Recipe: The Blood And Honey Cocktail

The Blood And Honey Cocktail

Today I want to share my new favorite whiskey based cocktail.

1 Can of San Pellegrino Blood Orange
1.25 oz Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
2 tsp Honey

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Baileys: A Whipped Review and Recipe

I was introduced to Baileys through Haagen Dazs ice cream. Growing up my mother would buy their rum raisin ice cream and then act like it was alcoholic so I could only have a small taste (she just didn’t want to share).

Getting Hooked

One night on my way home from the gym I decided to go buy a container of the rum raisin. The store was out, so I figured I would try the Baileys Haagen Dazs ice cream and I was hooked. Sadly, Haagen Dazs has since discontinued the flavor.

original

Since turning 21, I have always kept a bottle Baileys Original Irish Cream in my liquor cabinet. I use Baileys mostly for milkshakes and other tasty treats. Baileys, for me, is more of a dessert drink, making it a liquor that allows for a different creativity when you are making drinks.

Baileys 5 different flavors

1. Baileys Original Irish cream

2. Baileys  Espresso Crème

3. Baileys Salted Caramel

4. Baileys Chocolate Cherry

5. Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon

The Recipe

I wanted to write this review as an excuse to publish my recipe that turned my grandmother into a little kid who demands that she gets to lick the bowl.

Baileys Whipped Cream

8oz Heavy Cream
1Tbs confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1oz Baileys (I use the original cream because it best mimics the Haagen Dazs)

Combine in a mixing bowl and whisk until peaks form in the whipped cream OR (and this is how I learned how to make it) combine all ingredients into a single serving blender (nutribullet or comparable with the Extractor Blade) and blend until the blender sounds like it is having a harder time whipping through the mix.

Serve Chilled

I serve this chilled for about 15 minutes in the freezer to thicken it up and garnished with chocolate shavings on top.


Bird Dog Blackberry Whiskey Review and Recipe

I have been fall down drunk twice in my life. I have been over the legal limit drunk but I have never lost my ability to make wise decisions (that I am aware of). When it comes to going to the bar on a weekend with friends or coworkers I am normally the designated driver. Not because I don’t enjoy drinking, but because I like falling asleep in a comfortable bed and not in a jail cell.

My dog decided to go for an adventure when I was 15. I was lucky and a policeman picked us up and drove us home with  my dog in my arms. That was my first and only time I have been driven in the back of a cop car. I swore never again.

I share these stories with you because I feel like my readers should know what kind of drinker I am. When you read more than one review on alcohol on my website you will understand that I drink because I enjoy the taste. I am not drinking to just drink.

BirdDogBlackberryWhiskeyReview

While I will be the first to admit I am not a connoisseur of any type of alcohol. I am a simple gentleman who likes to taste his drinks and not get completely wasted. I drink more at my house than I do at a bar because I like to know what I am drinking and I like to know that I am not going to pay $14 for a $1.50 worth of whiskey sour.

The Backstory

I was spending a day with my mother shopping (I don’t have a Sam’s Club membership so I use hers and it gives us a chance to spend some time together). On the way back to the house I wanted to stop at the liquor store to pick up a bottle of whiskey for dinner and she wanted to looks for a moonshine that a friend had turned her and my father on to.

I didn’t normally don’t spend time shopping for different brands of any kind of alcohol because I never really thought about it. I am simple I know that I like this brand and this price so I do the straight line for my bottle and the register and then I am out.

Since my mother was with me, we did a little browsing and came across Bird Dog Blackberry Whiskey. My mother saw blackberry and she was like YES! we need to try this. The whiskey was $15 for 750ml bottle which seems like a fair price for flavored whiskey in Texas.

The Taste

We brought it back to my parents’ house and we opened the bottle and the aroma was wonderful! I stuck the bottle in the freezer for an hour to chill it down and then we tasted the Bird Dog Blackberry Whiskey. This whiskey is smooth. It has all the tastes of whiskey when you first taste it and it finishes with a sweet taste of blackberry.

*Side note: when tasting alcohol I was taught to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. the reason for this is that if you breathe in through your mouth you vaporize the alcohol which makes it evaporate and cause the burning feeling in your mouth.

