English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread
makes 1 loaf

2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP yeast
2 TBSP honey
1 1/2 cups milk, warm

butter, for baking pan
cornmeal, for baking pan

Sift flour, sea salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, proof yeast, honey and warm milk. Let sit for about 10 min.  Then, add sifted flour mixture. Stir to combine.  Pour into very well-buttered loaf pan sprinkled with corn meal. Sprinkle additional cornmeal on top.  Let rise for 45 min – 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F at about the 40 min mark during the rising.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 60 – 65 min.

Muffin Bread Rising

La Floridita

To friends and family in the North, we’re thinking of you and stay warm!  If you’re snowed in, this cocktail will help the time fly.  Think of us when you sip this lovely taste of the tropics.

By the way, how do you like my new medieval torture device?  Nah, just kidding!  It’s my brand new handy dandy Art + Cook citrus reamer.  This is one serious reamer.  It must be at least a pound of bright, shiny chrome-like zinc.

Love it!

La Floridita
(AKA The Floridita Daiquiri)
makes 2

4 ounces rum
juice of 1 lime
3 – 4 ounces grapefruit juice
1 ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur
1 – 2 teaspoons Grenadine (for color like a tropical sunset)
2 lime wheel slices

Combine all except for the lime slices in a shaker.  Shake.  Divide between two couple glasses.  Garnish each glass with a lime slice.

Cheers!

Rum Runner Pimento Cheese Spread

Two types of gouda and Bellavitano Rum Runner Sartori (about $17 a lb at Whole Foods) make this version of pimento cheese a little bit on the spendy.  But, isn’t that always the way?  The quality of the ingredients make the dish what it should be.

A sprinkle of Aleppo pepper makes a lovely, flavorful garnish.

Rum Runner Pimento Cheese Spread
makes 2 16 oz ramekins

2 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese
2 heaping Tablespoons sour cream
1 heaping Tablespoon mayo
1/4 cup small French herbed cornichons
(or substitute your favorite herbed little pickles)
1 red pepper, roasted
8 oz. Bellavitano Rum Runner cheese
6 oz. gouda (mild and creamy)
4 oz smoked gouda
4 oz extra sharp cheddar
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Combine all in a food processor.  Pulse until chunky.  Then, process to your desired level of chucky or creamy cheese spread.  Divide between 2 – 16 ounce ramekins.

Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper flakes, if desired.

The dish in back will get its swirl and sprinkle of Aleppo pepper flakes immediately prior to serving the dish.

Las Vegas — Blood Orange Screwdiver In Paris

In Vegas, you must take the good with the bad.  If you find something good, why not take it home with you?  This blood orange screwdriver was good enough to inspire an attempt to recreate it.

On days where we’re looking for a sweeter touch, we’ll use tangerine juice in the place of the blood orange juice and we’ll omit the lemon juice.

Blood Orange Screwdriver
makes 2

4 ounces Grey Goose L’orange vodka
8 ounces blood orange juice
juice of half a lemon
splash of blood orange bitters
ice, to fill

In a mixing glass, combine vodka, orange juice, lemon juice and bitters.  Stir.  Equally divide and pour into two rocks glasses.  Add ice to fill.

(Garnish with a sliver of blood orange, if it pleases you.)

Cheers!

This was a lovely balance of bitter and sweet.

Peanut Butter, Banana, & Oat Bites

All quantities can be estimated as you go.  Add the peanut butter to your taste.  Additional peanut butter will cut the sweetness of the banana.  And, next time, I’ll be using chunky peanut butter.

One bite is very satisfying.  Nibble up two bites and you might forget to eat lunch that day.

Peanut Butter, Banana & Oat Bites
makes about 12-14 bites

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 banana
1 cup organic rolled oats, or as needed

Combine the banana and peanut butter.  Stir until smooth.  Then, add oats to your taste.  Let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the oats to soften.  Drop by the spoonful onto parchment.  Then, freeze for at least 1 hour to firm up before wrapping or placing in a freezer container.

Nibble away!

Blueberry & Gin

The Cosmopolitan — Las Vegas

This place was over the top.  It’s  crystals, crystals everywhere that you look.  But, the purple glow reminds me of the elegant (yet flashy) flavors in this cocktail.

For this cocktail, we use pure 100% blueberry juice.  It’s barely sweet.  If you like a sweeter cocktail, you can add a splash of simple syrup or use a sweetened juice.  And, you can omit the club soda.  Just add an extra splash or two of blueberry juice.

The delicate fruity floral notes in blueberry juice and gin work beautifully together.

Blueberry & Gin
makes 2

3-4 ounces blueberry juice
2 ounces gin
club soda, if desired
twist of lime

Place over-sized ice cubes in two rocks glasses.  Then, add blueberry juice and gin.  Top with a splash of club soda, if it pleases you.  If it doesn’t?  Don’t.  Garnish each glass with a twist of lime.

