Peaches Flambéed

There’s just something about dessert and booze?

Am I right? Am I right?

I think I am.

When I was younger if ever there was a dessert that thought had liquor in it I would savor each bite, convincing myself that the boozy flavor was in fact getting me tipsy. Much as I tried though, I never started to feel the telltale symptoms of being drunk. Poor little Kristina, I was just tryin’ to have a good time.

Despite my cravings for said boozy desserts the one after dinner treat I never tried was Bananas Flambéed I can’t for the life of me figure out why since I am all about sticky sweet bananas cooked in brown sugar, butter, and let set aflame with the help of rum or brandy. I mean, I totally get why people are obsessed with them. So why the hell haven’t I ever tried them?!

It’s a real mystery.

For those of you who don’t know, Matt doesn’t like desserts too much. He’s a fan of ice cream but not much else. He’s just not a sweets kinda guy, when I make cookies, I purposely put less sugar and try to add nuts and raisins so that they are more his style. Which is fine – more for me – but I thought to myself, maybe, just maybe, he would indulge in a little dessert that included booze. Plus, he’s sick right now, so I wanted to do something to make him feel better, cause that’s what doting girlfriends do when their boyfriend, who-only-gets-sick-once-a-year gets sick.

So I made him Bananas Flambéed and wouldn’t you know it folks, he loved it! Like big ol’ smile on his face fighting me for the plate of it love it. Oh man, I was tickled.

The trick to getting your non-sweet loving boyfriend to like flambéed fruit is to make it as non-sweet as possible, but putting it over some crusty crispy sourdough bread for instance and by adding some not to sweet vanilla ice cream. The bread ended up being the best addition ever, it soaked up some of the sauce but still provided the texture and flavor contrast necessary to keep a sweet dessert from becoming cloyingly sweet. (Even I don’t like desserts like that).

Well, we still had extra rum from my first attempt and I was craving peaches, so I started thinking, what if I made Peaches Flambéed? I was willing to bet it would be just as tasty, if not tastier. So I ran to the corner market and grabbed a couple yellow and white peaches, for variety, and scooted back home to make it and take pictures before it got too dark.

*On that note – the above photo was taken at night, so you can really see the flames, however the other photos I have of the peaches were taken during the day so the flames don’t look quite as brilliant, I apologize my friends.

What you’ll need:

2 Peaches, one white, one yellow (or two of the same)

1/2 stick butter, plus enough to smear on the bread

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup rum, preferably dark

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 slice of sourdough bread

Vanilla ice cream

What to do with it:

Slice peaches into medium sized strips – not too thick, cause that will be awkward to eat, but not too thin cause they will get mushy after being cooked too long

Heat pan on medium and add butter, allowing to brown EVER so slightly

Add brown sugar, let simmer

DON’T turn your back for a second to go check on your sick boyfriend, your sugar will burn and look like this. It’s a proven fact

Add peaches and cinnamon, to your not burned bubbly buttery sugar sauce, let them simmer for just a few minutes

While they are simmering though, lightly butter both sides of the bread and crisp up in another pan

Cut the crispy bread in 2 pieces and arrange at the bottom of a shallow bowl

Now its time for the real fun…

Remove the simmering pan from the burner that’s on – THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP

Once its off that burner, pour the rum into the pan and THEN put it back on the flaming burner, tilting the pan slightly so that the flame may jump to the liquor. Watch it ignite!

It will flame for a minute or so, during which you can leave the pan alone, when it’s done flaming you can start plating, which should look a little something like this

 

What’s my verdict? Bananas are amazing, dense, and hold up to the butter rum sauce deliciously. But peaches, well peaches work with the sauce, taking it in and becoming something so damn delightful I just wanted to squeal like a little girl.

I did prefer the yellow peaches to the white in this recipe, though most of the time I am partial to white. So, you try both and figure out which one you prefer!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I still have a few more peaches around here somewhere

Advertisements

Rhubarb Pie and Grandma

Hello all,

Today I want to talk about my grandma, and about pie.
Mostly because they have to do with each other in my story, but also cause grandmas and pie usually go together, don’t they?

So here’s my story, I hate pie.

The crust is dry or burnt or flavorless more often then it is not. The filling has a tendency to be overly sweet, mushy or it tastes like the fruit is from a can that’s been hanging out in the back of the pantry, saved in case of apocalypse or something worse – like seriously not having anything else to eat and you’re on the verge of starvation.

