Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Treats from the Half-Assed Gourmet

'Tis the season; fall, that is. While it might still be a good week or so away from the official start of fall, all of this weather in the upper 70's after a summer of 100+ degree heat is feeling downright nippy.

It's about the time of year where I begin the shift away from craving ice cream and frozen fruit (is there anything more wee-fwesh-ing than frozen strawberries in the summer?!) to warm, gooey deliciousness.

There are two items ubiquitous in the kitchens and pantries of pretty much everyone I know: fruit that's about to turn, and a random rummage of half-empty bottles of liqueurs leftover from that time you made sangria or from last winter's blizzard when everyone drank laced coffee and hot chocolate for a week straight.

There are two more items that should be ubiquitous in your kitchen: dark, dark, dark chocolate and that almighty fat free, sugar free chemical fluff known as Cool Whip. I keep both of these items in the freezer and, believe me, there is little you can't throw in with these two things that won't be delicious. Stale cookies, a crumbled granola bar....seriously, try it!

So, slice up that banana that is seriously starting to go soft and simmer for a minute or two in a pan with some Frangelica. Shave some dark chocolate on top, throw a spoonful of frozen Cool Whip over the whole thing, and it all melts together in some insanely delicious (and, I like to believe, not so terribly fattening) last-minute Bananas Foster. Take those too-dark strawberries and throw them in a pan for a flash frying in some blackberry brandy. Again, top with some dark chocolate shavings and a dollop of Cool Whip.

This can work with just about any kind of fruit and any kind of liquor. Apples sliced and flash-fried in Goldschlager. Too-ripe berries tossed in flat champagne or a little bit of coconut rum.

Experiment! And- I'm telling you- dark chocolate shavings and a dollop of Cool Whip rarely steer anyone wrong. Some stale graham crackers work too.

Welcome, Glitteratis, to the Half-Assed Gourmet. Throwing together deliciousness from random odds and ends. I'd like to post more of these in the future, so ideas and suggestions are always appreciated.

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