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Archive for August, 2017

TIP OF THE DAY: DIY Crêpes

Today’s tip was inspired by this yummy photo from Wife Mama Foodie.

Here’s her recipe for easy homemade crêpes. You can also purchase ready-to-heat-and-eat versions (photo #6).

Crepes are thin pancakes made from flour, eggs, milk, butter and salt. The word was derived from the Latin crispus, curled. There are two principal types:

  • Sweet crêpes made with wheat flour.
  • Savory crêpes (a.k.a. galettes), made with buckwheat flour.
  •  

  • In Brittany, crêpes are traditionally served with apple cider.
  • In areas of Central Europe, variations of the thin, filled pancakes are called blintzes (Jewish), palacinka (Czech and Croatian), palatschinka (Austrian German), palacsinta (Hungarian), etc.
  • Elsewhere in Europe, you’ll find Greek kreps, Italian crespelle, Russian blini and Scandinavian plattars.
  • Though crêpes are now considered fancy fare, they were originally an inexpensive meal for poor.
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    We have ideas below for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Whatever ingredients you choose, place them on the table with a plate of crêpes, and let everyone fill and roll their own.

    THE HISTORY OF CRÊPES

    Crêpes originated in Brittany, the region comprising the northwest France. They were originally made with buckwheat flour and called galettes, meaning flat cakes. The term is still applied to savory crêpes, which remain buckwheat-based.

    Around the 12th century buckwheat, was introduced to Brittany. Common buckwheat was domesticated in Southeast Asia, at least by 4000 B.C.E. [source]. The plant, Fagopyrum esculentum is a member of the Polygonaceae family, which also includes edibles such as rhubarb and sorrel.

    Buckwheat—which is not a cereal and thus is gluten-free—has been grown in Tibet and northern China for millennia, used to make noodles. It is a boon, since wheat can not be grown in mountainous regions. It is the world’s highest-elevation domesticated plant.

    Buckwheat spread to Central Asia and Tibet, and then to the Middle East and Europe. It thrived in the Breton moors, where is was called sarrasin or blé noir (black wheat—from the dark specks that often show themselves in the milled flour). It is high in fiber, has easily digestive protein, and contains all eight essential amino acids.

    Crêpes were initially cooked on large cast-iron hot plates, heated over a wood fire in a fireplace. Today they are made on the stove top in special crepe pans: electric heated. The batter is spread with a tool known as a rozel and flipped with a spatula.

    In Brittany crêpes were (and are) served with the local beverage, hard cider.

    Modern Crépes

    White flour crêpes appeared only at the turn of the 20th century. White wheat flour, which had been very costly—as expensive as sugar, honey or meat—became affordable.

    In Brittany, both crêpes and galettes are traditionally served with cider.

    February 2 in France is a crêpe holiday, variously known as Fête de la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière, or Jour des crêpes.

    The feast has a tradition: Hold a coin in your dominant hand and a crêpe pan in the other, and flip the crêpe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year [source].

    O.K., sure, but can we have some more crêpes, please?

    YOUR DIY CRÊPE SPREAD

    Pick your fillings of choice. Does it need a filling sauce, e.g. mustard sauce for the sausage? Does it need a garnish—for example, whipped cream or raspberry sauce for a banana crêpe?

  • Savory helpers include cheese sauce, crème fraîche, tomoato sauce and vegetable purée.
  • Sweet accompaniments include crème pâtissière, fruit purée, whipped cream and cream-based sauces (butterscotch, chocolate, caramel…).
  • BREAKFAST CRÊPES

  • Eggs Benedict (the crêpe replaces the English muffin)
  • Farmer’s cheese or small curd cottage cheese, with cinnamon sugar or honey, and lemon zest
  • Fresh fruit and yogurt
  • Jam and cream cheese
  • Sweet sausage (photo #4)
  • Smoked salmon, dilled yogurt, sweet onions, capers
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    LUNCH & DINNER CRÊPES

    You can serve one crêpe as a first course or two as a main. Most work great with a béchamel (white sauce) or Mornay sauce (cheese sauce, a béchamel with gruyère).

