cauliflower with golden nutmeg butter

Everything’s Better with Butter

cauliflower with golden nutmeg butter

Mmmm… butter. Every cook knows that adding a bit of fat to a dish makes it fuller and more satisfying, and sure butter’s not exactly a health food, but as long as you use it wisely, I think you’re okay. It also depends on the type of butter you use. All butter is not created equal. For example, European butter. Thanks to the fact that it’s churned longer, it has a slightly higher fat content than your average stick of American butter. Sometimes it can be a bit of a hunt to find this rich, ultra-flavorful butter in your average grocery store, but recently Land O’ Lakes caught onto the trend and now they’re starting to offer European sweet cream butter as part of their product line. I’m down with it.

Since European butter is so rich and flavorful, it’s the perfect fat to use when you’re cooking something simple and you just want that touch of luxury. Case in point, this cauliflower recipe from LOL (haha – Land O’ Lakes – do you think they call themselves LOL? Probably not. lol!), you really don’t need much besides the vegetable, the butter, and a few seasonings. Butter!

Cauliflower with Nutmeg Butter

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Cocktail O’Clock: Pumpkin Spice Margarita

Pumpkin Spice Margarita

Behind only brunch, I think pumpkin spice is the second-most surprisingly controversial topic of the fall food season. Fine, the Internet thinks P-Spice is way too basic; but we say October can’t come and go without it…especially if you’re mixing if up with some tequila this year.

Pumpkin “Spice” Margarita

2 ounces Camarena Reposado Tequila
2 can Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1 pinch Nutmeg
2 cups Water
1/2 ounce Orange Liqueur
Juice of 1/2 a Lime

Make a pumpkin simple syrup by combining pumpkin puree with brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and strain. Combine the juice of half a lime, Camarena Reposado Tequila, and 2 ounces pumpkin simple syrup. Shake well and serve on the rocks.

My Breakfast is Better Than Yours: The Croque-Madame

What did you have for breakfast when you woke up this weekend? Unless it was a croque-madame (which I didn’t even know about until this weekend), you lose. What you’re looking at is the female version of a croque-monsieur, which is a glorified ham and cheese sandwich with bread soaked in a tasty sauce. I’ll let you figure out why this one’s considered the female¬†version.

Anyway, I was lucky enough for my girlfriend to have seen it made on The Chew, which inspired her to make it for breakfast. It peaked my interest right away — pretty much just because Michael Symon is on The Chew and I’d love to hang out with him and have a beer. But other than that, this concoction has everything a breakfast should be.

Think of what you’d order at the diner. If you have any wits to you, you’re going to order eggs, some delicious meat (bacon or ham), toast, and homefries. But let’s be honest, most of us just use the homefries as filler, to soak up the “dippy egg” or sunny-side up egg. This breakfast has it all and more. Not only does it have a delicious, savory meat, but it also includes melted cheese in between a tasty baked bread with crispy toast.

Further, the toast has been soaked in a cream (bechamel sauce) made of milk and nutmeg, giving the whole meal a bit of a sweet undertone. Finally, thanks to the females out there, the fried or poached egg crowns the sandwich. To eat it the right way, break the yoke first, and then cut into the rest of it. Get a little bit of everything in every bite and there’s no need for those homefries.

The Croque-Madame

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Bizarre Artifacts From the Depths of My Pantry

Okay, sorry, I’ll admit it. I’m kind of a Monica and I love cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of things. Last weekend I decided to clean out the fridge and go through my cupboards, a daunting task given the fact that I am a bit of a food hoarder. Not in the “gross, what is that sheath of mold around that Tupperware?!” way, but in the charming “Oh look at this rare spice, I should stockpile a container of it just in case!” kind of way.

Here are the most surprising discoveries I unearthed while in the throes of my mission:

Not one, not two, but three kinds of nutmeg. Why? WHYYY? How did this come to be? What do I even use nutmeg for? My squash soup, I guess. And various roasted vegetables. Maybe spice cookies sometimes? I don’t know, I don’t know. This is basically a lifetime supply.

Um. Random “souvenirs” from Australia? These are all like three years old and I totally had no idea they were still in my pantry. Maybe I had big plans for the port wine jell-o in the past, but clearly by this point all those dreams have been shattered.

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Cocktail O’Clock: A Heated Affair

Now that apple season is officially here (and apple recipes are officially everywhere) it’s just about time for a nice hot cider. ¬†And what hot drink couldn’t be made better with a little tequila?

Jacques Bezuidenhout, brand ambassador for Tequila Partida, sent over this recipe for making your own apple cider, plus a cocktail creation that kicks that cider up quite a few notches.

Heated Affair

2 oz Partida Anejo Tequila
6 oz Hot Spiced Apple Cider
Heavy Cream

Apple Cider Preparation:
In a pot add organic apple juice. Add winter spices like cloves, cinnamon stick, all spice, and orange peel. Start of by adding a few cloves, one cinnamon stick, etc…so as to find the right-spiced apple cider flavor. You can always add more spice later. Bring everything to a low heat for about 15 mins. Taste for flavor. When the desired flavor is reached then take off stove. Strain out all the spices and orange peel.

In a small warm wine glass add Tequila and hot apple cider. Float heavy cream.

Garnish: Grate fresh Nutmeg over cream.

Find more drink ideas in Endless Cocktails.

Cocktail O’Clock: The Velvet Pith

The Velvet Pith from Bourbon Steak in Washington, D.C. is one of those wintry egg white cocktails, but re-imagined for summer: cointreau, whipped egg whites, freshly grated nutmeg and fresh basil.

More of Bourbon Steak’s summer cocktails, after the jump.

 

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