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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Pin It Christmas Sugar Cookies

Snowflakes
Close up of some of the Snowflakes
Stars and Snowflakes
Last weekend, I baked 100 Sugar Cookies to give as gifts to my family. I had 3 days off work so I had the time necessary to do this amount. On Saturday, I baked the cookies using the following cutouts: snowman, large and small snowflake, star, christmas stocking, oblong ornament, round ornament, reindeer, and two different christmas trees. Since I only have 1 oven, I had to wait for the cookie sheets trays to cool completely before I could bake more cookies, so it took time but was worth the wait. Once each tray cools, wipe with a paper towel before adding more cutout dough to bake. If you do not wait for the trays to cool, your cookies will spread when baking. After the Sugar Cookies cooled completely, I stacked them and covered with plastic wrap overnight. That was day 1 of baking Sugar Cookies.

Reindeer
Snowmen
On Sunday, I made two types of icing, Royal Icing and a smoother consistency to flood the cookies. I got the recipe from Joy of Baking: http://www.joyofbaking.com/RoyalIcing.html. I used the egg white version since I do not have merengue powder, and have read the latter version does not taste so good. I added a little more lemon juice and clear vanilla extract for the icing I needed to flood the cookies. I used color gel dyes in different colors and did the borders with a pastry bag and tip #2. Place your pastry bag in a glass lined with a piece of paper towel and use a clip or rubber band to seal the top otherwise you will have a mess. I recommend squeeze bottles if you have them. Next year, I will use squeeze bottles as well. I did not order them in time. Let the borders dry completely before flooding each cookie and then decorate as you wish.

Christmas Stockings
Christmas Trees
Making Sugar Cookies takes time and they need to dry overnight once decorated with icing. I put the decorated cookies on cookie sheets and covered each tray with aluminum foil to dry before stacking. On Monday, the Sugar Cookies were dry and I placed them carefully in cookie tins to give as gifts. You can find a ton of Sugar Cookie recipes on the web to choose from. I used vanilla extract but lemon, coconut, and almond extract are also great choices to bump up the flavor in whatever recipe you use.

Ornaments
Ornaments
I hope you can find time to make Sugar Cookies this holiday. I am certainly not an artist but tried to be as creative as I could. With each year, I am learning more from all the amazing bloggers out there and getting better at it. It is fun and for me very relaxing to bake accompanied by tunes. Happy holidays from Two Frys!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bourbon Pecan Pie

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Bourbon Pecan Pie
I do not drink bourbon, but it sure tastes good in pie! I made Pecan Pie last year but wanted to try Bourbon Pecan Pie so I adapted my recipe and came up with this beauty on Monday. I hope you try it. The bourbon really makes it all the difference and gives this pie a very rich flavor. Thanks Susan for lending me your bourbon!

Ingredients

1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust

2 teaspoons, Bourbon

1/3 cup, packed Light Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon, Granulated Sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons, All-Purpose Flour

1 1/4 cups, Light Corn Syrup (I used Karo)

1 teaspoon, Pure Vanilla Extract

3 Large Eggs, plus 1 Egg-just the Egg Whites

2 tablespoons, Unsalted Butter

2 cups, Pecan Halves or Pieces

Instructions

Let Pillsbury Pie Crust come to room temperature for 15 minutes and then place into glass or ceramic pie dish. Press sides and bottom firmly and crimp crust or design as you wish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Take 1 Egg, save the Egg Whites and beat gently with a fork. Using a small pastry brush dip it in the Egg Whites and run the brush gently over the crimped edge of the crust.

Take 1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar and gently sprinkle over the crimped crust.

Toast Pecans in large skillet for about 10-15 minutes. Make sure they do not burn. When you start to smell them they are toasted. Put aside to cool.

Melt Unsalted Butter on stove stop. Turn off as soon as it melts and let it cool.

In a large bowl, mix with handheld or stand mixer Light Brown Sugar, Flour, Corn Syrup, Bourbon and Vanilla Extract for a minute or two. Add Eggs one at a time and mix until well blended.

If you are placing Pecan Halves on top reserve 1/2 cup or so in a small bowl.

