Saturday, June 22, 2013

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Banana Sandwich with Chocolate Sauce

Growing up did your mom or dad ever have that one sandwich that they only made on special occasions, like if you were really really good that day?  Or that the day was just so incredibly nice that you just had to go out for a picnic?  Well this, is my mom's super special sandwich.

I looked forward to the days when the stars would align and she would make me her "favorite sandwich." As an adult I think we lose touch a lot of times on those special foods we ate as a child, they're more than comfort foods, they're time machines that take us back to when we were five sitting on a river bank watching the fish jump and the birds busily bustle about. We're often too busy to take the afternoon off and enjoy that special treat.

As a parent I know that I often feel like I'm in a rush to get this done, that fixed or get to so-and-so's appointment, which is also why moments like these are so important.  Let the health food restrictions slide for a day, after all, this sandwich does contain a full serving of protein, potassium and other minerals, not to mention that eating peanut butter in moderation promotes a healthy heart and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes (Source: Harvard Health).

This sticky-gooey delight should be shared, and enjoyed, outdoors. I hope you enjoy more additions such as these to my Sinfully Delicious Summer Series.

Until next time.

Love Ya!
~ Marvel


Peanut Butter Marshmallow Banana Sandwich with Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients

2 slices of bread
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 generous scoop of marshmallow creme
1/2 banana, sliced
chocolate sauce, or syrup

Directions

Cover one side of both slices of bread with peanut butter, this keeps the bread from being soggy by the fruit and chocolate sauce, and also makes sure every bite has some peanut butter.
Spread the marshmallow creme on top of the peanut butter on one of the slices of bread.
Slice the banana and place in an even layer across the marshmallow creme.
Drizzle with chocolate sauce, and close the sandwich.
Enjoy, and don't forget the napkins.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Brag Post: I graduated!

My husband and I posing for a pre-graduation photo in the heavy wind
So, as some have noticed I have been gone a lot more lately than usual.  This is because I was super busy over the past term getting things ready for graduating from my junior college before my big transfer over to my 4-year university. 
I am exceedingly happy to announce that I walked with my class, receiving honors in not one, not two, but three different Associates Degrees.
Excited to be done with this school and on to our next! It was a long two years!

While this term kept me super busy, it also allotted me some opportunities that would not have otherwise been available:
  • I got to work at an Indian Boarding School as a Teacher's Assistant/Student Mentor, where I made some amazing connections with not only the staff at the school but also with the students who attend there.  It was honestly hard for me when their school year came to an end earlier than expected due to sequestration. Their school year ended the first week of May, instead of the first week of June, there were lots of tears shed by teachers and students alike. For more information read: NPR: Indian Nation Squeezed by Sequester and Indian Country Today: "Every Child Left Behind: Sequester Guts Indian Education"
  • My boss directed a Soft Opera by Guilbert and Sullivan called Ruddigore: The Witch's Curse where we had 74 costumes, which were handmade by my best friend, the head costumer, and myself, with some help from my husband, his best friend and my best friend's mother. It was a tiring experience, which had all sorts of hiccups along the way, to which on more than one occasion we heard the cast musing if the play too was cursed and not just a part written in the story line.  Nights were long, drawn out and occasionally dirty. Blood and tears were shed on multiple occasions, and the Bride may or may not have been pinned into her dress on opening night because all four of our sewing machines broke down minutes before opening curtain.  But it worked, it looked amazing, and the audience loved it. Look here for some behind the scenes photos: A few behind the scenes photos from Ruddigore
  • I organized a blood drive at my college where we were able to beat the school's record for most units donated in a single school year set all the way back in 2005, and I gave my first double red cell donation.
  • I was able to work at an alternative High School as a Teacher's Assistant where kids who are kicked out of other schools or do not have the credits to graduate before the cut off age (21 yrs) go to get an actual high school degree.  The school has 3 week terms, where the students are given 2 classes per term and a whole semester's worth of information is given to them, and then they are tested on.  This gives the students the ability to make up 18 classes in a single school year, mind you students need 44 classes to graduate, so students who previously dropped out in their freshman year can come back in their junior year, and still graduate with their class.
Hope that you all have been well in my absence, for I have missed you all.  Looking forward to catching up with you over the course of summer.

Please enjoy the Summer Series' that I have planned, one is a Summer Drink Series where I hope to give both "adult" and "virgin" versions of popular summer drinks, and maybe some less well known drinks too. The other is a Sinfully Delicious Series where I hope to provide recipes so good, you know they can't be good for you, although you may be surprised that some of them actually are health food.

