/page/2
A Solitary Seared Scallop. 
Seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme and chili pepper flakes.
Cooked in oil with a pat of butter. 

A Solitary Seared Scallop. 

Seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme and chili pepper flakes.

Cooked in oil with a pat of butter. 

Vegetarian Enchiladas 

Vegetarian Enchiladas 

Potato Chip Chicken with pasta

Potato Chip Chicken with pasta

Sonnet 18
"Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed;And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;But by thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breath, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." 
-William Shakespeare
Well, it’s been a long run trying to find Shakespeare quotes that have to do with food. Turns out, there isn’t a lot of them. But seeing as it’s May, aka the end of the semester, and summer is just around the corner, I will still leave you with one of my own recipes to try. Fare thee well, friends. But I will come again, bearing less Shakespeare and more of everything else.
Banana Blueberry Bread with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
            There were a lot of times growing up when I would experiment and test out a bunch of recipes, like this one, using cookbooks in my house for guidelines. But when it comes to baking, I’ve never been one for following the rules. Most people say baking is a ‘science,’ but I prefer to think of it more as a painting: the colors are your ingredients, your vision is your recipe, and the paintbrush is your spoon. You put those colors in a bowl, mix them together and wait for them to change. Maybe you add a few flourishes or a few extra colors along the way. You don’t stick to paintbrushes – maybe you use your hands or another tool. The finished product is something completely different from what you’ve started with, but you’ve managed to keep the idea in tact. And what you’ve got is a rich and vivid representation of your skills.  
             The focal point switches from center stage to the side, or in this case, the top of the banana bread. Just top a warm piece chock full of fruit with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter whipped cream, and you’ve got a simple afternoon treat.
1 stick butter, softened 2 cups granulated sugar 7 large ripe bananas, mashed 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract  4 eggs, slightly beaten 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups blueberries
 
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the bananas and vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs.  Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Combine with the wet ingredients until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries to prevent color bleeding. Pour into two greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes. Banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the banana bread in the pan for 10 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into slices and top with peanut butter whipped cream (recipe below). 

Peanut Butter Whipped cream 
2 cups Heavy whipping cream
2 cups Confectioners’ sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup creamy Peanut butter
In an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream and sugar together but stopping before peaks start to form, about 3 minutes. Add in the peanut butter, and continue to beat until peaks are formed. Add more sugar if necessary. Do not over-whip. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

(picture from The Family Kitchen)

Sonnet 18

"Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines, 
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But by thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.

So long as men can breath, or eyes can see, 
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

-William Shakespeare

Well, it’s been a long run trying to find Shakespeare quotes that have to do with food. Turns out, there isn’t a lot of them. But seeing as it’s May, aka the end of the semester, and summer is just around the corner, I will still leave you with one of my own recipes to try. Fare thee well, friends. But I will come again, bearing less Shakespeare and more of everything else.

Banana Blueberry Bread with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream

            There were a lot of times growing up when I would experiment and test out a bunch of recipes, like this one, using cookbooks in my house for guidelines. But when it comes to baking, I’ve never been one for following the rules. Most people say baking is a ‘science,’ but I prefer to think of it more as a painting: the colors are your ingredients, your vision is your recipe, and the paintbrush is your spoon. You put those colors in a bowl, mix them together and wait for them to change. Maybe you add a few flourishes or a few extra colors along the way. You don’t stick to paintbrushes – maybe you use your hands or another tool. The finished product is something completely different from what you’ve started with, but you’ve managed to keep the idea in tact. And what you’ve got is a rich and vivid representation of your skills. 

             The focal point switches from center stage to the side, or in this case, the top of the banana bread. Just top a warm piece chock full of fruit with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter whipped cream, and you’ve got a simple afternoon treat.

1 stick butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
7 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups blueberries

 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the bananas and vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs.  Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Combine with the wet ingredients until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries to prevent color bleeding. Pour into two greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes. Banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the banana bread in the pan for 10 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into slices and top with peanut butter whipped cream (recipe below).

Peanut Butter Whipped cream 

2 cups Heavy whipping cream

2 cups Confectioners’ sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup creamy Peanut butter


In an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream and sugar together but stopping before peaks start to form, about 3 minutes. Add in the peanut butter, and continue to beat until peaks are formed. Add more sugar if necessary. Do not over-whip. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


(picture from The Family Kitchen)

The Cookie: 
"Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theatre and the drama of my going to bed there, had any existence for me, when one day in winter, on my return home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal.”
- Proust, A Remembrance of Things Past

I remember my first madeleine. My recollection might not be as empowering as Proust’s, but it was definitely enough to render other madeleines as mediocre in comparison. I was working in a lovely chocolate shop on 20th street and 5th avenue. I’d take one, split it apart down the middle and bite into the soft center, savoring the hint of lemon that blended with the vanilla. Besides the hot chocolate, the fresh baked madeleines (offered in either chocolate or vanilla) are what I tend to miss most from that job. They were light and tender, with golden brown edges that took on a slight crisp from the oven. 
Here are some of the best madeleines in NYC that may hold a candle to Proust’s first taste.
http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/08/guide-to-the-best-madelines-in-new-york-city-french-cookies-nyc-bakeries.html

The Cookie: 

"Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theatre and the drama of my going to bed there, had any existence for me, when one day in winter, on my return home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal.”

