Tag Archives: whiskey

Chocolate Whiskey Ice Cream

24 May

Some people say that inspiration is born of desperation, which is exactly what happens when it is cold and gloomy on a summer holiday and nothing sounds better than some coffee with Bailey’s.  Except that when the holiday lands on a Sunday and nobody thought of this ahead of time and you are in Minnesota, then you are out of luck because liquor stores are closed on Sundays.  It was on a day just like this that the recipe for Chocolate Whiskey Ice Cream was born.  My thought was that a little scoop of the ice cream would be PERFECT in coffee, except that it was so tasty that it never quite made it that far.

Although this ice cream technically meets my criteria for low-calorie at 201 calories/serving, a half cup size serving is not huge.  So, watch the portion size when dishing up.  Compared to other premium ice creams, it has about 1/3 fewer calories.  Which seems shocking because it sure does not taste low in calories, even relatively speaking.

A few notes about ingredients:
– The first time I made this, I used 2% milk.  It was really tasty.  The second time, I used raw milk and I could definitely taste a creamier difference.  Because I believe that convenience sometimes trumps all, use whatever is easiest for you.
– As far as whiskeys go, I have become partial to 2GINGERS.  It is really tasty in cooking, baking, and in cocktails.  It is versatile and pretty smooth.  I would totally recommend it.
– Have you tried the Dutch cocoa powder from Penzeys?  It is AMAZING.  If you’re ordering some to give it a try, might as well get some Sandwich Sprinkle while you’re at it.  Not needed for this recipe of course, but good on every other thing in the world.

Chocolate Whiskey Ice Cream
Serving size: 1/2 c.
Serves: 10

8 egg yolks, beaten
1 c. powdered sugar
3 c. whole milk
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 t. vanilla
1 c. whiskey

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and powdered sugar until it is lighter in color (similar in color to butter) and texture.  Set aside.

In a double-boiler, heat the milk over medium heat.  Very slowly, add about 1/3 c. of warm milk to the egg mixture and keep mixing.  Adding the milk too quickly can result in cooked egg bits, so do it slowly and just keep the mixer moving.  Slowly mix in the cocoa powder and vanilla, mix until well blended.

Return the milk mixture to the double boiler and heat until thickened and coats the back of the spoon.  Stir the milk frequently to be sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom, and so that you can tell when it starts to thicken up.  If your double-boiler is small (like mine), do this step in two batches.

Remove from the heat and stir in whiskey.  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.  When it is thoroughly cooled, churn in ice cream machine for about an hour.  Spoon into a container and freeze for a few hours.

Serve and enjoy.

Estimated calories:  201 cal/serving

Print it: Chocolate Whiskey Ice Cream


  • You can substitute lower fat milk in this recipe, although it may change the texture a bit
  • I’ve also made this with chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder, and it was great.  In that case, omit the cocoa powder, and stir in the chocolate chips at the end, but before the whiskey.
  • Even after freezing, this ice cream has a texture similar to soft serve.

Venison Whiskey Stew

18 Jan

Lately, when it comes to dinner, I have faced two problems:
1. I don’t know what I feel like eating.
2. I’ve had a recent string of failed recipes.  The kind of failures that no one wants to eat, including me.

So yesterday, when it occurred to me that what I could really go for was some hearty stew, I was so happy.  Problem #1 solved.  Once that was behind me, I practically crossed my fingers the whole time I made dinner, hoping that Problem #2 wouldn’t show up along the way.

I am happy to report (super, super happy) that this recipe was delicious.  So good, that I was glad to have it again for lunch.  Looked forward to it, even.

From start to finish, this stew is pretty quick to make.  After some prep work, it comes together quickly and finishes in around 15 minutes.  Whiskey, tomato paste, and beef broth form a flavorful base for this thick, chunky stew.  It is very hearty, but still came in at 200 calories per serving.  For me that means I can add a little crusty bread and some fruit to the meal which makes it much more satisfying without too many calories.  I loved the stew, and will definitely make it again.

Regarding the whiskey:
1. I used 2GINGERS Irish Whiskey.  It was delicious, but you could substitute your favorite whiskey (and I know you have one).
2. If you don’t have any whiskey, you could substitute  bourbon, brandy, red wine, or dark beer.  Each one would add a lot of flavor to this stew.
3. If you would like to make it alcohol-free, it would lose some of the flavor that the whiskey brings, but would still make a mighty tasty stew. If you omit the alcohol altogether, add an extra 1/2 c. of beef broth and an extra tablespoon of tomato paste.

