Tuesday, October 28, 2008

BEER 101

I was looking through some photos and it always seems I have a beer in my hand when I'm eating. I really don't drink that much but I do enjoy a good beer! So I was thinking that I would give a short lesson in Beer.
Don't know the difference between and ale and a lager? Still wondering if a lighter color means a lighter buzz?
There are two types of beer- Ales and Lagers. Ales have top-fermenting yeast and are brewed at about 54 degrees, while lagers have bottom-fermenting yeast and are brewed at 36 degrees. So what does all this mean? Ales tend to have a softer,fuller taste and more alcohol content, while lagers are crisp and sharp and contain a little less alcoholic punch.
Porters,stouts and wheats fall under the ale category; pilsners, bocks and double bocks are lagers.
While beer connoisseurs can tell brews apart by their tastes, it's a lot tougher to decipher a a beer by its color. There are both dark and light ales and dark and light lagers the colors run the gamut. The color difference has to do with the malt, not the fermentation.
And, contrary to popular opinion, just because a beer is darker doesn't necessarily mean it has more alcohol.
Well there you have it beer in a nut shell, The Food and Wine Festival at Epcot is in full swing right now so if your in the Orlando area stop in at try all the wonderful beers we have from all over the world.
Allisons Kitchen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Just the right blend of salt and sweet to go with your favorite witches brew!!!

cups unbuttered popped popcorn, lightly salted

cup pretzel nuggets

cup slivered almonds, toasted and lightly salted

cup (1/2 stick) butter

cup light corn syrup

cup firmly packed light brown sugar

cup red cinnamon candies

cup mini candy-coated chocolate pieces

cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 250°F. Place popped popcorn in large bowl. Add pretzel nuggets and almonds; set aside. Lightly grease 2 large baking pans; set aside. In medium saucepan over low heat combine butter and corn syrup until melted; stir in brown sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and mixture comes to a boil. Boil mixture 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add cinnamon candies, stirring until melted in. With lightly greased spatula, stir sugar mixture into popcorn mixture until evenly coated. Spread popcorn mixture in even layer in prepared pans. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes with lightly greased spoon to separate popcorn. Cool completely in pans on wire racks. In large bowl combine popcorn mixture, candy pieces and cranberries. Store in tightly covered container.
allisons kitchen

Monday, October 13, 2008


½ cup pasteurized egg yolks
1 lb Mascarpone cheese
6 tbsp sugar
1 pineapple
1 box of lady fingers
4 strawberries, cut half
¼ pint wild berries

  1. WHISK egg yolks and 4 tbsp sugar together in a mixing bowl. When the color turns clear, add mascarpone cheese and stir until consistency is smooth.
  2. REMOVE skin from pineapple with a large knife. Cut in half and remove core. Cut a 1 inch slice from the bottom. Place in a food processor with 2 tbsp sugar. Pulse until fruit is finely chopped and has released juice.
  3. DRAIN contents into a strainer and preserve juice. Discard chopped pineapple in strainer.
  4. CUT remaining pineapple into 1 inch slices.
  1. SOAK 10 lady fingers in pineapple juice until liquid is absorbed. Do not allow them to sit too long.
  2. PLACE a layer of lady fingers in a round mold. Cover lady fingers with slices of pineapple.
  3. ADD a thick layer of mascarpone cream. Repeat process.
  4. GARNISH by alternating lady finders, remaining pineapple slices, sliced strawberries and wild berries.
  5. REFRIGERATE for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


1-oz. Olive Oil
1-oz. Butter
1 8-oz. Center-cut Beef Tenderloin (filet mignon)
Kosher Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
15-20 Dry Green Peppercorns
1-oz. Brandy
4-oz. Heavy Cream
1 tsp Whole Grain Mustard
1 tsp Shallots (chopped)
1 tsp Garlic (chopped)

Over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil in a frying pan. Season beef with salt and push one side (now the top) of the filet into the cracked black pepper until coated. Cook approximately five minutes on the peppered side, turn and repeat. Remove steak from pan, pour out excess fat and sweat the shallot and garlic with the heat on very low for three to four minutes. Turn heat to high, add brandy and green peppercorns followed by the heavy cream. Reduce by one-half, or until thickened, turn off heat and stir in mustard. Season with salt and pool in center of dinner plate. Top with the filet.

This is one of the first steaks I learned how to cook. It's easy and it makes a wonderful presentation when entertaining. Just remember when cooking with alcohol REMOVE THE PAN FROM THE FLAME BEFORE YOU ADD YOUR BRANDY!!!


allisons kitchen

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Tres Leches: Three Milk Cake
This is one of the best cakes I've ever had, my daughter in law is from Ecuador and she turned us on to this light,airy and not to sweet cake. This recipe is an easy version made with boxed cake mix.
1 yellow cake mix(with pudding)baked as directed in 13X9 inch pan

For topping mixture:
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup rum(or to taste)

To Finish:
Whipped cream,to cover cake
5 ounces sweetened coconut
Poke holes in the cake with a fork all over. Pour topping mixture over cake. Let mixture absorb completely in refrigerator.

Cover cake with whipped cream or cool whip and sprinkle sweetened coconut over top of cake.
OPTIONAL: add macadamia nuts,cherries and /or pineapple. or garnish with fresh fruit.

allisons kitchen

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Divine is the only way to describe this down-home Southern delight. A satisfying finale to any holiday feast. This recipe was sent to me to try and it passed with flying colors, very easy yet elegant

pounds sliced peeled unsweetened peaches or thawed and well-drained frozen peaches

tablespoons bourbon

cup reduced-fat sour cream

teaspoon ground cinnamon

teaspoon ground nutmeg

cup packed light brown sugar

slices (1-1/2 ounces each) angel food cake

Toss peaches with bourbon in shallow ovenproof 1-1/2-quart casserole or 11X7-inch glass baking dish. Press down into even layer.

Combine sour cream, cinnamon and nutmeg in small bowl; mix well. Spoon mixture evenly over peaches. (May be covered and refrigerated up to 2 hours before cooking time.)

Preheat broiler. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over sour cream mixture to cover. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat, 3 to 5 minutes or until brown sugar is melted and bubbly. (Watch closely after 3 minutes so that sugar does not burn.)

Spoon immediately over angel food cake.
I hope you enjoy this as much as our family did, Thanks to chris for sending this in.