Using a spatula, stir in rest of the Pecans and melted Butter and fold gently.

Pour into pie shell.

Place remaining Pecan Halves on top of pie.

Place pie dish on a baking sheet.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until the filling has puffed up and the pie is golden brown.

After 15 minutes, place pie shield or cut strips of aluminum foil over the crimped pie crust so it does not burn.

Place pie on cooling rack and let it cool completely for 2 hours. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

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Pumpkin Pie
I made two Pumpkin Pies, one today and the other Thursday for my Mom's Thanksgiving feast. This is the famous Libby's recipe, but I also added Nutmeg. This is the best Pumpkin Pie and so easy!

Ingredients

1 box Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust

1 can (12 oz) NESTLE CARNATION Evaporated Milk

1 can (15 oz) LIBBY's 100% Pure Pumpkin

3 Large Eggs, 1 Egg just Egg Whites, lightly beaten

3/4 cup Granulated Sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle around Crust

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves

Pumpkin cutout, I use Paula Deen Cutouts

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Let Pie Crust come to room temperature for 15 minutes and place into glass or ceramic pie dish and press sides and bottom firmly.

Use edge of a fork going in opposite directions around the Crust.

Take 1 Pie Crust and make as many Pumpkin Cutouts as you wish. Cover with plastic wrap and refigerate or freeze extra Pie Crust for later use.

Place Pumpkin Cutouts on a cookie sheet, brush them lightly with Egg Wash and sprinkle Sugar. Put aside for now.

In a medium sized bowl, add Sugar, Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cloves and combine with a spatula. Put aside for now.

In a large sized bowl, beat 2 Eggs for a few minutes with a handheld or stand mixer. Add Pumpkin and Sugar-Spice concoction and mix together for one minute. Gradually add Evaporated Milk as you mix until combined.

Carefully pour into pie shell.

Brush outer edge of Crust lightly with Egg Wash and sprinkle Sugar around it.

Bake Pumpkin Pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Place Pumpkin Cutouts in oven for 7 to 9 minutes until Crust is golden brown. Remove and place on cooling rack for 1/2 hour.

After the first 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, place pie shield or cut strips of aluminum foil over Crust and bake for another 40 to 55 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Cool Pumpkin Pie on a cooling/wire rack for 2 hours before serving. After 20 minutes of cooling, place decorative Pumpkin Cutouts gently on top of Pumpkin Pie.

If not serving right away, cover with foil and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.

Enjoy with a dollop of Whipped Cream or with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Sprinkle Pumpkin Pie spice on top of the Whipped Cream or Ice Cream if you wish!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, November 23, 2012

Apple Pie

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Apple Pie
I made this Apple Pie to take to my Mom's for Thanksgiving dinner and there was just a small piece left that I was lucky to bring home for Allen to enjoy Friday. The tartness of the Granny Smith Apples just had the right amount of sweetness with the nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon juice.

This recipe is adapted from the Pillsbury site. I add a little more Cinnamon and Nutmeg to boost up the flavor of the filling.

Ingredients

1 1/2 boxes Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust

Apple Cutout, I use Paula Deen Cutouts

6 Granny Smith or any Apples you like, peeled and sliced

3/4 cup Granulated Sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle over crust

2 tablespoons, All-Purpose Flour

1/4 teaspoon, Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon, ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon, ground Nutmeg

1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed Lemon Juice, plus extra to sprinkle on Apples as you peel and slice to prevent browning

1 Egg White, lightly beaten

Close up of my yummy Apple Pie
Directions

Let Pie Crust stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Take 1 Pie Crust and make as many Apple Cutouts as you need. I made three. Cover with plastic wrap and refigerate or freeze extra Pie Crust for later use.

Place the other Pie Crust into glass or ceramic pie dish. Press firmly on the bottom and sides.

In a large bowl, add and with a spatula, gently mix together the Apples, Sugar, Flour, Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Lemon Juice.

Place into pie dish.

Top with second Pie Crust. Take excess Crust and tuck in and seal together and crimp all around.

Make 4 slits on the top of Crust and add decorative Apple Cutouts.

