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August, 2015

Clafouti Martini

Posted on August 26, 2015

Back on July 21st  I wrote a blog about using Cherries, Vodka and Whisky to make a homemade cherry liquor. Today is the day I chose to crack the cherry vodka open. So I retrieved my jars from their space under my basement stairs and crack open I did. I also had to taste both several times and eat some of each cherry. I in my infinite wisdom forgot to label the mason jars and they looked very much a like it was only thru the taste of the cherries I could finally discern which one was which and it was wonderful!!

What was in that little mason jar was a smooth lovely cherry flavored vodka, along with a bunch of marinated cherries. I was so looking forward to the unveiling I had not thought much beyond just getting it open and making sure it tasted good. It did so now what?? My mind wandered back to all the things I thought I could make with Cherry Vodka. Mix it with limeade and sprite for a grown up version of cherry limeade, I could cook it down some with the cherries and make an ice cream topping(I will still do this at some point) but right now I was thinking something new and different.  As I shared In the post http://trippingvittles.com/2015/07/21/cherries-booze/ I love cherries. I have written about my love of cherries before I wrote this blog and Tripping Vittles was just a dream,  I had waxed poetic on a Facebook page. I shared my love of both Julia Child and her Claufuti Dessert. I was inspired back than by Julia Childs birthday and my craving for cherries. The following is a photo of my attempt at the dessert and the recipe.

Claufouti

Cherry Clafouti
From “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” by Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle and Julia Child (Alfred A. Knopf, 1961). For 6-8 people.
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
Butter for baking dish
3 cups pitted black cherries, or canned pitted Bing cherries, drained, or frozen sweet cherries, thawed and drained
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla,
salt, and flour in blender at top speed for 1 minute. Lightly
butter a 7- to 8-cup baking dish or pie plate. Pour a 1/4-inch
layer of batter in the baking dish. Set over moderate heat for a
minute or two until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the
dish. Remove from heat.
Spread the cherries over the batter and sprinkle on the sugar. Pour
on the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a
spoon.
Place in the middle position of preheated oven and bake for about
an hour. The clafouti is done when it has puffed and browned and a
needle or knife plunged into its center comes out clean. Sprinkle
top of clafouti with powdered sugar just before bringing it to the
table.

It tasted great, Now I thought what if I could recreate that dessert in the form of a Martini. Clafouti  is one of my all time favorite desserts and it is also super easy to make. The slight almond taste from the cherry pit is detectable even though the pit is removed. This flavor is recreated with Monin Almond Syrup. Deep cherry flavor created with both cherry vodka and Luxardo Cherry Liqueur.  Garnished with a squeeze of lemon, powdered sugar and some of those marinated cherries. I think I have come close the following is my Clafouti Martini.

Clafouti Martini

Rim a chilled Martini glass with lemon and dip into powdered sugar. Drop in a few of the marinated cherries. Add the following to a shaker full of ice.

1.5oz Homemade Cherry Vodka

1.5oz Luxardo Cherry Liqueur

1.5oz Monin Almond Syrup

Shake vigorously pour into martini glass squeeze a wedge of lemon over the top and shake some more powered sugar on top.

Drink!!

Check out the how to video at the following link https://youtu.be/ffxw0pBAtXo

#moninalmonsyrup #Blaumbrosvodka #trippingvittles #clafoutimartini

Summer Sunday Suppers

Posted on August 24, 2015

Its funny I think that as the kids head back to school and summer starts to drift towards fall that is when the best foods arrive from our gardens. Funny because we now have less time to prepare it more things going on and the lazy days of summer are fading away.

It is why Sunday Suppers become a little more important to family at this time of year.   It is why at around 4pm on Summer Sunday’s you can smell the BBQ grills being fired up, charcoal lit the smell of lighter fluid in the air. Sunday afternoon is the last time you can relax before you start your week. Before kids have to be shuttled to and from sports before you or your partner have to work late at your job. Before the drive thru at McDonalds looks like a good idea because you only have 7 min before someone has to be somewhere.

What is a Summer Sunday Supper?? I have a friend whose Italian Mother and Grandmother always made sauce on Sundays and would prepare pasta and a big salad, sausage and peppers and a pie or a cake for dessert. The wonderful part Summer Sundays was the cooked down tomatoes and herbs used from the garden. It somehow Changed Sunday Supper for a few weeks in August and early September it made it just a little fresher and a little more filled with color.

For me the Summer Sunday Supper that my mom made usually meant a grilled meat of some kind, corn on the cob we got from the guy on the corner out of his pick up. Tomatoes and cucumbers made either creamy or sweet and sour vinegar way.  Sometimes watermelon there were many a watermelon seed spitting contest off of our back deck. Always and I mean always Sundaes on Sunday. Vanilla ice cream with moms homemade hot fudge and sprinkles.

Yesterday I attempted to make my moms version of Sunday Supper. It was a beautiful day and the grill needed a work out.

Korean Beef Ribs

I marinated in olive oil, pineapple juice,garlic and ginger some Korean Beef Ribs they are a thin tender piece of meat that you can eat with your hands if you so choose. The bones are wonderful little holders of the tender meat. Ideal for a BBQ.

Grilled Corn

Grilled corn is one of my favorites. soak your corn for a few minuets in water and than slap it on the grill turn it a few times so as not to burn it to bad. Take it off, peel it, slather with butter and salt and enjoy!!  I dare you to stop at just one ear!!

Pesto Cuke  & Tom Salad

Lastly was my own version of that cucumber salad. I sliced up thin a sweet onion I got at Farmers Market halved about 3 cups of cherry tomatoes from a friends garden(thank you Becky) and from another friends garden sliced up one very large cucumber(thank you Rita). tossed it all with 2 tablespoons pesto. 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar said and ground pepper to taste. *a note about pesto. it is very easy to make but it is even easier to use a good jarred pesto. most do not taste all that good but the Kirkland brand from Costco is amazing and tastes like you made it in your kitchen. I use it for almost all pesto just easier than making from scratch.

I would love to hear about your Summer Sunday Supper family traditions and if you don’t have a tradition now would be a great time to start one.

Tramping, Trailing and Tripping “Some More”

Posted on August 10, 2015

Do you remember your first S’more?? I don’t. I imagine it was around a campfire somewhere in The Rocky Mountains or Northern Minnesota or the Willow River in Wisconsin. It seems that the first documented S’more Recipe is in 1927 in the book Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. The recipe was called “some mores”. This is a wonderful book and a copy can be found at this link. http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89017190521;view=1up;seq=1 Page 71 has the Recipe for “Some Mores”

As a kid the Hershey’s Chocolate bar was a favorite. There are better chocolate bars now more refined  but when making a S’more it is still the go to chocolate in my opinion. The Blue Box of Honey Maid Grams. I know there are other kinds out there but that is the one I pick. Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows are my marshmallow of choice. Combine all of this with flames and you have S’mores.

Today is National S’more Day. Now I have written on a few National days, just last week Root Beer Float Day. Tripping Vittles is not here just to document National Food Recognition Days if it were I would have had to do rice pudding, custard,zucchini,raspberries in cream, oysters , waffles and lasagna and that is in just the last week. That said some days strike a cord and I feel the need to write. S’mores are one of those things that brings back memories and makes me smile.

I still get excited when there is a campfire and those ingredients are present. The flavor combination is awesome and well honestly it is just fun toasting marshmallows!! My personal favorite is to char the marshmallow  to black peel off that layer and eat that and then mush the remaining creamy goodness on top of the chocolate resting on half a gram-cracker. An open face version if you will. The char flavor is an important element to me it sticks on your tongue until the chocolate and gram flavors rush it away.

I thought I would challenge myself a bit with todays post. We all know how to make a S’more thats easy. Some of us know how to make a S’more Shot using Marshmallow Vodka and Chocolate Liqueur. I wanted to recreate my open face char S’more into a cocktail I could sip and enjoy for dessert anytime or next to a fire pit this fall.

I decided to take it a step further and make it so I could only use the ingredients I had in my house and in the liquor cabinet. No buying Marshmallow and Gram-cracker flavored vodkas. I think I came up with a really great Char S’more Cocktail and I did it without spending an extra dime so here goes.

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The Ingredients

*1oz Brinley Gold Shipwreck Vanilla Rum a dark molasses colored rum hand crafted on the island of St. Kitts
*1oz Blue Ice American Creme Brûlée Vodka handcrafted in Idaho with Idaho potatoes and Teton Mountain water.
*1oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur a solid chocolate flavor
*1/2oz Monin Salted Carmel Syrup
*1/2oz Monin Hickory Smoke
*1.5oz Heavy Whipping Cream
*Hersheys Chocolate Syrup
*Honey Maid Gram Cracker Crumbs

Rim a cocktail glass with chocolate syrup and gram crackers. Do this just like you would a margarita with lime and salt. You will need a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add all the liquid ingredients shake real well to blend and pour ice and all into your cocktail glass.

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Find a campfire and enjoy!!

Jalapeños, Friends and Zombies

Posted on August 9, 2015

I wish I could tell you that I had a massive garden and I grew my own veggies and at this time of year I will be writing all kinds of articles about the fantastic fresh product I am pulling from my Garden.

