(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

My favorite way to create variety in mixed drinks is to make flavored simple syrups. Simple syrup is just water and sugar, and throwing in spices, herbs, fresh fruit, or juices adds a unique twist without having to buy additional liqueurs or other cocktail ingredients.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed I do this quite a lot - like in my Ancho Chile Manhattan, Fig, Vanilla Bean + Gin Cocktail, or Ginger, Lime + Five-Spice Cocktail. You can get creative by digging through your pantry or refrigerator and seeing what flavor combinations you can come up with!  

This recipe uses the same trick. Ground turmeric stirred together with sugar and water create a rich, golden syrup that's amazing with bourbon. I used Heritage Distilling Co.'s Dual Barrel Old Fashioned Ready Bourbon, because it has a hint of orange that's perfect for this drink.

And this time of year, the cold winter weather makes me want something creamy and comforting, so I added full-fat coconut milk. (You could also try using some cream or half-and-half if you're not avoiding dairy, although I do think the flavor of the coconut milk works really well in this drink.)

Grab a friend, shake up a couple drinks, sip, and enjoy!

(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]
(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]
(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]
(Dairy-Free) Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail [featuring Heritage Distilling Co.]

Creamy Turmeric + Bourbon Cocktail
Yields 1 cocktail

2 ounces bourbon (I recommend using Heritage Distilling’s Dual Barrel Bourbon)
2 ounces full fat coconut milk
1 ounce turmeric simple syrup (see recipe below)
Ice
Ground turmeric or cinnamon sticks (for serving)

Add the bourbon, coconut milk, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds then strain into a chilled glass. Serve with an extra dash of turmeric or a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

Turmeric Simple Syrup
Yields about 6 ounces

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ teaspoon turmeric

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring often, until the sugar melts and the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. 


For this post, bourbon was provided by Heritage Distilling Co. All opinions are 100% my own.


Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings [Whole30 compliant!]

Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings - The Homemade Haus

While I generally feel my best eating a mostly paleo diet, I don't have any intense sensitivities or allergies myself. I can indulge in a warm piece of bread alongside my soup or a few slices of cheese every once in awhile. When I eat the entire loaf of bread or block of cheese then yeah, I definitely have problems. Otherwise, I'm generally an omnivore and love learning about, cooking, and eating all kinds of foods (which is why you'll find everything from vegan to Whole30 to dairy-full recipes on this site!). 

That being said, after a few weeks of trial and error, I realized my nursing son was having issues when I ate wheat and dairy. To try to keep him feeling as good as possible, I'm back to cutting down on the bread and cheese. Unfortunately, that's just in time for the Super Bowl, then March Madness, and eventually baseball season in a couple months. Sporting events are not exactly the first place I look for wheat-free and dairy-free dishes. 

The more I learn, though, the more I'm able to find and create recipes for incredible game-day food that doesn't hijack my digestive system (and my son's). Wings have become a recent favorite. They're relatively easy to make, and you can create a million variations on the same theme. 

It's citrus season, so these wings get a sweet and sticky sauce made with fresh orange juice and naturally sweetened with dates. The sesame seeds may seem like a superfluous add-on, but trust me, they're not. They add the perfect amount of toasty flavor and crunchy texture. Don't skip them! 

Last night, I made the final test batch before posting this recipe. My husband and I stood in the kitchen and polished off every last bite. Our sauce-covered hands and faces were hardly picturesque, but I can confidently say these are literally finger-licking good. 

Enjoy!

Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings - The Homemade Haus
Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings - The Homemade Haus
Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings - The Homemade Haus
Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings - The Homemade Haus
Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings - The Homemade Haus
Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings - The Homemade Haus
Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings - The Homemade Haus
Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings - The Homemade Haus

Orange + Toasted Sesame Chicken Wings
Yields about 4 servings

Wings

3/4 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 Tablespooons clarified butter (or regular, unsalted butter)
2 pounds chicken wings, split at joints and tips removed if necessary
2-3 Tablespoons sesame seeds
Orange sauce (see recipe below)
Green onions, chopped (for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a shallow dish, mix together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and pepper.

