This version makes a crispy caramel that won't get soggy.
1 cup popcorn kernels
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
Pop the corn in an air popper. Salt to taste.
Over medium-high heat, melt the sugar until it becomes a dark amber.
Stir in the butter until it smoothes out.
Pour over the popcorn and stir/toss to coat.
My pick was easy. I made Pumpkin Muffins for my sister's visit at the end of October. I made them ahead and froze them. I just had to read that again, it sounds so funny coming from me. Ms. Last Minute made muffins ahead of time and prepared. Well, this was a month ago when life (and work) was a little less busy.
Back to the muffins, which were delicious! I added dried cranberries instead of raisins, and they worked great.
That's the secret weapon ingredient.
And not just any coconut oil, fragrant coconut oil, which makes it smell delicious and taste delicious.
These were part of the baking my sister did for my visit. The recipe is from the lovely 101 Cookbooks. The taste is simply addictive. Everyone thought so, which is why they didn't make it to sunset on the second day.
A great bonus to making these is the coconut oil. My sister kept using it on her arms and hands as a moisturizer. It's like being in a tropical paradise in the middle of winter.
The recipe is from 101 Cookbooks. My sis used an old trick from Martha Stewart by cutting 5x5 inch squares to line the muffin tin. It made for a very rustic, pretty presentation.
I decided to venture out of Manhattan and into Brooklyn for the first time ever, and my sister and I did it right - by walking the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a nice little walk, and we completely lucked out on the other side when we happened upon the Jack the Horse Tavern. Thanks to my Droid, we found not only a clean bathroom, but also a nice place to grab drinks.
After rambling around a bit more and having a wonderful dinner at Wild Ginger, we found our way to Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain. So cute! I will have to go back on a Sunday just for Sticky Bun Sunday. Hot sticky buns = yum! This time, though, I went total tourist, and got an Egg Cream.
I was a little worried by the name. I'll eat them scambled, fried, baked, or boiled...but I don't want to drink an egg. Thankfully, there are no eggs in egg creams. No cream either, just chocolate syrup (or vanilla), milk, and seltzer water.
My sister got a coffee egg cream, and I got a traditional chocolate. They were both pretty good. It tastes (and sounds) like something I would have concocted in my mom's kitchen as a kid. Except this thing actually caught on with people.
This soup is pretty simple. It starts with a little oil and a couple of onions, sauteed in a pot. Add curry powder and continue to sautee for a moment or two, until it becomes quite aromatic. I put in about two tablespoons of curry. Then add vegetable stock and carrots and boil away. Once the carrots are tender, blend to get a nice creamy texture. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut milk and swirl in.
The soup was great with this salad. It's romaine lettuce, beets, tomatoes, and Israeli couscous. I saw Israeli couscous at the farmers' market and just had to try it - it's so big and puffy looking for couscous! It's also very good. This is dressed with a little olive oil and a little salt.
This is the first galette I've ever made. I wanted it to be spectacular! It's like pie - but easier because the dough is just folded over instead of trimmed and pinched. That's what I thought anyway. But my first bite had me thinking "what in the world did I do???"
To start, I'm not a big fan of Dorie's good for anything pie dough. So I. Found another recipe and tried to third it. I got too much salt, way too much salt.
Then I didn't have lime or orange so I used a little hibiscus tea for the liquid. What I didn't think about was that hisbiscus tea is tart and cranberries are tart so tart + tart = pucker!
It didn't help that my gallette sprouted holes in the oven and all the lovely brown sugary liquid filled the baking sheet and burned.
I couldn't even eat it, it went straight in the trash. A snow of powdered sugar couldn't even save this one.
This recipe is really great, and could be used to stuff tortillas or as a side. I've been eating it with salad and it makes a great pairing, although it's giving me a craving for cornbread.
Baked Pinto Beans with Sweet Potatoes
1 bag of dry pinto beans cooked
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 small sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
salt and pepper
1/4-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1 Tablespoon virgin olive oil
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the tomatoes in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish. Add the sweet potatoes. Add a little water until the liquid covers most of the sweet potatoes chunks. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
2) Remove the foil and add the beans, cheese, seasoning to taste, and oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Cool a few minutes before serving.
It was so good that I forgot to get a picture before it was all gone, but still wanted to share the recipe. I'm sure I'll be making this again this winter.
I tried my best though, and was pleased with the result this time. I’ve had to throw away attempts a few times before. This time I chopped fresh ginger, and put it in a bowl with some cayenne pepper and salt. Then I cut the ripe plantain in wedges and tossed the pieces in the spices. Plantains are similar to bananas and show they are ripe the same way, by getting darker and softer.
I fried some in a nonstick pan with no oil just to see if I could create a healthier version. Hmmm, no. Some things are just not the same. I guess it’s like trying to make a funnel cake with frying it, it just doesn’t work. So I poured in an inch of oil and fried those babies up. Yum!!!
Lucky me, I'm living in Georgia this year, and am getting in on the apples!
What am I going to do with half a bushel of apples? I believe this was my grandmother's question. Well, eat them of course. Just as they are...and in muffins, stewed down to applesauce, baked and fried with sugar and cinnamon, shredded with slaw, sliced with cheddar cheese - oh all the possibilities!
