Sometimes I do this just for fun…
Sometimes I do this just for fun…
I love a good meat sauce. ‘Cuz I LOVE meat. (That’s what she said.) But, seriously, a good meat sauce is so versatile, and if you make a big batch, you can freeze some for quick meals later. Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe that my Italian grandmother used for her delicious sauce. So for the past year, I have scoured the Internet and experimented with various recipes in order to create the perfect Sunday Sauce. (Foxy Sauce just sounded wrong.)
Each time I’d try a new recipe, my husband and I would enjoy the sauce, but we weren’t quite elated. We wanted more. We wanted a sauce that people would talk about for days. Or at least one that our kids would eat. (Just kidding. They don’t eat anything normal.) So we sat and brainstormed. I wrote down all of the things about each recipe that I loved, and we tossed around different ideas looking for that one magical ingredient. And then, one historical day, my husband had a flash of brilliance. (It doesn’t happen very often so I’m documenting it here.)
After I posted our recipe for red wine sangria, I received multiple requests for a white wine version. Because apparently some of you are babies and don’t drink red wine. No, I’m only kidding. Maybe. (I’m looking at you, Yoga Pants Mafia!)
Now, I’m not normally a white wine drinker, but I happily obliged because:
My husband and I brainstormed a bit on the ingredients. We wanted a different feel than the red wine sangria, but a similar alcohol content (read: IT WILL ALSO FUCK YOU UP).
We nailed it on the first try.
Every once in awhile, I post a recipe on here. I should note that I only post my most favorite eats and drinks—so they’re worth checking out, IMHO. Speaking of which, have you tried Bacon Bar Nuts yet? If not, you’re missing out. Seriously missing out.
Anyhow, the weather is getting warmer, and folks are gearing up for party season. So I thought our recipe for sangria would be especially appropriate. It’s delicious and refreshing, and it packs a certain punch. (Get it? Punch? Okay, I’ll stop.)
This sangria goes by several different names. We change it up depending on the occasion. In honor of Harold Camping‘s predicted Rapture and Judgment Day, we had some friends over, made a small batch, and called it “Rapture Juice.” Because we love the television show Parks & Recreation, we had a party, made a larger batch, and called it “Snake Juice.” When Mr. Foxy turned 40, we made a GIANTFUCKING batch, and called it “Fountain of Youth Juice.” (My freighbor told me that, while she enjoyed it immensely, it actually aged her a few years.)
My husband, who fancies himself a bartender, created this very special sangria recipe. His entire goal was to make the most alcoholic sangria ever that stills tastes good. He studied a bunch of different recipes and picked his favorite ingredients from each of them. And then, because he wanted to ensure that every single liquid in the sangria was alcoholic, he came up with the pièce de résistance for the carbonation—Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
To make a small* batch, you need the following ingredients:
Step 1: Mix the wine and the sliced citrus fruit in a glass container and let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Step 2: To the wine-citrus mixture, stir in the triple sec, blackberry brandy, peach schnapps, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Adjust quantities to suit your tastes.
Step 3: Consume responsibly. This sangria will fuck you up. If you aren’t careful, you might end up in Stage 6 or 7 on my 7-Point Scale of Drunkenness.
Step 4: Watch the hilarity that ensues. Or be the hilarity that ensues.
*Here are the quantities in case you want to make larger batches. Because, sangria.
Sangria (medium vat)
Sangria (large vat)
It’s no secret that Mr. Foxy and I love bacon. We have a pretty steamy love affair going on in this house. We make bacon at least once a week, preferably in the panini press that we only use for bacon; hence, it is called the bacon press.
I make delicious bacon bar nuts, which are a hit at every party (if they make it to the party). I’ve found that just about every food can benefit from meat sprinkles. I pride myself in including bacon (or another pork product) in every dish on Thanksgiving. I. Love. Bacon.
So when I saw this picture on the Internet, I knew we had to try it.
Since Mr. Foxy is the pancake maker in this house, I just gave him the picture one Saturday and told him to do it. (Actually, I use that tactic for a lot of things.) I helped him out by cooking the bacon, but he did most of the work.
