Sally Draper’s French Toast with Rum Sauce

One of my favorite episodes of Mad Men is “The Beautiful Girls” (Season 4, Episode 9). There are so many things I love about this particular episode, but I love Sally’s scenes the best. I love any Sally-centric episode, really. She’s my favorite Mad Men character, because without going into years worth of details probably best saved for a therapist, I am Sally. Her scenes with Don always remind me of my relationship with my dad, and this scene is no exception. My dad is actually the one who taught me how to make French toast. Thanks dad!

Anyway, back to the food. Sally spends the night at Don’s apartment and in the morning he wakes up to her cooking french toast for him.
Mad Men

Mad Men

Mad MenMad MenShe thinks she put Mrs. Butterworth’s on it but it’s RUM. Oh Sally. She doesn’t know it but she’s a culinary genius.

Mad Men

Mad Men

Don is right. It isn’t bad. It’s actually quite delicious.

You might not want to just pour rum all over your french toast, because that might raise some red flags about your relationship with alcohol, but rum sauce is perfectly fine. Here’s how to make it.

Mad Men Inspired Food: Sally Draper's Buttered Rum Sauce on French Toast

Buttered Rum Sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup spiced dark rum
2 tbs butter

In a small sauce pan, bring sugar and cream to a simmer. Stir in rum and butter, bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Serve over french toast.

I got challah from Canter’s and cut it into thick slices. Thick cut challah makes the best french toast. It soaks up a lot of the egg mixture so when you cook it the middle stays fluffy and the outside gets crispy and brown. Yummmm.

You probably know how to make french toast, but just in case. Here’s how I like to do it.

French Toast

4 pieces of thick cut challah
4 Eggs
1 cup Heavy cream
zest of half an orange

Whisk together the eggs, cream, and orange zest. Place bread in the mixture and let it soak for a few seconds on each side. Cook in a pan with butter.

Mad Men Inspired Food: Sally Draper's Buttered Rum Sauce on French Toast

New favorite breakfast ever. Thanks Sals!

Mad Men

Lucky Charms Cake Mix Cookies

I’m a huge fan of cereal. Any cereal. I can eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The sugary, food-colored kind is my favorite though. We were trying to think up a few fun recipes and it got me thinking –what can we make with cereal? What else goes well with milk? Cookies, duh.

Lucky Charms Cake Mix Cookies

These cookies are cakey and tender, they actually kind of remind me of cupcake tops (aka the best part). This recipe can be adapted to use any cereal (and trust me I’ll be doing that), but since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, Lucky Charms were the perfect choice. Besides tasting good, they’re super cute and colorful.

The base of this recipe was adapted from Betty Crocker’s Gooey Butter Cookie recipe.

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18 oz) box moist vanilla cake mix
1 cup Lucky Charms marshmallows

Directions Set oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Using a wooden spoon, stir in Lucky Charms marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours until firm. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until set.

Lucky Charms Cake Mix CookiesOriginally, I tried using the cereal pieces along with the marshmallows, but they got way too chewy and gross and didn’t add much to the flavor of the cookie. I would definitely recommend avoiding them. Just pick out all the cute marshmallows. They’re are the best part anyway.

Lucky Charms Cake Mix Cookies

Moonshine Cherry Vanilla Chocolate Milkshake

I recently received a jar of these moonshine cherries from Ole Smoky and I am completely smitten. I’m sure I’m going to be using them for heaps of things, but you know me and boozy desserts. I immediately blended them up in a creamy milkshake with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate shavings. They’re soaked in 100 proof moonshine so they have a serious kick. I was buzzing on both sugar and alcohol by the time I was halfway through the shake. Perfect.

Moonshine Cherry Chocolate Vanilla shake

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up I figured I would share my recipe with you. Either you’re going to want to share this with a date, maybe your gals if you’re into the Galentine’s thing, or you’re going to drink the entire thing alone while watching some Audrey Hepburn movie on Netflix. Either way alcohol, ice cream, and chocolate are pretty standard on Valentine’s Day. Here’s how to mix them all together for a bomb.com milkshake.

I used a 16 oz glass…don’t judge me.

1 pint vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup Ole Smoky Moonshine Cherries (with liquid)

2 tbsp chopped dark chocolate

Blend it all together with a splash of milk if needed. Serve with whipped cream, more chocolate, and a moonshine cherry on top.

 

Ole Smoky describes the cherries as “a sweet hello followed by a warm goodbye.” I can’t describe it any better. When mixed with creamy ice cream and bitter dark chocolate, it’s the ultimate dessert combo. Try it!

 

Thank you to Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine for providing product for this post.

 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Heart Shaped Pepperoni Pizzas

My ideal Valentine’s Day is spent at home with a nice meal, good drinks, lots of candy, and a movie. My husband and I aren’t really into going out to crowded restaurants or the usual date stuff, so we usually put on some good tunes and cook together at home. A really fun thing to make at home is pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza?

Pizza is good in any shape, but if you want to get really festive for V Day, you have to make everything heart shaped. It’s a rule or something. Like heart shaped personal pizzas with heart shaped pepperonis, obviously.