Okay, so now that that's out...last night I feasted at Farmstead 303 in Decatur. It's in the old train depot and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's not country kitsch in the least...more country chic. Lovely wooden tables and chairs, and a large patio adorned with autumn squash resting amid the little urban flower beds. The food was enough for many more people, and all of it fresh. The veggies were mostly vegetarian friendly (yay!) - even the black eyed peas! - and as farm to table as possible. My mom and I captured the last bit of warmer weather out on the patio. We had a wonderful sample platter - pimento cheese, jalepeno hushpuppies, homemade pickles, spiced pecans, cauliflower, deviled eggs - all sorts of good things. We also split the veggie plate which was great. We'll have to go back for the bread pudding. We were just too stuffed!
This jumbled picture is what was left and boxed up, and is now sitting in my frig waiting to be my dinner tonight.
This one is based on a pattern that is based on a Marc Jacobs scarf from last season. The yarn is anybody's guess as I unraveled it from a H&M piece that was no longer useful. So that makes it eco-friendly right?
This combination has been in the back of my mind for a few weeks. It's one can of tuna, chopped cabbage, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. I made it last night and could have eaten the entire thing in one sitting with a few whole grain Ritz crackers.
I didn't measure anything out, just mixed it to taste the way I normally do with tuna salad and cole slaw. It's a combination of the two, and is a great way to use the leftover cabbage from the cole slaw my mom sent me home with last week after a family dinner.
So when my sister was going to be visiting for the weekend, and wanted to go see a band I'd never heard of before, I was in without a second thought. The band - Blonde Redhead. Nice name huh? I liked it, and the venue was great.
We got there a little late and a little stressed. Right before leaving, a full glass of water got accidentally spilled into my sister's boyfriend's laptop who is a grad student and had lots of hours and papers and whatnot inside. Who wants to go to a concert when the darn thing won't turn on and all might be lost? (Why are these things not waterproof yet?) But he handled it well, and we went off to catch what we could of the show. Best idea ever. It cheered everyone up a bit.
The music was ethereal in a way. The guitarist/singer and drummer are twins, which I didn't know until I noticed they both looked a lot alike onstage. It threw me at first, and had me wondering if the lights and stage were playing tricks on me. The female singer/guitarist was rockin. Her voice is very unique and crystal pretty. Although I couldn't understand a single word she sang, and for one song she donned an alien jellyfish mask. I think I needed to know the lyrics to understand that one.
Most of the songs were swaying tempo, but one was a complete rock-out. It was my favorite. Good show.
Since it was the Friday before Halloween, my sister and I painted our faces and sprayed our hair red and purple for the show. Such fun!
This was one dish that I just had to ask the owner about - grilled watermelon. So simple that it can be easily added to any grill-out and so delicious that it'll be a star! Plus, it's pretty.So what's the recipe?
Grilled watermelon wedges - they seemed to be lightly grilled on both sides, just enough for flavor but the middles were still fresh. The wedges were about 1/2 inch thick and the width of a small saucer.
Salad - greens! sprinkled on top of the watermelon.
Goat's cheese - sprinkled on top of the salad.
Balsamic reduction - Balsamic vinegar heated over medium heat until reduced and drizzled on top.
The combination of the sweet watermelon and balsamic, the salty cheese, and the crunchy greens is so genius. I ate two big slices!
So it made me wonder, who is the "they" that flies so easily off my tongue.
Well, looking at her Bio, I found out that Laurie David had a hand in Ideal Bite! Never head of it? It used to be a daily email that arrived in my inbox, very chic and cute, giving tips and reasons for going green. I loved it and missed it when it stopped coming. It got turned over to Disney Family and the Ideal Bite that I liked disappeared.
Please don't do this to family dinners. They don't have to fit a formula. Both the Arianna Huffington and Laurie David expostulate this as well, that it can be simple food and the important part is sitting around together talking and eating and sharing. But as written, it comes off to me more as a disclaimer. Anyone can do it! Just to make sure, we'll sell it to you by telling you exactly how to do it, so you don't mess up. We've got your back.
Plus, both use generalizations of the days past when everything was rosy and families sat down to dinner together, and use experiences from their own pasts to illustrate the point. It's a 'what we and our families did right, and the rest of America is doing wrong.' Is this the only difference between their families and the families sitting in the middle or low-income class brackets? I highly doubt it. So where's the methodology behind the reasoning that family dinners will solve all a family's problems?
Where are we? Evidently still in a U.S. where access to big names (which are in abundance in the book) and big money can give you an opportunity to turn your everyday experiences and ideas into more money and big names. Now I love trashy reality tv shows, but that's what they are. What is this? Is it really part of the rumblings of the push for a food revolution in the U.S.? I suppose I'll have to read the book to find out. However, unless my library gets it, I'm not going to have a chance. Nope, I'm not buying this one. While I agree with the general theory behind it, heck, I even did a research project on the folklore and importance of food preparation and family dinners, too much surrounding it smacks of an elitist enlightenment that makes me want to vomit last night's dinner. Is there a chapter on cleaning it up?
So, I scraped off the burnt tops, and crumbled it into pieces. Then I made a caramel sauce with sugar and milk, drowned the blondie bits in it, and used the caramel to bind the bits into balls. Since it was just before Halloween, I called them Werewolf Balls. The name got an odd look, but guests had no problem finishing them off. Oh well, they turned out okay, but I'll definitely be trying the real recipe again soon!
For the recipe, check out Bakeologie http://bakeologie.blogspot.com/ by Nicole.