Brush the Crust lightly with Egg White and sprinkle Sugar all around.

Bake Apple Pie for 40-55 minutes until Apples are tender and Crust is golden brown.

Cover the edge of the Crust with a pie shield or with cut strips of aluminum foil after the first 20 minutes to prevent burnt edges. If you do not own a pie shield, I recommend you purchase one. I use a 10 inch Mrs. Anderson's Pie Crust Shield with every pie I make.

After you take the Apple Pie out of the oven, let it cool completely on a cooling rack for 2-3 hours before serving.

Enjoy with a dollop of Whipped Cream or a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

-Sophia/Two Frys

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner

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Rosemary, Thyme Lemon Turkey
We have two Thanksgiving dinners every year, one at my Mom's and our own the next day. This way, we can enjoy leftovers for days and not cook. This year, I made two Pumpkin Pies and an Apple Pie as well. My Mom's Thanksgiving dinner is Dominican style with Turkey, Pernil (Roast Pork), White Rice, Black Beans, Potato Salad, Salad, Avocado and Sweet Potatoes. Our Thanksgiving dinner was more American style but with a slight kick. We made Turkey, Turkey Gravy, Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole and Jalapeño-Sour Cream-Chives Mashed Potatoes. We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

Rosemary, Thyme Lemon Turkey

Last year, I made Clinton Kelly's Lemon Sage Turkey and it was the first one I ever made and was a hit! This year, I decided to switch the herbs to Thyme and Rosemary and am glad I did. The Turkey came out so moist and rich with flavor from the herbs and lemon. It was superb.

Ingredients

12-16 pound Turkey (thawed)

1 bunch of fresh Thyme, plus 3 tablespoons minced

1 bunch of fresh Rosemary, plus 3 tablespoons minced

3 lemons

Zest of 1 Lemon

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

2 sticks unsalted Butter, room temperature

2 Shallots, minced

2 Garlic cloves, minced

Directions

Once Turkey has come to room temperature pat dry with paper towels.

Remove Neck and Giblets and put aside for the Turkey Gravy.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure oven shelf is positioned in the lower third of the oven.

Make the compound Butter:
In a large bowl, combine Butter, minced Thyme and Rosemary, Shallots, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Kosher Salt and Black Pepper with a spatula. Combine well.

Place Turkey in a roasting pan with a rack and season inside with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.

Take two lemons and stab them all over with a fork and stuff inside the cavity of the Turkey. Also, stuff the bunches of Thyme and Rosemary inside the cavity.

With a small spatula take compound Butter and carefully put under the skin of the Turkey. Thinly slice remaining 1/2 lemon and slide into the skin.

Take Olive Oil and rub all over the Turkey.

Season with a good amount of Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.

Place in oven. Roast for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. After the first 20 minutes, lower temperature to 325 degrees. For cooking time look at Turkey package instructions for guidelines according to how many pounds your Turkey is. The Turkey will be cooked when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thick part of the leg joint is at 165 degrees.

Take cooked Turkey out of oven and cover it with foil and let it rest for 30-45 minutes before serving.

Turkey Gravy

Turkey Gravy
This year I added the Neck and Giblets to make the Turkey Gravy and it added more flavor.

Ingredients

4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock

Turkey Neck and Giblets

4 tablespoons, Flour

1 Bay Leaf

1/2 stick, unsalted Butter

4 tablespoons, Carrots, chopped

4 tablespoons, Celery, chopped

4 tablespoons, Shallots, chopped

3 cloves Garlic, minced

Kosher Salt

Directions

In a large pot, add Neck, Giblets, pan drippings from Turkey (remove excess fat), Chicken Stock and Bay Leaf. Heat on low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.

In another large pot, on medium heat, melt Butter and add Carrots, Celery, Shallots and Garlic. Cook in Butter until slightly browned.

Stir Flour into Butter and Veggies to make a roux.

Cook for a few minutes until the roux turns golden brown in color.

Drain stock to remove Neck and Giblets and return stock to pot. Slowly pour the stock in the pan with the roux, whisking as you add it. Do not stop whisking. Once incorporated stop whisking, return to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and reduce by a third. Takes about 15 minutes.