Like I said, I’m not a fan of pie.

EXCEPT when it’s my grandma’s pie (cliche, I know).
I swear though, nobody does pie better than my grandma, Pauline.


Maybe it’s because she grew up on a farm full of fruit orchards in Canada with a big family full of hungry boys, and nothing warms you up like a hearty slice of pie in cold weather.

Maybe she makes such gosh darn good pie because when she grew up she went and had a big family (this time full of girls) and worked as a nurse so making pie was a good way to unwind after a long day of work and taking care of all her little ones.

Maybe, it’s cause now her 5 kids have all grown up and gotten married and had tons of babies themselves and the staple of every family gathering are Grandma’s pies.

Basically has had to stay on her pie game her whole life.

I have been thinking lately though, that if my grandma can make excellent pie, then maybe I can too. I might just have that pie making gene stowed somewhere in me.

She makes a most wonderful apple pie, a mouthwatering crusty and crispy pecan pie, pumpkin pie with filling so smooth and topped with leaf shaped crust pieces that will make you squeal with delight, but my absolute favorite pie is her rhubarb.

Rhubarb is divinely unique and not the most common of pies, its bitter when uncooked but addicting and tart when cooked and is absolutely positutely my favorite of Grandma’s pies.

So, while I was in LA for a few days for my dad’s birthday I cornered my granny with a pie cutter and said “Lady, you better give me your recipe for Rhubarb pie or I’ll slice you and put you in a pie!”

OMG I’M TOTALLY KIDDING

It really went more like this “Granny, you make the best pie in the whole gosh darn world, would you share your most delectable recipe for Rhubarb pie so that I may continue the family tradition.” Then granny smiled with her adorable, non-dentured, smile and said “Oh of course, honey girl!” That’s what she calls me, honey girl. I love my grandma.

Sidenote: I incidentally recently painted my kitchen table a color named “Rhubarb” and while slicing the stalks for the pie I decided to gauge just how well it matched

God damn that’s a match!

Moving on

What you’ll need:

For the most buttery and flaky crust:

2 1/2 cups flour, plus a little extra for rolling

1 stick of butter, cubed and frozen

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

8 Tbs water, ice cold

For the luscious filling:

5 cups Rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 1/4 cup sugar, I used brown sugar

1/4 cup cornstart

2 Tbs lemon juice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 Tbs butter

What to do with it:

For the crust:

Combine flour, sugar, salt in a food processor and lightly pulse

Gradually add in the cubed frozen butter. I’ve learned that frozen butter is the secret to excellent pie crust. Pulse until the butter hunks are the size of your pinky nail

Now add the water, 1 Tbs at a time keeping watch of the dough’s consistency (flour has different absorbancy levels, so while I needed all 8 Tbs, you may only need 6 or 7). You want the dough to just stick together when you press it together between your fingers

Take the dough and squish it on the counter under your hands to break up the butter a little more to encourage that, oh so, desirable flaky crust

When you’re done smushing it around roll it into a ball and cut in 2 pieces then form those into 2 flat patties

Dust the two pieces with flour, wrap in plastic wrap and set to chill in the fridge for a little more than an hour

Once the hour is up, take out and let them soften for about 5 minutes…chill and then soften? I know, just do it

Take a floured rolling pin and roll out one patty on a floured surface until it is about a foot across, the edges don’t have to be perfect as you will be trimming them anyway

Fold in half and place inside your baking dish, I used my cast iron skillet since I don’t actually have a pie pan

Gently unfold to fill the pan and press into the edges

For the filling:

Preheat oven to 425

Place chopped Rhubarb into pie crust

Mix together sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and lemon juice in a bowl

Drizzle over rhubarb and gently mix around with your hands to coat

Dab with pieces of butter

Cover with the other patty of crust, that’s been rolled out, of course

You can cover the pie in a few ways, the coverall method in which case you would slit holes in the top to allow it to breath

OR the rustic way where you cut the rolled out dough into 1 inch strips and weave it – that’s what I chose to do

If you opt for this method just pinch the ends together with the bottom crust to close it off

*DON’T do what I did and forget to add 1 cup of the sugar – the copy of the recipe my granny gave me is old so the 1 1/4 cup sugar looked like just 1/4 cup. So there I was thinking to myself “God, who says pie is unhealthy, there’s only a 1/4 of a cup of sugar!” And anyone who has had unsweetened rhubarb can imagine my surprise when I first sampled a teeny bit of the filling through the pie crust. So there I was with an almost baked pie that was pretty nasty. In the event you did do that here’s the fix: take the extra 1 cup and mix with the tiniest amount of water to make it pasty and painstakingly drip it through the slots of the pie top. Then slosh the pie around with enough force to mix the filling, but not spill it. It’s an art, my friends, and I am here to say that I think I have mastered it.

