My parents came down from Montana for a visit over the Fourth of July weekend. It was wonderful hanging out with them, and I made a point of stuffing them silly with all kinds of food.
My mom and dad are the politest people on the planet, so it took forever to convince them to let me know what they wanted to eat while they were here. (My dad is the one who cracked – but don’t tell my mom).
Their requests included fresh blueberry pie. Not a problem!
This recipe is quite simple, and it’s modified slightly from this one at AllRecipes.com.
I was having trouble thinking up what to serve alongside the Thai Steak Salad last Friday. Luckily, I realized I could continue with the mango flavor and pair it with coconut rice. The dessert ended up being perfect. A nice, creamy coconut flavor, fragrant rice, and *just* enough sweetness from a drizzle of honey. Mango is the traditional pairing for coconut rice, but then again, most people usually make this with sticky rice. I guess I’m not terribly great at being traditional. 🙂 If you’re out of strawberries and/or mango, consider ripe pears or even just forgoing the fruit entirely. The rice (and a touch of honey) is such a lovely, light, subtle dessert. I could eat mountains of it. And really, I, along with the rest of the Qwerty crew, did. I am so grateful that our group is open to new flavor combinations, and mango and strawberry seemed to be a hit. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Coconut Jasmine Rice With Mangoes, Strawberries & Honey
Back when I lived in Los Angeles, Mark and I used to go to restaurant called Houston’s. It was perfect for special-but-low-key occasions – like when family came out to visit or Valentine’s Days where we didn’t want to deal with another night of having our car accidentally locked away in a Hertz Rental Car lot because the swanky/upscale Italian place didn’t have their valet on duty when we tried to figure out parking. Grumble. Anyway. The main draw of Houston’s, for me, was their Thai Steak salad.
I finally decided to try and attempt it myself for one of our Qwerty nights. This recipe features a whole array of different flavors that, on paper, sound a little scary (Brie was admittedly a little worried, but says she ended up loving the result). It was all complicated by the fact that one of our crew is allergic to mango, others hate cilantro, and others still hate bell pepper.
I ended up combining cabbage, avocado, romaine, and freshly chopped mint (OH GOLLY did that smell good!) in a large bowl, and then served the mango, strawberry, cilantro, marinated and grilled steak strips, bell pepper, and peanut dressing all in their own separate bowls, assembly line style. I realize that strawberries aren’t part of a traditional Thai Steak Salad, but it ended up being the perfect substitution for our Mango-allergic Qwertyer while also adding a nice element for the rest of us.
It turned out really lovely. Admittedly, there was a lot of chopping and prepping all the fruits and veggies, but Mark is a pretty wonderful sous chef. 🙂
This makes for a really wonderful special occasion meal that’s definitely lighter than our usual Qwerty fare. Hope you enjoy it!
When I see bananas in the store I almost always crave them. So I end up buying a bunch, while they are still slightly green. I eat maybe two or three, then a week and a few days later remember I still have bananas somewhere on the counter. Into the freezer they go. Half of the time I forget they are in there and when I want to use them I think they have been in there to long. I end up throwing them away and the cycle begins again.
The smell of fresh banana anything right out of the oven smells so good to me. I just want to eat it all right away. I don’t have a ‘go to’ banana recipe so I almost always try something new. This recipe is really good, the bread is soft and banana-y. I love the cinnamon and the idea of crumb topping. But in my opinion this is where the problem is, the crumb topping. I’ve made a lot of crumb toppings in my baking life but I’ve never had any of them turn out so hard and crunchy. Crumb topping should be pretty light and soft. Not hard and crunchy. I’ve never made a crumb topping with melted butter before and so I think this could be where the problem is? Maybe I added to much butter? I plan on making it sometime again in the near future and I will try cutting in the butter like I have in other crumb toppings to see how different it turns out. I think this will be my ‘go to’ banana bread recipe, with or without the topping.
Beat together sugar, egg and vanilla. Add the butter and beat until completely smooth and the butter is fully incorporated. Beat in the buttermilk and bananas until combined. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet until all the flour is incorporated then pour the batter into the pan.
Make the crumb topping by combining the powdered sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and melted butter. Using your hands, crumble the mixture over the batter in the pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
This was my first time making lemon bars. I’ve made crusts of all kinds, and lemon curd many times. How hard can it be? I’ve eaten many different lemon bars, all tangy and delicious. After searching through dozens of recipes I finally settled on one from Smitten Kitchen. The recipe wasn’t complicated, and there was an option for ‘full size’ or ‘half size’ lemon bars. So in other words, a filling to crust ratio of 2:1 or 1:1. I naturally had to go with the ‘full size’ batch.
Sometimes when I make new recipes I get impatient and my logical baking brain stops.
What’s supposed to happen: Bake the crust, till it’s done. Let it cool. Make the filling, add it to cooled crust and bake.
What really happened: Bake the crust, not quite done but i’m going to take it out anyways. Mixed the filling 10 minutes ago, and even though the crust has only cooled for maybe 5 minutes i’m going for it!
Despite my impatient and forgetful new recipe brain they turned out amazing. I wasn’t quite sure at first because they developed this brown weird textured skin on top, but it was fine after they were refrigerated. For the 2:1 ratio you have to really love love love lemon. They were big, tart, and extremely lemony. I cut them into tiny 1/4 inch squares and that was a good one bite. Next time I will make the 1:1, because as much as I love lemon flavor it was too much for me. I took them to some friends and family and they disappeared quickly.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.
For the crust: cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a ½-inch edge on all sides.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the lemon layer: whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.
Pour filling over the crust
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into rectangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
As much of a chocolate lover I am, I really enjoy a good lemon recipe. I’ve only seen chocolate crinkle cookie recipes, so when I saw this I knew I had to try them out.
Whenever I do anything with meyer lemons it reminds me of my grandma. She always loved everything about lemons, the color, the smell, and the flavor. Every time she cut open a lemon she would smell it and just be so happy. And happy is what these cookies make me. They are soft and airy, sweet lemony with just the right tartness. She would have loved them!
We created this space in 2013 as a home for recipes, reviews, and entertaining tips for those on the nerdier end of the spectrum. We're on vacation at the moment, but there are usually new posts every Thursday. Sometimes more, if you're lucky.
With our powers combined, we represent a culinary school grad, an aspiring astronaut, a culinary school dropout, social nerds, gamers, cinephiles, bibliophiles, laqueristas, food fanatics, social anxiety disorders, and more. It’s fun stuff. Oh! And Brandie is wife to Adam who is brother to Brie who is cousin to Cat! Clearly nerdiness runs in this family.
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