Whiskey + Aprons

Whiskey + Aprons

Monday, March 20, 2017

Celtic Frappes, Turkey Reubens + Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Happy Monday and first day of spring, friends! Sorry our recipes are coming to you a bit late, but the weekend was filled with lots of cooking, eating and shopping. John and I got cracking on a new outdoor set for the summer. This warm weather got us in the mood to start a little bit of an outdoor revamp and got me thinking about what I would like to start planting this summer. Our backyard is tiered off, so we have some nice space for a decent sized garden. Let us know what you guys plan to plant as the spring weather approaches.

We wanted to dedicate this post to everyone who tuned into our live cooking show this past Friday. We couldn't thank you guys enough for watching and spending your Friday night hanging in our kitchen :). As of today, we have 600 views on our video, which is pretty damn cool! Over the weekend, Whiskey + Aprons also became a proud member of the FoodieTribe which is a group of about 800 foodies around the world dedicated to supporting their local community through food and culture, pretty much what W+A is all about too. We can't wait to share with all of our readers some of the new brands and local openings coming our way.

Now in recipe news, we have a few to share from last Friday's cook off. John mixed up a festive refreshing Celtic Frappe in honor of St. Patrick's Day from Liquor.com and added his own twist.


 Ingredients:
2 oz of Celtic Honey liqueur
1 oz of lime juice
.75 oz vermouth
.25 oz orange sherbet
1 dash of aromatic bitters 
1 tsp of green dye (optional)
Directions: 
Add all ingredients into a shaker tin and fill with ice.
Shake and double strain into Old fashioned glass and fill with crushed ice. Squeeze orange oils over glass. Take a toothpick and wrap your orange peel around for 10 seconds to create a twisted orange peel garnish. Add two drops of green dye if you want to get really crazy.



To continue with our festive St. Patty's Day dinner we decided to make these cute loaded smashed potatoes as a side for our sandwiches. They were super easy and fun to make and were the perfect side to our reuben sandwiches. I would make these again for entertaining or as a passed appetizer.

Ingredients:   
12 baby red potatoes  
1/3 cup olive oil
Tbsp of sea salt  
1 cup cheddar cheese  
1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled (I used turkey bacon)   
1/2 cup sour cream  
1/4 cup chopped green onion
  
Directions:  
Boil potatoes whole for about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain potatoes and place onto a greased (with olive oil) baking sheet. Smash the potatoes down using the bottom of a cup. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes until nice and crispy. Top each one with about a tbsp of cheese. Place the pan under the broiler until the cheese starts to bubble. Top with sour cream, bacon, and green onions (or chives) and serve warm.



Our turkey reubens with homemade Russian dressing were so fulfilling and the perfect comfort food. We grilled these sandwiches up and served them slathered with dressing.

Ingredients: 
1 loaf of fresh pumperknickle bread
1 lb of pastrami seasoned turkey 
1/2 pound of Swiss cheese 
2 tbsp of butter 
cooking spray 
1.5 cups of sauerkraut  

For dressing:
1 small onion
1 tbsp of sweet chili sauce
1/8 cup of ketchup
2/3 cup of mayo
1 tsp of paprika
1 tbsp of vinegar 
Mix all together and use as dressing or dipping sauce

Directions:
Heat a pan or skillet with cooking spray. Slice your bread into thick slices and butter both sides. Load one side of your break up with turkey, Swiss cheese and the other side with a tablespoon of sauerkraut. Grill sandwich on each side for about 5-7 minutes each until bread is golden brown then flip. Once done, top sandwich with Russian dressing, slice and serve.  

We enjoyed cooking a festive meal for you all and can't wait until next Friday. We will be cooking up Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguini. Be sure to tune in Friday, March 24 at 7PM! And if you haven't already, follow us on Instagram @whiskeyandaprons and on Facebook @whiskeynaprons. 

Cheers! 
xx 



Monday, March 6, 2017

Happy 2nd Birthday Whiskey + Aprons!



I was sent a reminder that on this day two years ago, this little blog was born. Although life sometimes gets in the way of me keeping up on my blogging and frequent posting (a New Year's resolution I've been been trying to stay committed to) I post on W+A's Instagram account all day everyday. From new restaurant finds to cooking something new up in our kitchen or mixing up a new cocktail, we always have food on the brain.