Behold the perfect Valentine.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni PizzaThese are pretty basic but fun to make. Just make or buy your favorite pizza dough, separate it into 4 equal parts, and shape it into hearts.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni PizzaTo make the hearts I used a fondant cutter. A mini cookie cutter would also work. You can even fold the pepperoni and cut a heart like you would with paper hearts. Since I made mini pizzas I made mini hearts.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni PizzaAdd your sauce and cheese, and then the pepperoni hearts. Tip: If you put some cornmeal on your baking sheet your pizza won’t stick.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni PizzaThat’s it. Pop them in the oven and then behold the cuteness. I never want to eat regular shaped pepperoni again! So dainty.

Heart Shaped Pepperoni Pizzas

These are also perfect to make for girls night or with the whole family, any time of the year, really.

 

 

Make This Breakfast Quinoa A New Morning Favorite

Well, guys, the holidays are over so that means no more left over pie for breakfast. Now I’m only eating pie for dessert like a normal person. Bummer city! It’s cool though. I’m pretty excited for my pants to fit again.

One of my favorite healthier breakfast options is quinoa. Breakfast quinoa is almost like porridge or oatmeal and can be made in advance so it’s ready when you are. That helps when I wake up ravenous and want something fast. It’s good warm or hot and tastes great with fruit and nuts.

Breakfast Quinoa Recipe

 

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
2 cups almond milk
2-3 tablespoons agave
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small pot, bring almond milk to a boil. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Lower heat, cover pot, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Mix in the chia seeds, agave, and cinnamon. Cover and simmer for about 5 more minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

If you want, you can add fruit or berries at the same time as the agave, chia, and cinnamon.

Breakfast Quinoa Recipe

Enjoy hot or cold. Mix in fresh fruit or berries. Drizzle with agave or honey. Top it with more almond milk. So many options!

 

Breakfast Quinoa Recipe

 

Warm Up With Nutella Hot Chocolate

Based on all of the snow and rain pictures that I’m seeing across social media this week, I think it’s safe to say we could all use a little hot chocolate. If you want to warm up and don’t give a fuck about the calories, you need this hot chocolate in your life. It’s my favorite recipe because it contains NUTELLA.

Nutella Hot Chocolate!!!

 

In fact all you need is Nutella and milk. That’s it.

Ingredients:
2 cups of milk
1/3 cup Nutella

Heat the milk in a small pot over medium heat. Add Nutella and whisk until it’s combined and frothy. Pour into mugs and enjoy.

Optional: If you want to get really wild, sprinkle with a pinch of flaked sea salt.

Nutella Hot Chocolate

 

 

Champagne Drop Donuts with Champagne Glaze

Champagne. Donuts. My thought process for this was simple, I love champagne and I love donuts soooo… let’s make champagne donuts! And let’s put champagne in the glaze too, because obviously. Drop donuts are super easy because you basically just mix up the batter and drop spoonfuls of it into frying oil. They magically puff up into golden nuggets of yum.

Champagne DonutsChampagne Donuts:

1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup champagne or sparkling wine (I recommend ‘extra dry’)
1 cup sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Beat together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, and champagne. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Use a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon to drop mixture into hot frying oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Champagne Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup champagne

In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and champagne until smooth, adding the champagne slowly. The glaze should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

While they’re still warm, dip the donuts into the glaze and then place on a cooling rack. Let cool and then serve.

Champagne Donuts

They’re crispy on the outside and fluffy cake on the inside. These donuts are perfect for a New Years Eve party, Valentine’s Day, a fancy luncheon, brunch, whatever! Eat them in your pajamas while watching Grey’s Anatomy. Who even needs a reason? Just do it.

Champagne Donuts

 

 

 

The Perfect Spiced Rum Eggnog Cocktail For The Holidays

It’s the time of year where we make all of the nogs. Regular eggnog, spiked eggnog, coquito (the eggnog-like Puerto Rican drink), and nog cocktails. I used to not even like nog and now I’m like “DRUNK ON NOGGGG.” *Beyonce voice*

Here’s a classic style nog cocktail that you can quickly mix up for yourself or guests. This recipe typically makes one tall drink, which is perfect for me since I often drink alone during the holidays, but I digress! If you want to make more, just double or triple the recipe.

Classic Spiced Rum Eggnog Cocktail

Spiced Rum Eggnog Cocktail

Put the following into a cocktail shaker:
1 raw egg
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 1/2 oz spiced rum (black or dark is best)
A pinch of fresh nutmeg

Shake VERY WELL. Then add ice and shake vigorously again and strain into a glass. Dust with cinnamon and serve with a cinnamon stick stir.

I know some of you may be sketched out by using raw eggs in drinks, but it’s fiiiine. Some things you can do to avoid any kind of risk is to make sure you buy the fresh eggs, store them in the refrigerator, and wash them before use, and if you’re super sketched out you can buy pasteurized eggs. 

A Really Easy Apple Butter Recipe. Promise.

Remember when I told you guys about how I went apple picking and ended up with an absurd amount of apples? Well here’s what I did with most of them. I MADE APPLE BUTTER. This recipe is pretty much fool proof and you probably already have the ingredients stashed somewhere in your pantry.

I’ve seen plenty of variations, but this is how I like it. I like to let the natural flavor and sweetness of the apples to shine, so I don’t like to use as much sugar as other recipes call for. I also like the taste that the honey and orange add. Using apple cider instead of water gives a deeper and stronger apple flavor.

Easy Apple Butter Recipe

5 pounds of apples, peeled and chopped
2.5 cups apple cider
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
zest of half an orange
2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

First, core and peel about 5 lbs worth of apples. Then chop them into chunks.

Apple Butter Recipe

Then combine the apples with the other ingredients and cook covered over medium heat until the apples are soft.

Apple Butter Recipe

Next, use an immersion blender to puree the apples until smooth. A regular blender works too.

Apple Butter Recipe

At this stage you’re going to put it into a 275 degree oven and bake it, uncovered, for a few hours until it has darkened and reduced to your desired thickness. About 3 hours should work. Check and stir every 30-45 minutes. It should simmer a little but not boil and splatter. If it does, reduce the temperature a little.

Once it’s all done you can store it in airtight containers for up to a week. Better yet, jar it and store it for later or give it as a gift.

Apple Butter Recipe

 

Here’s a bonus breakfast non-recipe-recipe for any left over apples you may have.

Baked Apples

Make a hole in the apples and fill them with a mixture of your favorite granola cereal, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Throw in some raisins if you want. Top with a pat of butter. Put 1/2 cup of apple cider and a couple of bay leaves in a baking pan with the apples. Bake at 275 until the apples are tender and the granola topping is lightly browned.

Baked Apples

 

 

 

 

Butternut Squash Pie with Speculoos Cookie Crust and Pecan Streusel

Butternut Squash Pie Recipe with Pecan Streusel and Speculoos Cookie Crust. Full Recipe!

I love baking pies, you guys. For me there’s no better way to spend a cold autumn morning than baking a pie and listening to my favorite holiday mix. We’ve finally had some cooler weather and rain in California, so it was time to wake and bake. Pumpkin? Nah, been there. Sweet potato? Nah, done that. Butternut squash?  Yes. Butternut squash is probably my most favorite of the squashes, but I’d never had it in pie form, so I was unreasonably excited.

I didn’t feel like using regular pie crust, either. I’m such a rebel \m/. I thought maybe it would be nice with a cookie crust. *Light bulb* Have you ever had speculoos cookies? Jesus C. they’re good. They’re spiced and very crunchy. Perfect for crust making.

The result was exactly what I’d hoped for. The filling has a similar consistency to pumpkin and sweet potato pie, but it has more of a fruity aroma and taste. The spiced cookie crust paired well with it and gave a nice texture. I added a pecan streusel on top because I like the roasted nut flavor along side all the sweetness. Ok, I’m starting to sound like a foodie d-bag. I won’t go on and on with the Top Chef style food chatter, but basically the pie is yummy and you should make it. Here’s the recipe.

Speculoos Cookie Pie Crust
Speculoos Cookie Crust:
1 pack of Speculoos cookies, 1 1/2 cups of crumbs
5 tbs melted butter

Use a blender or food processor to finely crush your cookies into crumbs. (If you don’t have either of those appliances, put the cookies in a large ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.) Melt butter on stove stop or microwave. Mix melted butter and crumbs together until it has a wet sand consistency. It should hold together when you pinch it. If your crust is still a little dry and won’t hold together, you can add a bit more melted butter until it does.  Put in pie pan and use your hands or a measuring cup to press and flatten the crumbs to the bottom and up against the sides.

Speculoos Cookie Pie Crust

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until it has set and slightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Speculoos Cookie Pie Crust

This part of the pie is optional but highly recommended.

Pecan Streusel Topping

Pecan Streusel Topping (Optional):
1/2 cup pecan pieces
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Toss ingredients together and reserve for sprinkling on top of pie halfway through baking.

Now for the filling.

Butternut Squash Pie Filling Recipe

Pie Filling:
1 large butternut squash (approx. 2- 2/12 cups of puree)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

There are a few different methods to cooking the squash. First is the method I used because it gives a nice roasted flavor and cooks faster:
1.Peel, cut into large chunks, and roast at 400 degrees for 40-ish minutes.
Or, alternatively you can:
2. Cut it in half and bake it cut side down, for about 1-1/2 hours.
3. Peel, cut into large chunks, and boil until tender.

Let it cool and then puree it.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar and eggs. Add the salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice and mix really well. Stir in the butternut squash puree and cream and mix until smooth. Pour into the prepared pie shell.

Butternut Squash Pie Recipe

Bake for about 45 minutes until filling has set and slightly risen in the middle. Let cool completely and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. [Note: If using optional streusel mixture, sprinkle onto pie after 20 minutes and then continue baking for 25 more minutes]

Butternut Squash Pie with Pecan Streusel and Speculoos Cookie Crust. Full Recipe!