Saturday, December 29, 2012

This drink is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

2 parts Creme de Cacao
2 parts 99 Bananas
1 part Malibu rum
1.5 parts Cream

Mix with ice.  Strain and serve.


  • I might have the proportions wrong because I already drank most of mine.  But just make it according to your tastes.  Drink mixing is an art, not a science.
  • This would be great blended with ice.  Or substituting the ice and cream with ice cream.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

1 -1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, cut into chunks
1 & 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (see note below)
1/2 cup powdered sugar for rolling
Hershey's Kisses

  • Line cookie sheets with parchment.  Preheat oven to 350.
  • Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and extracts, beating until combined and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Gradually, add the flour mixture, beating on low just until combined.  The mixture will be very sticky.
  • Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Use a teaspoon cookie scoop (or a spoon) to scoop generous teaspoons of dough and roll them in the powdered sugar.
  • Bake for 12 minutes and meanwhile, unwrap the Kisses.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately press a Hershey's Kiss on top of each hot cookie.  Press firmly, so that it doesn't pop off.  Let the cookies sit on the sheet for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. 
  • The original recipe from Bake at 350 called for mint extract in the cookies and a regular Kiss on top.  I didn't have the extract and used the candy cane Kisses for a little extra visual festivity.  
  • On the down side, it looks like the white chocolate has a lower melting point, because they immediately melted into puddles.  (Glad I pushed them down firmly as suggested so there was a well to contain all that melted chocolate.) On the up side, they're still cute, just not it the 3-D way I expected.
  • This is a really delicious cookie!  Chewy and nice texture.
  • The Kisses did eventually firm up.  I was doubtful at first so I put most of them out on the freezer to cool.  By the time we got back from N's concert, both the indoor and outdoor ones were firm.
  • I made a double batch (half butter and half margarine, btw) and the yield was 8 dozen.
  • I'd definitely makes these again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pork Chops with Blueberries

(from The Silver Spoon)
  • 4 spare-rib chops
  • flour
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 T olive oil
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • 2¾ cups blieberries
  • scant ½ cup honey
  • salt
Preheat oven to 400º. Dust the chops with flour. Heat the butter and oil in an ovenproof pan, add the chops and cook, turning, until browned all over. Pour in the wine and cook until it has partly evaporated, then season with salt. Pass the blueberries through a food mill (or puree) and mix with honey. Spread this mixture over the chops. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and bake 15 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Orange Soufflé Crepes

  • 3 large eggs, separated plus 1 extra egg white 
  • 5 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 cup whole milk 
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup strained, freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • Zest of 1 orange 
  • 12-14 crepes from your favorite recipe. 

Whisk the yolks; add 4 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk and whisk until thick and smooth. Whisk in the flour.

In a small saucepan, bring the rest of the milk to a boil. Gradually whisk half of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Pour the tempered yolk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk, whisking constantly. 

Place over low heat and continuing to whisk, cook until the mixture comes just to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the orange juice. Grate the orange zest and whisk it in.  (The soufflé base may be made ahead at this point. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Cool completely; cover and refrigerate).

Shortly before you plan to serve the dessert, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a shallow baking dish. Pour the base into a saucepan and heat over low heat, whisking until just hot to the touch. Remove from heat.

Beat the 4 egg whites until stiff. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and beat another 30 seconds. Fold 1/4 of the whites into the base; then gently fold this mixture into the rest of the egg whites.

Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling into each crepe and fold in half. Arrange them in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Bake 10 minutes or until puffed.

Serve immediately. They may be served as is or accompanied by a fruit sauce.

Makes 6 servings


Sweet Potato Casserole

(as close as I remember)

  • 4 whole Medium Sweet Potatoes (about 4 lbs)
  • ½-1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • zest and juice of one orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 2-3 teaspoons ground ginger 
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Pecans
  • ½ cup Flour
  • ¾ stick Butter
Bake sweet potatoes in a 375-degree oven until fork tender, about 30-45 minutes. When they are finished cooking, slice them open and scrape out the flesh into a large bowl. Mash thoroughly and combine with remaining ingredients. Place mixture in a large-ish casserole dish and smooth surface.

In a separate bowl, combine streusel ingredients. With a pastry cutter or fork, mash together until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the top. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.