a community blog of gastrophiles for all seasons

Friday, November 26, 2004

Hot Chocolate

This is good for the cold (or cool) mornings we are all starting to experience.


1 can evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
3 c. regular milk

Pour evaporated milk into a 3 qt saucepan. Fill empty can 1/2 full with water and add to pan. Heat over medium high heat. While milk is heating, mix sugar and cocoa together. Add 5 or 6 tablespoons of the warmed evaporated milk into sugar/cocoa mixture and mix until the sugar mixture starts to melt. Add sugar/cocoa mixture to warmed evaporated milk and stir until combined. Add regular milk. Hot chocolate is ready when mixture is hot.

This drink can be petty sweet. If you find it to be a little rich, just add more milk. :)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Monkey Bread: The Official Bread of Monkeys


4 cans biscuits (I use the blue 4-pack found in most grocer's refridgerators, any will work)
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Mix cinnamon and sugar together. Quarter biscuits and roll in sugar mixture. Pile into a greased bundt pan. Melt the following topping together and pour over biscuits:

1 stick margarine/butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees until done (approx. 30-35 minutes). Invert bundt pan onto a plate and serve.

My only advice on this dish is to make sure the plate you invert the bread onto is bigger than the bundt pan. Otherwise, all the buttery goodness will pour out of the pan and fall on the counter/floor/you and make a sticky mess. This is also good as a left over, either cold or warmed in the oven.


Sunday, November 07, 2004

¡Cuba Libre!

Inspired by a virtual conversation with Taylor and Carrie, I decided to celebrate my Cuban culinary heritage for the first time by making a spicy shrimp stew this evening. Epicurious seems to do right by Claudia, and has done me right in the past, so I considered it trustworthy. Glad I did; this recipe was great! (served with homemade italian herb bread and my grandmother's spinach)

A few caveats:
(1) buying shrimp in late fall in Michigan is going to be expensive; you've gotta want it.
(2) if you make this dish, be sure to give the stew time to reduce and thicken (i.e., ignore their minute recommendations... patience, young padawan).


Monday, November 01, 2004

More Seasonal Goodness

Once again, I can take no credit for this recipe for cinnamon crumble apple pie, but I can recommend it. It's a little messy to cut up (and if you're a klutz like me, what ends up on the plate looks more like crisp than pie) but it's quite tasty. The best part of the recipe though is the construction. You pile the apples in the crust and then 'pack' the topping on. So, it's like constructing a mud pie. You can handfuls of the topping and smoosh it around over the apples until you have it all neat and even, with a big peak in the center. It can be very therapeutic getting your hands dirty in the kitchen.