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BREW CLUB Beer of the Month: Angry Axe IPA

Fredonia Brewery
Proudly brewed in the oldest town in Texas, Fredonia Brewery began in 2016 when creator, Paul Murray, turned his passion for home-brewing into a brewery that represented his love for Nacogdoches and the independent spirit that created Texas.

An alumnus of Stephen F. Austin University, Murray uses the college mascot and the Nacogdoches old-town heritage as inspiration for his lineup of beers.

Featured Beer: Angry Axe IPA
Cascade and Columbus hops are used to complement Crystal 10 and Melanoidin malts. Some slight red tones can be seen in this caramel-colored ale that leaves a pleasantly bitter taste on the middle and back of the tongue as well as on the finish. With an IBU of 78, Angry Axe offers moderately bitter flavor combined with orange peel, caramel and citrus notes. A great choice for enjoying with friends who appreciate a beer with predominate hop character.

Food Pairings
It is sometimes difficult to pair food with an IPA that is higher on the IBU scale. They need flavors that stand up against the bitterness of the beer and complement rather than contrast the pairing. Avoid overly spicy or salty food, as the hops in the beer can make the food taste spicier or over-salted. The beer will also latch onto sweeter flavors and highlight the subtle sweetness of foods like caramelized onions or roasted meats.

Cuisines with a complex flavor profile like Thai, Indian or Moroccan food match the array of aromas and flavors that complement IPAs. Also, oily fish like salmon, burgers or sausages with sautéed onions and citrus desserts that balance the sweet and tart.

Tandoori Chicken with Yogurt-Mint Dipping Sauce

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp peeled fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece), grated
2 tsp vegetable oil, plus more for baking sheet
1 tsp coarse salt
8 chicken legs and thighs
1/2 cup mango chutney

Combine yogurt, tomato paste, garam masala, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, 2 teaspoons oil and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the chicken to a large baking dish or gallon-sized plastic bag; coat the chicken with the yogurt mixture. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Heat oven to 450° F. Rub oil on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Remove chicken from the marinade. (Do not wipe or rinse marinade off of chicken.) Arrange pieces in a single layer. The high heat of the oven is similar to the type of ovens used in India, but the layer of yogurt marinade protects the chicken from burning. Broil until golden and cooked through (about 20 to 30 minutes total), flipping once halfway through. Remove from oven, and then brush with chutney. Serve with dipping sauce.

Calories Per Serving: 620, Fat: 41 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 223 mg, Sodium: 785 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 0.9 g, Protein: 42 g.

Yogurt-Mint Dipping Sauce

1 tsp sugar
10 mint leaves
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder, to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp garam masala, to taste
1 Tbs mango chutney

Place the sugar and mint leaves on a cutting board. Chop into a sugary mint paste. Add to the yogurt; stir in all remaining ingredients. Serve as a dipping sauce with the chicken.

Calories Per Serving: 61, Fat: 2 g (1.5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 11 mg, Sodium: 38 mg, Carbohydrates: 5.5 g, Fiber: 0.1 g, Protein: 5 g.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes

WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir was born in the Burgundy region of France where it is often referred to as red Burgundy instead of Pinot Noir. The wines from Burgundy have flavors of ripe red berries, sweet black cherries, mushrooms and what sommeliers call forest floor, which is the smell you get from freshly fallen damp leaves.

American-grown Pinot Noir can be divided into two categories: warm climate and cool climate. Warm-climate wines have more ripe fruit flavors and less acidity, while cool-climate wines still enjoy the heat of the season. As temperatures drop off close to harvest time, the acidity is preserved, and the fruit flavors become more tart.

Many warm-climate Pinot Noir wines come from Napa Valley, and the cool-climate varieties are from Sonoma County, specifically the Russian River Valley, Oregon and Washington.

“A difficult grape to grow, Pinot Noir achieves greatness in only a handful of places worldwide, and the Russian River Valley is one of those places. Our Pinot-perfect climate combined with an amazing complexity of soil types results in wines that not only reflect their individual sites but share a common thread. Aromas tend to be bright, focused fruit, ranging from wild strawberries and raspberries to red and black cherries. Notes of cola and baking spices are common. In the mouth, they are rich and velvety with their high degree of ripeness kept in check by bright acidity,” according to the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association.