     

    DIY Crepes
    [1] DIY crêpes: ready to fill, roll and eat (photo courtesy Wife Mama Foodie | Facebook).

    Banana Crepes
    [2] Banana crêpes, to which you can add caramel or chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, even peanut butter sauce (photo courtesy Dairy Info).

    Seafood Crepes
    [3] The lap of luxury: lobster, caviar and smoked salmon crêpes (photo courtesy Caviar Russe | NYC).

    Sausage Crepe
    [4] Sausage, onion and greens for breakfast, lunch or dimmer (photo courtesy Rolf And Daughters | Nashville).

    Asparagus Crepes
    [5] Goat cheese with asparagus (photo courtesy Spice Islands).

    Jacquet Crepes

    [6] Better food stores sell packaged crepes (photo courtesy Jacquet Bakery).

  • Cheese, plain or with ham or spinach/kale/broccoli
  • Chicken, artichoke or goat cheese, and sundried tomatoes
  • Chicken, fish, mushrooms in cream sauce
  • Feta, hummus, olives
  • Fig, prosciutto and gorgonzola with a balsamic drizzle
  • Goat cheese with asparagus, spinachs or other vegetable
  • Ratatouille (vegetarian) crêpes with eggplant mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini
  • Sausage with onions and greens (photo #4)
  • Seafood in brandy of sherry cream sauce (photo #3)
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    DESSERT CRÊPES

  • Crepes Suzette, plain crêpes with orange liqueur sauce
  • Ice cream with chocolate or fruit sauce; banana split crêpe
  • Jam or fruit curd and whipped cream
  • Sautéed apples, bananas or other fruit with caramel sauce, Grand Marnier sauce, Nutella (photo #2)
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    RECIPE: Deconstructed Banana Split, For National Banana Split Day

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    [1] The deconstructed banana split at Sushi Samba in New York City (photo courtesy Sushi Samba).

    Banana Split

    [2] The traditional banana split (photo courtesy California Milk Advisory Board).

     

    How should you celebrate August 25th, National Banana Split Day?

    There’s the tried and true banana split, of course. Classically served in a long dish, called a boat (which gives the sundae its alternative name, banana boat), the recipe is familiar to most ice cream lovers:

    A banana is cut in half lengthwise and set in the dish with scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. The strawberry ice cream is garnished with pineapple topping, chocolate syrup is poured on the vanilla ice cream and strawberry topping covers the chocolate ice cream. Crushed nuts, whipped cream and maraschino cherries garnish the entire boat.

    Today, there are many variations to the classic banana split. We’ve had other Banana Split Sushi, Banana Split Cheesecake and the recipe below, Deconstructed Banana Split.

    DECONSTRUCTED BANANA SPLIT

    Ingredients

  • Banana slices
  • Unsalted butter
  • Optional: dash cinnamon
  • Ice cream flavors of choice
  • Optional: caramel corn
  • Whipped cream
  • Berries of choice
  • Sauces: chocolate, strawberry (you can easily make strawberry purée)
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    Preparation

    1. CUT the bananas in half width-wise, and then lengthwise. Sauté in butter with a dash of cinnamon until browned. Arrange on a plate, as shown in the photo.

    2. ARRANGE the other ingredients: whipped cream, caramel corn and fruit.

    3. DRIZZLE with sauce or fruit purée of choice.

     

    BANANA SPLIT HISTORY

    According to the Pennsylvania town of Latrobe, the banana split was invented in 1904 by David Evans Strickler, a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist at Tassel Pharmacy*. He enjoyed inventing sundaes at the store’s soda fountain. His first “banana-based triple ice cream sundae” sold for 10 cents, which was double the cost of the other sundaes.

    News of the new sundae was picked up by the press and spread nationwide. Variations of the recipe appeared in newspapers.

    The enterprising Strickler went on to buy the pharmacy, re-naming it Strickler’s Pharmacy. The city of Latrobe celebrated the 100th anniversary of the invention of the banana split in 2004, and the National Ice Cream Retailers Association (NICRA) certified the city as its birthplace.

    The annual Great American Banana Split Celebration is held throughout the downtown Latrobe in late August, in 2017 from August 25th-27th.
     