We'll be doing a little celebrating tonight with some wine, homemade stuffed Italian peppers and one of our favorite caramel chocolate dipped gourmet apples from the Candy Apple Shoppe. Stay tuned for a little announcement later in the week too. We may just be cooking live, very very soon ;)

Thank you all for continuing to follow Whiskey + Aprons over these past two years! We appreciate all of the support, follows + likes :)

Love,
M+J

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Baking Season Is Upon Us

Hey there W+A readers. Sunday night sneaked up so quickly and Christmas will be upon on us next weekend. We've had our decorations up for a few weeks now and John wrapped all of our presents. I contributed by adding some bows. I'm not big on the wrapping and he seems to enjoy it, so why not let him run with it! This week I did a lot of baking. From cheddar egg muffins to oatmeal coconut dark chocolate "cookies" and tonight I made some healthy pumpkin white chocolate brownies. I've really been trying to use what I have in my kitchen and have started adding to my baking ingredients collection. I stocked up on some chocolate morsels, cinnamon, canned pumpkin, coconut flakes, nuts and some other necessities from the baking aisle. Since it is baking season, I figured I'd try my hand at baking some more, especially guiltless treats that John and I can snack on during the week.

Last Monday I prepared some healthy egg muffins. They take no time to prepare and made our breakfast thoughtless and easy. I made a total of 12 and warmed them in the microwave for 30 seconds each morning. John took some for a mid-morning snack during the week too.


Here is what you'll need:
4 cups broccoli florets
4 whole large eggs
1 cup egg whites
1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar
1/4 cup grated cheese
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
cooking spray

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350° on bake. Boil broccoli in water for about 10 minutes. I liked to get mine soft so I could smash very finely. Crumble into smaller pieces and add olive oil, salt and pepper then mix together. Spray a non-stick cupcake tin with cooking spray and spoon broccoli mixture evenly tins. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites, whole eggs, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Pour into the greased tins over broccoli until a little more than 3/4 full. Top with grated cheddar and bake in the oven until cooked, about 20 minutes. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator to enjoy during the week.

After having breakfast settled for the week, I decided to make a sweet treat for those nights we are craving a snack while watching TV. Canned pumpkin is always a must in my kitchen. I love using it for baking and substituting it for oil, butter and eggs. I make muffins, cookies, pasta dishes, but tonight I decided to whip up some pumpkin white chocolate brownies. 


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together 1 box of low-fat fudge brownie mix, 1 can of natural pumpkin and 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips. You can add nuts too, but I skipped on them tonight. Grease a 9x13 cake pan with cooking spray and pour your mixture into the pan. Spread evenly filling all corners and top with 2 more tablespoons of chocolate morsels. Bake for 20 minutes or until your toothpick test comes up clean. Let cool and cut into small squares. I got 30 mini brownies out of he entire pan. Perfect treat to get in your chocolate craving.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and enjoy delicious food with your family and friends! We will be celebrating with 7 fishes on the eve at my parents and Christmas dinner at my in-law's. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

-W+A

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sicilian Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving break. We spent the holiday by my parents, but that didn't stop us from making our own turkey on Thursday morning. I love making roasted chicken in the oven, its one of our favorite go-to meals so I figured a turkey had to be pretty much the same thing. I preheated the oven on roast at 350 degrees and gave our bird a good scrub down of freshly squeezed lemon and kosher salt. I mixed together a baste of salt, pepper, minced garlic, smoked paprika and extra virgin olive oil and brushed it all over the turkey. Of course making my first turkey was a little nerve racking so after a few phone calls to my mother and my aunt and a quick google search on "How long do you cook a 14 pound turkey for?" I set my timer and hoped for the best. After a few hours of cooking, our bird started to crust up beautifully and I continued to baste it every couple of minutes. Once the top became browned I covered it with foil and let cook a few more hours, a total of four to be exact.


We popped out our bird and let it rest covered until we got home later that night to carve it. What a hit! So much flavor and super juicy. Since we are hosting Thanksgiving next year, I'm happy we gave it a test run. Over the break we indulged on some tasty treats and ate like there was no tomorrow. John lit the fire in the living room and made his infamous hot toddies. One of our favorite cocktails to sip on a cold night in front of the fireplace. Make sure not to skimp on the full-fat whipped cream either. Here's what you'll need for four mugs of hot toddies:

-1 cup of Piehole Whiskey in Apple Pie flavor
- 4 cups of apple cider (I like using Trader Joe's spiced cider)
-4 cinnamon sticks
-cinnamon-sugar
-whipped cream

Warm up your cider in a saucepan and stir in your cinnamon sticks over medium heat. After about 10 minutes or so add in your whiskey and let heat up. Once your cocktail comes to a simmer, poor into your mug and top with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar topping. Don't forget to garnish your toddy with a whiskey soaked cinnamon stick.


