Archive for the ‘Sauces & Toppings’ Category

The best Cranberry Relish v2.0 – The Adult Version

Everything you loved about my viral ultimate cranberry recipe but kicked up to an adult version with the addition of bacon, bourbon and heat!  Seriously addictive, deliciously simply!

If you’re a fan of that jellified, squishy, ridiculously odd-textured cranberry jelly that comes from a can then this recipe isn’t for you. No, this recipe is for the brave, the adventurous and the rebels out there. Or… pretty much for anyone that wants a freaking killer cranberry relish recipe with a twist. This is that cranberry relish you’d expect to find at some gnarly hole-in-the-wall dive bar that makes some of the best underground foods. It’s simplistic and almost delicate looking but that’s where the princessness stops and the fierce biker babe comes into play.

Wait so does that mean I just gave my cranberry relish a gender?  Is it a girl? *shrugs* sure why not. LOL It’s pretty, sexy and alluring on the outside but on the inside it’s wicked and bold. I’m down with that.

The best Cranberry Relish v2.0 - The Adult Version: Cranberry Relish with Bacon Bourbon and Red Pepper

I actually have been making this version for a few years as I wanted a more in-your-face version. Oh don’t get me wrong, I still freaking LOVE my original recipe but ever since making my spicy red pepper jelly, I couldn’t help but wonder what this relish would taste like if I added some heat to it. And since I can’t leave well enough alone AND bacon pretty much is the best thing in the world (next to my husband and teacup pigs.. oh and Channing Tatum dancing) I decided it needed bacon in it. And since you all know how much I love the combination of bourbon and bacon, I had to add me some Kentucky straight bourbon to the pot.

This relish seriously will take over your life and blow your mind!

Spiced Pear & Shallots Chutney

The warm notes of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg paired with the sweetness of the pears and shallots are exactly what your pork and chicken dishes need to go from good to WOW!

Are we all done with Pumpkinsanity (pump-k-insanity) yet and everything in the world having to taste like pumpkin spice? I mean when I see my normal box of cereal now offering Pumpkin Spice flakes or O’s I’m like “Done!  I’ve checked out!” Don’t get me wrong. I love pumpkin and pumpkin spice BUT I’d like my tea to taste like tea, my ravioli to not taste like a pumpkin pie and my freaking cereal to taste like bran TYVM. Enough is enough. I mean it’s just too much.

<off her soap box>

Okay I feel better *wink*. Today I’m sharing with you a recipe that honestly came out of a “crap, I need to use up these pears before they go bad and mushy” and my throwing stuff in a pot and hoping for the best. It’s funny as many of my recipes kind of start out that way – a thought and a prayer. As this was simmering away in the pan I decided to whip up some lunch for us. Now thankfully I had pressure cooked a bunch of chicken the night before (for weekly meal prep) and had leftover pork tenderloin which meant I didn’t have to do much work other than re-heat.

Spiced pear & Shallot Chutney

So for years when it came to chicken or pork I’d either eat it with mashed potatoes and gravy (kind of where you take a fork of chicken, shoosh it through the potatoes and gravy and put it all in your mouth at the same time OR I’d dip the meat in ketchup. You can quit making that ‘ewwww’ face now. I love ketchup and growing up in Pittsburgh, having the Heinz facility here, you had to love ketchup and put it pretty much on everything. I merely was doing my part.

While I’m still a ketchup lover, I would choose this recipe over ketchup on my meat!

Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce

When you see fresh banana peppers at the market, pick up a bunch to make this spicy, zesty, amazing tomato pepper sauce! It packs some heat but with such a great depth of flavor that will leave you wanting more!

So this time of the year in Pittsburgh, fresh banana peppers are in abundance. And for the longest time I only ever bought them to stuff with hot sausage. To eat them on a sandwich is just not something I do because raw I find them too hot. It’s funny as I love spicy foods but for some reason raw peppers like that kill me and I’m reaching for peanut butter bread to help cool my mouth off. Wait, you do know that works, right? That when you’re eating something and it’s way too spicy for you – like we’re talking your ears are on fire hot, that you don’t reach for soda or water but rather you reach for a protein and a carb. Remember?  I shared all of that stuff with you in this post. Anyway I was given a huge bag of fresh peppers from a coworker. Like where it was way too many to stuff.

But I did what I always did and stuffed them with the typical hot sausage mixture. Once it was done I had a bit more sauce in the pan than normal. And without thinking, I dipped my finger in the sauce and it was like a full-blown flavor bomb went off in my mouth! It was hot but not like I needed a drink to handle it. It wasn’t your typical marinara sauce but it was more. It kind of reminded me of an arrabbiata sauce but not quite. See an arrabbiata sauce is a combination of tomatoes, garlic, oil, some spices and lots of red pepper flakes. It was zesty and packed a zing like that but the depth of flavor was… more.

Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce

So how to describe it easily? That’s honestly I’d have to say the hardest part when it comes to running a food blog. Sure mouth-watering photographs are probably the first, and most important, thing but close after that is how you describe it. If you’ve ever watched The Next Food Network Star one of the biggest dings they get from the judges is that they don’t describe their dish. Anyone can say “OMG this is so delicious!  You must try it”. And yes I did think about that but then I was like “Lor, that’s not right. Describe the food to someone if there were no pictures of it.”

Spice up your pasta, zoodles or rice dish with this Zesty Banana Pepper Sauce!

Chunky Roasted Strawberry Sauce

Roasting brown sugared kissed strawberries draws out their natural sweetness, leaving you with the softest most delicious strawberry sauce you’ll ever have. 

Just 2 simple ingredients and 20 minutes are all you need to make one of the best sauces ever. What I love about roasting fruits is that the high heat pulls out the natural juices and sweetness. To help make that syrupy sauce a sprinkling of brown sugar makes it more of a sauce that will become thick upon cooling.

Chunky Roasted Strawberry Sauce

With fresh strawberries being in season here in Pittsburgh people flock to the stores to grab up pounds of them. They are fresh and super cheap. What I tend to do is buy close to 15 pounds of strawberries and flash freeze them for winter desserts. Oh sure I can buy “fresh” but I’m not sure how “fresh” they really are and I don’t want to have to sell a kidney to pay for them. So instead I’ll freeze a bunch and I’ll make tons of sauce like this (which freezes beautifully!).

Grab your ice cream or yogurt and get to spoonin!

Grandma’s Old Fashioned Boiled Dressing

A traditional classic slaw dressing that is 2 generations old. Grandma’s Old Fashioned Boiled Dressing had zero and incredible flavor!  It’s creamy, tangy, peppery and perfectly delicious!  

Grandma was a rock star in the kitchen. She took all of 5′ nothin’ but man she was a giant in the kitchen. This recipe is iconic of her. It was creamy, sweet, with a hint of sass and went beautifully with everything. Grandma used this dressing on her potato and egg salads often when she was out of mayo. I, was always thankful when she was out mayo as I’m not a big fan of it. This dressing, there’s just something so unique about the flavor and the way it kind of hugs the foods.

This dressing, to be honest, I would have never thought of to use on anything other than my potato salad or zippy egg salad. It wasn’t until I was at work and tried that classic broccoli salad. It looked awesome but that first bite, all I tasted was mayo.  Yeah, no… I could do better.

You’ll fall in love with this dressing!!!

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