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Showing posts from June, 2015

Banana Moos

When I first had a Banana Cow, it was many, many years ago (probably about 25-the youngest wasn't born yet, the eldest was probably about 3) on the beautiful island of St. Lucia. We called them Banana Moos because after a few of these you will be mooing for some more. They just sort of slide down. It was an all-inclusive place we stayed at - need I say more? There was a lot of merriment and maybe some over indulgence. Ahhh youth...

Banana Moos

3oz Banana Liquer
3oz White Rum
3oz Heavy Cream
1 banana
Nutmeg, optional

Place all the ingredients (except for the nutmeg) in a blender and let it whiz around. Pour into a glass and top with fresh grated nutmeg.

Cinnamon is also a really nice topper. Or if you want to get real wild try a little burnt cinnamon simple syrup mixed in.  Mr. Boston says to add grenadine. We did not have any. Nor did we have sufficient ice (the Sous Chef is slacking off). But that didn't stop us. Besides the grenadine wasn't in the drink in St. Luci…

Strawberry Vinaigrette

It's again that time of year when it's too hot to eat and you end up with salad for dinner.  I make all sorts of variations on salad with whatever I happen to have hanging around. I decided to make a nice strawberry vinaigrette this time around. Since I finally got around to buying a new stick blender, I thought it was time to give it a test drive. Here's what I put in the salad this time around:

Mixed Greens
Red Onion, minced
Chicken (leftover, grilled)
1 c bulgar wheat, cooked *

Strawberry Vinaigrette

5-6 strawberries, sliced
2T white balsamic vinegar
a bunch of chives
olive oil

Place strawberries in a 2 cup glass measuring cup (or other tall container). Add vinegar and buzz with a stick blender. Add chives, salt, and pepper. Buzz again. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while stick blender is whizzing. Add about 1/4 - 1/3 c olive oil. Taste adjust seasoning and serve over salad.

I think you could also use fresh raspberries. Although I think you might nee…

Pasta with Tomatoes & Scapes

Well back to using up the rest of those garlic scapes. I thought they would go nicely with some pasta. They did but they were a little difficult to eat. They get a little unruly.  I had thought of using fusilli pasta but that would have been totally out of hand.

Pasta with Tomatoes & Scapes

1lb of grape tomatoes
handful of basil
olive oil
garlic scapes
1lb pasta
Parmesan Cheese

Cut the tomatoes in half and the larger ones in quarters. Put pasta water on to boil. Add olive oil to a hot skillet and toss in the tomatoes. Add salt and pepper. Toss in some torn basil leaves. Meanwhile place the pasta and scapes into boiling water. When scapes are tender (about 5 minutes) remove tomatoes from skillet to a serving bowl. Add some additional olive oil to the skillet. Using a spider drain scapes and place in skillet. Do not toss scapes - let them brown and then toss. Drain pasta saving some of the pasta water. Place pasta into the serving bowl. Add scapes and toss. Add a littl…

Blueberry Boy Bait

One thing I love about June is the berries. There's nothing like berries with a little creme fraiche or whipped cream. I bought a huge container of blueberries and decided it wasn't too hot to bake a cake (silly me).

This cake has the story that this girl entered the Pillsbury Bake-Off with this cake and she named it after the effect it had on boys. Whatever-I'm no boy but I was lured in for sure.

Blueberry Boy Bait (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Cook's Country)

2 c flour (1T additional for blueberries)
1T baking powder
1 t salt
2 sticks of butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
1t vanilla
1 c buttermilk
1/2 blueberries (washed and well dried)

1 c blueberries
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c cinnamon
1 T flour

Grease a 13x9 pan and set aside. Mix flour baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugars together in the mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Add vanilla. Beat in 1/2 of the flo…

Baked Beans

This is NOT your regular idea of baked beans. First of all it uses white beans. There's bacon, there's garlic, there's olive oil soaked bread crumbs - what's not to like.

Baked Beans (Adapted from BonAppetit)
2 c dried navy, cannellini, or Great Northern Beans, soaked overnight*
2 onions, 1 cut in half, 1 thinly sliced
1 Parmesan rind
1 head of garlic, separated and 4 cloves minced
2 bay leaves
2t kosher salt
8 oz bacon, cut in 2" pieces
1 shallot
4 sprigs thyyme
1/4 c white wine
1 1/2 c torn bread into crumbs (about 2 slices)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 T olive oil

Drain beans and place in a heavy pot with halved onion, Parmesan rind head of garlic, bay leaves, and salt. Cover with water (about 2"). Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cook until tender (about 1 -1 1/2 hours).

