For the chicken brine:
Place the water (not the ice water), sugar, salt, and all spices in a pot and bring to simmer over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Whisk to ensure that spices and sugar have dissolved completely. Remove from heat and combine with ice water to chill. Let chill until at least 40 degrees. Place the cut chicken in a container and pour the cold liquid brine over it. Chill in refrigerator for 24 hours.
For the seasoned flour:
Mix all spices and flour well.
For the frying:
Remove the chicken from the brine and dredge in the seasoned flour.
Place the shortening in a pan (cast iron preferred) and melt slowly. The goal is to have the shortening about 1/2 inch up the side of the pan. Heat the shortening over low heat until it reaches 325 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to regulate the temperature.
Place the breasts and thighs in the pan, skin side down. After 8 minutes, flip the pieces over and continuing frying for another 6 minutes.
Remove from pan and let sit on a wire rack or plate lined with paper towels. Stick the thickest pieces with a meat thermometer; the chicken must reach 165 degrees. Season lightly with a pinch of sea salt.
Place the wings and drums in the oil making sure to maintain 325 degrees. After 5 minutes, flip the pieces and continuing frying for another 4 minutes.
Remove from pan and let sit on a wire rack or plate lined with paper towels. Stick the thickest pieces with a meat thermometer; the chicken must reach 165 degrees. Season lightly with a pinch of sea salt before serving.
Make the cakes according to the directions. Cool completely.
Wash the berries and dry thoroughly.
With the whisk attachment of a standing mixer, whip together the cream, vanilla, and sugar until soft peaks form.
Transfer half of the whipped cream to a large bowl. Carefully fold in half a pint of the blueberries and a half pint of the raspberries.
Spread the berry whipped cream evenly over the top of one cake.
Place the remaining cake on top of the smooth berry whipped cream. Cover the cake with the remaining plain whipped cream.
In the top left hand quarter, place 50 blueberries in a square (7 across and 7 down, plus one extra stuck in there) and the raspberries in 13 rows across (if you can fit them!). Add sparkling candles and enjoy!
Combine the butter, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, and a salt to taste. Set aside. Combine the paprika, cumin, and chipotle powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle the steaks with plenty of kosher salt, then evenly sprinkle the spice mixture over them and rub into the meat.
Oil the grates of the grill (or grill pan) and preheat over high heat until smoking. Reduce heat to medium high and add steaks. Cook without moving until well-charred, about 4 minutes. Flip steaks and continue to cook until center of steaks register 125°F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare, 135°F for medium, or 145°F for well done. Transfer to a platter and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes, adding the lime butter after a few minutes to melt from the residual heat.
Whisk together the maple syrup and mustard. Season both sides of the salmon fillets liberally with salt and pepper, then brush them with the maple-mustard mixture and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss the sprouts and onion with the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until well-coated. Spread them out on a baking sheet, cut side-down, and roast on the lower rack until caramelized and tender, 20-30 minutes.
When the sprouts are nearly done, arrange the fillets on an oven-proof dish and broil them, skin-side down, until the maple mixture is well-caramelized and the fish is just cooked through—7 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about four minutes.
Add salt and vanilla and beat one minute. Add egg and beat until combined.
Add half the flour and beat to combined. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula, add remaining flour, and beat until just incorporated. Use the spatula to fold in the dark and white chocolate chunks.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let chill in refrigerator for one hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, using about one heaping tablespoon per cookie. Bake until cookies are brown at the edges and dry on top, about 14 minutes.