Strain the gravy through a mesh strainer. Season to taste with kosher salt.

Jalapeño-Sour Cream-Chives Mashed Potatoes

Jalapeño Sour Cream Chives Mashed Potatoes
To give this dish a kick,  I added 2 roasted Jalapeños to my mashed potato favorite. These mashed potatoes are rich, creamy and a little spicy.

Ingredients

2-3 Jalapeños

3 pounds Potatoes

3-4 tablespoons, Chives

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 1/2 cups Milk

6 tablespoons, Unsalted Butter

Kosher Salt

Olive Oil

Jalapeños ready to go in oven
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash Jalapeños in cold water and dry with paper towel.

Cut top off and slice jalapeños in half, remove seeds and membrane.

Coat with Olive Oil and Kosher Salt on both sides. Place on cookie sheet.

Roast in oven for about 20 minutes and turn over half way through.

Let cool and chop, set aside for now.

Chop Chives, set aside for now.

Main ingredients to add to Potatoes
Peel and cut Potatoes in half. Place Potatoes in a large pot with cold water and add Kosher Salt.

Bring Potatoes to a boil on medium-high heat, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes. Make sure Potatoes are fork tender.

In a small saucepan, heat Milk and Butter until Butter melts and is hot. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat until Potatoes are cooked.

Jalapeños roasted, yum!
When Potatoes are cooked, drain in colander and return to pot or a large bowl and mash the Potatoes with a masher or use a food mill if you have one. I used my good ol' masher.

Slowly add Butter/Milk mixture and stir with a spatula. Keep adding enough until it has a creamy texture.

Add 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt, Sour Cream, Jalapeños and Chives and blend together well. Taste and add more Kosher Salt if you wish.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole
Allen made his yummy Green Bean Casserole and no Thanksgiving for us would be complete without it. No Salt was added to the recipe since the canned Green Beans and Mushroom Soup have enough salt.

Ingredients

4 cans French Cut Greens Beans, drained

2 cans Mushroom Soup

1 1/2 cups, Milk

1 large container French Fried Onions

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

2 teaspoons Black Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a large glass or ceramic dish and combine Mushroom Soup, Milk, and Worcestershire Sauce. Using a whisk blend well.

Add Green Beans and Black Pepper and stir well.

Sprinkle 2/3 of French Fried Onions over the top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove and sprinkle more French Fried Onions and put back in oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Oven times vary so keep an eye on it.

Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing

Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing
Allen used Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing and followed directions. Allen added 2 cups of  sliced Mushrooms, 1 thinly sliced Celery stalk and 1 Shallot to boost the flavor. It was so good with our Turkey Gravy.

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chicken Wings With Dimples BBQ Sauce

Pin It Chicken Wings With Dimples BBQ Sauce

Dimples BBQ Sauce
I found Dimples BBQ Sauce in an online BBQ search I did researching southern style BBQ sauces. See web link below and check out their great Facebook page as well. I highly recommend Dimples BBQ Sauce as it adds to your meats a sweet and savory smokey flavor akin to pepper based sauces with no heat. It is a must have BBQ Sauce for all you grilling heads.

Ingredients

Chicken Wings

Vegetable Oil

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

Dimples BBQ Sauce

Chicken Wings With Dimples BBQ Sauce
Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash Chicken Wings and dry with paper towel.

Coat Chicken Wings lightly with Vegetable Oil.

Mix Kosher Salt and Black Pepper in small bowl and dust Chicken Wings on both sides.

Smother Chicken Wings with a lot of Dimples BBQ Sauce on both sides.

Bake in oven for 50 minutes turning wings half way. I like my Wings well done in the oven.

Serve Chicken Wings with your favorite side dish and with a dipping bowl of more Dimples BBQ Sauce. We like to eat Potato Salad with our wings.

