May 25, 2010

Hawaiian Chocolate Elvis

In college I used to frequent a place called Planet Smoothie.  My favorite was the Chocolate Elvis- a chocolate, peanut butter, banana confection that I swore I wouldn't finish but always did.  Although I graduated some time ago, (ahem, "waaay back when you were in school" as it was phrased by a certain alumni fundraising whippersnapper who might be wise to ask for money before making one feel ancient)  I never met a chocolate banana treat I didn't like, especially when coconut is added to the mix.  This week's TWD, Banana Coconut Ice Cream Pie, was right up my alley.  It all starts with a shortbread coconut crust layered with banana, covered in a rich chocolate ice cream and banana combo, then topped with more banana.  For my mini tarts, I mixed Haagen Daas milk chocolate ice cream with creme de cacao and added an some toasted coconut for extra crunch but you could go a lot of different directions with this pie.  Did I hear someone say banana caramel? 

Satisfy your chocolate banana craving and head over to Spike Bakes for the recipe.

May 20, 2010

You've Come A Long Way Baby

It's just not a birthday party without a montage.  As Cinemon Girl turns 2 today, I give you a look back on my second year of food blogging.

I got serious with actual lights and a backdrop. No more squeezing everything on to the windowsill.

The student became the teacher as I taught my gorgeous cousin Kaitlin some of the tricks I learned in school and encouraged her to start her own blog.

Events inspired food like these Nainamo Bars- all the rage at the Vancouver Olympics

Food gave back at Stir It 28.

Always a fan of playing with my food,

this year I took it up a notch.

And hosted Tuesdays With Dorie.

Cinemon Girl gave my food fantasies a home so even though it's the blog's birthday, the blogger feels like she has gotten all the presents.

May 9, 2010

Chew On This

A few weeks ago I watched this great segment on 60 Minutes profiling Spanish expat chef Jose Andres. A former student of El Bulli's Ferran Adria, Chef Andres is credited for putting tapas style dining on the map in the US and for applying his love of physics and chemistry to push the boundaries of molecular gastronomy. I had grand plans to spend our upcoming 3rd wedding anniversary at his acclaimed Bazaar restaurant but thanks to the 60 Minutes feature, getting a reservation there has gone from improbable to impossible.
While I loved watching this master chef confound Anderson Cooper things like his pellet shaped mojito, there was one particular part of the story that struck me. Andres has been shifting his focus of late, away from meat dishes and towards vegetables, elevating them from side dish to a more starring role on his plates. And its not purely from a nutritional or environmental perspective- Chef Andres just finds fruits and veggies sexy.

Chef: (Meat) is slightly boring...You get a piece of meat and you put it in your mouth the first five seconds, all the juices flow around your mouth, they're gone. And then you are 20 more seconds chewing something that is tasteless...Something like this doesn't happen with a pineapple, an asparagus, a green pea.

- 60 Minutes transcript

I was really intrigued by this "sexy vegetable" idea but it didn't truly hit home with me until I made this Watermelon and Cucumber Mint Tsatsiki Salad.

Sweet juicy watermelon and crunchy cucumber tossed with lime juice, all seductively drizzled with a tangy, minty tsatsiki and topped with sprinkling of sea salt- a veritable sensory explosion in every bite. So much pow! flavor! in a simple plant based dish totally proved Chef Andres point. You know you want some.

Watermelon and Cucumber Mint Tsatsiki Salad
Gourmet Magazine via Epicurious
1 small garlic clove
2 medium cucumbers, divided
1 1/2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt
2/3 cup chopped mint, divided
1 (3-pounds) piece watermelon, rind removed and fruit cut into 1-inch chunks (6 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Flaky sea salt

May 4, 2010


Wow. Wow. Wow. Burnt sugar ice cream. So good it renders you speechless. Creamy, salty, sweet waves of frozen fabulousness. Perfection in a bowl and so simple to make. Burn your sugar. Add milk, cream, egg yolks and a pinch of salt and stir until an addictively delicious custard forms. Chill, churn, devour. Ice cream this good just isn't natural- it's supernatural.

Let me take a moment to profess my love for Becky for making this her TWD pick. Can I wash your car? Do your laundry? I owe you big for bringing Burnt Sugar Ice Cream into my life.
"...Oh my god, this changes everything..."
-Art Bell, Coast To Coast