Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dulce de Leche

I can't believe that I forgot to write about this....In January, Brian was reading a blog about making your own dulce de leche and I didn't think it would be easy.  He proved me wrong, and it was a snap!

Then he made homemade crepes on Sunday morning for breakfast, with the dulce de leche, strawberries, marscapone cheese, nutella and bananas, make your own!  It was incredible.  Dulce is dangerous though, because it filled a mason jar and can keep in the fridge for some time.  Not something I'd want to make often, but hey, once in a while is ok, right?  :)


I'm finally getting back to my long-neglected Day Zero List, and it was time to make a fourth soup that I've never made.  Clam Chowder!  That's New England Style....not Manhattan.  I'm a lifelong New Englandah and we make it with cream, not tomatoes.  I've had the Manhattan style and it was ok but not great like cream-based.

For my first shot at it, it came out pretty well.  I did NOT want to shuck clams, so we got the frozen ones and drained the juice from 'em.  The recipe came out of Cook's County Cookbook from America's Test Kitchen and I was very surprised with how quickly it comes together.  I've always thought of making clam chowder as a day-long process, but am happily to report that I was wrong.  And the simplicity of ingredients was nice too:  bacon, onion, potatoes, clams, cream, salt, pepper and herbs.  Done!  I will admit that it was thinner than I thought it would be, but that's something that I can work on over time.  It was delicious for lunch on a Sunday, and I'm thrilled that it all worked out.

Next thing on the DZ-List....fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls, next weekend!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"Under the Dome"

No, I'm not talking about Stephen King's novel or the lame TV show "loosely based" on the book last summer.  I'm talking about food in my kitchen.

For the last couple of weeks, we've been using a domed cake plate for goodies on the island.  One Saturday, I noticed that we had some bananas approaching the mushy stage and whipped up chocolate banana muffins.  They were a hit, especially as part of breakfast after Will's first sleepover.  The next week, I had asked Brian to get Rice Krispies at the grocery store and they only had the industrial-size box.  Rice Krispy treats, after cooling and getting cut into squares, went on the plate.  And on Wednesday night, when I got home from knitting I was greeted by the smell of fresh blueberry muffins because Brian discovered that we had a plethora of blueberries in the fridge.  You guessed it...under the dome!

Wonder what will put under the dome next....or will the streak end?

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Visit to Childhood

What does one do when the primary grocery shopper brings home the biggest box of Rice Krispies?  You start eating it with fruit as planned for breakfast, and then decide on rice krispie treats!

These whisk me right back to childhood.  We had these for school snacks often enough, or would bring a pan to a class party or bake sale.  They always went fast. I don't care what anyone says, the homemade ones are infinitely better than the prepackaged ones.  Plus, they require minimum effort and most of that is melting and stirring.  The kids won't even touch them, though.  They don't know what they're missing.  :)

Butternut Squash Pasta

This was a meal that we had in February that I've been meaning to post about.  It was on the cover of "Good Housekeeping" and sounded intriguing.

Butternut Squash and Cavatappi with Bacon.

It just sounded good!  Typically I'm the only one in the house that likes butternut squash, and by "like" I mean love.  But Brian agreed to try it and it was incredible.  The squash gets made into kind of a sauce, and the bacon really goes well with it.  It looked slightly dry, so we decided to add a heaping spoonful of ricotta in it and that made it a little richer.  But not overbearingly Goldilocks and the Three Bears and "Just right!"

It made for great leftovers, and in looking at it, I kept forgetting it wasn't mac n cheese!  My brain was tricked continuously.  This one is a keeper.