     
    SUSHI HISTORY
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    *According to Wikipedia, Walgreens is credited with spreading the popularity of the banana split. A chain of drug stores established in the Chicago area in 1901 by Charles Rudolph Walgreen, Walgreens promoted the banana split as a signature dessert. But was it served when the store opened, or did someone at Walgreens read the recipe and adopt it. Did Walgreens bestow the name Banana Split to the “banana-based triple ice cream sundae”? So far, the record is mute.
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Summer Naked Cake With Stone Fruits

    The summer’s selection of stone fruits are begging for a naked cake. June through September is prime stone fruit season in the U.S.

    WHAT ARE STONE FRUITS?

    Stone fruits are members of the Prunus genus, and include:

  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Lychees
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Olives
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Cross-breeds such as apriums, plumcots and pluots
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    A stone fruit, also called a drupe (it’s , is a fruit with a large, hard stone (pit) inside a fleshy fruit. The stone (pit) is often thought of as the the seed, but the seed is actually inside the stone.

    Most stone fruits are native to warmer climates. That’s why in the U.S., much of the local supply comes in July and August.

    A drupe is a fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone containing the seed. Not all drupes are stone fruits.

  • Nuts such as almonds, pecans and walnuts are examples of the seeds inside the stones. They’re also drupes, but a type in which we eat the seed inside the pit instead of the surrounding fruit.
  • The coconut is also a drupe, as are bramble fruits such as blackberries and raspberries.
  • Not all drupes have single large stones. Raspberries are a good example. To see their stones, the fruit has to be carefully broken open. Then, the tiny stones can be seen inside (that’s why raspberry “seeds,” or drupelets, are so crunchy). They are called stones because botanically, the seeds keep their covering (called an endocarp)— not because the seeds are large and hard.
  • Avocado is actually a berry, not a stone fruit (more). Berries are a different genus in the same botanical family as drupes.
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    More for botany lovers: Drupes are members of the Rosaceae family—the rose family—which includes shrubs as well as other prominent fruits in non-drupe, genuses, such as apples, loquats, pears, quinces and strawberries.
     
     
    RECIPE: NAKED CAKE WITH MIXED STONE FRUITS

    Naked Cake is just the thing for summer. It requires no frosting on the sides (although some bakers like to use a thin swath.

    Here’s more about naked cake, with plenty of photos of different presentations.

    You can make any layer cake, but we prefer our homemade pound cake recipe (it’s more buttery). And guess what: box mixes don’t save time. The Kitchn did side-by-side tests; here are the results.

    What you do save is a wee bit of clean-up, although we just stick the measuring spoons and cups in the dishwasher.

    It’s different with whipped cream. Home-beaten cream is so luxurious, but does take 10 minutes. If you’re time-strapped, grab a couple of cans of Reddi-Wip.

    Round cake layers are more elegant to present, but loaf cakes are easier to slice. To use a loaf cake, cut two slices and put the filling and fruit on the bottom; add the top layer and the sauce.
     
    Ingredients

  • Pound cake or yellow butter cake (from scratch or a mix)
  • Sliced stone fruits (an assortment is the way to go)
  • Filling: lemon or other curd, custard, instant vanilla pudding, homemade whipped cream
  • Topping: fruit puree* While photo #1 uses chocolate sauce, we think summer is too heavy for the cream-based chocolate/butterscotch/caramel group, and suggest a raspberry purée
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    *While photo #1 uses chocolate sauce, we think summer is too heavy for the cream-based dessert sauces (chocolate, butterscotch, caramel). A berry purée is just right.
     
    Preparation

     

    Stone Fruit Naked Cake
    [1] A couple of cake layers, sliced fruits and whipped cream or fruit purée are a light, luscious summer dessert (photo Wife Mama Foodie | Facebook).

    Naked Cake Fresh Figs
    [2] Does light swath of icing make this a semi-naked cake? This recipe, from Wife Mama foodie, is a spice cake topped with fresh figs.

    Mixed Berry Naked Cake
    [3] A mixed berry naked cake is also a summery treat (photo Wife Mama Foodie | Facebook).