Wine of the Month:
Migration® Pinot Noir

Created by the Duckhorn® Wine Company to showcase Pinot Noir grown in the cool-climate winegrowing region of the Sonoma County Russian River Valley, this wine highlights the lush fruit, bright acidity and balanced oak of the aging process. Coastal fog and sandy loam soils have contributed to a Pinot Noir with beautiful, high-tone red fruit flavors of cherry, cranberry and strawberry with enticing hints of orange and cinnamon spice.

Classic Russian River Valley aromas of ripe red raspberry, Bing cherry and pomegranate erupt from the glass. These red-berry flavors resonate on the lush, silky palate, where they blend with blackberry notes and hints of French oak-inspired spice. This wine is barrel-aged for 10 months in French oak.

Food Pairings:
Pinot Noir pairs well with pork, lamb, salmon, mushrooms, truffles, Gruyere cheese and sharp cheddar. It is also a great choice for Thanksgiving as it complements roasted turkey and many of the side dishes.

Thanksgiving Turkey Cakes

(The perfect way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers.)

4 cups leftover turkey meat, brown and white
1 cup stuffing
2 cups side dishes (potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, corn, etc.)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs
cooking oil
cranberry sauce, turkey gravy or buns, for serving

In a food processor, pulse each of the first 3 ingredients separately a few times to chop. Place in mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add eggs. Fold together; form into small cakes that are about 3 inches wide and 2 inches thick. Cook in a fry pan with a small amount of oil until brown on both sides and heated through. Serve with cranberry sauce, with turkey gravy or on a bun.

*Nutritional Information will vary depending upon the side dish combination used.

*Calories Per Serving: 195, Fat: 8 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 97 mg, Sodium: 224 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 22 g.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes

Pumpkin Season is Upon Us

Pumpkin Season is Upon UsIt used to be that we’d buy a pumpkin for Halloween and have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. That would be the extent of our annual pumpkin tasting.

From the beginning of October until the end of November, it’s likely you’ll see pumpkin or pumpkin spice as an ingredient in almost everything, from cereal to pasta sauces and even beer. As you shop through the aisles, it’s incredible to see some of the pumpkin-inspired ideas purveyors have created.

FRESH is happy to jump on the pumpkin wagon because it kicks off our favorite season of eating with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. There will be a large selection of pumpkins on the patio next to produce. FRESH has big ones, little ones, heirloom pumpkins, Cinderella pumpkins and a vast assortment of pumpkin centerpieces and floral arrangements crafted in our own floral department.
While shopping, you have to get a pumpkin spice latte, or try the pumpkin gelato.

In the bakery, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin loaf, pumpkin cheesecake and crème brûlée will be offered as delicious seasonal treats. Don’t forget the traditional pumpkin pie.

Also, check the calendar for information about the kids’ Halloween Costume Contest on October 28, along with other pumpkin-related events and specials.

Brown Sugar-Pumpkin Pound Cake with Pecan Glaze


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (plus more for greasing pan)
3 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting pan)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbs bourbon (optional)
2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
4 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease Bundt pan with butter; sprinkle with flour. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter, both sugars, vanilla and bourbon together at medium speed until fluffy. Blend in pumpkin. Add the eggs, one at a time. Set mixer speed to low; add flour mixture in 3 batches. Combine until just blended. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, add batter to prepared pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out fairly clean. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; remove it from the pan.

Place all glaze ingredients in saucepan over low heat; stir until melted. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. After cake has completely cooled, spoon glaze over the top of the cake.

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BREW CLUB Beer of the Month: Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale

Rogue Pumpkin Patch AleRogue Brewery
Started in 1987 in the basement of the Rogue Public House in Ashland, Oregon, a group of like-minded “rogues” decided to create a brewpub. One year later, they opened a 60-seat pub and a brewery in the basement. Their first beers were an amber ale and an Oregon golden.

