2013 - Buttered Side Up

How to Eat a Grapefruit

How to Eat a Grapefruit
How to Eat a Grapefruit
How to Eat a Grapefruit
How to Eat a Grapefruit
How to Eat a Grapefruit

I have enjoyed a good grapefruit for as long as I can remember. The way my Dad taught me to eat it was to slice it in half, run a knife around each section, sprinkle it with sugar and scoop out the juicy innards with a spoon. It's a great, clean way to eat a grapefruit, but it's torture to work for each bite.

When I was eating lunch at my sister's, I noticed that she cut up her grapefruit like we do an orange. It inspired me to give it a try. It's so wonderful to be able to gobble down a bowl full of grapefruit without waiting between every bite.

I'm sure there are countless ways to eat a grapefruit, but this is the one that works best for me. And since I know it's sometimes easier to learn a new skill by watching than by reading, I made a video for you.

And for those that learn better by reading, here are the instructions:

1) Peel the grapefruit like you would an orange.
2) Tear off a section (again, like an orange). Slide a knife under the tough outer skin, then use your finger to pull out the soft, juicy insides.
3) Put the flesh into a bowl and discard the tough skins. Repeat with the remaining sections. Enjoy!

How do YOU like to eat a grapefruit?

Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate

This was originally posted on Cooking for Seven on December 12, 2012. Enjoy!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate
For some reason, I have been averse to pairing mint with chocolate my whole life. Whenever someone would order a mint mocha or mint chocolate chip ice cream I would inwardly shake my head in wonderment. Why ruin perfectly good chocolate with mint?

Peppermint Hot Chocolate
But I heard people raving about the peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks. Could I be wrong in my presumption? I decided to give this mint-and-chocolate thing a try.
Am I ever glad I did. The fresh, strong flavor of peppermint lightens the rich, heavy hot chocolate perfectly. Which means you can drink more of this scrumptious beverage without feeling overwhelmed by the creaminess.

Recipe Notes
  • The original recipe suggests chopping your chocolate, but I just used chocolate chips and they melted perfectly.
  • The OR also directs you to bring the milk/cream to a boil and add it to the chocolate. I just put it all in a pot and let it melt together. Worked wonderfully!
  • The peppermint flavor that I used left little grease puddles at the top of my hot chocolate. If you’re a purist, go for a non oil-based flavoring.
  • I added a few drops of the peppermint flavoring to the whipped cream just for kicks. I highly recommend it.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate | adapted from Bon Appetit | makes 4 servings | PRINTABLE PAGE

  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chocolate bar, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavor
  • candy canes, for garnish
1) Place 1/2 cup cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, the milk and chocolate in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the chocolate has completely melted and is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the peppermint flavor.
2) In a small bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup chilled cream with a few drops of peppermint flavor (optional) until soft peaks form.
3) Serve the hot chocolate with whipped cream and a sprinkling of crushed candy canes. Enjoy!

Cooking Inspiration

It feels like a looong time since I last posted, even though it was just last week. I have been caught up in present mania (trying to figure out what to buy for my family). I'm planning to make some food for y'all soon. Please bear with me during the holidays.

Here are some things I've been cooking lately. Hopefully it provides you with some inspiration!

Biscuits + Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy. One of my all-time favorite meals. I need to share the recipe here on Buttered Side Up.

Beef Stew

Beef Stew. So hearty and satisfying. Another one I need to share here.

Breakfast for Supper
Almond Flour Pancakes

Breakfast for supper! It's one of my favorite things to cook when I don't know what else to make.

We LOVE us some hashbrowns around here. Nice and crispy with a bit of ketchup. Mmhmm. And you can't go wrong with bacon.

I also tried my hand at almond flour pancakes. The flavor is amazing.

Curry + Soft Boiled Egg

Red curry noodles with soft-boiled eggs. I finally figured out how to make perfect soft boiled eggs! I'll have to share my method with you guys sometime...

Shrimp Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I made shrimp stuffed portobello mushrooms for the Good Life Eats blog. Get the recipe HERE.

Shrimp Soup

With the leftover ingredients from the stuffed mushrooms I made some shrimp soup. It was delicious!