    Betty Crocker Pound Cake Mix

    [4] If you don’t like to measure, use a box mix. But The Kitchn proves it’s not a time saver (photo courtesy Betty Crocker) .

     
    1. COVER the bottom layer with the filling, followed by the fruit. Add the top layer and press lightly. Add the topping and you’re ready to eat!
     
     
    RECIPE: BERRY FRUIT PUREÉ SAUCE

    This recipe is especially good with blackberries, boysenberries and raspberries. You can use fresh or frozen berries. Frozen is less expensive, and once you mix the purée with sugar and lemon juice, you can’t tell the difference.
     
    Ingredients For About 1 Cup

  • 12 ounces (approximately 1-1/2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen berries†
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, less or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
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    Preparation

    1. SORT and wash the berries (or thaw if frozen). Drain, cap and de-stem unsweetened berries.

    2. COMBINE the berries, sugar, and lemon juice in a food processor fitted with the metal blade; process to a smooth purée, about 30 seconds. NOTE: Puréeing may be done in a blender or a food processor. If using a blender, make sure that any seeds are not ground so finely that they will pass through the sieve.

    3. POUR the mixture into a fine sieve set over a bowl. Use a rubber spatula to stir and press the purée through the sieve. Discard the solids. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. (Editor’s note: Less is more when it comes to sugar.)

    4. REFRIGERATE in a non-reactive container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
    ________________

    †When making purée from frozen fruit, let the berries thaw in a colander over a bowl. Once the berries have thawed, pat them dry before blending. By draining the berries first, you get a thicker purée.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Make Better Waffles

    BLT Waffles
    [1] BLT Wafflewich, a waffle sandwich (photo courtesy Elegant Affairs Caterers).

    Waffle Cup Salad
    [2] Waffle cups aren’t just for sundaes. Use them to hold a crisp, healthy veggie salad (photo courtesy Joy Cone Company).

    Fancy Chicken & Waffles
    [3] You can take a gourmet approach to chicken and waffles with little touches like these (photo courtesy Honey Butter Fried Chicken | Chicago).

    Smoked Salmon & Caviar Waffles

    [4] Smoked salmon on top of scallion-dill Greek yogurt. If you’re flush, add some caviar, as they do at Tsar Nicoulai.

     

    The ancestor of waffles dates back to the Neolithic age; the ancient Greeks invented the practice of cooking them between two hot metal plates.

    But the waffle iron we know today, with the honeycomb pattern, was invented by some nameless hero metalsmith in the 13th century. Here’s the history of waffles.

    National Waffle Day is August 24th, a good reason to enjoy a warm, fragrant, crusty waffle.

    And a good reason to go beyond the original, simple waffle with maple syrup, to some of the more creative ideas below.

    First, some tips from Krups, makers of small kitchen appliances including waffle makers, on how to make the best waffles.

    WAFFLE RECIPE TIPS

    1. Read the instruction manual before plugging in the waffle iron. Unless you use your waffle iron often, brush up. You need to know more beyond pushing the ON button.

    2. Treat the batter gently. Don’t mix it too quickly or vigorously. Use a slow, even tempo to get the right consistency, or your waffles will be tough and chewy.

    3. Don’t lift the lid while the waffles cook. As tempting as it may be to peek, it lets out steam needed to fully cook the waffle.

    4. Don’t use cooking spray on your waffle iron. Instead, cover the surface lightly with vegetable oil, using a basting brush or a paper towel. You’ll get a better crust on the waffle; and perhaps more importantly, Your waffle iron will last much longer. Chemicals in the sprays can affect the surface over time, and cause even more sticking.
     
    BONUS: 10 MORE USES FOR YOUR WAFFLE IRON
     
     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WAFFLES

    American, Belgian, Brussels, Liege, Hong Kong, and more: If you’d like to know the different types of waffles, take a look.

     
     
    WAFFLE RECIPE IDEAS

    Some would say that any waffle is a good waffle, and we wouldn’t disagree. Others have never had anything beyond a plain waffle with maple or pecan syrup, butter and a side of bacon or sausage.

    Let us provide some inspiration:

  • Look beyond plain wheat and buttermilk waffles to the more complex and interesting world of cornmeal, multigrain and whole wheat waffles.

    Just as those breads are generally more interesting than plain white bread, you may find that you enjoy the waffles more.

  • Don’t add sugar to the batter: It’s added sugar you don’t need. You’re already topping a sweet waffle with syrup, jam, ice cream and fudge sauce or other sugar product that’s sweet enough, plus fruit.

    The analogy is toast topped with jam versus cookies topped with jam—leave the sugar out. With savory waffles, definitely use a mix that has no sugar; or mix your own. It’s just flour, baking powder, water and a pinch of salt.

  • Get creative with toppings. Let your imagination be your guide. Our list below is only the beginning for whatever inspires you. Who says you won’t invent a great barbecue beef waffle, cornmeal guacamole waffle, kimchi and shredded pork waffle, nacho waffle, pickled tongue waffle or spicy poached egg waffle? (In fact, those all sound pretty good to us right now!)
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    SAVORY WAFFLE IDEAS FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER

    These recipe ideas work for any meal:

  • BLT Waffle (photo #1): A regular or cornmeal waffle, topped with sliced romaine hearts, tomatoes and bacon. Serve with Caesar dressing (recipe.
  • Chicken & Waffles: A Southern classic. Generally made with a regular or buttermilk waffle, fried chicken breasts and brown gravy or sawmill gravy*. But we prefer it on a cornmeal waffle topped with a sliced grilled chicken breast, sauteed onions and peppers and a spicy gravy—add a teaspoon of Colman’s dry mustard to a basic white gravy recipe. Here are some “gourmet” chicken and waffles recipes (photo #3).
  • Ham & Cheese Waffles: A regular or whole grain waffle, with your favorite ham and cheese with dijon mustard or balsamic glaze. Or, mix balsamic glaze into regular mustard or mayonnaise)—recipe.
  • Malted Waffles:Malted Waffle: For a flavor lift, add 2-3 tablespoons of malt (the same kind you use for malted milk) to your basic recipe or mix.
  • Crunchy Nutty Waffles: Add your favorite nuts and seeds to the batter, or sprinkle them atop a plain waffle. Garnish with Greek or fruit yogurt.
  • Oatmeal-Nut Waffles: The “better for you waffle.” if there is such a thing, with whole grains and protein-packed nuts.
    Serendipity Waffle
  • Serendipity Waffles: “Serendipity” is our word for leftovers. Anything you have in the fridge can be made into an exciting waffle topped with a sauce—cheese, tomato, mushroom or your favorite gravy.
  • Smoked Salmon Waffle (photo #4): We love a cornmeal waffle topped with smoked salmon, sour cream or crème fraîche, chopped chives (onion lovers can substitute chopped red onion) and dill.
  • South-Of-The-Border Waffle: A cornmeal waffle (white or blue corn) with a small dice of jalapeños in the batter. You can serve this with maple syrup for breakfast/brunch; and with queso (cheese sauce) or a queso-salsa blend for other meals.
  • Waffle Salad Bowls (photo #2): Waffle cups are not just for sundaes. Fill them with apple slaw, Asian chicken salad, broccoli carrot slaw, carrot and raisin salad, chicken salad with grapes, shrimp salad, etc. (recipes.
  • Waffle Stew: One of the oldest embellishments for waffles is to top them with your favorite stew. Garnish with grated cheese, chopped green onions and a dab of sour cream and/or a bit of mashed potatoes. Serve with a side of colorful mixed steamed vegetables and a big salad: a great way to make leftover stew special.
  • ________________

    *Sawmill gravy is a white gravy or béchamel sauce with added bits of mild sausage or chicken liver; the roux is made from meat drippings. It is also called country gravy. See the different types of gravy.

     

    SAVORY WAFFLE TOPPINGS

    Top savory waffles with:

  • Eggs: eggs and bacon, Eggs Benedict, sausage and eggs.
  • Cheese: blue cheese, goat cheese, melted mozzarella or other melting cheese.
  • Chicken: fried, pulled barbecue.
  • Fish/seafood: caviar, seafood (crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp), smoked salmon and other smoked fish, with a fresh dill garnish.
  • Pizza waffles: mozzarella, ricotta, marinara and favorite toppings (don’t forget the anchovies!).
  • Paté: garnished with cornichons, redcurrant jelly, fig jam or cherry preserves.
  • Tex-Mex: avocado, black beans, black olives, corn, crema (sour cream), guacamole, red onion, salsa, shredded or crumbled cheese.
  • Sandwich fixings: BLT, ham and cheese.
  • Thanksgiving fixings: cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes, turkey and gravy.
  • Vegetable: asparagus with hollandaise sauce; mushrooms, spinach and Mornay sauce (béchamel with gruyère).
  •  
     
    SWEET WAFFLES FOR BREAKFAST & LUNCH

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffles: Another great base for PB&J. Here’s the recipe.
  • Trail Mix Waffles: Top with nuts, dried fruits, coconut and granola.
  • Tricolor Chocolate Chip Waffles: Update the standard with dark, milk and white (or butterscotch, cappuccino or PB chips).
  • Wholesome Waffles: Top whole-grain waffles with nonfat yogurt, fresh fruit and nuts or seeds (chia, flax, pumpkin).
  •  
     
    SWEET DESSERT WAFFLES

  • Candied Pecan Waffles: Top waffles with Candy roasted pecans, chopped pecans and whipped cream, syrup optional. Alternatively, you can mix the chopped nuts into the waffle batter.
  • Cheesecake Waffles: Combine two treats in one recipe.
  • Chocolate Waffles: Here’s a recipe.
  • Hot Fudge Sundae Waffles: Serve with ice cream, top-quality fudge sauce, strawberries, nuts and whipped cream.
  • Key Lime Mousse Waffles: Here’s a recipe for any citrus mousse you desire.
  • Lemon Berry Waffles: Top with lemon curd (or other fruit curd) and seasonal berries. Garnish with whipped cream and fruit sauce (either puréed berries or a fruit syrup).
  • Orange Blossom Waffles: Add mangoes, mixed berries, and nutmeg cream. Here’s the recipe.
  • Sticky Bun Sundaes: Top with cinnamon or vanilla ice cream, raisins and walnuts, garnished with a sprinkling of cinnamon and brown sugar (mixed). Add a very light drizzle of caramel sauce and whipped cream.
  •  
     
    SWEET WAFFLE TOPPINGS

  • Candy: brittle, toffee chips.
  • Chocolate: chips, ice cream, syrup, shaved chocolate.
  • Cream cheese: with chocolate chips, jam.
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt: with sundae toppings.
  • Fall & winter 1: raisins or other dried fruits, sautéed apples or bananas, maple syrup.
  • Fall & winter 2: pumpkin pie filling, whipped cream, caramelized nuts and nutmeg garnish.
  •  

    Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffles
    [5] For lunch: a PB&J wafflewich. Here’s the recipe from Cait’s Plate.

    Smores Waffles
    [6] For dessert: S’mores waffles. Here’s the recipe from Posie Harwood for King Arthur Flour).

    Banana Split Waffles
    [7] Who needs a banana split dish? Roll the ingredients in a waffle. Here’s the recipe from Krusteaz).

    Blueberry Cheesecake Waffles

    [8] Blueberry cheesecake waffles. Here’s the recipe from Cafe Delites.

  • Fruit: seasonal fresh fruit, caramelized fruit, fruit butter, fruit chutney, fruit curd, marmalade or preserves with whipped cream.
  • Fruit yogurt: with fresh fruit and fruit syrup or cinnamon syrup.
  • Sweet spreads: nut butter, Nutella, with coconut or honey and whipped cream.
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    COCKTAIL RECIPE: Blackberries = Purple Cocktail = A Delicious Smash!

    Blackberry Smash Cocktail Recipe
    [1] Watch the sunset with a Blackberry Smash.

    Bourbon Peach Smash Recipe
    [2] A Bourbon & Peach Smash. Here’s the recipe from Imbibe Magazine (photo courtesy Imbibe Magazine).

    Tequila Sage Smash Recipe
    [3] This Tequila & Sage Smash is served in a tall glass with ice cubes (photo courtesy Imbibe Magazine).

