October 5, 2011 § 2 Comments
I marched into Publix on a bright Saturday morning prepared to load up on game-watching snacks and must-haves (i.e. beer, chips, hot dogs, etc.). I hadn’t even made it down a single aisle when, lo and behold, a shiny fruit stand overflowing with Barlett pears stood before me.
They were only $0.88 a pound. Oh, the joys of fall. I ripped a bag off of the handy baggie wheel, tossed a few in, and tied a knot to close it. Then I proceeded with the rest of my shopping, contemplating what to do with those beautiful little pears.
Later that day, TV on and friends all around, I drank a beer. (Time out — is this the second post in a row that talks about my beer drinking? Oh that’s great.) Anyways, I was drinking a Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale that we discovered in the fridge. It was then that I knew. I knew I would make a pear cobbler with the delightfully sweet taste of this maple nut beer.
However, come Sunday afternoon, (I had to wait until 12 pm to buy alcohol. Because that’s the law on Sundays in these parts.) there was no Tommyknocker to be found in our craft beer stores. So what did I use instead?
This Southern delight. Brewed and bottled in Kiln, Mississippi, Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale proved to be a delicious complement to my crisp, ever-so-sweet-smelling pears.
So how do you make a cobbler boozy? Here’s how:
While pears are soaking, combine your dry ingredients: Sift together a cup of flour and a cup of sugar. (You’ll later be adding a cup of milk, so that’s easy to remember: A cup’a cup’a cup’a.) Then combine your wet ingredients: A cup of milk, one egg (lightly beaten), a teaspoon of vanilla, and half a stick of melted butter.
Then add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and stir until combined (batter will be a little lumpy). Then butter a 9×11-inch Pyrex dish. You could use an 8×8-inch, but it may be a bit too much with the pears and the beer. Choices, choices.
Then wonder how your boyfriend’s kitchen manages to have so many baking dish options while yours doesn’t. Then realize it’s because you’re super cheap, and you should probably invest in a few good pieces.
Pour your batter into the well-buttered dish. Then pour the pears and beer carefully into the batter. Stir a bit to spread the pears throughout the dish. Then sprinkle some sugar over the top to get a nice crisp crust. Place into the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour.
Boozy Pear Cobbler
Makes 8 to 10 servings
4 medium-sized Bartlett pears
3/4 cup nut brown ale (I used Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan)
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 stick butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×11-inch baking dish. Set aside.
Slice pears into 1-inch slices. Place in large bowl, and add beer, stirring to evenly coat. Set aside for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow all pears to soak in beer.
In a large bowl, sift together flour and 1 cup of sugar. In a small bowl, combine milk, egg, vanilla, and butter. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, stirring until combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
Pour batter into prepared dish. Then, carefully pour beer and pear mixture into dish on top of batter, stirring a bit, if necessary, to evenly distribute pears. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar evenly over dish. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until crust is golden brown.
Related: Summer Flavors and a Summer Lunch
September 9, 2011 § 2 Comments
But sometimes, when it is super hot in the morning (although we are now finally entering fall), the last thing I want in the morning is a steaming cup of coffee. So what I typically do is fill my to-go mug to the brim with ice and pour my freshly-brewed, frenchly-pressed coffee over it. This is fine, but I’ve been thinking: Firstly, the ice melts, so the coffee is watery and not very enjoyable about halfway through drinking it. And secondly, something sort of bitter and acidic takes over. I mean, yes, I know … it’s coffee. Pretty darn bitter and acidic. But I don’t know how to describe it. It’s sort of sour. It just isn’t right, and the coffee just loses its good flavor and leaves a bad aftertaste. I’m sure there’s a chemical explanation for all of this.
I didn’t follow their measurements. Basically, I took a large container, and thought about how many days I wanted to drink this iced coffee. I decided that for my first time making it, I’d just prepare enough for three days. So I put as many scoops as I would put in my baby french press (what I drink each morning), which is two, and then I did that times three. (2 x 3 = 6!). Then, I filled my french press up three times (with cold, filtered water) and poured that into the container.
I gave it a stir and sealed it. Then I cleaned the kitchen, made my lunch and breakfast for the next day, re-cleaned the kitchen, cleaned my room, went to the grocery store, and then played with my bottle caps.
Now, I do not let it steep for as long as PW or Imbibe recommended. They recommended eight to 12 hours, but they were brewing a pound of coffee. Since I was making a much smaller amount, I let it steep for three. But I’ve played around (letting it go overnight to just a few hours more than 3), and I decided that for the amount I make (anywhere from 3 to 5 days worth), 5 to 7 hours is perfection.
So here’s how we do it.