In a skillet cook bacon until browned. Set aside. Saute onion and thyme sprigs over low flame until caramelized. Add shallot and cook until starting to brown. …

Can't Escape Scapes

Tis the season for garlic scapes. June is the month when the garlic scapes start growing. Scapes are the flower buds on the garlic. You need to cut them off so that more energy goes into the garlic bulb (see last year's harvest here) before you harvest the garlic. They have a mild garlic flavor when cooked and beat string beans any day. You can prepare them just about anyway that you would prepare string beans. In their raw state they have a strong garlic flavor and are a little tough. I just did a quick steam and saute.

Olive Oil

Place scapes in steamer basket. Steam scapes with the lid tilted. Do not put the lid totally on or the scapes will lose that rich green color. Steam until tender. In a skillet add oil. Toss scapes with salt and saute until scapes have a little color on them. Serve
I also tossed on a little balsamic reduction. Although it didn't stay on too well because of the olive oil that was already on the scapes. It did add some nice flavor.

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Chocolate Bread Pudding (Adapted from BonAppetit)

Butter for pan
1 lb brioche, sliced 1/2" thick
3 c milk
10 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 t chocolate extract
6 large eggs

Butter a 13x9 pan. Arrange slices in the pan to overlapping to fit.
In a double boiler (or a bowl over a simmering pan of water) heat milk, chocolate, sugar, and salt. Stir until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is melted. Add vanilla and chocolate extracts. Let cool (It's not terribly hot anyway). Whisk in eggs one at a time. Pour over brioche. Press down bread to help absorb the liquid. Let sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. Bake at 325 30-35 minutes until just set. Cool sightly (for as long as you can wait - I assure you it will not be long). Spoon out into bowl and serve with whipped cream.

They suggested to serve this with whipped cream if desired. I can tell you it is desired. I did not have any heavy cream on han…

Bacon & Spinach Pasta

Bacon & Spinach Pasta (Adapted from my brain)
1 lb pasta
6 slice bacon, cut into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c heavy cream
16 oz fresh spinach
handful of fresh basil

While the pasta is cooking, place bacon pieces in a skillet. Cook until browned. Add garlic and cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Add heavy cream and heat through. Place spinach and basil on top and cook until wilted. Add pasta, salt, and pepper. Gently mix until pasta is coated.

This is one of those recipes that just comes together really quick. It's a great weeknight meal. I usually have all the ingredients in the house except maybe the spinach. I'm thinking it would work well with frozen spinach providing that you squeeze out the excess water.

FBF - Coco-Mint Mojito

I've decided to introduce Flash Back Friday (FBF) no it's not just a cheap way to produce filler for the blog. It's a way to revisit things that I make often and are our faves and perhaps I may have tweeked a bit - I'm always changing things up. So for my first entry I'm looking at you Coconut Mint Mojito. Check out the recipe here.

Since we were away in San Antonio* for the official start of summer AKA Memorial Day weekend. This past weekend we broke out the coconut/Malibu/mint.  I have to say this recipe is excellent. We've tested it out on some guinea pigs um I mean friends and they also really liked it. I have still not tried it using the simple syrup - I know I'm just too lazy. We used light coconut milk. I do have to say it is better with the full fat (sorry). So enjoy!

*I had a conference that weekend - yeah I know who has a conference Memorial Day weekend?? Anyway the Sous Chef decided to come down a day later and we enjoyed the Riverwalk. The food…

Baking Stone vs Baking Steel

So I've been through two baking stones. Cold + hot stone do not mix well apparently. I've been limping along with Exhibit A for probably about a year now. My previous stone lasted pretty long. This one lasted about a year. I leave it in my oven (hence the attractive seasoned look). It is essential for baking breads and pizza. I do find it helpful in getting an even bake for most other things too. I put the dish right on top (hence the crack). Exhibit A was a fairly clean break (the previous one shattered in about 5 pieces). Therefore, I was able to continue using it.

I was on the prowl for a new baking stone but happened upon the Baking Steel.  I think this might be my solution - not that I will be placing anything cold on it EVER.  I think I've learned my lesson (twice). The Sous Chef was kind enough to buy it for our anniversary - he does take a pretty good hint (ie leaving it open in the browser and the comment "gee this is what I want for the next gift-giving occ…

Penne a la Vodka

This is another one of those chicken Francese...that is so overdone and can be downright awful. But when it's made right; it's delicious. Well I was in the mood for this but things took a little bit of a dark turn for a while. I used many utensils because of stupidity and used the wrong pan and broke the stick blender and mismeasured the vodka and the camera battery was flashing red but when I finally sat down to was all worth it.

Penne a la Vodka

2T butter
1T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
1/2 t oregano
1/4 c basil
1/4 c vodka
1/2 c heavy cream
2 T parsley, chopped
1lb pasta (preferably penne with ridges)
In a dutch oven melt butter and add olive oil.  Add onion, carrot, and celery. Add salt. Saute until they start to color (about 15-20 minutes). Add tomato, oregano, half the basil, and vodka. Break up tomatoes with a spoon. Simmer 10 minutes. Add h…