    Basil Hayden's Bourbon

    [4] Basil Hayden’s Bourbon is made in small batches by Beam Suntory (photo courtesy Basil Hayden’s).

     

    The only problem with this stunning cocktail is that kids will clamor for it.

    Otherwise, it’s deliciously refreshing summer smash (double entendre: smash is the name of the cocktail category). Just make it in a kid-free environment.

    The recipe came to us from Basil Hayden’s Bourbon. It was crafted by mixologist Benjamin Schiller of Chicago, who called it the Market Street Smash (a local reference).

    It’s easy to make, and it comes with a history (below).
     
     
    COCKTAIL RECIPE: BLACKBERRY SMASH

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
  • ¾ parts simple syrup
  • ½ part fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 fresh blackberries plus 3 for garnish)
  • Garnish: mint sprig
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all ingredients in a mixing tin and muddle the blackberries. Add ice, shake and strain over crushed ice inri a rocks glass.

    2. GARNISH with a sprig of mint and 3 blackberries.
     
     
    WHAT’S A SMASH COCKTAIL?

    Smash is a family of easy-to-make cocktails that generally include a:

  • Spirit
  • Sweetener
  • Herb
  • Seasonal fruit
  • Crushed ice
  •  
    Imbibe Magazine calls them “those fruity, icy concoctions that highlight the best of the cocktail season

    The Cocktail Novice notes, “It’s like a Mint Julep with seasonal fruit.” Adds Imbibe: “a smash is a julep, but a julep is not always a smash.

    Here are Cocktail Novice’s recipes for:

  • Gin, Cucumber & Basil Smas
  • Jalapeño Tequila Smash
  • Strawberry Lemonade Smash
  • Whiskey Smash
  •  
    From Imbibe Magazine:

  • Añejo Smash (with tequila)
  • Bourbon & Peach Smash
  • Pepper Smash (with aquavit and bell pepper)
  • Philly Smash (with rye, Averna [herbal liqueur] and seasonal berries)
  • Ranger Smash (with whiskey and Cocchi Americano, a quinine-laced aperitif)
  • Rhubarb-Thyme Smash
  • Tequila & Thyme Smash
  •  
     
    THE HISTORY OF THE SMASH COCKTAIL

    Per Imbibe Magazine, one of the earliest examples of a smash is a julep recipe in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 The Bartender’s Guide.

    Thomas doesn’t mention the cocktail by name, but his definition of the julep “clearly lays the foundation for the future of the category.”

    Thomas, who literally wrote the book—the first cocktail recipe book—begins by calling the julep a “peculiarly American beverage” that is most popular in the South.

     

    He qualifies that a “real Mint Julep” must be made from a dozen mint leaves, a spoonful of white sugar and “equal parts peach and common brandy,” topped with crushed ice (and he acknowledges that there were many versions in existence).

    In 1888, barman Harry Johnson distinguishes the smashes from the julep, and includes four distinct smash recipes:
    “His Old Style Whiskey Smash is a casual concoction of sugar, water, mint, “small pieces’ of ice [crushed or shaved ice] and one ‘wineglass’ of whiskey (about 2 ounces). He added that to a glass with ‘fruits in season,’ gave it a mix and served it with a julep strainer.”

    Subsequent cocktail books include the smash in the category of juleps. In 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book mentions a choice of spirits: “Either Bacardi Rum, Brandy, Gin, Irish Whisky or Scotch Whisky as fancy dictates” [source].

    “His Old Style Whiskey Smash is a casual concoction of sugar, water, mint, “small pieces’ of ice [crushed or shaved ice] and one ‘wineglass’ of whiskey (about 2 ounces). He added that to a glass with ‘fruits in season,’ gave it a mix and served it with a julep strainer.”

    Subsequent cocktail books include the smash in the category of juleps. In 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book mentions a choice of spirits: “Either Bacardi Rum, Brandy, Gin, Irish Whisky or Scotch Whisky as fancy dictates” [source].

    Our fancy this summer is a Blackberry Smash.

    (Why is it called a smash? Our guess is that in the days before crushed ice machines, the ice was smashed with a hammer.)

     
      

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