Bourbon Butterscotch Latte Mousse

Last winter Starbucks had a butterscotch latte.  I was in love with it, and incredibly disappointed when I discovered it was labeled as a seasonal drink and I could only get it for a very short time.  Insert tears here.

 

 

Transition to now…I saw Butterscotch Pudding Day on the calendar and I wondered if I could recreate the flavors of a butterscotch latte in a pudding.  And then I decided to add some bourbon and make it a mousse instead.  Still qualifies right?  In my world it does.  I mean, the difference between a pudding and mousse is really in the whipping of air into the product.  

Don’t forget to put it in a pretty glass.  It makes a difference.  I promise.

An you could sprinkle toffee chips or butterscotch chips or butterscotch syrup on it.  Or all of thee above. 

This is  great dessert to make the day ahead if you’re serving it for a party or special occasion.  It is not hard to make but it does require chilling time.  And it is soooooooo worth it.  Creamy, cold and sweet…butterscotch latte mousse with the tiniest underlying hint of bourbon…it’s divine.  I prefer to eat mine alone, in the silence, with no one around and doing nothing else.  Just sitting there, savoring the flavors.

Or you could put your in a coffee cup and let people think you’re just drinking your latte with a spoon.  

bourbon butterscotch latte mousse

Bourbon Butterscotch Latte Mousse
Serves 4
Creamy cold butterscotch goodness layered with hints of bourbon and coffee.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  3. 2 Tablespoons bourbon
  4. 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  5. 16 ounces whipping cream, cold
  6. 2 egg whites
  7. 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Combine butter, brown sugar, bourbon, espresso powder, and 1 cup whipping cream in a saucepan. Heat,stirring, just until the brown sugar dissolves and the tiny bubbles are just forming around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool. I like to pour it into a glass container and place it in the freezer to cool faster - but don't let it stay there more than 15 minutes.
  2. When the mixture is cooled, place the remaining whipping cream in a mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Fold into the butterscotch mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl or clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into the butterscotch and whipped cream mixture.
  4. Pour into individual dishes and chill until set, at least 3 hours.
Notes
  1. To get whipping cream and egg white to beat nicely and form peaks, make sure the item you are whipping is cold and the bowl is clean and cold as well.
Daily Ration https://dailyration.net/

Twice Roasted Salad – Surprisingly Delicious

Tomatoes, greens, and savory seasonings make a delicious warm wilted salad that hits the spot in the dead of winter.

Roasted salad?!  I can hear the incredulity through the internet.  But don’t worry, this is good.  Take a chance on me and try this one.  And you don’t even really need a recipe.  You kind of just put as much as you want of each thing in and let it go.  

Twice Roasted Salad DailyRation.net

I came up with this one a couple of winters ago.  I’m really a seasonal eater and I don’t want cold salad in cold weather.  I want warm comfort food! But salad is really good for your immune system and I was determined to not get sick.

Roasting my salad veggies totally fits the bill when I want something warm and need another veggie serving in my day.  It’s surprisingly satisfying too!

This is a combination of a tomato recipe my friend made when I visited her house once, and a warm spinach salad I had at a steak house.  Let these ingredients wilt down into a nice flavorful combination.  It just melts onto your tongue.

To start off, slice whatever tomatos you have on hand in half.  I’ve used everything from beefsteaks to grape tomatoes for this.  Just slice ’em and place them cut side up in a baking dish.  These are plum tomatoes so I just sliced them in half.  If I had bigger beefsteak tomatoes I’d cut them into several thick rounds.

twice roasted tomato salad dailyration.net

Drizzle a little EVOO and a bit of balsamic vinegar on them, as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  It kind of starts out like caprese salad that way.

twice roasted salad dailyration.net

Then sprinkle some parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.  Any fresh herb combo you like will do.  Chop up about a 1/4 cup and use half of them in this stage.  Today I had oregano, basil and parsley.  But I’ve also had various combinations with those and rosemary, cilantro, thyme and dill too.  I use whatever is nearby.

twice roasted salad with herbs

Roast in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.  The cheese and herbs melt down into the tomatoes and those savory red orbs release their juices.  My mouth is watering just describing it.

twice roasted salad dailyration.net

Take it out and put on the second layer.  This is a handful of greens.  I usually use a spring mix because I get the giant bags at Costco, but fresh spinach works just as well.  Then repeat your seasoning layers: salt, pepper, EVOO, balsamic, parm, and the rest of your fresh herbs.

twice roasted salad

Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.  It doesn’t take long for the greens to wilt down over the top like an antioxidant rich blanket.

twice roasted salad

Let it cool for about 5 minutes.  You want to eat it warm, but those tomatoes are crazy hot right out of the oven!  (Ask me how I know)

Twice Roasted Salad DailyRation.net

And just like that, in less than 20 minutes, you’ve got a great lunch or side dish.

