Thursday, November 15, 2012

Halloween Recap

Just before Halloween, I came across this recipe from Bon Appetit for Halloween Peanut Butter and Toffee Bark. Hold on to your insulin guys, this thing is outrageous!

This recipe calls for 2 Heath bars, 3 Butterfingers, 8 Reese's cups, a pound of chocolate chips, Reese's Pieces AND white chocolate. The original also suggests honey roasted peanuts and peanut M+M's. Holy moly you guys. That is an insane amount of chocoalte - just look! 

I couldn't get even that much candy on here. If I make this again, I would stick to one bag of chocolate chips and maybe only 2/3 of the recommended candy. The white chocolate and Reese's Pieces on top are actually quite nice. This would also be great with some pretzel sticks.

In order to avoid gaining 5 pounds in a day, I sent this off to my brother. He's in college and shouldn't have any problem finding people to share with.

 And by sheer coincidence, this is the mug I grabbed on Halloween.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Coconut Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of those things that you'll do crazy things for, like buying green bananas and leaving them out to get overripe and brown while fruit flies start to invade your kitchen.

This banana coconut bread combined one part crazy with one part leftovers. I recently received a crock pot (courtesy of an awesome contest at Kiss My Broccoli) and made a sweet potato and pea curry that left me with 3/4 a cup of coconut milk. I decided I would make banana bread using the coconut milk, so I took to the internets for a recipe. I found one that gave me an idea of the right proportion of coconut milk to flour and then I poked around some more.

This banana bread was so perfect - it had good texture and was sweet (chocolate chips) but not excessive (there's 3/4 cup of brown sugar). If you've never used coconut milk before, shake the can really hard until you hear liquid then shake some more before you open it. The next time I have leftover coconut milk, I realllllly hope there are bananas in the house.

Coconut Banana Bread

3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but really?)

Whisk together coconut milk, brown sugar, eggs, honey and vanilla. And mashed bananas and stir.
In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients - oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir until combined. Fold in coconut and chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased 9x5 loaf pan, sprinkle with raw sugar if you have it, and bake at 350 for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Brunching at Foundry on Elm

Wow, so the Boston Brunchers made it back out to the Davis Square neighborhood and went to brunch at Foundry.

Admittedly, this is not my first time at Foundry. It opened right about the time we moved to the Davis area and we go here a lot. As in, my Davis Square go-to. So, apologies is advance for a biased review.  

I've had brunch here before - the first time was the day after our wedding and it was before Foundry got a new chef, so let's toss that from the record. The second time was after an 11 mile run. I nearly fell asleep at the table! But I did have a preview of our starter - these delicious beignets! I'll tell you, they are just as delicious when you aren't willing to eat your own hand. The beignets are dusted in cinnamon sugar (brings back memories of the french toast at Catalyst) and they come with a lemon curd and a chocolate sauce. The nice part about these sauces are that neither is too sweet - the chocolate is a bittersweet and the lemon curd is nice and tart.  Everyone had to hold back on these.... Because.....

Sunday was the launch of Foundry's French country buffet brunch. We all walked over and checked it out. There was so much variety - eggs, breakfast sandwiches, potatoes, little scones and breads. I tried the blueberry cream cheese crepes which were excellent as well as the pain perdu bread pudding - which, you guys, we all raved about! It was lovely and definitely worth going for the buffet if you can't make up your mind at brunch.

Every morning for me starts with coffee, today we added a mimosa.

The vol au vent (bacon, spinach, poached egg, mornay sauce, flakey pastry bowl) and the breakfast flatbreads were the raved about dishes at the table. And, veggies - the vol au vent can be made without bacon.

I had the breakfast sandwich (also without sausage) and apparently was too excited to get a clear picture. Oops! Every time I brunch I debate between the sweet and the eggy. Today I went eggy, which was clearly the right choice based on the aforementioned beignets and pain perdu and crepes... I was pretty happy with my egg sandwich although I could have used some kind of vegetable on this plate.

Like I said, I debate between sweet and eggy, so I was pretty happy that we ordered the dutch baby for the table. It was a perfect sweet end to brunch. It also is served with ice cream, which is a bit much for me in the morning. (Put that on record, I'll never say it again.) The apple and blueberries on top were delicious though.

So... Brunch a Foundry? Will I be back? Resounding yes.
Also, I encourage you to try dinner or head over here for a drink. My favorite gnocchi & squash dish is on the menu and is a great winter dish.

And just in case it wasn't obvious by my raves over this great local spot, brunch was free of charge but my opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Garlicky Swiss Chard

I'm going to do something different and post a veggie recipe tonight.

After going for a run this morning, I took the longest drive ever to get to the Union Square Farmers Market. Seriously, I should never drive through Powderhouse Square on a weekend. Or ever.

I got there with 15 market minutes to spare, but luckily everyone still had plenty of goodies. (Although I may be the only one who still has tomatoes.)

Drumlin Farm had beautiful rain ow chard that I picked up along with broccoli and potatoes. I also got apple's and carrots and met Dan of Dan's Brick Oven Bread. I am a bit of a bread connoisseur (I eat a lot of bread) and Dan's and Mamadou (in Winchester, can be found at farmers markets and Whole Foods Fresh Pond) are my favorites.

Anyway, with this fresh beautiful chard, I made my go to chard recipe. So easy, fast, and yummy. Make sure you wash your greens and stems thoroughly so you don't end up with grit on your plate...

Garlicky Swiss Chard

Heat about 1 T oil and 1 T butter in a pan until butter is melted
Add 2 (more or less depending on how much chard you have and how much garlick you like) cloves chopped garlic and a shark of red pepper flakes, let saute until fragrant
Add swiss chard - I toss the stems, then cut the leaves into ribbons about 3/4 inch wide
And saute until wilted, 5-8 minutes, sprinkle on a little salt while they are cooking

I ate this straight up while waiting for the rest of dinner to cook....