margarita gummies

  • 1 cup Triple Sec.
  • 2 cups silver tequila.
  • 1 and1/2 cups sweetened lime juice(find in the liquor aisle)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 and 1/4 cup gelatin.- perhaps you live in a magic land where you can buy measurable Knox gelatin. I, alas, do not. I think that you’ll need about 50 envelopes. Just tear and dump into a measuring cup.
  • Combine all your liquids in a saucepan.  Over lowish heat, sprinkle in maybe an eighth of your gelatin. Whisk gently. You don’t want to be overzealous and get it too foamy.  Once that seems to be well combined, sprinkle in a bit more. Keep doing this until all of the gelatin is well dissolved.   Line a 10′ by 15″ jelly roll pan(you need a lip) with a sheet of parchment paper.  Set in a cool place.  Within an hour, it will be concealed.  use the parchment paper to lift the slab of alcoholic extra firm jello onto a cutting board. I find a pizza cutter the easiest way to cut into 1″ by 1″ cubes.  If you are going to serve them immediately. toss them in a mixture of green or yellow sanding sugar and a pinch of pink salt.  If you arent, cut them, but don’t roll them in the sugar(it’s optional anyway) sugar is hygroscopic- it draws water out of the air- you will have very sweaty(like a marathon on Mars sweaty) gummies if they sit for any length of time with their oh so pretty,sucrose glitter.
  • NOW- these are very alcoholic- gelatin dissolves at about 90* and alcohol boils off at closer to 150*. Forewarned is forearmed.
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Intriguing and warming

I for one love comfort food. The air gets the slightest nip and I start braising, stewing and pot pieing.   There is a fine line between stodge and succor.  We are going to blast that line right off the playing field.

A food processor with a shredding blade makes this a snap- however, using a grater is hardly a hardship.  You will need:

red cabbage, carrots, apples,  (i’d start with 1/2 head of cabbage, 3 carrots and 1 apple)   1/2 bunch scallions, freshly grated ginger, a dollop of honey, balsamic reduction and a mild oil- I like walnut. Also nice to have is jicama, radishes, walnuts

This involves a lot of eyeballing-  Shred your veg and the apple. Immediately drizzle your white balsamic reduction. You are trying to protect the apple from browning.  Begin by adding finely minced ginger(the tool for this is a microplane grater) add oil a tablespoon at a time, as well as dashes of salt. TASTE. TASTE.TASTE. If you are using walnuts, or any nuts- add them prior to serving. This is all about the crunch and mealy walnuts have no  place here!

Raspberry Mousse


Raspberry Mousse

2 cups frozen raspberries
Juice of ½ a lemon

2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups cold heavy cream
1.         Place 3 cups frozen berries (you want them frozen here- it makes the measuring easier) and ⅔ cup sugar in a saucepan bring to a quick boil.   Blitz the fruit and its resulting syrup in a blender and pour through a wire mesh strainer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the warm fruit syrup. Let sit until gelatin softens, 3 minutes.
2.         Transfer mixture to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature, 20 minutes. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream and 2 tablespoons sugar on medium-high until firm peaks form, about 4 minutes. Fold in raspberry puree mixture until combined. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

The newest installment of the Cass Chronicles “Raspberry Mousse” will be available August 23rd, 2017.

Glazed Root Vegetables


Glazed Root Vegetables:
(In this case either carrots or sweet potatoes—we need some color on that plate.) Root
vegetables are always available. This version uses a touch of brown sugar to add sweetness and a
scraping of fresh ginger to provide a kick in the pants. (That was truer than her readers would
ever know, she thought.)
1 lb of either sweet potatoes or carrots—peeled and cut into small moon shaped pieces.
2 TBL butter
About an inch of peeled fresh ginger, grated with a microplane grater.
1 cup of either orange juice or apple juice
1 cup of chicken stock
Bring the liquids to a boil in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Dump your veggies in. Cook
until tender with the lid on. When just fork tender—use a slotted spoon to remove the half
moons. Allow the liquid to boil down until it’s about 1/2 cup. Add butter, brown sugar and
ginger. Return vegetables to pot and stir to coat with glaze. It’s better if this isn’t done ahead of
time. The texture suffers. This dish is all about balance—sweet and spicy—familiar and unusual.
Absolutely worth the effort.