Here’s how the first batch came out:
We called that batch “Labia Cakes.” The Labia Cakes were absolutely delicious, although it seemed vaguely wrong to be eating them in front of the children. My friend commented on that picture: “The adjacent mustache is somewhat disturbing in that context.” I had to agree.
Also, practically speaking, the strip of bacon made the Labia Cakes a bit harder to cut. You couldn’t just use your fork; you needed a knife as well. Finally, the ratio of bacon to pancake in each bite was slightly out of whack; the bacon just wasn’t evenly distributed. These were not the bacon pancakes we were looking for.
So we brainstormed, made some adjustments to the design and preparation, and came up with this:
Adding the meat sprinkles to the cooking pancakes was definitely the way to go. There were multiple problems solved here:
And there you have ’em, folks: bacon pancakes. You’re welcome. You can thank me by sharing this post with all of your bacon-loving friends.
Pork product preferred. (That might be my new motto in life.) Pancetta, bacon, prosciutto—they’re all good. Cook, crumble, and then put them on everything. Meat sprinkles.
I was at a friend’s cocktail party when I first encountered these amazing nuts. While I was inhaling the entire bowl, I badgered her repeatedly for the recipe. When she didn’t respond, I told her I’d make out with her if she gave me the recipe. When she gave me a slightly horrified look, I told her I’d never make that joke ever again if she gave me the recipe.
And here it is. (She adapted the recipe from here.) But ours is better.
The recipe is actually much easier than I’ve made it seem here. But I like to take pictures. And babble. So you might be getting some fluff in here.
9 strips of thick cut bacon, chopped (Mmmm, thick meat…)
3 cups of roasted, salted cashews (or peanuts or almonds or…)
1 teaspoon or so of sugar
⅛ teaspoon or so of cayenne pepper
I use the Uncured Apple Smoked Bacon from Trader Joe’s because it comes in convenient 12 oz packages (about 9 slices), and it’s nitrate free. So it’s healthy for you, right? Right. I also use the cashews from Costco because those buggers are too expensive if I buy them anywhere else. I use a little less than a teaspoon of sugar and almost a ¼ teaspoon of cayenne. I like my meat and nuts more spicy than sweet. (Hear that, Mr. Foxy?)
Cook the bacon over medium low heat until it is almost to your desired doneness. (I like my bacon firm but not crispy. So I cook it until it’s just about perfect for me.) This can take several minutes because you don’t want to cook it too fast and have it burn. That would just be a tragedy. (Now THAT would qualify as Sorrow Bacon.)
Stand really close to the bacon while cooking, and you’ll have a lovely perfume for the rest of the day. Drain the almost perfectly cooked bacon on a paper-towel-lined plate and dump out the bacon grease. (I actually “harvest the bacon juice” and save it for later.) Dump the nuts in the same pan and stir and get them warm and a light brown. Dump back in the bacon. Stir. Sprinkle sugar-cayenne mixture over. Stir and let cook a bit—mostly to let the sugar melt. Don’t burn, although some brown color tastes good.
Dump the whole thing back on the paper-towel-lined plate and let cool.* Try not to eat all of them before the party. Or eat the whole fucking batch if you were brilliant enough to make them for yourself.
These nuts are great for just about any type of party. (Do inquire about any nut allergies though.) I even gave a jar of them to a friend and labeled them “Jeff’s Nuts.” See how much fun you can have with this?
* Optional step for Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat: After nuts have cooled, add a cup (or more) of M&Ms.
Every year I make a gigantic vat of meat sauce with the tomatoes from my garden. I freeze the sauce in small batches so I can pull them out for lasagna, polenta, spaghetti, whatever. I have made this lasagna recipe before using my sauce. But it’s May, and I’m waaaaaay out of sauce. Fortunately, the recipe also includes instructions for her sauce. So I made it today to bring over to my Grandma’s house for lunch. Delicious.
Oh. I followed the recipe almost exactly. Except I made it with pork sausage and ground pork. Because, really, why cook with turkey if you can cook with pork?
A ridiculous amount of coffee and booze is consumed in the process of writing these stories. Add some fuel if you'd like to keep me going!