Tag: food

How to Cure a Halloween Hangover

Halloween is by far my favorite holiday.  Wearing a costume, doling out candy, and partying like a pagan are activities that I relish each last day of October.  The only problem is, November 1st often turns out to be my least favorite day of the year.  Racked by headaches, nausea, and often embarrassment; Halloween hangovers are no joke.  Luckily, last year, I finally stumbled up on the cure…

In my experience, folks generally fall into two camps: those who starve a hangover and those who eat their way through it, devouring a smrogasbord of greasy, salty goodness.  If you belong to the former camp, I can’t help you.  However, if you belong to the latter, read on!

Halloween Hangover Cure

What you’ll need:

1 can of chili (I’m partial to either Stagg Ranch House Chicken Chili or Hormel No Beans)

2 cans of corned beef hash (it will shrink at you cook it)

1-2 eggs (per person you’re feeding)

A handful of sharp cheddar cheese, grated

A handful of scallions (or green onions), finely sliced

Optional: hot sauce

Preparation is simple (after all, you won’t be operating at your best when you make this meal):

Brown the corned beef hash in a frying pan, while simultaneously bringing the chili to a soft boil in a separate pot.  Make sure you leave one burner for a second frying pan.  When the 2 aforementioned items are almost ready, cook the eggs sunny side up.  Then, it’s just a matter of layering.  Place the corned beef hash at the base, sprinkling it with some shredded cheddar.  Then, ladle the chili over top–again–sprinkling more cheese.  Next, the egg(s), which are topped with scallions.  Hot sauce is optional–as is a bib.  DIG IN!

To your sober, healthy ear, this recipe may seem a little…unhealthy or even…unsophisticated.  Still, I guarantee you that your hungover self (and even your drunk self) will love it!

Of course, it never hurts to hydrate.  Plan ahead by drinking water all Halloween day before your ghoulish night activities.  Chug water before going to bed and leave a full glass (and a couple of Advil) on your nightstand.   Maybe even keep some coconut water in the fridge.

And poof!  Your hangover is cured.  You’re welcome.  Happy (early) Halloween!  Be safe.

How to Build a Cheese Plate

Cheese plates are always a crowd pleaser and so easy to assemble.  Here are some tips for creating a great cheese plate every time.

Selecting Your Cheese

You can compose an exceptional cheese plate with as little as one cheese or as many as you like.  I usually aim for three different cheeses.  If you decide to feature more than one, make sure that you have distinct flavor profiles so that your guests can appreciate the differences between them.  It’s also a good idea to vary the texture and firmness.  I almost always throw in a goat cheese or a brie.  It’s my theory that softer cheeses are more approachable, because guests are often hesitant to cut into a block of hard cheese.  With that in mind, try cutting the first few slices off the block of those firmer cheeses and then leaving the knife on your cheese board.

Choose One or More Vessels

Next, determine what the vehicle will be.  Crackers and toasts are popular choices.  For a gluten-free option, try rice crackers or even almond crackers.  If you’re looking for a low carb alternative, endive leaves do the trick.

Throw in Something Sweet

I hate to throw around words like “rule” , but I firmly believe that every cheese board needs at least one sweet on it.  Almost any fruit (grapes, apples, nectarines, plums, etc.) will do.  Dried fruits (apricots are a favorite) are also excellent choices.  Jellies, jams, and preserves (especially fig) are a lovely addition as well.  In a pinch, you can even use honey or agave nectar, but look to your cheese(s) to determine your sweet(s).  A mild cheese (like goat) deserves a mildly sweet companion (like pear).  On the other hand, something with intense flavor like a bleu cheese is balanced by an equally intense dried cherry.

Add a Dash of Brininess 

Again, I don’t care for rules, but I strongly advise including a briny component.  I usually opt for pickled vegetables or a whole grain mustard.  Both work with just about any cheese or sweet.

Bonus Treats

Palette cleansers are always a nice addition.  Nuts work well in this role–particularly Marcona almonds.  And, who doesn’t love a little cured meat?  Add some prosciutto or thinly sliced salami and you’ve just upgraded to a charcuterie plate!

Supply the Right Tools

Last, but not least, ensure that you’ve given your guests the proper tools.  The knife should be sharp enough to slice the hardest cheese.  A little spoon is helpful in scooping up jam or mustard.  Complete the spread with napkins and–if you can–little plates.

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