- Proust, A Remembrance of Things Past


I remember my first madeleine. My recollection might not be as empowering as Proust’s, but it was definitely enough to render other madeleines as mediocre in comparison. I was working in a lovely chocolate shop on 20th street and 5th avenue. I’d take one, split it apart down the middle and bite into the soft center, savoring the hint of lemon that blended with the vanilla. Besides the hot chocolate, the fresh baked madeleines (offered in either chocolate or vanilla) are what I tend to miss most from that job. They were light and tender, with golden brown edges that took on a slight crisp from the oven. 

Here are some of the best madeleines in NYC that may hold a candle to Proust’s first taste.

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/08/guide-to-the-best-madelines-in-new-york-city-french-cookies-nyc-bakeries.html


thisiswhyyourefat:

Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict
Sliced doughnuts topped with brownie mix, melted Cadbury Creme Eggs and frosting, garnished with red sprinkles and served with fried pound cake chunks.
(submitted by Edgemere)

Sonnet 75So you are to my thoughts as food to life, Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;And for the peace of you I hold such strifeAs ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.Now proud as an enjoyer, and anonDoubting the filching age will steal his treasure;Now counting best to be with you alone, then better’d that the world may see my pleasure:Sometime all full with feasting on your sight, And by and by clean starved for a look;Possessing or pursuing no delightSave what is had, or must from you be took.Thus I do pine and surfeit day by day,Or gluttoning all, or all away. 

- Shakespeare
So what we can take away from Will’s lovely prose is that this poet is stuck between starvation and hunger, having difficulty finding no middle-ground between the two. In the sonnet, the poet is talking about a lover. In this case, I am going to apply it to food. Of course. He says it himself, food is necessary to life. Now here is a picture from thisiswhyyourefat.tumblr of the crazy things people do to satisfy their appetites. That is, satisfying both the sweet and the savory. Because let’s be honest, this is gross. But maybe you kind of want to try it. Maybe.

thisiswhyyourefat:

Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict

Sliced doughnuts topped with brownie mix, melted Cadbury Creme Eggs and frosting, garnished with red sprinkles and served with fried pound cake chunks.

(submitted by Edgemere)

Sonnet 75
So you are to my thoughts as food to life, 
Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;
Now counting best to be with you alone, 
then better’d that the world may see my pleasure:
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight, 
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had, or must from you be took.
Thus I do pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning all, or all away. 

- Shakespeare
So what we can take away from Will’s lovely prose is that this poet is stuck between starvation and hunger, having difficulty finding no middle-ground between the two. In the sonnet, the poet is talking about a lover.

In this case, I am going to apply it to food. Of course. 

He says it himself, food is necessary to life. Now here is a picture from thisiswhyyourefat.tumblr of the crazy things people do to satisfy their appetites. That is, satisfying both the sweet and the savory. Because let’s be honest, this is gross. But maybe you kind of want to try it. Maybe.

Puck:

“On the ground
 Sleep sound.
 I’ll apply
 To your eye.
 Gentle lover, remedy.
 When thou wakest,
 Thou takest
 True delight
 In the sight
 Of thy former lady’s eye.
 And the country proverb known—
 That every man should take his own—
 In your waking shall be shown.
 Jack shall have Jill.
 Nought shall go ill.
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.”
-A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 2


I’ve reached the point of the semester where I’ve gotten more homework than sleep. By the time I get back from hours spent holed up in Bobst, I’m starving for something. My intentions are towards unprocessed and healthy snacks. But in reality, I don’t have the energy to put together anything more complicated than a bowl of sugary cereal or a multigrain roll slathered in peanut butter. Plus a few more spoonfuls. Maybe another bowl of cereal.


The good news? Eating something small like a bowl of cereal or yogurt before bed is actually good for you. Hunger pains aren’t easy to fall asleep on. Certainly better than nightmares, but not by much. Some other goodies to consider before you rest your head:
-warm milk : calcium promotes sleep
-bananas: the potassium relaxes your muscles
-cherries: they help regulate your body’s internal clock
-oatmeal and toast: releases insulin and makes you feel sleepy


Anything else should be eaten a few hours before bed. So that’s a no on alcohol, caffeine, chocolate (YES that’s caffeine too), pizza, spicy foods, and mostly foods with high fat content. 


