“Sammy Hagar’s Cocktail Hits: 85 Personal Favorites from the Red Rocker”

Looking for a last minute Father’s Day gift? Consider this.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and #1 New York Times bestselling author Sammy Hagar recently released his first cocktail book – and it’s everything needed for a home bar. Sammy knows that some of life’s greatest memories are made over cocktails, and “Sammy Hagar’s Cocktail Hits: 85 Personal Favorites from the Red Rocker” chronicles Sammy’s storied life with drinks inspired by that journey – from the laidback beaches of Cabo and Hawaii to the dazzle of Hollywood and Las Vegas. Priced at $29.99 for hardcover and $19.99 on Kindle, this book covers everything from tools of the trade and glassware to bases and purees. And it has a forward written by Guy Fieri. For recipes from the book, see below.

The cocktails are made with Sammy’s award-winning spirits, Santo Tequila ReposadoSanto Tequila BlancoSanto Mezquila and Beach Bar Rum, which are available for purchase on each website or at local retailers – you can check each site for more info about where to buy each spirit.

Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co.

Hagar, who is not only a legendary rocker but also a spirits entrepreneur also has introduced Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co. with a line of ready-to-drink (RTD) top-shelf sparkling rum cocktails in a can. 

Hagar’s award-winning Puerto Rico-made Beach Bar Rum steeps island flavor into the cocktails, which come in four playful twists on classic flavors: Tangerine Dream, Pineapple Splash, Island Pop and Cherry Kola Chill. Made with all-natural ingredients and sweetened with agave, each flavor is under 130 calories and five grams of sugar per can. 

The four flavor profiles with Sammy’s descriptions are:

  • Tangerine Dream – A refreshing blend of tangerine and vanilla cream; the classic Creamsicle.
    • “There’s nothing better than a Creamsicle.” 
  • Pineapple Splash – The slight sweetness of pineapple, followed by the kick of jalapeño.
    • “I like it sweet, with some Jalapeño heat!” 
  • Island Pop – The fruity flavors of cherry, pineapple, and citrus, pack a Hawaiian punch.
    • “That classic Hawaiian style punch!”
  • Cherry Kola Chill – That classic soda fountain flavor of cherry cola with a hint of spice.
    • “My take on that classic Cherry Cola vibe.” 

A celebration of beach life, Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co. supports charities behind beach and ocean clean-up initiatives.

Sammy Hagar LIVE:  Check Sammy’s tour dates here – if your dad’s a mega fan you can give him tickets to any one of shows, all held in outdoor amphitheaters through the end of summer, and you can even ship him a four-pack of top-shelf sparking rum cocktails to take with him in a cooler. 

Buy online at http://sbbcco.com/ and at major retailers, grocers, big box stores, restaurants and bars in California, Nevada and Texas now; Florida in June; and additional states coming soon.  

Recipes

Santo Sunrise (featuring Santo Mezquila)

  • 1½ ounces Santo Mezquila
  • 4 ounces fresh orange juice
  • Splash of grenadine
  • Splash of Blue Curacao
  • Garnish: Half wheel orange slice

In a tall glass filled with ice, add the mezquila, orange juice, grenadine, and Blue Curaçao. Stir well and garnish with a fresh halved orange wheel.

Guava Martini (featuring Santo Blanco Tequila)

  • 1½ ounces Santo Blanco Tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce guava juice
  • Garnish: Fresh lime wheel, dusted in Tajín

In a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and add the tequila, pineapple juice, and guava juice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Garnish with a fresh lime wheel dusted in Tajín.

Kir Royale (featuring Sammy’s Red Head Rum)

  • 1 ounce Sammy’s Red Head Rum, divided
  • 4 ounces chilled champagne
  • Garnish: Fresh lemon twist

Add half the rum to a chilled champagne flute. Slowly add the chilled champagne until ½-inch from the top. Top with the remaining rum. Garnish with a fresh lemon twist.

Da Kari (featuring Sammy’s Beach Bar Platinum Rum)

  • 1 large piece fresh pineapple, rind removed
  • 2 ounces Sammy’s Beach Bar Platinum Rum
  • ½ fresh lime, squeezed
  • 1 ounce Simple Syrup
  • Rim: Lime and cane sugar
  • Garnish: Fresh lime wedge

Run a fresh lime wedge around the rim of a chilled martini glass. Then roll the moistened rim in cane sugar and set the glass aside. In a cocktail shaker, add the pineapple. Using a muddler, gently (yet firmly) muddle the pineapple. Then add the rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into the prepared martini glass. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.

Specifications:

  • Sold in four-packs
  • 12 oz/355 ml
  • 5.5% ABV
  • A QR code on every can reveals a special video message from Hagar, himself. 

Grub Street: 2022 James Beard Award Winners: The Full List

Grub Street: 2022 James Beard Award Winners: The Full List. https://www.grubstreet.com/2022/06/2022-james-beard-chef-and-restaurant-award-winners-full-list.html

Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen

Whether he’s in the hood or in an international city, Snoop Dogg says he’s got to eat and over three decades of performing around the globe, the famous rapper has learned to adapt dishes from what he grew up eating as well as recipes he’s discovered on the road. He shares these in his cookbook, Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen.

Snoop Dogg’s OG Fried Bacon Sandwich

Interestingly, the book, released  in 2018 is again topping the charts spurred by his ultra-cool appearance and performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show as well as his current Corona Beer commercials. According to a recent article in Rolling Stone magazine,  the book hit the Top Ten of Amazon’s bestsellers list, was Number One on Amazon’s celebrity cookbooks list, topping even newer releases from the likes of Rachael RayQueer Eye’s Antoni Porowski and the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.

Billionaire’s Bacon from Snoop Dogg’s From Crook to Cook

Plus, we love how he hangs with Martha Stewart, appearing on her show Martha Knows Best as well as the co-hosting the long running TV series Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.

Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. Courtesy of VHI

As Snoop Dogg, who by the way has 44 million Facebook followers and 74 million on Instagram, says “You know it’s blazin’ up in my kitchen. I’m takin’ the cookbook game higher with a dipped and whipped collection of my favorite recipes, ya dig?”

OG Fried Bologna Sandwich

SERVES 1

  • 3 slices bologna
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 3 slices American cheese
  • Barbecue potato chips, as many as you want

Place the bologna on a cutting board and cut one slit from the middle to the edge of each slice.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirl the skillet to cover the bottom

completely. When the skillet is hot and the foam has subsided, add the bread. Lightly toast for about 2

minutes per side, or until golden. Transfer to a cutting board and spread the mustard on one slice of

bread.

Return the skillet to the heat and add the bologna in a single layer. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until

the edges are golden and crisp. Flip the bologna and top each slice with the American cheese. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the cheese starts to melt.

Place the fried bologna and cheese on the toasted bread slice without mustard and top with as many

chips as you and your sandwich can handle.

 Close the sandwich, placing the other bread slice, mustard-side down, on top. Go to town.

Billionaire’s Bacon

SERVES 4

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon

Preheat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the top third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, place a wire rack on top of the foil, and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Lay the bacon slices on the rack. Spread the brown sugar mixture evenly over the bacon.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time to ensure even cooking. The bacon is done when it’s crispy and glazed.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool the bacon for 5 minutes on the rack. Serve warm.

