QUICK NOTE FROM SOME SICKLY BISON

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!

Categories: Announcements & Quick Updates | 1 Comment
 
 

#THROWBACKTHURSDAY: MARGARITA CUPCAKES

Ms. Bison here! Thought I might bring back an old favorite for the first dessert post on here –

A high school friend of mine was commenting the other day about my new-found passion for baking.

Margarita Cupcakes | theblueberrybison.com

The comment, of course, was in the form of “why didn’t you bake like this in high school?!” The truth is, I did enjoy baking in high school but I hadn’t found the plethora of awesome recipes that is Pinterest and honestly, you’re not always the coolest kid in school if you spend your free time baking, even if that does mean you bring some badass cupcakes to class. I already had way too many textbooks and trapper-keepers to carry, so adding a big tupperware container to the pile didn’t help my cool-person factor.  Continue reading

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FOLLOW FRIDAY: #FOLLOWTHEBISON STYLE

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:

Quick Update: Follow the Bison Friday! | theblueberrybison.com

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):

Follow the Bison Friday: Townhall Talks | theblueberrybison.com

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?

Follow the Bison Friday: 5 Rabbit Brewery | theblueberrybison.com

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):

Follow the Bison Friday: Trocadero Gastrobar | theblueberrybison.com

Then we discovered a fun local coffee spot called Colectivo:

Follow the Bison Friday: Colectivo Coffee | theblueberrybison.com

Followed by, of course, a visit to Lakefront Brewery to sample what they had on draft (we love drinking local!):

Follow the Bison Friday: Lakefront Brewery | theblueberrybison.com

Follow the Bison Friday: Lakefront Brewery | theblueberrybison.com

And speaking of beer, we saw the location of the historic Pabst Brewery building, which was eerie and awesome all at the same time:

Follow the Bison Friday: Historic Pabst Brewery Building | theblueberrybison.com

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:

Follow the Bison Friday: Mars Cheese Castle | theblueberrybison.com

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!

Categories: Announcements & Quick Updates, Follow The Bison | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BISON BASICS: HOMEMADE SPICE RUB AND BEER BRAISE

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.

Bison Basics: Homemade Spice Rub and Beer Braise | theblueberrybison.com

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.

RECIPE1 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)
Water

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!

Categories: Announcements & Quick Updates, Bison Basics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WE LOVE WEDNESDAY

Hello everyone — and happy Wednesday! This We Love Wednesday will be short and sweet because, well, I don’t know about you but this week is ridiculously busy for us Bison. Phew! Looking forward to the weekend now more than ever. So without further delay… here’s what we love this week:

We Love Wednesday! | theblueberrybison.com

    • I happened to stumble upon this infographic that combines my love of fun facts with two of my favorite things: coffee and alcohol! I like that it tells you some good-to-know facts about both instead of just telling you that, you know, they’re evil and need to be avoided at all costs.
    • Last but not least, they had this list of 27 genius kitchen solutions which featured some things we’d heard of, some things that made us say “nice!”, and other things that just made us roll our eyes and laugh.
    • John and I started off our St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl at Fat Head’s Brewery and we loved the food and the beer so much that we wanted to make sure to give them a shout this week; be on the look-out for a #FollowTheBison restaurant review about this awesome local spot sometime soon.
    • Speaking of baking, I am so excited to make these fudgy black bean brownies from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch; not only because they look fantastic but because I’m secretly looking forward to serving them to some anti-healthy folks and watching their reactions when they find out that, gasp, their dessert was made with black beans!
    • Though we don’t have any place for a home garden right now, John and I were happy to find this list of 25 foods that you can regrow from kitchen scraps thanks to DIY & Crafts! There are even a few hidden in the list that can be regrown indoors, so we’re looking forward to taking on that new adventure.
    • We’ve also gotta give a shout to our friends at World of Beer Lakewood as they’ll be celebrating their one-year anniversary on March 25! We love hanging out at WOB because they have an insane collection of craft beer and their staff is super-knowledgeable and always friendly. It’s also the same week as my birthday, so I pretty much have to help them celebrate, right?

