BB: Mango Banana Daiquiris

August 13, 2009

Veronica from Supermaket Serenade chose our first August recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers group. This Mango Banana Daiquiris was such a perfect drink for a warm August day and I was thrilled & were looking forward to try it this month. Unfortunately, neither Red nor I were very thrilled with the flavor of this drink, I don’t know why. We felt like maybe our mango wasn’t ripe enough? I’d be interested to hear what other people think!

I do must say though, the dark rum that I used in this recipe reminded me of Jamaica & that wasn’t a bad thing! Cheers!

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Mango Banana Daiquiris
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups chopped ripe mango (1 to 2 mangos, peeled and seeded)
1 ripe banana, chopped
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
1/4 cup sugar syrup*
1 1/4 cups dark rum, such as Mount Gay
Mango slices, for serving

Directions
1. Place the mango, banana,  lime juice, sugar syrup, and rum in a blender and process until smooth.
2. Add 2 cups of ice and process again until smooth and thick.
3. Serve ice-cold in highball glasses with the mango slices.

*To make simple syrup, heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.  Chill.

Mango Daiquiri on Foodista

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Balsamic-Marinated Flank Steak with Arugula, Tomato and Shaved Parmesan Salad

August 9, 2009

My husband Red has been wanting to try cooking our own flank steaks at home. We don’t normally cook a lot of beef, and my culinary life before Red consisted of fish and chicken. I have now started to try experimenting with different pieces of meat such as pork and beef for our meals at home. Red actually prepared this dish on his own since he wanted to try this for weeks, and I must say that this one deserves big thumbs up!  

This recipe, adapted from Bobby Flay’s Boy Meet Grill, was a very nice combination of steak with arugula salad and simple vinaigrette. The sharp parmiggiano added nuttiness and depth to the simple recipe.

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Ingredients
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespooons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp coarsely choppped rosemary leaves
1 (1-1/2 to 1-3/4) beef flank steak
Salt and frshly ground black pepper
2 cups arugula
1 pound cherry tomators, halved
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 (4-ounce) piece Parmesan cheese

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Directions
1. Whisk together 1/2 cup of the vinegar, 3/4 cup of the oil, the garlic and rosoemary in a large dish (or use a thick, sealable plastic bag). Add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and let marinate the refrigerator for at least 4 hrs and up to 8 hours, turning every 2 hours.
2. Heat the grill to high.
3. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred and crusty, 4-5 mins. Turn the steak over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, and grill until medium-rare, 3-4 mins more.
4. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch thick slices agains the grain of the mat.
5. Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula, tomatoes, and onion, and toss to coat. Divide the sliced steak among 4 plates and top with some of the arugula salad. Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin slices of Parmesan over each dish. Serve immediately.

Serves 4; can be doubled for 6-8 (no need to double the marinade).


Grilled Asparagus with Salt-Cured Ham

August 5, 2009

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Kate from Warm Olives & Cool Cocktails has been playing Santa all summer long by graciously giving away her 100+ cookbooks collection! The rule is pretty simple, you need to leave comments on her blog, must be a food blogger, and you also must make ONE recipe within 30 days from the book if you win, of course! This was easy for me because I love reading her blog to begin with and was already leaving comments on various topics!

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Lo and behold…I won this awesome Appetizers Finger Food Buffets and Parties book!! Somehow I missed her posts, with my crazy week (destination wedding of my friend Jess and Damian), then a few evenings where I was tied up with work! (Yuck, I know)!  Thankfully, I caught on her earlier posts… so here comes the big hefty 400+ pages gorgeous cookbook with all of the great recipes that will last me for a lifetime! Thanks Kate!!

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Ingredients
6 slices of Serrano Ham (I used Prosciutto, but you can also use Portuguese presunto instead)
12 Asparagus Spears
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

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(The picture above really doesn’t do a justice of how delicious this dish was, and how simple!)

