloth. 

Store in the fridge and use within a week.

Salmon + Kale Frittata

I know, you are probably rolling your eyes right now, Kat sure does love her frittatas! Well, that is because you can use your leftovers in them! This recipe is Whole 30 and Paleo, but for the one I made, I added in some whipping cream because it just gets nice, creamy and fluffy.

The other night we made Salmon, and since we are just two people, we always plan our left overs ahead of time. We decided to make another frittata but this time with the fresh Kale I just harvested from our garden. I now have 2 lbs of fresh kale to use so, here come the recipes!

Ingredients

9 Eggs
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 lb Fresh Kale
1/2 onion
6 oz cooked Salmon filet
1/4 tsp lemon zest
Pinch of red pepper
Pinch of salt
Finish with fresh chives or parsley

directions

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees

  1. In a nonstick pan, combine Olive oil, Onion and Kale, sauce until the Onion is soft and set in a greased pie pan.
  2. Break up the salmon filet by hand and spread evenly over the Kale and Onion mixture.
  3. Whisk eggs, Lemon Zest, Red Pepper & Salt and evenly distribute over ingredients in the pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until edge starts to become golden and middle is cooked through.



Kat’s Paella

Since we are cooking for the end times, I always keep rice and other dried goods on hand to build a meal off of. Tonight’s meal was what I like to call a “Pantry to Freezer” meal.
I had frozen and cooked shrimp with the tail off, this helps cut down on time and since it is already cooked, all you have to do is thaw and then warm them in your dish at the end. This also helps your shrimp from being overcooked. The chicken was frozen previously, which I let thaw and then cubed, cooking it in the sauce as the paella was reducing. The Andouille sausage was placed in at the end as well just to heat. Perfect meal for a night in and little effort.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion Diced
1 Bell Pepper Cubed (I prefer Red or Orange, but Green is good too!)
1 Jalapeño Cubed
2 14.5 oz Cans of Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
2 Cups Matiz Paella Rice
7 cups Vegetable Broth (for this recipe I used Better than Boullion Vegetable base)
1 tsp Saffron
1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 lb Thawed, cooked tail off shrimp
2 Chicken Breasts Raw, Cubed
2 Aidell’s Smoked Pork, Cajun Style Andouille Sausage Links, sliced
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
1 Bunch Green Onion thinly sliced

Directions

  1. In a Large dutch oven or pan: Combine Olive Oil, diced onion and sauté until onion is transparent.
  2. In a separate pot, simmer your saffron with the vegetable broth.
  3. Add peppers, jalapeño and cook with onions until al dente.
  4. Add Cans of Tomatoes, the Rice and simmer with onions and peppers until most moisture is gone.
  5. Slowly add in broth and stir to combine.
  6. Add the Chicken and cook thoroughly. Stirring often to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  7. Once Rice is cooked, add in your thawed Shrimp and Sausage. Turn temperature to low.
  8. Warm for 10 minutes.
  9. Garnish with fresh parsley and green onions.
  10. Serve with a vinegar base hot sauce.

The-damn-near-close version of PF Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers

Ingredients

6-7 small Persian cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber cut in to 1/2″ slice rounds
1Tbsp of good quality sesame oil
2 Tbsp of Soy sauce, regular or low sodium if you prefer
1 Tbsp of Huy Fong chili garlic sauce if you like a little heat! skip if you don’t.
1 Tbsp of White Vinegar
Sesame seeds to garnish

Directions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together
  2. toss with the cucumbers 
  3. sprinkle sesame seeds to finish 

Mediterranean Frittata

Frittatas are my go to when I am feeling lazy. Feeds a lot of people and leaves more time to relax with your coffee.

I also like to meal plan and sometimes will use left over vegetables in the mixture. Last night we had Asparagus and I saved some for breakfast. I knew it would be great paired with spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese! This is easy, inexpensive and will actually feed you for a few days! Keeps well and is good for on-the-go.

Amy’s Monkey bread

For those of us who are a bit less kitchen savvy, and aren’t currently worried about diabetes.(AKA: this is crazy-simple and there’s a lot of butter and sugar involved.)

Note: this is also a fun one to make with your small humans.

