Can do it all. And modest to boot.

This s**t is bananas

Posted: September 17th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

I love bananas…sometimes.  Bananas are a food that I can go 2 years with out even thinking about, and then all of a sudden have a 2 week craving for them.  No idea what this strange phenomenon is, but hey…its better than craving doughnuts (although I tend to crave those too….)  For the past three days I have been eating about 2 bananas a day, so tonight I thought that I would change it up a little bit and use bananas in a new way.  I’m not sure what made me try frying them, probably a combined influence of Paula Deen and my deep seated love of butter and sugar.  Either way, it turned out completely different than I thought it would and it was freakin’ delish, so I’m happy :) .  Unfortunately my inner fat kid was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take pictures.  Stupid chubby kid in my head…always getting in the way.

Anyway, here is what I did, and I’m not sure if I will be able to recreate it, but I’m definitely going to try…


1 Banana cut into  round slices (about 1/2 inch thick, maybe a little thicker)

Brown sugar


Vanilla extract


I think this is how it went…

Melt butter in fry pan over medium-high(ish) heat.  While its melting, coat the banana slices in brown sugar.  Not a super thick layer, but more than just a sprinkle.  Put the slices into the pan and let them cook for a couple of minutes, until the sugar starts to caramelize.  Sprinkle some vanilla extract over them and then flip them.  Cook them on the other side for another couple of minutes.  Once the sugar is all melty and gooey, sprinkle the bananas with some cinnamon and toss them around in the pan to make sure they are totally coated, then remove them from the heat.

I’m sure there is a classy way to serve these, but I just dumped them in a bowl (at this point I was so excited to eat them that we are all lucky that I didn’t just eat them straight out of the pan).    The bananas got all gooey and delicious, and the sugar and cinnamon mix really well with the banana flavor…holy cannoli it was good.  Actually, because it was so good, I am SURE the next time I try this I will tank it, but hey! thats what cooking is all about.  Sometimes its amazing, sometimes its a flaming ball of tragedy…but thats how we get better :)

Sorry for the vague measurements, but everything is pretty much based on the flavors you like, so its hard to give specifics.  Happy frying!


Mac’n'cheese ‘o’ lantern…..

Posted: September 11th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments »

Yesterday I recieved an email that was a bit frantic, and a phone call that was downright freaked out.  Josie, thats right, our very own improvisor, was accepted into the Brookly Cheese Experiment.  Basically she has to make a cheese based recipe for about 300 people and hopefully it will be amazing enough to win a prize (lets face it…OF COURSE it will be amazing enough!).  We spoke for a little while and tried to work out some of the details of her recipe because its actually one she hasn’t made before. I will let her give you the details, but basically she is making a pumpkin mac’n'cheese.   Since she only has a couple days to prepare I offered to do a test run of the sauce she wants to use to help her out and pinpoint any problems that might arise.  Basically it was just a pumpkin-white cheddar beschamel.


1Tbsp Butter

1 Tbsp Flour

2/3 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup whole milk

1 1/4 tbsp pumpkin

3/4 block of cheddar cheese -grated

cumin, cayenne, and nutmeg to taste


Its a pretty simple process, but you have to pay attention so that it doesn’t burn or over heat.  Just melt the butter over low heat in a sauce pan and add the flour.  Cook the roux until the flour and butter are fully mixed and form a sort of paste on the bottom of the pan.

P-C Roux1

Then just add the chicken stock and milk and raise the heat a little (still on medium low).  Stir for about a minute and let the roux blend with the liquids, and then add the pumpkin and stir until the pumplin is fully incorporated into the sauce and it it thickens enough to coat your spoon.  Add the spices until to taste*, but be careful not to throw your cayenne into the pan, because then you get to reach in and get it our before the plastic melts on the bottom of the pan, and its just a situation at that point…P-C Cayenne Poor Cayenne :(

Then stir in the cheese a little at a time until it is all fully mixed in to form a thick creamy sauce.  You may want to re-spice it after you add the cheese to ensure that it tastes the way you want it to.

One thing that happened that I did not expect was the the pumpkin actually caused the sauce to get frothier than usual which I think will help it absorb into the pasta and not settle to the bottom as much.

*I have been told that ‘to taste’ is not really specific enough for some people, but really there is no other way to describe it.  You just have to add some and then taste, and if it s not enough, add more.  The trick is…the closer it gets to tasting right, the less you add so that you don’t over spice :) .

The final product

The final product

If the dish turns out even half as good as the sauce, Jo will definitely put up a good showing in her first major food competition :) .  I am so excited for her and I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes on Sunday.  She is an amazing cook so I know she will do great.  GOOD LUCK JO!!!!

Thanks to all my loyal readers (if I have any…)