Obedient Ingredients

A place to put cooking ideas to the test.


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How to Throw a Grilled Cheese Party

Grilled cheese is so much fun. They are simply the best food themed party I’ve had/thrown. It was popular when I hosted a party like this before. Maybe that’s why 54 people showed up to the 4th Annual Grilled Cheese party last month.

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How it works:

Host provides sliced bread, butter/mayo for spreading, and tomato soup.

  • Guests bring the ingredients for their GC recipes they will be making.
  • Each guest prepares 2-4 sandwiches, then each sandwich is cut into 6 pieces.
  • Have a prep station for guests to assemble their sandwiches, while 2-3 other guests make their sandwiches on the stove top.
  • When the Sandwich is finished, put it in the oven with the rest of the sandwiches that are staying warm. Keeping the oven at warm or 200 F keeps them warm, the bread crisp and the cheese gooey.
  • When the oven is full/everyone is finished making their sandwiches, cut them up and serve them.

Also, here’s an important poll that can lead to some very heated debate:

(It’s Kraft Singles, not craft singles. Like, those are very opposite things. I cannot change the poll though.)

Read on to see all the types of sandwiches represented…

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The Bowery Fix Cocktail (Tequila and Yellow Bell Pepper) – My #1 Favorite Cocktail

This is the drink that got me interested in craft cocktails.

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When I visited a good friend of mine in New York City 5 years ago, he said “Here’s a bar I know you’d like.” He said that because he and I appreciated good food and cooking (he was a teacher for most of his life, but he is now a pastry chef at a really reputable NYC restaurant). He was right.

He took me to Saxon + Parole on Bowery St. in the Lower East Side of New York City. It was late afternoon and the place was mostly empty. We walked through an empty yet elegant dining room to the bar, with a marble bar, bartenders in striped aprons, and an array of herbs, fruits, vegetables and other colorful whole foods adorning the bar. Behind the bar tenders was a huge block of clear ice that they used a chisel and pick to create the ice cubes. This type of bar is not for everyone, and some may use words like pretentious or hipster, but I loved it. Every molecule in this bar screamed “we care about the drinks we make and serve.”

At $13-$15 a cocktail, I experienced very well-balanced creatively constructed drinks that were a delight. However, one stood out, and really opened my eyes to the world of hard alcohol. That drink is called The Bowery Fix.

Almost five years later, I decided to dive into the hobby of craft cocktail making. Mixologist. Home bartender. It helped that the recipe for my favorite drink I had at Saxon + Parole finally made its way online. When I decided to make the Bowery Fix at home, I purchased bottles of liquid I couldn’t pronounce and have never heard of.

I made it, and it was amazing.

Here is how to make the Bowery Fix, my absolute favorite cocktail.

All credit goes to Naren Young.

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Cocktail Measurements Matter: The Aviation

During my on-going campaign to distance myself from my new interest that costs me so much money, I suffered a huge defeat last month when I purchased two liqueurs for one of my favorite cocktail. One ingredient can be found in several drinks (like another go-to fave, the Last Word), and that is Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, a delightful cherry-flavored liqueur. It adds sweetness but also a bit more complexity with it’s funky delicious flavor.

Then there is that rare liqueur that is not in many recipes (hardly any, actually) and is even harder to find. And that is creme de violette. A violette liqueur. Floral tartness, a unique perfumy sweetness, a slight grape-candy-like bite.

Put these together along with gin and lemon juice, you got the Aviation cocktail.

But after testing two different recipes, an ounce or a quarter of an ounce off can make a huge difference!

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Christmas Food Pics

Just some pictures from the food we ate at Christmas.

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Homemade pizzas:

Margarita

Pesto, chicken, cherry tomato (soaked in garlic, oregano and EVOO) and caramelized purple onion

Chorizo, Manchego, Fried Potato, spicy-garlic-smoked paprika aioli, spicy jam

Pear, blue cheese, walnut and honey

Cuban food:

Black beans with deliciousness or Frijoles negros

Sweet fried plantains “Maduros”

Yuca with onions/garlic/citrus or “mojo”

Guayava cake

Pork. Delicious pork

Homemade daiquiris (rum, simple, lime, shaken over ice)

Merry Christmas!

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The Best, Most Delicious, Most Authentic, Actual Homemade Butterbeer Recipe!

This blog’s most popular post, by far, is about Homemade Harry Potter Butterbeer. It was exciting to compile my research and compare/contrast the different homemade concoctions on the internet. Initially, I intended to make a few of the recipes myself, but there was one big thing standing in my way:

All of the homemade Butterbeer recipes looked gross!

Too sugary. Wayyyy too sweet. Sugar upon fructose upon sweetener upon chemical sweetness. Imitation butter flavoring? Cream soda AND sugar AND syrup? No thanks.

I’m definitely not a great practitioner of healthy eating, even though I try to be conscious of a healthy diet. And if I could give up one “bad” thing in my diet, it would be sugar.

Yet homemade Harry Potter Butterbeer remains a fun recipe to try out, especially if one is throwing a Harry Potter Christmas party (like my roommates and I did, and it was awesome, see end of post for some pics).

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So I decided to try some recipes myself, and was pleasantly surprised by the results of the recipe that has been around the longest. A recipe that dates all the way back to the 16th Century.

And yes, the recipe that turned out to be awesome has both BUTTER and BEER, and is very easy to make without crazy ingredients.

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Two Fall Themed Cocktails (with Bourbon and Rye)

There are many fall-themed cocktails out there, and with Thanksgiving coming up, now is a good time to practice with them.

Here are two fall-themed cocktails that I am making for a Friendsgiving today (UPDATE: they were a success. I think the group was evenly split with which one they liked better). I tested them last night and they are fantastic, and I can only imagine how good they will be today since I let both alcohols infuse overnight with delicious fall flavors.

You will not believe what ingredients I used!!!*

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*(You probably CAN believe it: they are rosemary in bourbon and cinnamon, all spice, cloves and star anise in rye).

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2nd Blind Pumpkin Beer Taste Test (2014)

Welcome to the second Blind Pumpkin Beer Taste Test, 2014 edition.

Taste in beer is very subjective. For example, the popular Southern Tier Pumpking is either loved or strongly disliked. Some people really enjoy the unique sweetness that resembles a pumpkin pie in their beer. Others have different ideas of what a beer should be like. There is no right answer!

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But it’s still fun to try and rank ‘em!

Which beer won this year?

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