Serious yum.

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My Menu Planning Process

My entire meal planning process from the start (fridge clean out on Sunday) to finish (the grocery list) and everything I take into consideration along the way.

One thing I have had more than one friend ask me is how I meal plan.  My process has evolved over time and through changing needs and dynamics, so I can only answer how I do it right now.  That also happens to be how I have done it for the last 5 years or so.

Here’s a peek and my very simple, not at all cute, menu plan and grocery list for this week.
Menu plan money - how I planFirst, you should know I plan on Sunday, but it doesn’t start with a plan.
I plan on Sunday for many reasons:

-It’s the day I clean out my fridge because Monday is trash day and I don’t like stinky rotting food sitting in my driveway. My menu plan starts with the fridge clean out.

– It’s the best day for us to eat leftovers that weren’t consumed during the week.  My son, one daughter, and my hubby all prefer leftovers to sandwiches in their lunches so we usually only have a few bits to use up.

-It allows me to use up leftovers.  On Sunday nights we either watch football (which we call living room tailgating) or a family movie or show while eating.  I sit out leftovers and a few tailgating type appetizer things and we kind of graze/buffet our way through dinner.

-It makes room in the fridge for the grocery shopping I do Monday.

-It tells me if I have food I need to use.  For example, last week I used half a bag of sweet potatoes but I need to use the rest up, so sweet potatoes went on the menu for this week.  I also have some fruit that needs to be used so that was put in a few places on the menu.  I have ground beef as well, which was also taken in to consideration.

– Taking care of this on Sunday means I’m ready to go to the store Monday morning right after I drop my kids at school.

After cleaning out the fridge, then I menu plan.  

I take several things into consideration and they are all conveniently on my menu plan/grocery list page.

-The red note part of my menu plan reminds me of things going on (like Back to School Night) that might affect the type of dinner I need to plan.  It’s also a place where I keep notes to remind me about things to prep, such as thawing things for the next day or cooking something ahead.  This helps me put things in the right place.  I wouldn’t want to plan a crock pot  meal on a night I have plenty of time to cook and a meal that takes an hour on a night that we won’t be home until dinner.  I also wouldn’t want to plan on using frozen beans and forget to take them out of the freezer in time.

-I have sections for the craziness in our lives.  For example, my husband works nights most of the time.  He’s starving when he gets home in the morning and wants something more substantial than the cereal or whatever the kids are eating.  I have a separate section for him where I prep an extra meal once a week (several days worth) and plan that item into the mornings he will need it.  For this week it’s a BBQ chicken burrito.   Even though it’s labeled as his breakfast, he doesn’t want breakfast food.  I also plan lunch only for myself as my kids have packed lunches at school and the hubby is asleep.  I usually plan just one or two real lunches and the rest I leave blank to either eat leftovers or graze on things like nuts, eggs, veggies, etc….

The grocery list:

I keep my grocery list on my menu planning page.  I learned a long time ago that I would get to the store and not remember how much of something I needed or why I needed it at all.  This led to purchasing mistakes.   Having the menu and list together when I go to the store lets me refer back to the menu in the middle of the store if I need it.  It also helps me decide on a substitution if something I need isn’t available.

You may also notice columns in my grocery list.  Those are purposeful.  I do the bulk of my shopping at Trader Joe’s, and those columns are the isles in the store.  My list is organized by isle so I can get everything in one pass and not have to trek back across the store for something I forgot while I was in that section.

Having the list on the same page as the menu also helps me write down everything.  As I am planning the food, I can look right there at the item or recipe and put the ingredients I need in their spots before I move on to the next menu item.