Cheers!

Café Au Lait, Flowers & Butterfly Art Plates

Eva Gordon Purple Flower & Butterfly Art Plate

When you were little did you dream of daily tea parties?  Every day you’d set the table with linen and lace and your favorite china.  Right?  Well, if you had those day dreams, you probably had china cabinets filled with delicate china and decorative plates like these in those dreams.  My grandmother certainly had a china cabinet or two.  I could name a few of my older aunts who did, too.  Me?  Not so much.  But, I will confess to the childhood dreams.  And, I have a couple sets of matching teapots, cups and saucers.  Those teapots and cups tend to make an appearance around the holidays.  Then, they return to their quiet place in a high kitchen cabinet.

For my every day cup of coffee or tea, I prefer my big Valentine mug.  Today, my big mug was filled with café au lait.  It’s my current favorite for the days when I’m in a hurry.  Generous quantities of milk make it a hearty snack to tide you over until you have time for a real meal.  It’s so easy to make.  Just remember to heat your milk while your coffee sits to brew.

Café Au Lait
makes 1

1 part French press coffee
1 part warm milk
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon

Pour hot coffee and warm milk into a large mug or bowl.  Add a touch of sugar, if you like.  Stir.  Then, sprinkle with the tiniest hint of cinnamon.

Happy New Year!

Eva Gordon Ceramics

Velveteen Rabbit Christmas Dreams

Happy Holidays!!

A Velveteen Rabbit Christmas

Apple brandy, Amaretto, toasted pecans, and vanilla…

That’s got holiday dessert cocktail written all over it.

Velveteen Rabbit Dreams
circa Dec 2012

1.5oz Laird’s Apple Brandy
.25oz Faretti Biscotti
.25oz Lazzaroni Amaretto
1oz Toasted pecan simple syrup
2oz Vanilla almond milk
2 dashes of Vanilla bourbon bitters

Shake with ice.  Strain into cocktail glass.  Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Ideas for cocktails and bitters dot the posts that chronicle Velveteen Rabbit’s journey.

Another cocktail idea courtesy of the Velveteen Rabbit website:

Roasted chestnut simple syrup
Rye
Drambuie
Lazzaroni Amaretto Liqueur
dash of Angostura bitters

Amounts?  Experimenting required.
And, those are experiments that we are looking forward to conduct.

(This weekend, maybe?)

Chihuly & Crepes

Chihuly Glass Installation

It goes on…

..and on

Are they abstract art, flowers, or some form of exotic sea life?  You decide.

Again, we were mesmerized by Chihuly’s art.

Another renewed love that we’re bring home with us from Vegas?  Crepes.  We forgot just how much we love them.  They’re an easy and quick meal available on the go.  And, they’re easy to whip up at home, too.  If you don’t have candied nuts available.   Just substitute a sprinkle of roasted and roughly chopped nuts.

Our Favorites?

Hazelnut
candied hazelnuts
nutella
banana slices
fresh strawberry slices
dark chocolate drizzle
whipped cream

Bananas Foster
(above)

candied pecans
bananas
(sautéed in butter and brown sugar)
crepes
caramel drizzle
whipped cream
powdered sugar

Savory

Ham & Madeira Cherry
Serrano ham
Emmental cheese
Madeira cherries
chèvre
Mornay Sauce

Ham & Egg
Smoked ham
Emmental cheese
egg
Mornay sauce

Crepes
makes 5

1/2 cup AP flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

melted butter, for pan
pastry brush

In a pourable mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir.  Let rest for at least 30 minutes (or up to an hour).  Then, pour about 1/4 cup of batter into a hot buttered crepe pan (or small frying pan), swirl and flip when crepe is dried at the edges.

Top and fill as you desire.  Or, fold crepe into quarters, dust with powdered sugar and devour it on the spot.

Brie, Green Apple & Smoked Turkey Sandwich

Now, here’s something you don’t hear every day.  But, it’s true.  This sandwich was inspired by airport food.  Shhh….. Don’t tell anyone.

We went to Las Vegas and we ate.  Then, we ate some more.  After about 10 days of vacation where we were eating all things decadent, what’s the first thing I want to eat upon returning home?  It was this simple sandwich.

We experienced sensation overload for multiple senses.  Flashes of color, art, billboards & ads mingle freely together in every hotel lobby, game room and slot machine floor.  And, it’s everywhere.

Now that we’re home, we’re ready to relax and enjoy the little luxuries.

Smoked Turkey, Brie, & Green Apple Sandwich
(On Sourdough Bread)

Sourdough Roll (Or, sliced bread)
butter
brie
smoked turkey slices
green apple slices

Toast or grill bread.  Butter lightly.  Top with brie. (If brie is sliceable, melt under the broiler for a few seconds.)  Then, top with smoked turkey and green apple slices.  Serve immediately.  Brie should be warm and melty.