Heirloom Recipe Series with Maggie Battista from Eat Boutique.

This week we have the lovely Maggie Battista from over at Eat Boutique here as our guest for the Heirloom Recipe Series. I am thrilled to have Maggie, as she was a very early supporter of IceMilk Aprons and was so kind to include us in {this blog post} way back in 2009!  Maggie has a fabulous sense of style and I do fall in love with nearly everything she features on her blog. Eat Boutique is fabulously committed to the stories behind food-based businesses, you can read more about their mission {here}, but I am truly inspired and in love with the stories as you know so we are a match made from the start! Enjoy this delicious heirloom recipe from Maggie, and special thanks to her for putting so much time into this post & her lovely images, especially during the hustle & bustle of the holiday season! ———————————

Heirloom Recipe Series with Maggie Battista from Eat Boutique.

Hispanic and Italian American by birth, I was surrounded by so much amazing food growing up. We had sweet plantains and homemade refried beans every Sunday, and there was always a big pot of orange-tinged rice on the stove, loaded with so much chopped cilantro. Sure, we sprinkled Parmesan cheese on our plantains and served our beans with finger-thick slices of whole milk mozzarella, always finding a way to intertwine the foods of my Mom’s Honduras with my Dad’s Naples-infused Newark-upbringing.

The holidays were really no different from the every day, except that our dishes were just much bigger, brighter and even more exotic. We had tamales often, as they were one of those impressive Latin dishes that required extra time to prepare, something my hardworking family really only had around the holidays. And on many Christmas Eves, my Dad would make a rich, tangy “gravy,” filled with pork neck bones and so many cans of Italian tomatoes. I was in charge of opening each can, a task I took on gleefully, loving to watch my Dad on his rare appearances in the kitchen and knowing the sweet reward was a bit of the chef’s treat, a bite or two of that meltingly rich pork.

It wasn’t strange to incorporate other cultures into our festivities. Rarely would a family celebration conclude without a thick glass of store-bought Baileys, a warming Irish treat that my non-Irish family adopted as their own. My family closely identified with the Irish, always pointing out their centuries of suffrage. My Honduran uncle always said he never met an Irish man who didn’t intimately understand his own plight as a poor, hard-working immigrant who just wanted a good life for his family. He never met an Irish man he didn’t instantly adore. (He also slyly requests his “Irish medicine” when he wants a tiny glass of whiskey or Baileys, whatever is on hand.)

Twenty years later, I met my Irish man. Born in Boston but raised to feel solidly attached to all his cousins, aunts and uncles in the old country, my husband completely understood me but didn’t quite understand my family’s infatuation with Baileys. From his visits to Ireland, he recalled how the coffee and whiskey infused cream was just something the old ladies drank instead of straight whiskey. It was rarely drunk in his family. In fact, he didn’t really remember tasting it until my Mom offered him a glass of the stuff with a few ice cubes. Now, he can’t get enough.

When my sister’s colleague shared her recipe for homemade Baileys a few years ago, I laid my claim to the ingredient list and poured, measured and mixed everything until I found my favorite version. I also replaced many of the ingredients with the organic versions (although that’s not necessary) and homemade extracts (and that’s really not necessary but, I think, kind of special). I now make this each holiday season and bottle it in tiny medicine bottles. I love sending my holiday visitors home with one of my family’s favorite medicines to sip and savor once they’re home, out of the wintry cold. While this specific recipe hasn’t been in my family for generations, the spirit of it has and I’m so pleased to share it with you too.

Homemade Baileys

Ingredients 4 fresh hen eggs 0.5 teaspoon of homemade almond extract 1.5 teaspoons of homemade vanilla extract 2 teaspoons of organic chocolate syrup 2 teaspoons of organic instant coffee granules 1 can of organic sweetened condensed milk 1.25 cups of good Irish whiskey 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

Blend all ingredients in a blender or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Or put everything in a jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake it all until combined. Store in the back of your refrigerator, where it’s the coldest. Shake again just before serving, and serve over a cube of ice. This recipe makes a quart that keeps for 4-6 weeks.

Ingredient notes: (1) I always use farm fresh eggs when I’m making something that isn’t cooked in some way. (2) Whiskey is a very personal decision so use whatever you like. I tend to use the good stuff like Basil Haden (my favorite) or Bushmills (my husband’s favorite).

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Maggie Battista is a Boston-based entrepreneur with more than 12 years of community building and outreach experience connecting millions via sites like Lycos, Tripod and TripAdvisor. She took a break from technology years ago to explore authentic food, fine dining and superior hospitality, and discovered the vibrant real world communities that emerge around food. She started EatBoutique.com to celebrate exceptional food experiences derived from entrepreneurial spirit, pure ingredients and great service, and regularly drive long distances for one amazing night with a great chef, farmer or host.

Be sure to connect with Maggie over at Eat Boutique and discover all the wonderful things she & her team have to say!

http://www.eatboutique.com twitter.com/eatboutique twitter.com/mizmaggieb facebook.com/EatBoutique

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Part of our Heirloom Recipes Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.