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cans Pillsbury Grands biscuits (the big ones that are 8 to a can)
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Lightly grease bunt pant (it’s gotta be a bunt)
  3. Cut each raw biscuit (there should be 16) into quarters (I like to use a pizza cutter, it’s very satisfying)
  4. In a large ziplock bag, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Toss dough quarters into bag and toss to coat, then arrange in pan.
  6. Mix brown sugar and melted butter.
  7. Pour mix over biscuit pieces in pan.
  8. Bake 45 min or until golden brown and no longer super doughy in the center.
  9. Cool in pan 10 minutes.
  10. Flip upside down onto serving plate.
  11. Enjoy while warm and gooey if possible.

Goes great with black coffee and reheats well. You can also do a simple sugar glaze over the finished cake if that’s not enough sugar for you. 🤪

Rye’ced Tea

When I was a little girl, anytime it was sunny, my mother would always make Sun Tea. Sun Tea is easy: Just fill a glass container, whether it is a pitcher or a half gallon canning jar, be sure to pay attention to the amount of tea bags necessary (for example, 1 teabag per 8oz of water) fill your Jar/ whatevervesselyouareusing with water and let it sit in direct sunshine. That last part is important, you NEED sunshine, and the vessel NEEDS to be glass.

Fortunately for us, during self quarantine, we lucked out with some wonderful weather! I made some Sun Tea and felt inspired by the warm weather. Cheers to adult Iced Tea!

Ingredients

1oz Knob Creek Rye/ Any bourbon you prefer.
1/2 Oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz (12 shakes) Bitter Housewife 
6-10 Oz of Sun Tea or English Breakfast/ Black Tea that has been cooled. (I prefer PG tips myself.)
Lemon Wedge

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients with ice in a shaker, shake for 20 seconds.
  2. Strain Mixture into glass with NEW ice. Top should have a good 1/4 inch froth.
  3. Add Lemon Wedge and Enjoy

Rosemary Lemon Spritzer

Did anyone just sit around during the sunny week we were all quarantined? We sure didn’t! It was the perfect time to get out into the garden and freshen up our flower beds. We had a rosemary bush that was squashed by not one but TWO snowstorms, so we ended up giving it a hair cut and propping it up, resulting in A LOT of fresh cut rosemary that needed to be put to use.

Ingredients

3 oz Vodka (preferably Kettle one)
1/2 Lemon 2 sprigs Rosemary
1 tsp Bitters
Finish with Sparking Water/ Club Soda

directions

  1. Combine ice, vodka, 1 large slice lemon and 1 sprig of rosemary & muddle until the liquid turns green. About 20 seconds, the same amount of time it takes to wash your hands….
  2. Empty liquid contents into a clean glass with fresh ice, and 1 tsp of bitters.
  3. Finish with Sparkling water and club soda, garnish with Lemon slice and Rosemary.

Pandemic Pizza Dough

Pizza is something that ANYONE can make at any time. Most folks have canned tomato sauce in the pantry and cheese in the fridge……oh hey, that is technically a pizza! A pizza can be anything, get creative. You don’t have to only use a red sauce. Blend together some EVOO and fresh garlic to make a garlic sauce, or get fancy and make an Alfredo sauce! My particular favorite is when I have an abundance of fresh basil and parsley, I blend it together with some Olive Oil and make a pesto base. Have fun with it!

If you are anything like me, there is always flour, yeast, sugar and salt on hand. If you’re not like me, go to Trader Joes and get you one of them pre-made dough balls! They are actually really good in a pinch. But today, I am going to talk about MY particular favorite, which is made with a bread maker.

Ingredients

1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Water (Room Temperature)
2 Tbsp Olive/ Vegetable Oil

  1. Measure all ingredients and place into bread pan.
  2. Follow the instructions on your bread maker “Dough” function. I personally own an Oster Bread Maker and highly recommend using the cook book that comes with it!
  3. When the dough is done, roll it out on to a lightly floured surface. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
    **This recipe is for one pizza, but if you prefer thin crust, it will make Two 12-16 inch pizzas.
  4. Place rolled dough onto well oiled parchment paper.
    **I suggest getting a pizza stone if you don’t already have one. However, there is a pandemic and I realize that is probably not top of the priority list. So, use a baking sheet and move the rack one below the middle.
  5. Bake for 15-10 minutes or until crust is brown.
  6. IF you are making a thicker crust pizza with less toppings, bake your crust for 10 minutes, take it out & immediately top the pizza and place back in the over.
  7. Bake for the remaining 10 minutes in order to properly cook your crust and not over cook your toppings.