Creamed peas. If you are envisioning over-cooked, mushy peas laying in a puddle of cream like something in an Old English pub, then you are not familiar with this version. This recipe involves fresh, spring peas and it is delicious. I have been wanting to make fresh peas for awhile now, so the other day when there were fresh, English peas for sale at Trader Joe’s, I snapped them up. Now, I must admit, I love peas. Not the aforementioned over-cooked version, but even frozen peas with a little butter and salt, slightly undercooked so they still pop, is something I make often. So the thought of fresh! English! peas was so exciting for me, I can’t even tell you. And though I could have served them simply with just butter and salt, I wanted to do something a little more. I ended up kind of combining two recipes that I found on Epicurious and changing them around to make one that was more what I was going for. Can I just say? This recipe was life-changing for me! The fresh peas had a distinctly sweeter profile than even the highest quality frozen, and combined with the onions, it was scrumptious (yes, I just said “scrumptious” to describe a vegetable). I loved them so much I made them again a few days later and used frozen, just to see how much difference there would be. And though it was still delicious, there is something very special about the sweeter, more distinct taste of the fresh. I urge you to go and get some fresh peas while they are still around (it’s a very short season).
I frequently (translation: almost always) have ripe to overripe bananas sitting on my counter. I don’t know if it’s me, but somehow my bananas seem to go from green to brown with no actual “yellow” stage in between! Because of that, I make a lot of banana bread!
French macarons… is there a more beautiful cookie in the entire world? The first time I tasted one, I have to say, I was surprised. I expected it to be crispy, and it certainly was crisp on the outside. But the chewiness of the inside, now that was a surprise. A great one is crispy on the outside but has that distinctive chew on the inside. And that little ruffled edge that sticks out around the bottom? It has a name! (Of course, it does! The French have a name for everything, especially when it comes to food and/or cooking!) That is called the “foot” and they are not considered correct unless they have “feet”. In Paris, the Laduree chain of pastry shops is surely the most famous maker of macarons in the world (many, many pins have been devoted to the photographs of it’s beautiful displays). And because it’s Paris, even McDonald’s sells macarons in their McCafes!! So, because it’s Friday, and for no particular reason other than they are beautiful, here’s to the wonderful, the French, the delicious….macaron…. Enjoy!
It’s always a good morning when there is granola involved, don’t you think? I’ve been wanting to share my granola recipe for awhile. It’s something I tweaked and perfected and have been making for a few years now. I usually make it during the holidays and give it as gifts and many of those friends have asked me to share the recipe. I am a true granola fanatic. I eat it almost everyday and bought it for many years before I finally decided to try making it. Much to my surprise, it was super easy and considering how expensive quality store granola is, I’m glad I switched. The great thing about it is how versatile it is. For instance, I use almonds and pecans for my nuts, but if you prefer peanuts and walnuts, use those. Or you could do cashews, or pistachios. I sometimes add figs and dried cherries, but you don’t have to. Or you could add raisins and apricots… you get the picture. Tailor it to your own taste. I started with one recipe a few years back and cut the oil and sugars in half and added the spices as the original didn’t have any at all, nor any salt. But if you want it sweeter or even less sweet, change that too. I usually eat it with greek yogurt with a little honey and fruit for breakfast, but it’s equally good with a bowl of milk. And of course, eaten out of hand it can’t be beat. Makes a great late night snack too!