What sorts of delicious things have you been cooking/eating lately?

Homemade Eggnog

I originally posted about this awesome eggnog three years ago on Cooking for Seven. It's still a favorite at Christmastime, so I felt I should share it here on Buttered Side Up.
Our family has always enjoyed a good cup of eggnog at Christmastime. Mom would carefully pour out a small portion and add a bit of milk to make it less rich. We kids would savor the little we got and agree that any more would be too much.
These days I prefer to make my own eggnog. I know exactly which ingredients go into it. And it is such fun to make.

Homemade Eggnog

If you're still not feeling confident about making your own eggnog, head over to the Tasty Kitchen Blog where I share my step-by-step instructions HERE.

By the way, it is VERY important, if you have an instant read thermometer, that you make sure it is set to Fahrenheit instead of Celsius. I once bumped the button by accident and made "scrambled eggnog." Gross.

Homemade Eggnog
Adapted from a recipe from a friend.
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups maple syrup (or granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg + more for garnish
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
1) In heavy 4 quart saucepan, off heat, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, and salt until well blended. Gradually stir in half of the milk.
2) Cook over low hear, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 25 minutes
(mixture should be about 170 – 175 degrees F). Do not boil.
3) Pour custard in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla extract, 1 Tsp. ground nutmeg and remaining milk. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours.
4) Just before serving, in a medium bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. With wire whisk, gently fold whipped cream into custard mixture. Serve with extra whipped cream on top and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.
Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Makes about 16 cups or 32 – 1/2 cup servings

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Scones

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Hey everyone! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just TWO days away? I don't know about you, but I'm not feeling very prepared. I still need to get into town and buy ingredients. So much for making things ahead of time.

Guys, I'm pretty proud of these scones. I just love how the photos turned out. Make sure you stop by the Tasty Kitchen Blog for the recipe and my step-by-step instructions!

Are you feeling prepared for the big feast? 

Looking for some more pumpkin recipes?

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice | Buttered Side Up

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Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie - Buttered Side Up
Pumpkin Pie - Buttered Side Up
Pumpkin Pie - Buttered Side Up
Pumpkin Pie - Buttered Side Up
Pumpkin Pie - Buttered Side Up
Pumpkin Pie - Buttered Side Up

Call me massively boring, but pumpkin is my favorite of the Thanksgiving pies. Of course I love my share of blueberry, apple, banana, and coconut (I could go on. I adore pie.), but I always reserve a spot on my plate for a slice of pumpkin.

Maybe I love it so much for the simple reason that it is so iconic. Or perhaps because it isn't overly sweet like some pies (I'm thinking of YOU, pecan pie). Or its smooth texture and spicy flavors. It's just so satisfying. 

If you've never made a pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin (as opposed to canned), I urge you to give it a try. Here's my tutorial for How to Make Oven Roasted Pumpkin Puree.  I really think it makes a huge difference in the flavor of your pie.

This recipe (from Ree's new cookbook) took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. But the flavors and texture were spot on. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: PIE CRUST HATES ME. Yes, this one happened to turn out quite well in the end. but not before leaving some of its butter on the bottom of my oven to smoke up the house. Ah well, I'll perfect my crust making skills someday.

What's your favorite Thanksgiving pie?

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, homemade or canned
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or sweetener of choice

1) Roll out your pie crust and place it in a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edges or decorate as desired. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (220 C).
2) Place all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until nice and smooth. Pour into the prepared pie crust and slip into your preheated oven.
3) Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 C). Bake for an additional 40-50 minutes, or until the filling isn't wet, but still moves a bit in the middle when jiggled. If the crust is getting too brown for your liking you can always cover it with tin foil or a pie crust shield
4) Cool the pie and serve cold or at room temperature, whichever you prefer. Whipped cream is a MUST. 

Pumpkin Pie - Buttered Side Up

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Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweetened Condensed Milk

So why would anyone want to go to the trouble of making their own sweetened condensed milk? After all, there are only two ingredients in a can of store-bought SCM: milk and sugar. Pretty harmless, no? 

