Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Night Snack

Cabot's Vanilla Bean yogurt, almonds, pecans and Arkansas Black apples.

I just walked out of my kitchen - I made sausage cheese balls for our daughter, a sugar free chocolate mousse and this quick yummy healthy yogurt treat.

The Vanilla bean yogurt is smooth and creamy, the Arkansas Black apples crisp with a hint of citrus, the nuts add protein and the right amount of crunch.

Go eat!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I am planning a tenant Christmas breakfast for my office and suggested shrimp and grits as an addition to my menu.

I brought this idea home and we tossed it around and headed out yesterday to pick up the ingredients.

I am not a fan of shrimp but I love grits (what can I say, I am from the South). I very seldom order shrimp but if they are in tandem with grits then I am your girl. :)

I put on a large Le Creuset pot of collards using the remains of my salted roast turkey ( as seasoning and simmer the collards all day. I slow cooked my grits as I peeled and washed our shrimp.

The recipe is as follows:

1 lb shrimp, cleaned and peeled

cajun seasoning - to taste

2 bay leaves

sliced onions - preferably sweet

2 slices of bacon


olive oil



salt and pepper to taste

I sauteed the onions in butter and olive oil. I added my bacon slices and let them cook until done. I coated both sides of the shrimp with cajun seasonings and some oregano. I added the shrimp to the pan and sauteed until light pink. I removed the bacon and pulsed in the food processor. I add some cream and the bay leaves, turned the heat off and added the bacon and let it simmer.

The finished results were impeccably delicious.

Lemming of the day...

Arkansas Black Apples. We found them after approximately 10 phone calls this morning. It is a perfect apple day in Atlanta. Yesterday, the sun was shining and it was warm. We woke to the sound of rain and as we pulled back the blinds, we saw the wind. I lay across the bed and called Apple "orchards" in Ellijay and Blue Ridge - nothing. I called almost every Whole Foods in Atlanta and found them. I pulled on my heavy wool grey Fisherman's sweater and jeans and we were off.
These apples are glorious. Deep, dark and waxy. The hue reminded us of cherries (one of my favorite fruits). Firm and fragrant. We loaded up and headed home.
I gingerly peeled the apple and sliced it. It is quite firm and the texture is amazing. It slices like heaven. The flavor is unlike any apple I have ever tried. My favorite apples are Galas and Granny Smith - my partner loves Gala and Fuji but the Arkansas Black is in a class all of its own.
Firm to the tooth without being uber hard (like it's Red Delicious cousin), a hint of sharpness mellowed out with a sweetness and a hint of citrus.
We concurred...this was the best apple we have ever eaten.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Gingerbread always makes me feel warm and toasty. It evokes memories of my childhood and my maternal Grandmother. Sitting in her kitchen, eyes wide and mouth watering for that warm gingerbread to come out of the oven. It was always a cake and a few gingerbread cookies. I recall, with fondness, her tall tale. "You cannot peak in the oven (for this was before there were glass windows on stoves) or the Gingerbread man will hop up and run away." Oh what fantasies that tall tale would birth.

In honor of my loving Grandmother...

Moist Gingerbread Cake With Lemon Glaze

Butter for greasing
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably fresh
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup, packed, dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger (a 2-ounce piece, peeled)
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 large egg
3/4 cup stout beer
3/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup brewed coffee
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons lemon juice.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch springform cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside. In a large bowl combine brown sugar, turbinado, ginger, zest of 1 lemon and oil. Beat in egg.

3. Place beer, molasses and coffee in a deep pot, at least 3 quarts. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Mixture will bubble up. Allow to cool 5 minutes.

4. Whisk flour mixture alternately with beer mixture into brown sugar mixture, in 3 shifts. Pour batter in pan and bake 40 minutes without opening oven. Give pan a 180-degree turn and bake another 15 minutes, until cake is springy and a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. When cool, remove sides of pan, invert briefly to remove bottom of pan and paper and set upright on a plate.

5. Place confectioners’ sugar in a bowl, whisk in remaining zest and salt, then lemon juice. Spread over top of cake, allowing glaze to drip down the sides.

Yield: 8 servings.