House of Cards: Election Watch

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Don’t get me wrong; I love a good binge watching session. Sometimes there is nothing more gratifying then settling in on the couch for the day and wasting it by watching another season or two of that crappy reality TV show you can’t get enough of. That’s the easy part. The trouble, for me at least, comes when I have to wait an entire year to see what happens next with the latest must-see drama. Especially when the finale ends with a major cliffhanger — It’s the absolute worst, and it happens all the time.

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Waiting month after month for another episode is one thing, but having to remember where you left off a year later is almost impossible for someone like me (a forgetful, TV-fanatic who watches way too many shows and has a bad habit of falling asleep before the episode ends). Knowing that a new season of one of my favorites was about to be released, I decided to spend a day or two catching up on what I had surely forgotten in the past several months since I had last watched. Well, I am glad that I did because sure enough there I was, sitting on the couch watching House of Cards, not remembering a damn thing.

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Thank you, Mr. President.

Re-watching season 3 proved to be a beneficial task after all. Not only did I get the chance to spark my memory with the events leading up to the season 4 premiere, but I also had the opportunity to spend hours brainstorming ideas for this post. To honor the shows leading duo, aka two of the most badass TV characters in the political drama world, I’ve come up with a few food and drink recipes inspired by their origins and antics over the past few seasons.

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Check out the gallery below to see a preview of the recipes featured in this post:

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Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea

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Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 ½ cups Sweet Tea
  • Frozen/Fresh Peaches
  • Whipped Cream

Steps:

  • In a blender, purée frozen peaches until smooth. Meanwhile, cut the fresh pieces into slices to use for your garnish.
  • Add bourbon, sweet tea and peach purée to a cocktail shaker and shake until well combined.
  • Pour over ice. Top with whipped cream and a fresh peach slice.

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The first drink on our list pays homage to President Underwood’s humble beginnings in Gaffney, South Carolina. Frank was the son of a peach farmer (who may or may not have been a KKK member in his free time) so its safe to assume that he had plenty of the fuzzy fruit growing up. Don’t forget that Gaffney is home of The Peachoid, a 135-ft. water tower shaped like — you guessed it — a peach.

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It’s also no secret that people from the south love their sweet tea. Me? I’m more of an unsweet tea kind of gal myself, but I have to admit that the sweetness paired perfectly with the smoky finish of the whiskey. Let’s face it though, you really can’t beat a combo like peaches, sweet tea and whiskey.

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The first thing you’ll need to prep is the peach purée. Simply add a handful of frozen peaches to a blender and add a little bit of water until a smooth consistency is reached. Pour 2 oz. of the peaches over ice and top with a shot of whiskey and tea. Transfer all the ingredients to a cocktail mixer and shake vigorously. Pour the contents into a mason jar and top with whipped cream. Get it…because Frank used to be the Majority Whip. See what I did there?

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Blood Orange Sangria

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Ingredients:

  • Red Wine
  • 1 Cup Triple Sec
  • 2 Cups Sprite
  • Blood Oranges
  • Black Cherries

Steps:

  • Start by squeezing the juice of 1-2 blood oranges and cutting the rest into slices. Remove the pits from the cherries.
  • Add the fruit to a large pitcher, then pour in the red wine, Triple sec, orange juice and Sprite.
  • Refrigerate overnight before serving.

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They say that behind every great man is a woman with blood on her hands, and this saying sure as hell rings true when it comes to The Underwood’s. As evil and vindictive as Frank can be, Claire is equally as manipulative and dangerous. The two make a deadly pair whose body count slowly rises every season. Plus Claire seems to enjoy drinking wine, so there’s that.

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I know, I know, I know…I seem to make a batch of Sangria nearly every other time I do one of these posts. Hear me out though, because Sangria is basically one of the best party drinks you can make. Who doesn’t enjoy a good glass of wine? With the endless possibilities (red, white, rosé, sweet, tart, sparkling, etc.), whipping up a delicious batch that can please just about anybody is pretty easy.

