Sunday, April 25, 2010

easiest and healthiest banana "ice cream" ever

Okay, so I haven't gotten to have straight-up cow dairy in months because of Ruby's allergy. The things I miss the most are pizza and ice cream. My friend Tam wrote about this dairy-free banana ice cream on her blog a while back and I meant to try it...but, of course, didn't get around to it and then totally forgot. Then, last night my friend Maggie posted this on Facebook and raved about it and I decided to give it a try. This is also a perfect dessert to make for kids who love ice cream--it's quick and easy to make and healthy for the munchkins!

We happened to have some bananas that were well past their prime (ie. they would have found their way to the garbage can because there's zero chance I'd have gotten around to making banana bread), so I sliced them up and popped them in the freezer.

They only need to be in there for 1-2 hours, until they're frozen solid. Then, just dump them in the food processor and start it up. At first it gets crumbly and weird, but just keep scraping the sides down and keep going...

Then, like magic, it suddenly starts to get creamy. I swear to you, it's the exact texture of ice cream! It's good by itself, but I added a dallop of peanut butter. Jude says next time we should toss in a bit of rum.

We gobbled this up in no time and I was left wishing I had more bananas. I feel like this is more of a magic trick than anything else...It's like waving a magic wand and turning your nasty old bananas into a delicious ice cream. I highly recommend this (just maybe not to my oldest brother who hates bananas so much that he once waited outside my apartment in Chicago because he refused to come in after I had made a banana smoothie that morning and he could smell it in my kitchen).

pasta-bean-broccoli rabe soup and fresh asparagus salad

Jude had some broccoli rabe and some asparagus from the Union Square farmer's market to use, so he made a nice spring soup-and-salad take. The soup was a variation of something he always does for us. It's chicken stock with canneloni beans (cooked from dry in water with pork bones), onions, broccoli rabe, macaroni, and bread crumbs (cooked on the stove).

He boiled the asparagus and dressed lightly in dressing.

He made Ruby some asparagus in the food processor, too, but he skinned hers first because he thought she might not be able to digest the outside of it.

Ruby wasn't so sure about this.

But then she got into the spirit.

makeshift brunch with friends

We had our good friends Josh and Monique over this morning with the plan that we were going to all walk together to the Brooklyn Flea to get lunch there. We hung out at the apartment for a while first--they hadn't seen Ruby in a while so she was getting showered with attention--and then got going when we were good and hungry. We got Ruby all put together and into her stroller with the rain guard around it and walked all the way there in the rain...only to find out that the wussy food vendors didn't show up because of the rain! It's indoors, people. Come on.

So we headed back to the apartment and Jude dug around and threw together a mishmash of things. It was actually pretty darn good. Baked grapefruit, toast with raspberry preserves, eggs to order, salad, and avocado with lime. I then made my caramel-cinnamon biscuits again, too, because I had all the ingredients I needed. Not bad for an unplanned meal for four.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

neighborhood Thai take out

Jude took Ruby out for a walk and they picked up some food from Myrtle Thai restaurant. We had a lot of grub: shrimp pad thai, massaman curry with chicken, ginger noodles with tofu, and a shrimp salad. I hadn't had Thai in a while. Yum.

block party burger

Ruby was asleep on me for two-and-a-half hours this afternoon for a nap after music class! So I was stuck, but itching to get up because there was a block party outside of a children's store, Still Hip, right down the street from our old apartment and I really wanted to bring Ruby.

She woke up just in time for a diaper change and a brisk walk down to the old 'hood. I was starving after having been stuck on the couch for so long and I grabbed a $2 burger from the outdoor grill for the block party at Dakar.

It was fun with a great energy in the air. Ruby's music teacher was playing a concert in the street and Ruby got so excited that she stuck out her finger and pointed for the first time!

Friday, April 23, 2010

quick and easy caramel buscuits with cinnamon

This is a ridiculously quick, easy, and tasty dessert (or sweet breakfast treat). It was my favorite when I was a kid and also the first recipe I ever learned (and knew by heart). I had forgotten all about this for years because Jude and I didn't own a microwave until recently (this one came mounted in our apartment kitchen) and these biscuits are made in the microwave. What I made tonight is slightly tweaked from the original (adding cinnamon to make it more like a gooey cinnamon roll).

All you need is one little canister of ready-to-bake biscuits (the kind, like the Pillsbury ones in the blue tubes, that pop when you pull them open and I can only find in packages of four these days), 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 3 tablespoons of water, and 3 tablespoons of butter. That's the original recipe, but I also dumped in some cinnamon tonight. I didn't measure it, but I'd assume it was at least 1 or 2 teaspoons. It was a delicious addition!

First, quarter the biscuits. It's easiest to use a kitchen scissors, but I don't know where ours went, so I had to use a knife.

Then, put the sugar, water, and butter (and cinnamon optional) in a glass bowl (we use Pyrex for microwaving purposes since it's no good to use plastics--even BPA-free plastics--that can leech chemicals out into your foods) and microwave for 1 minute.

Then pour it over the biscuits (I use another, bigger Pyrex bowl).

Pop this into the microwave for between 2.5 and 3 minutes and pull out your bowl. Wait a few minutes for it to cool down in this state.

Then turn it over and let it plop out onto a plate. It's most fun to just give each person a fork and let everyone dig in. Less plates to dirty, too!

steak and broccoli rabe with egg and breadcrumbs

Jude had already eaten when he got home from work tonight, so he made this just for me. Delicious! And this steak was a perfect medium rare.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

steak, potatoes, ramps, and black rice

We had our friend Adam over for dinner tonight to watch some basketball playoffs. Jude made a gorgeous and delicious meal of steak, Ruby Crescent fingerling potatoes, sauteed ramps, and some black rice. Jude wasn't happy with the steak (he left it on for a minute too long and it was more medium than medium-rare), but it was great nonetheless.

Notice Ruby's mouth is closed. She wasn't being very cooperative with Adam!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe

One of our all-time favorite dishes in our apartment is the traditional Italian dish of orecchiette pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe. Jude made a gorgeous batch of it for dinner tonight. In this picture, all the leafy parts of the rabe are underneath, but you get the idea. So good.

Jude got the broccoli rabe (first of the season) from Migliorelli Farm at the Union Square farmer's market.

And homemade sausage from our neighborhood butcher at The Greene Grape.

After cooking the sausage, he de-glazed the pan with some wine to make a nice sauce for the pasta.

And Ruby got the last of the fall's harvest (here some sweet potato puree) that Jude had prepared and frozen for her to last through the winter just in time for spring! So far, this kid has eaten all local, organic veggies with the exceptions of bananas and avocado.

Brooklyn Flea lunch

After a lovely afternoon at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to see the cherry blossoms in all their fluffy pink glory, we stopped by the Brooklyn Flea for lunch. On Sundays it's still indoors at the gorgeous old bank building in Fort Greene and the food vendors are downstairs, which makes it fun to eat in the old vault. Ruby was unimpressed.

We got pupusas, one of my favorite street foods. A Salvadorian specialty, a pupusa is a thick corn tortilla (more like a corn tortilla dough) stuffed with fillings (my favorite are beans and cheese, but I can't have cheese right now because of Ruby's allergy, so I have mine with chicken and beans now) and then sealed over and cooked on the plancha (griddle). It's usually served with a slaw and you can top it with crema and/or salsas. So delicious!

Mine without crema (sad):

Jude's with crema (yum):

I also got some black beans and some maduros (fried ripe plantains) for the table.

And, of course, a imported Mexican Coke (in a glass bottle and with real cane sugar, not HFCS) from the fish taco stand. What a treat!

My mother-in-law digs in.