Reprinted from Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen by Snoop Dogg with permission from Chronicle Books, 2018. Photographs © Antonis Achilleos and Heather Gildroy.

The Twisted Soul Cookbook: Modern Soul Food with Global Flavors

“My cuisine has always been at the intersection of food and culture,” said Chef Deborah VanTrece, owner of the Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours in Atlanta, Georgia. “Having traveled the world as a flight attendant, I experienced how different cultures have their own versions of what we would call ‘soul food.’ My approach to cooking revolves around taking a modern, global approach to soul food, combined with the food I grew up eating with my family. THE TWISTED SOUL COOKBOOK will take you on a journey around the world right from your kitchen.”

Across chapters filled with vibrant photography, her book offers 100 recipes for dishes ranging from fresh salads and sides, generous entrees, exciting seafood, rich desserts, and brilliant as well as practical pantry staples to amplifying everyday cooking, including dressings, relishes, preserves, and sauces. An engaging teacher and storyteller, VanTrece shows home cooks the way to use techniques both simple and sophisticated to ensure a delicious outcome every time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chef Deborah VanTrece opened the acclaimed Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours in 2014, and since then, the award-winning soul food restaurant has appeared on numerous Best Of lists, including features in the New York Times, Bon Appetit, NPR, Eater, Essence, Thrillist, Buzzfeed, Kitchn, and Food & Wine, winning acclaim for her mastery of imported cooking techniques and delicious globally informed cuisine.

She is included in 2020’s Tasty Pride: Recipes and Stories from the Queer Food Community; this is her first cookbook.

RECIPES

Grandma Lue’s Spinach Rice

  • 3 cups cooked white rice, chilled
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 lbs fresh baby spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 cup chopped marinated artichokes
  • 12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously grease a deep casserole or 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the cold rice and beaten eggs.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the celery, peppers, onions and spinach and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the spinach is wilted.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan and garlic. Cool for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese has melted and all of the ingredients are well combined.

Add the spinach-cheese mixture to the rice. With a wooden spoon, stir in the black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and salt.

Spoon into prepared baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Bacon-Praline Macaroni and Cheese

  • 6 cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • 1 tbsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tbsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups milk, warmed
  • 6 oz cream cheese, diced
  • 12 oz. American cheese, diced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 oz applewood-smoked bacon (8 to 10 slices), cooked and crumbled

Praline topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or pecan pieces
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Transfer the cooked macaroni to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the seasoned salt, white pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Sprinkle half of this seasoning mixture and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese over the macaroni and toss to combine.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for 3 to 5 minutes, until it makes a light roux. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the milk. Once all the milk is incorporated, cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, until the sauce reaches a simmer. Add the diced cream cheese and American cheese in batches, stirring until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and turn off the heat. Add the remaining seasoning mixture and stir well. Quickly whisk in the eggs until they are incorporated.

Country Captain Chicken Stew

This classic dish shows the influence of the Indian spice trade throughout the ports of the old South,’ says VanTrece about her recipe for a dish that dates back centuries.

  • 1 (2 1/2- to 3-lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp duck fat or unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (3 to 4 medium)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (13.5-oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Peanut rice noodles:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 (8.8-oz package rice noodles, cooked according to package directions, tossed in a little vegetable oil to prevent clumping, and chilled for 30 minutes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup toasted peanuts, plus more for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a large bowl, sprinkle the chicken pieces with the seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder and white pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours to marinate.

In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, melt the duck fat. When hot, add the chicken pieces and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

Spring Pea, Bacon, and Radish Salad

“This dressing is so universally loved, it doesn’t need an explanation,” write VanTrece in the recipe’s introduction. “The extra herbs just add a notch to the flavor factor. It’s not only great for salads, you can use it atop salmon, fried green tomatoes, or as a dip for chicken wings.”

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen peas (thawed, if frozen), blanched and drained, then chilled
  • 6 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus additional leaves for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and ground white pepper

In a large bowl, combine the peas, bacon, radishes, red onion, chopped fresh mint, and lemon zest, toss gently with the mayonnaise and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with whole mint leaves. Serves 6.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 195 calories (percent of calories from fat, 54), 8 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 12 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 19 milligrams cholesterol, 324 milligrams sodium.

Buttermilk Dressing

“This dressing is so universally loved, it doesn’t need an explanation,” writes VanTrece. “The extra herbs just add a notch to the flavor factor. It’s not only great for salads, you can use it atop salmon, fried green tomatoes, or as a dip for chicken wings.”

Buttermilk Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and pepper and process until smooth. Pulse in the fresh parsley, oregano, thyme, and chives until just combined. The dressing should be creamy but with a pleasing texture from the herbs.

Makes about 4 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per tablespoon: 23 calories (percent of calories from fat, 70), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 2 grams total fat (trace saturated fat), 3 milligrams cholesterol, 75 milligrams sodium.

Aunt Lucille’s 7UP Pound Cake

About this recipe, VanTrece writes, “This is a pound cake, and the only cake I can ever remember my Aunt Lucille ever making. For me, it will always carry cherished memories of celebrations and good times. This is the kind of recipe that reminds you how good old-fashioned cakes were (and can be). Definitely use 7UP for this recipe because it has a high level of carbonation that helps the cake to rise, and gives it a brighter, fresher lemon-lime flavor than other sodas.”

For the pound cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted, divided
  • 3/4 cup 7UP, divided
  • For the 7UP glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons 7UP
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan with nonstick cooking spray (see note above).

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar for 5 to 7 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the flour one-third at a time and mix on low speed, alternating with 1/4-cup portions of the 7UP, mixing well after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and lift the pan off of the cake. Let the cake cool on the rack.

While the cake cools, make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, 7UP, and lime zest until smooth.

Using a 6-inch wooden skewer or toothpick, poke holes in the top of the cooled cake. Slowly spoon the glaze over the cake, letting it run into the holes and over the surface.

Set the cake aside for 10 minutes before serving to let the glaze absorb into the cake and give it a lightly lacquered finish.

The cake can be made well in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic, and frozen for up to 4 months. It will keep moist and can be pulled out to thaw several hours before serving. It’s great served alone or with ice cream or fresh fruit compote. Serves 12 to 16.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 12: 598 calories (percent of calories from fat, 38), 6 grams protein, 89 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 25 grams total fat (15 grams saturated), 138 milligrams cholesterol, 36 milligrams sodium.

All the above recipes and images are excerpted from The Twisted Soul Cookbook by Deborah VanTrece. Copyright © 2021 Deborah VanTrece. Photography by Noah Fecks. Published by Rizzoli. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved

Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories

Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories

Jocelyn Delk Adams, who created the popular blog Grandbaby Cakes, has written a cookbook full of amazing desserts, spinning off on some of her favorite memories such as her Red Velvet Cake With Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting based upon the popular ice cream treats, adding her own Grandbaby Notes to help make baking even easier.