Add the clarified butter to a rimmed baking sheet, and place the baking sheet in the oven until the butter melts. Remove from the oven.

Dip the chicken wings in the almond flour mixture, turning to coat thoroughly. Place on the butter-coated baking sheet. Repeat until all the wings are dredged and on the baking sheet, being careful not to crowd the pan. (Use two baking sheets if necessary.)

Bake for 40-50 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through. The wings are done when they’re browned, cooked through, and crisp (internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees).

While the wings cook, add the sesame seeds to a small sauté pan set over low to medium heat. Stir the seeds constantly until they’re browned and toasted. Remove from the heat and set aside. Make the orange sauce (see recipe below).

When the wings are done cooking, toss them together in a large bowl with ¾ of the orange sauce. Reserve ¼ of the sauce for serving.

Transfer the wings to a serving bowl or platter. Top with the toasted sesame seeds, and garnish with a few chopped green onions. Serve with the reserved sauce.

Dig in and enjoy!

Orange Sauce

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 4 oranges)
1/4 cup coconut aminos
2 dates, pits removed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne (plus more to taste)
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder

Add all the ingredients except the arrowroot powder together in a small bowl. Set aside, and allow the dates to soak for 5-10 minutes. This will hydrate the dates and make them easier to blend.

Using a food processor or blender, blend the ingredients together until smooth. Add to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly reduced.

Turn off the heat. Whisk in the teaspoon of arrowroot powder. Season with additional salt, pepper, or cayenne to taste. Set the sauce aside until the wings are done cooking.  

Note: If you are not avoiding grains or soy, you can try using all-purpose flour instead of almond flour and arrowroot powder, and sub in soy sauce for the coconut aminos. Soy sauce, in my opinion, tastes saltier than coconut aminos, so you may want to reduce the salt in the recipe. 


Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach [and a slow start to the year]

Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach - The Homemade Haus

We ended 2017 with a 15 hour drive from New Jersey to Illinois. We had spent Christmas with extended family on the East Coast, then on December 31st drove the long trek home along Route 80. (It’s supposed to take just over 12 hours, but with two toddlers, and infant, and snow along the way, 15 hours was pretty decent time.)

We didn’t get home with just our kids. We brought with us a bout of pinkeye and the flu. Despite my efforts at cleaning, hand washing, and doling out anything known for boosting the immune system, sickness was inevitable.

January 1 arrived, and I already felt like I started on the wrong foot. I cleaned up snot, held exhausted children, and made doctor’s appointments. It was simultaneously tiring and boring, wearying and quiet. Three sick kiddos made for long nights, but our days were more calm than normal. All my kids wanted to do was sit together in the big white chair wrapped in the fuzzy red blanket.

We were forced to rest.

Maybe you can’t shake the feeling that you’re trying to catch up to something. But you aren’t quite sure exactly what that is. You spin and you worry and you are swept away in the current of activity. We are often tricked into believing that the only relief from feeling behind is to catch up. But this is war, and the enemy is an illusive and foggy expectation.

The truth is there is not rest right around the corner. As it turns out there are no corners; there is only one big circle. So we have to find rest in withness and presence in the midst of it.
— Emily P. Freeman, The Next Right Thing, Ep. 16.

Initially, I felt frustrated by our slow start to the year. I didn’t get much checked off my to-do list. For a while, I didn’t even get around to making the to-do list or resolutions or picking my word for the year. But our bodies have a way of making us stop, and nursing little ones back to health meant I had to slow down and simply be with them. I had to sit still, a practice I don’t often do.

Our culture tells us that January 1 is the time to get started. To do all the things. To exercise and read and work and hustle. But at least in the Northern Hemisphere, January 1 falls in the middle of winter, and winter is a time to slow down.

Nature knows how to do this. Plants are dormant, animals hibernate, and even the sun hides for most of the day. Evidences of life and productivity seem few, but they’re there - they’re just doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Sitting still. Being quiet. Silently preparing for spring. Resting.

