Jun 2011
02

Mango Cucumber Salad Recipe

I know, don’t freak. That really *does* say recipe up there in the title. I promise I didn’t actually do any REAL cooking (because that would break my streak of eating out 7 days a week). I just chopped some stuff and threw it in a bowl. But my family actually enjoyed it, so I thought I would share.

MANGO CUCUMBER SALAD

10-12 ounces of Grape or Cherry Tomatoes

2-3 Cucumbers

2 Mangoes

1/2 Red Onion

2-3 ounces crumbled Feta Cheese

2-4 tablespoons Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing of your choice

MangoCuke_01

MangoCuke_02

MangoCuke_03

P.S. This is the proper way to cut a mango. Slice in half, and make a checkerboard with your knife. Then cut the cubes off the peel.

MangoCuke_04

MangoCuke_05

MangoCuke_06

Simple. Chop all the things mentioned above. Put in a big bowl. Mix. Adjust the amounts to your taste.

It’s probably good I am not a food blogger.

But seriously. I’m not kidding. Yum.

Feb 2011
15

Banoffee Pie, American Style

Have you ever heard of this wicked pile of deliciosity? Apparently it is like Twinkies over in England, at least according to my Irish neighbor – who told me to be on the look out for it when we went to Ireland in 2009. Because he knows I love bananas, toffee, and – well, goo.

Ardmore_53

Banoffee. Get it? Bananas and toffee. Mashed together. To hear me say it you wouldn’t think that’s what it is, because I still pronounce it wrong to this day. Like I have some mental block about it. Like I loved it so much when we ate it in Ireland that I can’t being myself to say it properly, because it hurts. It. hurts. so. good.

Fast forward to Christmas, 2010, and our Irish neighbor was joining us for the festivities. Guess what my present was? Ban. Off. Eee. Pie. Homemade. From scratch. In his kitchen, not 100 feet from mine.

Let’s keep in mind, people, that we go out to eat a lot. A LOT A LOT. Yes, I *can* cook. Sometimes. If I have to. If I’m really really really in the mood. Which is rare. So the idea that my Irish neighbor would take the time, to call his sister back in Ireland and get the recipe, then spend all day making me this pie that I loved so much, well – had I not been stuffing my face with his gift, I think I would have burst into tears.

So, OF COURSE I demanded the recipe for myself.

I mean, how hard can it be, right?

But while he was talking about grinding up English biscuits to make the crust, my ears started ringing.

I decided I would take his recipe and USA-it-up a bit. So, below is how I did that. It was a bit sloppier than his masterpiece, but IF I CAN DO IT – ANYONE CAN DO IT.

INGREDIENTS FOR (AMERICAN, I.E. EASY) BANOFFEE PIE

  • 1 pre-formed graham cracker crust
  • 1 tub whipped cream of choice (I used the non-fat kind)
  • 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk (must be sweetened)
  • 2-3 bananas
  • Chocolate of choice to shave on top

HOW TO MAKE (AMERICAN, I.E. EASY) BANOFFEE PIE

1. Buy the stuff. Sometimes I forget to do this.
The makings of Banoffee Pie

2. Boil the cans of sweetened condensed milk in a big pot for about 2 hours. Yes, IN the can. (I couldn’t believe it either). BUT KEEP THE CANS COVERED WITH WATER IN THE POT. Otherwise you will have exploding caramel all over your kitchen. Then let the cans cool. I know. It’s hard to wait.
Submerging the cans.

3. Put a layer of whipped cream in the graham cracker crust, then a layer of bananas.
Banoffee Construction

4. Open your cans of condensed milk and pour into the crust.
Pouring the Toffee

5. Add another layer of bananas.
More Bananas

6. Add more whipped cream and shave chocolate on top.
Putting the final cupcakes sprinkles on the Banoffee Pie!!!

7. Seriously. That is it.
The final pie piece!

THEN PREPAPE TO BE IN GOOPY CARAMEL HEAVEN.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Feb 2006
27

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

OK, here is the real scoop, now that I am not all liquored up on Hurricanes. Sadly, though, that typing wasn’t too far off from normal for me – I just didn’t feel like doing spell check at midnight!

So! We held a Mardi Gras party last night, partially to celebrate New Orleans given the tough year they have had… and… Well, mainly, to give me an excuse to drink Hurricanes. We were happy to see everyone who came, many of whom we had not seen in a while! We tried our hand at some Cajun and Creole cooking, including crawfish étouffée and dirty beans and rice. Danielle brought some spicy gumbo as well. We even had a King Cake (not made by me, I didn’t even go there!) – and my pottery teacher Lori was the one to get all the luck by finding the baby. There were mixed reactions to the King Cake, some loved it… and some (like me) thought it tasked like bread with some icing on it. I also planned on making Bananas Foster, but honestly never got around to it with all the fun – so we made it with Declan this evening. Also way yummy. I am including the recipes I used for both those delish (and potent) Hurricanes, as well as the yummy dessert below. Declan was over at Lily’s house during the party and we sent masks and decorations so they could have their own private Mardi Gras soirée, as well.

Bryan and I have never been to New Orleans, despite many many many opportunities, so it was really fun to bring a little of the bayou here to Denver.

Thanks to everyone who came, it was great to see you! We missed those who could not be there with us!

======================================

HURRICANE
* 2 oz. white rum
* 2 oz. dark rum
* 4 oz. orange juice
* 4 oz. pineapple juice (I actually used Welch’s Guava Pineapple juice)
* 1 oz. passion fruit syrup (found it at the liquor store in the mixer section)
* 1/2 oz. grenadine
* squeeze of fresh lime

BANANAS FOSTER

INGREDIENTS:
* 1/4 cup butter
* 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
* 2-1/2 tablespoons dark rum
* 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise and crosswise
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
* 1 pint vanilla ice cream

DIRECTIONS:
In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla and cinnamon. When mixture begins to bubble, place bananas and walnuts in pan. Cook until bananas are hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve at once over vanilla ice cream.

Nov 2005
23

Non-Movie Soulmates

I was just looking at my Netflix queue and chuckling to myself… it seems that so often, we have completely opposite opinions of movies than our best friends, Jeff & Danielle. (Unless it’s a chick flick – then Danielle and I are usually on the same page.) It’s neither good or bad, just kind of funny – that the two people we would love to be stranded on an island with for the rest of eternity would hate the movies we brought to the island with us.

However, if we are talking dessert… then Jeff and I were made for each other. We both would pick some form of creamy cake with berries on it or pie over chocolate any day of the week. And of course, Bryan and Danielle would dive into that chocolate with NO FEAR.

Nov 2005
11

Meat & Potatoes Kind of Girl

I am pretty Plain Jane when it comes to food. Good German girl in that respect. Meat and potatoes, etc. My business partner always teases me that I think ketchup is spicy (she’s right). But sometimes I will be at a restaurant, see something adventurous and go for it. Last night I had “Canadian salmon with spiced red onion marmalade, quince brown butter, smashed sweet potatoes.” Holy shit, it was so good. I want to go back to the restaurant, call the chef in and make them fix it for me for breakfast. I almost went with my standard steak… but I decided to take a walk on the wild side. Yes, I realize salmon isn’t exactly c-r-a-z-y, but I am trying, OK???