Sunday, December 25, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
- Cut the marshmallows with kitchen shears.
- When you first put the marshmallow in the cookie, it is not that important to push it down. After you cook it for 2 minutes, THEN really push it down and make is spread over the entire cookie.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I enjoyed the cranberries on our appetizer tray at Benjy's so much that I decided to try them at home. Despite what our waiter claimed, the cranberries do get cooked a bit when you pour the hot simple syrup over them. I don't think my sugar layer turned out as even as the ones an Benjy's, but they taste great and were easy to make.
I couldn't find superfine sugar at HEB, so I just gave some regular granulated sugar a whirl in the food processor for about 40 seconds.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
nut crusted + marbled potato gratin
+ sweet corn reduction 16.95
local shrimp + lump crab + forest
mushrooms + piquillo cream 17.95
+ warm brussels sprout salad 22.95
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Lauren set a beautiful fall table with pumpkins and leaves and Carol's pumpkin soup bowls fit right in.
- used just 1.5 tablespoons butter
- used just 1/2 cup cream
- added 1 teaspoon dried sage to dough
- add pumpkin seeds to the middle and top of biscuits
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Appetizer: Angie, Wonton soup
Janet set a beautiful table with souvenirs from her recent trips to China. In the center was a beautiful array of flowers featuring red and orange roses.
Oriental Chicken with Orange Ginger Wine Sauce
|2 pounds chicken breast cut into 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 inch cubes|
|1 tablespoon garlic, chopped|
|1 tablespoon ginger root, chopped|
|1/4 cup PLUS 1/3 cup soy sauce, divided|
|1/4 cup PLUS 1/3 cup cooking wine, divided|
|1 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon cornstarch, divided|
|6 cups peanut oil|
|1 can mandarin orange slices with syrup|
|1 cup fresh kiwi cut into big pieces|
|orange slices for garnish|
|1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice|
|1 tablespoon fresh orange peel, grated|
|1/3 cup sugar|
|1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated|
Monday, September 19, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
- 1 can of drained and rinsed black beans
- two ears of fresh corn
- red onion rather than green onion
- 4 tablespoons of lime juice rather than 3
- minced clams
- dry white wine
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- cornstarch slurry
- parsley for garnish
- sour cream—tossed with the boiled pasta prior to topping with seafood mixture
We chose Haven and its southern cuisine from the long list of wonderful restaurants and the food was outstanding. So far almost $11,000 has been donated and Haven is hoping to break last year's record of over $20,000.
Appetizers enjoyed included the corn soup, baby arugula and peach salad and fried chicken livers with biscuits and gravy. YES, chicken livers! They were delicious and coated in a crispy, golden brown batter.
For entrees, most ordered the Akaushi steak which comes from cows raised in Texas that are the same breed as the Kobe cows in Japan. (More information can be found here). The steak was amazingly tender and stuffed with a thin line of brie cheese that oozed out with each bite. One brave soul faced her fear of shrimp heads and ordered the wild head on shrimp with shrimp boudin, andouille and grits. All entrees were delicious.
Finally, for dessert there was coconut tres leches bread pudding with a Swiss meringue and chocolate layer cake with homemade vanilla ice cream. YUM.
The Houston Restaurant Weeks is a great way to try trendy restaurants without spending $100 AND it all supports the Houston Food Bank. The Haven menu can be found here.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
There is an interesting first step: simmer a can (sans label) of sweetened condensed milk for three hours in a pot of water. The first thing that comes to mind when imagining a simmering can is AN EXPLOSION. I did some research and was assured there would be NO EXPLOSION of hot milk lava to burn my skin off.
Apparently in Europe, simmering condensed milk happens quite often and in some countries the final product is sold in stores. The final product being caramel/toffee. When I opened the can the next morning, it looked like condensed milk and I thought what a waste of three hours of holding a pillow over my head least I get hit by shrapnel. I decided to push forward and poured it into the crust and after the first bit of yellow milk then the brown toffee appeared and I mixed it together in the crust. I do not know if there will always be a part of the can that does not caramelize or if it all would have had I covered the can completely with water.
The name of the pie, banoffee, is the combination of the words "banana" and "toffee". It was VERY delicious. The night before I was serving the pie I prepared the crust, toffee and whipped cream. I stored all separately (the cream in the refrigerator, the rest at room temperature) and assembled the pie in the morning and served it at dinner. I was afraid it would make the crust soggy, but it did not. The recipe says you can assemble it a few hours before serving but I think a day in advance would be fine.
My pie was not as solid as in the original posting and I think it would be beneficial to put it in the freezer 30 minutes to an hour before serving. The toffee is sweet and creamy and just the right amount. Any more would be too sweet. The bananas are a nice surprise, since you cannot see the slices mixed with all the cream. The cream, lightly sweetened, is a great way to cut the sweetness of the toffee.
I sprinkled the top with left over graham cracker crust crumbs. I did not think it needed any more flavors like the chocolate called for in the original recipe.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
The recipe also calls for seltzer water which will make the batter light. It results in a crisp on the outside, moist on the inside waffle. The only modification I made, on the second batch, was add a dash of cinnamon and a little more vanilla. It turned out even tastier than the original recipe.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Appetizer: Janet, Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms
Salad: Mary, Coleslaw
Side: Lauren, Collard Greens
Main Dish: Angie, Red Beans and Rice
Dessert: Tonya, Praline Chocolate Cake
The below corn muffins, made by Carol first for us in September 2009, featured fresh corn kernels and a very thick batter. Coarse corn meal was sprinkled on top, before baking, and this resulted in a wonderful crunch. The muffins were very moist and made even more delicious with a pat of "bunny" butter.
Tips: This batter can be refrigerated in a covered container for 3 days and baked just before serving. Be sure to add 3 to 5 minutes to the baking to compensate for the temperature of the refrigerated muffin batter.
For the salad, Mary made coleslaw featuring poppy seeds and it was the perfect compliment to the spicy main course.
When I was thinking of this menu I hoped that the side dish would be greens and Lauren read my mind and prepared collard greens! They were delicious and slightly sweet. The one pound of greens cooked down and we wish there had been more!
· 1 large onion, chopped
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon pepper
· 3 cups chicken broth
· 1 pinch red pepper flakes
· 1 tablespoon brown sugar
· 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
· 1 pound fresh collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces
2. Pour chicken broth in slow cooker, and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and vinegar. Add collard green mixture. Set heat to low, cover, and cook for 2 hours, or until greens are tender.
The main dish for authentic Louisiana red beans and rice came from allrecipes.com. I read many recipes and this one had the best reviews and seemed rather simple. The changes I made included adding THE ham bone (from April) to the beans at the start of cooking, then cutting away the ham and adding it before discarding the bone. I also used about a pound and a half of beans and similarly adjusted the seasonings to about 1.5 times. I never added salt, just like the recipe states, and I did not think it was necessary. If this seems strange to you, be sure to not add any until after the sausage has cooked as it adds plenty of salt. Also, I think next time I will use a potato masher to mash some of the beans to give it a thicker consistency.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Appetizer - Tomato Tart, Angie
Salad - Watermelon Salad, Lauren
Side - Couscous Salad, Mary
Bread - Assorted, Carol
Main Dish - Spinach and Chicken Phyllo Cups, Tonya
Dessert - Lemon Cake and Cookie Cups, Carol
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1/2 cup feta
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 pressed garlic cloves
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup olive oil
Mix together salad. Mix dressing and add as desired to each serving.
Couscous Feta Salad
Chicken broth (use amount indicated on couscous package)
2 boxes of couscous with pine nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Add honey to cut the sharpness of the vinegar.
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 (4 ounce) container crumbled feta cheese (used fat free feta)
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (shortcut is to use the couscous with pine nuts in it)
Dried dates. Adds a bit of sweetness and nice texture. I used about 1 heaping cup.
Once the couscous is cold, make the dressing by whisking together the salt, black pepper, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl (add some honey to cut the vinegar a bit). Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk until the oil has thickened the dressing. Fold the cucumber, feta cheese, green onions, parsley, and pine nuts (if needed) into the couscous. Pour the dressing over top, and stir until evenly moistened. Chill 30 minutes before serving.
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
Below are pictures of future baby Vivian's nursery. It is decorated in lavenders, white and black. Very beautiful and chic! Except for the scary "peek-a-boo" bear!