Archive for ‘Dessert’

July 26, 2012

A Luxurious Dessert | Strawberries, Red Wine, Sriracha

My palate has wanderlust again.  I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Vietnamese food and the influences the French left behind.  I have a hankering for Pho.  I’m desperate for a good bánh mì.

So it should come as no surprise that when I was invited to put together a dessert recipe Yagööt and the launch of their new line of Yagööt@Home, I chose to go the Southeast Asian route and use some inspired ingredients: coconut frozen yogurt, Thai basil, a French red wine, ginger.  Sriracha.

Sometimes a recipe comes together so easily.  Ingredients fall into each other like long-lost friends, perfectly happy to hang out again.  And while everything except the sugar and strawberries (and the coconut Yagööt of course) in this dessert are savory, I can guarantee that it makes one of the sexiest desserts you’ve ever tasted.  And did I mention that it takes only ten minutes to make?

For the red wine in this recipe, I used a Beaujolais-Villages, because it’s widely available as well as relatively inexpensive.  An inexpensive pinot noir would work, too.  I use only a cup, so heck, you can kind of throw this together if you’ve got a bit of wine left over from dinner.   This time, I used fresh strawberries, but you can bet that I’ll be pulling out all those strawberries we picked and froze earlier this year when the weather gets colder.  The recipe calls for Thai basil, which is at every Asian grocery store worth its salt.  I think it’s pretty critical to the flavor profile of the dessert, but in a pinch you could substitute some standard basil.  Sriracha is another seemingly exotic ingredient, but widely available in most grocery stores.  Buy a bottle and you’ll find yourself putting this spicy hipster ketchup on everything from your morning eggs to Friday night pizza.  It’s delicious.

Feel like being daring?  Want to try this recipe?  How about some free Yagööt? 

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June 10, 2012

A Sadness and a Joy | Ball Jar Sour Cherry Pies

I had some sad news earlier this week.  We just won’t have a cherry season around here this year.  I think Michigan is all but given up hope of anything there, too.  And all the farms that might have had cherries this year have no you-picks, which make for some of the most beautiful shots of teeny little bare feet in trees climbing to help harvest.

Last year was monumental and to be remembered with deep affection.  Cherry shrub, pickled cherries, boozy cherry pie, cherry salsa, cherry shiso vinegar, cherry pound cake.  Oh my the pounds of cherries.

Excuse me.  I’ve wandered off remembering the bliss.

So I was of two minds about this sad state of affairs because I had been give exactly one large bowl of sour cherries from a friend in a new house with (what an amazing bonus!!) a mature cherry tree in her front yard. 

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June 1, 2012

New Adventures | Charlotte and Olivia’s Ice Creams

I went with a friend to my very first Meet Up.  Which, to be honest wasn’t something I would normally find within my range of regular activities.  But she tempted me with something: there would be ice cream.  And someone to give you some tips on making it at home.

She didn’t have to know that I have had a frozen ice cream maker bowl languishing in my freezer for a couple of months.  Or that I had, for some reason, an immoderate amount of Snowville Cream in my fridge.  That was just an extra reason that I should probably go.

Oh my.  Am I glad I did.

This unorthodox meetup was hosted in the lovely kitchen of  Jim Cushing, owner of  Charlotte and Olivia’s Sublime Ice Creams.  After introducing ourselves and chatting all things ice cream, Jim gave us an overview of how he makes an ice cream base

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May 25, 2012

Simple Summer Snack | Strawberry Lemon Balm Paletas

There’s only so much jam you can make.  Sometimes, you just need to start eating those 16 or 17 pounds of strawberries you picked.  And maybe you need to enlist the kids, too.  Enter the world’s simplest way to do that: popsicles.

I, of course, can’t just let strawberries be strawberries.  Besides, Cherub loves too much to graze through the herbs in the garden, and she’s going to be eating the bulk of these paletas anyway.

For this first batch, I made a quick mix of strawberries and sugar, boiled it for five minutes and then just ever so slightly pulsed them in a blender for a half a second.  Then I added in a finely chopped bit of fresh lemon balm (but what’s your favorite? mint? lavender? coriander?), poured into molds and froze.

Voila!  The world’s most refreshing snack.  And a great breakfast if you’re feeling generous.  And it’s especially hot.

Paletas de Fresa y Melisa (Strawberry and Lemon Balm Popsicles), inspired by the post at The Parsley Thief.

1 qt strawberries, tops removed and quartered

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February 19, 2012

French Crush | Pâtisserie Lallier

I have a new pastry crush.

It’s on Michelle from Pâtisserie Lallier.  She is a French-taught (Le Cordon Bleu, natch) pastry chef that has an almost mystical way about guimauves (that’s marshmallows to you and me).  Her Crème de Violette ones are particularly swoon-worthy.  The chocolate ones already have a loyal following.

And wouldn’t you know, she is lovely in every way else, too.  I met her recently when she and I judged at Taste of OSU, and after that I just seemed to keep bumping into her.  She is bright, kind and amazingly hard-working (she’s a full-time banker) all the while making marshmallows and pâtisseries and all manner of laminated doughs practically in the middle of the night for her Pâtisserie.  She also has a penchant for local ingredients, even making pawpaw Madelines each September.  She’s a girl after my heart.

She is debating a jump to full-time Pâtisserie work because it’s what’s in her heart and

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December 12, 2011

Cookie Exchange | Chocolate-Sichuan Pepper Crinkles

It’s not the holidays without at least one cookie exchange.

This year I wanted to make a traditional cookie (the ubiquitous crinkle) with just a slight kick.  Enter Sichuan pepper: not related at all to black peppercorns or chili peppers, it’s used most commonly in Chinese and Japanese cooking.  It is a most unusual spice, one that has a piney, citrusy flavor and makes your mouth a bit numb.  Up until 2005 they were technically illegal to import (but not for any consumption reasons).  It all adds up to give these chocolatey cookies a feeling of just a hint of lemon and danger.  Who else’s cookies can promise that?

Chocolate-Sichuan Pepper Crinkle Cookies, makes 90 (whoa), inspired by a classic Betty Crocker recipe

3/4 cup vegetable oil

6 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, cooled

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November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pie filling recipe from Foster's Market, in NC. Pie crust recipe from my Momma.

I am thankful for family, friends and full bellies.

I am thankful for a warm house, a garden that surrounds it and a Cherub that jubilantly makes it all into her playground.

I am thankful for you, too!

Thanks for reading and commenting and asking where the heck are the new posts.

I hope you had a wonderful day full of things for which you are thankful.

Playlist included Thank You Friends, by Big Star.

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