For further information or to order Dimples BBQ Sauce, go to: http://www.dimplesbbqsauce.com/

-Allen/Two Frys

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Al's Spicy Grilled Shrimp With Frank's Red Hot Sauce

Pin It Al's Spicy Grilled Shrimp With Frank's Red Hot Sauce

Al's Spicy Grilled Shrimp With Frank's Red Hot Sauce

I made Shrimp on bamboo skewers recently and love the Texas/Louisiana style taste. Heat lovers will love this super simple and minimal ingredient recipe. It is huge on taste and just takes a few minutes to put together. The hot sauce and the grill do all the work.

Ingredients

40 Medium-large Shrimp, precooked, shelled and deveined

6 Bamboo Skewers

Frank's Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

Al's Spicy Grilled Shrimp With Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Directions

Thaw Shrimp all the way before spearing them on bamboo skewers.

Generously brush both sides of Shrimp with a large amount of Frank's Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce.

Sprinkle with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper on both sides.

Use your outdoor or indoor grill, like our Foreman Grill. If you use a Foreman Grill, heat for approximately 7 minutes.

Place seasoned Shrimp on grill for a few minutes. Do not overcook.

Before plating remove Shrimp from skewers and serve with a side dish/dishes of your choice. We had ours with some Jasmine Rice made with our rice cooker.

Keep small bowl of Frank's on the side to dip Shrimp if you so desire for extra heat.

-Allen/Two Frys

Monday, November 19, 2012

Allen's Stuffed Jalapeños

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Allen's Stuffed Jalapeños
Here's a recipe I made recently featuring one of my faves, Jalapeños. If you like it spicy you will enjoy these.

Ingredients

12 Jalapeños (or however many your rack holds)

1 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

1 can Crab Meat, drained

2 teaspoons Louisiana Cajun Seasoning

1 pinch Kosher Salt

1 pinch Black Pepper

2 teaspoons Worchestershire Sauce

1 bunch of Garlic Chives, chopped from my urban garden

Jalapeños are stuffed and ready to go in the oven
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash Jalapeños, pat dry with paper towel. Remove top with a knife or corer and gently remove seeds. Take care not to touch your eyes. Wash your hands when you are done.

In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients by hand or with a spatula.

Place contents in a pastry bag or use a large ziploc bag and nip the tip with a scissor.

Put Jalapeños in a pepper roasting rack and stuff each one. I used Steven Raichlen Best of Barbecue Stainless Chili Pepper Roasting Rack and Corer Set I bought from Amazon and really like it. Place cookie sheet under the rack to avoid a mess in your oven.

Bake Jalapeños in oven for about 30 minutes or until they are roasted well and filling has a bubbly center.

Note: Jalapeños or whatever peppers you use should be chosen with size in mind when using a roasting rack.

-Allen/Two Frys

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vigo Aromatic Jasmine Fried Rice

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Vigo Aromatic Jasmine Fried Rice
We received Vigo Aromatic Jasmine Fried Rice to review for the blog and it was a welcome addition to dinner. This quick version of fried rice features scallions, garlic, carrots, and soy sauce. It cooks in just 20-25 minutes so just follow package directions. I topped the fried rice with some more fresh scallions on top and served with chicken thighs.

If you would like a quick meal that is full of flavor and not time consuming, you should give Vigo Aromatic Jasmine Fried Rice a try. We will definitely purchase this in the future.

For products go to: http://www.vigo-alessi.com/

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Graveyard Cake

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Graveyard Cake
Yesterday, I made Halloween cookies and today I made a Graveyard Cake but took baking shortcuts by using a box mix and ready made frosting. I used Pillsbury Moist Supreme Dark Chocolate and Creamy Supreme Chocolate Frosting. I bought Gummi Skulls and Jelly Pumpkins to decorate the cake. I used a cat, coffin and some of the tombstones from the cookies I made yesterday.

Graveyard Cake
Follow directions to bake the cake and once it has cooled completely spread an even layer of the chocolate frosting and top with crushed Oreos. To make the dirt, remove the cream from the Oreo cookies, put them in a ziplock bag, take a rolling pin and go back and forth with it until the Oreos are in small pieces and all crushed up. Decorate as you wish.

Enjoy!  

