"Drunken" Shrimp Cocktail Sauce 
  • ​2 cups of Heinz ketchup
  • 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup of vodka (If you have it you can use lemon or pepper infused vodka for added flavor.)
  • 4 tbsp horseradish (undrained)
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire
  • 1 tsp tabasco
Whisk together all the ingredients.  Season them further to your liking with the last three ingredients and salt and pepper. Pour into a plastic container, tightly seal and refrigerate.  

Savory Sherried Mushrooms Filling
  • 1 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms
Remove the stems and with a mushroom brush (or if you don't have one, a paper towel) clean the mushrooms.  Never rinse mushrooms.  They absorb the water and it will ruin your dish.  In the bowl of a food processor pulse the mushrooms to a rough dice.  Be careful not to over process. Each piece should be about the size of a half of a corn kernel.
  • 1 stick of sweet cream butter
Melt in a saute pan.
  • thyme
Strip thyme leaves from the stems and chop finely.  You will need 4 tbsp of chopped thyme.
Add mushrooms and thyme to saute pan.  Stir so that mushrooms are coated with butter and cook over medium heat until the mushrooms start to release their juices.
  • 3/4 cup of dry sherry (I like to use Harvey's Bristol Cream.)
Add to saute pan increase heat to high and boil vigorously until nearly all of the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms take on a silky and syrupy appearance.  Taste and if you like add a pinch of salt and a couple of twists of fresh ground black pepper.  Spoon into a plastic container, tightly seal and refrigerate.

A full moon was in the sky and we were preparing for our celebration (...and wondering whether it would snow)!
 One, Two or Even Three Days Before
 (whatever works for you) 

Pulled Pork Sliders
  • 9 lb pork shoulder
Place it in a disposable roasting pan with the fatty side up.
  • 6 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps dry mustard​
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
Sift together these ingredients and rub them all over the pork shoulder.  Cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator over night.  The next morning remove the plastic wrap and cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Place pork (fatty side still up) in preheated 300 degree oven and forget about it for 7 hours.  (As if you could forget about it, while it's roasting it smells amazing.)  Remove from the oven.  After 7 hours it should be falling apart easily.  Remove pork from the roasting pan and place it on a cutting board.  Discard the juices that accumulated in the pan.  Using a spoon, scrape as much of the fat from the pork as possible and discard it.  Take a fork and pull the meat apart in strings, removing anything that looks like it might be gristle.  Return the pulled pork to the roasting pan. Pour half of your barbecue sauce over the pork and thoroughly mix it.  Cover the roasting pan with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and refrigerate.
Sliders' Barbecue Sauce 
  • 4-6 sprigs of thyme and rosemary tied in a bundle
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Saute thyme and rosemary in olive oil for 5 minutes to infuse oil with the flavor.
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
Chop and add onion to sauce pan.  Saute over low heat until onion is translucent.  Add garlic to sauce pan and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Do not brown the garlic.
  • 4 cups Heinz ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup  bourbon
  • 6 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
​Add to sauce pan and stir until combined.  Simmer on very low heat for 1/2 hour.  Turn heat off, leave covered for another 1/2 hour.  Pour 1/2 of the barbecue sauce over the pulled pork and pour remaining sauce (including the bundle of thyme and rosemary) into plastic container, tightly seal and refrigerate.

In case you haven't figured it out, this is just a slightly thick bloody mary.  The "sauce" left in the cordial glasses is supposed to be a "chaser" for the shrimp!

The base for many barbecue sauces is the
same.  To give it my own touch, there are a few ingredients that you will often see me throw into a dish: rosemary, bourbon or maple syrup.  Bourbon and maple syrup are great when you want to introduce a different kind of sweetness to a dish. Rosemary is an herb that goes with chicken, fish, pork or beef.  I just love it. 

Everyday Divas Celebrations
 Mimi and Sue
Do the Holidays

 One Day Before