My Lemonade Recipe

Most of the commercial lemonade mixes are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. They also lack the psychological flavor enhancement that only occurs when consuming your own homemade lemonade. So I share with you my recipe for tasty lemonade.

First, you’ll need to get a Meyer lemon tree and nurture it for about seven years (only a few people who read this will understand that statement). Next, once your lemons have ripened for four months, you’ll need to pick about 8 to 12 of them, halve them and then squeeze all the juice out. You’ll need 1 1/2 to 2 cups of lemon juice. Or you can just buy the lemons from the store, or as a last resort buy some real lemon juice.

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 cups cold water
  • Lots of ice
  • (Optional) substitute two cups of water with 16 oz of Raspberry or Lemon seltzer
  • (Optional) 1 cup of crushed strawberries or raspberries
  1. Bring two of your 8 cups of water to boil and then add 2 cups of sugar and continue to boil until all sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  2. Combine cold water, lemon juice, sugar syrup in a large pitcher with lots of ice.
  3. Add seltzer for a bit of sparkle
  4. Stir well & enjoy
  5. Add a few slices of real lemon for garnish and visual appeal

If you like raspberry or strawberry in your lemonade, then crush a half cup of either fruit and mix with your syrup when boiling it.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Caramel Pie

This is a semi-bake peanut butter pie.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup of half & half or condensed milk
  • 30 caramels (to be melted)
  • 16 to 20 Nutter Butter cookies
  • 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 8 oz of cool whip or other whipped cream
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and then start by crushing your Nutter Butter cookies. I do this by putting them in a gallon zip bag and then using a rolling pin to crush them until their fine.

2. Once crushed, combine them with the graham cracker crumbs in a mixing bowl.

3. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter and then pour into the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until the crust mixture will clump nicely.

4. Pour 3/4 of the mixture into a greased 8" or 9" springform pan. Using a coffee cup, force the mixture up the sides of the pan. Once you have an even amount of crust mixture around the entire inside of the pan, add the rest of the mixture to the bottom of the pan and compress with your hands.

5. Put the crust into the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. It will burn easily, so watch it closely towards the end.

6. While the crust is baking, begin melting the caramels in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan to keep the caramels from scorching while they melt. Add caramels a handful at a time, being careful not to get too many in the pan at once or the ones on the bottom could scorch.

7. Once the caramel is melted and the crust is baked, pour the caramel into the spring form pan. You will want about 1/8" to 1/4" of caramel in the bottom of the pan. Now transfer to the fridge or freezer to cool completely before adding in the filling.

Filling Preparation

1. Start by mixing together the cream cheese, peanut butter and half/half or condensed milk. Use a mixer with the paddle or a hand mixer. Mix for about 3 to 4 minutes or until creamy smooth.

2. Add in the confectioners sugar and mix until smooth. It helps to sift the sugar first so you minimize lumps.

3. Using a spatula, fold in the Cool Whip until the it's fully mixed with the cream cheese and peanut butter mixture.

4. Once the caramel & crust is completely cooled, fill the spring form pan with the mixture to about 1/4" from the top of the pan.

Whipped Topping

1. Using your 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, begin beating using a hand mixer or electric whisk until peaks start to form.

2. Now add in 4 tablespoons of confectioners sugar and continue mixing until peaks form again.

3. Now apply whipped topping to the top of your pie.

4. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings.

5. Chill the pie in the freezer for two hours before serving.

Recipe: Bloody Strawberry Sundae & Cheesecake Topping

I've posted my strawberry sundae topping recipe out to the web at http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/62281952/Bloody-Strawberry-Sundae-or-Cheesecake-Topping/Detail.aspx

But it is also available here:


Ingredients

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 cup bakers sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of Blood Orange Bitters
  • 2 Tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

 

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine the vanilla, bitters and water. Add the strawberries and sugar (I like to mix the strawberries and sugar before adding, but it's not mandatory). Over medium low heat, heat the mixture until the strawberries are soft and a slight boil starts, stirring often.
  2. Reduce the to low heat and simmer for five minutes. If you're using frozen strawberries and the mixture is too thin, you can add your cornstarch to thicken it.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the fridge before topping your ice cream or cheesecake.

Recipe: Jason Sherrill's Pumpkin Raisin Apple Bread

It's rich, soft and fattening, but it's so tasty you won't care that after 300 loaves you'll be as big as a house.