Fast-forward to 2017, and Rogue is still growing and brewing. They create a large assortment of handcrafted ales, lagers, porters, stouts and spirits that are distributed throughout the country.

Featured Beer: Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale
Each year, Rogue increases the number of pumpkins grown on Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. They pick their pumpkins fresh from the patch, load them on a truck, and drive them 77 miles to the brewery in Newport, Oregon. At the brewery, they are roasted and pitched into the brew kettle. From patch to batch, Rogue grows pumpkin patch beer.

The Pumpkin Patch Ale has a dark color with aromas of spice, citrus zest and toasted caramel. Spices with hints of vanilla, malt and caramel are prominent in the flavor. It finishes dry with a hint of sweet pumpkin.

Food Pairings
Dessert, Pork, Grilled Turkey, Ribs

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic-Parsley Sauce

1 large spaghetti squash
1 Tbs olive oil
coarse salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 shallots, small-diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbs parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut spaghetti squash in half, and clean the seeds out with a spoon. Drizzle with olive oil, and rub with salt and pepper. Turn the squash halves flesh-side up on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the inside of the squash is tender. Let cool for 15 minutes. Run the tines of a fork down the length of the squash flesh, pulling out long strands of squash. Continue until all of the flesh is pulled out of the skin. Place the strands loosely in a bowl. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook until softened. Add squash to the pan; toss to combine. Cook until warmed through. Stir in parsley and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Grilled shrimp or chicken can be added to this dish.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes

So Long Summer

Sometimes I think that Labor Day is my favorite holiday of the year. I am usually thinking that in July and August when it is 100 degrees outside, and I am growing weary of long, hot summer days.

Then, I see that it’s almost Labor Day, and that means fall is on the way. So long summer, it’s time for a cool down! Even though it’s still a bit warm, I start getting excited about eating outside and grilling – all things I avoid during the dog days of summer because who wants to stand over a hot grill when it’s just as hot outside.

That means the last long weekend of summer deserves a proper celebration. Now I know it will still be hot, but this recipe has two big advantages: quick cooking and closing the lid of the grill.

When I was a kid, we used to visit my cousins in New York for Labor Day. They lived on Long Island, and they’d always throw a clambake party. That’s not exactly possible here, but this recipe for Scampi-Style Grilled Shellfish comes close.

What goes in it really depends on what’s available in the FRESH seafood market, and typically everything in this recipe should be there. Shrimp, scallops, crab legs, claws, mussels and clams are all great choices. You can also get a few fish fillets and cut them into cubes to add to the mixture. The key is that all of your fish and shellfish cook at the same rate. You don’t want overcooked shrimp or undercooked fish. Consider the size of things and their typical cooking times.

Also, remember to discard any clams or mussels that are already open prior to cooking and any that did not open during cooking. Those little guys are not edible. If you’re feeling indulgent, you can also grab a couple of lobster tails to cook directly on the grill grate. All you need on the side is lots of melted butter and some crusty baguettes to soak up all the sauce.

Scampi-Style Grilled Shellfish

4 dozen assorted shellfish (large shrimp, sea scallops, crab claws/legs, mussels or clams)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups white wine
1 cup water
juice from 3 lemons
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
disposable aluminum roasting pan

If using mussels or clams, clean and scrub outside of shells. Rinse off grit and sand. Discard any that are not completely closed or have a cracked shell. Do not debeard mussels until right before cooking. Peel and devein shrimp.

Heat grill to high heat. Place roasting pan on grill. Add butter and let melt. Add wine, water, lemon juice, lemon rounds, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and salt. Close grill and allow liquid to heat until steaming.

Place all shellfish in pan. Stir everything together with a large spoon. Close the lid; turn grill heat down to medium. Let steam for about 2 minutes, and then stir again. As shellfish open or finish cooking, remove from the pan to a large serving bowl. The shrimp will cook fastest, and the clams will take the longest to open. Shrimp should be pink and curled, scallops opaque, and clams and mussels opened. Discard any clams or mussels that do not open. Do not try to pry open.

Pour the liquid from the pan over the cooked shellfish. Add parsley. Serve with rice or toasted baguette slices.

