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Creative Methods of Cooking with Spirits

Collaborative Post

bottles of whiskey

If you find that you have accumulated too many spirits in your liquor cabinet from parties or gifts, instead of trying to drink it all in a short burst or leaving it to go to waster, the better (and healthier) use is to cook with it. In this blog post, we are going to take a closer look at a few of the clever ways that you can cook with spirits to make some tasty dishes. Bottoms up!

Create Sauces with Flavour

One of the most common ways of cooking with spirits is to simmer them with other ingredients like stock or butter to add a little more flavour to your sauces. For example, a bourbon or whiskey glaze works perfectly as a sauce to season your steak. Perhaps you could create a rum sauce which you drizzle over some jerk chicken or pork. You could even enrich your pasta sauce with a spirit such as vodka. Don’t go overboard as you don’t want it to totally overpower the dish.

Marinate Your Fruit

Whole or sliced fruit can be marinated in alcohol to elevate their flavour levels. Just a couple of the popular fruit and liquor combinations include apples with brandy and peaches with rum. You can enjoy the fruit on its own, over ice cream or even paired with rich meats such as duck. Remember that thin-skinned fruit such as berries are more likely to soften too much when they set in alcohol compared to hard-skin produce such as figs.

Mix it with Dough

kneading dough

If you are making a pie, vodka is highly useful as it prevents the dough from drying out, as well as making it easier to knead. Make sure that it is well-chilled before you add it to the dry ingredients as this will allow the butter in the dough to stay cold so that the crust can maintain its shape. As for another creative use, check out this page which shows Fireball whiskey made into bagels. You probably never imagined that cooking with spirits could be done this way!

Flambé

Lighting your food on fire really makes you feel like you are a proper chef in a high-end kitchen. The act of flambéing your food cooks out the alcohol quickly to leave you with an intense flavour. The best spirits to use for this method of cooking are the darker ones such as brandy, cognac and rum. You are bound to impress your guests with your culinary skills when they see you cooking like this!

Glazed Over

Adding spirits to many foods can be done in the form of glazing – perhaps brushing over meat or drizzling over sweet dishes. Add some bourbon to your barbecue sauce and glaze it over your chicken drumsticks. Enrich a pork tenderloin with some apple brandy glaze. Essentially, this is your opportunity to get a little creative in the kitchen and maybe unlock a flavour that you had never sampled before!

Bargain Xmas Lights from Crazy Sales (Win Chrissy Lights!)

This post is brought to you by CrazySales

Stealthy Xmas Ninja

Christmas is coming, can’t you feel it?! The days are hot, the summer storms have started, I’ve bought cards and stamps and have started Chrissy shopping! School is making Christmas craft, learning carols for the end of year concert. The shops are getting busy with people browsing for the perfect gift or gifts. People are bitching about the “true” meaning of Xmas, spreading rumours about a war on it, negotiations between family factions have started to solve the annual dilemma of which meal where and with whom, and I had my first slice of Christmas fruit cake (you know the Lion’s ones with the icing that you get from the old lady at the card table at the local shops) at morning tea yesterday.

NewcastleXmas2010 105

It’s time to get baking – gingerbread men, houses and all things ginger. Puddings should have been made by now, hanging around the house up until their Christmas lunch boiling up. I need to decide on an advent calendar for myself – I’ve been eyeing off the ones with booze in them. Mum’s bought a train with a Santa for around the base of her tree! I’ve wanted one all my life, and now we have one!

xmas tree

Oh and the kids (and me) are starting to beg to put up the tree! I’ll have to pull out my boxes of decorations soon to see what’s intact from last year, what needs replacing, and what I don’t really like. Then track down some bargains in purples and pinks to add to my collection! Untangling the lights is always on the list of things that shouldn’t be attempted on a forty degree day, and should be reserved for an air-conditioned room with a cold one in a novelty stubbie holder nearby.

The calendar is filling up, with dinners and drinks, and BBQs and pub crawls taking up the key dates for the next five weeks. The thoughts of “do I have enough outfits for this summer” is met with a no, and I’m ready to hit the shops next payday for a couple new frocks that suit the heatwave conditions we’re bound to have through til Valentine’s day.

Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights 2015 Eiffel Tower

While we can’t all have such spectacular lights displays as the ones at Hunter Valley Gardens in our front yards, but I love going around the streets in the leadup til Christmas looking at all the pretty lights! There can be a real festival atmosphere, with charity fundraisers and ice-cream vans on the busier streets!

One place you can expand your Christmas Lights collection is at CrazySales, an online marketplace with all the bargains, from lights, to food dehydrators, to robot vacuums and tool boxes!! One of the largest online department stores serving the country, CrazySales is 100% Australian owned and operated, too!

Climbing Santa Lights
Cute! Santas’ climbing up your wall!

Want to WIN some lights to brighten up your Xmas?

So, I have a set of 300 Multi -Colour LED Lights with Eight Function Controller valued at $39.99 to giveaway to one lucky reader!

Please comment below describing your ideal Xmas light set-up in 30 words or less. What awesome decorations have you seen in your neighbourhood and want to top? Because we all know it’s a competition :p (not)

The winner will be judged on awesomeness and creativity.
Entries close midnight 30th November 2015, and is open to those with Australian addresses only.
I’d love for you to share this comp with your friends on social media!

Xmas Cocktail Party
Xmas is exhausting!

Ahh, Public Service

Emailed around by a workmate:

Queens University researchers have discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant
deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called pillocks. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that
Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many pillocks but twice as many morons

Speaking of Chemistry – Rish cooked dinner tonight :)

We take safety seriously

We take safety seriously.

Squid Ink Pasta (from Santa)

Rish’s mother goes a bit over the top when she buys chrissy presents for her boys, and in amongst the wrapping paper was a package of squid ink pasta. I haven’t tried it before now, so was quite curious about how it would cook up and, more importantly, taste.

Squid Ink Pasta

It was very quick to cook – 7 minutes to a good biteyness. Cooked up some chicken in a Barilla ricotta/tomato sauce, and made an awesome coloured salad with mushroom, feta, avocado, roquette, baby spinach, egg tomatoes and cucumber to make me not feel so pasta-ey.

Squid Ink Pasta

The taste – well it just tasted like normal, nice, pasta. Looked really cool though. Any suggestions for how to cook up the second half of the packet?

Squid Ink Pasta

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