The Recipe

The Atticus James Whiskey Sour

AtticusJamesBlackberryWhiskeySour

Ingredients
2 ounces Bird Dog Blackberry Whiskey
3-4 ounces Jose Cuervo The Original Classic Lime Margarita Mix
Ice to fill glass
Directions
Combine the Bird Dog BlackBerry Whiskey and Jose Cuervo The Original Classic Lime Margarita Mix in a large old-fashioned glass with ice. Stir, and serve.

This makes a great refreshing summer drink.

Overall Thoughts

After buying Bird Dog Blackberry Whiskey I am excited to try their other flavors. They have made a whiskey that is not only tastes good just on the rocks but also makes for some mean whiskey cocktails.

Bird Dog Whiskeys are reasonably priced and doesn’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth

Fajita Recipe

I love to cook. I have always loved preparing meals for myself and my family. Growing up in the BSA I was taught how to create menus, purchase the correct amount of food for a group of upwards of 12 people for a weekend and do it on a budget. For half of my teens, I was the troops cooking instructor which meant I taught the rest of the boy scouts in my troop how to do the same.

My specialty was single Dutch oven meals over coals.   I have friends from my adult life who have been begging for me to take them camping just so they can see if I am as good a camp cook as I am in a fully stocked kitchen. (I give my best friend a pan of homemade lasagna for his birthday and Christmas every year because that is what he asks for)

My review

I use two products on all my grilled beef.

Adolph’s (no MSG) Tenderizer (unseasoned)

and

Fiesta brand Fajita Seasoning

 

I have been using these two on all my steaks for as long as I can remember. If you cannot find these in your local grocer you can pick it up on Amazon (I will link the pictures below to the link online. I am an affiliate and do receive a small compensation if you purchase products after clicking.  Thank you.)

These two together are a simple and tasty prep for your steaks.

The Recipe

Note* While I am prepping beef fajitas in these pictures, the only change when making just steak is the cut of meat. I do this to any cut of meat to insure I get the most tender steak I can. I can prep and grill a cheap cut of steak and a more expensive cut and they will both be tender with my method.

We want the grill to reach 400-500°F max. Depending on the type of grill you have, you will want to start your grill with the appropriate amount of time needed to reach that temp, before you start grilling. I use a gas grill so that is a few minutes, if you use charcoal, you will know the time needed.

AtticusJames.com type of meat to buy

For Fajitas I use skirt steak. When prepping your skirt steak you want to remove as much silver skin and fat without cutting into the steak as possible.

AtticusJames.com cutting of the silver

You want to be able to see as much red meat as possible because the tenderizer does not do a good job of penetrating the fat and silver skin.

AtticusJames.com start to tenderize

Once your meat is prepared you are ready to start tenderizing with the Adolph’s Tenderizer.

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There is no need to be stingy with the tenderizer; but don’t go overboard

AtticusJames.com tenderize both sides

After covering both sides with Adolph’s tenderizer, you will want to have the steak on a tray so when the juices start flowing you do not have a big mess.

AtticusJames.com Times fajitas tenderizer 30 min.

Start a timer for 30 minutes and leave the steaks alone (there is no reason to flip the steaks).

AtticusJames.com Fajita Recipe

After 30 minutes you will see the steak is juicy. No water has been added.

Wash the steaks under cold water until the tenderizer is washed off.

AtticusJames.com Fajita recipe with tenderizer

Reapply tenderizer and leave the steaks with the opposite side facing up

AtticusJames.com Fajita steak recipe

Set timer for 15 minutes and leave the steaks alone.

AtticusJames.com another 15 minutes for tenderizing

After the 15 minutes are over you can see the fibers holding the steak together are starting to release.

AtticusJames.com wash off tenderizer

Wash the steaks and tray off until the tenderizer is gone.

AtticusJames.com start the grill for fajitas.

Now it is time to start your grill

(We want the grill to reach 400-500°F  max so start your grill with the appropriate amount of time needed to reach that temp before you start grilling).

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Now it is time to season with the Fiesta Fajita Seasoning.

AtticusJames.com seasoning for fajitas.

Beef and other red meats have more natural flavor than chicken so season to how you like your fajitas.

AtticusJames.com grill temp for fajitas

Time to start grilling.

AtticusJames.com cooking fajitas 2 minutes

I set a timer for 2 minutes and let the steaks cook on each side for 2 minutes before flipping.

AtticusJames.com fajitas melting on the grill

You can see the steak is wanting to just melt

Atticus James fajitas recipe

AtticusJames.com temping your fajitas

Temp your steaks to make sure they reach a minimal internal temp of 145°F degrees

Atticus James Fajitas

When cutting your steaks you want to go against the grain of the meat. This way of cutting makes the steak easier to chew and makes it melt in your mouth.