And there you have it, my process and a boring shot of my menu plan for the week.  

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Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef in a Quesadilla and New Cookbook Teaser

I tried an online recipe for Mexican shredded beef in the instant pot and put in a quesadilla. Delicious! I’m also almost ready to publish my first cookbook!

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know I got an Instant Pot about a month ago.  I’ll do a review some day but I like to really use the heck out something before I do reviews.  Anyway, I got it thinking I’d use it for cooking dried beans, making stock…things I already do that take me a long time.  Well I’ve used it (and loved it) for those things, but I’ve also started to branch out a bit…into actual recipes.

Mexican Shredded Beef Quesadillas - DailyRation.net

Two nights ago I tried this Mexican Shredded Beef recipe from YourHomeBasedMom.com.  Loved it!  That beef was so tender and had just the right amount of flavor.  

It was one of those nights that I was short on time so I planned this, started it mid afternoon when I had time, and let the Instant Pot keep it warm.  Then I shredded the beef and stuffed it into some quesadillas.  It was a hands down winner that the whole family has already asked for again.

I should tell you I made the quesadillas two ways:  with cheddar and with Monterey Jack.  Jack was the hands down winner all around.  The cheddar quesadillas were good, but there was something a bit extra yummy about the jack cheese.

So there you have it!  Make some Mexican beef quesadillas, sprinkle some chopped cilantro over the top, and serve with desired toppings (we do sour cream cream and salsa).

Cookbook Update:

We’re in the final stages of Eat Your Veggies!  Last minute edits are going on and the cover is in the middle design stages.  My cover designer is having to take a long weekend to evacuate from hurricane Irma, so it’ll be a couple of weeks, but I do believe this will hit the shelves by the end of this month! 

Want a sneak peak of the cover?  Here’s a tiny part of the draft phase.  😉

Eat Your Veggies Cover Teaser

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It’s an Iced Tea Showdown!

It’s been in the triple digits here for several weeks.  It’s supposed to cool down to a mere 93 degrees today, but that’s still hot enough to crave some iced tea.  I’ve been drinking a lot of it lately and decided it was time to change it up a bit. Do you ever get that way?  Just need to change something up?

 

Iced tea showdown 1

So here are the results of my great iced tea experiment.

These are not original recipes. These are all recipes I pinned, and links will be provided.

First off, let me say that they were all drinkable.  There isn’t a single one of these six that I wouldn’t drink again. Some of them might need a bit of honey, but they’d all be good once personalized.

Let’s start with the Tangerine Raspberry Iced Tea from Good Life Eats

 

Tangerine raspberry

This was, amazingly, the only one that used fruity herbal tea bags for the fruit flavor.  It was also one of the easier ones to make of the 6 here.  It was refreshing but tart so definitely plan on using some simple syrup or honey if you make this one.

 

Moving on to Raspberry Peach Tea from Damn Delicious

 

Raspberry peach

 This one used pureed fruit for the actual fruity part of the tea.  It was a bit of work to make but not hard.  If I made it again I’d double the tea bags used.  It was good, but a little watery.  I personally prefer a stronger tea flavor.  But that’s personal preference and you might like it as is.

 

Next up is Strawberry Jasmine Iced Tea from Eat Boutique.

 

Strawberry jasmine

This one was the most intensive to make.  You had to make the jasmine tea and the strawberry simple syrup and strain them both and cool and combine in your own level of desired concoction.  Going into the challenge this was the one I thought would win.  I love jasmine tea and strawberry simple syrup sounded so worth the effort.  In the end it was cool and refreshing, quite drinkable, but not a stand out winner. 

 

Raspberry Lime Iced Tea from Not Enough Cinnamon gets the award for looking most drinkable.  It’s bright red color just draws you in.  My kids were most excited about trying this one.

 

Raspberry lime

While beautiful and bright, make sure you follow the directions on the recipe to “sweeten to your liking.”  I like when a recipe artist lets me determine my own level of sweetness, as I usually need less than the mainstream world, but I had to use a lot. It was quite tart.  Next time I make it I will likely use a little less lime just so I don’t have to use as much sweetener.  I don’t want to compromise the lime, but I don’t want to use a ton of sweetener either. 