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Cookies

Pin It Halloween Cookies

It is always fun to make cookies, and this weekend I took some time to do just that. I used several cookie cutters: cat, bat, tombstone, coffin, skull, pumpkin, candy corn, witch hat and ghost. I decorated the cookies with Wilton Cookie Icing in different colors and assorted Wilton Sugars, Skulls and Bones.

Skulls, Tombstones, Graveyards, oh my!

Halloween Cookies

Halloween Cookies, with M&M's White Chocolate Candy Corn and foam glitter Skull

Halloween Cookies

Spooky Halloween Cookies

Halloween Cookies
You can find the sugar cookie recipe in this previous post: http://twofrys.blogspot.com/2011/12/holiday-cookies.html.

Happy Halloween!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, October 14, 2012

USA Brazilian Churrascaria & Grill

Pin It USA Brazilian Churrascaria & Grill

See the charcoal grilling so many yummy meats!

Allen and my Mom
Yesterday was a bright beautiful sunny day and perfect for some Brazilian cuisine. My nephew is home visiting from college and one of his favorite spots to eat is USA Brazilian Churrascaria & Grill, so the family went there for lunch. I was told it is packed later in the day so we went at a great time. This grill serves the locals from the Portuguese community and is a gem of a place.

Feast your eyes on this - two kinds of soups, rice, black beans, sweet plantains, pork...
 
I had yellow rice, black beans and plantains
  
Brazilian Cuisine - eat away!
There are so many different cuts of grilled meats and sausage to please carnivores. The food is set up with the best of Brazilian cuisine in a buffet style and each plate is weighed. If you are going with more than 4 people, I recommend ordering several meat cuts on one plate to share around your table family style. This way your plate has whatever you desire to eat from the buffet. It is more affordable this way. Each table has a house blend of 2 hot sauces and steak sauce. I tried the steak sauce and loved it and Allen enjoyed sampling the hot sauces on his food.
 
I tried some of the beef with potatoes (bottom left) and the lasagna (top right)

Lovely salad selection too!
The price is very moderate for the amazing amount of food and superb selection. There is also a full bar and the atmosphere is lively and casual in attire. They have a very nice selection of desserts and Brazilian soda in regular and diet. If I lived in Mount Vernon, I would go there at least once a week. Allen and I were full the entire day and did not have dinner and enjoyed everything we ate.
 
Meat, meat, meat and sausage!
  
Close up of meats and sausage
USA Brazilian Churrascaria & Grill is located:

145 Gramatan Avenue
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
914-668-4088

-Sophia/Two Frys

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chile Pepper Fiesta

Pin It Chile Pepper Fiesta
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Brooklyn Botanic Garden


Although the Chile Pepper Fiesta has taken place for twenty years, it was the first time Allen and I attended. We each brought a big bag knowing we would be purchasing spicy goods to bring home for future coverage on the blog. We visited most of the vendors in the Osborne Garden. There were live performances, workshops and other events throughout the Brooklyn Botanic Garden that we did not get to.

I was thrilled when I noticed that half of the vendors were part of Chocolate Debauchery. Chocolate Debauchery featured vendors selling and sampling their goods such as spicy chocolates, "hot" chocolate, spicy cupcakes, spicy brownies, spicy caramel sauce, cookies, and more. This is a heat seekers paradise!

Chile Pepper Fiesta
The other half, Feel The Burn! featured vendors selling everything from Ghost Pepper seeds, spicy pickles and canned goods, hot sauces, salsas, kimchi, and spicy chutneys. If you are a spice head, this festival will make you euphoric, a state reached by Allen after trying too much hot sauce. It was good the weather was cool and overcast otherwise, the heat on heat would have been too much for me. The balance of chocolate and spicy worked great and I tasted chocolates with habanero and chipotle. Enjoy the photos highlights of the Chile Pepper Fiesta.

Allen With Chef Johnny McLaughlin from Heartbreaking Dawns Hot Sauce

Heartbreaking Dawns Scorpion Sauces, extreme heat!