Love Ya!
~Marvel

Carmel Bacon Stuffed French Toast, includes Sweet French Toast and White Chocolate Custard Recipes

What we call Caramel Bacon Stuffed French Toast at my house

A few months ago I went out to breakfast with the girls at Denny's during their Baconalia event. I fell in love with their Carmel Bacon Stuffed French Toast even though its probably one of the least healthy items I've ever eaten there.  It's bacon, white chocolate, and caramel on top of french toast, how could I not love it?
What Denny's had promised me
The pictures on tv made it seem like this epically stuffed french toast that just oozed with bacon and filling that I couldn't resist. The truth however... was not as epic, until I took my first bite.
What Denny's served me
Now, I am not going to deny that the french toast was amazing when I ate it.  Which is why I had to come up with a way to repeat this experience, but with baconalia over, I had to figure it out on my own.
No problem! I'm a classically trained chef I told myself, what I wasn't expecting was to find conflicting statements on what type of filling was used. Was it a white chocolate ganache filling? Or maybe it was a white chocolate cream cheese filling? I had no clue, nor could I remember anything further than "this is an epic breakfast," so I am settling with a white chocolate custard.  May not be the exact recipe, but it sure tastes amazing.
The french toast serving size is for 4, but the custard recipe serving size is for 6, because I like a LOT of custard on my french toast.

Carmel Bacon Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients
8 slices Sweet French Toast (recipe follows)
1 recipe - white chocolate custard (recipe follows)
1/2 lb cooked bacon, crumbled
caramel sauce

Directions
On a plate put one piece of sweet french toast, top with a generous amount of custard and a sprinkling of bacon. Place another piece of french toast on top of custard, sprinkle bacon on top and drizzle with caramel sauce.


Sweet French Toast

Ingredients
8 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 slices bread
1/4 cup milk
6 tsp sugar

Directions
In a shallow dish, beat egg, sugar, milk and vanilla well.
Heat griddle or pan on medium heat. Coat with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Soak each side of bread in egg mixture until wet, but not soggy, about 10-20 seconds a side.
Grill each side until golden brown.
Remove from heat. Serve, top as desired.


White Chocolate Custard

Ingredients
1/4 lb white cooking chocolate, chopped
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cup cream
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Directions
Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
Combine milk and cream in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until hot but do not allow the mixture to boil.
Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar in a medium bowl until the mixture is smooth and thick and whisk hot milk mixture, into egg yolk mixture.
 Return mixture to saucepan and whisk constantly, over a low heat for about four minutes, or until custard thickens.
Pour custard over the chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted.
Serve warm or chilled.

Refreshing Red Sangria


This refreshing red sangria is a great alternative to those who are not a fan of white Sangria's, because it allows for the use of bolder red wines or choice of juices.

Remember fruit should retain its peel, this gives a depth of flavor as well as a visual appeal.


Refreshing Red Sangria

Ingredients
1 bottle red wine
2 shots gin, or triple sec
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1 lime, juiced
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup raspberries or strawberries
1 small can pinapple, cubed, with juice
4 cups ginger ale

Directions
In a large pitcher mix wine, lemon and lime juice.
Add in pineapple and its juice, sugar, liquor and lemon and lime slices, reserve some for garnish. Let set 2-4 hours for flavors to combine.
Just before serving add in berries, ice and ginger ale. Garnish with lemon and lime slices.

Juices and fruit soaking

Refreshing Red Sangria (virgin)

Ingredients
Red/Concord Grape juice (or other red juice such as pomegranate)
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1 lime, juiced
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup raspberries or strawberries
1 small can pinapple, cubed, with juice
4 cups ginger ale

Directions
In a large pitcher mix grape, lemon and lime juices.
Add in pineapple and its juice, sugar and lemon and lime slices, reserve some for garnish. Let set 2-4 hours for flavors to combine.
Just before serving add in berries, ice and ginger ale. Garnish with lemon and lime slices.

Melon Mint Pink Sangria


Melon Mint is a refreshing flavor, I like blending watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, but even if you just choose one type of melon this recipe tastes great. Sometimes I leave out the lemonade and just let the melon and mint speak for its self.

Melon Mint Pink Sangria

Ingredients
2 Bottles Moscato (or other sweet white wine)
1/2 cup grand mariner (gives a raspberry taste)
5 cups melon, cubed
1 container frozen pink lemonade concentrate
2 liters club soda
fresh mint
1 tsp sugar, optional

Directions
Combine melon, wine and mariner in a large pitcher. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or over night if desired.
Muddle 2-4 mint leaves with either the sugar or 1 tsp lemonade concentrate while slushy. Add in muddled mint, (all of the) lemonade to pitcher.  Just before serving add club soda and garnish with fresh mint.

Melon Mint Pink Sangria (Virgin)

Ingredients
2 bottles lemon lime soda
5 cups melon, cubed
1 container frozen pink lemonade concentrate
2 bottles sparkling grape or apple juice
fresh mint
1 tsp sugar, optional
ice

Directions

Muddle 2-4 mint leaves with either the sugar or 1 tsp lemonade concentrate while slushy. In a large pitcher add muddled mint and (all of the) lemonade to pitcher.  Just before serving add the sparkling juice, soda and garnish with fresh mint.