 

You might be wondering who the winner is? There was a tie for first place between the Peach Basil Iced Tea from Dukes and Duchesses and Thai Iced Tea from Happy Body and Mind

Peach basil

Thai iced tea

I have to admit, I was quite surprised by these results; but, it was unanimous in my family.  They all loved these two.  I was really surprised my kids liked tea with basil over fruity strawberry jasmine and the like.  And while I’ve seen the Thai Iced Tea around and everyone raves about it, I was skeptical as to whether or not iced tea with milk was actually delicious.  These two also had the added benefit of being two of the three easiest to make from this showdown.

The peach basil iced tea was just the right amount of sweet for my personal preference, and the basil added so much flavor that complemented it well.  It wasn’t like drinking an herb and it paired perfectly with the peach.  I have since made the peach basil three times.  The Thai iced tea was sweet, cold, creamy, and felt like a dessert treat. 

 

iced tea showdown

So there you have it, the winners of the iced tea showdown, peach basil and Thai iced!

Do you have a great iced tea recipe I should try?  What’s you favorite drink to cool down with in the summer?

The Perfect Summer Appetizer – Lemon Pepper Salami Bites

You might be asking why these are the ‘perfect’ summer appetizer.  Two reasons:

1-  They involve no heating the house.  You don’t need an oven, stove, toaster…no heat source at all.

2-  They use up bell peppers.  If you garden like I do, you’ve got them coming out your ears.  If you don’t garden, this is the time of year you can find them on sale and at their cheapest, which makes them economical.

lemon pepper salami bites from DailyRation.net

They also satisfy a triad of summer cravings I have…salt (must be all the sweating in the heat), bright fresh lemon, and cold stuff.  This one appetizer meets all three.

And with less than 15 minutes to make these babies, you just might find yourself serving them up all season long.

Lemon Pepper Salami Bites
Serves 4
A cool, savory summer appetizer.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 12 oz dry salami slices
  2. 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  3. 1 yellow bell pepper
  4. 1 red bell pepper
  5. 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  6. 1 tsp garlic powder
  7. 1 tsp lemon juice
  8. Lemon pepper
  9. Toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Cream the cream cheese with Italian seasoning, garlic powder and lemon juice.
  2. Slice the bell pepper in to thin strips. You could count the salami slices and cut the bell peppers into the same amount of strips as you have salami slices.
  3. Spread about a teaspoon of cream cheese mixture on each salami slice, then top each with 1 strip of each color of bell pepper. Sprinkle with lemon pepper. Fold up the sides of the salami slices and secure with a toothpick.
Daily Ration https://dailyration.net/
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Menu Plan for This Week

This week and next week are busy with end of the school year and 6th grade promotion things.  That said, there’s a bit more convenience going into this plan than normal.

Menu Plan Monday June 5-9If you’d like to see a video of the grocery haul that goes with this plan you can check it out on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfzBLOwO4ec

Sunrise Quesadilla

Breakfast made easy, but not boring!  These sunrise quesadillas are  cinch to whip up and a great way to use leftover tortillas from taco night. 😉

sunrise breakfast quesadilla

In addition to being fast (20 minutes for the whole family), these are a great way to get in some extra veggies.  They are pretty much scrambled eggs with sauteed vegetables and cheese.  You can add in leftover bacon if you like as well.

Start by melting butter in a skillet, then adding in chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper, and tomato.  When everything starts to soften remove it to  plate and beat some eggs.  Scramble the eggs in butter in the same skillet (I always like to save on dishes!).

Then layer the eggs and veggies mixture over tortillas.  Top with cheese and green onion.  Put the top (another tortilla) on each one and return to the same skillet just enough to crisp the tortillas. 

Cut into fourths and serve with your favorite quesadilla toppings.  In our house that is sour cream and hot sauce. One kids likes salsa. 

sunrise breakfast quesadilla

Brisket on a Biscuit

National Brisket Day and National Biscuit Day are not only next to each other on the calendar, but they work extremely well together in this savory biscuit sandwich!

This is a throw back from last May!  I just love that National Brisket Day and National Biscuit Day are next to each other on the calendar.  But really, there’s no place you could put National Biscuit Day and not have it meld with whatever other food day is next to it.  Am I right?!