As a child, Adams and her family would routinely embark on the ten-hour journey from their home in Chicago to Winona, Mississippi. There, she would watch her grandmother, affectionately nicknamed Big Mama, bake and develop delicious, melt-in-your-mouth desserts. From blooming tree-picked fruit to farm-raised eggs and fresh-churned butter, Big Mama used what was readily available to invent completely original treats. Adams treasured the moments when her mother, aunt, and Big Mama would bring her into the kitchen to let her dabble in the process as a rite of passage. Big Mama’s recipes became the fabric of their family heritage. Grandbaby Cakes is Adams’s love note to her family, thanking those who came before and passing on this touching tradition with 50 fantastic cakes

“I’m Jocelyn Delk Adams,” writes founder Adams on her blog, noting that her Grandbaby brand was inspired by her grandmother and shares classic recipes in a modern and accessible way.

“I hope to inspire a new generation of bakers and cooking enthusiasts to learn kitchen skills and not feel guilty about enjoying dessert,” she continues. “At an early age, I loved visiting Mississippi to watch my grandmother, or Big Mama Maggie as my family affectionately calls her, bake. Big Mama bakes cakes that literally have her neighbors lined up around the block waiting for a taste. She not only invents (yes, she developed all of her own recipes) the most delicious melt-in-your-mouth desserts I’ve ever tasted, but she also infuses them with so much love.”

Dreamsicle Punch Bowl Cake

SERVES 18–22

CAKE

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1½  cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract

WHIPPED CREAM

  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

ASSEMBLY

  • ½ cup fresh orange juice, divided
  • 2 pints orange sherbet, slightly softened, divided
  • Orange slices, for garnish

FOR THE CAKE

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Liberally prepare a 9×5-inch loaf pan with the nonstick method of your choice.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and shortening on high speed for 2 minutes. Slowly add the granulated sugar. Cream together for an additional 4 minutes, until very pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and slowly add the flour in 2 batches. Add the salt. Be careful not to overbeat. Add the vanilla and orange extracts. Scrape down the sides, bottom of the bowl, and mix the batter until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks. Let cool to room temperature. Lightly cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap so it does not dry out.

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM

Clean the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk attachment. Place them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to get them nice and cold.

Remove the bowl and whisk attachment from the refrigerator. Add the heavy cream and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.

Turn your mixer down to medium-low speed and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. Once the sugar is fully incorporated, turn your mixer speed back to high and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

TO ASSEMBLE

Cut the cake into bite-size (½-inch) pieces. Place ½ of the cake pieces in a trifle bowl, so that the bottom is fully covered. Drizzle with ¼ cup of the orange juice. Using a spatula, spread 1 pint of the sherbet on top of the cake pieces. Top with ½ of the whipped cream. Repeat the process, using the remaining cake pieces, then a drizzle of the remaining orange juice, followed by the remaining sherbet, and then the rest of the whipped cream. Garnish the top of the cake with the orange slices. Serve.

André’s Buttered Rum and Candied Sweet Potato Crumb Cake

SERVES 20–24

GRANDBABY NOTES

If you want to save on ingredients, pick up some pumpkin pie spice and use 1½ to 2 teaspoons in place of the ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

To make sure your egg whites will whip to stiff peaks, be careful when separating your eggs. Egg whites can be quite finicky, so the slightest amount of fat from the yolk can throw off the process.

STREUSEL

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

CAKE

  • 4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, roasted, peeled, and mashed
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

BUTTER-RUM SAUCE

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 tablespoons water

HOW TO ROAST SWEET POTATOES

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork, then rub each with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Individually wrap each potato in foil and place them all on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 55 minutes, or until they are nice and soft. This time will vary based on the size of your sweet potatoes. When you can easily squeeze the sweet potatoes and the insides are tender, they are done.

FOR THE STREUSEL

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Slowly whisk in the melted butter, letting it coat the dry ingredients until crumbs are formed. The mixture will seem wet, but this is normal. Pinch pieces together to form more crumbs. Set aside.

FOR THE CAKE

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Liberally prepare a 9 × 13-inch baking pan with the nonstick method of your choice. (I recommend the parchment method described on p. 17.)

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped egg whites to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator.

Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Beat the granulated sugar and oil on medium-high speed until combined. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the sweet potatoes, hot water, and vanilla extract and beat for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and carefully add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Mix the batter until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Remove the egg whites from the refrigerator and gently fold them into the batter.

Pour ½ of the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with ½ of the streusel. Repeat with the remaining batter and streusel. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out moist but mostly clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Poke the top of the cake in various locations with a toothpick. Lightly cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap so it does not dry out. While the cake continues to cool, prepare the sauce.

FOR THE BUTTER-RUM SAUCE

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the granulated sugar, butter, rum, and water to a boil. Once at a boil, whisk until the sauce thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. When the sauce can thickly coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the warm cake. Serve at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from Grandbaby Cakes by Jocelyn Delk Adams, Agate Surrey, 2015.

Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes

I remember the first time I heard the word victuals. It was uttered by Jed Clampett—only he pronounced it as “vittles”–on that great TV series from The Beverly Hillbillies+ which ran from 1962-1971 and told the story of a family who had moved from Appalachia to, well, Beverly Hills, California.  The Beverly Hillbillies, now in syndication, is televised daily around the world and the word victual, which means “food or provisions, typically as prepared for consumption” has become a go-to-term in the food world with the rise of interest in the foods of the Mountain South region of our country. The joke at the time was that the Clampett were so out-of-step with all the wonders of Beverly Hills and that included their use of the word victuals. But the joke, it seems, may have been on us as we deal with the overabundance of processed foods and yearn for authenticity in our diets. You know, like victuals,

In her book, Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes (Clarkson Potter 2016; $16.59 Amazon price) winner of James Beard Foundation Book of The Year and Best Book, American Cooking, author Ronni Lundy showcases both the heritage and present ways of southern cookery in this part of the United States and also shares the stories of the mountain. Lundy, a former restaurant reviewer and editor of Louisville Magazine, highlights such roadways as Warrior’s Path, the name given by English settlers to the route used by the Shawnee and Cherokee traveling for trade, hunting and, at times, to prepare for battle. Describing the towns, villages and hamlets along these routes, Lundy shows how an amalgam of immigrants some willing (Scots, Germans) and some not (African) brought with them foodways and how they merged with other ethnic groups and the foods available in the region.

The author of ten books on Southern food and culture, Lundy’s book, Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken, described as the first first regional American cookbook to offer a true taste of the Mountain South, was recognized by Gourmet magazine as one of six essential books on Southern cooking. Lundy also received the Southern Foodways Alliance Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award.

To gather the stories, recipes, traditions, and foodways, Lundy traveled over 4000 miles through seven states. Along the way, she did a lot of stopping and eating. Each chapter in her book delves into an identifying food of a region or its heritage–think salt, corn, corn liquor, and beans. And, in many ways, reconnecting to her own roots. Born in Corbin, Kentucky, she remembers shucking beans on her aunt’s front porch.

“They taught me how to break the end and pull the string down and break the other end and pull the string back on the bean,” Lundy says. “I would watch them thread it up on a needle and thread, and they would hang that in a dry place in the house…We developed these things, like drying beans for shuck beans, or drying our apples so that we could through the winter make apple stack cakes and fried apple pies. We’d have dried beans on hand, cure every part of the hog.”

