Monday, October 30, 2017

Cocktails for Trick or Treating!

Tomorrow is Halloween at the Launchpad.  This year, LBA will venture out on his own (for the second year).  SoBA will still be supervised whilst trick or treating - I think it's Mrs. BA's turn to walk and for me to sit home and pass out candy.  I think that I I will mix up a batch of these and me and the neighbors can sit and wait for the little children to come looking for candy.  And any enterprising adults can put in a request for one too! Recipe from boulderlocavore.

The Grave Digger Cocktail
The Grave Digger cocktail is perfect not only for Halloween but as a celebration of fall. Flavors of apple and ginger make this a great seasonal sipper.
Servings 1 cocktail
Author Toni Dash

  • 2 ounces Hard Cider
  • 1 ounce Whiskey (I used Bourbon - I will too, BA)
  • Ginger ale, to fill
  • Crushed ice

In a 12-16 ounce tumbler or high ball glass, combine the hard cider and whiskey. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Fill with ginger ale.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Slow Cooker Lasagne

Much to Mrs. BA's chagrin - it's fall, it's cold, and it's slow cooker season.  This recipe works well with my desire to have lasagne without the need for the all the work that goes into it. From Gimme Some Oven via BuzzFeed.

Slow Cooker Lasagna
Yield: 10-12 servings
Total Time: 4 hours 25 mins
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 4 hours

  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage or ground beef
  • 2 (24-ounce) jars of good-quality Italian pasta sauce
  • 16 uncooked no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 32 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup finely-chopped fresh basil
  • Add the ground Italian sausage (or ground beef) to a large saute pan, and cook over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, using a large spoon to stir and break up the meet into small crumbles as it cooks. Remove from heat and drain off any excess grease. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, as the meat is cooking, go ahead and get ready to assemble the lasagna. Begin by spraying the insert of a large 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Then layer the ingredients in the following order:
    1. Spread 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce evenly along the bottom of the slow cooker.
    2. Layer about 4 lasagna noodles — breaking them into smaller pieces as needed to fit — evenly over the sauce to cover the bottom of the slow cooker.
    3. Layer about 1/3 of the ricotta cheese (a little over 1 cup) evenly on top of the noodles.
    4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the shredded Mozzarella cheese and 2 Tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese in an even layer on top of the ricotta.
    5. Layer about 1/3 of the cooked ground meat in an even layer on top of the cheeses.
    6. Layer about 1/3 of the chopped spinach in an even layer on top of the ground meat.
    7. Layer 1 cup of pasta sauce in an even layer on top of the spinach.
    8. Repeat with another layer of noodles, ricotta, Mozzarella/Parmesan, ground meat, spinach, and sauce. Then repeat with another layer of noodles, ricotta, Mozzarella/Parmesan, ground meat, spinach, and sauce. Then add one more layer of noodles, sauce, and Mozzarella.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, or until the noodles are tender.
  • Turn off the heat, and sprinkle the top of the lasagna evenly with the remaining Parmesan and fresh basil. Serve immediately. (Or if you let the lasagna sit and rest for 30 minutes, it will cut into pieces much more easily.)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Farewell to the Brave Astronaut's Parents

The Brave Astronaut is away today, my siblings and I have traveled to Bermuda to carry out our parent's final wishes - that is to scatter their ashes across the waters of Bermuda.  My mother died in 2006 and my father just this past April.

We will attend to our parents today and then spend a fair bit of time drinking.  My father left us with the means to have a weekend toasting their memories.  I don't know about my siblings - but I will be drinking these - it's the official drink of Bermuda.

The Dark and Stormy

  • 2 ounces Gosling's or Myers's dark rum
  • 5 ounces ginger beer
  • Lime wedge

Pour the rum over ice in highball and fill with ginger beer. Squeeze in the lime wedge.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Banana Bread Cheesecake

Dear Readers, you are aware of SoBA's love of the boomerang shaped fruit.  There are always bananas available at the launchpad.  He prefers them to be a little on the unripe side - so we often have banana bread in the house, too.  You may also be aware of the Brave Astronaut's love of a good cheesecake (as long as it's my mother's recipe).

Here's a recipe that kills two birds with one stone.  Via BuzzFeed.

Banana Bread Bottom Cheesecake
Servings: 10

Banana Bread Layer
  • 4 bananas (as ripe as possible)
  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cheesecake Layer
  • 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin powder
  • Caramel, for drizzling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
  3. Add in the oil, egg, vanilla, and sugar. Stir until combined.
  4. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  5. Pour the banana bread batter into a greased springform pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is set.
  6. In a large bowl, add the softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
  7. Microwave the milk until hot for about 2 minutes, and add in the gelatin powder.
  8. Quickly stir until gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  9. Pour the gelatin mixture over the cream cheese and whisk again until smooth.
  10. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the baked banana bread and cool for 3 hours or overnight.
  11. Drizzle with caramel and enjoy!