Directions
1. Preheat the grill (broiler) to high.
2. Cut each slice of ham lengthwise in half and wrap one half around each of the asparagus spears.
3. Brush  the ham and asparagus lightly with oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Place on the grill rack. Grill, turning frequently but carefully with tongs, for 5-6 minutes, until the asparagus is tender but still firm. Serve immediately.


Our First Anniversary & Lamb Chops Dinner!!!

August 4, 2009


One year ago from this past Sunday (August 2), my husband Red and I tied the knot with a very small 25 people lake-front ceremony and reception at the Mission Point Resort on the gorgeous Mackinac Island, Michigan.


It was a perfect compromise between what we wanted. I wanted to elope to an exotic location
(Bali, Indonesia) just the two of us and a handful of friends, while Red wanted a church wedding and a hall reception. I wanted a sunset wedding on the beach, barefooted, with tons of white orchids and long gorgeous white dress… he, well, wanted the traditional wedding–whatever that means.


I didn’t quite get to be on the beach barefooted, but we were married by the gorgeous Lake Superior, on my flip-flop, with tons of candles and pink roses, wearing an elaborate wedding dress and cathedral veil surrounded by our parents and closest friends.

The pictures were courtesy of Island Photo, Jeff Dupre did an amazing, I mean amazing jobs capturing every detail of our special moment, in the shortest period possible.

Friendly reminder: you do not have a right to copy, distribute, or use any of the pictures on this website.

For our anniversary, we decided to cook something special at home, and decided on baby lamb chops on the grills with asparagus and homemade banana ice cream (recipes will be posted later).  I decided not to make a cake since I have signed up for Wilton cake decorating class, so I knew that we’d be eating a lot of cakes in the next four weeks.  Everything turned out delicious!

We did not use regular lamb chops, but used baby chops instead–and it was excellent. The meat was tender, and the seasoning was just enough, and not overpowering.  A perfect summer celebration dinner!

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Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic, Fresh Thyme and Grilled Lemons.

Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Boy Gets Grill

Ingredients

1/2 cup extra virgin olive-oil, plus extra for brushing
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
8 (4-6 ounces) lamb rib chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 lemons, cut crosswise in half

Directions

Combine the oil, garlic, and thyme in a shallow large dish or a thick, sealable plastic bag. Add the chops and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Remove the chops from the refrigerator 20 mins before grilling. Heat your grill to high. Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the chops until lightly charred and crusty, 4-5 minutes. Turn the chops over, cooked through, about 3-4 minutes more. Brush the cut sides of the lemons with oil and grill cut side down until lightly charred, 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately, placing 2 chops and 2 lemon halves on each plates.

Serves 4, can be doubled for 6-8 (no need to double the marinade).


Ben & Jerry’s Fresh Georgia Peach Ice Cream

August 1, 2009


We have been very excited about our new ice-cream maker attachment and the Ben & Jerry Ice Cream cookbook! The one recipe that we knew that we had to make was fresh Georgia Peach Ice Cream. We thought, what an appropriate way to use up the summer fruit other than turning it into a frozen treat!

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One of my co-workers mentioned that she started making this ice-cream to take to her family gatherings and now that is what she is requested to bring!  And I have to say that we agree that this was a winner. We used skim milk instead of whole milk, but the ice cream was still creamy and it had the right amount of sweetness. I think we may even like this better than the strawberry version that we made last week… delicious and was simply DIVINE!

Fresh Georgia Peach Ice Cream
Adapted from Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream & Dessert Book

Ingredients
2 cups of finely chopped peaches, peel if you prefer
1-1/4 cups sugar
Juice of  ½ lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk

Directions
1. Combine the peaches, ½ cup of sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl. 
2.Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring the mixture every 30 minutes.
3. Remove the peaches from the refrigerator and drain the juice into another bowl. Return the peaches to the refrigerator.
4. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. 5. Whisk in the remaining ¾ cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute.
6. Pour in the cream and milk, and whisk to blend.
7. Add the peach juice and blend.
8. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions.
9. After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done), add the peaches, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Makes generous 1 quart.

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Georgia Peach Ice Cream on Foodista