Classic BLT with Homemade Mayonnaise

Ah the classic BLT. Something so simple can be elevated into something so sublime with good ingredients and homemade mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is a simple DIY project– it only takes egg yolks, oil, vinegar, and mustard. You can also make your mayonnaise fancy by adding herbs or spices of your choice. The difference is well worth the effort. I’ve used an immersion blender here, but you can easily do this in a food processor or a blender. The process of making mayonnaise is an intuitive one, which is why you should keep adding oil until you feel the consistency is right.

BLT

BLT Ingredients:

  • 3 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 2 slices of heirloom tomatoes
  • few leaves of butter lettuce
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • Homemade mayonnaise

Mayonnaise Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of a neutral oil, like grapeseed or safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

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Mayonnaise

BLT 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of a neutral oil, like grapeseed or safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

Directions:

  • Place an egg yolk in a measuring cup or bowl of a food processor.
  • Add the dijon mustard, salt and vinegar and blend until just combined.
  • Start by adding several drops of oil and blend. Keep blending the mixture and stream in a little more oil. Keep adding the oil slowly while blending.
  • Add enough oil until the mayonnaise is pale and thick, anywhere from 1/2 a cup to 2/3 cup.  Once it all comes together, stop blending. Be careful and don’t over blend the mixture as it can turn to liquid again! The refrigerated mayonnaise will keep for up to 5 days.

mayonnaise

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail

During the summer the fruit situation at my house gets a little out of control. It’s piling up on the kitchen counter. It’s rolling around on the floor. Don’t even get me started on the shenanigans going on inside the fruitbowl. Let’s just say the plums have some explaining to do. I digress. So what do you do when life gives you fruit? Why, throw it in a jar of brandy and spices of course! At least that’s what went through my head when I laid eyes on the first Rainier cherries of the season a while back.

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Everyone always makes red brandied cherries, so I couldn’t help but switch it up a bit. I followed this recipe here. For the cocktail I wanted something elegant, something bright, that would accentuate the vibrant cherry within. I immediately thought eau de vie – clear fruit brandy. I picked up a bottle of kirsch from St. George Spirits. Everything else just fell into place. I added a bit of sweetness with some elderflower, balanced out by a crisp apéritif. Some smooth summer sipping, indeed.

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Cherry Brandy and Elderflower Cocktail

A beautifully refined cocktail made from one of summer's greatest bounties
Servings: 1 cocktail

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by chilling your glass. Either pop it in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes.
  2. Next, add all the ingredients to your mixing glass.
  3. Add ice and stir for a full minute. Your mixing glass will be well-frosted. Discard the ice from your chilled cocktail glass and strain in your cocktail.
  4. Garnish with a brandied Rainier cherry. Brandied cherries take a little while to make. Don't worry, you can enjoy the cocktail in the meantime with fresh cherries (pitted).

NOTES

For a great brandied cherry recipe, check out this one from Imbibe

(images by HonestlyYUM)

Grilled Romaine Salad with Homemade Ranch

My day to day meals are usually simple, like a really good salad. I never buy pre-made salad dressings because homemade is always easier and better. I had rarely used ranch on salads until I started making my own. Homemade ranch couldn’t be more different from the the supermarket goopy stuff that comes out of a squeeze bottle. You just throw a few ingredients into a jar and shake. Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients into a food processer if you want a smoother dressing. Of course you can use ranch on just about any kind of salad. I was grilling some meat anyway, so I grilled the romaine heads, which gives the salad a light charred flavor that is perfect with cool creamy ranch. Top with whatever looks lovely and in season, like tomatoes and ripe avocados.

grilled romaine salad

Ranch Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1/4 cup of Greek-style yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 2 hard boiled egg
  • small tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, sliced

grilled romaine and ranch

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Ranch Dressing

grilled romaine salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1/4 cup of Greek-style yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Add all the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.

Yum, We Love Ice Cream

Against all odds, I believe I have actually lost weight during ice cream week here at YUM. That’s what I get for five days of hand-churning two dozen types of ice cream . . . I kid, I kid. Or possibly I just went a little overboard with the Thai iced tea. Regardless of my physical condition, I couldn’t help but top off the week with just a few more scoops.

  • I don’t know about you, but I like to eat my chocolate chip stuffed cinnamon rolls in ice cream form. Oh, and topped with vanilla bean brown butter sauce, of course.

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