What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Zero Candy Bar Cookies! White chocolate fudge has been popular since it was introduced in a candy bar a hundred years ago. At that time it was called the Double Zero Bar due to its “chilling” snowy white color, reminding the public of an ice cube. To this day it is sold in a trademark cool silver wrapper. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, they say. Today’s cookies are nothing short of heavenly.
ZERO CANDY BAR COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 sea salt
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups peanuts, chopped
3.4 ounce Zero Candy Bar, chopped
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well mixed. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Stir until blended. Fold in white chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, peanuts, and Zero Candy Bar pieces. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick oil. Drop cookie dough, using a melon ball scoop, onto the baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool for 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Yield: 6 dozen.
Dining Outside the Home: The Sherman in Batesville, Indiana. When a stay-cation makes sense to remain close to home, wander down the road a piece to The Sherman. Nestled in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, step over the threshold of this quaint inn and eatery. You may be taken aback by the lively music and intermittent laughter coming from the Black Forest Bar. Peek around the corner. Rub your eyes and look again. The deep dark interior almost resembles a magical forest where fairy tales come true. Do the walls have eyes? Enter if you dare. Check out that giant pretzel. The couple with their heads huddled together are nibbling on it as though they were Hänsel and Gretel. This is just one of many appetizers for dipping pleasure with gourmet mustards and bier cheese. The crafted cocktails and extensive beer selection complement house-baked specialties with Bavarian leanings. Go early, stay awhile, and above all…share dishes. The German-style food is so spot on, you’ll want to eat your fill…and then some.
Dining Outside the Home: Kalapaki Joe’s in Lihue, Kauai! Sometimes you gotta go for bar food cravings and skip dinner in favor of Happy Hour. That translates to dine-in appetizers. At Kalapaki Joe’s, the food and beverage specials have a way of appealing to the palate. Indulge yourself with tasty chicken wings as hot as you like them. No pain, no shame. Put out the fire with a classic salt-rimmed margarita. It goes down cold and easy. Menu items are still available if you want to tag on a salad or another small plate to balance out the flavors. You’ve got time for grazing and conversation before the dinner crowd rushes in. You know what they say, the early bird…has the advantage, or something like that.
Dining Outside the Home: The Cabana Bar & Grill in Koloa, Kauai! Word is getting around that an open-air restaurant, with a backyard of Poipu Beach, is the place to go if you’re looking for a good time. Delicious food and tropical cocktails make this hotspot part restaurant, part beach bar. At The Cabana Bar & Grill seafood offerings and humongous burgers promise to make your mouth water as soon as the plate hits the table. No worries. There’s plenty of time to savor every bite as you sip the time away. After all, you’re in paradise and you’re not homesick. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Dining Outside the Home: Nashville Underground in Nashville, Tennessee! Multi-level rooftop bars are kind of a thing on historic Broadway in downtown Nashville. People flock like pigeons to perch overhead and watch the action. It’s contagious, that’s for sure. Live music, locally-sourced ingredients, and 29° draft beers are the draw. For the adventure-seekers, ride the mechanical bull, dance the night away, or relax on the real green grass rooftop. Nashville Underground is something to talk about. You won’t want to miss out.
Dining Outside the Home: BB King’s Blues Club in Nashville, Tennessee! Follow the rhythm through the double doors of BB King’s for a legendary adventure in soul music. Glance around the room. The art-filled walls create an ambiance endorsing the musical genre that originated in the Deep South. Listen to the toe-tapping chords strumming on the guitar. Is that a blend of country, jazz, blues, and classical? Better hang around a little longer for this kind of talent. Afternoon turns into evening. Libations flow easy. Southern dishes satisfy hunger pangs. And the music plays on. Maybe it’s time to get back to your roots.
Dining Outside the Home: Ole Red in Nashville, Tennessee! Blake Shelton has a following, that’s for sure. Whether it’s his chart-topping hits, his popular menu favorites, or his rugged good looks, Ole Red is a Lower Broadway destination worth talking about. Take the elevator up. The lookout sky bar boasts the best hideaway where glam-meets-grit. The view is dynamic, so grab a seat. Signature cocktails come smooth and often, which aim to please. Chew on shareable plates for grazing to leave room for sweet regrets. This isn’t just a bar, it’s an experience.
Dining Outside the Home: Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse in Nashville, Tennessee! The name alone is a mouthful, which means this place is a nonstop party all day long. The music is loud, the steak is amazing, and the drinks are icy cold. Since the entertainment can be heard a half a block away, it draws thrill-seekers like moths to a flame. From street level to rooftop, five floors, four stages, and six bars make this joint the biggest, baddest honky tonk downtown. Grab a seat and settle in for awhile.
Dining Outside the Home: Scoreboard Bar and Grill in Nashville, Tennessee! For a winning Nashville tradition, this must-see hotspot grabs your attention. The bar food is over-the-top with seafood appetizers, loaded burgers, smoked barbecue, and specialty pizzas made fresh-to-order. But there’s way more on the menu. Live music on the deck highlights bluegrass, rock, karaoke, and organic country. Wet your whistle, chow down, and be entertained at The Scoreboard.