Not so fast. 

True, it's probably less detrimental to your health than most canned food. But it's still not all that healthy. Here's why:

1) You don't know the origin of the milk. It most likely came from cows fed GMO feed, raised in confinement and given hormones. 
2) The sugar, unless it is specifically stated as cane sugar, is most likely from GMO sugar beets. 95% of sugar beet crops in the US were GMO in 2010 (source).
3) Most cans are lined with BPA to stop corrosion. 

Besides, it's kind of fun to make! Yes, you do need to keep an eye on the stove for 2 hours, but you only need to stir it every 15 minutes or so. 

What do you think? Are you concerned about consuming canned food? Do you care about GMOs? 

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
adapted from Just as Delish | makes about 12-14 oz. | Printable Page

  • 1 liter of whole milk
  • 3/4 - 1 cup sugar (I used cane sugar, of course)
  • 1 tablespoon butter to thicken milk (I forgot this, and it still turned out fine)


1) Place the milk and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 2 hours or until the milk is reduced by about half. Stir every 15 minutes or so to keep the milk from burning. 
2) Strain through a fine-mesh sieve if desired and stir in the butter. Store in the refrigerator until needed.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Simple Sage Stuffing/Dressing from Scratch

An easy Thanksgiving dressing recipe that tastes better than the boxed version!

This was originally posted on November 19, 2012 on Cooking for Seven. Stuffing is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, so I'm re-posting it here!

Confession: I have a special place in my heart for boxed Stove Top dressing. Granted, my mom doctors it up quite a bit with wild rice and turkey, but there’s just something about it that says “Thanksgiving” to me.

Sage Stuffing
I’ve always wanted to try making stuffing from scratch. Though tasty, boxed dressings are often loaded with unnatural ingredients. But making it myself always seemed a bit daunting. How are you supposed to find a recipe with just the right amount of spices so it’s tasty and liquid so it isn’t soggy?

Sage Stuffing
Then I decided to jump right in and give a Thanksgiving dressing recipe a try. To my surprise, it was uber easy and no-fuss.

Sage Stuffing
Will it replace your beloved Stove Top? No. But what could without using high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and MSG? Is it a good natural, healthy alternate? Definitely yes! I personally think it tastes better because it tastes more real.
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s a great canvas for your culinary creativity. You could so easily add your favorite ingredients: cranberries, wild rice, turkey, nuts, whatever you please!

Recipe Notes:
If you’re using homemade or low-sodium chicken broth, you’ll probably want to add a little extra salt to the stuffing mixture.

Simple Sage Stuffing from Scratch | adapted from Martha Stewart | Printable Page | makes 4-6 servings
  • 1 loaf bread (whole wheat, white, or whatever you please) torn into bite-sized pieces to make about 8 cups
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish and foil
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage (depending on how “sagey” you like your dressing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1) Preheat your oven to 350° F (175° C). Place the bread crumbs on two rimmed baking sheets and bake in preheated oven until nice and dry, about 14 minutes, stirring & rotating the pans halfway through baking. Set aside to cool (these can be made ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 week).
2) In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery, season with salt + pepper to taste, and cook until nice and tender, about 8 minutes. Add the sage and celery seeds and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
3) Place the bread crumbs in a bowl and add the sauted vegetables. In a separate bowl, mix together the chicken broth and egg. Add to the bread crumbs and toss together until evenly moistened. If you’re using homemade or low-sodium chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more salt at this point.
4) Place the stuffing in a buttered 13×9-inch pan or a 10-inch cast iron skillet and bake at 350 until warmed and the bread has soaked up the broth, about 25-35 minutes. You can also store the un-baked dressing in the refrigerator until ready to heat.

So there you have it! An easy Thanksgiving dressing recipe.

Here are some more Thanksgiving recipes for you:

6 Ways to Make Roasted Carrots More Interesting

How to Roast Carrots (and make them more interesting)

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

5 Ways to Elevate Mashed Potatoes

Pumpkin Pie - Buttered Side Up

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Cranberry Clafoutis

Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Crispy Potato Casserole

Crispy Potato Casserole

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