If you are one of the people who read the posts by e-mail, I strongly suggest that you click-through to the actual site sometime this month. Why? Because it’s December, and, in December, WordPress lets us choose whether or not we want snow falling on our websites. Obviously, I chose yes!! For someone like me who’s not likely to see real snow, I find watching it fall across my computer screen very comforting and cheering. If you do get to see real snow, it might be nice to see some fall and know that you won’t have to shovel it. 🙂
I’m considering today’s post about fusion because almost all of the food is fusing 2 or more unexpected types of food. Let’s start with something that you’ll have to search for but not make. Ben & Jerry’s latest limited batch flavor combines ice cream and Italian food: cannoli ice cream. As soon as I heard about this latest flavor (Mascarpone Ice Cream with Fudge Covered Cannoli Pastry Shell Chunks & a Mascarpone Swirl), I went on the hunt for it. I never did find it, but my best friend did (while I was in FL) and bought me a pint. It was a delicious flavor of ice cream, and now I really want to try mascarpone cheese to see if it’s just as good. I wasn’t as big a fan of the cannoli shell chunks, but they didn’t detract too much. It’s nice to have something crunchy, but they sometimes tasted of almond extract which isn’t a flavor I like. Yet that didn’t keep me from devouring almost the entire pint.
This past week, I finally remembered to take pictures of a quick, easy, and delicious snack. It combines sweets and Mexican, sort of. It’s apple nachos!!
J and I were inspired by seeing similar pics on Pinterest, but we just kind of made up the recipe. We sliced apples and arranged them on a plate (pretty spiral optional). Then we drizzled them with caramel sauce (this one) and chocolate syrup or melted chocolate and sprinkled them with shredded coconut and chopped pecans. (We like them toasted but were in a rush this time.) There are so many great things about this treat: they’re super fast and easy, you can customize it to your tastes and on-hand ingredients, and best of all there is fruit in there – it’s semi-healthy!
Continuing on in the world of fusion, last night’s dinner fused everyone’s favorite comfort food with Mexican food: creamy taco mac. This was such a simple dish to pull together, but the flavors were great. My hubby and I both gobbled this up and even he was surprised at how good the turkey tasted. (He’s a staunch red meat enthusiast.) I also love that this didn’t take a lot of expensive or hard to find foods, it made a lot of food, and it dirtied very few dishes. It will definitely be a frequent dinner option from now on, though next time I plan to add some black beans and corn to amp up the amount of vegetables in each serving.
Creamy Taco Mac (from Delish)
1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
8 oz. pasta (Any shape should work. I used a whole wheat farfalle which worked great; I don’t think my husband even knew it was healthier, though I guess I just spilled the beans.)
1 chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 14.5 oz can drained, diced tomatoes
4 tbsp. taco seasoning (I used homemade which gave me an excuse to update that post with a written recipe and pics.)
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1 15 oz. can drained, rinsed black beans
1 15 oz. can drained corn
1/4-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I always use sharp cheese. I love the extra flavor.)
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Set aside 1/2-1 c. of the pasta water; drain and set aside the pasta.
2. In a large skillet, cook the turkey over med-hi heat til no longer pink. A few minutes before the turkey’s done, add the onion. Once the turkey is cooked through and the onion soft, drain (if necessary), return to the pot, add the garlic, and cook til fragrant, about 30 sec. Mix in the tomatoes and taco seasoning; let simmer on medium for about 5 min. Stir in the pasta, cream cheese, sour cream, pasta water, and corn and beans (if using); continue stirring til the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer on medium-low for 3-5 min. to reduce the sauce. Remove from the heat and top with cheddar.
Of course today’s post wouldn’t be complete without our tenth Christmas Cookie. This week, I made a cookie recipe that fused together 3 types of cookies: oatmeal, chocolate chip, and peanut butter. The results were delicious, and I couldn’t wait to share them with you. These are a great pick for the holidays since the recipe makes a little over 4 dozen cookies which is plenty to share and to keep.
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters (from Dorie Greenspan’s book – Baking: From My Home to Yours)
3 c. old-fashioned oats
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. softened butter
1 c. chunky peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
1. Position your oven racks to divide the oven in thirds; preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.
2. In another bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars til they’re smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating 1 min. after each addition; then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only til blended. Mix in the chips and (if possible) chill the dough for 2 hr.
3. Drop the dough by rounded tbsp. 2 in. apart on the baking sheets. If chilled, the dough could be rolled into balls and pressed to 1/2 in. thick.
4. Bake 13-15 min., rotating the sheets from top to bottom and back to front halfway through. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. (Mine cooked perfectly in 11 min. and I let them cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to the rack.)
Each day is bringing us closer to Christmas, and I’m just getting more excited by the minute. (It’s 3 weeks from today!!) I am going to kick back and enjoy my computer snow (especially since it’s drizzling outside). I hope you have a relaxing day.