Hey all, wanted to post a quick update. I know we’ve been really quiet online the past two weeks. Thanks to this crazy weather, I’ve been fighting off getting sick for a while now, but it finally hit me hard weekend before last. Jess took care of me but, as it usually goes, she then ended up getting sick too — which is just what she wanted for her birthday! I’m kidding, of course. But my “present” kept her in bed with a fever and a pile of tissues (sorry sugar). Anyway, with all of this going on, I haven’t felt up to cooking much beyond homemade chicken noodle soup and Jess is the whiz with most of this blogging stuff, so we’re at a standstill right now. Hopefully we’ll beat this cold/flu/pneumonia/whatever soon and be back to normal by next week. Thanks for understanding!
Hello everyone! Hope you had a lovely weekend. I thought I would share with you tonight some rather… unique treats that I made for the boys recently. As I mentioned in my cowboy bars post, I’m trying my baking out on some real manly men, so I’m alternating between sugary sweet cupcakes and treats with ingredients the boys might actually enjoy on their own – like pork rinds, BBQ, and beer… in a cupcake.
Yep, you read that right: a BBQ pork rind cupcake (with a sweet beer glaze).
Happy Friday everyone! Sorry we’ve been so quiet – as you may or may not know, we were sick the week of my birthday, then we took an impromptu road trip last weekend, and this week has been a crazy mess of non-stop work, school, and appointments. Though this post will hardly be our usual “Follow the Bison” post, we wanted to give you just a quick peek into what we’ve been up to and what you can expect to see on the blog soon!
Last month, Johnny made this fantastically delicious dish that still has me drooling:
We attended Townhall’s new “Townhall Talks” event and had a blast! It’s this great new exclusive/social media oriented series aimed at allowing patrons to experience the restaurant brand in a whole new way. March 20 was their inaugural event and it focused on teaching us about their fresh and local emulsive cocktails (and some tasty appetizers as well):
This past weekend we heard that 5 Rabbit Brewery (John’s favorite!) was going to be hosting a grand opening for their retail space/mini-taproom, so we decided it was the perfect time for a spontaneous trip to the Midwest. Will drive for craft beer, am I right?
We then moved on to Milwaukee to check out the city and visit my awesome penpal Tara <3! She gave us the perfect tour of the city, starting with brunch at this neat little spot called Trocadero Gastrobar (which, of course, included learning about how much Wisconsinites love their Bloody Marys):
Then we discovered a fun local coffee spot called Colectivo:
Followed by, of course, a visit to Lakefront Brewery to sample what they had on draft (we love drinking local!):
And speaking of beer, we saw the location of the historic Pabst Brewery building, which was eerie and awesome all at the same time:
Oh, and did you know there’s such a place as the Mars Cheese Castle? Because it exists and it’s one of those all-American roadside attraction you should definitely visit:
It was a great trip – too short as always – but we’re looking forward to visiting again soon. That’s all for now and again, sorry for the irregularity — we’ve come to find that it’s harder to maintain a food blog when both people involved work full-time, but we’re trying our best, so thanks again for sticking with us!
I love making homemade spice mixes. I really do. Why? Because you can literally put almost anything in them: grated fruits, zests, specialty sugars, smoked salts, you name it. The infusion of flavor that you can put into a spice mix is really unlimited. And in turn, you can completely change the dynamic of any dish. I mean, you can take a basic strip steak and turn it into a Moroccan strip steak or you can take a plain old chicken breast and transform it into a Tuscan chicken breast. You can also use spice mixes as a rub or to add some extra components of flavor to your sauce, your sides, whatever. They’re also really great for meat substitutes like, say, tofu, which tends to be pretty bland if you don’t know how to make it tasty.
Another reason I love making my own spice mixes is because it’s actually quite a money saver. Sure, you can go into these specialty spice shops and find some awesome mixes, but they’re usually pretty pricey (and, unfortunately, you usually only get a few ounces for the big bucks you’re paying). In reality, you usually have a lot of the basic elements in your spice cabinet at home and what you don’t have, you can find (and save money) one of two ways: don’t be afraid to peek at places like The Dollar Tree for cheap, basic spices or go to a wholesale spot like BJ’s or Costco for the large bottle. You really save when you go wholesale because those big bottles last for so long that, when you start making your own specialty mixes, you’re only spending pennies on the dollar.
The spice mix I’m sharing today was used as a rub on a great piece of brisket I found locally. I wanted to put something together that had a touch of Indian flavor without being really heavy in potentially overbearing flavors like the turmeric or cumin you find in a curry. I was also looking for a sweet yet savory spice mix, so to balance out the savory, I used some lime sugar and blueberry sugar. If you just pour something like regular white sugar into a mix like this, it’s straight sweet with not a lot of depth, but these specialty sugars add a nice dimension of flavor that works well with the strength of the spice mix.
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp lime sugar
1/8 tsp chipotle pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp clove
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp all spice
1 tsp blueberry sugar
1 tsp Italian blend salt
¼ tsp Herbs de Provence
6 juniper berries
3 bay leaves
¼ piece of star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 bottle of beer (I used Dos Equis)
Set aside the bay leaves, juniper berries, star anise, and cardamom pods. Mix all of the other spices in a spice grinder until well incorporated with about a medium grind. Rub your meat of choice (like I said, I used brisket, but you could use chicken, steak, etc) with the mixture, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24-48 hours depending on the size of the meat. I’d recommend placing your wrapped meat in a container (like an empty Tupperware container) to prevent leaking.
When you’re ready, take out your meat, put it on a rack in a roasting pan, and add the remainder of your ingredients (you’ll want enough water to come about halfway up the meat). Your cooking time will, of course, vary depending on what meat you’re using and how much, but feel free to comment below if you’re looking for more specific instructions!
Guys and gals, I made another thing! And this time, I dreamed it up all by myself.
Sounds awesome, right? I KNOW!! I’m all super proud and excited and stuff over here.
I have a love/hate relationship with Crab Rangoon.
Crab Rangoon was one of the first Asian dishes I ever tried when I was a kid and I fell in love with them. They’re crispy, a little bit chewy, and then there’s the contrast of the crispy to the sweetness of the crab and the gooey cream cheese. Mmmm. So many great descriptors to use for Crab Rangoon.
That’s the love part. Continue reading