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Cilantro Lime Sorbet

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So I’ve started this new exercise regime that I’m fondly calling Kicking My Ass, or, alternatively The Death of Me.  It all started when the machine in the gym (in the basement of our apartment building) that you lift weights on (can you tell how serious I am about my weight lifting?) broke.  So because I didn’t want to lose the little muscle I have I started doing three alternating circuits-legs, arms, core.  I do one a day before I run, which generally leaves me in a constant state of pain all over my body.

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Because we were in a constant state of travel last week (Camping to New Jersey to North Carolina) my exercising was sporadic and I also ate a lot of Bojangles.  Which meant that going back to exercising this week doubly kicked my ass, and Dan will probably not ever stop mocking me for how long it took me to walk down a flight of stairs.  Anyway, after dinner we were lying around chatting and, because my life is very hard, I was complaining.  A lot.  About how much it hurt to lie in our pillow top bed on our new 600 thread count sheets.  Because I am the biggest brat in the whole world.

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Dan knew that because I was so whiny I would probably not accept any condolences and just continue to whine, because sometimes it feels good to get it out.  So, thinking I would refuse it, he offered me ice cream.  Ice cream that we did not have.  Ice cream that I immediately wanted.  That left us with four options: a) don’t have any ice cream, b) walk very far (6 blocks) and get an ice cream cone, c) walk to the co-op around the corner and get a tub of ice cream, and d) drive to a delicious gelateria in the next town.  Since the first two were clearly  not acceptable and Dan said no to the last, we walked up to the co-op and bought some blood orange sorbet (mmm).

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But within five minutes of debating our options I had my heart set on this really delicious sorbet from the place in Bethesda, and even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to convince Dan to drive there I thought maybe I could try and recreate it and then enjoy it over the weekend.  Because when I really have my heart set on a dessert, there is very little anyone can do to stop me.  So I got what I needed, and boy am I glad that I did because the cilantro lime sorbet was delicious.  So good, in fact, that it was worth the searing pain of having to climb up and down a stool to get the ice cream maker down.

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Cilantro Lime Sorbetto
Inspired by Dolcezza 

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp lime zest

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1 tbsp sugar (to be mashed with cilantro)

Boil water, sugar, and lime zest.  Allow to return to room temperature.

Finely chop your cilantro.  Stir in sugar and mash it together until it is pulpy.

Combine everything in your ice cream machine and let it run until solid.  Freeze overnight, and serve.

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Thingamabops? I’ve got TWENTY!

So this week I’ve made a lot of changes to the supporting pages of biscuitsandsuch.com.  In addition to updating the about page and the where to find us page, I’ve added a brand new FAQ page, a seasonal recipe index, and a list of the blogs/websites that I keep up with.

I’m hoping that these changes make using b&s a little easier, and I’m also trying to streamline the blog and make it a little more professional, as it’s been getting more professional attention.  Which segues nicely into what else I’ve got to tell you.

As some of you may have noticed from twitter feeds, etc, a few months ago I started writing for the Well Fed Network.  Well Fed is a collection of 12 food blogs about various topics.  I’ve been writing for three of those blogs- Just Baking, Kids Cuisine, and Fit Fare, which has been great because it’s given me the opportunity to write about things outside the realm of southern cooking.  This week I was also asked to be a Guest Blogger by Jessica Contadore of The Love List.  I’m really excited about this because not only do I love her site, it’ll give b&s some exposure outside of the food blog world.

I’d love to be able to turn my passion for cooking and writing into a career, so these opportunities to put myself out there are really exciting.  I’m a little worried about spreading myself too thin but I’ve set deadlines in my iCal and once it’s in my calendar it CANNOT BE IGNORED.  Those are the rules, I just follow them.

All in all these are exciting times in the b&s kitchen, and I hope that you enjoy the new features!  I’m still working on the seasonal recipe index (I’m thinking I’ll keep it recipes that are explicitly seasonal), but if you have any ideas/suggestions please feel free to email me at biscuitsandsuch@gmail.com

P.S. If you have any suggestions on how to get “Part of Your World” out of my head, that’d be appreciate too.

P.P.S. Oh, we also got an ISSN # with the Library of Congress.  It’s 1948-1128! Holllllaaaaaaaa!

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Banana Cream Pie

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This weekend we traveled to North Carolina for my bridal shower.  My bridesmaids are my sisters, Lauren and Genevieve, my cousin Mary Catherine, and my best friend, Megan.  They’ve been planning and plotting for months and on Saturday they threw a beautiful, elegant, heartwarming shower.  I couldn’t have wished for anything better and it made me feel so incredibly loved.  I can’t wait for them to get married so that I can return the favor.

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In addition to the shower, Dan and I had a very full weekend.  On Friday we had dinner with my mother, brothers, and grandparents (mangoritas and tuna tacos, anyone?).  On Saturday before the shower, Dan’s parents joined my mother at her house for brunch.  After the shower, Dan’s parents and his sister and niece came to my father and stepmother’s house for dinner, which made Saturday a very full day of family fun.  When we arranged all of these gatherings a few weeks ago, I decided the least I could do was bring home some pie.

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Since I started this food blog last year, the most common response that I get from friends and family is “why don’t you make me that?” or, more often “where’s my pie?”  I try and keep our door open to people in our area and I never show up empty-handed at someone’s home, but people are always quick to ask where their share of cookin’ is.  The most pathetic offender is my sister Genevieve, who just finished her freshman year at UNC.  On more than one occasion our conversation went something like “I was reading your blog while eating (insert some disgusting combination of cheap processed food) and I hate you for not mailing me some.”

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I decided to make a banana cream pie for a few reasons.  First of all, I love banana cream pie.  I am a banana pudding devotee, and banana cream pie is just as good and in some ways better.  I also knew I wouldn’t have time before Saturday’s dinner to make anything, so I wanted something I could make ahead of time and freeze.  Because banana cream pies are no-bake pies they freeze incredibly well.  Finally, I don’t think there’s anyone in our family that doesn’t like banana pie or pudding.

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I made it with a vanilla wafer crust (at Dan’s request), which turned out wonderfully.  I didn’t have to add a lot of sugar to the mix because the wafers are so sweet, and the flavor was perfect.  I used instant vanilla pudding because I was short on time, but if you are making scratch pudding, I have some recommendations.  For one, the pudding should always  be vanilla flavored in banana pies and puddings, never banana flavored.  Also, people expect the pudding to be yellow, so a few drops of food coloring will make it the perfect color so that it looks just like banana pudding should.

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(from left, Mary Catherine, Megan, Elena, Genevieve, & Lauren)

Banana Cream Pie

2 cups vanilla wafers

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 box vanilla instant pudding (scratch recipe here)

3 cups milk

3 bananas

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Start by making your crust.  Combine wafers and 1/8 cup sugar in a food processor.  Melt your butter, and toss.  With crumb crusts like this you end up pressing your crust in.  Don’t worry about it being flaky, the cooling process and the addition of pudding later will firm it up like magic.  Press the mixture into the pie pan until the bottom and sides are fully coated and there are no holes.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

When your crust is nice and cool, go ahead and make your pudding.  One box of pudding calls for 3 cups of cold milk, and you just whisk for two minutes.  Let it set for about five minutes.

While it’s setting, slice bananas and line the pie crust with them.  You want the whole pie to have bananas, even the sides, so don’t be shy.  After you’ve done that, scoop the pudding into the dish and spread evenly over the bananas and crust.

Whisk heavy cream, remaining sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.  Scoop the whipped cream onto the top of the pie and spread it evenly.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and then serve.

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