How do you find rest when there are diapers to change, toys to pick up, laundry to throw in, mouths to feed, and deadlines to meet? I don’t always know what rest looks like at this stage in life, but it doesn’t look like worry, agitation, or frenzy. There’s a difference between a life that’s full and a life that’s frenetic, a mind that can be still when needed and one that races even during stillness.

It’s nearly February, and I finally feel like our family is coming out of the fog of holidays, travel, and sickness. I want to be careful I don’t forget the slow, silent growth that happened during these weeks. I wish we hadn’t been sick, but I don’t want to label this month as unproductive.

Our minds quieted and our bodies slowed down. And that’s not a bad way to start the year.

Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach - The Homemade Haus
Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach - The Homemade Haus
Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach - The Homemade Haus
Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach - The Homemade Haus
Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach - The Homemade Haus
Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach - The Homemade Haus
Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach - The Homemade Haus

Speaking of a slow start to the year, I intended to post this recipe weeks ago but never got around to it until now. I still absolutely love this dish, though, because it's simple enough for a weeknight meal but makes a great date-night-in dinner, too - especially paired with a decent bottle of wine (I recommend Sauvignon Blanc or a buttery Chardonnay in this case). 

Many of my favorite seafood recipes tend to be light and summery, but I'm always wanting something a bit more hearty during cold weather months. For this recipe, I roasted cremini mushrooms, which give the entire dish a rich, deep, earthy flavor. Pacific Cod gets a crunchy panko crust and then bakes alongside the mushrooms. Spinach sauteed with a few cloves of garlic rounds out the plate perfectly for a warm, filling, healthy, and flavorful meal.

Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms + Sauteed Spinach
Yields 2 servings

Panko-Crusted Pacific Cod with Roasted Mushrooms

1 pound cremini mushrooms
¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
⅓ cup panko crumbs
1 lemon
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 (8 ounce) cod fillets*
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the mushrooms in half, large ones in quarters. Add the mushrooms to a rimmed baking sheet, and toss with ¼ cup olive oil, the white wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

While the mushrooms roast, add the panko crumbs to a small bowl. Zest the lemon and add the zest to the panko, along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the parsley, a scant ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.

After the mushrooms have roasted for 10 minutes, remove them from the oven. Push the mushrooms to the sides of the baking sheet to make room for the fish. Add the cod fillets to the baking sheet, and brush each with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Top evenly with the panko mixture. Return the baking sheet to the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes.

While the fish and mushrooms cook, cut the zested lemon into wedges, and reserve the wedges for serving. Make the sautéed spinach (recipe below).

When the fish and mushrooms are done (the fish should easily flake apart and the mushrooms should be tender), remove from the oven, and transfer to plates. Serve with the sautéed spinach. Squeeze lemon juice over the fish, and serve with extra lemon wedges if desired.

Sauteed Spinach

2 Tablespoons olive oil (take this to the next level by substituting white truffle oil)
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Add the spinach, one handful at a time.(This will look like a lot of spinach but it shrinks down quite a bit.)

Cook the spinach until it’s wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with the panko-crusted cod and roasted mushrooms.

*Especially for those of you living in the Midwest, I highly suggest checking out Sitka Salmon Shares! I have purchased their fish for a couple years now, and I absolutely love their mission and their product. This is not at all a sponsored post - I just love recommending good companies!


Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

I called my mom one afternoon to check in. It was the middle of winter. I attended college in the Midwest, and there had been a huge snowfall in northern New Jersey where my parents lived.

She picked up the phone, sounding slightly out of breath.

“Everything okay?” I asked.

“Yeah. We were just playing in the snow.”

“Oh fun! Were the kids over?” I said, referring to my nieces and nephews who lived in the area.

“No, just your dad and me.”

“Wait, what?” Just you guys?”

“Yeah. We built a snowman and made snow angels.”

My parents were empty nesters after having six children spread over 17 years. They had quite a few grandkids by that point, but I hardly pictured my nearly retired parents playing in the snow by themselves. They were supposed to be the responsible ones, the ones who went to work and kept the house clean and volunteered at church. Playing in the snow looked so...frivolous.

Keep reading and get the recipe at Coffee + Crumbs!

Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate-5.jpg

Read more and get the recipe over at Coffee + Crumbs!