Cocktails with Elsa: Miles’ Wit

Today’s cocktail recipe is brought to you by Elsa, one of Dinners With Dan‘s featured contributors!  

It’s Friday once again, and that means it’s time to sit back, relax, and celebrate the end of the work week.  And there’s no way better to enjoy that than with a good drink – and at Dinners With Dan, that means it’s time for another Cocktails with Elsa.  This time she’s sharing with us her recipe for Miles’ Wit: blackberry infused bourbon.  I know I can’t wait to try this!  Enjoy!

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Today we’re going to go on adventure together. Prior to this last week, I had never made blackberry bourbon in my house before, but after trying it in a cocktail at Seattle’s Elysian Brewery, I just had to do something with it for myself!

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Essay: The Future of Food

Today’s post and essay is brought to you by Molly, one of Dinners With Dan‘s featured contributors!  

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The Future of Food

Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas for my organization’s annual fall conference.  I was very excited for the conference not only because it was the culmination of many months of work and planning, but also because the theme was sustainable agriculture!  The topics we covered during our three days could each be a blog post on their own (in fact, I’ll be delving into many of these topics in future posts), but for now, here’s just a taste of what we learned.

Greetings from AustinGreetings from Austin

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Baking with Blaire: Haystack Cookies and Boneyard Brownies

Today’s recipe is brought to you by Blaire, one of Dinners With Dan‘s featured contributors!  

Halloween is just around the corner.  Decorations are starting to go up, invitations to parties are being sent, and the air is starting to have that familiar Autumnal crisp.  From pumpkin carving to making costumes, there are endless activities this time of year, but there’s one thing that unites them all: delicious Fall and Halloween food.

This week, in her second Baking with Blaire post for Dinners with Dan, Blaire is introducing us to two of her favorite Halloween-themed sweets.  I can’t wait to try them!

Haystack Cookies Cover

I want to be Kate Middleton.  There, I said it.  Any of my friends can tell you that I have royal fever, bad.  Since this is the season for pretend and make believe, I’m even considering being her for Halloween.  Baby bump or no baby bump, I haven’t decided.  Tiara, obvi.

What draws me to Kate, I think, is because she’s normal and yet still able to be a part of the ultra-exclusive clique known as the royal family.  I’m normal.  I’m polite.  I can wave. Why can’t I be a member too? I guess this falls in line with my undying, not-so-subconscious desire to be one of the cool kids.  Thanks for that, grade school.

Anyway, if we’re being completely honest, she’s livin’ the dream (and forgive me as I shrug off the immense responsibility of being a royal). She has the power, the looks, the clothes, the house, the money, the Prince (Albeit, not my first choice.  Team Harry, anyone?).  What I would give to be called “Your Highness,” to vacation with the Queen at Balmoral, to have my little Moo-cat frolic with the royal corgies; to work “Cheerio” and “bullocks” into my vernacular; to host a royal tea party.  The last one especially, I think I might die if I could kick it with Queen Elizabeth over some tea and tasty treats.

Now, Halloween is the time for parties, but I don’t think the Queen would tap in and join me for some tequila shots, so I’ll settle for tea as the beverage of choice.  But I can’t just serve tea, there would have to be snacks. Festive snacks.  Even us mere commoners have the problem of what to serve at our holiday parties.  What festive treats could I serve?  Scones? Boring. Crackers with caviar?  Disgusting. Cucumber tea sandwiches? Puked a little in my mouth.  After some deliberation, I finally settled on my Haystack Cookies and Boneyard Brownies.          

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Recipe: Vodka Penne with a Cream Sauce

So, I apologize  for how long it has been since I’ve posted a recipe.  I’ve been going through quite a lot of life recently – I went to Chicago for a wedding, worked every weekend, and have gone through a period of small change culminating in starting a new job.  Needless to say, I thank every single one of my fantastic contributors who have been keeping Dinners With Dan up and running!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve also run into a slight problem – I’ll make something, but completely fail to write down what I did or take pictures!  My close friend Meg had a barbecue at her place a couple weeks ago and I brought some chicken I marinated overnight.  I never wrote down what I did, as I honestly just looked around my kitchen and pulled a marinade together (I’m pretty sure it was a combination of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, and Italian seasonings, but I honestly don’t remember), but after it was on the grill, that chicken just turned out magnificently.  I also still have pictures and need to post the recipe I promised everyone (a strawberry-stuffed French Toast) – and I meant to do that during the “International Week,” and I just never got the chance.  I plan on doing a breakfast-themed Dinners With Dan post soon instead.

However, for my first recipe back from my hiatus, a short while ago, two of my friends, Alix and Lauren, came over for dinner.  I didn’t know what I was going to make until I got to Trader Joe’s.  And even then, as Lauren can attest, I picked up quite a few things before setting them down again and going for something completely different.

I decided to make a Vodka Penne with a Cream Sauce.  I looked up a few recipes and then promptly ignored almost all of their advice and just went for it.  I don’t have any pictures of the final result because I wasn’t thinking about it (I just wanted to eat!), so you’re just going to have to take my word that this was absolutely fantastic =).  Enjoy!

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Recipe: Panko Fried Pacific Black Cod

Today’s recipe is brought to you by Eric and Brian, Dinners With Dan‘s newest featured contributor!  

Thanks again to all my friends and contributors who have kept the blog up the last few weeks.  I’ll have a delicious recipe of my own up tomorrow, and I’ll be back to posting regularly =)!  More on why the long pause tomorrow, but I’ll do my best to make up for lost time!

However, before then, I’m really excited to take Dinners With Dan from the land to the seas.  Eric and Brian, Dinners With Dan‘s newest contributors, come to us from Alaska where they have worked in the restaurant industry and can’t wait to share a lot of their experiences and fantastic recipes with us.  They’re starting with a recipe for Panko Fried Pacific Black Cod.  Please welcome Eric and Brian to the blog and give this delicious recipe a try!

Panko Fried Pacific Black Cod

Living life Alaskan involves an appreciation for proper cooking with seafood.  The delicate balance of seafood and seasoning is essential.  It is fairly easy to over-season a beautiful cut of fish and finding someone who knows how to perfectly balance the two deserves respect.  For tonight’s dish we have selected one of the easier species of fish to cook with in Alaska.  Pacific Black Cod is a delicious deep water fish that many people enjoy along with halibut.  I know most people consider halibut to be the coveted fish to catch but it can be very difficult to find a proper black cod that you can cook with.

For tonight’s dinner, we have chosen several 6 ounce filets that required us to filet the skin off in order to bread them.  In keeping with Alaskan tradition, we used an egg-based batter and Italian seasoning with a nice Panko breading.  To complement the fish: roasted potatoes and sautéed asparagus with garlic.

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