Brisket on a Biscuit - DailyRation.net

Brisket on a Biscuit!

Or, to be more exact, Braised Brisket on a Savory Green Onion Biscuit with Spicy Quick Pickled Radishes.  So today, May 28th, is National Brisket Day.  Tomorrow, May 29th, is National Biscuit Day.  You know I’m going somewhere with this.  They make a natural combination!

Let me first say that finding brisket was a saga.  I grew up eating it every month or more so I couldn’t believe it was so hard to find.  Apparently, most stores only have it around Easter time (at least here in Southern California).  The only one I could find was ginormous.  I mean it.  13 pounds!  I had to cut the thing into 3 chunks and freeze two of them for later.  And it took me laying my two largest cutting boards side by side to even do that.  It was more than two feet long!

Anyway, back to the sandwich here.  When I saw brisket day and biscuit day on the calendar, I just couldn’t separate the two.  The sandwich popped into my head and I had to make it happen.  As it rolled around in my brain, I slowly started adding in more details.  Why not a more savory biscuit?  I added in green onion and black pepper.  I contemplated cheddar too, but decided against it.   Feel free to add some on your own though.

Then I thought it might need a little something extra, and that’s where I came up with spicy quick pickled radish chips. 

 

So here’s how you make the brisket:

 

Start that brisket going first because it takes a long time.  We’re talking low and slow here. You could also do it a day ahead if you’re serving a crowd. For that matter, you could do the radishes a day ahead too.  They need time to chill.

Put a little olive oil in an oven safe heavy bottom dish or dutch oven over medium high heat.  Rub the brisket (mine was 2.2 pounds) generously with Pappy’s.  That’s just what I have always used.  That link is NOT an affiliate link.  I just wanted you to know what it is.  I grew up using this on tri-tip, london broil, and brisket.  Be generous rubbing down your brisket on all sides.  Then brown it on both sides in the pot you’re using.  Add about half an inch of water and cover with foil.  Braise this for about 3 hours at 300 degrees.  Check it every now and then after an hour and half to make sure it isn’t going dry (add water if necessary).  It is ready when you can twist a fork in it and fairy easily shred.  Let it rest for 15 minutes before shredding.

Meanwhile, start the radish quick pickles.

 

For the radishes: (adapted from cookieandkate.com)

1 bunch of radishes

3/4 cup white wine vinegar

3/4 cup cold water

3 Tablespoons honey

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

 

Clean the radishes and slice them thin.  Put them in a jar.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  As soon as it begins to boil and the honey is dissolved, pour it over the radishes.  Let cool enough to put a lid on and refrigerate.  These are best cold on the sandwich.  What you don’t use on these sandwiches can be kept in the fridge for a week or two, but they are crispest within a few days. 

green onion black pepper biscuits

For the biscuits:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons cold butter

1 cup cold milk

1/3 cup green onions, sliced thin (green parts only)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

 

Bump the oven up to 450.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.  Cut in the butter until it resembles course crumbs.  The less mixing you have to do with these the softer they will be.  Mix in the milk with the minimum mixing needed to get it incorporated.  Gently fold in the green onions. 

Gently pat out the biscuit dough onto a floured surface until about and inch to an inch and a half thick.  Use a round cutter to cut biscuits straight up and down, don’t twist the cutter.  I used a 3″ cutter on these so they would be bigger for a sandwich. 

Lay, barely touching each other, on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12-18  minutes, until golden on top.

 

Ready to assemble this delight?

Open up a hot biscuit and slather on some butter.

green onion black pepper biscuit

Shred the brisket and add enough juice from the pan to keep it juicy, but not enough to get the biscuit soggy.   Lay some on the hot biscuit.

brisket biscuit Then lay on cold radish pickles.  Put the top on and…Enjoy!

brisket on a biscuit

Menu Plan Monday – May 2017

This week life is starting to settle back into normal.  It’s still busy with the end of the school year, but nothing like the last 6 weeks have been for me.  That said, my very bare fridge is now full, and my master plan for the week has been laid.

Also, the weather predictions this week are quite crazy.  We’ll be ranging from the low 60’s to the mid 90’s, so I’m not really feeling like a certain type of food.  We’re all over the map in this plan.

Menu Plan Monday in MayWhat’s on your menu this week?