Sadly that is not the case. When God graced our family with green thumbs I was somehow left off the list. Growing up my Father had a garden that in today’s world would have won awards been featured in magazines. Back in the 70’s he would have people stop randomly and comment how wonderful it all looked. We would give away what seemed like 100’s of pumpkins in the fall. Back than it was awful as a kid to have to eat fresh veggies all the time broccoli, beans of all kinds, eggplant,zucchini, green onions, rhubarb, raspberries, tomatoes all different kinds of peppers. Oh the horror of another plate of homemade eggplant parmesan.

Now as an adult who loves all the fresh veggies out there and when the Zombie Apocalypse comes will have to survive on canned veggies and dehydrated onions. I would give anything to have the green thumb he had or have the thumb of my mother and sister who each year plant more new and exciting things in their gardens. They also both have homes filled with lovely green plants. I have 3 plants and I say a prayer over them everyday and apologize that they are stuck here with me instead of the lush lands of a green thumbed Jones.

So with full disclosure  any time that you see me working with fresh fruits and veggies I either bought them at a farmers market or in the case of todays post I have been given a wonderful gift to play with. As I think this thru I may have done a smart thing in life as I have surrounded myself with people who do have green thumbs and who are capable of growing things so for the Zombie Apocalypse I may not be so bad off after all!

That said I have a bunch of lovely Jalapeños I need to do something with before they all go to rot. I toyed with making Jalapeño Poppers but there is no way I can eat that many poppers, well there is but that would not be good for me and my belly fat. I thought about hanging them and drying them in bunches for decoration but that is boring and I would not get to eat them. I could create a cocktail using their juices but all that testing of drinks would make this article very delayed and written with a hang over which I am not all that fond of. Drying them in the oven and pulverizing them into powder would be fun if it were the middle of winter but who want to turn the oven on in August.

Instead of fighting the 100 day old veggie zombie in the dead of winter I am going to clean the jalapeños  and freeze them for use thru-out the year until I can get another crop from a loving green thumbed friend.

Keep in mind that freezing many veggies in the summer is a great way to have some freshness in your foods in the middle of winter when the only fresh items at the grocery store are something from the far away land of Venezuela that looks to be 100 days old and you just know it will be in your home for less than an hour before sprouting green legs and walking off the counter to the trash bin.

The following process works great for Jalapeños, Green Onions and any kind of pepper I have done Red, Green and Banana Peppers this way.

Prepping the peppers..I always Have a box of rubber surgical gloves around the house. They are great to have in your Zombie Apocalypse medical bag but you will at this point in time get more use out of them in the kitchen.

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Warning Warning!! Jalapeños can be hot and their juice can make parts of your body feel like it is  on fire if you touch juice to any part of flesh. Do not make out with your Boyfriend or Girlfriend during or after cutting Jalapeños until you have throughly cleaned up. The burn is something they or you will not soon forget!!

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This is super easy.  Take a cookie sheet line it with plastic wrap. Do this before you put the rubber gloves on or you will be cursing my name. Put on gloves, Clean and slice all the peppers length wise. Cut off stems and clean out seeds. I do this over a plastic bag in the sink for easy clean up.

Lay the peppers on the cookie sheet, freeze at least for 4 hours. I did these for 8 while I was at work.

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Pop on another pair of gloves and plop those now frozen Jalapeños into small freezer bags. I do 3-4 peppers wrapped together in plastic wrap than put into the freezer bag. Stick the bags back in your freezer and they are ready for use sometime down the road.

#Jalapeños #TrippingVittles #Freezingveggies

Root Beer Float with a bit of Nostalgia

Posted on August 6, 2015

The Root Beer Float is the perfect drink/dessert that possibly has ever existed! I was raised on root beer floats we had them every summer as treats probably more than most kids because they were also a favorite of my Dads. We always had root beer on hand ice-cold in a cooler or kept in the extra refrigerator in the basement. We had special mugs that we enjoyed the floats  from and they were always a cold refreshing treat.

As I got older I was able to debate the merits of the different root beers with my Dad. He was a Dads Old Fashioned Root Beer guy. A Root Beer that turned 75 years old in 2012. Originated from Chicago and still to this day has the essential ingredients of wintergreen,Licorice and Vanilla.

I was more an A&W gal in my early years. Probably because the memory and taste of going to the drive in was fresh and exciting to me and that thick sweet cold beverage from a frosty mug was what I preferred over the lighter Dads version. In 1971 They started selling A&W in Grocery stores. A trip to the drive in was special event on one of our Sunday toolies or a hot summers eve. The trip to the grocery store was a weekly occurrence which meant most days you could find both Dads root beer and A&W somewhere in the house!!

When my sister and I were kids and our family traveled the western United States we were lucky to try the Sassafras and Sarsaparilla drinks that were the origin of the modern-day Root Beers. Some of those drinks were great sweet and smooth and some were down right nasty like motor oil mixed with herbs  but they all had the basis of root beer in common, different spices and roots used to form that frosty drink we love so much. Many of these ingredients are still used in root beer today from Allspice and cloves to cherry bark, dog grass and molasses. Carbonation is added to todays root beers and some of the mass-produced products use corn syrup as the sweetener. Most root beers are caffeine free but the Bite that Barqs talks about having that is the caffeine in their root beer.

