Archive for May 2013

Recipe: Banana Bourbon Ice Cream

As Keith and I were sitting on the back porch last week, we talked about memories and how certain items can trigger them. For Keith, it's usually a song that can take him back in time. For me, it's food.

With Memorial Day and the official start of summer here, I was taken back to grandma and grandpa's patio. I'm there with my cousins, brother and sister. Dixie, grandpa's basset hound, is there just as excited, hoping we'll spill something just for her. We're waiting for grandma to bring out the banana ice cream base for the freezer. For the first five minutes or so, my cousins are anxious to take their turn churning the cream and sugar. Soon it's just my sister, Dixie and me. We could never wait for it firm up in the freezer. Everyone eager with their bowl and spoon. That was life.

Call me sentimental, but as I've gotten older. I often find myself back wanting to bring back those memories. And how else was I to achieve that than to make some ice cream. Grandma would probably frown on the addition of bourbon, but I'm sure grandpa would just grin and wait to pour a bit in once grandma went back inside.

And with the first bite of of the cool, creamy banana I was taken back to my childhood and the long days of summer.

Banana Bourbon Ice Cream

2 ripe bananas, the more brown spots the better
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. whole milk
2 c. heavy cream
1 t. vanilla
3 T. bourbon

1. Mash the bananas until you have a rather smooth paste. Set aside.

2. Create and ice bath in a large mixing bowl. Place a smaller bowl in the bath. Whisk together the sugar and milk until the sugar has dissolved in the bowl over the ice bath. Add the cream, vanilla and bananas until well combined.

3. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions, adding the bourbon during the last five minutes of freezing.

4. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe storage dish with a lid to harden in freezer for several hours. Note: it will not become completely solid, as the bourbon will prevent that.

5. Enjoy!

P.S. You might also want to try my recipe for Bourbon Peach Ice Cream.

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Ready for guests

I spruced up the back porch two Sundays ago and just got around to taking pictures yesterday. Although, in my defense, the weather here in the District has not be favorable. Thankfully, we have a break from the rain. But now I'm worried because we have chilly nights ahead of us. Let's just hope these beauties were for nothing.

As you can see, the new additions have been Sammy approved. She's even suggesting guests. But for now the bigger challenge is to keep everything living and thriving.

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Friday Cocktails: Bourbon Highball

Some nights you come from home a day and all you want is  a comforting drink. For some may that may equal opening a bottle of wine and enjoying a glass or two. For Keith, it's find a glass and pour the bourbon of the night. For me, it's always been bourbon and ginger.

A few years ago, Keith and I threw a cocktail party. When researching various cocktail recipes we could print out for guests so they could make the their own drinks, I learned bourbon and ginger is known as a highball. Kind of like a rum and Coke is a cuba libre. I wonder if our favorite bartender would know what a highball is if I ordered one at our local bar.

Bourbon Highball

2 oz bourbon
ginger ale
lime or lemon slice for garnish

Fill a tall highball glass with ice and bourbon. Then top off with ginger ale and stir with straw. Add your lime slice for added flair and enjoy. 


p.s. I'm sure mine is always a double. 

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Friday Cocktails: Sexy Thyme

Hello, Friday! Thankfully, this week has been rather kind to me. Work has been busy, but just the busy where the time moves quickly and I still get to slip out around 5:30 pm. The social calendar is quiet leaving me time to read and just spend a little quiet time with my awesome husband.  So let's toast a good week and welcome in the weekend, shall we?

Since returning from our weekend in Missouri, I've been planning to recreate the cocktail - the Sexy Thyme - I had at the Copper Run Distillery. It's well known that I like to mix a little bourbon with grapefruit juice, so it should come at no surprise that this one combined those two again with a little love from ginger infused simple syrup. This is the perfect cocktail to sip on the back porch as the warm weather starts to greet us.

Sexy Thyme
Makes 1 cocktail

2 oz. bourbon 
juice from half a grapefruit
1/2 oz. ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
1-2 sprigs of thyme, remove leaves from stems

Shake ingredients with ice and strained into a chilled glass. Add desired amount of ice and garnish with fresh thyme. Cheers!

Ginger Simple Syrup

1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. water
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into several 1/4 inch thick pieces

In small saucepan, combine sugar and water over low heat. Stir in fresh ginger. Leave on heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow ginger to infuse the syrup for at least four hours. Strain syrup to remove ginger and store in an airtight container. Refrigerate. Syrup will last for about one month. 

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Book Review: Before I Go to Sleep

A young woman wakes in the morning to find she is in bed next to a man she does not recognize. She doesn't recall how she made her way there or who the man is. She believes she has made a terrible mistake with a much older man. Quietly, she gets out of bed and finds her way to the restroom.

The opening few pages of Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson lead you to believe this is the start of your average run of the mill chick-lit. Don't give up on it that easily. As you continue to read, you're pulled in to learn Christine suffers from a rare form of amnesia that leaves her starting over each morning - her memory only lasts for that time she is awake. Each day she has to start fresh remembering who she is, who is the man next to her, how many years have passed, and the routine of life.

Despite a slow start, you find yourself in quite the page turner wanting to learn more. What accident caused this condition? Will the doctor treating her be able to make any breakthroughs? Who was Christine before?

Not only are you seeking answers to the questions about Christine, you start to wonder what your own life would be like if you woke each day starting at nothing. How would you cope with such loss. You also find yourself in awe of the human brain and how memories are retained.

I purchased this book on a whim for less than $5 for my Kindle. It didn't disappoint; I highly recommend it. Also, I learned they are turning this to a movie featuring Nicole Kidman in 2014. And you know you have to read the book before you see the movie.

I finished another book on the metro ride home this evening, so I'm looking for recommendations. Have you read anything I should check?

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