Archive | February 2012

Hello…My Name is Purple Cauliflower


I am obsessed with cauliflower; the colors, the nuttiness, and the starchyness. I love it pureed, roasted and raw. I’ve used it in lieu of mashed potatoes, as a base for a chowder and, most recently, roasted with bacon, garlic and olive oil. Oh my my. This really makes me happy. I found as flavorful and hearty as a main course (I realize it’s the bacon…but still…YUM). If you need a little pork and garlic every week, (wink wink-nudge nudge) this dish is an amazing, quasi-healthy variation. Dust with parmesan cheese, if you dare. Photo: Danie Woodward.

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH BACON AND GARLIC

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Lil’ Green Apples Rumaritas


Nope, I’m not trying to put one over on ya…technically this drink belongs in the daiquiri family. Due to its reclusive-ness, (I bet your Mom didn’t have swingin’ daiquiri parties in the late 60s …huh) and my laziness in explaining it, I have renamed them rumaritas. Most get what I’m laying down. At all times, I keep several bottles of infused simple syrup in my fridge (mint, habanero) and the rest is easy, peasy. Photo: Danie Woodward.

Rumarita (makes 4 large frozen drinks)
1. In a blender combine: 1 cup white rum, 1 cup simple syrup (recipe below), juice from 2 limes, 2 green apples, cored, peeled and rough chopped.  Blend until smooth.
2. Fill the remaining space in your blender with ice and blend until it resembles a slurpie.
3. Pour into glasses and garnish with apple zest or lime wedge.

Options: My all-time favorite flavor is 1 green apple and 1/4 of a ripe cantaloupe…YUM! (Use this instead of 2 apples.)

Simple Syrup
You use equal parts of water and sugar, so the big question is how much do you need and do you need to keep lots on hand like I do. (No judgments please.) I comb thrift stores for glass bottles with good caps to store the syrup and to give it away as gifts.
1. In a good saucepan, combine equal parts water and sugar.
2. Heat on medium, stir a bit, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
3. To infuse, drop in a fresh mint bundle (you can crush it as well) or a whole habanero pepper with a few slits cut into it. Do this once the sugar has dissolved, then cover and let the mixture steep like a tea after you turn the heat off. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor. Depending on how much syrup you are making, you may need to use lots of mint or more than one habanero. You’ll have to experiment until you get the level of flavor you like best, start with 10 minutes.
4. Let cool completely and strain (if needed) into glass jars and keep on hand (in your fridge) for a party at a moment’s notice. The syrup should last for months, especially if your jars are dishwasher sterilized.

Junk in the Chunk Cookies


Today’s was Danie’s first day of work at Big Al’s Burger and Dogs. To celebrate I baked some “junk in the chunk” chocolate cookies, packed with pecans and raisins. They are delish and remind me of those Chunky candy bars I would devour after swimming lessons as a kid. Photo: Becca Henry.

JUNK IN THE CHUNK COOKIES  |  BIG AL’S BURGER & DOGS
NESTLÉ CHUNKY

Out of Africa Chicken Peanut Stew

chix stew
So yummy…what makes it zip is fresh ginger and roasted peanuts. Note: I substituted russets for sweet potatoes (y’all now how I feel about some root vegetables). My niece Danie seems to think this stew has the power to heal you. Who am I to go against the wind? Photo: Becca Henry.

AFRICAN CHICKEN PEANUT STEW  |  PAUL SIMON’S GRACELAND

Have You Ever Been Caramello?

Image
This little smooth number is the new ketchup and mustard; the new peas and carrots; it’s salt and caramel. So easy and so satisfying. Photo: Becca Henry.

SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE   |  BLUE BUNNY ICE CREAM

Holy Chicken Mole

chix mole
Tried this simple version of mole and served it over crispy fried polenta topped with a squeeze of lime and minced jalapenos. The mole seemed to get better and better with every reheating. And the golden raisins were my fav part. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Photo by Danie Woodward.

CHICKEN MOLE  |  HERB POLENTA