Archive for category Desserts

Wrapping Up the Box: Empty the Fridge Soup and Frozen Fruit Smash

This is the last post in the series What’s in the Box? Tips for Dealing with Your Weekly Produce Box. I’m sad that it has come to an end. It’s been such fun sharing my organic improvisations with you while also reading your fantastic tips for how you get through your boxes of fruit and veg.

To finish off this series, I’m giving you my “recipe” for Empty the Fridge Soup. I make this on the day before my next produce box arrives. It makes the whole house smell like my Baba’s kitchen, it’s hearty and healthy and (the best part) it makes space for all those incoming goodies.

Before getting into the soup, I’m announcing my next series: Kid-Friendly Fare with Adult-Friendly Flare. In its honor, I’ve developed a frozen fruit recipe that is loved by children but can also be adulted-up a notch. It’s adaptable to whatever fruit you have and so is great for using up those last bits and bobs before your next produce box arrives.

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Hot Chocolate Cake: All Meanings Realized

I’ve been making this Hot Chocolate Cake for years but only recently noticed the ambiguous title. Then, I also noticed that all possible meanings are borne out. How fun!

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Candied Ginger Pudding on Food 52

Linguistically Ambiguous Foods is the current Cook the Story theme. I therefore couldn’t resist submitting the ambiguously named Candied Ginger Pudding to the Food 52 Pudding Contest.

The title can be interpreted as Candied-Ginger Pudding since the pudding’s flavor is achieved by steeping candied ginger in milk.

The title can also be interpreted as Candied Ginger-Pudding since each individual serving of pudding is topped with a candy crust.

But who really cares about the title? It’s the taste you want to know about.

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Rosemary-Orange-Lemon-Curd Slice

In the final hours before our holiday party, I didn’t want to be doing more than popping corn and putting on my mascara. I decided against making the Rosemary-Lemon Tartlets with Pine Nut Shortbread called for in DeSerio’s Sweets and Sparklers menu because of the requirement that they be assembled shortly before the party.

I instead made my White Chocolate Bark with Blueberries, Pine Nuts and a Zest of Lemon a week ahead and stored it in the fridge until party time.

Then, two days before the party while tying on my apron to embark on my version of The Joy of Cooking Angel Slice, my eyes drifted and I spotted a recipe for seemingly simple Lemon Curd Bars, “Yay! An easy way to try out the rosemary lemon curd idea. And I’m in baking-mode already so why not?”

But I only had two lemons. Actually, there were some lemons on the tree outside but you may recall from here that they are not exactly tasty ones.

Thinking of my yucky lemons led my mind to my two trees bursting with oranges…

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Rosemary-Orange-Lemon-Curd Slice was born!

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Salted Pineapple Pecan Angel Slice

Biting into this slice whisks me to a Christmastime carnival: salty, nutty caramel with a hint of butter tart cheer.

My fave easy holiday slice is the Angel Slice from the Joy of Cooking (p. 764 of the 75th Anniversary Edition). With a taste and texture akin to butter tarts, it’s a winner every year.

I never add the optional coconut because my husband has a textural dispute with the stuff. Instead, I’ve used all kinds of different dried fruits. Now that we live in Florida, I look for ways to bring the tropical to the holidays and have settled on dried pineapple, which offers chewiness with each burst of sunshiny sweetness.

To fit this slice in with the sweet ‘n’savory theme of our holiday party (the basic idea and menu, perfect for any New Year’s Eve event,  is from Fine Cooking magazine and can be found here) I used salted butter in the crust and then sprinkled the warm topping with sea salt when it came out of the oven.

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White Chocolate Bark with Blueberries, Toasted Pine Nuts and a Zest of Lemon

This week I’ve been telling you all about our holiday party where we featured a sweet ‘n’ savory menu that would be IDEAL for any New Year’s Eve event. Today and tomorrow I’m giving you my own recipes that I’ve adapted to fit in with the theme.

I’ve made a dried blueberry and lemon zest white chocolate bark many times over the years. The pairing of toasted pine nuts with lemon for this recipe was inspired by the Rosemary-Lemon Tartlets with Pine Nut Shortbread recipe from Tasha DeSerio‘s Sweets and Sparklers article found in Fine Cooking magazine this month.

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New Year’s Eve Almond Bark with a Bite

As promised, I’m bringing you the low-down on the savory-sweet dessert feast from Tasha DeSerio‘s Sweet Sparklers found in the Dec 2010/Jan 2011 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. All of the recipes are online so if you don’t have the mag (so sad since it’s always so good) find everything you need here (click on menu items near the top right of that page).

Today I’m reviewing three recipes that I made (almost) exactly as instructed. In this post:  Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds. Also check out my review of Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws and my review of Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt.

Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds:

Double, triple or quadruple this recipe. The salty caramel crunch of the brittle encased in smooth bitterness kept a crowd around that platter until only dark crumbs remained. In fact, I don’t have a picture for you because it disappeared so quickly.

The brittle itself was such crunchy goodness (and so easy!) that I considered making a batch to serve on its own.

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New Year’s Eve Popcorn

As promised, I’m bringing you the low-down on the savory-sweet dessert feast from Tasha DeSerio‘s Sweet Sparklers found in the Dec 2010/Jan 2011 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. All of the recipes are online so if you don’t have the mag (so sad since it’s always so good) find everything you need here (click on menu items near the top right of that page).

Today I’m reviewing three recipes that I made (almost) exactly as instructed. In this post: Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt. Also check out my review of Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds and my review of Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws.

Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt:

It’s just popcorn, right? You might be tempted to serve a bag of microwavable stuff or skip this dish entirely. That would be a big mistake. BIG. HUGE. It is crazy-good popcorn, somewhere between caramel corn and buttery movie-theater fare.

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Planning a New Year’s Eve Party? Here’s My Review of Fine Cooking’s Sweets and Sparklers Menu

Nothing is as fun as planning a party.

One October evening, my hubbie and I relaxed in the hot tub while indulging in conversation about what to serve at this year’s holiday party. Whether it was due to the bottle of wine we’d also indulged in or to having a darned busy autumn to deal with or to the fact that talk is cheaper than follow-through, I don’t know, but we dried off and promptly forgot all about the party.

It might have remained a mere chat in the tub if it hadn’t been for the copy of Fine Cooking Magazine that arrived in November. Tasha DeSerio‘s Sweets and Sparklers found us back in steamy water drooling, dreaming and discussing while drinking a bottle of bubbly suggested in the article.

DeSerio’s party plan is brilliant! It’s a feast of sweets with dollops of unexpected savoriness in every bite. These flavors ying and yang with clear simplicity as they play with the acidity and the fruitiness of the accompanying fizz.

And, it’s freakin’ fun.

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What curve ball will you catch (or drop!) at your holiday party?

As our holiday open-house approached, I worried about what could go wrong.

Disasters from events past haunted me. Some were simple like a goblet shattered on the deck or not having an empty vase for a hostess-gift-bouquet. Some were more awful: A neighbor over-imbibing and spilling shiraz on my professor or when I greeted a colleague at our meatatarian BBQ and remembered (too late!) that she’s vegan.

I never imagined that the evening’s curve ball would be a hit.

Shortly after the party began, I welcomed my knitting pals F&C. Silently, C passed me a paper bag with an attached piece of foolscap:

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