Bad Blood & Night In Hell Heartbreaking Dawns - yikes!
It was great to finally meet Chef Johnny McLaughlin from Heartbreaking Dawns as Allen has wanted to meet him at food demos but dates never lined up. Heartbreaking Dawns is the Hudson Valley, NY and Tri-State Area's premier producer of all-natural artisan sauces and spice blends. We have featured Heartbreaking Dawns on the blog previously and have more recipes upcoming to share. Allen is a huge fan of this hot sauce and I love the milder hot sauces. If you are into serious heat Heartbreaking Dawns is for you.

Heartbreaking Dawns Hot Sauces!

Heartbreaking Dawns Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate, original & strawberry!
Allen and I liked samples we tried from Taza Chocolate and bought Chipotle Chili Mexican Chocolate.

Taza Chocolate, I bought Chipotle Chili :)

Bell River Brand Sauces
Allen has been corresponding with High River Sauces via email and recently ordered a t-shirt and some hot sauce. High River Sauces is the brainchild of Steve Seabury, cookbook author of Mosh Potatoes Recipes, Anecdotes And Mayhem From The Heavyweights Of Heavy Metal. Seabury is also a music industry veteran and food fanatic. High River Sauces are made from organic ingredients to satisfy your heat craves. 

High River Sauces, Steve Seabury (left)

High River Sacues
Chris Caffery, lead guitarist of Trans-Siberian Orchestra wrote the forward to Seabury's cookbook and is a serious foodie. Caffery has unleashed Tears Of The Sun Hot Sauce and it has a serious kick and welcoming heat. Mosh Potatoes was for sale and Seabury was signing copies and selling their hot sauces and t-shirts. I wish I had brought my copy of the cookbook for him to sign. Allen got a taste of two sauces that are forthcoming and liked them both.

Chris Caffery's Tears Of The Sun Hot Sauce

High River Sauces

Allen with Chris Caffery (Trans-Siberian Orchestra/Savatage)
Tumbador Chocolate had some tasty chocolate. I especially liked the Dulce De Chile bar so much I bought one.

Tumbador Chocolate, I got a Dulce De Chile bar, yum!

Mike's Hot Honey
Torchbearer Sauces offer a fine selection of hot sauces from mild to extreme deadly heat. Allen tried and survived the Zombie Apocalypse hot sauce made with ghost peppers. Allen told me about this company from his online correspondence with them and recently made a pledge to their kickstarter fundraiser campaign. I cannot wait to make some ribs with Torchbearer Sauces Honey Barbeque Mild. Yum.

Torchbearer Sauces!
Torchbearer Sauces featuring ghost peppers Rapture and Zombie Apocalypse

Allen after trying The Zombie Apocalypse hot sauce!
 The Chocolate Room offered a great selection of chocolate goods.

The Chocolate Room
Allen has met Kenya from Guyank Brand LLC Sweet Hot Pepper Sauce a few times this year at some other events so it was a welcome face to see. Kenya was very busy giving out samples and selling his hot sauces. I bought some "hot" fudge after I tried a sample. The fudge was packed with chocolately goodness and has a slight kick from the hot sauce.

Guyank Brand LLC Sweet Hot Pepper Sauce

Guyank Brand LLC Sweet Hot Pepper Sauce
I tried a sample called Sea Salt & Nibs from Madécasse Chocolate and loved it and bought one too. Madécasse Chocolate was formed by Peace Corps volunteers who fell in love with the country and people in Madagascar. The cocoa is bought directly from local farmers, and the chocolate and production process is done in Madagascar.

Madécasse Chocolate
We really enjoyed checking out Jordan Brenner's Hot-Cha WAA-Cha Sauces and Allen bought Strawberry Habanero Hot Sauce which was super spicy but had a great taste from the combination of strawberry and habanero.
 
Jordan Brenner's Hot-Cha WAA-Cha Sauces

Jordan Brenner with Allen 
Lagusta's Luscious offered a variety of chocolate confections and bars. Allen liked the Smoky Corn On the Cob sample and bought one.

Lagusta's Luscious
Piñata Hot Sauce had a lovely display of their hot sauces. Allen enjoyed sampling their hot sauces featuring tropical fruit and different levels of heat.