Meatloaf- it doesnt have to suck

-I know, I know, your mother made meat loaf on Wednesdays and it was covered in gloppy
ketchup and you did not learn to cook so that you could go make loaves of meat. Got it.
However, the simple fact remains, as my grandfather used to say when I was in chef’s school and
throwing balsamic reduction and tarragon in everything, “Honey, a man likes a tune he can
whistle.” So true, Poppa. Therefore, I present to you a flavorful, juicy meat loaf. Magnificent
alongside scalloped potatoes. Even better in a sandwich. (Recipe in index)
I let it get to just warm before slicing thickly and serving atop white sandwich bread with
mustard and white cheddar. I can’t even whistle (I can’t—not a single note—so I gave up my
goal of being a Native American tracker early in life) and I know this is a lunch to sustain
anyone—whether they are roofing or getting ready for a parent-teacher conference. Make it
today. It’s delicious!
To be clear, I am not roofing. I tried to put the stickers in the right spots on my Barbie
townhouse when I was eleven and learned right then that construction was not for me. Unlike
me, Killian can do anything he decides to do. It’s one of the many irresistible things about him.

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
3//4 cup cracker crumbs from saltines—finely ground
1 large onion finely diced-sautéed for about ten minutes over very low heat—just until
softened. Add 4 cloves of minced garlic—cooked with the onion. Allow to cool a bit off of the
1TBL prepared horseradish (not the creamy mayo type stuff)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper
For glaze:
1 TBL horseradish
1 TBL brown sugar
4 TBL ketchup- don’t need to measure- just squirt, stir, and eyeball.
Pour the milk over the cracker crumbs—once they are soaked through, combine all
remaining meat loaf ingredients. Spray a 10” Bundt pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl,
combine 1 TBL horseradish, 1 TBL brown sugar and 4 TBL ketchup. Spoon into the bottom of
your Bundt pan and lightly spread it around. Press the meat mixture into the pan and then place
the Bundt pan into a large roasting pan. While the oven preheats to 350 degrees, bring the kettle
to the boil. Pour boiling water around the Bundt pan and carefully hoist the whole shebang into
the oven. Forty minutes later, remove from its sauna and allow to cool in pan for at least ten
minutes. Using oven mitts that you have never liked anyway, lay a plate a top the meatloaf and
flip it over—gingerly loosen the pan and allow the glaze that you very cleverly put in the bottom
of the pan to ooze down over your crown of meatiness. Be careful with this—there might be
grease that oozes out of the upended Bundt pan and you don’t want to get burned.

I’m just an old fashioned kind of girl-

Bourbon cherries
Now, fresh is always best—and yet—pitting cherries is for the birds. Instead, we are
going to use several bags of frozen cherries. If you are a masochist, go ahead and use the fresh
ones. Who am I to judge how any of us gets our kicks? Do not for one minute, however, think
that it makes you a martyr for your art since in this case, it does not.
• 3 bags of frozen cherries 1 lb each
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• – A vanilla pod
• 3 cinnamon sticks broken in half
• 3 strips of orange peel-peel shallow- we don’t want the white stuff
• 3 cups rye whiskey don’t hesitate to use good stuff for this since it won’t be
wasted—After steeping our ruby gems it can then be drunk.
• 6 1/2 pint jars with lids—you can reuse the jars—but you must use fresh metal
lids and rings each time.
Dump the cherries into a colander set inside a non reactive pot (that means no cast iron
or copper) let them sit for several hours and when they seem thawed put a bowl on them to force
as much of the juice out as possible. If you’re so inclined feel free to do this in your fridge. I am
not so inclined. That would involve putting a plate or something under them and that just sounds
too much like work. After they have drained (save the juice), squeeze with your hands and then
arrange the cherries in your jars—you want them to be about 2/3 full. You might not need all six
jars. My powers of prognostication are not infallible. Add the honey, cinnamon and bourbon to
the juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not try to hurry this along. We don’t have
to have met for me to know that you look better with eyebrows. Whiskey is more than a wee bit
flammable. Once everything is dissolved and syrupy, remove from heat and stir in the scrapings
from the vanilla pod. Cut the pod into as many pieces as you have jars and distribute among
them. Use a skewer to push the orange peel down deep into the cherries and pour your boozy
syrup over all. Make sure each jar has a piece of cinnamon stick. Leave about 1/2 inch
headspace. Run a damp paper towel over the rim and quick as a wink apply the lids and screw
the rims on. The heat from the fruit will seal it all up. Between the sugar and the alcohol you
don’t really need to worry about botulism with these babies, but should you see anything that
looks like mold, don’t be a hero—toss it forthwith.
And now for the fisticuffs:
The only likelier way to pick a fistfight with another foodie would be to say “Real chili
has no beans or tomatoes.” Precisely the best way to enjoy an old fashioned is up for fierce
debate. I would skirt the entire issue by attaching a cute label that says “bourbon cherries—perfect on ice cream or in cocktails.” And that’s IT—they are on their own—no one has time for
that much conflict. Now, for myself, I prefer to fill a short glass with some ice—squeeze an
orange slice over the ice and then drop the slices into the glass. Add two fingers of rye and then
top up with another two fingers of our cherry bourbon (I have skinny fingers, your mileage may
vary). Garnish with at least one of our succulent Rubenesque cherries. Delicious. In fact, I think
one may be just what I need to finish this awful packing…
Make it delicious, Cassbourbon cherries

