Give Your Pancakes a Flavor Boost With Infused Maple Syrup

Pancakes, waffles, and French toast are all great, but these breakfast basics are really just a vessel for us to eat more maple syrup, right? While unflavored maple syrup is a delight in its own right, every now and then it can be a real treat to dress it up.

Flavoring maple syrup is a fun way to make breakfast an adventure. Here are five delicious ways to do it.

Source: 5 Maple Syrup Twists to Take Your Pancakes on a Breakfast Adventure

I did something similar recently. I made some blackberry sauce by simmering frozen blackberries with a little water and mushing them through a strainer to get out the seeds. Then I heated the sauce with a shot of my homemade vanilla rum and some maple syrup.

It made a wonderful, fruity, purple maple syrup.

Freeze Cranberry Sauce and Gravy for The Best Thanksgiving Croissants Possible

Making Thanksgiving croissants is a three-day process. I started making the compound butter two days ago. I paddled together butter and Thanksgiving spices: dried sage, dried thyme, granulated onion, onion powder, salt, sugar, pepper, and a little turmeric for color. We developed the recipe from looking at the ingredient list for Stovetop stuffing.

Source: How to Make Thanksgiving Croissants

Lots assume that there will be a lot of leftover gravy. In my experience, gravy always runs out long before the turkey does, and I often have to cobble together substitutes for that first yummy batch with the meat dripping and carving juices.  So if you run out:

Roast and then simmer the giblets with veggies to get some flavorful broth to add to the pan drippings. Start with a (I know, it’s horrible) store-bought stock, dissolve flour or cornstarch in water, add it to the boiling stock, then add the giblet stock and pan drippings. If you use decent quality store stock, you won’t notice the difference and you can make half a gallon of gravy.  Or buy a couple of turkey thighs or legs and roast them a few days ahead and store the deglazed pan drippings in the freezer until the big day.

How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

Any bar worth its rimming salt should be stocked with at least a couple of bottles of bitters. Sure, you can make a cocktail without them, but you can also roast a chicken without salt or pepper. Like these everyday seasonings, cocktail bitters add flavor and depth to almost any beverage, and making your own allows you to put a unique stamp on every cocktail you serve.

I urge you to think of bitters as a sort of “cocktail spice rack”, and to think of every cocktail as a choose-your-own-adventure type of situation. Homemade bitters are so easy to make (you just throw stuff in jars) that there’s no reason not to have a bottle to suit each and every one of your whims. Plus, they make great, super thoughtful gifts. (It’s September, everyone, which means it is just about time to start stressing about the holidays.)

Source: How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

No matter how good you think they would be, never try to eat the fruit soaked for bitters. 😉

If you find yourself at a bar unable to afford decent bourbon (or the well sludge is on happy hour) ask for a splash of aromatic bitters with your drink. Turns a really crappy bourbon into a mediocre-to-poor bourbon, and they’ll never upcharge you for it.

Easily Upgrade Leftovers With a Simple Pan Sauce Recipe

Your pan should already have a tablespoon or so of fat in it (leftover from browning your meat); if it doesn’t, supplement with olive oil. Now add an aromatic or two to the pan: A couple of smashed garlic cloves or a sliced shallot; a sturdy fresh herb, like thyme or rosemary. Give them a few minutes over gentle heat so they release their flavors.

Source: How to Make a Simple Pan Sauce

This is essentially making a gravy for your leftovers, which is a straightforward enough idea, but I like that this recipe is so simple and quick, and you can make it straight from the pan after reheating left over food.

Add Tahini to Make Any Sauce or Dip Creamier

A dish’s creamy base layer can keep you going back to foods again and again. Creamy is the secret behind so many of those most craveable foods—the ones we can’t quite put our finger on why we love so much.

And while you can achieve the creamy factor by, yes, adding a bit of cream, there’s more than one way to skin this textural cat. So here we list of our favorite ingredients that add a silky slow jam to just about anything you want to make.

Source: 7 Ways to Make Everything You Cook Deliciously Creamy

Tahini is easy to make yourself.  Alternately, one could use sodium citrate for creamy cheese

Make Any Tapenade With This Simple Formula

Enter tapenade. If you’re familiar only with the kind that comes in the small jar from the supermarket, you’re missing out. The time saved may seem to compensate for the less-than-ideal flavor, but you can make make a much better version at home in under 30 minutes. Here’s how:

Source: How to Make Tapenade Without a Recipe

There’s 1.4 mcg of vitamin K in 100 grams of olives, and the recipe calls for 2 cups (~360 grams).  That’s ~5 mcg of vitamin K…  Capers on the other hand contain 24.6 mcg of vitamin k per 100 grams.

Keeping in mind that the vitamin K dose is quoted on consuming all of the tapenade.  I’m not judging… 😉

On a more serious note, I would not recommend eating tapenade before an INR test.  If there’s a long enough interval between tests (1 month), then I’d suggest tapenade soon after getting tested so you have time for your INR level to recover in an effort to not have to adjust your medication dose.