Juicy strawberries and fresh basil make the perfect pair in this delicious Strawberry Basil Bourbon Smash.
This week flew by. The month flew by actually. How is May almost over?! My kids’ last day of school is next week and I’m gonna be real honest with you, I have no clue where they’re going to school next year. Like, I don’t even know what state they’re to go to school in. That’s where my life is right now.
So the end of the school year is exciting because you know I love summer and all the fun that comes along with it but it’s also super stressful because… I really just need someone to figure out my entire life for me so I don’t have to make any more decisions.
That’d be great.
I’ll talk about it all eventually, don’t even worry.
I posted a photo on Snapchat when I received this bottle (follow me!: amandalivesay) and 10 people were all, “OMG THAT’S MY FAVORITE!”
It is the only bourbon distillery that blends 5 proprietary yeast strains with two separate mashbills to produce 10 distinct bourbon recipes. The bourbon is then aged in one-of-a-kind single story rack warehouses that allows the bourbon to age gently and undisturbed throughout the years. Each bourbon variety has it’s own unique character, spice, and rich fruity flavors.
I used the Four Roses Bourbon Yellow for this Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce. They created this one by mingling all 10 of their bourbon recipes. It’s fantastic, with hints of apple and pear, a floral aroma, and a taste of honey and spice. It’s smooth and mellow and is great for creating sophisticated cocktails.
Check out the Four Roses Bourbon website for more info, lots of recipes, and to find out where to buy your own delicious Four Roses Bourbon!
So this Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce!
I bought a ton of cherries when this bourbon showed up on my doorstep because bourbon and cherries? Perfect together. (Ice cream recipe coming soon!)
This bbq sauce is sweet and spicy and fruity and delicious. Perfect on grilled meat, perfect on a spoon. I’m obsessed. I made tater tots at 1 am the other day and stood at my kitchen counter, dipping them in what bbq sauce I had leftover. That good.
Cherry BBQ Sauce
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Four Roses Bourbon Yellow
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
3 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add Four Roses Bourbon Yellow, ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and add the cherries. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Remove from heat and cook slightly. Use a blender to puree the sauce until smooth.
Because Thanksgiving is officially one month away. And for whatever reason, planning Thanksgiving really stresses me out. Even though it’s just going to be the kids, the husband, the dogs, and little ol’ me.
Yep, the husband’s scheduled to be home in time for Thanksgiving.
Which is another layer of stress. That sounds crazy, huh? You’d think after 9 months, excitement would be the main emotion. Nope. Stress.
Is the house clean enough? Did I lose those 10 pounds yet? The dang dog needs a haircut but I have to time it just right so she’s grown out of the awkward haircut stage when he gets home. (Like he cares.) The kids needs haircuts, too. We all need a special “homecoming” outfit. Have I found a hiding spot for all that Pyrex I bought? I never did find a photographer for the ceremony. I take that back. I never even looked for a photographer!
I won’t be able to tell you guys that he’s home until he’s, like, standing in front of me. Because there are some real jerks out there in the world. So forgive me for being vague for the next little while.
Anyway, with Thanksgiving ONE MONTH AWAY, it’s really time for me to think about this whole menu thing. Most important thing is officially checked off the list: cocktail!
I bought my first ever (tiny) bottle of Bourbon to make this Bourbon-Apple Sidecar. Even the lovely lady that owns the liquor store was all, “Hmm, this is different for you!” because she’s used to me only buying cheap moscato and Straw-ber-ritas.
It turns out that Bourbon is quite tasty! Especially with a little apple juice!
I love banana pudding, you know the ‘nilla wafer one? So I had high hopes for this banana pudding. I was a little scared as I hate Bourbon, but I took a chance. And oh my gosh, am I glad I did.
Best. Thing. Ever.
Seriously, it was so worth the hours I spent waiting for pudding to chill. Or the 3 times I did dishes that day. It was even worth nearly ruining one of my favorite pots with burnt pudding.
The recipe is a little intimidating because it’s forever long, but trust me, your efforts will be paid off.
Bourbon Banana Pudding with Glazed Pecans
For pudding and candied pecans:
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon packed light brown sugar, divided
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
5 teaspoons bourbon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon mild honey
1 1/2 teaspoon water
3/4 cup pecan halves
For spongecake and syrup:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup water
3 ripe medium bananas
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Make pudding and glaze pecans:
Lightly beat yolks in a medium bowl.
Whisk together 3/4 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small heavy saucepan. Slowly whisk in milk, then boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until pudding is thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually add hot pudding to yolks, whisking constantly, then whisk in bourbon and vanilla.
Cover surface with wax paper and chill until cold, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle.
Warm remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar with honey and water in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Stir in pecans, tossing to coat, then transfer to a lightly oiled 4-sided sheet pan.
Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and shiny, about 15 minutes. Transfer pecans with a metal spatula to a rack to cool. Coarsely chop, reserving 4 halves for garnish.
Make spongecake and syrup:
Preheat oven to 400F with rack in middle. Butter and flour cake pan. Warm eggs (in shell) in hot water 5 minutes.
Whisk together flour and salt.
Beat eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until tripled in volume and thick enough to form a wide flat ribbon that holds its shape on top of batter when beater is lifted, 7 to 8 minutes in a stand mixer or 14 to 16 with a handheld.
Transfer to a wide bowl. Sift flour mixture, one third at a time, over batter, folding gently but thoroughly with a rubber spatula after each addition. Stir together butter and about 1/4 cup batter in a small bowl until combined, then fold butter mixture into batter gently but thoroughly.
Pour batter into cake pan and smooth top. Bake until golden brown and edges start to pull away from sides of pan, 12 to 14 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring bourbon, water, and remaining tablespoon sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
Transfer cake in pan to a rack, then run a thin knife between cake and side of pan and cool 5 minutes. Invert cake onto rack.
Cut off one third of cake, reserving for another use. Brush remaining cake with half of bourbon syrup. Carefully turn cake right side up and brush with remaining syrup. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Cut cake into 1 1/2-inch squares. Thinly slice bananas.
In 4 bowls or 10-oz glasses make 2 layers each of pudding, bananas, cake (use all of it), and chopped pecans, then top with a third layer of pudding, bananas, and chopped pecans.
Chill, loosely covered, 1 hour. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.
Whip cream with sugar until it holds soft peaks, then dollop on top of each dessert. Garnish with reserved pecan halves.