The conclusion: The pie was delicious, the filling had texture and was tart yet sweet, and crust that wasn’t dry, overall a huge pie success for my first time.

But there’s just something about grandma’s pie.

RAW Food Challenge Day 7

Hi all!

I am so sorry this is a day late, yesterday just got away from me!

But my last day went so very well!

I am happy to report that I survived this long week of raw food!

So, what did I eat on my final day?

Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Blueberries, Almond Flour, Spices, and Honey

I decided to start (in a sense) where I began, with some overnight oats. Remember Day 1 where I made overnight oats with chia seeds, apple, spices, and agave nectar? I thought it would be rather poetic of me to come full circle and do a variation of that.

Blueberries and Almond Flour sounded like a nice combo, and so it was

I pulled some Almond Milk Overnight Oats out and loaded them up with the goods

1 cup Overnight Oats

1 cup Almond Milk

1/3 cup Almond Flour

1/2 cup Blueberries

1 tsp Raw Honey

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp All-Spice

Tiny wedge of Lemon, optional

This breakfast was another one of my favorites, and it was kind of inspired by a blueberry crumble almost. It really was perfect.

My man has been eating raw with me for some of my meals and this one was by far his favorite as well, I practically had to pry the bowl out of his hands ’cause he was lovin’ it so much!

Seriously though, I could eat this any day of the week. No question.

Lunch: Cucumber Sandwich with Tahini, Spinach, Sprouts, Tomato, and Dill

I love sandwiches. Truly. If there was one thing I could eat for the rest of my life it would be a sandwich (it was a toss up between a sandwich and a salad). I just think they are the perfect meal since you can put pretty much whatever the heck you want in them and they will still be so wonderful and contained between 2 pieces of bread, or something along those lines.

Think about it. It’s true.

So my lunch was an interpretation of the glorious ‘wich.

I made myself a sandwich alright, but instead of bread, my outside layer was a cucumber.

Inventive, huh?

I took a cucumber, sliced it in half lengthwise and gutted it

Then I took some of my raw homemade Tahini sauce and used that as my spread

I was gonna just lay some whole spinach leaves on top of that, but then I pulled them out of the bundle and they were HUGE! Oh my word, I’m just used to baby spinach ’cause these leaves look massive!

I gave a few leaves a rough chop and that was that.

I added some clover sprouts and sliced cherry tomato on top of that, and of course a nice sprinkling of dill!

I would recommend eating it as an open faced sandwich, since you can’t really squish cucumber to fit in your mouth the way you can with bread!

It was definitely an interesting looking sandwich, that is not only fun and great tasting!

Matt and I enjoyed it on a picnic bench in the back of the Ferry Building while basking in the fair spring weather and watching the Bay after perusing all of the shops inside.

After walking around some more and staring at all the things I couldn’t yet eat, we decided to head out for dinner.

Dinner: Sashimi

Since it was my last night on the raw challenge, Matt and I went to our favorite sushi restaurant. The guys who work here love us. For real. It’s great, every time we go there they hook it up with more free food than we can handle!

It was a little sad having to say no to it all, but sweet boy Matthew got to indulge without me.

I opted for a sashimi plate with Tuna, Mackerel, Salmon, and Red Snapper, I drizzled some fresh lemon juice on top and they were good to go.

I remembered a few bites in that the restaurant would obviously have some nori so I asked for a few sheets of it to make my own rice-less sushi.

Like I said, I’m not the best sushi roller

Usually after sushi I am stuffed (though that stuffed feeling doesn’t last too long since it goes through ya so quickly) but after just the sashimi, I felt great. Full but not on the verge of a food coma.

I was a good girl and cleaned my whole plate!

Matthew was a good boy too and cleaned his plate, but they took it away before I could take a sweet shot of him with it.

It was a long day that ended very well, and overall it was a great week too.

I’m so glad I went raw for a week, it was such an amazing experience that taught me more than I would’ve expected.

More to come on my raw feelings in the next post!

