i know what you’re thinking. “wait, she made something VEGAN?” crazy, huh? so one of my favorite food blogs is joy the baker. she takes lovely photos of the food she makes and has a fun writing style. i’ve got a bunch of her recipes bookmarked, but this is the first one i’ve tried so far. i take that back. i once made her chocolate buttercream frosting and it was delish! long story short, the hubby loves mangoes and we had a few mangoes and ripe bananas at the time, so i decided to give this recipe a whirl.
fresh cut mangoes are pretty, aren’t they? all shiny bright orange. i wish i liked them cos they *look* so good, but i do not. they taste weird to me. go figure. this recipe is really easy to make and has nice spices like ginger and cinnamon in it. i did have the last piece and i must admit, i now enjoy baked mangoes!
if you took a look at joy’s mango banana bread when you came to her link, you’ll notice that hers is much prettier (and normal looking!) than mine. here’s the deal: i read the recipe wrong and put in too many mangoes and not enough bananas. DOH! mine looks more like mangoes with a bit of banana bread added. oh well, now i know for next time. yummy bonus: the extra sugar you sprinkle on before baking for a crunchy top.
it’s a freakin’ mango explosion! the story ends with the hubby loved it and i’ll make it again soon. thanks, joy!
i’ve been buying whole pineapples for the hubby since our return from hawaii in may. there’s nothing like fresh pineapple, just there when you want it. i’d been cutting the skin off one slice at a time and ending up with little brown specs on the outer chunks. so not appetizing! then my pal tells me about this cool pineapple corer that you just twist into the whole damn fruit and the result are cute rings. woo hoo!
how cool is that?! there’s even a bit of pineapple juice in the hollowed out body that i put in a tiny glass and sip. so good!
they look damn good, right? lemme tell you, they tasted really damn good!
i got a new barefoot contessa cookbook for my birthday last month. as you know, i’m a cookbook freak, so i was happy to receive this gift. as i went through it for the first time, i knew the first thing i’d make were her fleur de sel caramels. i’d seen her make them on tv and they looked pretty easy, plus homemade caramels are one of my most favorite things *ever*!
just 6 ingredients. i love this.
don’t forget the candy thermometer. i pretty much made these without one because i’m a dumb ass and didn’t realize mine was broken before i got started. yeah, the bright red line that is stuck at 240 degrees should have been my first clue, right? doh!
you basically boil the sugar, corn syrup and water until it gets a golden brown color. no stirring with a spoon, just swirl the pot now and then. watch the magic as it goes from light…
to dark! ok, this wasn’t the darkest stage, but i forgot to take a photo of that. :p
in the meantime, bring the cream, butter and some of the salt to a low simmer.
here’s the part where you should be careful. you pour the cream mixture into the sugar mixture (vanilla goes in somewhere around here, too) and it bubbles up all crazy. it really does, so make sure you’re working with a deep enough pot. then you put the candy thermometer in and boil mixture until it reaches the firm ball stage or 248 degrees. the recipe i used said that or “about 10 minutes”. that’s when i realized my thermometer was on the fritz, so i let it go for about 12 or so and then got out my meat thermometer. now this sounds comical, but i think it worked. i just spaced out the ticks for every 10 degrees, even though they weren’t there. smart, huh?! ;)
pour the hot (and it’s fucking burned sugar that will melt your skin hot!) caramel into a pan covered with parchment and put in the fridge. it should take a few hours to firm up unless you’re like me. i checked it every 15 minutes for 2 hours, worrying that my broken thermometer was just going to give me caramel sauce. if i had just cooled my jets and kept the fridge closed, it would have set in a normal time frame. i eventually let them set overnight and they were a-ok the next day!
the last steps are to sprinkle with more fleur de sel, cut into squares and wrap in wax paper.
here’s the final product! they are kind of gooey since they don’t have preservatives in them, so you’ll need to keep them cold. this is the first time i made them and just bought more cream to make them again this week. they are burnt-sugar-buttery-salty goodness that melts in your mouth!
i dig grilling. we have a gas grill in the backyard even though i realize the flavor of charcoal grilling is better. i gotta say, it’s just easier, dammit!
the hubby is eternally searching out new recipes for me to try and he’s always on point. i’ll try most recipes once, unless the don’t sound great or have a zillion ingredients. he sent me this article with recipe last month and i knew i had to try it cos it’s only got a few ingredients and looked pretty dang easy. you basically throw all the marinade ingredients in the blender, blend, marinate for a few hours and grill. d-o-n-e.
here’s the finished steak. i opted to go with skirt steak, so i didn’t slice it like the recipe suggested. mark bittman gives recipes for several korean-inspired side dishes, but i didn’t follow his idea. i also didn’t serve it with lettuce as bittman suggests. i made white rice and steamed broccoli from the veggie box instead and it was damn good. hubby put gochujang (korean chili-bean paste) on his steak and rice, but you don’t need it. it’s delish with or without! i had to go to an asian market to find it, so if you don’t have it, no worries. now go get to grillin’!
it’s been well over 90 degrees for the last week and my oven hasn’t been used in days. i know she’s lonely, but there’s only so much heat i can take. i have a pile of home-grown lemons just waiting to be made into lemon bars, but i just can’t do it. i want to, i really do. i thought this weekend would be a good time to bake lemon bars, fresh bread (from my new cookbook i got for my birthday…see below) and do some serious cooking. no dice.
bread in 5 minutes? are they nuts? turns out the big secret is you make the dough ahead of time and keep it in your fridge for when you need it. who knew? it’s chock full of delish looking recipes for all types of bread. i’ll just have to dog ear recipe pages for when it cools down and i’m ready to turn her back on!