Speaking of…I could really go for a piece of pizza right now. But I won’t.


I need all the sleep I can get. 
Puck:

On the ground
 Sleep sound.
 I’ll apply
 To your eye.
 Gentle lover, remedy.
 When thou wakest,
 Thou takest
 True delight
 In the sight
 Of thy former lady’s eye.
 And the country proverb known—
 That every man should take his own—
 In your waking shall be shown.
 Jack shall have Jill.
 Nought shall go ill.
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.”

-A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 2
I’ve reached the point of the semester where I’ve gotten more homework than sleep. By the time I get back from hours spent holed up in Bobst, I’m starving for something. My intentions are towards unprocessed and healthy snacks. But in reality, I don’t have the energy to put together anything more complicated than a bowl of sugary cereal or a multigrain roll slathered in peanut butter. Plus a few more spoonfuls. Maybe another bowl of cereal.
The good news? Eating something small like a bowl of cereal or yogurt before bed is actually good for you. Hunger pains aren’t easy to fall asleep on. Certainly better than nightmares, but not by much. Some other goodies to consider before you rest your head:
-warm milk : calcium promotes sleep
-bananas: the potassium relaxes your muscles
-cherries: they help regulate your body’s internal clock
-oatmeal and toast: releases insulin and makes you feel sleepy
Anything else should be eaten a few hours before bed. So that’s a no on alcohol, caffeine, chocolate (YES that’s caffeine too), pizza, spicy foods, and mostly foods with high fat content. 
Speaking of…I could really go for a piece of pizza right now. But I won’t.
I need all the sleep I can get. 
Juliet
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.- Romeo & Juliet quote Act II, Scene II
And now, for the famous line upon which my blog is modeled after. There aren’t many recipes out there that call for roses. It’s kind of a shame. But you’d be surprised at what you can do with the pretty little flower. You can distill the petals for their essential oils, or use its by-product, Rose Water (also known as rose syrup) for medicine, cosmetics, and cooking. That’s right, the petals are edible!
But you shouldn’t trudge out back to your garden and start trimming the buds for your next meal before knowing the basics. 
Make sure you use roses free of pesticides, from your local green market. If you’re not sure, ask what kind of products the farmers use on their plants. 
Wash the roses gently in cold water, then remove the petals for immediate use, or store them in a plastic bag.
You can freeze them in ice by filling water trays and sticking in a petal once the water has started to harden. For use in lemonades, ice teas, or other cold drinks.
You can garnish salads, whipped creams, desserts or appetizers with fresh or dried petals. 
Here’s a recipe for you to test out:
Ring Around the Rose-Petal Fools (from Martha Stewart Recipes)Prep time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hr, 20 min Serves: 12


12 ounces strawberries, halved
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
1/2 cup creme fraiche
12 edible rose petals
2 large egg whites or pasteurized egg whites, lightly beaten (or powdered egg whites)
1/2 cup superfine sugar



Directions
Puree strawberries, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, the rose water, and vanilla seeds until mixture is slightly chunky.
Whisk heavy cream, creme fraiche, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold in strawberry mixture until just swirled through. Divide among 12 glasses. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the sugared rose petals: Pick up each rose petal with tweezers. Lightly brush with egg whites and sprinkle with superfine sugar to coat. Let dry on a wire rack.
Garnish each fool with a rose petal just before serving.(picture: Tara Donne) 

Juliet

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
- Romeo & Juliet quote Act II, Scene II

And now, for the famous line upon which my blog is modeled after. 

There aren’t many recipes out there that call for roses. It’s kind of a shame. But you’d be surprised at what you can do with the pretty little flower. You can distill the petals for their essential oils, or use its by-product, Rose Water (also known as rose syrup) for medicine, cosmetics, and cooking. That’s right, the petals are edible!

But you shouldn’t trudge out back to your garden and start trimming the buds for your next meal before knowing the basics. 

  • Make sure you use roses free of pesticides, from your local green market. If you’re not sure, ask what kind of products the farmers use on their plants. 
  • Wash the roses gently in cold water, then remove the petals for immediate use, or store them in a plastic bag.
  • You can freeze them in ice by filling water trays and sticking in a petal once the water has started to harden. For use in lemonades, ice teas, or other cold drinks.
  • You can garnish salads, whipped creams, desserts or appetizers with fresh or dried petals. 