The Perfect Christmas Day Breakfast

Homemade sausage and french toast praline casserole.  You’re welcome.

Homemade Sausage: Okay, there are two ways to go with this. You can begin with about 2 pounds of pork butt and 1/2 pound of pork fat (you can buy fatback) and grind it coarsely in your meat grinder. (It will be much easier if the meat is very, very cold.) We have a meat grinder that belonged to Hazel’s grandmother—it’s manual, weighs about thirty pounds and cleaning it is a pain, but whenever I suggest we get a new electric one, you would think I’d suggested we go spin on Grammy’s grave. When I lived in Chicago, I most certainly did not have a meat grinder. So you can go with two and a half pounds of ground pork; it will still be delicious. Season with kosher salt (about t2 teaspoons) 1 and 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, 2 tsp brown sugar, 2 tsp fresh sage—cut as finely as you can get it, 1 tsp. Fresh rosemary (same) and a nice grating of fresh nutmeg you want about 1/2 tsp. Eyeball it. You can also add cayenne pepper here—if you have any doubt at all—add a pinch and fry up a tiny patty to see if the heat is right. I do not. If I’m serving with eggs, Killian adds hot sauce anyway, and I find that all I taste is hot when I add it. Now, my secret weapon. This is optional but takes it into the stratosphere of yumminess-3/4 tsp liquid smoke. Combine thoroughly and in a perfect world let it set overnight in your fridge. I know, life isn’t perfect, so if need be—proceed. Portion into small parties (I use a tablespoon as a measure) and fry over medium heat. You may need a little slick of oil for the first batch. You want them just cooked through—not fried until fluffy and dry in the middle. Yuck. These can also be cooked ahead and then warmed—covered with foil in a low oven. Praline Pecan French Toast Bake: 1 loaf of French bread—crust sawed off and cut into 1 inch slices Baking spray 1/2 cups half and half 6 eggs 1 tablespoon white sugar 2 tsp vanilla 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 4 tablespoons butter 1 cup chopped pecans Whisk together cream, eggs, vanilla, speck salt, white sugar. Spray a 9×12 baking dish with baking spray. Pour about half of the custard base into the pan and set the bread slices into it and then pour the remaining custard over. Cover with cling wrap and weight it with a smaller baking dish—leave overnight in fridge. The next morning, put the brown sugar into a saucepan and cook over low heat until it begins to melt and lose its graininess. Add the butter, when melted, stir in the pecans. BE careful—nothing burns like caramel—Nothing. Take your casserole out of the fridge and unwrap—pour the caramel and nuts over the top (weighting it down has meant that the bread doesn’t come up to the top and given you room for your sweet sludge of scalding…) Put the casserole into an unheated oven and turn the heat up to 325 degrees. You don’t ever ever want to put a glass pan straight from the fridge into a hot oven. That is asking for a shattered dish and an oven floor full of raw eggs and bread, a bad business all around…