Piñata Hot Sauce
JoMart Chocolates were sampling and selling cookies, chocolate bars, brownies, toasted coconut marshmallows and were one of my favorites of the day.

JoMart Chocolates
Allen felt the burn from trying some of 303 and he loved it! 303 have a broad selection of salsas and hot sauces from mild to extreme heat.

303

303, nice dried peppers
Allen bought The Scorpion Stinger Caramel Chocolates (pictured below with the scorpion design) from The Madison Chocolatier and I wish him luck eating those super spicy delights.

The Madison Chocolatier
Grace Foods had lots of hot sauce selections

Rescue Chocolate, buy their chocolate for a great cause
The Brooklyn Salsa Company featured a fine selection of salsas representing each of the NYC boroughs. Go Bronx!

The Brooklyn Salsa Company

The Brooklyn Salsa Company, The Bronx

Raaka Chocolate was yummy! 

Allen having fun at the Chile Pepper Fiesta!
 
NuNu Chocolates
Bhut Pepper sell bhut jolokia also known as ghost pepper. Bhut Pepper were selling everything ghost pepper seeds, ghost pepper watermelon candy, hot sauces and spices. Allen bought some ghost pepper seeds.

Bhut Pepper

Bhut Pepper

Bixby Bar
Whimsy & Spice had a great selection of baked goods. I bought Honey Lavender Shortbread Cookies.

Whimsy & Spice

Rick's Picks

Chocolate Bar
 Robicelli's Bakery were selling spicy cupcakes and brownies and they looked pretty and so yummy.

Robicelli's Bakery

Sour Puss Pickles
I tried some Spoonable Caramel Sauce and it was way too spicy for me. It had a great taste though.
 
Spoonable
Allen really like the kimchi he sampled from Mrs. Kim's Kimchi.

Mrs. Kim's Kimchi

Mama O's Premium Kimchi

Redhead Hot Sauce

Horman's Best Pickles

Karma Sauce
For further information on some of the vendors we visited, go to:

Heartbreaking Dawns - www.HeartbreakingDawns.com

JoMart Chocolates - www.JoMartChocolates.com

Torchbearer Sauces - www.torchbearersauces.com

Lagusta's Luscious - www.lagustasluscious.com

High River Sauces -  www.highriversauces.com

Tears Of The Sun Hot Sauce / Chris Caffery - www.chriscaffery.com

Rescue Chocolate - www.rescuechocolate.com

Mike's Hot Honey - www.mikeshothoney.com/Home.html

Guyank Brand LLC Sweet Hot Pepper Sauce - www.guyankbrand.com

Raaka - www.raakachocolate.com

Robicelli's Bakery - www.robicellis.com

The Chocolate Room - www.thechocolateroombrooklyn.com

303 Salsas - www.303gourmet.com

The Brooklyn Salsa Company - www.bksalsa.com

Grace Foods - www.gracefoods.com

Bixby Bar - www.bixbyco.com

Jordan Brenner's Hot-Cha WAA-Cha Sauces - www.jordanssauces.com

Chocolate Bar NYC - www.chocolatebarnyc.com

Bellocq Tea Atelier - www.bellocq.com

Whimsy & Spice - www.whimsyandspice.com

NYC Hot Sauce Company - www.nychotsauceco.com

Madécasse Chocolates - www.madecasse.com

The Madison Chocolatier - www.madisonchocolatier.com

Bhut Pepper - www.bhut-pepper.com

Mrs. Kim's Kimchi - www.mrskimskimchi.com

Redhead Hot Sauce - www.redheadhotsauce.com

Horman's Best Pickles - www.hormansbestpickles.com

Rick's Picks - www.rickspicksnyc.com

The Saucey Sauce Co. - www.getsauceynow.com

Taza Chocolate - www.tazachocolate.com

Tumbador Chocolate - www.tumbadorchocolate.com/

Mama O's Premium Kimchi - www.kimchirules.com

Piñata Hot Sauce - http://pinatahotsauce.com/

Sour Puss Pickles - http://www.sourpusspickles.com/

Karma Sauce - http://karmasauce.com/

Spoonable -  www.spoonablellc.com/classic-salty-caramels/

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys