Friday, March 27, 2015

Guest Post Friday ~ Bananas Foster



Bananas Foster
a guest post by Frank Maier


This is definitely an old family favorite. I've even prepared it on a one-burner camp stove in the middle of nowhere. I guess it's mostly a dessert, although it's also a fine breakfast/brunch offering, especially with champagne or a champagne-based drink, like mimosa or Kir Royale (one of my favorites). This is one of the first things the kids learned to cook for themselves. Snicker! Motivation is a wonderful thing. If you want something fervently enough…

Bananas Foster

Ingredients: 

  • 1 banana per person (for us that's 4) 
  • 1/4 lb. of butter (No, you can't substitute margarine! That's disgusting!)
  • Some rum (Ok, a lot of rum.)
  • A little Grand Marnier (Ok, some GM)
  • Lots of brown sugar (The more, the merrier.) 
  • Some vanilla (Real vanilla is best, of course.)
  • Cinnamon to taste (Again, fresh is good, if you have it. Powdered works, if you don't.)

Directions:

Slice bananas down the middle lengthwise once and crosswise once, resulting in 4 pieces from each banana. Put butter, rum, and Grand Marnier into an adequately-sized sautĂ© pan. As the butter melts, add the brown (Other kinds will do in a pinch.) sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Some people like a little nutmeg, clove, etc. Cook's choice. Simmer it until it's approximately at the soft-ball stage, then add the bananas. Cook for a minute or two on both sides. That's it; you're done. Serve and enjoy. As a breakfast item, I like to have this with buttered toast. As a dessert, it's pretty tasty over ice cream. Whatever you do, please, do not use banana liqueur in this recipe. That stuff is just nasty!

Alternate preparation: The previous preparation cooks away all (well, most, anyway) of the alcohol, making this dish suitable for everyone, including kids. If you're a showboat chef, serving adults and wanna impress 'em, try this instead. This method will typically leave a lot more of the alcohol content in the final dish. Put the cinnamon in a small container and have it ready. Prepare the other ingredients as above but in a chafing dish with a heat source at the table; and use 151 rum, which you'll add after you've added the bananas, instead of at the beginning. Give the rum a minute to get warm, then IGNITE the dish. That's right. Set that sucker on fire. Please, be careful at this step. Stir it to keep the flame going and sprinkle the cinnamon into the flames. The cinnamon dust will flare orange in the blue alcohol flame. Very impressive. Unless you set yourself and/or everything else on fire. Of course, that would be impressive, too; but in a different way, huh? Did I remind you to be careful?

Enjoy!
Chef Francois, le loup-garou de la cuisine
Singularity

~~~~~

Dee's comments: My first experience with Bananas Foster was on our honeymoon at Brennan's in New Orleans. I was so impressed I bought their cookbook mainly for this recipe. Frank, while currently holding court in Seattle, is originally from New Orleans. We "met" on Facebook via mutual friends. One of these days we are both going to be in New Orleans at the same time and I feel certain this meeting will include crawfish, political conversations and adult beverages.

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, Frank!

If anyone else would like to share a recipe as a guest post, here are the very easy instructions. I would love to feature your favorites. 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Menu Monday ~ March 23, 2015

Click here for more menu ideas!

Monday:
Going to use up the last of the roast beef leftovers.
  • vegetable beef soup with parmesan dumplings
  • salad

Tuesday/Wednesday: 
David is going to be out of town so I'll just fix myself something simple like a salad. 

Thursday:
I have a class at 6 p.m. so I need something that I can cook early and keep warm. David isn't always home as early as I will need to eat before I leave. Plus, it is supposed to be a little cool and rainy so it seems a perfect day for chili. 

Friday:
I'm going to the city to take my friend to lunch for her birthday and since our "lunches" have been known to last several hours I'm not planning on being home for dinner. The guys will have to be on their own. 

Saturday:
While in the city on Friday I plan to pick up some organic produce and a French baguette (things which are not easily available in our town). I don't know exactly what will be available but that's what I plan to make our dinner out of. 
  • seasonal vegetables
  • salad
  • French baguette

Sunday:
Now that the weather is nice we will be enjoying our family Sunday dinners outdoors. Last night the kids were here and we grilled burgers. We ate on the patio and then sat around the fire pit chatting for a couple of hours. I LOVE this time of year!
  • grilled organic hot dogs
  • homemade potato salad
  • chips and dip
~~~~

What's on your menu this week? Leave me a comment and tell me one of your favorite meals for springtime. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Menu Monday ~ March 16, 2015

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Monday:
I was originally planning to do "Taco Tuesday" this week but David just found out he will be out of town Tuesday and Wednesday. So "Taco Monday" it is!
  • lentil tacos
  • green salad
  • Mexican rice
  • chips and guacamole
Tuesday/Wednesday:
David is out of town so I'll just have a salad or something like that. 