Here’s a recipe for you to test out:

Ring Around the Rose-Petal Fools (from Martha Stewart Recipes)
Prep time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hr, 20 min Serves: 12

  • 12 ounces strawberries, halved
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 12 edible rose petals
  • 2 large egg whites or pasteurized egg whites, lightly beaten (or powdered egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar

Directions

  1. Puree strawberries, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, the rose water, and vanilla seeds until mixture is slightly chunky.
  2. Whisk heavy cream, creme fraiche, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold in strawberry mixture until just swirled through. Divide among 12 glasses. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sugared rose petals: Pick up each rose petal with tweezers. Lightly brush with egg whites and sprinkle with superfine sugar to coat. Let dry on a wire rack.
  4. Garnish each fool with a rose petal just before serving.

    (picture: Tara Donne) 
Iago "Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used." Othello Act 2, Scene 3 
If Shakespeare says it, it must be true. And one of the best ways to use wine - besides drinking it - is for cooking. When I studied in Prague last fall, I took advantage of the cheap prices to kick my dinners up a notch. Because bottles sold in supermarkets or little bodegas (the proper name is ‘potraviny’ in Czech) ranged from 60 Kc to 250 Kc (100 Kc is about 5 USD), I felt it was necessary to indulge. Unfortunately, the Czech Republic is a big producer of beer, so the wine industry has been slighted somewhat. 
The best places I found good quality wines were out at bars or restaurants. So when I’d pick up a $3-5 bottle from the supermarket, I was primarily intending to use it for cooking. I improvised, calling on French techniques I had read from recipes in some of Julia Child’s cookbooks. The benefits: white wine, sauteed in a pan with butter and garlic smells and tastes like heaven. The French know what they’re doing. 
Pictured above was one of the first dishes I made in Prague. It’s a simple concoction of 2 pieces of pork (bought from the local butcher) pan fried in Chardonnay, butter and garlic. I let it sit in the pan for about 3-5 minutes on each side, so that the outsides would brown. Then I stuck the pork in a glass pan, and to that I added sliced apples and chopped carrots and red peppers. I poured about a quarter cup more of Chardonnay over the pan and placed it in the oven at 150 C (~350F) to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Plate over rice and voila - a successful, “healthy,” and flavorful dish.
If you drink a glass of wine with dinner too, that’s totally okay.

Iago 
"Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used." 
Othello Act 2, Scene 3 

If Shakespeare says it, it must be true. And one of the best ways to use wine - besides drinking it - is for cooking. When I studied in Prague last fall, I took advantage of the cheap prices to kick my dinners up a notch. Because bottles sold in supermarkets or little bodegas (the proper name is ‘potraviny’ in Czech) ranged from 60 Kc to 250 Kc (100 Kc is about 5 USD), I felt it was necessary to indulge. Unfortunately, the Czech Republic is a big producer of beer, so the wine industry has been slighted somewhat.

The best places I found good quality wines were out at bars or restaurants. So when I’d pick up a $3-5 bottle from the supermarket, I was primarily intending to use it for cooking. I improvised, calling on French techniques I had read from recipes in some of Julia Child’s cookbooks. The benefits: white wine, sauteed in a pan with butter and garlic smells and tastes like heaven. The French know what they’re doing. 

Pictured above was one of the first dishes I made in Prague. It’s a simple concoction of 2 pieces of pork (bought from the local butcher) pan fried in Chardonnay, butter and garlic. I let it sit in the pan for about 3-5 minutes on each side, so that the outsides would brown. Then I stuck the pork in a glass pan, and to that I added sliced apples and chopped carrots and red peppers. I poured about a quarter cup more of Chardonnay over the pan and placed it in the oven at 150 C (~350F) to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Plate over rice and voila - a successful, “healthy,” and flavorful dish.

If you drink a glass of wine with dinner too, that’s totally okay.

A Solitary Seared Scallop. 
Seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme and chili pepper flakes.
Cooked in oil with a pat of butter. 

A Solitary Seared Scallop. 

Seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme and chili pepper flakes.

Cooked in oil with a pat of butter. 

