Crispy Baked Potato

This recipe is for 6 potatoes, but you can obviously do more or less.

– 6 Russet potatoes
– 2 Tbsp salt
– 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (duck fat, bacon fat, etc. are other options)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F
2. Poke each potato 6 times with a fork (all around it)
3. In a medium bowl, mix salt with 1/2 Cup water
4. Brine the potatoes in the salt water mix coating the entire potato and set on a baking sheet with a cooling rack
5. Put the potatoes in the oven until internal temp is between 205-212 F (approx. 45-60 minutes)
6. When temperature is reached, remove the potatoes and brush with vegetable oil
7. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes
8. When finished, take out of the oven and immediately cut an ‘X’ into the top and serve

From: America’s Test Kitchen

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

– 8 Boneless skinless chicken thighs
– 1/4 Cup flour
– 1/4 Cup honey
– 2 Tbsp soy sauce
– 6 Garlic cloves, minced
– 1/2 Tsp salt
– 1/2 Tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. Put flour in a large ZipLock bag, add chicken in batches and shake to coat
3. Shake off excess flour and place in greased 8×8 baking dish (keep chicken rolled up and not flat)
4. Mix honey, soy sauce, garlic, salt & pepper in a small bowl
5. Pour mix evenly over chicken
6. Cover and bake for 30 min
7. Uncover and continue baking for an additional 15 min (bast when uncovering)

From: Genius Kitchen

Moscow Mule

– 1.5 oz Vodka
– 0.5 oz Ginger syrup
– 4 oz Club soda
– 1/2 lime juice

Alternative: Replace Ginger Beer for syrup & club soda

1. Fill copper mug with ice
2. Add ingredients in order listed
3. Garnish with lime wedge

Portuguese Style Beef Stew

– 3 lbs boneless long-cut beef shanks (or 4 lbs cross-cut with bone – remove bone | or ~4 lbs Chuck roast fat trimmed)
(Note: this requires a very large Dutch oven otherwise, reduce amount of meat)
– 8 oz Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
– 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
– 5 allspice berries
– 4 bay leaves
– 1 1/2 tsp peppercorns
– 2 large onions, halved and sliced
– 2 1/4 cups dry white wine
– 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
– Salt and pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Trim away any fat or large pieces of connective tissue from exterior of shanks (silverskin can be left on meat). Cut each shank crosswise into 2 1/2-inch pieces. Sprinkle meat with 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Cut 8-inch square of double-thickness cheesecloth. Place garlic, allspice berries, bay leaves, and peppercorns in center of cheesecloth and tie into bundle with kitchen twine.

3. Place onions in a Dutch oven making an even layer. Make a divet in the middle of the oven and place the spice bundle in the divet. Add wine and cinnamon.

4. Cover and cook until beef is tender, about 3 1/2 hours (if using cross-cut, reduce time to ~3 hrs)

5. Remove pot from oven and add chorizo. Using tongs, flip each piece of beef over, making sure that chorizo is submerged. Cover and let stand until chorizo is warmed through, about 20 minutes. Discard spice bundle. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

From: Cooks Illustrated

Ryan’s Eggnog

– 12 large very fresh, high-quality eggs
– 1 3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
– 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 3 cups Irish whisky or Bourbon
– 2 cups dark rum
– 3/4 cup Cognac or Armagnac or Spiced Pear liqueur
– Pinch sea salt
– Ice for serving
– Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish

For the Eggnog:
1. Separate the egg yolk and whites, then place whites in a very clean & airtight container and freeze until eggnog is ready to serve
2. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until well blended, thickened, light yellow, and creamy
3. Whisk in all the milk and 1 cup of the cream until well mixed
4. Whisk in all the alcohol and salt then transfer to a 1-gallon glass jar and tightly seal the lid
5. Place in the refrigerator for at least 10 days and up to 3-weeks

