Ricotta Toasts

March 28, 2015 Meals @ HomeRecipes  No comments

ricottatoastIf you are looking for new breakfast ideas, or just an afternoon pick me up - look no further than Ricotta on toast. This easy quick meal or snack is tasty and can be made in any combination. Ricotta is a soft creamy cheese that is easily spread, its sweet creaminess making it a great base for any number of toppings.  The ones that we made were with honey and sea salt, fresh cut strawberries, and apple butter. Other suggestions are fresh berries, tangy citrus, jams, bananas, dates or figs. You can go savory with grilled asparagus, tomatoes or squash. We recommend using a nice sweet bread like Challah, a sweet egg bread, but really any kind would be great, even raisin bread or rye.  Bon Appetit!

 

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Tangerine Basil Cocktail

March 22, 2015 Cocktails  6 comments

tangerinebasil-2We recently made a batch of basil infused simple syrup after having a bunch of left over basil after a night of Italian cooking. We had a pair of tangerines that we had planned on using for a cocktail, and with this great herbal basil syrup in hand, we decided to pair the two up with a great rich bourbon to make a very great sipping cocktail.

We used the 100 proof Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon, the higher proof helping to temper the sweetness of the citrus and basil syrup. The Knob Creek Small Batch has a nice toasty oak and nuttiness and hints of spice similar to a rye whiskey really pops with the brightness of the tangerine.  We think this cocktail would do really well with a spicy rye whiskey as well should you not have the Knob Creek.

Tangerine Basil

2 oz fresh squeezed tangerine juice
2 oz bourbon
1 oz basil simple syrup
1 tsp sugar
dash of orange bitters

Muddle sugar with juice, bitters and basil syrup until the sugar is dissolved. Mix

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Blueberry Basil Lemonade

March 16, 2015 CocktailsRecipes  6 comments

bluebasillemonade-2As we inch ever closer to Spring, we are always looking for those perfect cocktails for an afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather on the patio. We had some basil infused simple syrup and a bunch of lemons so finding a tasty way to use these fun ingredients in a fresh herbal drink was a great way to enjoy the first warm weekend! Blueberries and lemons are a classic pair and putting the sweet herbal bite of the basil syrup added a nice complexity to the drink.

Blueberry Basil Lemonade

10 blueberries
3 basil leaves and 1 oz simple syrup (or basil simple syrup)
1 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz gin or vodka
3 oz club soda or sparkling water

Muddle the blueberries, basil leaves and simple syrup together in a shaker. Add lemon juice and vodka and some ice. Shake to mix. Strain and pour over ice in a rocks glass or highball. Add club soda or sparkling water. Garnish with extra blueberries, basil leaves or a lemon slice.

 

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Chocolate Pot de Crème

March 8, 2015 Recipes  2 comments

potdecreme-3Chocolate and romance go hand in hand, and this recipe is a beautifully simple and romantic dessert that could be perfect for a date night. Made in a blender or food processor and refrigerated, this recipe is easy to make and the result can be a beautiful and elegant dessert that will put the perfect cap on a romantic evening! Pair it with a glass of red wine, and you just might sweep your date off their feet!

Pot de Crème in a Blender
• 2/3 cup whole milk
• 1 large egg
• 2 Tbsp. sugar
• Pinch salt
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 2 Tbsp. dark rum or bourbon

In a small pan, heat milk over medium heat until it just starts to boil. While the milk is heating, place egg, sugar, salt, chocolate chips and alcohol in the blender or food processor, pulse it a few times until the chocolate chips are broken up just a bit. When the milk boils, remove from heat, turn the blender or food processor on low and slowly pour the hot milk through the lid opening.

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Pie Five Pizza Comes to Omaha

March 7, 2015 OmahaReviews  5 comments

piefivepizza-3After a long busy week, we decided to treat our boys to dinner out with the grandparents at Pie Five Pizza, a newly opened pizza restaurant in Aksarben Village.  Pie Five Pizza is a fast casual chain that is rapidly expanding across the country, offering personal sized pizzas covered in fresh ingredients and a house made sauce and ready in five minutes.  Located in a new strip mall in Aksarben Village, Pie Five features a large open kitchen with a service counter that you customize the specialty pizzas or build your own.  The concept seemed similar to Subway or Chipotle, allowing you to make your pizza fit your personal preferences suing high quality fresh ingredients and specialty.