Vegetarian Enchiladas 

Vegetarian Enchiladas 

Potato Chip Chicken with pasta

Potato Chip Chicken with pasta

Sonnet 18
"Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed;And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;But by thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breath, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." 
-William Shakespeare
Well, it’s been a long run trying to find Shakespeare quotes that have to do with food. Turns out, there isn’t a lot of them. But seeing as it’s May, aka the end of the semester, and summer is just around the corner, I will still leave you with one of my own recipes to try. Fare thee well, friends. But I will come again, bearing less Shakespeare and more of everything else.
Banana Blueberry Bread with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
            There were a lot of times growing up when I would experiment and test out a bunch of recipes, like this one, using cookbooks in my house for guidelines. But when it comes to baking, I’ve never been one for following the rules. Most people say baking is a ‘science,’ but I prefer to think of it more as a painting: the colors are your ingredients, your vision is your recipe, and the paintbrush is your spoon. You put those colors in a bowl, mix them together and wait for them to change. Maybe you add a few flourishes or a few extra colors along the way. You don’t stick to paintbrushes – maybe you use your hands or another tool. The finished product is something completely different from what you’ve started with, but you’ve managed to keep the idea in tact. And what you’ve got is a rich and vivid representation of your skills.  
             The focal point switches from center stage to the side, or in this case, the top of the banana bread. Just top a warm piece chock full of fruit with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter whipped cream, and you’ve got a simple afternoon treat.
1 stick butter, softened 2 cups granulated sugar 7 large ripe bananas, mashed 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract  4 eggs, slightly beaten 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups blueberries
 
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the bananas and vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs.  Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Combine with the wet ingredients until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries to prevent color bleeding. Pour into two greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes. Banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the banana bread in the pan for 10 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into slices and top with peanut butter whipped cream (recipe below). 

Peanut Butter Whipped cream 
2 cups Heavy whipping cream
2 cups Confectioners’ sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup creamy Peanut butter
In an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream and sugar together but stopping before peaks start to form, about 3 minutes. Add in the peanut butter, and continue to beat until peaks are formed. Add more sugar if necessary. Do not over-whip. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

(picture from The Family Kitchen)

Sonnet 18

"Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines, 
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But by thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.

So long as men can breath, or eyes can see, 
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

-William Shakespeare

Well, it’s been a long run trying to find Shakespeare quotes that have to do with food. Turns out, there isn’t a lot of them. But seeing as it’s May, aka the end of the semester, and summer is just around the corner, I will still leave you with one of my own recipes to try. Fare thee well, friends. But I will come again, bearing less Shakespeare and more of everything else.

Banana Blueberry Bread with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream

            There were a lot of times growing up when I would experiment and test out a bunch of recipes, like this one, using cookbooks in my house for guidelines. But when it comes to baking, I’ve never been one for following the rules. Most people say baking is a ‘science,’ but I prefer to think of it more as a painting: the colors are your ingredients, your vision is your recipe, and the paintbrush is your spoon. You put those colors in a bowl, mix them together and wait for them to change. Maybe you add a few flourishes or a few extra colors along the way. You don’t stick to paintbrushes – maybe you use your hands or another tool. The finished product is something completely different from what you’ve started with, but you’ve managed to keep the idea in tact. And what you’ve got is a rich and vivid representation of your skills. 

             The focal point switches from center stage to the side, or in this case, the top of the banana bread. Just top a warm piece chock full of fruit with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter whipped cream, and you’ve got a simple afternoon treat.

1 stick butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
7 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups blueberries

 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the bananas and vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs.  Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Combine with the wet ingredients until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries to prevent color bleeding. Pour into two greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes. Banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the banana bread in the pan for 10 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into slices and top with peanut butter whipped cream (recipe below).

Peanut Butter Whipped cream 

2 cups Heavy whipping cream

2 cups Confectioners’ sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup creamy Peanut butter


In an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream and sugar together but stopping before peaks start to form, about 3 minutes. Add in the peanut butter, and continue to beat until peaks are formed. Add more sugar if necessary. Do not over-whip. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


(picture from The Family Kitchen)

The Cookie: 
"Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theatre and the drama of my going to bed there, had any existence for me, when one day in winter, on my return home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal.”
- Proust, A Remembrance of Things Past

I remember my first madeleine. My recollection might not be as empowering as Proust’s, but it was definitely enough to render other madeleines as mediocre in comparison. I was working in a lovely chocolate shop on 20th street and 5th avenue. I’d take one, split it apart down the middle and bite into the soft center, savoring the hint of lemon that blended with the vanilla. Besides the hot chocolate, the fresh baked madeleines (offered in either chocolate or vanilla) are what I tend to miss most from that job. They were light and tender, with golden brown edges that took on a slight crisp from the oven. 
Here are some of the best madeleines in NYC that may hold a candle to Proust’s first taste.
http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/08/guide-to-the-best-madelines-in-new-york-city-french-cookies-nyc-bakeries.html

The Cookie: 

"Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theatre and the drama of my going to bed there, had any existence for me, when one day in winter, on my return home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal.”

- Proust, A Remembrance of Things Past


I remember my first madeleine. My recollection might not be as empowering as Proust’s, but it was definitely enough to render other madeleines as mediocre in comparison. I was working in a lovely chocolate shop on 20th street and 5th avenue. I’d take one, split it apart down the middle and bite into the soft center, savoring the hint of lemon that blended with the vanilla. Besides the hot chocolate, the fresh baked madeleines (offered in either chocolate or vanilla) are what I tend to miss most from that job. They were light and tender, with golden brown edges that took on a slight crisp from the oven. 