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Bacon & Orange Sorghum Vinegar

“Delicious root vegetables love the cool of both spring and fall in the mountains. Gardeners love the twin harvest,” Lundy writes in the introduction to this recipe. “The root cellar is where such vegeta­bles were stored in plenty of mountain homesteads, although some folks kept them in baskets and bins in a cool, dark place in the house. In fact, folks with larger houses might close off “the front room,” as the living room was more commonly called, to conserve on heat when the weather got cold. That room might then become an ad hoc fruit and vegetable cooler.

“My mother kept the Christmas fruit in the front room until company came, but not vegetables. We ate them too fast then—boiled, buttered, and salted or eaten raw with salt. Today I make this lovely salad first in the spring, then again as autumn splashes the hills with the colors of the carrots and beets.”

Serves 4

  • 3 medium yellow beets, trimmed and scrubbed
  • 3 medium red beets, trimmed and scrubbed
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • 4 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked
  • Orange Sorghum Vinegar (see below), to taste
  • Drizzle of bacon grease, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Wrap up the yellow beets in a large piece of aluminum foil. Do the same with the red beets, and place both packets on a baking sheet. Roast until the beets are tender at the center when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, on a separate baking sheet, toss the carrot pieces with the oil. Season with a sprinkle of salt. Roast the carrots for about 25 minutes, until tender and caramelized.

When the beets come out of the oven, carefully open the packets to release the steam, and let the beets cool. Once the beets have cooled, gently rub the skins off and cut the beets into wedges.

To assemble the salad, lay the red beet wedges on the bottom of a large shallow serving bowl. Lay the roasted carrots on top, and then the yellow beet wedges. Throw in the sliced radishes and red onion. Break up the bacon slices and scatter the pieces on top. Season with salt and drizzle with the orange sorghum vinegar. Toss ever so gently. Give it a taste and determine if a drizzle of bacon grease is needed. Serve.

Orange Sorghum Vinegar

Makes ¾ cup

  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sorghum syrup
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Pour the vinegar into a small glass jar with a lid. Add the sorghum and shake or stir until dissolved. Add the orange juice and shake or stir to combine. Use as directed in recipes, and store any that’s left over, covered, in the refrigerator.

Sumac Oil Flatbread with Country Ham & Pickled Ramps

makes two large flatbreads (serves 4 to 6)

“In early mountain communities, one farmer might own a valuable tool or piece of equipment that was made available to family and neighbors as needed,” writes Lundy in the introduction of this recipe. “There was often a trade involved, although more fre­quently implicit rather than directly bartered. If you were the man with the sorghum squeezer and mule, you could expect to get a couple of quarts from your neighbors’ run. If you loaned a plow, you could count on borrowing the chains for hanging a freshly slaugh­tered hog. Or when your huge cast-iron pot was returned, it might come with several quarts of apple butter.

“With a little of that same sense of sharing, Lora Smith and Joe Schroeder invested in a traveling wood-fired oven for their farm at Big Switch. In their first spring back in Kentucky, it rolled over to a cou­ple of weddings, as well as providing the main course for the Appalachian Spring feast. Joe says plans are to take it to a couple of music festivals down the line to both share and perhaps sell enough pizzas to pay the gate.

“Music makes a good metaphor for what happens in this recipe. Lora adapted a fine flatbread recipe from acclaimed chef and baker Nick Malgieri for the crust, then added some local color. In the way that European mandolins and violins were transformed by new rhythms and melodies into something purely mountain, the use of sumac-scented olive oil, tangy country ham, and pungent pickled ramps makes this a dish that tastes distinctly of its Kentucky place.

“If you have access to a wood-fired oven, bake away there according to how yours works. The direc­tions here are for a home oven.

“The flatbread slices are even better when topped with a handful of arugula, mâche, or another bright, bitter green that has been drizzled with Orange Sorghum Vinegar (see recipe above).”

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal, plus extra for rolling the dough
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 2½ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110°F)
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
  • 6 ounces country ham, sliced about ¼ inch thick and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ¾ cup Will Dissen’s Pickled Ramps (page 000), at room temperature
  • ¼ cup Sumac Oil (recipe follows)

Combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times to mix.

Combine the yeast with ¾ cup of the warm water in a medium bowl. Whisk in the olive oil. Add this mixture to the food processor and pulse to combine; then let the processor run continuously for about 10 seconds, or until the dough forms a ball. You may need to add up to another ¼ cup of the warm water at this point if your dough is not coming together.

Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.

Move the rested dough to a floured work surface and flatten into a thick disk, then fold the dough over on itself. Do this several times. Return the folded dough to the oiled mixing bowl (you might have to oil it again first). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat it to 350°F.

Sprinkle a floured work surface with a little cornmeal. Transfer the risen dough to the surface and divide it in half. Working with one piece of dough at a time, gently press it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough out as thin as possible, aiming for a roughly 10 × 15-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with second half of the dough.

Pierce the dough all over at 1-inch intervals with the tines of a fork. Divide the country ham evenly between the two portions of dough.

Bake the flatbreads until golden and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes, switching the baking sheets’ positions about halfway through cooking.

Remove to racks and let cool slightly. Divide the ramps and sumac oil evenly between the flatbreads, and serve.

sumac oil makes about ¹⁄³ cup

Native people gathered the crimson berries of the sumac plant (not the noxious, poisonous white-berried variety, of course) to dry and grind them into a powder that gave a delicious lemony flavor to fish cooked over an open fire. They and the settlers who followed also used the sumac to make a drink akin to lemonade. You don’t have to gather berries and make your own; you can buy good-quality ground sumac at almost any Mediterranean or Middle Eastern market and some natural foods stores.

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Use immediately.

Slow Cooker–Roasted Pork Shoulder

“Thrifty homesteaders knew how to cook all cuts of the hogs that were slaughtered in the winter,” writes Lundy. “The shoulder, slow-roasted with fat and bone, produced a richly textured, deeply flavored meat worth smack­ing your lips for. Modern mountain cooks use the slow cooker to create the same effect that roasting in a woodstove, kept going all day for heat as well as cooking, once provided.

“I buy pork from one of several producers in my neck of the Blue Ridge who pasture their pigs and process them humanely. They also tend to raise her­itage pigs that naturally come with more fat, and the cuts I favor reflect that. The last roast I cooked like this weighed about 3½ pounds at the market with a top fat layer about an inch deep. I trimmed that fat to ½ inch and the roast was then about 3 pounds.”

Serves 4

  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3-pound pork shoulder or butt, bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sorghum syrup
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Rub the salt and pepper into all sides of the roast, including the top fat. Place a heavy skillet over high heat and as it is warming up, place the roast in the skillet, fat side down. The heat will render enough fat for browning the rest of the roast without sticking. When there is enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan well and the fat on the roast is turning golden brown, flip the roast over and brown the next side.

Brown all sides of the roast. This may entail using tongs to hold the roast to brown the short edges, but it only takes a minute or so and is worth it since it will intensify the flavor. You may also need to spoon some of the rendered fat out of the skillet as you are browning—the point is to sear the meat, not deep-fry it.

When the roast is browned all over, place it in a slow cooker. Carefully pour off the grease from the skillet. Add ½ cup of water to the skillet and deglaze it. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the vinegar and sorghum, stirring to dissolve the syrup. Pour this mixture into the slow cooker.

