Irish Cupcakes. Yes, Again.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes - More booze than your average recipe means more delicious for your facehole.

Irish Cupcakes, made with Guinness, Baileys and Jameson. More booze than your average recipe means more delicious for your facehole.

Everyone and their dog has a recipe for Irish Cupcakes, aka Irish Car Bombs. But let’s be real here, mine are going to be the best. Because I add extra booze. If you’re going to put booze in cupcakes, you better be able to #@%$@ taste it and the recipes I started with, well, they just tasted like cupcakes. Not booze cakes. I LIKE BOOZE CAKES.

For the unfamiliar, there are Guinness chocolate cupcakes, Jameson whiskey ganache filling and Baileys buttercream to top it all off. Yeah. I know, right? Continue reading

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That Time I Lied to You All.

I’m terrible. Last week, I flat out lied to you. I didn’t intend to, but I totally did. I spilled my guts on Valentine’s Day on Facebook so you may have already seen me expose myself. If you don’t follow me on Facebook, what the @#%@! is wrong with you?!

vdaylie

Allow me to explain myself further.

We cancelled our plans at the local meat house. It was Atlantic City’s fault.

We went to AC for a quick getaway romp, as a break from that literal snot-faced kid and to have a moment together before Big A leaves again. We love to gamble, we love Vegas, it’s a short drive away, it seemed like a good plan. We were just unprepared as to HOW good of a plan it was. Our only concern, really, was that we would be snowed in up there. And if we had, big flipping whoop, what’s one more night?! But we weren’t. It didn’t even snow enough to stick and my plans to make a snowman with the bartender at Hard Rock were disappointingly squashed. I did hit some lucky streaks and decided AC was my town.

ANYWAY. To the food and the abandonment of our plans. We had picked a few random places to try that were sort of off-Boardwalk and had amazing Yelp reviews. We opted for the Iron Room first because the place offered a ridic huge whiskey menu. That was all we needed, really. It took us each like ten minutes to browse the booze menu. I was not anticipating the experience to be my #2 dining experience OF ALL TIME. (The #1 being a stupid expensive Batali/Bastianich steak dinner in Vegas).

We each got a flight – three scotch for him, three bourbon for me. (and three beers for George Thorogood, am I right?!) And we selected few tapas-type plates to nom on. Steak Frites with pepper gravy. Good. Steak Tartare. Great, once I got over the texture and raw thing. (Big A ordered it well done. The kitchen didn’t listen.) And Sweet Fried Chicken on a duck fat and cheddar waffle with lavender velouté. @!#$%! AMAZING. I’m pretty sure Big A and I would have stabbed each other with forts had the portion been any smaller. We were thisclose to licking the plate clean. I’m drooling right now, just reliving it. 

Chicken and Waffle, Round 1. It's blurry because I just wanted to $%@# eat it.

Chicken and Waffle, Round 1, Iron Room. It’s blurry because I just wanted to $%@# eat it.

So for something completely different than raw steak and gourmet chicken and waffles, the next night we opted to go to a supper club called Kelsey’s for…chicken and waffles. Soul food chicken and waffles. With maple syrup. And mac and cheese. And cornbread. And the cutest older ladies rocking the karaoke night. Ughhhhhh. So much goodness.

Chicken and Waffle, Round 2. Pre-syruped.

Chicken and Waffle, Round 2, Kelsey’s. Pre-syruped.

Two dinners. All the chicken and waffles Atlantic City had.

Plus an amazing pulled pork sandwich, buffalo chicken strips, gas station cheese-stuffed pretzels, hot dogs and slightly hungover Panda Express. So much. Too much. We didn’t even wake up in time for breakfasts and still managed to cram in all the foods.

And that’s why we decided to forgo the Fogo. We just wouldn’t be able to give it the appreciation it deserves so we’re saving it for another day when the chicken and waffles are a distant memory and we dream once again of copious amounts of meat.

I’m sorry I disappointed you. Is there anyway I can make it up to you?

A photo of me and some delicious bourbon? Ok!

Basking in the goodness.

Basking in the goodness.

Fogo de Ow

To celebrate the upcoming holiday of Love & Stupid Cards, Big A and I have made a reservation at our local Brazilian-style meat house. While some opt for candles and romance, we prefer oodles of meat and cheapish red wine. If you haven’t been to such a place, I highly suggest it. Unless you’re vegetarian, in which case I suggest you read no further.

Five tips from an experienced carnivorous diner:

1. Don’t touch the salad bar. Don’t even look at it. There’s good stuff on it, like cured meats and fancy cheeses. You know I’m being serious when I tell you to stay away from the cheese. SO DON’T BE TEMPTED. If you go to a meat house and eat anything green you’re dead to me. Don’t fill up on useless foliage; that’s dumb.

Sorry folks. Some options may only be available in East African Meat Houses.

Sorry folks. Some options may only be available in East African Meat Houses.

2. Don’t drink water. It takes up too much valuable space for meat. And wine. Water is for dogs.

3. Try everything! Even if it seems sketchy, try it anyway. You may not like it, but how often is one presented with 34 different kinds of animal? You may discover that Ostrich and Camel are @#^%! delicious, though I think you have to go outside the US to try those. But they are, indeed, delicious.

4. Except fish. If for some reason you encounter fish, don’t eat that. It’s not meat.

5. Dessert is usually delicious. Because it’s usually flan. And flan is flantastic. Devour at your own risk. Your Belly should say NO but your Sweet Tooth will scream YES and you’ll have the referee the battle. Don’t specifically save room for dessert. Let the meat be your guide.

If you don’t feel like Violet “Blueberry” Beauregard when you leave, you have failed. If you don’t question every decision you’ve ever made, you’ve failed. If you don’t struggle to get in the car, you have failed.