Here are some of the best madeleines in NYC that may hold a candle to Proust’s first taste.

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/08/guide-to-the-best-madelines-in-new-york-city-french-cookies-nyc-bakeries.html


thisiswhyyourefat:

Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict
Sliced doughnuts topped with brownie mix, melted Cadbury Creme Eggs and frosting, garnished with red sprinkles and served with fried pound cake chunks.
(submitted by Edgemere)

Sonnet 75So you are to my thoughts as food to life, Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;And for the peace of you I hold such strifeAs ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.Now proud as an enjoyer, and anonDoubting the filching age will steal his treasure;Now counting best to be with you alone, then better’d that the world may see my pleasure:Sometime all full with feasting on your sight, And by and by clean starved for a look;Possessing or pursuing no delightSave what is had, or must from you be took.Thus I do pine and surfeit day by day,Or gluttoning all, or all away. 

- Shakespeare
So what we can take away from Will’s lovely prose is that this poet is stuck between starvation and hunger, having difficulty finding no middle-ground between the two. In the sonnet, the poet is talking about a lover. In this case, I am going to apply it to food. Of course. He says it himself, food is necessary to life. Now here is a picture from thisiswhyyourefat.tumblr of the crazy things people do to satisfy their appetites. That is, satisfying both the sweet and the savory. Because let’s be honest, this is gross. But maybe you kind of want to try it. Maybe.

thisiswhyyourefat:

Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict

Sliced doughnuts topped with brownie mix, melted Cadbury Creme Eggs and frosting, garnished with red sprinkles and served with fried pound cake chunks.

(submitted by Edgemere)

Sonnet 75
So you are to my thoughts as food to life, 
Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;
Now counting best to be with you alone, 
then better’d that the world may see my pleasure:
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight, 
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had, or must from you be took.
Thus I do pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning all, or all away. 

- Shakespeare
So what we can take away from Will’s lovely prose is that this poet is stuck between starvation and hunger, having difficulty finding no middle-ground between the two. In the sonnet, the poet is talking about a lover.

In this case, I am going to apply it to food. Of course. 

He says it himself, food is necessary to life. Now here is a picture from thisiswhyyourefat.tumblr of the crazy things people do to satisfy their appetites. That is, satisfying both the sweet and the savory. Because let’s be honest, this is gross. But maybe you kind of want to try it. Maybe.

Puck:

“On the ground
 Sleep sound.
 I’ll apply
 To your eye.
 Gentle lover, remedy.
 When thou wakest,
 Thou takest
 True delight
 In the sight
 Of thy former lady’s eye.
 And the country proverb known—
 That every man should take his own—
 In your waking shall be shown.
 Jack shall have Jill.
 Nought shall go ill.
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.”
-A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 2


I’ve reached the point of the semester where I’ve gotten more homework than sleep. By the time I get back from hours spent holed up in Bobst, I’m starving for something. My intentions are towards unprocessed and healthy snacks. But in reality, I don’t have the energy to put together anything more complicated than a bowl of sugary cereal or a multigrain roll slathered in peanut butter. Plus a few more spoonfuls. Maybe another bowl of cereal.


The good news? Eating something small like a bowl of cereal or yogurt before bed is actually good for you. Hunger pains aren’t easy to fall asleep on. Certainly better than nightmares, but not by much. Some other goodies to consider before you rest your head:
-warm milk : calcium promotes sleep
-bananas: the potassium relaxes your muscles
-cherries: they help regulate your body’s internal clock
-oatmeal and toast: releases insulin and makes you feel sleepy


Anything else should be eaten a few hours before bed. So that’s a no on alcohol, caffeine, chocolate (YES that’s caffeine too), pizza, spicy foods, and mostly foods with high fat content. 


Speaking of…I could really go for a piece of pizza right now. But I won’t.


I need all the sleep I can get. 
Puck:

On the ground
 Sleep sound.
 I’ll apply
 To your eye.
 Gentle lover, remedy.
 When thou wakest,
 Thou takest
 True delight
 In the sight
 Of thy former lady’s eye.
 And the country proverb known—
 That every man should take his own—
 In your waking shall be shown.
 Jack shall have Jill.
 Nought shall go ill.
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.”

