Thursday, May 12, 2011
Friday, October 23, 2009
The truth is, if you don't recharge on the weekend, you're toast next week. You'll be in a bad mood. You won't look forward to work, school, or those never-ending errands.
So you owe it to your good humor, your health, productivity and the betterment of all your relationships to kick back and take it easy.
A cool refreshing drink is a great way to slow down and smell the roses, or, in this case, the fresh fruit.
These drinks are all about the quality of the fruit. The limes, oranges, and passion fruit need to be fresh and juicy. The rum must be white. The sugar powdered.
Besides that, you'll need a couple of ice cubes and a muddler or a spoon. Now you're set to entertain yourself or share the good times with friends.
Passion Fruit, Lime or Orange & White Rum
Pick either lime or orange, the choice is yours.
Yield: 1 serving
Time: 5 minutes
1/4 cup finely chopped lime or orange, with juice
1 teaspoon passion fruit pulp including seeds
1/4 cup white rum
1 heaping tablespoon powdered sugar
4 ice cubes
Crush the lime or orange in a glass with a wooden muddler or the back of a spoon, add the passion fruit, rum and sugar. Stir to mix well.
Add the ice cubes and serve with a small spoon, the better to sip and stir and sip some more.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
The national drink of Brazil, the caipirinha, has 4 ingredients: cachaça, sugar, limes, and ice. Simple, delicious, and strong. Cachaça is harsher than rum but more flavorful than vodka.
Off and on for three years our older son, Frank, lived in Brazil. We visited him in Rio where he introduced us to the pleasures of sitting on the Leblon beach, enjoying the incredible view and feasting on "appetizers" sold by vendors who walk up and down the beach.
The variety of delicious treats carried by vendors is amazing. Grilled chicken, saladinhos ("little salty snacks"), cheeses melted on a small brazier, shrimp on skewers, ice cold agua de coco from a freshly opened coconut, and a variety of fruit beyond belief. After you've eaten enough or want a break from watching the parade of beautifully tanned and under-dressed Cariocas (what the natives of Rio are called), a short walk to any of the restaurants and bars that line the beach and a caipirinha is waiting for you.
Because Brazil has such a bounty of tropical fruits, it was only a matter of time before the caipirinha enjoyed the addition of other flavors. Frank had learned to make variations. Going to a nearby farmers' market, we picked out different fruit to add to the basic ingredients.
Back at his apartment we spent the afternoon working our way through many combinations. What we liked best was adding kiwi fruit and pomegranate seeds, then we experimented with the proportions.
When it was time to leave Rio, we packed our suitcase with as many bottles of cachaça as we could legally bring home.
2 ounces cachaça
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1/2 lime, cut into 8 pieces, mashed in a mortar and pestle
1/2 kiwi, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
ice, cubed or crushed
Pour the cachaça in a 12 ounce glass, add the sugar and stir well. Pour in the lime, kiwi, and pomegranate seeds. Mix and fill the glass with crushed ice. Serve with an espresso spoon so you can eat the kiwi and pomegranate seeds while you sip your caipirinha.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Our teenaged son has a very healthy diet. He eats whole wheat pasta, nuts, grains, lean cuts of meat, fresh fruit, and a lot of bananas. There always seem to be a few that get over-ripe before he's ready to eat them.
He also likes egg white scrambles, so there are usually extra egg yolks for me to use. I hate wasting food, so the bananas and egg yolks become Banana Cake.
Banana Cake with Nuts and Chocolate Chips
Time: 90 minutes
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tablespoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cup white sugar
2 eggs + 2 yolks
5 ripe, mashed bananas
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup cream or ½ and ½
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup chopped roasted almonds or walnuts
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt a tablespoon of butter and brush the inside of (2) 9”x4” baking pans. Put them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
In a mixer combine the sugar and eggs and wisk until creamy. Add the softened butter and mix well. Then the mashed bananas, baking soda, vanilla, sea salt, cayenne, and cream .
.Slowly add the flour and stir until well-combined. Blend in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the baking pans, stopping 1 ½” from the top, so the cake has room to rise while it’s cooking. Bake for 60-70 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave in the pan for 10 minutes, because the cakes could fall apart if you take them out of the pan when they’re still very hot.
Carefully turn them out of the pans and let cool on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.