Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cajun Butter Corn Cobs


Really amazing, fresh corn doesn't need anything other than a bit of butter and maybe a little salt. That said, I love to eat corn as much as possible when it's in season, which can get a little mundane if you do it the same way every time. Switching up the flavors in the butter is one way of getting a variation of flavors. Making a homemade flavored butter is simple, can be done in advance and can also be done in bulk for yummy flavored butters that you have on hand all the time. I love keeping these in the fridge for steaks, corn cobs, potatoes and more, but they're also not too difficult to whip up for a dinner party either.

This recipe provides enough to feed a whole BBQ, but don't feel like you can't just make two ears of corn and pop the rest of the butter in the fridge to use later. I'm sure you could even freeze the butter if you wanted, though I can't say I've tried that before.

Ingredients
8 ears of corn, cleaned with husks & silks removed and cut in half (or 16 pre-prepared mini corn cobs)

For the butter:
125g butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1/4 teaspooon garlic olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of red chili flakes
Pinch of dried parsley
Several generous grinds of fresh black pepper

Method

For the butter...
1. At least an hour 1/2 before you want to serve (more if possible), start making the butter. Add all of the ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix together with an electric hand mixer (or other mixing method of your choice). When the butter is well-mixed with all of the ingredients, it's ready to shape.

2. To shape the butter, scoop it out onto a large sheet of cling film, trying to keep it in a contained short cylinder shape (about 3 or 4 inches). Using the slack of the cling film on either side roll the butter back and forth in the cling film to get as much of a cylindrical shape as possible. I'm not particularly fussy about perfection here, but if you are, you may want to look into using some kind of mold. When the desired shape is reached, seal up the ends of the cling film and pop the butter into the fridge for at least an hour but preferably more to chill.

For the corn...
3. Put a large pot of water on to boil and cook the corn cobs in the boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes or until the desired tenderness is reached.

4. To serve, slice the chilled butter and serve on the corn or on the side with a bit of salt available as well.

Click here for more flavored butter recipes.

Table Salt Just Got Sassy

Rivsalt Pink Himalayan Rock Salt With Grater and Stand
There's nothing new about pink Himalayan rock salt, but I'm kind of loving the idea of using this set-up on the table for something a little new and different… 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fruit Infused Water on the Go

Define Bottle Sport
A 15-year old kid from Virginia named Carter Kostler became an entrepreneur when he decided to do his part in the fight against the growing epidemics of child obesity and Type 2 Diabetes by making a water bottle that offered a healthier alternative… Thus began Define Bottles, a brand that donates a percentage of its profits to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The result is of course this chic water bottle for fruit-infused H2O that's just as cool for teens to keep in their backpacks as it is for their mammas to carry to yoga class… Way to go Carter!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Spots & Dots

Caroline Gardner Dotty Cushion
Never underestimate the power of a great, chic cushion… Whether on the couch, in your favorite chair, as a throw pillow on a bed or just a comfy accent in your work chair, a cushion can make all the difference. I'm loving this Dotty Cushion by Caroline Gardner right now - so cute!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cookie Chic

Paris Cookie Cutter
Throwing a Parisien themed party or just looking for a chic way to make yourself a snack? An Eiffel Tower cookie cutter should do the trick… Très chic! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches Made Easier

The Wild Peanut Banana Peanut Butter
Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are a classic… I love them! Elvis loved them… Doesn't everyone love them? Now it's a little easier with The Wild Peanut Banana Peanut Butter… I haven't had this yet, but I can't wait to try it!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Kielbasa Frittata

Le Creuset 26cm Classic Cast Iron Skillet

Frittata is a really easy way to prepare eggs a little differently than what you might be used to. The only thing that might be a hiccup is that you need a pan that can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven. I like using a Le Creuset 26cm Classic Cast Iron Skillet for frittatas as it's the perfect size and suitable for cooking both on top of the stove and in the oven. You will also need a rubber spatula for this dish.

This particular frittata came out of convenience really… I always have Gruyere cheese in the fridge since I use it in my cooking a lot and there just so happens to be a Polish grocery store right next to my flat in London that sells the best kielbasa for super cheap. If you're a fan of quiche but giving up the carbs, frittata is kind of like a crustless quiche and it's a fun, delicious way to enjoy eggs!


Ingredients
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
150g shredded Gruyere
200g kielbasa, chopped into small bite size pieces
Freshly ground black pepper



Method
1. Preheat grill (broiler) on the highest setting.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs, basil and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat that can be used both on top of the stove and in the oven and when it's hot, add the chopped kielbasa. Cook, stirring regularly for about 2 minutes or until warmed through.

4. Pour in the egg mixture and let it cook. As it starts to set, run a rubber spatula around the sides of the skillet to loosen the edges and allow some of the uncooked egg mixture to go towards the bottom of the pan.

5. When the whole frittata is set except the top which will remain moist, sprinkle it with the cheese and transfer to the oven to finish setting the top of the frittata. Cook under the grill (broiler) for about 2 minutes or until the top is just set and the cheese has melted.

6. To serve, run the rubber spatula around the sides and underneath the bottom of the frittata and slide it onto a serving plate. Cut into triangular slices like a pie and serve. 

Copper Cutlery

Oslo Cutlery Set in Matte Copper

Because it doesn't get much more modern or chic than matte copper cutlery… 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Basil Mint Lemonade


For me, a glass of homemade lemonade is a real treat! It reminds me of summers at home when I was growing up and lemonade was a regular staple at family events, usually supplied by my Great Aunt Violet who had a secret and wonderful recipe for this favorite summer thirst quencher. At our annual family reunion, she used to make it by the bucket load and every single drop would be consumed by eager, thirsty kin who would line up for the cold glass of lemonade they'd looked forward to all year.

Sadly I don't have Aunt Violet's recipe and given what we all know about sugar now, I don't drink lemonade with any regularity. Let's face it, this isn't health food we're talking about… Even still, a glass on the hottest day of the summer is a tradition I like to keep and I enjoy finding new ways to spruce up this traditional sunny day treat. I've found that basil and mint are the perfect, herby, cooling compliments to lemon and make they what's normally a standard drink something a little more special.


Ingredients
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups cold water
1 cup caster sugar
Handful of basil leaves ripped in half
Handful of mint leaves ripped in half
2 sliced lemons

Method
1. Add the lemon juice, water, sliced lemons, basil, mint and sugar to a large pitcher. Stir with a wooden spoon and put in the refrigerator over night.

2. After at least 8 hours in the fridge, strain the lemonade into a large bowl or other pitcher. Rinse any of the basil or mint leaves out of the pitcher and pour the strained mixture back into the pitcher. Rinse off a few of the lemon slices and plop them back into the lemonade.

3. To serve, pour over a glass of ice.

Seasonal

Seasonal Guide to Fruit & Vegetables Apron
Never be confused about what's in season ever again with this handy dandy apron! I for one would find it rather useful since I find it impossible to know when everything is in season…