breaking bread is a universal ritual that brings us together. a good meal has the power to heal us, body and soul. all my cooking comes from the heart.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

suzy's fruity rum drink

Summer arrived early in Maryland with an 80+ degree afternoon in March.  It seemed the perfect time for a nice fruity rum drink.  For lack of a better name, I simply call this Suzy's Fruity Rum Drink.

2 ounces Cruzan Aged Rum (or light rum of your choice)
2.5 ounces Cranberry/Pomegranate Juice Blend (or Cranberry Juice Cocktail)
2.5 ounces Pineapple Juice
1 ounce Orange Juice

Place 6-8 large ice cubes in a Boston Shaker.  Add ingredients, cover with pint glass and shake well.  Pour into festive glass of your choice and enjoy.  Spice it up with a garnish of fresh berries (mmm, blackberries) or a pineapple wedge.

For a cooler (frozen) twist, make it an Irie Colada: double the ice, add 2 oz. coconut milk (or Coco Lopez if you want it really sweet), and blenderize.  Top it with a Myers Dark Rum floater.  You'll be feeling irie before the first one is done!

The Running Rabbit lived in Miami a long time and spent time in Barbados, the Bahamas, and Jamaica--she knows her fruity rum drinks very well.  Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

sometimes we need shortcuts; garlic cheddar biscuits

Although I love to bake and cook from scratch, and my cookies and cakes are always scratch recipes, we all need some time savers and shortcuts in our busy lives.  Better to use some shortcuts in the kitchen than simply throw up your hands and hit the drive-thru.  One of my favorite foods, and a pre- long run ritual, is garlic cheddar biscuits--and they are my favorite shortcut.  These are especially good with tomato soup on a cold day. Here's the recipe.

Suzy's Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

1.5 cups Bisquick Mix
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup cubed cheddar cheese (or shredded cheddar cheese if you're in a rush)
1/2 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
For easiest clean-up, cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together first three ingredients thoroughly
Add liquid and stir mixture together.
Drop in 9 evenly sized spoonfuls on cookie sheet, spacing about 1.5 to 2 inches apart.
Bake on center rack for 9 minutes.

Each biscuit is approximately 120 calories (less if you use reduced fat cheese) and has a three-to-one carb to protein ratio (for people like runners who are interested in that).  I line a bowl with a tea towel and fill with biscuits, covering up with the towel to keep them warm.  Delicious with Smart Balance or butter. (If you are not concerned with the calories double the cheese, which adds 30 calories per biscuit, or brush the biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven with a mixture of melted butter and garlic--and perhaps some Old Bay).

From hitting "preheat" on the oven until I'm snuggled on my couch munching these biscuits is about 15 minutes max.  How?  First, because I keep a glass jar full of minced garlic in the fridge and simply spoon out whatever I need for recipes.  I buy a container of whole peeled garlic cloves, toss them in the Cuisinart (a/k/a the "Whirly-Chopper") until minced, and then store in a nice glass jar [update: I had to give up my beloved Whirly-Chopped when I moved aboard so I hand chop now].  Second, I often use pre-shredded cheese.  Unless I am using a fancy-schmancy cheese for a special recipe, I find that the increased convenience of pre-shredded cheese outweighs the additional cost over shredding it myself. I do think that cubes of cheese will give you a better overall flavor and look, however, if you have the time to cube it up yourself.