Apolinaras and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary yesterday! I will restrain myself from being too mushy, but I will say I am thankful every day to be married to such incredible partner. He balances me out, reminds me what really matters, supports my ambitions, and will be the best father when we have kiddos. I know I am one lucky girl!
To celebrate, we splurged on the six course tasting menu at Craigie on Main in Cambridge. We were both blown away by both the food and unpretentious service. We ended up being served six savory courses and three dessert courses, all of which featured seasonal ingredients from local farms. The highlight was when Chef Tony Maws personally delivered the last savory course (Pork Two Ways: organic grilled vermont suckling confit with a crispy skin and pork belly with barley couscous, fresh greens, and crispy shallots). Our other favorite courses were the Salad of Hiramasa Sashimi (with a gold beet-pine nut-mango salsa, avocado, whitefish roe, and shiso), Curry Oil-Poached and Roasted Dayboat Sea Scallops (with their roe and a ginger pineapple-marjoram sauce), and Crispy Tempura of Maryland Softshell Crabs (with fresh hearts of palm, cipollini onion, and a chorizo sauce). These descriptions do not do the food justice – everything was amazing! I also got to try geoduct and rabbit sausage for the first time and had my first poached egg served with a ragout. I’ve been scared of runny yolks my entire life, but I had already decided to be more adventurous than usual and eat everything they gave us, so I dug in and was surprised that it was rather tasty! The desserts were also excellent (tea-infused panna cotta, olive oil and chocolate mousse, peanut butter cookie sandwiches with grape coulis, and a chilled rhubab puree). Everything was phemonomial and I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the Boston area! They also have a bar and brunch menu, which we’re now eager to check out.
I also did a little celebratory cooking. Apolinaras requested my goat cheese risotto, which I stuffed with fresh asparagus and wild mushrooms for lunch yesterday and then I made a special treat for breakfast this morning – Banana Bread French Toast Kabobs with Strawberries and Pineapple! The flavors were inspired by my mom’s favorite fruit salad of bananas, strawberries, and pineapple. I made my beloved Betty Crocker banana bread recipe (with 2 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose and walnuts), and then made it into French toast by dipping each slice in a mixture of buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla and toasting them up in a hot skillet. I threaded pieces of the French toast along with fresh strawberries and pineapple onto skewers and served it with syrup and a bit of yogurt with toasted coconut on top to dip the fruit into – yum! I thought it was a very cute presentation, but my practical hubby rolled his eyes a bit (“wouldn’t it be less work to serve everything separately?” – I have always loved his honest opinions!). So, perhaps these kabobs would appreciated a bit more at a girly event like a brunch bridal/baby shower!
Banana Bread French Toast Kabobs with Strawberries and Pineapple
4 slices of banana bread
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 strawberries, hulled
12 chunks of fresh pineapple
Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract in a pie pan until smooth. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Dip banana bread into egg mixture on both sides and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Slice each piece of French toast into 1 inch squares and make kabobs by alternating a strawberry, chunk of pineapple, and two squares of French toast onto each skewer until fillled. Makes 4 kabobs (2 large servings). Serve with syrup and yogurt topped with toasted coconut, if desired.
Nutrition: 649 calories, 12.4g fat, 6.9g fiber, 21.4g protein per serving
Cost: $3.52 per serving