A couple days ago my brother, Todd, and I attempted to turn a popular 60s cocktail into a delicious, boozy bundt cake. The results – The Harvey Wallbanger. The Harvey Wallbanger a fruity, yet potent drink that consists of vodka, Galliano (lightly flavored vanilla herbed liqueur) and orange juice. Legend has it that a surfer dude named Harvey inspired this delicious concoction when he ran into a wall after downing a couple of these. Now one slice of this cake isn’t going to get you loaded, but I would watch out for those extra helpings of frosting.

Recipe derived from the book Booze Cakes 

Ingredients

For the Cake: 

1 box yellow cake mix

1 (3.3 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1/4 cup vanilla vodka

1/4 cup Galliano liqueur

1/4 cup orange juice

For the Glaze 

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon vanilla vodka*

1 tablespoon Galliano liqueur*

* I doubled/tripled this amount- Hey we’re all adults here

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10 inch bundt pan.

2) Beat cake mix, instant pudding, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla vodka, Galliano and orange juice until smooth. (About 3-4 minutes) Pour into greased bundt cake pan and cook for 45-50 minutes or until the bundt cake turns golden brown.

3) For the glaze mix confectioners sugar and the desired amount of orange juice, vanilla vodka and Galliano liqueur in a small bowl until creamy. Pour over cooled bundt cake and enjoy.

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During my recent travels to Denver, Colorado, I saw amazing things, met great people and best of all tasted some of the best foods. Among my favorites was a restaurant called “Sushi Den” on South Pearl Street. My boyfriend and beer enthusiast, Nico Roesler, gave me a tour of the mile high city and at night we stayed at his dad’s (John) house.

For my graduation from the University of Kansas John gave me the best gift, a cookbook called “The Pioneer Woman Cooks.” I immediately wanted to fry up the whole book and eat it, but because almost every recipe is fried I thought it would be best to ration them out.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

I wanted to make something special for John because he let us stay at his comfortable home and made us breakfast every morning. After drooling over every recipe in the book, we finally decided on a perfect Fourth of July feast, Top Sirloin Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce* – Delish.

* The book calls for rib-eye but I substituted sirloin

Top Sirloin Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce 

Serves 2-3

3 Tablespoons butter (divided)

3 Tablespoons diced onion

1/4 cup whiskey (or more for the chef)

1/4 cup beef stock/broth

1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt

Pepper

2 Sirloin steaks

Directions: 

For the Sauce 

1) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium heat (or an open fire). After the butter is melted, add the onion and cook till brown.

2) When the onion is brown remove from heat and add the whiskey. It’s important to remove from heat or your kitchen/yourself could catch fire.

3) When the whiskey evaporates, return pan to heat and add the beef stock/broth, salt and pepper.

4) Whisk in another tablespoon of butter and allow the sauce to bubble.

5) Reduce heat to low and add the cream. Simmer on low heat while you prepare steaks and sides.

For the Steaks 

1) Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Let set for 20-30 minutes. If you are serving corn, throw them on outer sides of the grill.

2) Grill steaks to the desired temperature, flipping over to cook the other side. Turn corn frequently until all sides have dark brown/black grill marks.

3) Remove from heat, add whiskey cream sauce and enjoy with corn on the cob and a glass of red wine.