Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blueberry Clafoutis

I cheated.

I peaked in at around 40 minutes.  I don't know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this.

Living, breathing, sighing, heaving.

My clafoutis was alive.    Billowing sheets of yellow custard.   Breathing in and out.   Hot, heavy breath.

I closed the oven door and walked away.  Tried to forget what I just saw.

Five minutes more.   The buzzer.

One more heaving sigh and then silence.    A lone blueberry exuded itself through the now thin crust of  golden yellow.

This is one hot little dessert.

A classic french dessert, traditionally made with cherries, it is a cross between a baked custard and an airy puffy pancake.   Very easy to put together and the results are subtly sweet and light.   (Makes great leftovers for breakfast.)  

Do you have a favorite blueberry recipe? 

Blueberry Clafoutis


1 pint blueberries, rinsed
3 whole eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup flour

mint for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter your baking dish and layer bottom with blueberries.   Set aside.  I used a 9 inch cake pan.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, cream, sugar and almond extract.    Mix in flour to form a smooth batter.

Pour batter over blueberries and let settle to reach all sides.  

Bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until you reach a golden topping.   Remove from oven.  The clafoutis will naturally puff and deflate.   Let sit for 10 - 15 minutes before serving.   Garnish with fresh mint before serving.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

What's with the red hot dogs anyway? 

Is this a southern tradition that I need to know about? 

With bright red casings and sawdust like filling, I am not a fan.

I am a fan of all beef hot dogs and evening baseball. 

Hot summer nights, cold beer, 'real' hot dogs, cotton candy mustaches...

My favorite part is trying to guess the height and weight of the guys on the field and then finding the answer in their playbook bios.  (Only during the slow parts of course.) 

Do you think they know they are being followed by a giant multicolored chicken? 

We try and make a couple of Durham Bulls games each summer.   A fun and inexpensive weeknight diversion close to home.  

Are you a fan?   What's your favorite part of the game? 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tuscan Pork Chops

The lemon makes these pork chops amazing.   It doesn't make an appearance until the very end and could be easily forgotten, but don't, because it brings the herbs and garlic and charri-ness to life.  

I asked John to train me on the grill again.   Again.

"Are you paying attention this time?"

"Yes, I swear, I'll remember."

"So turn this and then turn this and then turn that and then push this and then step back."

"Okay.   Got it."

"Then let it heat up a bit and go to town."

"Easy.  I have this.   You go sit inside and relax.   I will make dinner on the grill."

(A proud moment.)  

I put on the random assortment of veggie kabobs.  I purposely didn't put things in order.  A couple of mushrooms here, some random tomatoes there, a red onion cap on a bald mushroom.   I'm in charge tonight.  

Grilling is fun.

I put on the sweet potatoes.   Our fourth food group.

And then I put on these gorgeous pork chops which had been bathing in a marinade of garlic and lots of herbs and olive oil.     Tuscan-like, I think.

I fended off the bugs attacking me on the deck and peaked inside periodically.

When they were done, they looked like this.

The turning-on-the-grill instructions may have gone in one ear and out the other (sorry John), but I did write down this recipe.   I hope you will try it.   We both said that it was the best we'd had in a long time.   Way better (and less expensive) than any restaurant.  

(Am I the only one who can never remember how to start the grill?)

Tuscan Pork Chops
serves 2

2 bone-in pork chops
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, halved
salt and pepper

Generously season pork chops with salt and pepper.   Let sit out at room temperature while you prepare the marinade.

Combine olive oil, vinegar, sage, rosemary and garlic.    Pour over pork chops and marinate for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat your grill to medium high (hopefully you already know how to do this!).  

Place pork chops on grill.   Grill about 5 minutes on the first side.   Flip and grill the second side for another 4 minutes.   (Note - your grilling times may vary.   This timing worked really well for us.)

Let the pork chops rest for a minute or two and then liberally sprinkle each piece with juice of half a lemon.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Last Hurrah

Five parties, seven months and more happier moments than I can count later, the wedding season officially draws to a close.

New Hampshire welcomed us with open arms!   (Home truly is where the heart is.)

Here's to celebrating and picking up where we left off!    Time and space occur, but love and friendship remain.  

To great food prepared by great people.   (If you are in New England, check out A Day to Remember... can't recommend highly enough!   They made our day seamless and are true professionals in every sense.)

To new friends who look fabulous in black and white and whom I'd love to drag along with me on my next trip to Italy!

To two of my favorite men.    (that allowed me to pose with them and have given a permanent and unstated consent to have their pictures posted in my blog :)

To family friends who loved my mother dearly and shared this with me in a way that no one else could.   (I didn't capture pictures of all of you, but you know who you are, and thank you... your words and memories mean so much to me.   And for those that are pictured below, if you squint real hard and look to the upper right...)

To early summer outdoor dining with dear friends and neighbors, great food and lots of laughter and celebrating!

To my kitty babies, who still recognize me after all these years and even offered a pose or two. 

To my husband, who indulges my need to take cheesy pictures of myself and loves me anyway. 

Cheers to it all!  A special thanks to our parents for all of your love and support and lots and lots of fun along the way!   We appreciate and cherish each and every moment. 

I couldn't have asked for a better visit to New Hampshire.   It's been a great week, but I'm ready to return to my new home where I know I will be welcomed by another set of open arms that made all of this possible.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!