Thursday:
I have a gardening/horticulture class at 6 p.m. so I think a crockpot meal will be a good idea.
  • crockpot roast with potatoes, carrots and onions
  • tossed green salad
  • rolls
Friday:
  • burritos made with leftover roast beef
  • refried beans
  • salad
Saturday:
~~~~~

What's on your menu this week?



Monday, March 9, 2015

Menu Monday ~ March 9, 2015

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Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday:

David is away on a business trip these three nights so I decided it was a good time for me to do a little diet kick-start of sorts, a la Mireille Guiliano of "French Women Don't Get Fat" fame. Our small locally-owned grocery store generally has a fairly basic produce section but I happened to notice they had leeks the other day and picked up some. I don't know that you could actually call it a recipe but here are the instructions:


I made a batch this evening and had two small mugs of it. I had some parmesan I had grated Saturday night for a church dinner so I sprinkled a little of that on the soup. It was surprisingly tasty. 

Thursday:
Friday:
  • black bean tacos
  • Mexican rice
  • salad
  • tortilla chips and guacamole
Saturday:
  • homemade macaroni and cheese
  • tossed green salad
  • glazed carrots
~~~~~

What's on your menu this week?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Menu Monday ~ March 2, 2015

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Monday:
Busy night! David has a firefighter meeting at 6 and we are planning to go to our nephew's basketball game at 8. David managed to get off work in time to come home for a quick meal before his meeting.
  • spaghetti 
  • salad
  • toasted Italian bread
Tuesday:
I think I get to stay home all day and we don't have anywhere to go that evening - yay! 
  • enchiladas
  • Mexican rice
  • salad
Wednesday:
This is looking like another one of "those days". I know I have piano at 3:30 and choir at 6:45. There's a good chance I'll be sandwiching in a meeting between the two in which case I won't be home until after 8 p.m.  I'll make up a casserole with the leftover spaghetti sauce from Monday and the guys can heat it up for dinner. 

Thursday:
I will be cooking at Abba's Tables (local soup kitchen) from 2 to 5 p.m. or so. David and I plan to go listen to live music at a local Italian restaurant that evening so I think we'll just go ahead and eat dinner there.

Friday:
  • roast
  • baked potatoes
  • salad
  • corn
Saturday:
Our church is hosted a "meet and greet" dinner for our new pastor and his family. It's an Italian potluck. I haven't decided what I'll bring yet - I'll probably check later in the week to see what is most needed. 
~~~~~

What's on your menu this week?


Monday, February 23, 2015

Menu Monday ~ February 23, 2015

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Monday:

We have been snowed in the past two days which, for some reason makes me feel lazy. Around 6:30 it occurred to me that perhaps I ought to think about fixing something for dinner. I opted for an old standby - breakfast for dinner. 
  • homemade waffles
  • Applegate Farm chicken and apple sausage links
  • mandarin oranges
  • French press coffee and Bailey's
Tuesday:

We are supposed to meet our niece and her husband in Oklahoma City for dinner. They are coming in from Idaho for a business trip. However, road conditions are not looking promising. If we don't go here is my at home dinner plan:
Wednesday:

I have a piano lesson, board meeting and choir rehearsal all in a row which will have me out of the house from around 3 p.m. until after 8 p.m. I think the guys will have to be on their own for dinner. 

Thursday:
  • Lentil Rice Casserole
  • tortillas, cheese, avocado, lettuce and tomato
  • tortilla chips and salsa
Friday:
Saturday:
  • spaghetti and meatballs
  • salad
  • garlic bread
Sunday:

I'm not sure if we'll do "family dinner" or not. If we do, I'll most likely do something simple like homemade soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

~~~~~

What's on your menu this week? 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

Click above for link to original recipe. 

A few weeks ago a friend mentioned this recipe on Facebook and absolutely raved about it. I read the comments on the original recipe and found that nearly everyone who tried it agreed. David isn't fond of capers and Chris isn't a big fan of olives but they are good sports and were willing to give it a try. They both really liked it, as did I. It is delicious, super easy and yet looks a bit fancy. Give it a try. 

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup pimento stuffed olives
  • 5 ounces of pitted prunes
  • 1.5 ounces capers
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Directions:

Combine ingredients in mixing bowl and stir gently to combine. Place 3 or 4 chicken breasts in baking dish and pour mixture over. Bake at 350 degrees 30-45 minutes until chicken is done. Serve over couscous, rice, orzo or other pasta.