Saturday, August 1, 2009

Kid At Heart: Childhood Favorites All Grown Up

As you grow older your taste buds become more sophisticated, but that does not mean you have to stray from your childhood favorites. For me, nothing screams childhood like the classic PB&J sandwich. I would often alter between strawberry jelly, fluff (remember the fluffernutter?!) and sliced bananas between two slices of white bread smothered in creamy peanut butter. As I got older I traded jelly for preserves, white bread for wheat, creamy peanut butter for crunchy and then eventually upgraded my PB&J sandwiches for turkey and cheese. From time to time I still crave my favorite childhood comfort food, and decided to put a grown up twist on it. I now enjoy a sandwich that consists of an artisan 7-grain sourdough bread, crunchy almond butter and a brandied apricot and strawberry jam. It is a sandwich that is sweet, crunchy and luxurious. There are many nut butters on the market such as cashew butter and macadamia nut butter to give your sandwich a new spin. If you are CRAVING peanut butter, they surly wont compare but they provide a new feel to a classic dish.

Other Childhood Classics With A Twist Advice:

Mac and Cheese--Instead of using all Cheddar add different cheeses. Gruyere melts nicely and adds a nutty verging on sweet flavor to the dish. Herbs, veggies and meats can make this dish into an even more flavorful and hearty meal. Try adding things such as basil, parsley, cherry tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, pancetta or even lobster!

French Fries and Ketchup-- Try baked potato wedges or better yet, use sweet potatoes! You can pump up the flavor by adding different herbs and spices to the traditional salt and pepper mixture. Instead of ketchup create different flavored aiolis. If you are serving sweet potato wedges honey and maple syrup are also wonderful accompaniments.

Spaghetti and Meatballs--Swap ground beef for ground turkey. Try different pastas such as penne. Pump up the Sauce! Add extra veggies like mushrooms, spinach, even zucchini to pre-made sauce to make it more decedent and flavorful. Top the finished dish with herbs like parsley and basil to add a clean and fresh taste.

Stay Forever Young,

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