6. Place the remaining 1 cup of cream in the stand mixer (no need to wash bowl first) and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form (about 1 min.)
7. Remove to a punch bowl
8. Stir the eggnog base with a rubber spatula to re-combine, then add it to the punch bowl
9. Gently whisk the cream and egg whites into the eggnog until just combined and no large pockets of whites or cream remain (don’t over whisk or you’ll deflate the eggnog)
10. Serve in punch cups over ice, if desired, and garnished with grated nutmeg

To Serve
1. The night before serving, place the frozen egg whites in the refrigerator to thaw
2. Before serving, let the egg whites come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes
3. Place the egg whites in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form (2-3 min.)
4. Remove to a large punch bowl

Healthy Chocolate Mousse

– 1 Scoop chocolate protein powder
– 4 oz soft tofu
– 1/4 Cup almond milk
– 1 Tbsp almond butter

1. Put all ingredients in a food processor (not blender) and process for ~90 seconds
2. Refrigerate for 1+ hours

Caramel Chews

– 1 Cup sugar
– 1/3 cup water
– 1/3 cup heavy cream

1. Prepare a 9×9 heat resistant pan with parchment paper and non-stick spray
2. In medium pot, combine the sugar & water over medium heat
3. Stir the mixture until it begins to boil, then stop stirring
4. Watch the mixture boil and turn brown in color
5. Once the mixture is brownthroughout, turn heat to low, immediately add the heavy cream and quickly begin stirring
5. Mixture will foam. Keep stirring until mixture is 250 degrees F
6. Pour caramel into prepared pan and let cool to room temp

Result: These resulted in firm candies (not hard) that melt in your mouth and are thick and sticky on your teeth (if you chew).

To try for softer:
1. add cream at an early point in the cook (sugar is an amber color vs. brown)

To try for hard candy:
1. Cook to higher temp after cream is added

Caramel Sauce

– 4 ounces water
– 8 1/2 ounces sugar
– 8 ounces heavy cream
– 1 teaspoon (5g) vanilla extract (optional)
– 1/2 teaspoon (2g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt (optional)

1. In a medium pot, combine water, sugar, and salt (if using) over medium heat
2. Stir the mixture until it comes to a boil
3. Watch the mixture boil and turn light yellow, then amber
4. Once the mixture is amber throughout, turn heat to low, immediately add the heavy cream and quickly begin stirring
5. Mixture will foam. Keep stirring until mixture is 225 degrees F
6. Pour into heat resistant container and let sit to cool to room temperature

– Will last 1 month in sealed container in refrigerator
– Wear heat resistant gloves for stirring after adding cream. Lots of steam will rise and burn your hand if not careful

Caramel will be runny while warm, but thicken as it cools, turning just a little chewy when cold.

Oven Cooked Brisket

– 5-6 pounds brisket
– 1 teaspoon celery salt
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon onion salt
– 2 ounces liquid smoke
– 1 ounce Worcester Sauce
– 1 cup prepared Barbecue sauce (your choice)

1. In a small bowl whisk together celery salt, garlic powder and onion salt. Season both sides of the brisket.
2. Place meat in a foil lined baking pan that is enough to fully enclose the meat. Pour Liquid Smoke and Worcester Sauce over the meat and as it drips to the side lift meat up so the liquid also seasons under the meat.
3. Crimp the foil tightly over the meat. Return to the refrigerator and marinate overnight.
4. Bring the meat to room temperature (30 minutes) and bake at 275 degrees for 5 hours. Remove foil and pour about 1 cup of barbecue sauce over the meat. Bake for an additional 60 minutes with the foil open.
5. Cool and slice into thin pieces.

From: The Foodie Affair

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Makes approximately 30 cookies
– 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 teaspoons ground ginger
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 cup butter, softened
– 1 cup white sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tablespoon water
– 1/4 cup molasses
– 4 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Mix together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside
3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy
4. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses
5. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture
6. Shape the dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar
7. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. You don’t need to flatten them
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven
9. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely

From: Made to be a Momma