Use a mug or measuring cup to pour coffee through filter, try to keep too many grounds from making it onto the filter, because it can clog and becomes difficult for coffee to pass through. Use a spoon to press coffee through or move around grounds. This process takes about 30 minutes.
If you clicked on the PW or Imbibe link, you may have seen a recipe for Vietnamese Iced Coffee. As soon as I read that recipe the first time, I knew I needed to try my morning vice with a heaping dollop or two of sweetened condensed milk. I usually don’t add sugar to my coffee, so I don’t feel that guilty about this. That’s just what I’m going to tell myself.
I got nostalgic in the grocery store for my study abroad days when I saw La Lechera (Chileans love their sweetened condensed milk), so I bought this brand. I transferred it to a jar in the fridge, and I added some to my coffee, and whisked it to incorporate thoroughly as it is thick and sticky and needs some good whisking.
Try this! I highly recommend it.
August 27, 2011 § 4 Comments
Yummy! I don’t think omelets are the most photogenic of foods, but the truth is I didn’t have the patience to shoot this one. I was hungry! And I didn’t want it to get cold. So I sort of shot it as I ate it. But here’s a great way to start off your Saturday morning.
Makes 1 omelet
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup red onion
2 large eggs
Freshly cracked salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup avocado, mashed
Garnish: hot sauce (I used Louisiana)
In a small sauce pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan, stirring until translucent. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, pepper and water until blended. In a 6-inch frying pan, melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Pour eggs over butter. Let eggs sit over heat. Do not stir. If necessary, gently prod eggs along the side with a spatula to move uncooked eggs toward center so that eggs cook evenly. Or gently shake frying pan over heat to spread eggs evenly throughout pan.
Once eggs are almost set (eggs will continue to cook even after they’ve been removed from pan), add cooked onions, Cheddar cheese, and avocado to one side of the eggs. Fold the other side over with the spatula, and gently set on a plate to serve. Garnish with hot sauce, if desired.
This omelet goes great with this:
Or some of this. Just sayin’.
August 7, 2011 § 2 Comments
And I love Leroy. And I love him in spite of his teething stage, which means when he can’t get his mouth on anything else, he wants nothing more than to sink his little chompers into human flesh.
But I very much love a bloody mary. And so when the little goober calmed down and settled into a nap, I decided to make one. Basically, I sit around craving one of these spicy, sultry, tomato-y, ice cold beverages. And lately I have been craving it so much, I put it on my recipe to-do list this weekend.
I looked up a few recipes, but mostly just improvised as I mixed it. I eyeballed everything, so not sure how exact the recipe below is, but it produced an insanely delicious breakfast cocktail. And I can’t even describe how fresh a made-from-scratch bloody mary is compared to pouring vodka and a mix over ice. I was generous with the horseradish, which added a very good kick. And one ingredient I meant to try but didn’t have in my fridge: A1 Steak Sauce. I once had a bloody mary at The Alcove in Tuscaloosa with Courtnie, and the bartender poured a healthy dash of A1 in my drink. And wow, was that incredible. One day I’ll try it that way. I suggest you add it if you’re so inclined.
A Leroy’s Napping Bloody Mary
Makes 1 drink
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon, divided
2-1/2 cups tomato juice (I tested with Campbells)
2 ounces vodka
4 drops Worcestershire sauce
6 drops hot sauce (I tested with Louisiana)
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
Freshly ground salt and pepper
Dash celery salt
Garnish: freshly ground pepper, lemon wedge
Coat rim of glass with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice. Place glass rim in freshly ground pepper, turning to coat evenly. Place ice cubes in glass, pour tomato juice and vodka over ice. Add remaining lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, horseradish, salt, pepper, and celery salt. Stir to combine. Garnish with lemon wedge, if desired. Serve immediately.
August 3, 2011 § 2 Comments
Do you always eat your oatmeal hot?
(Image credit: The Kitchn)
I, for one, usually stay away from oatmeal in the summer, because it’s already pretty darn hot at 6:30 am, and I don’t need something to add to the heat. But I was trying to be resourceful the other day when I was out of all other breakfast goods, so I resorted to the five minute oats sitting in the back of my pantry. I made enough for a few servings one evening, and put it in individual tupperware/small mason jars to last for the week. I drizzled some local honey over it, and stuck it in the fridge.
Each morning I grabbed a little oatmeal tupperware before heading to work (I also drizzled it with some half and half, then resealed it. Wonder how much of the health factor that took away), and I intended to microwave it once I got to work. But I took a bite, and it was delicious. So sweet and cold—almost like an oat pudding or something, so I’ve been enjoying it cold every morning.
So oatmeal isn’t such a bad summer breakfast after all, and it goes great with an iced coffee!