-A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 2
I’ve reached the point of the semester where I’ve gotten more homework than sleep. By the time I get back from hours spent holed up in Bobst, I’m starving for something. My intentions are towards unprocessed and healthy snacks. But in reality, I don’t have the energy to put together anything more complicated than a bowl of sugary cereal or a multigrain roll slathered in peanut butter. Plus a few more spoonfuls. Maybe another bowl of cereal.
The good news? Eating something small like a bowl of cereal or yogurt before bed is actually good for you. Hunger pains aren’t easy to fall asleep on. Certainly better than nightmares, but not by much. Some other goodies to consider before you rest your head:
-warm milk : calcium promotes sleep
-bananas: the potassium relaxes your muscles
-cherries: they help regulate your body’s internal clock
-oatmeal and toast: releases insulin and makes you feel sleepy
Anything else should be eaten a few hours before bed. So that’s a no on alcohol, caffeine, chocolate (YES that’s caffeine too), pizza, spicy foods, and mostly foods with high fat content. 
Speaking of…I could really go for a piece of pizza right now. But I won’t.
I need all the sleep I can get. 
Juliet
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.- Romeo & Juliet quote Act II, Scene II
And now, for the famous line upon which my blog is modeled after. There aren’t many recipes out there that call for roses. It’s kind of a shame. But you’d be surprised at what you can do with the pretty little flower. You can distill the petals for their essential oils, or use its by-product, Rose Water (also known as rose syrup) for medicine, cosmetics, and cooking. That’s right, the petals are edible!
But you shouldn’t trudge out back to your garden and start trimming the buds for your next meal before knowing the basics. 
Make sure you use roses free of pesticides, from your local green market. If you’re not sure, ask what kind of products the farmers use on their plants. 
Wash the roses gently in cold water, then remove the petals for immediate use, or store them in a plastic bag.
You can freeze them in ice by filling water trays and sticking in a petal once the water has started to harden. For use in lemonades, ice teas, or other cold drinks.
You can garnish salads, whipped creams, desserts or appetizers with fresh or dried petals. 
Here’s a recipe for you to test out:
Ring Around the Rose-Petal Fools (from Martha Stewart Recipes)Prep time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hr, 20 min Serves: 12


12 ounces strawberries, halved
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
1/2 cup creme fraiche
12 edible rose petals
2 large egg whites or pasteurized egg whites, lightly beaten (or powdered egg whites)
1/2 cup superfine sugar



Directions
Puree strawberries, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, the rose water, and vanilla seeds until mixture is slightly chunky.
Whisk heavy cream, creme fraiche, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold in strawberry mixture until just swirled through. Divide among 12 glasses. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the sugared rose petals: Pick up each rose petal with tweezers. Lightly brush with egg whites and sprinkle with superfine sugar to coat. Let dry on a wire rack.
Garnish each fool with a rose petal just before serving.(picture: Tara Donne) 

Juliet

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
- Romeo & Juliet quote Act II, Scene II

And now, for the famous line upon which my blog is modeled after. 

There aren’t many recipes out there that call for roses. It’s kind of a shame. But you’d be surprised at what you can do with the pretty little flower. You can distill the petals for their essential oils, or use its by-product, Rose Water (also known as rose syrup) for medicine, cosmetics, and cooking. That’s right, the petals are edible!

But you shouldn’t trudge out back to your garden and start trimming the buds for your next meal before knowing the basics. 

  • Make sure you use roses free of pesticides, from your local green market. If you’re not sure, ask what kind of products the farmers use on their plants. 
  • Wash the roses gently in cold water, then remove the petals for immediate use, or store them in a plastic bag.
  • You can freeze them in ice by filling water trays and sticking in a petal once the water has started to harden. For use in lemonades, ice teas, or other cold drinks.
  • You can garnish salads, whipped creams, desserts or appetizers with fresh or dried petals. 

Here’s a recipe for you to test out:

Ring Around the Rose-Petal Fools (from Martha Stewart Recipes)
Prep time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hr, 20 min Serves: 12

  • 12 ounces strawberries, halved
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 12 edible rose petals
  • 2 large egg whites or pasteurized egg whites, lightly beaten (or powdered egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar

Directions

  1. Puree strawberries, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, the rose water, and vanilla seeds until mixture is slightly chunky.
  2. Whisk heavy cream, creme fraiche, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold in strawberry mixture until just swirled through. Divide among 12 glasses. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sugared rose petals: Pick up each rose petal with tweezers. Lightly brush with egg whites and sprinkle with superfine sugar to coat. Let dry on a wire rack.
  4. Garnish each fool with a rose petal just before serving.