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For this recipe, I used a rich and smoky pinot noir (Check out that label…I couldn’t resist!) and paired it with fresh blood orange juice and triple sec, which added a tangy sweetness. Add in blood orange slices and black cherries then top it off with Sprite and you’ll have a drink that others may kill for.

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Smoky Deviled Eggs

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Ingredients:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Mayo
  • 2 Tbsp. Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tsp. BBQ Dry Rub
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chives

Steps:

  • Cut each egg in half length-wise. Remove the yolks and set them aside in a separate bowl, then mash them with a fork.
  • Add mayo, mustard, vinegar, liquid smoke and BBQ dry rub to the egg yolks. Stir the mixture until smooth and fill a piping bag with it.
  • Pipe the egg yolks into each egg white. Top with smoked paprika and chives.

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When I was a kid I was always responsible for making the deviled eggs for Easter dinner. Aside from mixing the cheese powder in with the macaroni noodles, this was the only other thing I was allowed to cook at such a young age so I got damn good at it as the years went on. My family still requests that I make the eggs to this day so I must be doing something right.

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For the first course on this House of Cards menu, we’re giving one of my personal favorites a gourmet twist. These smoky deviled eggs are hands down the best egg I’ve ever eaten in my entire life, and brunch is my favorite meal of the day so I know my eggs. I’ve taken my childhood recipe to a level I never even thought possible by adding BBQ dry rub (see “Ribs” below) and liquid smoke into my egg yolk, mayo, mustard and vinegar mixture.

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These eggs symbolize eggs for a few different reasons. For starters, we might as well get political (it is House of Cards after all) and bring up fertility, women’s rights and abortions. All of which are hot button issues in the real world, and in the fictional one. Then there’s the smoke. Claire loves herself a good cigarette, so I figured I would add a few drops of liquid smoke just for kicks and it was probably the greatest idea I’ve ever had. Oh and have I mentioned that although she’s a total badass, she’s also completely evil? Some might even say she’s the devil.

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Freddy’s BBQ Ribs

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Ingredients:

  • Ribs
  • Dry Rub (brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme — Make as much as you want and tailor the seasonings to your liking!)
  • 2 Cups BBQ Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke

Steps:

  • Combine spices above to create the dry rub for your ribs. Generously season the meat, then cook for 30 minutes in a 450° oven. Flip the ribs halfway through cooking.
  • Add a thin layer of BBQ sauce to the bottom of a crockpot. Coat ribs in BBQ sauce and liquid smoke and cook on low for 8 hours. Flip ribs halfway through cooking.
  • Remove from crockpot and baste with extra BBQ sauce before serving.

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Alright guys, who’s ready for the main course?! It should come as no surprise to any House of Cards fan that the last dish on this menu is none other than Freddy’s BBQ Ribs. From early on in season 1, we saw Frank frequent Freddy’s BBQ Joint to get a taste of his favorite ribs while conducting his shady business deals. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been dreaming about those ribs ever since…

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First, we’ll need to make one hell of a dry rub. For mine, I combined brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and thyme. Feel free to play around with your favorite seasonings to find a rub that best suits your taste. After seasoning your meat, you’ll want to cook it for 30 minutes in a 450° oven (flipping the ribs halfway through).

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After a quick bake in the over, transfer the ribs to a crockpot and let those baby’s cook all day long (low for 6-8 hours). Once your ribs have finished cooking, remove them and coat with an extra layer of sauce. Serve immediately with sides like baked beans or coleslaw so your guests don’t leave hungry! Because believe me, they’re going to want more of these ribs than you can cook.

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Frank Underwood always says, “If you don’t like the way the table is set, turn over the table.” You won’t have to worry about that happening at your House of Cards watch party if you follow these recipes though! I’m telling you guys, the recipes for this post are hands down some of my favorites yet. Grab a plate of ribs (and plenty of napkins), some deviled eggs and a glass of tea or sangria and follow the drinking game rules below for a guaranteed good time.

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