Sometimes great recipes just happen. There are times when you are throwing things together in your kitchen and magic just happens. Food miracles… I have these miracles sometimes. Other times, even Queens cannot make fabulous happen. Today was one of those days. I am forever experimenting in the kitchen; trying to find some new flavor that makes people ask for more.
Tonight I decided despite suffering from a horrible cold that I would make roasted Cornish game hens. (I am not a glutton for punishment, cooking just makes me happy… and I think I was kind of out of my head.) I have had game hens in the past, but never cooked them myself. I decided I would prepare them like I prepare my roasted chicken. After all they are just mini chickens, developed in the 50’s to provide a single serving of white meat poultry. When done correctly these little hens can be very impressive; my roasted chicken always gets rave reviews so I thought why not start there. (Ordinarily it takes me several attempts to get a recipe just right, unless it is one of those magical nights….) This evening’s adventure in cooking was not even a good start. I think I will blame the cold medicine… Yeah… It was the cold medicine that caused me to lose my mind.
I decided I would use fresh herbs, which are usually stronger in flavor than my typical dried herbs. So I opted not to add much to the outside of the chicken other than some salt and olive oil. For some reason I picked up the Thyme instead of the Tarragon. Tarragon goes very well with poultry; Thyme not so much. My thought process was to make a lemony, garlic herb infused hen. Instead I got something that resembled two tiny rubber chickens with lemons and what appeared to be dead weeds shoved in a very rude place. My images of aromatically infused herb flavoring fell on its tookis. They just did not brown up like I would have liked. The lemon flavor was nice but that’s the only flavor you could taste. Overall very moist and juicy, kind of bland and lemony; next time I attempt these little chickadees; I will go a different route.
I noticed we had some very ripe bananas sitting in the fruit basket and I thought I would try to make banana bread. I remembered that my mother hates, no loathes, warm banana so I thought I would try and make it different and therefore more appealing to everyone. For special occasions my family makes a fruit salad called “Ambrosia” that is a mix of pineapple, banana, orange, coconut, and marshmallows. I say to myself, “Self, I am going to make “ambrosia bread”. What results is not a complete disaster like the chicken. However, the bread seems to be missing something. I am not sure what, yet, maybe just a pat of butter or a caramel sauce. Try the recipe and see what you think, please send suggestions as I continue to play with this one.
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter melted
1 ½ cup mashed RIPE bananas (about 3-4 mid-size bananas)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup flaked coconut
½ teaspoon orange extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease 13x9 baking dish
Mix together mash banana and pineapple together in mixing bowl. Add flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, salt, and orange flavor. Mix until well blended. Add melted butter and cream cheese, mix until well blended again. Fold in pecans and marshmallows. Pour mix into 13x9 dish, it will be full! Place on baking sheet (in case you have any spills).
Bake in preheated oven for 1 ½ hours, or until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean; keep an eye on it as it browns up, you may want to lightly cover with foil to prevent heavy browning.
My success for the evening was the simple pear tart I made. It needs no introduction because it was perfect! I whipped up some whipping cream and served a slice of this tart with a dollop of the cream on top. My family said it more than made up for my rubber looking lemon flavored chickens.
1 Prepared Pastry Pie Crust (look for it in the refrigerator section)
3 tablespoons butter
3-4 tablespoons sugar
Sugar to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 400°
Unroll prepared pie crust and lay over lightly greased tart pan, or if like me no tart pan was available a 9 inch cake pan will work as a substitute. Press dough into greased tart pan with the overlap hanging over the edges. Lay the pears into the tart pan; I stand mine up because I think it is pretty to look at. Fold overhang of pie crust in on top of pears, around the edge. Melt butter in a sauce pan and mix in sugar. When sugar dissolves brush butter and sugar mix over the pears and over crust. Sprinkle with sugar and place in oven. Bake for about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the tart so that it does not brown too much on one side. Rotate to prevent this from happening. Let stand for about 20 minutes to cool. ENJOY!