Banana Flambé, French 75, A Good Walk

I’d be lying if I said the obsession with dessert in our house was somehow quarantine-activated, but I will say that over the last few months, the post-dinner sweet options have significantly ramped up, almost to an embarrassing level. This is partly because we are going to the supermarket less frequently, so our boxes of Mallomars and pints of Americone Dream are less likely to be readily replenished and more likely to be replaced by, say, some homemade vanilla pudding. It’s also because baking, at least for me, has been a therapeutic way to address the [boredom/dread/anxiety/you choose] that’s just relentlessly dogging us, and also because, looking forward to something, even if it’s just a blondie, feels pretty good right now….

Project: Banana Flambé

…This is all to explain how last night we found ourselves igniting rum-soaked bananas, and drizzling them with the buttery-maple syrup in which they sizzled and soaked, and enjoying them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Just another weeknight in the DALS house! I recommend trying asap. (Inspiration and how-to: Eric Ripert, of course.)

Pantry: French 75

Well, it’s Thursday, so it’s time for this week’s round of Let’s Discover a New Cocktail. Our high school senior had her last “official” day of classes last Friday, which is probably why Andy set his sights on a celebratory, champagne-based drink. He landed on a classic French 75 and here is the basic formula for one glass:

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup (here is a recipe but all you need to know is that it’s a 1:1 mix of water and sugar heated in a small saucepan)
3 ounces champagne or Prosecco

You’ll see we did two parts gin to three part champagne, but there are versions that are more like a 1:3 ratio. (In other words, play around with the balance if you think our version has too much gin for you.) Whatever you decide on, here’s how you proceed: In a cocktail shaker, shake the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice, then pour through the strainer into a tall glass (with ice) or a champagne flute (no ice). Top off with champagne and a lemon wheel (or a lemon spiral if you’re feeling fancy).

Purpose: There’s a Quiet All Over the World

Cheryl Strayed interviews poet Billy Collins on this week’s episode of “Sugar Calling.” I plan to listen to it while on my late afternoon constitutional. I hope you’ll join me.

Stay safe. Stay home.

The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at

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My favorite variation of the French 75 is the Mexican 55. Tequila instead of gin, add a dash of orange bitters to the shaker. I live in South Florida, and this cocktail feels oh so right. For the gin though? When the mangos on my mango tree are ripe there’s nothing better than a gin and tonic garnished with mango. So good.


love the French 75 cocktail. i have never made one at home.

is that the staub braiser?


Paper Planes last week. French 75 this week. My husband asked if I was sure I wasn’t writing these posts. Thanks for keeping us sane and well hydrated!


I was thinking exactly the same thing. Keep those cocktail ideas coming. It’s how we get to Friday around here. ;-/


A French 75 is my favorite, fancy order when out cocktail. I may just have to try this at home.


We did a French 75 for Mother’s Day, but with sparkling rose instead of prosecco and it was delicious.


Would you share which Staub pan you use? I’ve been shopping for one like that.



We took a short stroll to restock our Negroni ingredients yesterday. Priorities, man.


I’m still full on locked inside (compromised immune system) and the day I discovered Instacart would deliver from Bevmo, I was a happy girl.

Have to say though, I don’t shake my gin. In a French 75, since the citrus needs shaking, I thoroughly shake the citrus, ice, syrup, until foamy, then add the gin and stir 30 times, then strain and top with bubbles. Depending on your gin, a sparkling rose can work surprisingly well.

Also, thank you. I’ve been following hit and miss for years, but these days I read every post