Summer Citrus White Sangria


Here's another Sangria recipe for the summer drink series. As always, I will provide a full strength recipe as well as a virgin recipe for us non-drinkers.

When slicing fruit, leave the peel on, however remember to remove seeds and hulls. Please note: you do not need every fruit listed, but try to keep some of each type, eg some citrus, some berries and some stone fruits (I know that apples and grapes aren't stone fruits, but work with me). This gives the Sangria a well rounded flavor pallet.

This one's full strength recipe while super tasty is also super strong, it has a lot of alcohol in it even if you don't notice it, please drink responsibly and have a designated driver.

Summer Citrus White Sangria

Ingredients
1 bottle moscato
1 bottle sparkling white wine
3 ounces peach schnapps

1-2 apples, sliced
1 peach, sliced
1/4 cup grapes, halved
1/4 cup cherries, pitted
1 orange, sliced in rounds
2 lemons - 1 sliced in rounds, 1 juiced
1 lime, sliced in rounds
1/4 cup strawberries, quartered
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blueberries
Ice

Directions

Hull and slice fruit as directed.
In a large pitcher mix together all ingredients.


Summer Citrus White Sangria (Virgin)

1- 2 liter bottle lemon lime soda
1 bottle sparkling white grape or apple juice

1-2 apples, sliced
1 peach, sliced
1/4 cup grapes, halved
1/4 cup cherries, pitted
1 orange, sliced in rounds
2 lemons - 1 sliced in rounds, 1 juiced
1 lime, sliced in rounds
1/4 cup strawberries, quartered
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blueberries
Ice

Watermelon Sangria



Lets be honest, I LOVE a good Sangria.
However, since my gall bladder removal drinking alcohol just isn't the same.  Now days my tolerance is severely reduced, my recovery time is greatly lengthened, and that's just the immediate side effects. Needless to say, I've been avoiding a lot of drinks that contain alcohol as of late, not that I drank much to begin with, but you get my point.
Sangria is one of those drinks that doesn't taste or feel like you're drinking alcohol, which is one of its attractions, and draw backs.  So, as part of my summer drink series, I am going to supply you guys with both the virgin and regular versions of this drink.

Watermelon Sangria

Ingredients

2 cups watermelon for juicing plus some for garnish, cubed or balled
2 limes
4 ounces lemon lime soda, or 2 ounces simple syrup
1 bottle of sweet white wine
4 ounces triple sec, optional
6 ounces vodka, optional
strawberries for garnish
ice

Directions
Juice one lime, set aside.
Puree 2 cups of watermelon, strain reserving juice, discard pulp.
In a large pitcher mix together watermelon and lemon juice. Stir in ice, white wine, triple sec, vodka and soda.
Garnish with watermelon, lime wedges and sliced strawberries.
Enjoy.

Watermelon Sangria (Virgin)

Ingredients

2 cups watermelon for juicing plus some for garnish, cubed or balled
2 limes
2 liter lemon lime soda (for sweeter recipe)
or 2 liters club soda and 2-4 ounces simple syrup (for less sweet recipe)
Strawberries for garnish
ice

Directions

Same as above, except omit alcohol.
If desired, lemonade can be used instead of soda.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Blueberry Mojito (Virgin and Regular Recipies)


It's finally that time of year when the weather begins to have more warm days than there are cold, or if you're an Oregon resident, it means that there is more than one sunny day this month.

It's time for summer time drinks!

To kick off this summer drink season my best friend and I chose to have some Blueberry Mojitos. However, since neither of us drink we made some virgin mojitos, and in my opinion it tastes just as good and I don't have to worry about a hangover in the morning! 

My kitchen currently does not have any bar supplies so I just used my bullet, mortar and an old jar with a lid.  If you do have bar supplies you will need a food processor, cocktail shaker and a muddler.

Blueberry Mojito (Virgin)

Ingredients
1 cup blueberries, plus some for garnish
2 teaspoons sugar
2-4 mint leaves
6 ounces club soda
2 limes juiced (roughly 2 tablespoons)

Directions
Puree blueberries, set aside.
In a cocktail shaker put sugar and mint leaves, use muddler to muddle the mint and sugar together. Add lime juice, club soda and blueberry puree, mix thoroughly.
Pour into ice filled, sugar rimmed glasses, garnish with lime wedge and blueberries.

Blueberry Mojito (regular)

Add 4 ounces Rum in cocktail mixer along with the lime juice, club soda and blueberry puree.


To Muddle: the act of mashing ingredients together at the bottom of a glass using a muddler (large stick designed for this purpose)