Michael Lee West has cooked more delicious fun and trouble for Teeny Templeton, in her second installment and follow-up to Gone With a Handsomer Man!
You can revisit The Spencer-Jackson house, stroll down Rainbow Row, and see Teeny’s bulldog, Sir, here.
I was anxiously awaiting A Teeny Bit of Trouble, ready for a few laughs and more Do-Not-Try-This-At-Home recipes from the Templetons’ family cookbook:
“We Templetons specialized in peaches and poisoned recipes. The fruit was real, but our recipes were a harmless method to relieve tension—like a punching bag, but with imaginary food. If someone pissed us off, we couldn’t spit or pull hair; we’d just mentally cook a deadly meal and pretend to feed it to the enemy. My aunts had written these lethal concoctions in the back of a spiral-bound church cookbook.”
One of Teeny’s Aunt Bluette’s favorite mottos was
“Believe but verify.”
Inspired by A Teeny Bit of Trouble, I’m verifying the notion that everything tastes better served in a martini glass, with a few Teeny tastings :)
Teeny places her red velvet cakes she bakes for The Picky Palate in a case next to a few Low Country favorites~
Shrimp and Grits Martinis~
I used a Shrimp and Grits recipe from SC native, Tyler Florence, who graduated from the culinary program at Johnson & Wales in Charleston.
A 5-star recipe that’s quick and easy!
In addition to lethal recipes, Teeny cooks up non-toxic, imaginary ones:
“To soothe myself, I invented a drink called If-I-Can’t-Have-True-Love, I’ll-Buy-A-Bigger-Dress-Size: vodka, coffee liqueur, Hershey’s Syrup, crème de cacao, crushed ice, and chocolate ice cream.”
“Place ingredients in a blender and pulverize. Ponder the chemistry of food and romance.”
“If love can be frozen, will it still be love? True love isn’t smooth, it’s lumpy; but if you own a quality blender, you can make this drink in three minutes.”
I used vanilla vodka but you could use chocolate vodka!
Sprinkle with a few red velvet cupcake crumbs to further increase your dress size :)
My husband smokes a “Boston Butt”, “Picnic Roast”, “Pork Shoulder” or “Shoulder Blade Roast” ~ all names for shoulder cuts that make great pulled pork.
We brine our Boston Butt for 24-48 hours, (depending on the size & how organized we are :) in a mixture of ½ cup of pickling salt (which dissolves in cold water), 2 quarts of water and ¾ cup of molasses.
Remove from the brine, blot with paper towels, brush on olive oil, and liberally add a dry rub/seasoning blend of salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, garlic powder etc.
Smoke at 225 degrees over lump charcoal with some soaked hickory or apple wood chips for about 1 1/2 hours per pound. Remove from smoker, wrap in foil and let stand an hour. It should pull apart easily, with all the fat melted away :)
“Quit-Jumping-to-Conclusions Barbecue Rub:
½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup paprika, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 ¼ tablespoons dry English mustard, 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt, 3 tablespoons freshly ground pepper, and ½ tablespoon onion salt. Garlic is optional.”
“Mix ingredients and pat onto the roast. This recipe will coat your hands, too, and you’ll be unable to call your boyfriend.”
Layer barbecue with slaw in your martini glass.
If you live below the Mason-Dixon line, garnish with a Hush Puppy or two, and a pickle.
Teeny tells Coop: “You had me at peaches.”
“. . .a few months ago, on a balmy June night, I walked into a Charleston pub and ordered a peach martini.”
“Maybe it was fate. Or maybe it was thirst. I didn’t matter. Coop and I had found each other again; but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to go terribly wrong.”
I used a Peach Martini recipe that calls for vanilla vodka, peach schnapps, peach nectar and a squeeze of lime juice.
Teeny would describe my peaches as “hard and knotty”, since it’s not peach season.
I substituted frozen peaches puréed in a blender, with water and a little sweetener to taste, for the peach nectar.
Float a frozen peach or two in your peachtini to serve as ice cubes~
“Peaches. This was the smell of home, of a childhood that had been bruised in places but was still whole and mostly sweet.”
I couldn’t resist shaking up a Red Velvet Cake Martini, for Teeny’s benefit, that I found from Betty Crocker.
(No disrespect intended Betty Crocker~
I already had a couple of Duncan Hines products in the pantry when I found your recipe :)
~ Whipped cream cheese frosting
~ Red colored sugar
~2 teaspoons chocolate syrup
~¼ cup cake-flavored vodka
~¼ cup crème de cacao
~6 tablespoons buttermilk (I used half-n-half )
~1 to 2 drops red food color ( I used a lot more~ about half a bottle)
~Dip rims of 2 martini glasses in frosting then dip in red sugar.
~Drizzle 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup in bottom of each glass.
~Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add vodka, crème de cacao, buttermilk and food color. Cover; shake vigorously until well mixed. Strain mixture into chilled glasses.
Follow Teeny in her culinary escapades and enjoy the perfect combination of tickle-your-tastebuds-and-your-funny-bone in
A Teeny Bit of Trouble!
the talented Michael Lee West for
Hope to see you there :)
Posted in Books, Food
Tagged A Teeny Bit of Trouble, Butt Out of My Life Barbecue Martini, If-I-Can’t-Have-True-Love I’ll-Buy-A-Bigger-Dress-Size Martini, lethal recipes, Michael Lee West, Peach Martini, Quit-Jumping-to-Conclusions Barbecue Rub, Red Velvet Cake Martini, Shrimp and Grits Martini, Teeny Templeton