Mix these ingredients together first in a large bowl until well blended:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce (unsweetened, if possible)
  • 2 1/2 cups of white C&H Bakers sugar (the finely sifted granular sugar)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 14.5 oz of pumpkin puree (unseasoned)
  • 1 cup of raisins

Now in a separate bowl, mix these ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour (King Arthur's all-purpose unbleached is my favorite)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (regular salt, not sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, finely ground cinammon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground cloves

Now bring it all together and make some awesome "bread":

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (based on Michigan altitude) 
  2. Grease & flour three LIGHT COLORED 7 x 4 x 3 bread loaf pans. I prefer Fat Daddio's pans for even baking and super clean-up 
  3. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and blend together by hand. You only need to blend until you see no more dry flour, and then give it another 10 stirs.
  4. Pour even amounts into your three pans. The pans should be about 2/3 full.
  5. Bake on the middle rack for 60 minutes. It's best to check for doneness at 50 minutes with a toothpick.

Substitution Options

  • Replace pumpkin puree with sweet potato puree
  • Replace the 1/2 cup of applesauce with 1/2 cup of oil for slightly moister bread
  • Replace raisins with cranberries
  • Omit raisins completely, the bread will still be delicious
  • Replace nutmeg, cinammon, cloves and ginger with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

If you want to shut your heart down but die happy, then you can make some sweet icing for the top of your warm bread. Just blend together 2 cups of powered sugar, 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk and 1 teaspoon of real vanilla.

Smoked Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Yesterday I smoked two 5 lb chickens to feed two adults and two toddlers. Needless to say, we had a lot of chicken left over. I whipped together this crock pot chicken noodle soup recipe that turned out quite well.

Chop your onion & slice your celery and carrots. Heat your olive oil in a sautee pan and then sautee your onion until it's translucent. Take your onion out and then sautee your celery and carrots for five minutes, stirring frequently (you can add a touch of oil if your pan is dry). While sauteeing, add 10 turns of your Italian Herb seasoning into the pan, and also add 5 turns of your Peppercorn Medley grinder, along with two turns of your sea salt grinder. At the end of 5 minutes, add your onion back in and stir for another two minutes.

Add your broth, water, measured seasonings and chicken to your crock pot and turn on high. Add your onions, carrots, celery and corn. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6 to 8 hours.

Prepare whichever kind of noodles you like (I prefer wide egg noodles) and enjoy!

By the way, this will make a LOT of soup, which you can freeze.

Smoked Venison Recipe (a whole hind quarter)

Last weekend, I smoked an 18 lb venison hind quarter for my friend, Larry. I tried a small chunk after smoking it and thought it was quite tasty. I then froze it and gave the remaining 17.5 lbs to Larry. Today Larry told me that he whacked it in half and served it at a card party. Not only did Larry say that it was scrumptious, but one of his guests said, "That is the best venison I've ever had!" So, for anyone else who might want to try it, here's what I did.

DSC_2533

Ingredients

  • Venison hind quarter, 12 to 20 lbs, trimmed, but with some fat left on
  • 16 oz package of uncooked bacon
  • 2 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of Chipotle chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp of ground sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Morton Tender Quick (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Mix all of the rub ingredients above together in a small bowl or a shaker. Sprinkle all over the top of the venison and then, using your hands, rub it firmly into the surface of the meat.

Now lay strips of bacon across the entire top surface of the venison. Make sure each bacon slice overlaps the previous one slightly. Since venison is so lean, this will help to keep the moisture in the venison, add a little flavor and keep the outer skin of the venison from becoming too tough. Use wooden toothpicks to hold the bacon in place.

Now let the venison sit on the counter for about an hour to reach room temperature.

Load 3 to 4 oz of hickory wood into your smoker's wood box. Smoke it to the following schedule

  1. 150 degrees - 1 hour
  2. 160 degrees - 1 hour
  3. 170 degrees - 1 hour
  4. 180 degrees - 4 hours
  5. 200 - until the internal core reaches 165 degrees

I use a Cookshack Amerique electric smoker with the temp probe set to put the smoker into hold mode when it reaches 165 degrees. I smoked this piece of venison for 30 hours. It was juicy and tender inside, but nicely smoke-sealed on the outside.

Hint: I use the Maverick RediChek Remote Wireless Smoker Thermometer to keep an eye on my smoker and food temperature while sitting inside the house.

DSC_2535