In honor of such an esteemed holiday, this week's post will be in blue! (We're real high tech around here, people).
My favorite cook and goddess of everything good is Ina Garten. She has a beautiful show (The Barefoot Contessa) on the Food Network that is just relaxing to watch, although I swear it makes your jeans smaller every time you turn it on. Regardless, I own all but one of her cookbooks. While I would love to spend my days making her recipes, she uses way too much butter and too many expensive ingredients for a teacher's budget, so she tends to only make an appearance on holidays.
Doesn't she just make you want to forget you've ever heard of calories??
This year Andrew decided that we were in charge of the July 4th food festivities and I decided to make Ina's Flag Cake. Here's the thing with this cake, it looks.... amazing, but you more or less have to clean out your local grocer's entire supply of raspberries and blueberries, and butter and cream cheese to make it. (Andrew Note - Rasberries are currently 8 freakin dollars a package) Oh, and you to have a pan that is 18 X 13 X 1.5 inches. If you're looking for something that is super moist, this is not your cake, it's a bit dry. However, it's just too festive not to attempt! Icing and decorating is the most fun...
Yes folks, these are the ingredients for the icing.... JUST the icing. Can you feel the gym calling?
This pan is huge... its essentially two 13X9 pans put together. Ina loves using this pan. (Andrew's Note - Avoid at all costs using this pan for anything other than this cake. Wives don't like it when their once-a-year cake pan is dented and brown...)
Allison's Rebuttal - It's dented and brown because certain husbands leave it outside for a week!
In the Allison Redmon version of the USA, there are 99 states.
Don't use frozen blueberries just to save a buck. They leak.
Yes Elizabeth, this is my cake that I made, not a Google Images picture.
(Andrew's note - Notice the expensive raspberries)
Nerdy Malaysian born blonde attempting to 'blend in' with her flag cake.
Andrew decided to smoke a brisket. (The kid's really bored) All in all it took 6 hours of smoking and basting. Here's how the process looked:
Andrew's second bible
So Andrew brought in a case of Shiner Beer at 9 AM yesterday.
I was like... "whoa" little early don't you think?? : )
He used all of the beer to soak gobs of mesquite wood chunks to smoke the brisket.
Andrew had the meat guys at our grocer cut him a 7 lb. piece of brisket with fat on the top side. he then made a rub found in his grill book, consisting of chile powder, salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder and garlic salt.
That's right... they make mini mops for BBQ'ing! Isn't it cute??! (Andrew's note - It's NOT MINI and it's NOT CUTE!!! It's a Barbecue Mop and it's an essential piece of grilling equipment) The sauce he used with this is called, appropriately, a "mop sauce", ours consisted of vinegar, shiner beer, chile flakes, garlic salt and pepper.
The finished product was amazing, with a pink smoke ring around the edge and a zingy/tangy flavor... very tasty!
Mom made an amazing side dish called "Green Rice". (Andrew's note - Contrary to what you might think, it's the yellow thing on the left) Actually, I'm not sure what its supposed to be called, but that's been its name since I was a kid. I think it was her way of getting broccoli into us kids, as the dish is loaded with cheese, rice and broccoli, but you don't taste the broccoli because of all the carb-y goodness.
Even the dogs went patriotic for the afternoon.
Mom let Chile eat a bean.... not looking forward to the drive home.
Won Ton honored the birth of our great nation by dressing nicely and eating Chile's poop.
Lindsey came home for the weekend just to see Chile, its nice that someone loves him.
And then Lindsey, Mom and Andrew played a rousing game of Scrabble... very American don't you think?
(Andrew's note - I lost)