You should feel like this.

You should feel like this.

The next day meat sweats will be your trophy of awesome. Worth it.

 

Food for Faceholes: Chicken Fajita Chowder

Chicken Fajita Chowder via dearexpletivebaby.com

As you may know, I have quite a penchant for making fun of Sandra Lee and her whole box-things-turned-into-gross-new-things shtick.

And then a few years ago I realized that Big A and I semi-homemade something that immediately became a staple in this house and now it’s time to share  it with the world. Or the eight of you that read this.

V-8 made this pretty decent boxed corn chowder stuff and we turned it into a better take on chicken tortilla soup.

AND THEN V-8 DISCONTINUED THE SOUP AND I WAS ANGRY. ANGRRYYYYYY.

Trader Joe’s saved the day when I discovered a suitable substitution, though.  So if you have a TJ’s…you can have this chowder. If not, well, then you’re shit out of luck and I got nothing for ya.

We always have the ingredients for this in the house, so it really isn’t “fresh”, but damn we like it. Frozen chicken breasts, jarred jalapenos, seasoning packets, WHAT UP. I have zero qualms about my sodium use. Clearly you can use whatever fajita seasoning blend (you fancy people and your Penzey’s and your whatnot) you like and adjust to taste. I never used to add corn, but the Campbells/V8 soup had a little more texture than the Trader Joe stuff so I add some now if I have it.

Chicken Fajita Chowder

2 chicken breasts
1 box TJ’s Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper Soup
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
fajita seasoning
2 tbsp finely chopped jalapenos (optional)
1/2 cup frozen corn (optional)

Place the chicken breasts in a crock pot and cover halfway with water. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of fajita seasoning over the top and cook on low for about five hours, less if using thawed breasts.

Remove chicken; shred or chop it. Empty water from the crock pot and clean out on residual chicken gunk that may be left behind.

Put soup, chicken, black beans, jalapenos and corn back into the crock pot. Add about two tablespoons of the fajita seasoning, or to taste. Heat through on high – about 45 minutes. You could also do this on the stove – this would take about 15 minutes, but why dirty another pot.

Serve, topped with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Sour cream it up if you’ve got it.

Variation: SAVE FIVE HOURS. Use chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken, start at step three, dump everything into a pot and heat on the stove for 20 minutes. I’ve never done it that way, but I fail to see how it wouldn’t work.

I like to make things more complicated.

And there you have to. FIVE HOUR or TWENTY MINUTE CHICKEN FAJITA CHOWDER.

Chicken Fajita Chowder via dearexpletivebaby.com

You’re welcome.

Food for Faceholes: Egg Rolls

Welcome to the first installment of Food for Faceholes! The title comes from the usage of everything food related in this house, like my menu planning book and my Pinterest board. I will warn you in advance that this household has exactly zero “foodies”. We are not gourmet. We like things simple, midwestern, low on veggies, high on meat. We are picky eaters and proud of it.

That said, let’s get down to business.

Pork Egg Rolls - dearexpletivebaby.com

Note to Self: Master Food Beauty Shots.

You’re an idiot if you don’t like egg rolls. THERE, I SAID IT. Even me, the intensely defiant lettuce hater, loves these things that are 60% cabbage. My mom has been making these forever and I find them deliciously comforting.

The recipe originally called for a head of cabbage, but that’s a lot of work to blanch it and chop it and I’m lazy. Solution? Cabbage in a bag! Or coleslaw mix! With carrots! Why not! I do run it through a food processor with the green onions to chop it all even finer and that makes them easier to roll. Same with the pork – grind that meat up after it’s browned. (Bonus tip: I grind my taco meat for that Taco Bell like texture. Makes excellent nachos.) I only have one of these (Side note, holy hell I didn’t know they came in colors, I got it as a wedding gift and now, shit, I want the turquoise one) so it takes a few rounds to get it all done, but it’s worth it.

Pork Egg Rolls - dearexpletivebaby.com

MOST OF THE DOUBLE BATCH, BITCHES!

Usually when I make these, I double the recipe below. If I’m going to go through all this work, I’d rather do it once, spend a little more time, and then have the fruits of my labor in the freezer for months! These freeze great, just don’t fry them fully if you plan on freezing them. When you want ’em, grab them from the frozen depths and pop them in the oven (I generally go 400º, but you could do whatever temp you may be using for the rest of your dinner) on a rack over a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes and they will heat through and finish browning.

Egg Rolls

Recipe adapted from Leeann Chin Chinese Cookbook
Yield 16-18 regular sized egg rolls
 

1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp soy sauce
dash of white pepper

1 bag of shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp five spice powder

1 package of egg rolls skins OR wonton wrappers
1 egg, beaten

Mix the first five ingredients and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Run the green onions and cabbage through a food processor if desired, finely chopping it. Brown the pork until no longer pink; grind if desired for even consistency and smaller pieces. Mix the pork, cabbage and green onions in the pan or wok, adding salt and five spice powder. Saute the mixture for a few minutes and then remove from the heat and cool.

Beat the egg in a small bowl and get ready to roll!
Place about 1/2 cup of mixture in the center of an egg roll skin. (If using wonton wrappers, 1 tablespoon will do). Fold one corner over the mixture, fold the sides in, brush the remaining corner with the egg and roll to seal*.

Repeat. Many times.

Heat oil in your preferred frying vessel to 350°. In batches, fry egg rolls until golden brown and crispy. Remember to only fry about 70% of the way if you plan on freezing.

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*Seriously, there are videos and turtorials out there that can demonstrate this better. I don’t know how to explain it clearly. But it ain’t hard, folks!
**Original recipe also calls for dried black mushrooms and bean sprouts, so if you like that shit, add that shit.