Cookbook Reviews

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Oven Baked Denver Omelet

Adapted: Allrecipes

Here is a Naomi Blackburn fun fact...I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE breakfast for dinner. We do it in our house about twice a month. Usually, it is some type of eggs partnered with a breakfast meat and pancakes or waffles. I can do some serious chowin' on that stuff.

The typical fried or scrambled eggs get pretty dang boring, so when I saw this recipe on Allrecipes AND I had everything needed, I was on it. I was not disappointed. We went through a pan in one night. It tasted just like a Denver omelet without the hassle of it. Best yet....easy peasy!

So, here we go!: 


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped cooked ham
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 10-inch round baking dish.
2)  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in ham and continue cooking until heated through, 5 minutes more.
3) Beat eggs and milk in a large bowl. Stir in Cheddar cheese and ham mixture; season with salt and black pepper. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
4) Bake in preheated oven until eggs are browned and puffy, about 25 minutes.

The Snow Cream Martini with White Chocolate Rimmer

Adapted: The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook

When I reviewed this cookbook and came across this recipe, I was immediately drawn to it. It was the first tini that I had ever seen that was made with sweetened condensed milk and that used a blender versus a shaker. So, I was game. I will try anything once. (OK maybe not anything!)

While the tini was good, it wasn't great. At least that was my opinion. My husband, on the other hand, loved it. I couldn't get past the icy taste to the tini. I like my cream based tinis creamy and this just didn't have that. One of the other things that did me in was that it separates, like ice milk, when it sits.

I will be making my own version of this tini that will be much more creamy and not depend on ice being added to it.

So here we go!:


1.5 cups vanilla vodka
1/2 cup WHITE chocolate liquor (dark chocolate can't be substituted here)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 cups small ice cubes


White chocolate rimmer
whipping cream



Melt white chocolate in a double boiler. Very gently, swirl the rim of the martini glass in the melted chocolate. If desired, splash chocolate on the insides of glasses. Place in freezer to allow to firm while the rest of the drink is prepared.


1) Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.

2) Top with whipped cream and additional white chocolate, if desired.

Spiked Strawberry Lemonade Slushy

Summertime is rapidly approaching! What does that mean?? Kickin' back on the back porch and Summer parties, of course. To celebrate this long awaited warm weather, I concocted a Naomi Blackburn original to bring out the kids in all of us. OK, to be honest, I just had a Slurpee last month.

This drink is not a truly frozen drink. It should have a slushy appearance. I used thawed frozen strawberries versus fresh strawberries. The reason for this is that I wanted the juice off the frozen berries that would not have been present with the fresh berries. Also, I kept the alcohol in the actual drink relatively low. Have a drinker who likes their drink strong? Increase the float of citrus vodka from 1/2 ounce to a full ounce.

I wrote this recipe to make one drink. Need more? Simply double, triple or quadruple! Just remember to serve it before it goes to liquid.

So, here we go!:


1.5 cups frozen strawberries thawed
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz citrus vodka
1/2 lemon, juiced
1.5 cups ice cubes
Add'l citrus vodka
Lemon slices, for garnish


1) Place first 5 ingredients in blender and blend until it has a slushy consistency. Pour into glass.

2) Top with 1/2 to 1 ounce of citrus vodka and garnish.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Editor Tini or A Taste of Hawaii

I have a bud whom I adore...absolutely adore. She also happens to be my editor. One of my weird quirks is that I love to develop drinks based off the personalities of my favorite people. When Lucy and I were talking one day, she jokingly asked me to develop a drink for her and I jumped at it. Now, I had always considered her to be a craft beer drinker, so this one was going to be a toughy for me...until she told me that she liked pineapple. My mind immediately went into overload in the combinations I could do. Not only did it give me an opportunity to celebrate my absolute adoration of Lucy, but my love of Hawaii, as well.

The key to this drink is FRESH pineapple. None of that canned garbage will do for this drink. This one is a bit more involved and involves use of a blender to make a tini base. Muddling will not do for this drink.

So, here we go!:



3 cups fresh pineapple chopped
6 oz can pineapple juice (If you can get fresh juice better yet!)


1) Combine in a blender and puree until smooth



3 oz pineapple puree
2 oz white rum
3 oz Malibu PINEAPPLE rum
Fresh pineapple spears


1) In a very well chilled shaker filled with ice, combine first 3 ingredients. Shake for 30 seconds

2) Pour into a well chilled tini glass and garnish with pineapple spears.

The Horchata Tini

This is a Naomi Blackburn original and why??? Because I love horchata and feel that it needs to be celebrated as one of the best non-alcoholic drinks known to mankind. I have made homemade horchata. I buy horchata. I have even purchased a hot drink based on horchata.

Enter Rumchata. Rumchata is an alcohol that is based off the horchata drink and mixed with rum. I swear this stuff is the nectar of the gods because it is soooo good!

I would normally drink RumChata on the rocks, but then I saw that Jose Cuervo came out with a Cinge Tequila. I looked at my husband and it immediately went into my shopping cart. I was going to play and play I did! So, welcome to the world, THE HORCHATA TINI. It proves that the best things in life are the simplest ones.

So, here we go!:


2 oz Jose Cuervo Cinge Tequila
4 oz RumChata
1 t. cinnamon sugar
Canned whipping cream
Add'l cinnamon sugar


1) In a shaker filled with ice, place the first 3 ingredients.

2) Pour into a prepared tini glass (well chilled)

3) Top with whipping cream and allow it to spread out a bit.

4) Sprinkle with additional cinnamon sugar.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Citrus Bourbon Punch

Adapted: Sweet Magnolias Margarita Nights

I love having punches for brunches and early lunches. They are so much better than doing mixed drinks  and there is just something fun about them. Not being a huge whiskey fan, I was a bit apprehensive when first came across this recipe. My opportunity came when I was looking for different drinks for Bette Lee Crosby's Midweek Mixers. Bette is a host of many a brunch so I saw this fitting in beautifully to her Southern luncheons. I had originally found this recipe in The Sweet Magnolia's Cookbook by Sherryl Woods.

The original recipe made a gallon of this punch. A bit too much for this cook so I cut it in half. For ease, I am going to do the full recipe. If desired, the punch can be made and frozen. Also, the original recipe call for it to be a freeze. Not into slushies, I served it "on the rocks." Ms.Woods also suggested taming it down with lemon-lime soda if the strength of the drink didn't rock your socks off. I found it unnecessary. Want to be respectful for your guests...simply serve it on the side.

So, here we go!:


8 cups water, divided
4 tea bags
1 cup light brown sugar
1 (12 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (6 oz) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
2 cups bourbon (cheap is fine here)


1) Bring 2 cups water to a boil and add tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes and remove bags.

2) Place remaining ingredients in a very large (gallon sized pitcher) or punch bowl. Stir until blended.

3) Add tea and place in refrig until well chilled.

4) Serve with plenty of ice and mint to garnish.

5) If a slushy is desired, cover and freeze containers for several hours. Stir every hour until fork until slushied!