Autumn Pizza

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Listen up, dearhearts.

My BF Whit made a visit. We made pizza. The long and short of it: it melted my face off. In the best of ways.

Check it: Store bought dough, gouda cheese, apples, caramelized onion, garlic, BACON, and sage come together in this “tour de force”.

If this pizza were a movie, it would star Meryl Streep. And she would be nominated for another Oscar. And this time she’d actually win. Straight talk, ya hurrr?

Oven at 425. Olive oil base.

What about this causes you to hesitate??

Sorry to yell. But it melted my face off. I’m entitled.

P.s. we paired a bottle of Lambrusco with this. We were amazed- a dry yet sweet sparkling red wine??? Total truth, my friends. Total. Truth.

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Banana Bread French Toast with Homemade Caramel Sauce

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It was a beautiful today. I mean it.

And Not just because its MY Friday, and 70 degrees outside, and “To Wong Foo, thanks for everything, Julie Newmar” just arrived from Netflix or because i smothered my French Toast in caramel sauce. No big deal. It’s Just an awesome day. That’s all. Dig it.

Oh wait, it was TOTALLY because I smothered my French Toast in Caramel sauce. And also because that French Toast happened to be made out of Banana Bread.

Let’s talk old bread for a second. Nanner bread rules. Straight up. But after a few days, it looses that uber moistness (sorry, poor word choice.) and gets all dry and and painful to finish…. (Again…my bad)

The French thought that soaking old bread in custard and frying it would make some tasty eats.
Americans thought that if you used banana Bread, spiked that custard with nutmeg, and topped the whole thing with cream cheese and caramel sauce THEN you’d really be on to something. For this I say, God bless America. Totes on point!

I had never made homemade caramel before this moment. And now I am obsessed. So easy. So delicious. So not as scary as I thought it was gonna be.

Banana Bread French toast:

4 slices banana Bread
2 eggs
1/4c. Cream
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1T. Sugar

Butter

In a bowl whisk eggs, cream, sugar, and spices. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Dip each slice in custard and be sure to “shake” off any excess. ( don’t let them get too wet) . Fry on each side until golden Brown. Top with Caramel sauce and cream cheese. Yowza!

For the caramel:

1c. Sugar
2T. Light corn syrup
2T. Water
1/2tsp. Salt
2T. Butter
1/3c. Cream

In a saucepot, heat sugar water and corn syrup on med/low heat. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. DON’T TOUCH IT! Let it Brown and bubble and boil away. It should become a dark Amber color. Remove from heat and add butter and cream stirring vigourously. It will froth up. This is good. Stir in salt and combine until smooth. Pour into a jar to cool. Or pour immediately over french toast! Keep stored in fridge and add to Hot Toddies, coffee, tea, apples, peanut butter sandwiches, a spoon…

This stuff is wicked. Treat yo self.

NOVEMBERFEST!

Friends!

What do you get when you mix Oktoberfest foods with Decemberfest beer?

Novemberfest. Obviously. this is a real thing now.

i love november. It’s my birthday month, it’s Thanksgiving month, it’s Chrysanthemum Month. I love it becasue it isn’t flashy, or terribly pretty, or super festive, or patriotic.November is the “Middle-Child” of the whole year. It is a “Middle of the Road-er”,  the “Every Man’s” month. Average. AND Awesome. how cane you NOT get into it?

This year, i took it upon myself to invent a new holiday for my pal, Nov.

Consider it a rebranding of sorts. (Don Draper-ing this joint UP!)

And thus, celebrated the First Annual Novemberfest! (say this in your best Oprah voice. So. Epic.)

Complete with pseudo-Bavarian garb, grilled sausages, and beer, and that Melancholic Sunshine of November afternoons, this Novemberfest was a TRIUMPH!!!!

Here was the kicker. Grilled Pork and Apple sausages with a homemade Fig Relish. No Buns, just folded inside some lightly toasted sourdough, porter mustard and pickles. I swear… magic has a taste.

Here’s how-

Fig Relish:

1/2 c. fig jam (remember that fig and rosemary jam we made? yeah. use it!)

1 T. good mustard (grainy, dijon, porter, etc. you pick your fav)

Splash of white wine (or beer)

pepper

In a small saucepan, combine mustard and fig jam. on Medium-Low heat. Melt down and reduce. Add wine and pepper. stir to combine.

If the relish is too thick, feel free to add some water or beef broth. A majority of the liquid will burn off, so don’t worry. Just be sure your don’t let the relish burn because the jam has a high sugar content.

taste. if too sweet, add vinegar. too sour? add more jam. It is an easy balancing act.

Take of heat and serve over grilled sausages.

stuff into your face.

Cheers!

p.s. i know its been a while. but i have some good stuff coming up this month. Stay Tuned!

-M

xxoo

Harvest Moon

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Happy Friday. You look like you could use a cocktail. This is my new favorite.
Let me introduce to you the Harvest Moon. A decadent blend of pumpkin ale, spiced rum, with a cinnamon sugar rim. So good, even my Mom drinks them. Have you ever had a cocktail with your Mom? If not, you should. Mom’s are awesome. And hilarious. And tell great stories. Just what you want in a cocktail buddy.

This recipe was adapted by me. And I stole it from Boston. I was there a couple weeks ago and went to a place called The Tavern in Cambridge. The waitress brought this drink out and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. Seriously. You should see my fridge.  I don’t know who gets invention credit, all I know is that we all should get drinking credit.

Happy weekending.
M
Xxoo

Harvest Moon (makes one drink)

12 oz. Good pumpkin ale ( I used Saranac)
Half oz. Spiced rum plus more on a little dish.
Cinnamon sugar on a dish.

Dip rim of glass in rum. Then in the sugar mixture. Make sure the rim is even.
Then pour pumpkin ale carefully. Leave a little head space for foam.

Add rum and give a light stir.

Shine on shine on Harvest Moon.

You can add more rum based off of personal preference. You can also stir in some extra cinnamon sugar into the drink itself. De-lush.

Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Bacon Pancakes

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Saay whaaaaa??? That just happened. I had a dream about these pancakes. You will too.
Shaved Dark Chocolate. Check.
Crispy Bacon. Check.
Warm Maple Syrup. Check.

Put it all in some already stellar buttermilk pancake batter. Triple check.

These cakes are 100% danger. The risky business kind. While I was frying them up I received 3 marriage proposals. Two of them were from myself. The third was from my elderly neighbor, Frank. He was walking past my open window and looked in.
“What are you makin, sweetheart?”
“Oh hey Frank. Uh, just some chocolate bacon Pancakes”
(Insert old man whistle) ” Well, Gee…if I were 50 years younger and a foot taller, I’d snatch you right up!”
That totally counts as a proposal.
Which I totally accepted.

Totally kidding. Maybe.

Long story made longer:

Cook these flapjacks up for your “haggard” friends (post cast party perhaps?). Or for your little brothers birthday. Or for your day off. Or for your mailman. Or the president. Hell…anybody can get down with this short stack. Just make them. Do it.

Hot coffee and a fork. That’s all you need to serve with these. If you have a boy too, all the better. But make sure its one you like. Remember…Dangerzone…

Cheers!
M

xxoo

Adapted from here:

2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoons vanilla extract

4 strips crispy bacon, cooled and crumbled

1/2 cup shaved dark chocolate (chocolate chips could be used instead)

1 c. maple syrup

1 pat of butter

Step 1: In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth. Fold in chocolate shavings and bacon and let batter set for a few minutes.
Step 2: Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray. You can test to see if the pan is hot enough by adding a few drops of water, if or when the drops start to dance its hot enough.
Step 3: Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking, if it is the pan may be too hot and you will need to adjust the heat. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Let cooked pancakes rest on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

Step 4: in a small saucepan, warm the syrup and add the butter. Stir until melted, serve over pancakes.

Step 5: Nap.

Chicken Tacos and Sitting in the Dark

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Halloween. I wore a costume. I bought a pumpkin. I mulled some cider. I did this thing.

One exception- I didn’t buy candy. i know, i know… I forgot.

False, it was on purpose. Hear me out!  On Halloween night I wasn’t going to be home during the Height of the Trick or Treating Hour. And one cannot spend 30 dollars on candy rations only to then poorly utilize them. That is unacceptable.

This meant I had two choices:

1.) Put the unassuming, unattended candy bowl on the Stoop. Write a note that says “2 pieces please”. But c’mon. Who are we kidding. You were a kid once. You see candy with a sign and it’s like a babe in the woods. You go bonkers. it’s free game. No consequence. That candy is helpless without a Chaperone.

or 2). Turn out the lights, close the shades, lock the door, and every time someone rings the bell–hold my breath and fall to the ground. Act like a fugitive in my own home. This had potential reprecussions. I panicked that my house would suffer the wrath of one thousand vengeful youths, hungry for candy, angry they didn’t get it, and now…thirsting for blood. I imagined everything from Egging to poop fires to TP-ing…the list is endless. and all terrifying.

i chose the later. Bold choice? perhaps.

The morning of all Hallow’s Eve, i seared some chicken thighs, threw them in the slow cooker with 2 bottles of beer, a can of roasted chiles and a packet of Southwest Blackening Seasoning. That’s it. I walked away. Spent my day as Amelia Bedelia only to come home to some Dos Cervezas Pollo Tacos with Homemade Guacamole, Fresh Pico, Cojita Cheese, Blue Corn Tortillas, Cilantro, and Spicy Black Beans.

I also walked around with my baseball bat all evening.

I ate in the dark, drank some New Belgium Snow Days, and watched Whip It.

My Halloween rocked. The best part was that i found no trace of egg or TP the following morning. Success.

Dos Cervezas Tacos

1 lbs. chicken thighs

2 bottles of beer

1 lime

1 little can of green chiles

1 packet of favorite spice mix. (go for one with lots of smoky chilies, not a lot of salt)

1 clove garlic

red pepper chili flakes

salt

pepper

Oil

In a pan, heat some olive oil. Season chicken thighs with salt pepper, and chili powder.

Sear until nice and brown. (not cooked through).

In a crock pot, pour beer, chilies, garlic, 2 wedges of lime, chili flakes, and set on low. Add chicken. Make sure the meat is covered with liquid. Walk away.

Come back in 8 hours. ish. Chicken with be shred-able. this is good. Open a can of black beans, make some guacamole, and build some beautiful little tacos. Eating in the Dark is ok too.

Clam Linguine

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Welcome Home. You look tired… here, sit and eat. Have some of this, it’s Clam Linguine. What?  What was that? Oh! It’s delicious? haha, yes, yes it is. I thought you’d like it since you’ve been working all weekend with crazy people like that damn Cat Lady who keeps trying to write Bad checks, and you’re all turned around because your “friday” is really a Tuesday. Thats enough to make anyone bonkers. I get it. Here drink this. This is alcohol.

 

Looking back over this conversation i had with myself, i realize i might have made you uncomfortable. But i regret nothing. It’s nice that someone cares.

If you’re a Workin Girl, a Workin Guy, a Workin Granny, or unemployed, you will love this pasta. It is quick to put together and full of the tasty. So that when you get home at 10 o clock, don’t touch the Dorito bag. DON’T!!! That’s not what you need. You need a meal that will hug your tummy. Besides, Doritos are not Dinner. Strike that, Doritos can be dinner. Let’s face it we’ve all had a Dorito Dinner at least once… (every semester in college). But NOT now. Not when we have grown-up Clam Linguine as an option.

Lemon Zest, Parsley, White Wine and Half and Half create The Holy Quadrangle.

Clams make it a Holy Pentagon.

Pasta, a Holy Hexagon.

Trinity? psh..fuggedaboutit. We’ve no time for you.

 

Clam Linguine

1 handful of Linguine

1/4 lbs. minced Clams

1/4 c. White Wine

2 tsp. flour

1-2 T. parsley minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small shallot, chopped

1 T. olive oil

tiny pat of butter

1 c. Half and Half (or whole milk)

1 tsp. Lemon zest + 1 half’s juice

salt

Pepper

In a pot bring to a boil water for the pasta. Be sure to add salt to the water.

In a small pan, heat olive oil and butter together. Add shallot and garlic. Cook until just beginning to color, add clams. Cook through (about 2 mins). Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and white wine. Reduce to Med. Heat. Slowly sprinkle in the flour. Combine. Add the cream and stir until slightly thickened. Season with Pepper. Turn heat to low.

Cook pasta until Al Dente. Remove from pot with tongs (so you can save the pasta water) and add to the sauce, slowly bringing it back to a simmer. If Sauce is too thick, simply add the pasta water until desired consistency. Cook together for 2 minutes. Plate, garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano and more parsley.

Sit on the couch, watch a movie, drink some wine,  take a hot shower, go to bed. This is Life. We are killin it.

cheers!

xxoo

M