What are your favorite fish to eat as sashimi?

RAW Food Challenge Day 4

I’ve made it to the halfway point!

Wahooo! Yippee! Yaahaaa!

I woke up a little late so I drew inspiration for my breakfast and lunch from the blogger who gave me the idea to do this Raw Food Challenge in the first place. Her blog is awesome, it’s one of my favorites right now!

Breakfast: Banana Almond Butter Roll Up (AB&B Roll Up)

This took about 3 minutes to make and just about as long to gobble down, its a sweet little play on a PB&J roll up, ‘cept I used Almond Butter (AB) and (&) Banana (B) rolled up in a red chard leaf.

So easy, you see?

My breakfast went a little something like this

Because I was running a little late, I was eating super fast. Raw nut butters tend to be a little drier, and therefore stickier on your tongue, than processed nut butters. Red chard leaves stick reallll well to nut butter. That being said, there I was trying to eat as quickly as possibly, not chewing as much as I should cause I was doing some last minute reading for class. All of a sudden, I swallowed a big bite and started to choke because some almond butter was left on my tongue and a piece of chard leaf stuck to it. I freaked out trying to cough it up and ended up having to fish it out with my finger.

This was not the best way to begin my morning.

So please, to anyone who tries this, chew your chard thoroughly and be careful.

On a much lighter note, it was raining again today so I threw on my favorite leather ankle boots, a nice long sleeve shirt, and my heaviest coat.

Off to school with my lunch in my bag!

Lunch: Apple, Raisin, and Pecan Pie in a Jar

It is well established in my family that my grandma is the best baker around. Every holiday season she whips out phenomenal, in a crust. You name it, she can make it taste unbelievably good inside a pie.

My favorites:

Strawberry Rhubarb

Pumpkin

and her Pecan Pie

The pecan pie took a few years to grow on me, but now that it has, I can’t get enough. So really, its a blessing to my waistline that my grandma only makes them once or twice a year.

The blogger who inspired my breakfast inspired me once again for lunch. Pie in a Jar.

But it was my grandma who inspired the pie filling

 

Here’s the rundown on layering:

1/4 cup of raw oats

3 small handfuls of pecans

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 tsp. Agave Nectar, optional

1/2 of a Granny Smith apple

1/4 cup of raw oats

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. All-Spice

1 cup of Raw Almond Milk

Let it sit in the jar for 4 hours to soften the oats, pecans, and raisins

I made it in the morning and kept it in my purse and flipped it over after about 2 hours so that the oats on top could soak

I ate it while sitting on the floor waiting for my afternoon class and it was all I could do to not scream out in joy at how good this was!

This is a recipe I will carry with me long after this challenge. It is a GREAT meal to travel around with because it’s all contained.

Just remember to pack a spoon!

Dinner: Corn and ‘Cado Salad with a Creamy Cilantro Dressing

I know there is controversy over corn because of GMOs ect ect

But today, I don’t care.

I was craving it. BAD.

I started constructing a salad around it because a cob of corn was a $1 at the corner produce market. A dollar!

Along with the corn, I chopped up some:

Red Onion

Red Bell Pepper

Grape Tomato

Avocado

I was about to add some cilantro in there, but then I thought, wait! what am I gonna do about dressing?! Why don’t I make a gorgeous green dressing with it?

Despite my almond milk, I’ve been craving something creamy, especially in the dressing area so I put the salad on hold to make a nice creamy cilantro dressing.

It went a little something like this:

1 cup of Sunflower Seeds, soaked (I soaked them for an hour, but you should do it for longer)

1/3 cup Olive Oil

1/2 cup Cilantro

1 Tbs Himalayan Pink Salt

3 cloves of Garlic

1 Tbs. Cumin

1 cup of water

Yes, I poured olive oil straight on my counter.

Oh the things I do for you all.

I blended that all together in my food processor, tasted it, and determined it was missing something.

But what?

A hint of citrus, that’s what

So I used 1 tiny lime that I had, plus the juice of half a lemon. It’s your choice of which citrus/exactly how much. I like my stuff real bright and fresh, so I was heavy handed.

I am really a fan of beautifully shaded green dressings

Finally, my dish was complete.

A little fresh cracked black pepper and it was ready!

(I added the dressing on after cause I thought the salad was just so beautiful!)