Peel the onion, quarter it, and break apart the sections. Scatter the pieces around the edge of the roast in the pot. Cover, and cook on the high setting for 30 minutes. Then turn to low and cook for 4 hours.

The pork roast will be well done but meltingly tender when the inner temperature is 165°F. Remove it from the pot and allow it to rest under a tent of foil while you make the sauce.

Strain the pan juices to remove the onion pieces. Degrease the juices and pour them into a small pot set over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with ½ cup of water to form a slurry. When the juices in the pot begin to bubble, whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Continue to whisk as the mixture bubbles for about a minute and thickens. Remove from the heat.

To carve the roast, begin on the side away from the bone to yield larger, uniform pieces. Pass the sauce on the side.

Buttermilk–Brown Sugar Pie

“Pies were the Mother of Invention because neces­sity required that they be made from whatever was on hand. In the summer there was no dearth of fruit that could be gathered—often by small children who would eagerly do the work for just reward later.,” writes Lundy. “In the winter dried apples, peaches, and squash could be simmered into a filling for the hand or fried pies beloved in the region. Vinegar pie was as tasty as, and easier to come by, than one made with lemon, and apple cider could be boiled to make a tart and tangy filling. Buttermilk was enough to turn a simple cus­tard filling into a more complex delight. And using cornmeal as the thickener in these simple pies added character as well as flavor.

“My cousin Michael Fuson introduced me to brown sugar pie. It was his favorite, he told my mother when his family moved from Corbin to Louisville and he began spending time in her kitchen. “Well, honey, then I’ll make you one,” she said. That my mother could make brown sugar pie was news to me. Mike was as generous as a homesick teenaged boy could be and allowed me an ample slice before consuming the rest on his own. It was, I thought, one of the loveliest things I’d ever eaten. But then I made a version of my own with buttermilk instead of cream, and the sum of these two pie parts was greater than the whole of all pies put together.”

Makes one 9-inch pie

  • Single unbaked pie crust (use your favorite recipe or 1/4 batch of Emily Hilliard’s Pie Crust below)
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup very finely ground cornmeal*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the crust in a 9-inch pie pan and refrigerate it while making the filling.

In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cornmeal, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Beat in the melted butter. Add the dry mixture and stir vigorously until the brown sugar is dissolved. Add the buttermilk and vanilla. When all is well combined, pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 45 minutes, or until the center is set (no longer liquid, but still tender to the touch).

Allow the pie to cool until just barely warm before slicing. I like to drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of buttermilk over my slice.

Emily Hilliard’s Pie Crust

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into slices
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or fork and knife, cut in the butter. Make sure pea-sized butter chunks remain to help keep the crust flaky.

Lightly beat the egg in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the ice-cold water and the vinegar.

Pour the liquid mixture into the flour-butter mixture and combine using a wooden spoon. Mix until the dough comes together in a shaggy mass. Be careful not to overmix. Use floured hands to divide the dough in half and then form into 2 balls. Wrap each ball tightly in plastic wrap. Let them chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Note: if you cut this recipe in half, it will work for a two-crust pie.

The above recipes are reprinted from Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes. Copyright © 2016 by Ronni Lundy. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Johnny Autry. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland

Chef Tanya Holland offers up more than 80 recipes that made her California-based Brown Sugar Kitchen restaurants such standouts that are easy to cook at home in her new cookbook, Brown Sugar Kitchen. There’s lots to choose (and lots of color photos as well) from including Caramel Layer Cake with Brown-Butter-Caramel Frosting, Bourbon & Chili Glazed Salmon, and Jerk Baby Back Ribs with Pineapple Salsa.

Like her entrees and desserts, Holland’s side dishes are wonderful and perfect for home chefs.

Roasted Green Beans With Sesame-Seed Dressing

Serves 6

  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450°F and set a rack to the top position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with

parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, oil, vinegar, tahini, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. Add the  green beans and toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and black pepper.

Spread the beans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast, tossing occasionally, until tender  and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

Serves 6 to 8

  • 3 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons Creole Spice Mix (see below)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prick each sweet potato several times with a fork and put on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Cut each sweet potato lengthwise into 1-in /2.5-cm wedges.

Arrange wedges on one layer on the baking sheet and season with salt, the olive oil, and the Creole Spice.

Mix. Bake an additional 5 minutes, then flip the wedges and bake another 5 to 7 minutes, until crisp and slightly browned.

Arrange the wedges on a serving platter and serve immediately.

Creole Spice Mix

Makes about 1½ cups

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup sweet paprika

In a small bowl, stir together the salt, herbes de Provence, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, and paprika until thoroughly combined. (To make ahead, store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)

Andouille Gougères

Makes about two dozen gougères

“Gougères are sophisticated cheese puffs and are the appetizer of choice in Burgundy, France, where I went to cooking school,” writes Holland in the introduction to this recipe. “They’re made from a base known as pâté à choux, a very elementary dough and one of the first I learned to make. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy French name. Pâté à choux is easy to master and versatile too. It’s the foundation for many famous pastries including éclairs and cream puffs, and as you see here, it also comes in handy for savory treats. For this Cajun-inspired version, I decided that a crumble of spicy andouille might just put them over the top.”

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2½ ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces andouille sausage, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, combine the water, butter, and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium, and keep stirring until the mixture has formed a smooth, thick paste and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or to a large heatproof bowl.

If using a stand mixer, add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until the egg is incorporated and the dough is smooth before adding the next egg. (If mixing by hand, add 4 eggs, one at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until the egg is incorporated and the dough is smooth before adding the next egg.) The mixture should be very thick, smooth, and shiny. Stir in the Gruyère and andouille. (To make ahead, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)

Use a tablespoon to drop the dough into 1-in/2.5-cm rounds about 1½ in/4 cm apart on the prepared baking sheets. You should have about 2 dozen gougères.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg with a pinch of salt to make an egg wash. Brush the top of each gougère with the egg wash.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 375°F/190°C, rotate the baking sheets, and continue baking until the gougères are puffed and nicely browned, about 15 minutes more.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Baked gougères can be frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350°F/180°C oven for 8 to 10 minutes.)

Reprinted from Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland by Tanya Holland with Jan Newberry with permission from Chronicle Books, 2014. Photographs © Jody Horton

The Twisted Soul Cookbook: Modern Soul Food with Global Flavors

“My cuisine has always been at the intersection of food and culture,” said Chef Deborah VanTrece, owner of the Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours in Atlanta, Georgia. “Having traveled the world as a flight attendant, I experienced how different cultures have their own versions of what we would call ‘soul food.’ My approach to cooking revolves around taking a modern, global approach to soul food, combined with the food I grew up eating with my family. THE TWISTED SOUL COOKBOOK will take you on a journey around the world right from your kitchen.”

Across chapters filled with vibrant photography, her book offers 100 recipes for dishes ranging from fresh salads and sides, generous entrees, exciting seafood, rich desserts, and brilliant as well as practical pantry staples to amplifying everyday cooking, including dressings, relishes, preserves, and sauces. An engaging teacher and storyteller, VanTrece shows home cooks the way to use techniques both simple and sophisticated to ensure a delicious outcome every time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chef Deborah VanTrece opened the acclaimed Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours in 2014, and since then, the award-winning soul food restaurant has appeared on numerous Best Of lists, including features in the New York Times, Bon Appetit, NPR, Eater, Essence, Thrillist, Buzzfeed, Kitchn, and Food & Wine, winning acclaim for her mastery of imported cooking techniques and delicious globally informed cuisine.