Serves 4

Note: Purchase clams and mussels no more than 24 hours in advance of cooking. Fill a colander with ice, and place the mussels and clams on top of the ice. Place the colander in a larger bowl, discarding melted water periodically. You want your shells to stay on top of the ice and not be floating in water.

Calories per Serving : 360, Fat: 24 g (15 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 90 mg, Sodium: 771 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 9 g

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Dinner Made Easy with Veggie Noodles

Spiralizing vegetables is all the rage in the culinary world. So many diets are looking to noodles made out of vegetables as a way to eat gluten-free, cut calories and add more vegetables to a meal.

Basically, you take a dense vegetable like butternut squash, zucchini or potatoes and put it through a gadget called a spiralizer. The spiralizer will cut the vegetable into long noodles. They can be eaten raw, sautéed, parboiled or fried. There’s just one problem. I’ve tried a few spiralizers, and the results were not as successful as I expected. The noodles were flimsy, broken or oddly shaped.

When I saw the spiralized noodles from Veggie Noodle Co. at FRESH, I couldn’t wait to try them. It’s a great company out of Austin, and they do the spiralizing for you. The noodles are perfect, and the packaging comes with quick, easy recipes and cooking instructions. Plus, there is a variety of vegetables to choose from: butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini and beet. I can’t even begin to imagine the mess that I would have made if I had tried to spiralize a beet!

Having all these options allows you to get creative with recipes. All of them can be made so quickly. It’s the perfect solution for weeknight dinners.

The butternut squash spirals can be sautéed for a few minutes and then tossed in pesto and olive oil. The sweet potato spirals are really delicious when fried. It’s a bit like sweet potato fries. The beet spirals are beautiful and can be sautéed, fried or boiled. Toss them with olive oil and a few drops of balsamic, and then top with some goat cheese crumbles for a nice pasta substitute.


WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Rosé Wine

Miraval Rose Cotes de ProvenceWhen it comes to Rosé wine, many confuse it with some sweet counterparts – white zinfandel and blush – but a true Rosé is entirely different.

In technical terms Rosé is a dry wine made from red wine grapes that receive limited contact with the grape skins. In winemaking, the grape skins are what give red wine it’s color.

Rosé can vary in color from very light coral to almost red depending on the exposure to the grape skins. Some refer to Rosé as blush because they’ve received a blush of color, but the correct term would be Rosé. The term blush actually refers to sweeter pink wines like white zinfandel or white merlot.

Rosé is released in spring and available in limited quantities. Produced from the previous year’s vintage, they are aged for only six months. They are young wines designed to drink within a year of purchase.

The limited release is because the grapes used are primarily grown to make red wine. Many are blends of multiple grape varietals the winery has left on the vine after picking what they need for making red wine.

Featured Wine: Miraval Rose Cotes de Provence
Pale, petal-pink color, elegant with bright nuances. A beautiful aromatic expression with fresh fruit and spring flowers, refreshing acidity, with great minerality and a saline finish.

Created from Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle grapes, the fruit is harvested exclusively in the morning and sorted twice. Destemming occurs and then 95% of the wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats, while 5% goes into barrels to be blended later.

The Miraval estate is located in Provence and was purchased by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2008. Despite their divorce, they plan to keep the estate as an investment for their family and continue wine production. The wine is produced from estate grown grapes by the esteemed winemaking family, Perrine. Known for some of the finest wines in France, the Perrines have been making wine for 5 generations.

Miraval’s first release in 2013 sold out in 10 minutes in France. Although the wine’s popularity began because of the Jolie-Pitt star power, it has since won many awards and is acclaimed as a serious terroir-driven wine that exemplifies a classically built Provencal rose.

“Fresh, incisive aromas of orange zest, redcurrant and white flowers, with hints of honey and lavender in the background. Silky and light on its feet, offering intense red berry and citrus fruit flavors that deepen and spread out with air. Packs a solid punch but comes off as lithe and precise, with excellent finishing cut and floral persistence.” Wine Advocate Wine Critic, Antonio Galloni

Food Pairings:
Rosés are very versatile wines and pair well with many types of food. It really shines next to fish, but can also compliment grilled meats and vegetables, pasta with a light sauce or a number of different Asian or spicy foods.