This cocktail warms your insides up! We love making these when friends or family come over and any leftover mixture can be refrigerated for next time. On Friday John had requested we make a cheesecake he has been obsessing over for a while now. Most of you know I do not admire baking as much as I do cooking. Frankly, baking is more stressful than enjoyable for me. I love to open a bottle of wine and get to cooking, but baking is too precise. One wrong measure and your cake can be an instant flop. When he asked me to try and make a Sicilian lemon ricotta cheesecake I was a little intimidated. The ingredients seemed pretty doable, but cheesecakes are hard to nail. I figured I'd take a stab at it. Why not? I took out my never been used spring form pan and my Kitchenaid and got to it. Here's everything you'll need:

For the Cheesecake
-Two 15-oz. containers whole-milk ricotta
-1 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
-1 tbsp plus 1 cup sugar
-3 tbsp unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
-Two 8-oz packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
-2 large eggs, room temperature
-3 tbsp salt-free matzo meal
-1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-2 tbsp fresh lemon zest
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/8 tsp. kosher salt

For the Lemon Curd Topping
-2 lemons
-4 egg yolks (room temperature)
-3/4 c sugar
-4 tbsp butter (cold)

Pour ricotta into a large strainer set over a bowl. Drain for 30 minutes. Arrange rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350°. Grease an 8" spring form pan with 2 1/2"-high sides with butter. Mix 1 tablespoon. sugar and breadcrumbs in a small bowl; sprinkle into buttered pan to coat sides and bottom. Tap out excess crumbs. Transfer ricotta to a processor. Pure for 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of processor and mix until smooth. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the remaining sugar and all other ingredients; mix and remember to scrape down sides occasionally, until smooth. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake cheesecake until golden brown for about and hour and 15 minutes. The middle of the cake should be slightly wobbly. Transfer to a rack and let cool in pan (your cake will fall slightly). Refrigerate uncovered until cool, about 3 hours. Then cover and chill overnight. Next, prepare your lemon curd topping by zesting and juicing your lemons. In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and zest. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover lemon curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Once ready to serve, top your cake with the lemon curd. I added a few sprinkles of coconut flakes to finish.


I'm happy to report this cake was a success! The consistency was perfect and was super light and airy to eat. The topping was just sweet and tart enough. I couldn't be more happy with how it came out. This recipe will definitely be one that comes out during the holidays. Maybe I am a better baker than I thought after all? ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Skinny Pumpkin Carrot Dark Chocolate Muffins

The mid-week hump is here and I was in the mood to get baking early this morning to kick off baking season. I love having healthy sweets in the house, but its tricky to find so called "healthy" treats at the grocery store that aren't loaded with processed ingredients. I don't enjoy baking as much as I do cooking, but these muffins are so simple to whip together and are only around 125 calories each! They are delicious with your morning cup of coffee, a mid-day snack or an after dinner treat.

Here is what you will need:

-1 package of spice cake or carrot cake mix
-1 can of 100% pure pumpkin
-4-5 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips (feel free to add nuts, too)
-1 cup of water 


Preheat your oven on bake to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tins with baking cups. Mix together the entire box of cake mix, 1 can of pumpkin, 1 cup of water and 5 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips. Pour about 3-4 tablespoons of your mixture into each baking cup and bake for 20-25 minutes. I typically get about 18-19 muffins from one box of cake mix.


 Once your muffins are done, take out and let rest for a few minutes. I like to make a few batches of these and divide into freezer bags to give to friends and family. They are always appreciated :)


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Barbecue Chicken Flatbreads

Well, its been some time since I have written. I guess you can say life got in the way. Between vacationing this summer in San Francisco, to our big move and finishing up a couple of renovations around the house, time slipped away! Oh, and the cutest new addition to my family, my sweet nephew Christian James came early this August. I guess I have neglected you, my lovely little blog, but I'm finally back. Just because I haven't written much doesn't mean I have stopped cooking. No way, not a chance! John and I still cook Monday through Friday and save the weekends to try new local restaurants and splurge a bit.

Since we've spent most of the summer working on the house and exploring our new little town, we definitely have found our go-to local spots. We have a couple of great restaurants less than a mile away and have been venturing into neighboring towns too, indulging in some yummy eats. Still, the week nights are for healthy eating and I have been cooking up some really yummy and waist friendly meals.

