So I'm laying in bed, typing away busting out some Lily Drake head-choppin' craziness for the second book, and in walks my husband with this insane smell wafting all around him that can only be described as Italian food heaven.
Sorry I didn't remember to take a picture of it until after I'd taken a few bites, but consider it my way of immortalizing my teeth imprints just in case I ever go missing. He shared his newest recipe for this awesome bruschetta, however, I'm not sure he knows I'm throwing it up online. So much for guarding the secret and passing this one down through the generations.
And I should warn you he usually takes some creative liberties when making food, so don't moan about this not being just like the bruschetta your old grandma used to make...
1 1/2 cups diced roma and grape tomatoes
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
10-12 green olives chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped basil
add this mixture to sliced bread and top with peccorino/romana cheese. Bake until it smells awesome and cheese is melted.
In the second installment of the Lily Drake series (that I am currently feverishly working toward finishing), Lily has found herself in New Orleans. Imagine that....
So where does that leave me? Fantasizing about New Orleans, of course.
The fantastic meal in the above photo was something the chef at NOLA "whipped up." When I asked our server what vegetarian entrees he suggested, he immediately recommended that we see what the chef could do - that he loved to play with vegetables when they weren't too busy.
A short time later I got this amazing meal... kous kous, shiitake mushrooms and goat cheese with a mix of some sort of salad thrown in. Maybe it doesn't sound all that appetizing to the carnivores out there, my husband had this look of horror on his face when he saw it, but I will vouch... it was nothing short of heavenly.
And pray when you go there that they are serving these jalepeno cornbread muffins. I had staved off eating bread almost all week, but I made an exception for these... I had two. I gained a few pounds in the week I was in New Orleans, but even as I exercise (which I despise doing), I don't regret eating these little babies.
What's better than picking up dinner and taking it home to enjoy? Picking up cupcakes and taking those home to devour.
For today's blog, I'm featuring an incredible little local bakery here in Mount Vernon, Ohio called The Pink Cupcake.
My son and I have tried what I believe to be all of their cupcakes. In our expert opinions, the bavarian cream is the best, but more than a couple come in a close second (big shout out to the Death By Chocolate cupcake). Between the cream, the cake and the chocolate icing, this cupcake is almost like a mini Boston Creme Pie, but with an adorable little bumblebee on top. (And yes, he is edible as well - those tiny wings are almonds). If you live close, or even if you don't, stop by The Pink Cupcake and try one. Or Three.
This is the Banana's Foster recipe from Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans. I can't say enough about this particular restaurant, the staff and the atmosphere... especially their gorgeous courtyard. It is classic and a must-stop on any tour of some of the finest New Orleans cuisine.
Excuse the horrible pictures... If you notice the photo to the left, I forgot to take a picture until I had already eaten half of it! Alfredo, our server, was kind enough to make a copy of this recipe for me.
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
1/4 cup white rum
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambe' pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook stirring, until sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan lightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.
Of course, one day of my blog has to be about my favorite thing in the whole world. FOOD. Each week I will post my favorite foods and/or recipes. Expect some rich and decadent stuff, but be warned… I’ve been a vegetarian for the last 25+ years, so no “meaty goodness” as my son calls it.
For the first installment, I’d be remiss to not include my favorite entrée from a historic local restaurant. This particular restaurant, The Alcove, located in Mount Vernon, Ohio is a personal favorite. Obviously, I highly recommend.
I fantasize about their Brie Salad constantly. It is always fresh mixed greens with walnuts, dried cranberries and doused in Maple-Balsamic Vinagrette. Then you have that little log of brie heaven laying on top that just sort of oozes all over the salad. I long for this salad with the same look in my eyes as a fifteen year-old girl does Edward Cullen.