Until next week…

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Categories: We Love Wednesdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

BANGER CAKE, ANYONE? HAPPY ST. PATTY’S DAY!

Guys and gals, I made another thing! And this time, I dreamed it up all by myself.

 Happy St. Patrick's Day: Bangers and Mash Cupcakes | theblueberrybison.com

Sounds awesome, right? I KNOW!! I’m all super proud and excited and stuff over here.

Banger Cakes | theblueberrybison.com Bangers, mash, Irish ale gravy, and candied cabbage? You’ve gotta keep reading.

Categories: Desserts, Mixed Basket | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

NEW SERIES: WE LOVE WEDNESDAYS!

Can we talk about this weather for a minute? Yesterday, it was sunny and beautiful and 61 degrees; I thought spring was finally upon us! But now… we’re on our way back to this:

SNOW

A photo from the last time we got 6-10 inches… which unfortunately wasn’t too long ago.

Double ugh. Make up your mind, weather! Anyway, with happier things in mind, we’re introducing yet another new series this month (I KNOW!). Last week we introduced Bison Basics – our way of sharing some simpler/basic recipes to get you started in the kitchen – and this week, we’re introducing a little something called We Love Wednesdays!

I’m a huge fan of the food blog How Sweet It Is and this new series was inspired by her Currently Crushing On and Tuesday Things posts; we thought we could use Wednesdays to take a little break from regular recipes and reviews to tell you what we love at the moment. So, without further ado… our first We Love Wednesday!

New Series: We Love Wednesdays! | theblueberrybison.com

    • John has always loved scotch eggs, but he recently came across this twist on the traditional (hash brown wrapped eggs!) that’s got him pretty excited to give it a try.
    • Last week I stumbled across this list of America’s Secret Bars and I just adore the idea of a little bit of mystery with your beer and booze. How very… speakeasy!
    • Our friends at Townhall – one of our favorite local CLE restaurants – are really doing social media right and starting this fantastic Community Buzz opportunity that’s a unique chance for social media fans to get more involved! So looking forward to what they have in store.
    • Since it’s March, almost every spot has some sort of Reuben on special right now; Johnny loves a good Reuben, he just hates the mess – but fortunately Dude Foods has figured out an awesome solution to that problem with The Reuben Cone.
    • After we posted our monster burger on Saturday, we stumbled across these drool-worthy burgers from Porn Burger (can you say wowza?). It definitely got Mr. Bison’s wheels clicking as far as gourmet burgers are concerned.
    • When John was a kid, his father owned a bar and deep fried vegetables were always his favorite, especially deep fried cauliflower; the other day he came across this recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Tots on Pinterest that was like a blast from the past!
    • And speaking of reasons to love Pinterest, it recently helped me rediscover this delicious recipe for Chicken Parmesan Skillet Pot Pie from Picky Palate. Seriously, it’s so freaking good. I can’t wait to make it again now that I’ve got the recipe.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Feel free to comment below and tell us what you love today!

Categories: We Love Wednesdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

CHINESE TAKE-OUT AT HOME: CRAB RANGOON

I have a love/hate relationship with Crab Rangoon.

Homemade Crab Rangoon | theblueberrybison.com

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.

Homemade Crab Rangoon | theblueberrybison.com

Homemade Crab Rangoon | theblueberrybison.com

That’s the love part. Continue reading

Categories: Mixed Basket, Seafood | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

HOLY GNOME, THERE’S AN ELK ON MY BURGER!

So the pieces are finally coming together…

Fried Green Tomatoes | theblueberrybison.com

…which means, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…

Caramelized Onions for HOLY GNOME, THERE'S AN ELK ON MY BURGER! | theblueberrybison.com

…the assembly of (what we’re calling), HOLY GNOME, THERE’S AN ELK ON MY BURGER!

Here's a mouthful: elk burger topped with smoked pork country ribs, caramelized red onions, a fried green tomato, roasted garlic greens, double smoked provolone, and a Southern Comfort sweet tea BBQ sauce! | theblueberrybison.com Continue reading

Categories: Burgers & Sandwiches, Meats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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