Summer Bourbon Slush

May 30, 2010 13:41 by Suzy

It's time again for the Diva's Beach Eats Thirsty Thursday Challenge!  (Yes, I know it's not Thursday.  So sue me.)  The flavor this month is bourbon...yum!  I searched the web for some good ideas and found this slush recipe on  Definitely had to make some tweaks to it, though.  First, not enough bourbon.  Second, waaaaaayyyyyy too much sugar.  Seriously, one and a half cups?!?!?!?  It's already got juice in it...why would you need sugar?  Much better my way, I think.

I made this for our Memorial Day cookout with the neighbors...I think it will be a hit.  Although I kind of wish it wouldn't, so I could have it all to myself.  Perfect for a summer afternoon...

Summer Bourbon Slush
recipe adapted from

6 ounces orange juice concentrate, thawed
12 ounces lemonade concentrate, thawed
large can of pineapple juice
2 cups strong black tea
3 cups bourbon

Combine all ingredients in a large freezer safe container.  Cover and place in freezer overnight.

Scoop slush into glasses, and top with 7-Up.  Enjoy!

Be sure to check out Beach Eats on June 3rd for the May challenge round up!

"Yankee" Chili

May 26, 2010 21:42 by Suzy

When I was growing up, chili came from a can, it always had beans, and I never understood what all the fuss was about. After I met JD, he raved about this "Yankee" Chili that his mom and grandmother made, so I picked both their brains, made my own modifications, and discovered the difference between homemade and canned chili.

This is a very simple, but completely delicious recipe for chili. I pay no attention to the many chili-related arguments...beans or no beans? Ground beef or cubed? Kidney, pinto or black beans? What follows is what works for me, and it's always a hit with family and friends.

You'll need this stuff. Not the butter, though. That was out in prep for cookies. Mmmmm...cookies... 

Suzy's Yankee Chili

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion
2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3-5 heaping tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
1 5.5 ounce can Low-Sodium V-8 juice
1 large can tomatoes, or 1 quart jar homemade canned tomatoes, if you are that lucky
Few dashes Cholula hot sauce
Optional garnishes (grated cheese, diced onion, sour cream)

First, chop up your onion.

Start browning your ground beef in a large pot.

When it's about halfway done, add the onion and finish browning. Drain the excess fat if you want. I usually keep it. Remember, Fat = Flavor.

Drain and rinse the yucky slimy stuff from the beans...

...and add them to the pot.

Now add your chili much as you want...

...and give it a good stir. See the lovely red color?

Stir in the V-8 juice.

And the tomatoes.

And a few dashes Cholula hot sauce. Add salt to taste.

Smoosh the tomatoes with a big spoon to break them up.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer. I try to let it cook for at least 30 minutes, but 45 minutes to an hour is best to get the flavors mingling.

Taste and add salt or chili powder if needed. Chili is always better the second day, so if you can, let it cool and stick it in the fridge for tomorrow night's dinner.

Yum. Serve with the optional garnishes and some cornbread. Yankee or not, this stuff is good.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

May 23, 2010 21:30 by Suzy

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.  Oatmeal Raisin Cookies may seem blah and boring, but these are awesome.  JD says they are like crack.  Plus you can convince yourself that the oatmeal makes them wholesome and healthy.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookie Book

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3 cups quick oats or old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together brown sugar, butter, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and eggs.

Beat until light and fluffy.

Stir in the oats, flour and raisins just until mixed. Do not overbeat.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Don't overbake. Cookies should look a bit raw when you take them out.

Leave on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then remove to baking rack.

BBQ Roundup

May 14, 2010 21:06 by Suzy

One of the best parts of our recent road trip was that we were able to sample BBQ from all over...

Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis

This was a perfect introduction to our road trip BBQ. Cool local place with a fun atmosphere and amazing food. Delicious pulled pork, yummy spicy sausage and tender ribs. We ate like there was no should have seen our friends' 3-year old son go to town on those ribs!

Rudy's BBQ in Albuquerque

Back in Las Vegas my dad and my brother in law were raving about Rudy's BBQ, so I knew we had to stop when we found one. Rudy's is Texas-style BBQ, so we had high expectations for the brisket, and boy, we were not disappointed. Brisket at the other places was good, but nothing like this. Full of beefy goodness, and tender without being mush.

The sauce (or "sause" as they call it) was the perfect accompaniment. I bought a bottle of sauce and some rub to take home.

Central BBQ in Memphis

Oh. My. God. This stuff is heavenly. Far and away the best BBQ of the bunch. Smoky and flavorful, and the pulled pork was amazing. Not only the best flavor, but incredibly tender and not at all oily.

They had an amazing appetizer too...a sausage and cheese platter, in case you need to prepare yourself for the salty fatty smoky goodness that is your entree.

Definitely worth a stop, or even a trip to Memphis just for this. If you are in the area and can only make one stop, forget Graceland...go to Central BBQ and rent "Blue Hawaii" instead.

Seriously, the BBQ was so good, it was like a precious commodity. There was a fence and barbed wire protecting the smoker! I wonder...which is more likely to be stolen...the smoker itself, or the deliciousness inside?

I also loved this sign they had posted out front...

OK, I am now drooling on my keyboard...I might just splurge and drop a couple hundred bucks to have Central BBQ FedEx me a Combination Party Pack! And eat it all myself...

Where is your favorite BBQ place?