"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Monday, July 26, 2010

reading and eating - both fun activities

Hola, readers! I hope everyone had a most enjoyable weekend. Kell and I worked in the yard (some) until I almost passed out because of the heat and the thorns on my blackberry vine. I really loathe yard work.

What better way to recover from being outside in the blazing heat and crippling humidity than to be inside reading? I’ve finished Plain Truth, and I really liked it. I’ve been fascinated by the Amish for years, especially after seeing the movie Witness years ago, and this book was like a teeny window into that world. Like all things Jodi Picoult, there are very well-developed characters, a driving plotline and multiple sides to the story. The twist at the end was less twisty than I would have liked, but still overall a very good read. If you’ve never read any of Picoult’s stuff, I definitely recommend it. I give this one an A.

I’m now reading Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You. For those of you that know me, you know that I love psychology. This book was written by a psychologist, a nosy one at that, who studies people based on their dorm rooms, homes, offices and general surroundings. Let this be a warning to you: next time I come to your house or stop by your desk, I’ll be snooping. Get ready.

Now, changing the subject completely: I did have some success with a couple of new recipes that I think you will enjoy! Sometimes I like to try new recipes without telling Kell – some are successful, some are not. But here are a couple I made this weekend that got his thumbs-up…

Crash Hot Potatoes (recipe and photo from The Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen website)
12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.
On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.
With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.
Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)
Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
** My variation: I used cooking spray on the pan and just drizzled olive oil on the top. I deleted the herbs and added some WW cheese and a few bacon bits to make them more Kell-friendly. And of course, you can make however many potatoes you want – it doesn’t have to be 12; I made 6 for both of us, and it was plenty.

And for dessert…

Banana Bourbon Bread Pudding (recipe and photo from Joy the Baker)
10 slices of white bread, toasted and sliced in half diagonally
1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar (brown sugar would also be great)
generous pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon banana extract
2 bananas, sliced on the bias (it’s just cuter)
2 Tablespoon granulated sugar, for topping
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch pan and set aside.
Lightly toast 10 slices of white bread and butter each slice. Cut each slice of bread in half diagonally. Layer bread slices in pan, butter side up so that the bread tips are pointing upwards.
In a small sauce pan, heat the milk and sugar just until the sugar is dissolved.
Whip the eggs and pour the warmed milk mixture over the eggs while whisking the eggs thoroughly.
Add bourbon and banana extract. Pour the custard over the bread slices. Add banana slices to the bread pudding, placing them in between the bread slices and deep into the custard. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the custard is set. Remove from the oven and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Let cool to room temperature before serving. Serves 8.
** My variation: I didn’t have banana extract, so I used 3 bananas (you could also use vanilla extract if you wanted to). Kell and I love bananas, and we could have had more… I also added about ½ - ¾ cup of white chocolate chips! Kell even commented on how pretty it was!

Have a great week, friends! Thanks for reading me!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope no one comes to analyze my house. There is no rhyme or reason here! MOM

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...