AtticusJames.com cutting fajitas against the grain

Atticus James Fajita Recipe

Dinner is Ready!

Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener Review

For Christmas last year I went out and got myself the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener (Without tool sharpener). I didn’t really spend much time trying it out for the first few months. It seemed complicated and I was being lazy with my semi-dull knives. It wasn’t until a friend who is in the Army came to visit, that I really took it out and started learning how easy it really is to get a razor edge.

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Introduction

I have been on the hunt for a razor edge on my knives since I was old enough to learn how to sharpen knives. I have stick sharpeners, block sharpeners, diamond sharpeners, kitchen and utility sharpeners. I have so many sharpeners that I have a shoe box full of them and I am still finding ones from my youth. In my early teens I destroyed a few of my cheap knives by trying to sharpen them with a rotary tool and a metal grinding bit, all in search for the elusive razor edge.

First Impressions of the Ken Onion Edition

At first I wasn’t impressed with the edge I was getting with this Work Sharp sharpener. It was sharp but I really didn’t feel I was getting my moneys’ worth from this Work Sharp sharpener. The kit comes with a DVD that walks you through the steps. I just wasn’t impressed because the knife wasn’t all that sharp. I figured this wasn’t a dummies guide to sharp knives and that it really took a long time to learn how to get the edge you were looking for.

My First Sharp Knife

After working with the sharpener for a few hours I figured something out. My knives had been to hell and back. I have been “sharpening” them for years on different stones and angles and I had made a mess of my blades.

I needed to start fresh and re-profile the blades to the correct angle (as per the angle and belt guide in the book). I took my P120 extra coarse belt (this is a step I took on my own without guidance from the book as they do not talk about doing this) and redefined the edges on all of my blades. This was the first and most important step I have found to the perfect blade.

You need to start clean and have all the nicks and divots in the blade removed. Once I had done that, I followed the user guide and lo and behold I had a razor edge on my 10 year old EDC (EveryDay Carry) knife.

I have noticed that the knifes that have been re-profiled last a little bit longer between each sharpening now. I can see how re-profiling is not a one step method. It may take many sharpening’s before it is a super sharp leather cutting blade.

My $10 Razor Knife

There was a deal on some website offering these folding half serrated knives for $10. I picked up one for each of my family. I wanted them to have an inexpensive knife they could carry without worrying about losing an expensive one.

For those of you who do not feel the need to carry one on you, I recommend trying it out for 1 or 2 weeks. Count how times you find yourself using it.

When I opened the package with the 4 knives I wanted to see how sharp they were. I tried to shave some arm hair and found I couldn’t even cut warm butter.

I wanted to put this Work Sharp sharpener to the test and see if I could find a real edge on the knife or see if I had just bought myself 4 knife shaped paper weights. I went to my first step of re-profiling the edge. I quickly got a razor sharp edge on this knife and now I have been carrying it for about 3 months.

The Belts

The Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener comes with 5 belts:

Belts
(1) P120 Extra Coarse Grit Norton Ceramic Belt,
(1) X65 Coarse Grit Norton Norax 65 Micron Belt
(1) X22 Medium Grit Norton Norax 22 Micron Belt,
(1) X4 Fine Grit Norton Norax 4 Micron Belt
(1) 6000 Extra Fine Grit SiC Micro Mesh

The “X” belts are the ones you will use the most. They are meant for every blade with the exception of serrated, gut and bread knives which you use the 6000 Belt on.

I have noticed that after about 40 knife sharpens the belts are starting to wear. The book says “Belt discoloration is not an indicator of wear. Engineered belts expose new abrasive as they break down. Used belts may take extra strokes but will continue to remove material. These belts will keep going longer than you think. Keep using them as long as they cut.” [Found in the Ken Onion Edition User Guide]

Final Thoughts

I have found my razor edge!

Once I took the the time to sit down and read the book and started practicing, the easier it was to put a nice edge on my knives. Work Sharp does not have a hard box for this $150 sharpen which I think would have been better.

I keep mine in the original box it came in with all the belts and book. I think if it had a carrying case, like that of most drills, it would really add to the life of this sharpener.  I have had a few friends come over with knives to have me sharpen for them. I have taught all of them how to do it themselves so they can take my Work Sharp home and sharpen all the knives they have at home.