Monday, March 10, 2014
The three of us stayed at the Commander Hotel, where we set up a routine pretty quickly. After a full breakfast (included in the price of our room), we hit the swimming pool. After a few hours of splashing around, we went to a place just off the boardwalk for slices of Sicilian-style pizza. We then changed and wandered the boardwalk until dinner (also included).
Every night after dinner we went to the candy store to pick up some TV-time nibbles. My brother always got milk chocolate bark, but I wanted something more exotic, like peanut butter fudge or rocky road. Oh how I loved the textures of rocky road candy, with its squishy marshmallows and crunchy nuts! I still love it today, but I try to stay away from eating it every night, like I did during that summer week in 1975.
I found a recipe for brownies with marshmallows and peanut butter chips in my copy of the Fat Witch Brownie cookbook. The bakery's owner calls them "bumpy highway" brownies, but I prefer "rocky road," and with real nuts instead of chips. Walnuts are my preference, but you can use any nut you like. These are very sweet and gooey, owing to a high sugar-to-flour ratio and of course, to marshmallows. They're also quite chocolatey, and a little goes a long way.
Rocky Road Brownies (adapted from Fat Witch Brownies)
3/4 stick unsalted butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons semi sweet chocolate chips, divided use
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9" square baking pan.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in half the semi sweet chips until they are melted.
Beat the sugar and eggs until light and lemon-colored. Blend in the chocolate mixture. Sift the flour and salt together and add to the batter, mixing until well-combined.
Spread half the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 12 minutes.
Stir the remaining semi sweet chips, marshmallows, and walnuts into the remaining batter. Spread as evenly as possible over the partially-baked layer. Bake 15 more minutes.
Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting. Makes 12-16.
Posted on Minxeats.com.
Friday, March 07, 2014
It's been at least 25 years since I've eaten tuna casserole. By the time I graduated high school, my mom was a more creative cook and also felt we could fix our own Friday dinners. Yay for adulthood! Honestly, I'd rather have egg salad or fried eggs or pancakes or a veggie burger than fish sticks or tuna casserole on a Lenten Friday evening. (Even more honestly--I'd rather have a steak.)
Not long ago, I decided to try making a tuna casserole. Mr Minx had been spared the lifetime of horror but he was still completely dubious about the idea of hot tuna + noodles (although he did like the noodle part on its own). I wanted to make my Mom's casserole--partly to see if it was as scary as I remembered, and partly because (more honesty here) I did occasionally enjoy it--but I couldn't find her recipe. I was pretty sure she used the one on cans of Campbell's cream of celery soup, but the recipe found there now, labeled "classic," involves pimientos and peas. Yuck. Lets not make things worse, shall we?
I did remember that Mom's dish had cheddar cheese and crushed pretzels in addition to egg noodles and that soup, so I went with that. Part of me hoped when we went to the grocery store that Campbell's had discontinued the cream of celery variety. Alas, it was there, in a low-sodium version that had no flavor at all, celery or otherwise. I added some sauteed onion and celery to the dish to make it taste like something other than hot tuna.
Mr Minx actually enjoyed the casserole, as did I, and we ate the whole thing over the course of a few days. And I'd actually make it again, maybe for Lent. But more likely we'll be having steak instead.
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 10 1/2-ounce can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
2 6-ounce cans tuna (in water), drained well
1 bag of egg noodles, cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Thin pretzels, crushed into small pieces to equal 1/2 cup
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a 3 quart saucepot, cook onion and celery in the butter until vegetables are soft. Stir in the soup and milk. Season with dill, onion powder, pepper, salt, and cayenne. If you think it needs more flavor, add more of the above, or even other stuff. A pinch of tarragon might be nice. Stir in the tuna.
Add cooked egg noodles to the pot a few handfuls at a time, stirring to coat with soup mixture. You will not need all of the noodles, so hold back a cup or two.
Pour half of noodle mixture into a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle over about 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese. Top with the remaining noodle mixture and the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle the crushed pretzels on top. Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and the edges of the noodles are getting brown.
Posted on Minxeats.com.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Roy’s Restaurant is partnering with Duckhorn Vineyards for a spectacular dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12. Guests will delight in five unique courses (including Kona Kampachi Tartare, Lobster & Peas, Maple Leaf Duck Duo, Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Peach Napoleon) expertly prepared by the Roy’s culinary team and accompanied by four Duckhorn Vineyards wine pairings. The cost per person is $85 plus tax and service charge.
This event will take place in the private dining room at all Roy’s Restaurant locations, except in Hawaii, Pebble Beach and downtown San Diego. To make reservations at your nearest location, please visit http://www.roysrestaurant.com.
Special Roy’s and Duckhorn Vineyard prizes, including a Roy’s cookbook, hukilaus and an autographed Duckhorn Vineyards wine bottle, will be available during the evening’s raffle.
Posted on Minxeats.com.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
While it seems most appropriate to make a comforting stew or other such cold-weather food, I felt like I needed a reminder that Spring was somewhere around the corner. We had a bunch of cilantro and basil in the fridge, so I whipped up a green dressing with them. The lovely color and zingy flavor was a nice harbinger of things to come. If they come.
A typical green goddess dressing has tarragon and anchovy, but I think any combination of flavorful green herbs (except rosemary) works fine. In place of the anchovy, I added a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
3 scallions, white and green parts chopped
extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
lime or lemon juice to taste
few drops of Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
Place the cilantro, basil, and scallions in a food processor and pulse to a puree with the help of some of the olive oil. Just use enough to get the herbs going. Add the yogurt and mayo and puree. Season to taste with the citrus juice, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper.
Makes about half a cup.
Goddess-y Chicken Salad
2 cups cooked chicken, torn into medium-large chunks
1 small apple, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons or so of Goddess-y dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Serve on greens or in sandwiches. Serves 2.
Posted on Minxeats.com.