Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Get-Together with Grandpa

My dear sweet grandfather is here in SF to visit his two grandchildren. This came as a pleasant surprise and I am thoroughly enjoying his company. My cousin J is married with a fifteen year old son and she and her family came for dinner on the second day grandpa was here (he's staying with me). It's funny how my nephew and I ended up doing our homework after dinner. Now that I'm back in school, with one year to go for my degree in Geography, I seem to have common ground with the younger generation. We even have the same sneakers. I may possibly be taking this school thing to far.

The dinner was simple and went well for everybody. I served a simple roast beef with new potatoes and pan roasted brussels sprouts. The roast beef I purchased, already marinated, from Trader Joe's. So I simply placed it in a roasting pan surrounded by red and white new potatoes, drizzled the whole thing with extra-virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and roasted in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes. Perfect.

For the brussels sprouts, I blanched the sprouts in boiling water, drained, sliced in half, then sauteed in a pan with lots of butter on medium high heat. The sprouts will caramelize slightly, careful not to burn it.

For dessert I served the most divine Banana, Cherry and White Chocolate Muffins from my book The Domestic Goddess. This is not really a proper dessert, but its ok to live a little don't you think?

Banana, Cherry & White Chocolate Muffin

125 grams (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons dried cherries, chopped
50 grams white chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Melt the butter in saucepan, remove from heat and add the sugar, vanilla and bananas, mashing them with a fork. Stir in the sour cream and the eggs and continue to beat with the fork or a wooden spoon. Add the bicarb and the baking powder, stir well, then add the flour, cherries and chocolate.

When mixture is well blended, divide it into each of the 12 muffin cups lined with cases. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool muffins on a wire rack.