She is included in 2020’s Tasty Pride: Recipes and Stories from the Queer Food Community; this is her first cookbook.

RECIPES

Grandma Lue’s Spinach Rice

  • 3 cups cooked white rice, chilled
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 lbs fresh baby spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 cup chopped marinated artichokes
  • 12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously grease a deep casserole or 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the cold rice and beaten eggs.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the celery, peppers, onions and spinach and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the spinach is wilted.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan and garlic. Cool for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese has melted and all of the ingredients are well combined.

Add the spinach-cheese mixture to the rice. With a wooden spoon, stir in the black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and salt.

Spoon into prepared baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Bacon-Praline Macaroni and Cheese

  • 6 cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • 1 tbsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tbsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups milk, warmed
  • 6 oz cream cheese, diced
  • 12 oz. American cheese, diced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 oz applewood-smoked bacon (8 to 10 slices), cooked and crumbled

Praline topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or pecan pieces
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Transfer the cooked macaroni to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the seasoned salt, white pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Sprinkle half of this seasoning mixture and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese over the macaroni and toss to combine.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for 3 to 5 minutes, until it makes a light roux. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the milk. Once all the milk is incorporated, cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, until the sauce reaches a simmer. Add the diced cream cheese and American cheese in batches, stirring until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and turn off the heat. Add the remaining seasoning mixture and stir well. Quickly whisk in the eggs until they are incorporated.

Country Captain Chicken Stew

This classic dish shows the influence of the Indian spice trade throughout the ports of the old South,’ says VanTrece about her recipe for a dish that dates back centuries.

  • 1 (2 1/2- to 3-lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp duck fat or unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (3 to 4 medium)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (13.5-oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Peanut rice noodles:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 (8.8-oz package rice noodles, cooked according to package directions, tossed in a little vegetable oil to prevent clumping, and chilled for 30 minutes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup toasted peanuts, plus more for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a large bowl, sprinkle the chicken pieces with the seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder and white pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours to marinate.

In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, melt the duck fat. When hot, add the chicken pieces and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

Spring Pea, Bacon, and Radish Salad

“This dressing is so universally loved, it doesn’t need an explanation,” write VanTrece in the recipe’s introduction. “The extra herbs just add a notch to the flavor factor. It’s not only great for salads, you can use it atop salmon, fried green tomatoes, or as a dip for chicken wings.”

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen peas (thawed, if frozen), blanched and drained, then chilled
  • 6 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus additional leaves for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and ground white pepper

In a large bowl, combine the peas, bacon, radishes, red onion, chopped fresh mint, and lemon zest, toss gently with the mayonnaise and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with whole mint leaves. Serves 6.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 195 calories (percent of calories from fat, 54), 8 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 12 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 19 milligrams cholesterol, 324 milligrams sodium.

Buttermilk Dressing

“This dressing is so universally loved, it doesn’t need an explanation,” writes VanTrece. “The extra herbs just add a notch to the flavor factor. It’s not only great for salads, you can use it atop salmon, fried green tomatoes, or as a dip for chicken wings.”

Buttermilk Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and pepper and process until smooth. Pulse in the fresh parsley, oregano, thyme, and chives until just combined. The dressing should be creamy but with a pleasing texture from the herbs.

Makes about 4 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per tablespoon: 23 calories (percent of calories from fat, 70), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 2 grams total fat (trace saturated fat), 3 milligrams cholesterol, 75 milligrams sodium.

Aunt Lucille’s 7UP Pound Cake

About this recipe, VanTrece writes, “This is a pound cake, and the only cake I can ever remember my Aunt Lucille ever making. For me, it will always carry cherished memories of celebrations and good times. This is the kind of recipe that reminds you how good old-fashioned cakes were (and can be). Definitely use 7UP for this recipe because it has a high level of carbonation that helps the cake to rise, and gives it a brighter, fresher lemon-lime flavor than other sodas.”

For the pound cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted, divided
  • 3/4 cup 7UP, divided
  • For the 7UP glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons 7UP
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan with nonstick cooking spray (see note above).

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar for 5 to 7 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the flour one-third at a time and mix on low speed, alternating with 1/4-cup portions of the 7UP, mixing well after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and lift the pan off of the cake. Let the cake cool on the rack.

While the cake cools, make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, 7UP, and lime zest until smooth.

Using a 6-inch wooden skewer or toothpick, poke holes in the top of the cooled cake. Slowly spoon the glaze over the cake, letting it run into the holes and over the surface.

Set the cake aside for 10 minutes before serving to let the glaze absorb into the cake and give it a lightly lacquered finish.

The cake can be made well in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic, and frozen for up to 4 months. It will keep moist and can be pulled out to thaw several hours before serving. It’s great served alone or with ice cream or fresh fruit compote. Serves 12 to 16.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 12: 598 calories (percent of calories from fat, 38), 6 grams protein, 89 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 25 grams total fat (15 grams saturated), 138 milligrams cholesterol, 36 milligrams sodium.

All the above recipes and images are excerpted from The Twisted Soul Cookbook by Deborah VanTrece. Copyright © 2021 Deborah VanTrece. Photography by Noah Fecks. Published by Rizzoli. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved

Celebrity Chef Lineup Announced for 2022 KitchenAid Fairway Club

KitchenAid recently unveiled the full schedule of celebrity chefs taking the stage in the KitchenAid Fairway Club, the centerpiece of the fan experience at Harbor Shores during the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Renowned celebrity chefs Scott Conant, Stephanie Izard, and Melissa King will join KitchenAid chefs Chris Covelli and Brett Wagner in providing golf fans and culinary enthusiasts alike with the chance to ask questions and learn from the experts during daily cooking demonstrations.

Schedule

Local favorites will also be providing featured demonstrations throughout the event, highlighting their best tips and favorite KitchenAid products. The full KitchenAid Fairway Club schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 26

1 p.m. ET –  Melissa King

2:30 p.m. – Cheyenne Galbraith, Houndstooth

Friday, May 27

  • 1 p.m. – Scott Conant
  • 2:30 p.m. – Brian Maynard, Forte Coffee

Saturday, May 28

  • 1 p.m. – Stephanie Izard
  • 2:00 p.m. – Tim Foley, Bread+Bar, Bit of Swiss
  • 3:00 p.m. – Deb Sailor, Cheese Lady

Melissa King

An award-winning chef and entrepreneur, King is known for her technical precision and ability to blend modern California cuisine with Asian flavors, Melissa is recognized as one of the best female chefs in San Francisco and a 40 under 40 Rising Star. Fan favorite and winner of Top Chef All-Stars, Melissa holds the record for winning the most challenges in the show’s history. She now serves as a judge on Top Chef and The Food Network’s Julia Child Challenge.

