TV dinner {Breaking Bad}

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I came to my Breaking Bad obsession late in the series, around season 4 or so. Way after all the hype had been built with massive critical and audience acclaim. But as any Breaking Bad fan knows, this is actually ideal because there’s nothing better than holing yourself up to a Netflix binge weekend with Walter White and Co. Each episode is so full of suspense, so agonizing with fear and turmoil and panic and… well, I hate to use this word but, DRAMA. Not the petty kind where you find yourself consoling one of your girlfriends as she bursts into tears over brunch, but the well-crafted, deliberately timed drama that can only come from good acting and fantastic writing.

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momofuku milk bar exam no. 7 {banana cream pie}

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Banana pudding, Bananas Foster, banana bread… Southerners really do have a knack for turning anything remotely healthy into a decadent treat. You could put this banana cream pie at the top of that list. I’m not sure if it’s purely Southern, but it’s pretty darn delicious.

This was my first attempt at making and eating banana cream pie. When it comes to pies, I generally stick to either pecan pie or ones with berries. Again, this cookbook is proving to be a godsend for my culinary ignorance. My tastebuds are forever indebted.

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A traditional banana cream pie usually has a buttery pie dough or a graham cracker crust but I really liked the chocolate crumb crust here. It was not too sweet and provided a deep flavor that went so perfectly with the bananas. Plus you get to give a little oh-it’s-no-big-deal shrug when people ask… “you made the cookie crumbs for the crust too?”

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Edamame Fried Rice

The one thing I’ve realized about living in the City is learning to live on a budget. Which is difficult when there’s so much to do and even more to EAT! While I love indulging in take-out Indian food and sushi, sometimes it’s necessary to buckle down… especially after seeing the long string of restaurant charges on my credit card activity.

One of the easiest things I like to make is hibachi-style fried rice. This is a variation I learned from my mom who makes it very simply with carrots and scallions (sometimes just carrots). I like to add a little extra green with peas or in this case, edamame! I make a ton so I can pack it for lunch or reheat it for dinner for the week to come. Here’s to full bellies and fuller wallets!

Edamame Fried Rice

  • 2 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup finely chopped carrots
  • ¾ cup scallions, greens included, rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups leftover cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked, shelled frozen edamame, thawed (or green peas)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten*
  • 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • freshly cracked pepper

(1)  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or large skillet until very hot. Add the garlic, scallions and carrots and cook, stirring, until softened and aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes.
(2)  Add another tablespoon of oil and the rice and cook on medium-high heat, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes.
(3)  Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil, then add the eggs and cook until nearly fully scrambled.
(4)  Stir the eggs into the rice mixture, add the edamame and stir.
(5)  Then add soy sauce, sesame seeds and pepper to taste. Incorporate thoroughly. Serve hot.

*Replace the eggs with extra firm tofu for a vegan meal! 

Makes 4 servings

 

Pucker up!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what the heck do you do with limes?! That’s precisely the problem I found myself in this weekend with a bundle of limes on my hands.

Luckily I love limes, possibly even more than lemons. Key lime pies, limeades, margaritas, mojitos 🙂 With my limes, I decided to make these lime bars, a variation on my favorite lemon bar recipe. But honestly when you add butter, sugar, eggs and flour to anything, what wouldn’t taste good?

Lime Bars
adapted from Barefoot Contessa

  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest (4 limes)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (6 to 8 limes)
  • 1 cup flour
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

(1)  Preheat the oven to 350° F.
(2)  For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the flour and salt, with the mixer on low, to the butter until just mixed.
(3)  Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9x13x2-inch baking sheet, building up a ½-inch edge on all sides.
(4)  Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
(5)  For the filling, in a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
(6)  When ready to serve, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares.