Irish Whiskey Mules

Sláinte! Put down the green beer and make these Irish whiskey mules this St. Paddy’s Day instead.

I’m not sure I’ve shared it on my blog, but I recently moved all the way to Indiana from my hometown of Savannah, GA. St. Patrick’s Day is especially making me miss it, but that’s okay. Cheers to new adventures!

PS: If you’ve seen the word before but didn’t know, sláinte is a toast that means health. Here’s what the ol’ Wikipedia has to say: “Sláinte means “health” in Irish and Scottish Gaelic. It is commonly used as a drinking toast in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.” Now you know! Let’s make drinks.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 4-6 oz ginger beer, to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime (about 1 oz)
  • For serving: ice, lime slices, fresh mint sprig (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Fill a glass or copper mug with ice.
  2. Pour in the whiskey, ginger beer, and lime juice. Stir.
  3. Garnish with lime slices and a sprig of fresh mint.


Vegan Mac & Beer Cheese Bites

It’s almost finger food and funny commercial day! Also I hear there are sports involved. Whether you’re here for the snacks or the football, you’ve gotta make some fun food! Personally, I think no Super Bowl is complete with two things: cheese and beer. Thus, vegan mac & beer cheese bites! These bites definitely make enough to serve a crowd, or for you to have leftovers all to yourself (what I’ll be doing on account of covid).

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Makes about 48 bites. Spread out to two mini muffin tins or bake a second batch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz) box cooked elbow pasta, minus 1 cup
  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup beer (lager)
  • Grated vegan cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Add all ingredients except for beer to a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the cheese sauce into a saucepan with the beer, and heat over medium-low until thick and bubbly (5-10 minutes). Taste and season with more salt if needed. Stir the pasta noodles into the sauce.
  4. Lightly oil a mini muffin tin and spoon the mac and cheese into each hole. Pack the mac and cheese down tightly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle some grated vegan cheddar cheese over the tops. Don’t skip this step because the cheddar shreds help keep the tops of the “muffins” together.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before gently removing each bite with a butter knife or the handle of a spoon. Repeat until all the mac and cheese is gone and you’re left with lots of mac and cheese bites.
  6. Serve alone or with a sauce like marinara or ketchup, and enjoy!


Caramelized Onion Gravy

I love serving this gravy over roasted garlic mashed potatoes or poutine (which – for those of you who may not know about this Canadian delicacy – is fries, gravy, and cheese curds). Obviously we ain’t cooking with any cheese curds here, but I’ve tried it with homemade vegan mozzarella as well as store-bought Violife feta and both are fantastic!

I’d absolutely bring this to a holiday get together or a potluck – you’d never know it’s vegan! Plus gravy boats are adorable and now you have an excuse to use one.

Taste this recipe as you go. You may not like it quite as salty as me, so you can always start with less soy sauce/vegan butter.

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Fun fact about poutine that I just found via cottagelife.com: “The traditional story is that poutine originated in the 1950s in Warwick, Quebec, at a restaurant called Le Lutin qui rit. Upon being asked to add cheese curds to a customer’s fries, owner Fernand Lachance responded, “Ça va faire une mauditepoutine,” or, “That’s going to make a dreadful mess.”

And what a delicious mess indeed!

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Prep time: 5 minutes – Cook time: 1 hour – Serves: about 6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 small red or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
  • 1 tsp organic sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • a few cracks of fresh ground pepper
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Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat, then add in the diced onion.
  2. Spread the onions in an even layer in the pan and let cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t stir too often or they won’t brown enough to caramelize! You may want to stir in a teaspoon of sugar after about 10 minutes to speed up the caramelization process. If they start to brown too quickly or are drying out, add a splash of water and turn the heat down a bit. If they aren’t caramelizing quickly enough, turn the heat up a bit.
  3. Add the flour to the now caramelized onions and stir to mix well. It should be a paste-like texture.
  4. Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth, pouring small amounts in at a time. Then whisk in the soy sauce as well.
  5. Raise the heat to medium and allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
  6. Stir often and reduce heat if necessary until you’ve reached a gravy consistency of your liking. It’s usually about 5-10 minutes for me.
  7. Crack in some fresh ground pepper, and voila! Serve over mashed potatoes, poutine, or any other gravy vessel.

Note: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. You can reheat the gravy in the microwave or pour in back into a sauce pot on the stove. It may need a splash of water depending on how much it’s thickened.