The greatest thing about Root Beer today is it is like Craft Beer, there are a bunch of them to choose from coming from all parts of the country using the root ingredients of the area and many producing with cane sugar instead of corn syrup. There are so many variations and such a love for the product that there is a store in the small town my mom lives near that is just a root beer store. They sell root beer on tap to sip on while browsing a huge selection of craft root beers from all over the country. I always stop for 6 bottles of mixed and matched root beers when I am in town for a visit. I am always amazed at how many different styles of root beer there are to choose from.

The nuts and bolts of todays post is the Root Beer Float. Today August 6th is National Root Beer Float day. Now I thought about going non traditional and taking Not Your Fathers Root Beer and making an alcohol version of the old classic. I thought of twisting it up and using a different kind of ice cream and/or soda, but then that’s not really a root beer float now is it? I kept thinking about the root beer floats we had at Camp Sychar last week, each night for $1.25 we got a red solo cup with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and a can of root beer poured over the top. It was everything I loved about root beer floats as a kid. A Cold refreshing sweet drink on a hot summers eve as the sun set and the lightning bugs came out to play.

So with those happy memories in my mind today I took a glass put 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream in it and poured some A&W root beer over the top till it foamed and bubbled and produced the float of my childhood!! Cheers I hope you enjoy your own root beer float today!!

#Nationalrootbeerfloatday #A&Wrootbeer #summerfun

Whiskey Wednesday: The Indiana Whiskey Co

Posted on August 5, 2015

A month or so ago I shared on Facebook an article from Playboy 50 spirits 50 states the best spirt distilled in each state. I found the article fascinating and it gave me 50 distilleries to visit. Since I am not independently wealthy it may take some time to fulfill the dream of a personal visit to each one of these. But with Tripping Vittles it becomes more reality than dream. (more…)

Breaking Bread

Posted on August 3, 2015

I have spent the last 10 days at Church Camp.  As a kid we did not go to camp we went to the mountains. Gods Camp is how my parents saw it and I cannot say I disagree. The Rockie Mountains, The Grand Tetons majestic creations that to my father were proof that a great being created this earth and It was thru nature my sister and I learned about GOD!! My father was one of the most spiritual men I have ever met and he passed that on to me. We did not spend Sundays in church for us Sundays were spent on a ski hill or camping or going for a toolie (drive) to see what we could see. Dew on the morning grass was proof enough that God existed and who was I to argue. The salmon who swims upstream to spawn flying over rocks and falls when caught can feed a family that was all I needed to see creation in its purest form.

I have for the last 8 or 9 years attended Camp Sychar in Mt. Vernon Ohio. There is something magical here too. It’s not Mountains or natural beauty it is the beauty of the institution of Christianity allowed to freely practice in an encampment for 10 days every summer for the last 145 years. No truer form of freedom exists than the freedom of religion.  I find that amazingly uplifting and powerful. A camp full of people being kind and loving towards one another. Enjoying each others company sharing stories of the past and looking towards the future.

I have a hope for Tripping Vittles and that is for it to bridge a gap to be a story-teller. To show that differences are good and we can all respect each other and get along. Be the differences in culture, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation. It is more important now than ever before we have a respect for those that are different while still holding on and sharing our own beliefs. I fully believe this can start thru learning about and enjoying each others food, drink and music.

In our Bible study this week we dissected The Lords Supper. This seemed to be so appropriate for my life now and where and what i want to do with it. I have always held the breaking of bread with people in high regard. To share a meal, to drink a drink with someone is a very revered act to me and In doing so you share some of you especially if you prepare that meal for your guest. It is the basis of what I have planned for Tripping Vittles. Just as the Lords Supper was meant to draw us together so to is what I want Tripping Vittles to accomplish. I want us to see each other in a non judgmental way to find those things in each other that are extraordinary and to share them with the world. We learned this week that the Heart of The Lords Supper was accountability in Grace and Grace in accountability. We are all in this together and we so often forget that.

As I move forward on my journey with life and Tripping Vittles I will share as many meals as i can with all of you and I will raise a glass whenever possible. I will try to remove judgement from all of this and be open to all new experiences. I want to share stories of the past take lessons learned and help us be better in the future. I am sure to some this seems like a  simple version of something important in the bible but to me ,maybe just maybe  if we just take it down to the most simplistic of actions sharing a meal with someone than we can start to see we are all not that different and loving one another becomes easy especially if it is over good BBQ or a wonderful bottle of wine.

Happy Camper

Peace, Love and Tripping Vittles!!