    (picture: Tara Donne) 
Iago "Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used." Othello Act 2, Scene 3 
If Shakespeare says it, it must be true. And one of the best ways to use wine - besides drinking it - is for cooking. When I studied in Prague last fall, I took advantage of the cheap prices to kick my dinners up a notch. Because bottles sold in supermarkets or little bodegas (the proper name is ‘potraviny’ in Czech) ranged from 60 Kc to 250 Kc (100 Kc is about 5 USD), I felt it was necessary to indulge. Unfortunately, the Czech Republic is a big producer of beer, so the wine industry has been slighted somewhat. 
The best places I found good quality wines were out at bars or restaurants. So when I’d pick up a $3-5 bottle from the supermarket, I was primarily intending to use it for cooking. I improvised, calling on French techniques I had read from recipes in some of Julia Child’s cookbooks. The benefits: white wine, sauteed in a pan with butter and garlic smells and tastes like heaven. The French know what they’re doing. 
Pictured above was one of the first dishes I made in Prague. It’s a simple concoction of 2 pieces of pork (bought from the local butcher) pan fried in Chardonnay, butter and garlic. I let it sit in the pan for about 3-5 minutes on each side, so that the outsides would brown. Then I stuck the pork in a glass pan, and to that I added sliced apples and chopped carrots and red peppers. I poured about a quarter cup more of Chardonnay over the pan and placed it in the oven at 150 C (~350F) to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Plate over rice and voila - a successful, “healthy,” and flavorful dish.
If you drink a glass of wine with dinner too, that’s totally okay.

Iago 
"Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used." 
Othello Act 2, Scene 3 

If Shakespeare says it, it must be true. And one of the best ways to use wine - besides drinking it - is for cooking. When I studied in Prague last fall, I took advantage of the cheap prices to kick my dinners up a notch. Because bottles sold in supermarkets or little bodegas (the proper name is ‘potraviny’ in Czech) ranged from 60 Kc to 250 Kc (100 Kc is about 5 USD), I felt it was necessary to indulge. Unfortunately, the Czech Republic is a big producer of beer, so the wine industry has been slighted somewhat.

The best places I found good quality wines were out at bars or restaurants. So when I’d pick up a $3-5 bottle from the supermarket, I was primarily intending to use it for cooking. I improvised, calling on French techniques I had read from recipes in some of Julia Child’s cookbooks. The benefits: white wine, sauteed in a pan with butter and garlic smells and tastes like heaven. The French know what they’re doing. 

Pictured above was one of the first dishes I made in Prague. It’s a simple concoction of 2 pieces of pork (bought from the local butcher) pan fried in Chardonnay, butter and garlic. I let it sit in the pan for about 3-5 minutes on each side, so that the outsides would brown. Then I stuck the pork in a glass pan, and to that I added sliced apples and chopped carrots and red peppers. I poured about a quarter cup more of Chardonnay over the pan and placed it in the oven at 150 C (~350F) to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Plate over rice and voila - a successful, “healthy,” and flavorful dish.

If you drink a glass of wine with dinner too, that’s totally okay.

About:

"That which we call a Nom by any other name would taste just as sweet."

Hey there. I’m Jen. Let me start off by saying I’m not really someone who woke up one
morning and ‘fell in love with food,’ like a revelation or epiphany. I have always been a
food lover: my childhood was filled with a passion for sweets so much that I still haven’t lost the extra ‘baby weight.’

But these days, I like to keep things in moderation. For this reason, I am
constantly in a love-hate-can’t get enough relationship with baked goods. I grew up
in a small town in Connecticut, standing by while my mother worked in the kitchen,
preparing everything from cakes to blackberry and sour-cream peach cobblers. I credit my never-ending desire for desserts to these moments. I would wait impatiently to lick leftovers from the mixing bowls, a habit that has left me feeling that the batter is always better than the final product.

After living in New York City, for what I believe has been a successful 3 and a hlf years,
I have come to consider myself a regular ‘foodie.’ This city has more than expanded my culinary repertoire - I still have nights full of pizza, dumplings, dinners with close friends, cafés to lounge in, and online delivery to thank for that. But great food isn’t only limited to NYC.

I recently spent four months studying abroad in the Czech Republic, surrounded
by beer, sausages, meat dishes with heavy cream sauces, fried cheese sandwiches,
svíčková, and guláš. In order to escape the threat of an expanding waistline, I foraged
within Prague’s best farmer’s markets for a change of scenery and an influx of greens.
For the first time, I stepped out of my comfort zone and taught myself how to bake beyond measurements. When people say, ‘baking is an exact science,’ my response would be: “it doesn’t have to be.” Thanks to Prague, I’m not afraid to improvise.

When I’m not busy working, I’m off at school experimenting in the kitchens, or at home clicking ‘next’
on food blogs. I currently major in Food Studies, with a minor in Creative Writing at
NYU. Most people ask me if that means I want to be a Chef, and yes I have definitely
thought about it. For now, I am just a woman with a wicked sweet tooth and a sometimes unusual taste palate who dreams of one day opening her own bakery or sweet shop. This blog comprises a selection of Shakespeare quotes, my culinary creations, everything sweet, and full of peanut butter.

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