Prior to her television success, Melissa helmed several Michelin starred kitchens in San Francisco under acclaimed culinary legends including Dominique Crenn and Ron Siegel. She has cooked for notable figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Al Gore, and is a certified level 1 sommelier and skilled butcher. As a proud Asian American, queer woman, Melissa has raised over $50,000 for marginalized communities. She guest-stars in Sesame Street’s historic Thanksgiving episode that premiered the first ever Asian American muppet. She is set to curate the menu at the Met Gala in May 2022. Melissa is also the owner of King Sauce, a small batch sauce line and offers virtual cooking classes available in her online shop.

Scott Conant

A two-time James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author, and TV personality with a career spanning more than 35 years, Conant brings a deft touch and unwavering passion to creating culinary experiences with thoughtful hospitality and soulful cuisine. His portfolio of acclaimed restaurants includes Mora Italian (Phoenix, AZ), The Americano (Scottsdale, AZ and Atlanta, GA), and Cellaio at Resorts World Catskills (Monticello, NY). Conant has been a popular presence on Food Network as a recurring judge on Chopped since 2009 and frequent co-host of Beat Bobby Flay.

Stephanie Izard

James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” recipient 2013, and 2011 Food & Wine “Best New Chef,” Stephanie Izard is the Executive Chef and Owner of five Chicago restaurants. She also won the coveted title of “Iron Chef” in 2017 and was the 4th winner of Bravo’s Top Chef in 2008. Izard created a retail product line called “This Little Goat,” consisting of globally inspired cooking sauces and spice mixes for home cooks, and currently ships her sweets from Sugargoat nationwide in partnership with Goldbelly.

“It is our honor to welcome such a distinguished roster of chefs to the KitchenAid Fairway Club,” said Deb O’Connor, director of global corporate reputation and community relations at Whirlpool Corporation. “Our chef demonstrations are always a fan favorite, and this might be our best year yet. We love inspiring our cooking enthusiasts to spend more time in the kitchen, and there’s no better way to do that than by learning from the experts themselves.”

KitchenAid Fairway Club

Located near the main Championship entrance, the KitchenAid Fairway Club is open to the public each day of the Championship and serves as the main experience center for fans to embrace their love for making. From samples at the KitchenAid Cafe and the opportunity to use our small appliances to the “putt for paint” contest where fans who make a putt on a Stand Mixer-shaped green could win a custom painted stand mixer, there’s something for everyone at the Fairway Club. Chefs Covelli and Wagner will be on hand all week to share recipes and answer your culinary questions.

Unique Culinary Fan Experiences

KitchenAid always brings unique, culinary fan experiences to this historic and prestigious senior major, and 2022 will be no different.

https://www.facebook.com/SeniorPGAChampionship/videos/402383484802115

For more updates and information about the KitchenAid Fairway Club activities, fans can follow @KitchenAid_Golf on Twitter.

For more information about the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship or to purchase tickets, visit SrPGA.com.

About KitchenAid

Since the introduction of its legendary Stand Mixer in 1919 and first dishwasher in 1949, KitchenAid has built on the legacy of these icons to create a complete line of products designed for those with a passion to make. Today, the KitchenAid® brand offers virtually every essential for the well-equipped kitchen with a collection that includes everything from countertop appliances to cookware, ranges to refrigerators, and whisks to wine cellars. To learn more, visit KitchenAid.com or join us at Facebook.com/KitchenAid and Twitter.com/KitchenAidUSA

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Bourbon Is My Comfort Food: The Bourbon Women™ Guide to Fantastic Cocktails at Home

5 Myths (and 1 Truth) About Bourbon Cocktails

In her new book, Bourbon Is My Comfort Food: The Bourbon Women™ Guide to Fantastic Cocktails at Home (University Press of Kentucky 2022), Heather Wibbels demystifies bourbon for those of us who are just beginning our great bourbon journey. Follow Heather at cocktailcontessa.com

Loving bourbon doesn’t relegate you to neat pours for the rest of your life. In fact, one of the most fun ways to enjoy bourbon is in a delicious, balanced cocktail. But cocktails get a bad rap among bourbon enthusiasts. When picturing a typical bourbon drinker, you may think of older men in leather chairs with a glass of whiskey in hand with a cigar, but there’s more to bourbon than that. As a spirit, bourbon’s varied flavor profiles intrigue whiskey enthusiasts and cocktail drinkers alike.

Whiskey drinkers are uniquely poised to develop an appreciation for bourbon cocktails and to use them to grow the bourbon community. Let’s look at 5 myths about bourbon cocktails, and one truth you need to know to turn your understanding of the bourbon culture (and cocktails) on its head.

Myth #1: You have to drink bourbon neat to call yourself a bourbon drinker

I’ve heard it all before – a true bourbon drinker would never put a bourbon they loved in a cocktail. This is usually followed by a statement that if you can’t drink your bourbon neat you shouldn’t call yourself a bourbon drinker.

If someone identifies as a gin drinker or a vodka drinker, do you assume they only drink that spirit neat? No! You probably think they love martinis, gin and tonics, or cocktails with those spirits. Why is bourbon any different? One thing I know about bourbon culture from the mouths of people who make it, age it and bottle it is that bourbon culture is meant to be welcoming and inclusive. Every master distiller I’ve talked to has said something similar to “as long as you’re enjoying the bourbon, drink it any way you like.”

You do not have to sit in leather chairs in a dimly lit interior of a dusty bar filled with old men and hipster dudes with a glass of neat bourbon to call yourself a bourbon drinker.

As chair of Bourbon Women (https://www.bourbonwomen.org), an organization dedicated to bringing bourbon culture, education, and experiences to women throughout the US, I see us gathering women together over bourbon cocktails, food pairings, and fun events. This broadens the definition of a “bourbon drinker” to include anyone who loves bourbon, however they love it.

Bourbon culture has hospitality at its heart, and redefining the notion of a bourbon drinker to include bourbon cocktail lovers is critical.

Myth #2: Use your bad bourbon to make cocktails

I see this statement frequently in whiskey reviews: “I’ll save this for cocktails.” A professional whiskey reviewer is likely to be sensitive enough to taste those same off notes in a cocktail as in a neat pour. I know I can. Don’t save the “bad bourbon” for cocktails. Give it to someone who loves it.

Your daily drinker, your good bourbon, the bourbon that’s a go-to for sharing with friends and family is the perfect whiskey for cocktails. You’re intimately familiar with the aromas, the flavors, the finish, and the mouthfeel of that bourbon – you know what flavors taste good in combination with it.

Bourbon that you love is the only kind of bourbon you should be using for your cocktails. Your familiarity with its smell and taste will allow you to match it with great cocktail ingredients and remain aware of it even when added to a cocktail. You’ll also be able to pull out secondary notes from the bourbon as it melds with the other ingredients.

Don’t use your $50 or $60 bourbon to make your cocktails (unless you want to). Use value bourbons. Ones that you love, but don’t break the bank. And for a special occasion cocktail – to really dress up your Old Fashioned or Manhattan – break out the good stuff. Mix a cocktail withthe expensive whiskey every  once in a while, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

Myth #3: Cocktails hide the flavor of bourbon

A great bourbon cocktail doesn’t hide the flavor of bourbon – it makes the bourbon shine. It pulls out specific flavors and notes and adds them to the experience of the drink. If you don’t believe me, make the same cocktail with vodka. Bourbon adds depth, complexity, and layers of flavor and aroma to a cocktail.

A bourbon enthusiast might argue that they can’t taste the bourbon in a cocktail. But  they’re accustomed to sipping bourbon neat, with no distractions to pull awareness away from the bourbon. In a cocktail, sweet, sour, and bitter elements play with the bourbon, making bourbon harder to detect overall, but pulling out and highlighting specific flavors that may be more muted in a neatpour. When put together thoughtfully, all those elements create a cocktail that’s a coherent, balanced flavor experience.

All bourbon cocktails change dramatically when a different bourbon is selected. Swapping out the specific bourbon in a cocktail to create a cocktail flight is an enormously fun exercise for bourbon lovers used to whiskey flights.

Myth# 4: Bourbon drinkers shouldn’t waste their time with cocktails.

Have you watched whiskey drinkers at an event? Before they take a sip of anything they note its aroma. There are times it’s so involuntary I’ll see them take a sniff of a glass of soda or water before they taste it. Bourbon enthusiasts love to parse out aromas in a pour – caramel, vanilla, oak, tobacco, citrus, dried fruit, etc. They love to talk mouthfeel and finish. Each of these sensations is critical in the evaluation of a cocktail.

Bourbon drinkers are the perfect people to create and evaluate cocktails. They are primed to evaluate the very things that make a cocktail stellar – flavor, balance, mouthfeel, and finish. They are often able to pull out very specific flavors from a drink – specific nuts, fruits, spices, and sugars. They are able to taste a cocktail that’s too thin, or overly textured. Or one that’s not balanced.

In short, whiskey drinkers can be as nuanced in evaluating cocktails as they are at bourbon. Cocktails are a flavor puzzle that challenges whiskey drinkers perfectly. They need to consider flavors and aromas of potential ingredients to create a cocktail that’s balanced, delicious, and intriguing to the drinker.

Myth #5: Cocktails take too much time for bourbon drinkers

We choose every day what we’ll spend time on. I have seen bourbon lovers spend 20 minutes perusing a bourbon list to create a flight, or even try a single pour. I have watched friends debate bottles for an event via messaging for an entire day. Part of the fun is taking the time to select the right one.

It’s Easy to Do

A cocktail can be made in a few minutes. Add bourbon, bitters, sugar, and ice to a glass and you can build an old fashioned in a minute. Add vermouth and bitters to bourbon and you have a Manhattan.

Part of the fun of creating a bourbon drink is choosing the whiskey to use. Bourbon fanatics and newbies alike love to find flavors, and adding cocktail ingredients to bourbon does the same thing.

While putting a great cocktail may seem intimidating, classic bourbon cocktails are easy and fast to make at home – even to batch for parties. Bourbon drinkers can use these fast cocktails to do something they love – get others to drink more bourbon. Nothing’s better than sharing a bourbon with a friend.

The Truth: Bourbon cocktails are the gateway to bourbon

Bourbon is better with friends. Bourbon cocktails are the way most people start their bourbon journey. Typically, a delicious and approachable cocktail draws a bourbon newbie in. Suddenly, they start to see what all the fuss is about. And over time they learn to love bourbon in a cocktail, on the rocks, and neat. Bottles accumulate on the home bar, bourbon books collect on the shelf, and swag piles up from bourbon events.

Learning to make great bourbon cocktails expands a bourbon lover’s palate and lets them grow their bourbon circle to include friends and family who have never had a positive, fun experience with bourbon. Knowing the basics of bourbon cocktails can start a lifelong passion with bourbon.

Bourbon hospitality should be generous and welcoming. And nothing’s more welcoming than a bourbon cocktail from a friend and future bourbon buddy.

About the Author

Heather Wibbels, an award-winning mixologist, chair of the Bourbon Women Board of Directors, photographer, and digital content creator, works with brands and companies to develop cocktails and deliver cocktail education for both the home mixologist and cocktail enthusiast, turning cocktail lovers into whiskey drinkers one drink at a time. She develops, writes, and photographs content for her own website as well: www.CocktailContessa.com.

The following recipes are courtesy of Heather Wibbels.

Cider Toddy

This cider-based toddy with a splash of maple syrup combines all the flavors of fall. Fresh pressed appe cider from a local orchard makes this toddy exceptional.

  • 4-6 ounces apple cider
  • ½ ounce maple syrup
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • 16 drops Old Forester’s smoked cinnamon bitters (or 2 dashes of your favorite fall-flavored aromatic bitters)
  • 1 dash ginger bitters
  • 1½ ounces bourbon or whiskey
  • Garnish: apple slice, cinnamon stick

Fill a mug with hot water and set it aside. Combine apple cider, maple syrup, lemon juice, and bitters in a small saucepan and heat until steaming but not simmering (or heat in a microwave-safe container in the microwave). Add bourbon and stir to combine. Discard the water in the mug and pour the toddy into it. Garnish.

Dark Quarter

            If a Sazerac and a Manhattan had a love child, this would be their firstborn. Rich and complex, this cocktail dials up the spice with a licorice liqueur, a peppery rye whiskey, and amaro’s earthy coffee and chocolate notes. A touch of maple syrup sweetens and balances the cocktail and results in a thicker mouthfeel.

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey (or high-rye bourbon)
  • ¼ ounce barrel-aged maple syrup
  • ¾ ounce Foro amaro
  • ¼ ounce Herbsaint or absinthe
  • Garnish: star anise and candied ginger

            Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice. Stir for 30 seconds or until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish.

The Kentucky Smolder

            Creating a great Old-Fashioned for serious whiskey drinkers requires finesse. You need to highlight the whiskey above everything else, balance it with great bitters, and make sure it contains a hint of intrigue to keep them interested. The smoked chili bitters add both smoke and heat from the capsaicin found in chili peppers. And through it all, the bourbon still shines. I created this high-proof Old-Fashioned for a Bourbon Women “He Sips, She Sips” event featuring a blind tasting of Heaven Hill bourbons and ryes.

  • 2 ounces Old Forester Whiskey Row 1920, high-proof (110 or higher) bourbon, or Pikesville rye
  • ½ ounce demerara sugar simple syrup
  • 3 dashes Hella Bitters smoked chili bitters
  • Garnish: charred cinnamon stick

            Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir for about 20 seconds, then strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a charred cinnamon stick (be careful not to set your fingers on fire).

The King’s Julep

The King’s Julep

            Here, the King refers to the King of Rock and Roll: Elvis Presley. This julep is an homage to those peanut butter and banana sandwiches Elvis used to make. It’s a great julep for someone who is new to bourbon and wants to try a wildly creative take on a classic.

  • 1½ ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce peanut butter whiskey
  • ¾ ounce Giffard’s Banane du Brésil banana liqueur (substitute chocolate liqueur for Reese’s julep)
  • 2 dashes Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters
  • Garnish: peanut butter and banana skewer and fresh mint sprig

            In a mixing glass, add bourbon, peanut butter whiskey, banana liqueur, and bitters. Add ice. Stir until chilled, 10–15 seconds. Strain into a julep cup filled with crushed ice. Add a straw, mint sprig, and skewer of banana and peanut butter.