We had some chicken breast thawing and I wanted to try something new other than the typical chicken dishes we tend to always make. I figured its the season to break out the slow cooker so I decided to make slow cooked, pulled BBQ chicken. I've been searching for a tasty BBQ sauce without all the extra sugar and came across this brand at our local grocery store: G Hughes Smokehouse. I picked up the hickory flavor because I really wanted a nice smokey-sweetness to my chicken. The bottle also comes in honey and maple brown, yum! I decided to make barbecue chicken flat breads with our pulled chicken and saved the rest to top salads and make pulled chicken sliders later in the week.


I slow cooked my chicken breast (about 4-5lbs) for 4 hours on high and tossed in about half the bottle of BBQ sauce. Once the chicken was done, I took two forks and pulled it apart, shredding all of the meat until it was broken up. I set my chicken aside and added about two more tablespoons of hickory goodness.



Instead of using pizza dough, I decided to try these light spinach Flatout wraps that I use for lunch time. I preheated the oven on bake at 350 degrees and then topped my Flatouts with all of my toppings. Take a 1/2 cup of shredded chicken and spread out onto your carb of choice. Then top with your pick of cheese. I went with 1/4 cup of part skim mozzarella and 1/8 cup of part skim extra sharp cheddar. I halved a few rings of red onion and finely chopped cilantro leaves for the final topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your cheese is melted and bubbly.


The final product was delicious! I cut the flat bread into fours for easier eating. I really love these Flatouts and for only 90 calories each they are totally worth it. Since the weather is oddly warm today on Long Island for the second of November, we decided to marinade some skirt steak and grill this evening. I'm going to use our left over cilantro from the flat breads and make a fresh chimichurri sauce to top our steak. Recipe to come later this week! Well, its nice to be back W+A readers. More recipes and easy week night meals will be posted soon, and starting this month I will be contributing to a local liftestyle magazine's Food + Drink column. Stay tuned for more! xx

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cauliflower Pizza Happenings

Happy Wednesday W+A readers! Its been a bit since we have posted, but we've been busy cooking and loving our new Instagram account! Be sure to follow us @whiskeyandaprons to see all of our delicious eats and cocktails we got going in ;)  This past weekend was Valentine's Day, so we decided to head out Saturday night when it would be less busy. John made reservations at one of our favorite restaurants on the water, Louie's Oyster Bar & Grille. We had a delicious meal followed by some sweet desserts. It was the perfect evening out!


Sunday night I decided to cook John and I dinner. Everyone has been crazing over the cauliflower rice from Trader Joe's but it is impossible to score some. I've also heard they limit each customer to two bags at a time. So after striking out twice, I decided to rice my own cauliflower and make some yummy cauliflower crust. I will admit, it was a bit time consuming but so worth it. Here's what you will need to make your own.

Ingredients:

-1 whole head of cauliflower
- 1 container of non-fat plain Greek yogurt
-1 egg
-salt
-pepper
-garlic powder
-Italian seasoning
-part skim mozzarella cheese
-pizza sauce and toppings of your choice

Directions:

Cut your florets into small pieces and use your food processor to chop all of your cauliflower. Once all riced, boil a sauce pot with about 1 inch of water. Once water comes to a boil, throw in your rice for 5 minutes. Strain your rice but make sure not to shake your strainer too hard or you may lose some! Once all of the water is drained, take a thin dish cloth and pour your rice onto the cloth and wrap up into a ball. (This is when John's strength came in handy!) Ring out all of the water from the rice. You will be shocked how much empties out! Once you have rung out most of the water, place your rice into a bowl and add 1/2 cup of your non-fat yogurt, 1 egg, 2 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp pepper and add garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste. Mix all together very well. In the meantime, pre-heat your oven on 400 degrees. Make sure to line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or your crust may stick. Roll out our crust with your hands and start to form in whatever shape you like. I did mine in a square and rolled up the edges to form a crust. Once done, bake for about 35-40 minutes. You will then take out your crust and top with sauce, mozzarella or whatever you'd like!


I added ground hot Italian sausage and fresh mozzarella cheese to mine and it came out so tasty! Friend's like to top theirs' with veggies, goat cheese and even drizzle with honey and figs for a delicious flatbread. This weekend we are visiting some friends, but it will be back to cooking next week. We'll have to do a big grocery haul since we have really used up everything in the fridge this week. Will be back soon with some new recipes. Have a great rest of the week! xo