Today. my energy level was pretty high. I felt really good and productive. The on and off rain couldn’t hold this girl down! I think I also feel great because this challenge is all downhill from here. While it’s been a lot of fun so far, it’s also been mentally draining trying to think of filling, healthy, and nutritiously satisfying meals that are all raw.

Do any of you have some good raw recipes I could try on days 5, 6, and 7? I’d love to hear them!

RAW Food Day 1

Today is my first day of my RAW food challenge!

I woke up this morning freezing cold, which made getting out of bed a rather harsh experience. Especially since I was getting up 30 minutes earlier than I usually do to make my breakfast.

That has been the first adjustment on this challenge. Normally, I just drink coffee in the morning and then go about my merry way until lunch at about noon. So the act of eating at 7:30 in the morning was a little tough. But I’m really excited about what I made!

Breakfast: Overnights Oats, Fruit and Seeds

1 cup raw overnight oats

1 apple of your choosing, I went with Fuji

3 Tbs. Chia Seeds

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. All-Spice

1 Tbs. Agave Nectar

Best part? This is super easy to make

1. Soak your raw oats in water the night before, just enough to cover the amount you will be eating

2. Chop up an apple

3. Measure out your Chia seeds, agave nectar, cinnamon, and all-spice

4. Mix together

5. Devour

Snack: Raw nut mix and Kombucha

I have school on Monday’s from 9-11 but today I am going to be out and about working on a few articles for the magazine, so I thought it would be good to pack something to munch on. I erred on the lighter side and went with a mixture of raw:

Sunflower Seeds

Walnuts

Pecans

How to make it?

1. Put nuts in a Tupperware

2. Close with lid

TA-DA!

Then, I pulled a Kombucha out of my fridge, I went with GT’s Passionberry Bliss for today.

I packed these in my bag and left for school. Easy. Healthy. Tasty.

Lunch: Fruit and Veggie Salad with a Homemade Tahini Dressing

On the bus ride home from school I started thinking about what I was in the mood to eat for lunch. I knew I wanted some sort of a refreshing salad, and something with the Tahini sauce I made this morning. Then I thought, well, cucumber, tahini and dill taste good together. Cucumber and watermelon taste nice when paired together. Watermelon and Asian pear are a wonderful combination. And then I decided that some jicama would round the dish out quite nicely! Thus, my lunch was born!

This is extremely simple to make, start with:

1 Cucumber

1/2 Jicama Root

1/2 of a small Watermelon

2 Asian Pears

A hearty handful of fresh Dill

Homemade Tahini dressing to taste

Dice all the produce into bite sized pieces and put in a plate

Use a heavy hand to sprinkle Dill on top of it all

Top with a few Tbs of Tahini

I ate quite a bit of this because it was so yummy!

Dinner:

I wanted my first dinner to be something unique and a a bit of twist on an old classic. What’s more of an old classic than pasta?!

Raw pasta? Yup. Raw fettucini in fact. Vegetable fettucini.

How did I do it?

I used my handy dandy vegetable peeler…and after I got past the peel, I just kept going!

I wanted lots of color so I used:

1 Zucchini

1 Yellow Squash

1 large Carrot

and about 4 stalks of Asparagus

The asparagus proved to be a little hard to peel because of those most wonderful tips, so I just chopped them off and saved them to top my pasta with!

Now let’s get a little saucy with it.

What kind? Marinara, obviously.

I really enjoy roasted red bell peppers added to my marinara, so I decided to spice up my marinara with some raw bell peppers.

I kept the sauce simple by using:

10oz of grape tomatoes

6 cloves of garlic

1 whole red bell pepper

and a pinch of salt

I threw them in my little purple food processor and chopped it for a few seconds, tasted it and whew! That garlic sure did make the sauce spicy!

I finished the meal by putting my fettucini in a bowl, topping with my sauce and then garnishing with some roughly chopped basil.

Super good and incredibly fresh tasting and only took about 20 minutes to make.

My one qualm, it was cold. (Duh, its raw). But it’s cold out right now, and cold vegetable pasta just doesn’t warm you up the way normal pasta does. But hey, I guess that’s what blankets are for!

As the end of Day 1 fast approaches, I gotta tell ya, I’m feeling pretty nice. I’m a little tired (but then again, I only slept 6 hours last night), otherwise, I feel decently energized. Tomorrow, I’m gonna try to eat a little more of each meal, because I definitely didn’t eat 6 pounds today and I got super hungry a few times throughout the day.