Venison Whiskey Stew
Serving size: 1 c.
Serves: 6

1 T. olive oil
1 lb. venison cutlets, cut into 1” pieces
2 c. carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 c. onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
8 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
2 T. flour
1/2 c. whiskey
3 c. beef broth
2 T. tomato paste
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped

In a large deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add venison and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove venison and set aside.  Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.  Add flour, stir until well combined and cook for about a minute.  Add whiskey and stir to combine, it should start to thicken and bubble.  Add beef broth and tomato paste, stir well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes.  Stir in fresh parsley and serve.

Estimated calories:  200 cal/serving

Print it: Venison Whiskey Stew

– If you don’t have any venison, or don’t care for wild game, sirloin would be a great substitution.  For this recipe, subbing an equal amount of sirloin would add about 70 cal/serving
– Don’t like mushrooms?  You must be my brother Ryan!  Whether you are Ryan or someone else, you can leave out the mushrooms but you may want to add something else in its place like diced potato, sweet potato, or red bell pepper would be my top choices.
– This recipe would be a good contender for the crockpot.  However, to build up the base of the soup, it really needs to start out in the pan.  The last 15-20 minutes of cooking could be replaced with 2-4 hours in the crockpot on low.  The advantage here is that you could start the whole thing out earlier in the day, and serve it up when you are ready.

Jack and Ginger Baby Cakes

23 Sep

Recently someone was trying to make a point to me about how a person could make healthy choices between two foods – the two foods he compared were “carrots” and “carrot cake”.  I stopped listening to him just then and started dreaming about carrot cake.  I love carrot cake, but rarely make it for the following reasons:

1. Traditional carrot cake is loaded with things we cannot eat at our house due to food allergies (dairy, walnuts, nutmeg).
2. Once a cake is sitting there, lonely, I like to slice off just a bit.  Then just a bit more.  Then sometimes I have to even things up.

With both of these things in mind, I decided to lighten it up a bit, make it food-friendly for our house, and make it in individual portions so that I would know EXACTLY how much I was choosing to consume.  Plus, when you make things in individual portion sizes, the old “even things up” feeling goes away.  Unless you have a thing about even or odd numbers, in which case you may have bigger fish to fry.  To add a little boost of goodness to replace the traditional cream cheese frosting, I’ve added booze to the store-bought frosting.  I like to think of that as the ultimate touch of class to top off these baby cakes.

These little carrot cakes are packed with flavor, are low in calories, and pack a satisfying punch.  Using mini-cupcake liners, this makes a pretty good sized batch.  They are easy to freeze (a little easier to do without the frosting), but also disappear quickly.  The baby cakes are a nice 2-bite dessert, unless you’re my dad, in which case they are a one-bite gulp.

Jack and Ginger Baby Cakes
Serves: 60

1/3 c. canned white frosting (non-dairy)
1 t. Jack Daniels (any bourbon or whiskey will do)
2/3 c. very vanilla soy milk
1 t. cider vinegar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. no-sugar added applesauce
6 egg whites
1 T. Jack Daniels (any bourbon or whiskey will do)
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. Kosher salt
1-1/2 c. carrots, grated or chopped into little bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill mini cupcake pan with cupcake liners and spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the frosting and 1 t. whiskey until well combined. Set aside and try not to eat it.

In another small container, mix together the soy milk and cider vinegar and set aside to curdle. You won’t want to drink this, so don’t worry about it.

In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar, sugar, applesauce, egg whites, 1 T. whiskey, cinnamon and ginger. When well mixed, add flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. When it is all well mixed, add carrots and combine.

Add about 1 T. carrrot cake mixture to each cupcake liner so that it is filled about 3/4 way to the top. Bake for 11-12 minutes, remove from pan and set aside on a rack to cool. When totally cooled, add a little dollop (about a 1/4-1/2 t.) of frosting to the top of each.

Estimated Calories: 40 cal/serving

Print it: Jack and Ginger Baby Cakes

– You can substitute any of the non-dairy ingredients for their dairy counterparts.
– Don’t have Jack Daniels?  Any bourbon or whiskey will do.
– Don’t want to use booze?  Try some vanilla, adjust amounts as needed.
– When looking for a non-dairy can of frosting, I have the best success with store brands.  If non-dairy is important to you, just check the labels to be sure the store-bought frosting you select is non-dairy.