Shrimp Cocktail with Mango-Avocado Salsa

For the shrimp:
16 shrimp (16/20 count, raw, peeled deveined)
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sriracha
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

For the salsa:
1 cup FRESH mango salsa
1 lime
1/2 avocado, cubed

In a saucepan combine the pineapple juice, water, sriracha and salt. Bring to a simmer. Add the shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and tails are curled. Remove the shrimp from the liquid and refrigerate to chill completely.

To make the salsa, in a bowl combine the mango salsa, lime juice and avocado. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Chill for 1 hour.

To serve, divide the salsa into 4 glass bowls or ramekins. Hang 4 shrimp on the side of each bowl or stack on top of the salsa. Serve with tortilla chips on the side. Makes 4 shrimp cocktails.

Serves 4

Calories per Serving : 205, Fat: 7 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 185 mg, Sodium: 538 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 21 g

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Favorite Foods for Fourth of July

Sweet & Tangy Asian RibsWhat’s your favorite part about the Fourth of July? Is it the fireworks, watermelon, lake time or the food? I must admit that I get really excited about making all the traditional dishes like coleslaw, potato salad, hot dogs and hamburgers. This year, I’m going to surprise everyone and add some ribs to the menu.

Since the grill will be filled with all the hot dogs and burgers, I will do the ribs in the oven the morning of the party. One hour before the party, I can reheat the ribs and leave them wrapped in foil to stay warm.

This recipe is a bit different than the traditional one. Instead of barbecue sauce, I’ve created an Asian sauce that is sweet, tangy and spicy. These ribs have always been a hit anytime that I’ve served them, and I hope they will make your Fourth of July even happier.

Sweet & Tangy Asian Ribs

1 (2 to 3 lb) slab baby back ribs
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbs Sriracha
3 cloves garlic, minced

Remove excess fat and membranes from the backside of the ribs; discard. Place the ribs in a large foil-lined baking pan. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and pour over the ribs. Cover the pan with foil. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Place the ribs, still in the marinade, on the counter for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature. Preheat oven to 300° F. Turn the ribs, top-side down. Leave the marinade in the pan. Cover with foil, and place in the oven. After 1 hour, open the foil. Turn the ribs over (top-side up); cover again with the foil. Cook for 1 more hour. Check the ribs for doneness. A knife should be able to pierce the meat with no resistance.

Raise the oven temperature to 400° F. Remove the foil. Baste the ribs with some of the sauce from the pan. Cook uncovered for 15 to 20 more minutes until the sauce is caramelized.

Once the ribs are done, they can be served immediately, or cover and hold in a 150° F oven for up to 2 hours. Baste occasionally with pan juices. If you are serving several hours later, refrigerate and then reheat, covered with foil, in a 200° F oven for 1 hour.

Serves 6

Calories per Serving : 747, Fat: 54 g (20 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 178 mg, Sodium: 1807 mg, Carbohydrates: 21 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 41 g

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Posted in: Holidays, Market, Recipes

Summer Sips, Sodas & Cocktails

School is out, and summer is finally here. It’s time for vacations, trips to the lake and pool parties. That means you need plenty of cold drinks on hand to quench everyone’s thirst in the summer heat.

We all have our favorite sodas, but a walk down the beverage aisle at FRESH reveals a variety of options that offer some fun, summer flavors. Also, check the juice aisle for plenty of pure juices and lemonades. Plus, the water aisle contains many flavored and vitamin-enhanced waters.

Here are a few of my favorites, plus some cocktail recipes that are sure to be a hit at your next pool party.

Fever-Tree Light Ginger Beer: Natural fruit sugars are used to create this reduced-calorie ginger beer. A naturally brewed product that has distinctive long-lasting ginger character and 53% fewer calories, each 200-milliliter bottle has 42 calories. Enjoy as a mixer or by itself.

