Saturday, May 29, 2010

End of May

May:
As predicted, May has had nothing in common with April. Meaning, in April you think "There's nothing going on!" and was always in my mind marked by nothing but the much-anticipated Concord Carnival...and my elementary school days are long passed.

But then in May it's like "ZOINKS! Every weekend is packed until mid-June!" So, May has come and now has almost reached its end at an incredible rate. But it's been a good one.

Two notables:
  • Micah's brother's graduation from St. Thomas/Turman family reunion of sorts
  • Cooking firsts

UST graduation at the Metrodome
(The poor, dejected Metrodome has found a second purpose.)
Of course, we were no exception in hoping we would see our grad.
At least our contingent wasn't screaming "DO YOU SEE HIM? YOU DO?! WHERE?! WHERE?!" the whole time like some people.

And my favorite overheard comment: "Wow, there are GIRLS in the engineering program!" Yes, people. Don't act so surprised.


Admittedly, the seating arrangement was a little rigid and/or claustrophobic.
But I have to hand it to Papaw for sticking it out when pretty much everyone else seemingly vaporized.
Post-graduation family celebration at our to-go: Lurcat. By now I think we basically own their party room.
This would be roughly 85% of the Turman/Pulito/Howe/McQuown/nee Nelson Dynasty.

Also recognized this weekend:
Christy's 40th Birthday
Mamaw & Papaw's 60th wedding anniversary

Yes, I said 60th. Give it up!
Here are Lovebirds #1 and #2 in Afton after Sunday brunch.
Cooking Firsts:
I'm always amazed when this happens, but for some reason, on the days I'm most tired, I find myself suddenly undertaking a recipe challenge that will require no less than two hours to complete and with cleanup, basically an entire Friday night.

Ever since I received the Barefoot Contessa's "Barefoot in Paris" cookbook, I've been staring at a recipe for iles flottantes with creme anglaise (floating meringue islands), but have never had the gumption to take on.

Micah and I enjoyed a version of this at a restaurant in Paris once, and since I'm for all things meringue--though I've backed off slightly, ever since getting my first cavity after a semester in Dijon--I knew I had to make this someday.
So again, why not on a Friday night when you're exhausted?

First Step:
Caramel/almond candy topping

Because of the Barefoot Contessa's startlingly vague instructions, I don't think I got this quite right, but what great harm can be done with sugar and nuts?

Second Step:
Meringues

Yes, that would be the tops of two of the sticking to the oven rack.

I totally underbaked them - because BC didn't say anything about how big they should be, and 20 minutes isn't going to get you very far with these pups. So whatever, I had a husband giving off hungry signals and needed to push forward.

(Mind you, I had not given him any indication we were going to be eating anything but sugar for dinner.)
Ignoring hungry man, pushed on with the creation of the creme anglaise.

My French host mom always made this stuff for various desserts (which she regularly claimed to have failed to execute properly, but were always good).
And finally, my answer to dinner: black bean burgers.
Husband looked doubtful, but as I reminded him, I always come through.

Ingredients:
1 can black beans
1 empty black bean can's worth of minced mushrooms
shredded pepper jack cheese
1/2 slice of crumbled Health Nut bread (substitute for panko breadcrumbs
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. oregano
a dusting of coriander (for drama and satisfying sense of being good with spices)
salt

Completely assembled while on the phone with Muffy.

Bake, flip once, bake.

Micah claims they were the highlight of the night and ate four of them with salsa, sour cream, and broccoli. Mission Feed Him complete. I love you, too.
And finally, the assembled iles flottantes.
They do look dreadful, but it's certainly what you want if you're looking for sweet!

I think I will tackle additional French dessert recipes this summer, as currently listed on the sidebar.
Now, off to my last "big weekend" in preparation for 6/6's Minneapolis Half Marathon!

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

Creme anglaise is always nice, but Melissa and I are big fans of just plain old Bird's Custard powder. Ever since Melissa started making ice cream (which requires egg yolks), we've had a lot of egg whites sitting around, so meringues have become commonplace in our household. Shame about the BC vagueness.