Celery Julep

IMG_8008This drink recipe from the Serious Eats website is from the new cookbook of Matt and Ted Lee.  Not only is this drink quite yummy (for serious fans of both celery and bourbon ONLY,) and are The Lee Brothers fabulous cookbook authors, but their charming mother used to be the Head of School at my childrens’ school.

I was startled by the ELECTRIC green color of the simple syrup, so was expected to be bowled over by celery flavor, but truthfully, the bourbon really takes over once the drink is assembled.  The celery flavor is still there, but it’s definitely mild and not overpowering.  I might recommend a mild-flavored bourbon, rather than the Maker’s Mark that I used, but I don’t know enough about bourbons to be able to recommend one for you.


Colada Morada (hot drink to celebrate Dia de los Muertos)


We made this rich, delicious drink to celebrate Dia de los Muertos and Halloween after Boy learned about it in his school’s Spanish class.  The teacher talked about it so favorably, that Boy came home asking if I could find a recipe.  It is VERY thick and warm, so a little bit goes a long way; serve it in the tiniest (demitasse?) cups you have.  We had some leftover that I froze into small popsicle molds, too – YUM!  Totally different than the intended recipe, but good nonetheless.

Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding


This hearty vegetarian main dish from November 2009 Bon Appetit magazine was filling and delicious.  Vegetarian Girl ate it as a main dish and the rest of us had it as a side to some chicken.  Very good, but the recipe (really being intended for a large, holiday gathering) makes a HUGE pan of the bread pudding, so if you’re only serving 4 to 6 people, I would STRONGLY suggest halving the recipe, lest you be condemned to eat the leftovers for 3 days.

Back-to-School Raspberry Granola Bars


These bars, from Food & Wine magazine, are OUTSTANDING.  They are loaded with fiber and the pecans add a little bit of protein.  They do have a fair amount of fat (butter) and sugar, but aren’t as bad as some cookie/bar recipes.  We LOVED it with the raspberry preserves, but it would also be great with grape, blackberry, blueberry or any other robustly-flavored preserve or jelly.  I have a little bit of dulce de leche left over from another recipe and I’m tempted to make a batch with that…we’ll see!

The butter in these bars can go rancid/stale tasting pretty quickly, so I would refrigerate or freeze them if you’re not going to eat them all in 3 or 4 days.  The recipe says 1 week, but I think that’s a bit of a stretch.  I LOVE the little tang of saltiness that an entire teaspoon of kosher salt provides, but if you are very sensitive to salt, you might want to cut back a little.