World Waters WTRMLN WTR: Cold-pressed watermelon flesh, rind and organic lemon juice are the only ingredients in this refrigerated beverage. No water or sweeteners are added. The natural vitamins and minerals in watermelon water include vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, L-citrulline and lycopene. 60 calories in an 8-ounce serving.

Hubert’s Lemonade: Since 1935, Hubert’s Lemonade has been delivering sunshine in a bottle with their homemade lemonade. It’s a tasty and refreshing mix of sweet and tart. Sweetened with stevia and sugar with 70 calories.

Hint Water: This water contains only purified water and a hint of flavor derived from natural ingredients. No sweeteners, preservatives, sugar or other artificial ingredients. Available in a large variety of flavors.

Moscow Mule

1.5 oz vodka
1/4 of a lime, juiced
3/4 cup Fever-Tree Ginger Beer, chilled
fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Pour vodka over stacks of ice in a tall glass. Add fresh lime juice and chilled Fever-Tree Ginger Beer. Garnish with fresh mint.

Serves 1

Calories per Serving : 139, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 0 g

Back Nine (aka Spiked Arnold Palmer)

3 cups brewed tea
2 cups Hubert’s Lemonade
1 1/2 cups vodka
lemons slices, for garnish

Add ice to a pitcher. Add all ingredients to the pitcher; stir to combine.

Makes 6 1/2 cups

Serves 6

Calories per Serving : 152, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 4 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 0 g

Watermelon-Basil Margarita

1 oz tequila
1/2 oz triple sec
1 large basil leaf
2 tsp sugar

Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Add tequila, triple sec, basil and sugar. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add ingredients from the shaker. Top with the watermelon water. Stir to combine.

Serves 1

Calories per Serving : 204, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1106 mg, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 1 g

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Posted in: Entertaining, Recipes

A Barbecue Twist for Dad

A Barbecue Twist for DadFather’s Day is coming up, and I’m willing to bet that most dads would love a dinner that involves three things: meat, barbecue sauce and spicy flavor.

This is a recipe that I created last summer for a large family gathering. It’s a barbecue chicken sandwich, but it doesn’t quite fit traditional Texas barbecue standards. Don’t tell anyone, but to save myself some time and effort, I cooked the chicken in the slow cooker. It was so tender and juicy. All I had to do was put it in with some water and walk away. Several hours later, I came back to add my secret sauce and gave it another hour to absorb the flavor. I then shredded the meat with two forks, and it was ready to serve.

I know you’re probably wondering, “What was the secret sauce?”

It’s not your traditional barbecue sauce. Instead, this sauce is rich with layers of flavor and subtle Asian spice. It’s Hak’s Thai Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce. East meets West in this fusion sauce that combines the deep sweetness of dates, tangy tamarind, bright lemongrass and rich sesame oil.

Hak’s is all-natural with no preservatives, and the ingredients start out traditional with apple cider vinegar, molasses and tomato paste. Then, they add soy sauce and the Thai-inspired ingredients, and you find yourself enjoying an unexpected layer of flavor. The spice is subtle, so those who like things mild can still enjoy the recipe.

After I tried this flavor, I found myself going back to try some of Hak’s other sauces. There’s a Habanero Pineapple that is delicious on grilled pork and Smoked Maple Mustard that is perfect on roasted chicken.

A set of the sauces and a few grilling tools from the housewares aisle would make a great gift for Dad. It’s the gift that keeps giving with every delicious meal that he will enjoy.

Thai Chile BBQ Chicken Sandwich

4 Smart Chicken Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
3 Noonday onions, sliced
1 cup water
1 bottle Hak’s Thai Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce
1 pkg FRESH Onion Hamburger Buns

Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Top with the sliced onions. Add the water. Cook on low for 5 hours. After 5 hours, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Cook on high for 1 hour. Shred the chicken with two forks. Add more sauce, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with additional sauce at the table. Use onion buns to build the sandwiches. Toasting the buns helps keep the sandwiches from getting too soggy with all the juices from the meat.

Serves 8

Calories per Serving : 319, Fat: 4 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 38 mg, Sodium: 448 mg, Carbohydrates: 49 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 20 g

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