Thursday, October 30, 2014

Choconanatini - a chocolate and banana rum cocktail

A while ago, my friends at Blue Chair Bay Rum sent me a recipe for a cocktail that sounded interesting. The more I thought about it, though, the more I wanted to change things.

The cocktail was created for National Peanut Butter Month and included banana rum, coconut rum, vanilla ice cream, and peanut butter.

Okay, so I'm not a huge coconut fan, so that went straight out the window. The more I thought about the vanilla ice cream, the more I thought that I wanted something a little lighter. And maybe not quite as cold. So, I didn't get rid of dairy entirely, but I changed the ice cream to milk.

So that left me with banana rum and peanut butter from the original recipe. Okay, we can agree that peanut butter and banana is a classic. But it's not my classic. It's ... okay ... but ... well ...

How about chocolate?

So I dumped the peanut butter and added chocolate. So much for peanut butter month.

On the other hand, this is a killer cocktail. If you want something richer, sure, go ahead and use vanilla ice cream or heavy cream or half-and-half. But if you don't want to get quite that full, you might want to use milk.

Choconanatini

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
1 ounce Blue Chair Bay banana rum
4 ounces milk

Combine all the ingredients. Stir and serve.

If you want a colder cocktail, you can pour this into a shaker with ice, then shake and serve.

Interested in the original cocktail? 
Here you go:

PB&B

1 1/2 oz. Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum
1 oz. Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 tsp. peanut butter

Blend in a blender and serve in tall glass. Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry.

Blue Chair Bay Rum has provided me with rum in the past; they did not provide it for this post - I just thought it would be fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cheddar Potato Leek Soup

This soup really doesn't need a story. It's potato-leek soup with a good helping of cheddar cheese. It's rib-sticking good.


Warning: I tend to like hearty soups. The joke used to be that if a spoon didn't stand straight up in the bowl on its own, then I needed to add noodles.

This soup isn't thick enough to hold a spoon up, but it's definitely not a broth. If you prefer a thinner soup, feel free to add more stock, milk, or water, to thin it to your desired consistency. Then taste for seasoning, because when you water it down, you might find that you need a bit more flavoring.

When you refrigerate the leftovers, they'll thicken considerably, but it will loosen as it warms up.

If you've never worked with leeks before, be warned. They can have grit and dirt between the layers, and much further down that you'd expect. You can cut them in half lengthwise and rinse between the layers, or you can slice them then wash the slices as you would spinach or lettuce, to remove the dirt.

Cheddar Potato Leek Soup

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 leeks, white and tender green, well cleaned and sliced
2 quarts chicken stock
2 tablespoons bacon fat (optional)
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded or cut into small pieces

Put the potatoes, leeks, chicken stock, and bacon fat (if using) into a heavy-bottomed large saucepan. If the liquid doesn't cover the potatoes, add water, just to cover the potatoes.

If you're using a low-sodium chicken broth, add 1 teaspoon of salt now. Otherwise, wait to season until later. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the potatoes are falling-apart tender.

Add the milk and use a stick blender to puree the mixture. Add the pepper.

Add the cheese, a small hand full at a time, stirring to melt it into the soup. Add more cheese as the previous addition is just about melted.

When all the cheese is added, decide if you like the thickness, and add more liquid, if desired. You can add milk, stock or water.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper, if desired.

Serve hot.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousseline ~~ Recipe from The Baking Bible

You want to make these cupcakes. Trust me, you do!
For more information about Rose Levy Berembaum's new cookbook The Baking Bible (and a giveaway!), see THIS POST.

This recipe is directly from the cookbook, used with permission. All rights reserved.





Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for an autographed copy of the book and a silicone bowl!

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