Posts filed under ‘Sweet Endings’
I was scrounging around in my produce drawer yesterday and found not one, but two bags of lemons. What was I thinking? One bag looked like if I don’t use it soon they just might go south. I hate throwing food away because I forgot I bought it. Ernie’s not happy about that either.
After all, groceries are one of the highest monthly expenses in a household. When you figure how much you spend in an entire month on groceries it kills me to think I’m throwing something out because I forgot it was there and got too busy.
I also bought lower fat cream cheese to make my Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake soon. When I got home I realized I had one too many bricks of cream cheese in the grocery bag.
Hmmmm… lemons and cream cheese. What to do?
When I was a girl growing up in Michigan, every autumn in October we’d head off to the u-pick-it apple farms and pick apples. It was a Saturday adventure we all enoyed. After climbing trees and tossing apples gently to my younger brothers waiting below it was apple cider and donut time at the mill.
The cider was always just pressed the same day – often within a couple hours. It had the most amazingly sweet, pungent, apple-y flavor. The donuts were the cake style rather than raised. They were golden brown. Crispy outside, coated with cinnamon-sugar, tender inside and still warm from the fryer.
This cake reminds me of those once a year Saturdays from my childhood in the fall. It’s from a 1985 cookbook I’ve owned all these years titled, “The Dessert Lover’s Cookbook” by Marlene Sarosky. It simply wouldn’t be fall without making this dessert. The batter is buttery, cinnamon-y and it’s loaded with chopped apples. The Caramel Pecan Sauce and a scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream make it sheer heaven. It’s not fancy to look at – but the flavors say pure autumn.
Knowing how to make a great loaf of Banana Nut Bread is one of those things every cook should have in their list of “go-to” recipes. Take a loaf to a friend or family member’s home when you visit and you’ll always be welcome. It’s as hospitable as bringing a bottle of wine. However, it’s less expensive and counts for more “brownie points” because it’s homemade.
My husband, Ernie, loves anything with bananas. He eats them au naturale, in bread, cake, sliced on top of ice cream with a little caramel sauce. When I want Ernie to know in a culinary way that I love him, I make him something with bananas. When I see a few brown-speckled bananas in the big fruit bowl on our kitchen counter – I know he’s hinting for a taste of Banana Nut Bread.
Sometimes you want something sweet and crunchy. But you don’t want to spend an hour measuring and mixing in the kitchen. Shortbread to the rescue. Basic shortbread is three ingredients: flour, sugar and butter. That’s it. What you add after that is up to you. (I used unbleached flour and organic cane sugar which results in a little darker color.)
Shortbread is wonderful with tea or coffee. It’s roots come from the United Kingdom where it’s popular in Great Britain and Scotland during afternoon tea or anytime.
Travel to exotic India and you can find a sweet treat known as “Burfi” that’s mysteriously similar to shortbread. How can it be shortbread traveled from England to India? The British ruled in India for 150 years until the mid 1940s. Good foods travel often to faraway places. By the same token Chicken Curry has migrated back to the UK and become the unofficial “national dish” in Great Britain.
I was watching Tony Bourdain of “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel do a show in Greece. He ate some Greek yogurt in a simple dish with a little honey and walnuts. He almost swooned.