Monday, June 13, 2011

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That . . .

. . . pretty much describes what I've been up to last week. 

I started by doing a test of my recipe for the Ice Cream Cupcake Contest.  Good, but not great.  Another test with alterations is in progress today.

Then I decided to make hummus from dried garbanzo beans (instead of the garbanzo flour I usually use).  I'd love to share the recipe with you, but I was winging it and didn't write anything down.  It's doubtful I could even make it the same again.

I took a day and did nothing but clean house.  I should have taken two days to do nothing but clean house. 

I pulled weeds out from under the deck to make room for the hostas and ferns that need to get out of the sun.  I'm not completely done, but it's been so bloody hot that I'm only doing a little at a time.

I made green tea cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream for Bride-to-Be No. 4 to try.

I thinned out my radish sprouts, and despite the outbreak of E. coli from sprouts in Europe, decided to try the pulled sprouts in a salad.  To go with the salad, I attempted a vinaigrette made from a reduction of some wild blueberry beer the hubs got me.  It turned out fairly well.  We're going to try the vinaigrette as a marinade for fish, too.

While doing laundry, I reduced a can of Young's Double Chocolate Stout for a go at some chocolate stout caramels later this week.  These sound so good in my head!  I hope they live up to my hype.

And we can't forget laundry.  I honestly do not know how two people who practically wear the same things all the time can have so much laundry.  Or maybe I just need to do laundry more often.

Blueberry Beer Vinaigrette
1 (12 fl oz) bottle Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
3 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs finely minced shallots
1 tsp fresh thyme
Salt & pepper to taste

Reduce the beer in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat until you have two tablespoons.  (This may take 30 – 45 minutes, but other than occasionally checking the volume when you start to get close, it’s largely unattended time.)  Cool completely before proceeding.

Combine the beer reduction and lemon juice in a small, non-reactive bowl.  While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  (You could probably also do this in the food processor if you wanted to.)  When the mixture forms a consistent emulsion, whisk in the shallots and thyme. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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