All the adults ordered from the specialty pizzas on the menu, while we added an additional build your own pizza for the kids.  We ordered the BBQ Chicken, the Pesto Chicken Alfredo, the High Five and the Chicken Carbonara. Each specialty pie comes with a recommended crust type, although Pie Five has

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Banana and Nutella Hand Pies

March 5, 2015 Meals @ HomeRecipes  2 comments

Nutella Hand PieThese hand pies are sweet little treats that are perfect for a school lunch, a simple dessert or a quick on the go snack.  Combining the rich creamy chocolate flavor of Nutella and banana in a flaky buttery crust, everyone in our family enjoyed these little gems. They were especially delicious when served warm, when the chocolate was runny. They were quick and easy to make, and we found it was a fun way to get the kids involved in cooking!

Pastry Dough (Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)
(or you can use pre-made rolled pie crust from the grocery store!)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
4-5 Tbsp cold water

1. In a medium bowl stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-sized.
2. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat, using 1 Tbsp at a time, until all the dough is

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The Scofflaw

March 3, 2015 CocktailsRecipes  5 comments

The ScofflawOne of the coolest things about our cocktail hobby is the chance to explore classic cocktails and learn about the history of some of these classic drinks.  One such drink is the Scofflaw, a drink born in Paris in the 1920's at Harry's Bar by the famous bartender Harry Craddock during the height of Prohibition.  Named after those who disregarded Prohibition's ban on drinking, this drink is a classic cocktail in every sense of the word, boldly boozy and not overly sweet.  Using rye (or bourbon if you want more vanilla and less spice) as the base spirit and dry vermouth to add spice and complexity. Grenadine adds a nice fruity sweetness that helps balance the bite of the bourbon.

The Scofflaw

1 1/2 oz Rye or Bourbon
3/4 oz Lemon
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Grenadine
2 dashes Orange Bitters

Add all ingredients to a shaker, and then fill completely with ice cubes.  Shake vigorously and then strain into a cocktail coupe or martini glass. Garnish with an

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Blood Orange Sidecar

March 1, 2015 CocktailsRecipes  8 comments

bloodorangesidecarThe sidecar is one cocktail that any bar tender should have in their repertoire as it is an absolute classic having been around since the early 1900's and is a cocktail that is easily modified to create a simple delicious variations. This variation uses a combination of rum and brandy as the base spirits, both of which pair well with the tartness of fresh citrus. A beautiful balance of sweet and sour, the side car is a favorite for it simplicity and subtle elegance. Adding blood orange juice gives a deep rich red color to the drink, making it a striking drink to add to any dinner table.

Blood Orange Sidecar

1 oz Aged Rum (we love Cut Spike's barrel aged rum which is smooth with nice hints of the barrel which adds a lot of complexity)
1/2 oz brandy
1/2 oz orange liqueur
1/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Place some ice cubes in a martini glass or a cocktail coupe and allow it to start chilling

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Tom and Chee – A Sneak Peak of Cheesy Goodness

February 27, 2015 News  2 comments

tom+chee-2Disclaimer: We were invited to attend a sneak peek of Omaha's Tom and Chee location where we were provided samples of the fare served. We did not receive payment from Tom and Chee or their agents. Opinions are entirely our own.

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic combination, but when you take the simple sandwich and stuff it full of other delicious ingredients like bacon, pesto and house made sauces and soups you end up getting sandwiches that are decadently delicious. Add in the famous grilled cheese doughnut sandwiches and Tom and Chee is a place that we will likely be visiting often.

Originally started in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tom and Chee got their big break when the founders were featured on the ABC show Shark Tank and they received the backing of Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran and soon after launched a successful franchise chain.  Their latest franchise is here in Omaha at 145th and Maple and opens today, Friday, February 26th. We were invited to stop in and take a

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Rosemary’s Blush

February 25, 2015 CocktailsRecipes  No comments

rosemarysblush-2With all the beautiful citrus available right now, we keep having to find new ways to use it.  Luckily the drinks that we end up with have some beautiful rich pink colors, which look as amazing as they taste. Hopefully you will like these pink drinks, too! The Rosemary's Blush uses fresh grapefruit juice and rosemary to pair up with gin.  A dash of salt helps to block the bitter compounds in the grapefruit juice and enhance the complex flavors of the gin. We used Monkey 47, a dry gin from the Black Forest region of Germany, which is a fantastic strong gin with a deep spicy complexity that stood up well to the strong flavors of the grapefruit. The honey syrup provides a rich smoothness and a deep sweetness that makes this drink exceptionally drinkable.  Sweet and bright, with a bit of a briny flavor from the salt, the Rosemary's Blush is like a boozy brûléed grapefruit in a glass.

Rosemary's Blush

2 oz grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/2 oz gin (we

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