Archives for category: Sweet Treats

So we made something for the gluten-free friends, what about the vegans? This  recipe was inspired by two things: 1.  a few years ago BlueBunny Ice Cream put out a coconut cream pie limited edition that was absurdly addictive. Seriously, my dad and I killed a 1/2 gallon in like 2 days. 2. i’ve been intrigued by the thought of avocado as an ice cream base ever since I saw Marcel make Bacon & Avocado ice cream on Top Chef.

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Avocado Coconut Ice Cream

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photo credit: http://mooth-blog.blogspot.com/2009/01/please-enough-with-pears-already.htmlI’ve got a problem. Don’t worry, it’s a good problem to have, but still perplexing.
The Biggest Boss (higher up on the food chain than The Big Boss) gifted our office some lovely Harry & David pears.
None of us like pears. Like, not even a little bit. Somehow they ended up coming home with me because everyone assumes i’ll at least DO something with then, but what should that something be?

Help me, friends!
What should the bunny do with a box of absurdly expensive fresh  pears?

Two desserts, six ingredients. This could NOT be any easier.

Mango Moscato Granita

  • 2 very ripe mangoes OR in a pinch, 1 1/2 cups canned mango nectar (in the ethnic aisle at most big supermarkets)
  • 1 bottle of Moscato wine
  • Splash of lemon juice and zest of lemon and lime

If using fresh mango, puree until smooth, then mix in lime juice and zest. If your mangoes are underripe or not sweet enough, add a handful of turbinado sugar or a tablespoon of honey.  Carefully pour in the sparkling wine and mix gently until well blended. Don’t overmix and definitely don’t try to shortcut by pouring the wine in the blender with the mango; you’ll lose all of that lovely carbonation. Pour into a shallow dish and freeze until solid, preferably overnight. Just before serving, scrape portions with a fork. The ice crystals will break and you’ll get these delicious and very pretty granules begging to be scooped by your favorite spoon.Granita is a quick and easy snack for kids too, they like to do all the scraping. For a kid-friendly (or non-drinker friendly) version, sub out the wine for 1 c water and 1/2 c orange juice.I realize that I deviated almost immediately from the format I outlined in my second ever post, so lets try this again. Let me know if it’s helpful :
Color: Bright orange
Flavor: Sweetness of fruit and wine, acid from wine and citrus, depth of flavor as mango puree lingers on the palate.
Texture: Icy, granulated, slight graininess from zest
Mouthfeel: Melts evenly across the tongue, slightly thicker than a juice

Coconut Lime Sorbet

  • 1 can cream of coconut
  • Juice of 2 limes, zest of 1 lime
  • 2 cups of water

2 cups of water seems like a lot but trust, it’s necessary.  I once tried to cut back to 1 cup hoping to get a creamier base but the flavors are just too too intense. It was like someone shoved a whole lime in my mouth and threw coconuts at my head.

Now is usually the part where I would put everything in The Dream Machine (aka my ice cream maker), but I’ve been remiss in not addressing those who don’t own a self-churning machine.  When I was a kid my dad made amazing fresh fruit sorbets with just an ice cube tray and a blender. It requires some planning ahead, but is super do-able if you don’t want to buy extra equipment.
Mix all ingredients and pour into ice cube trays or a shallow dish. Freeze overnight or until totally solid. There will be some separation of the juice and the coconut cream, and if you look closely, you’ll notice that there are massive ice crystals. The reason that churned ice cream is so smooth and, y’know, creamy, is that the constant motion keeps ice crystals from forming. Pop your coconut cubes out (or dig out chunks from the dish with a butter knife) and throw into the blender. Blend until smooth then back into the freezer for a couple of hours. You have to work fast – if it melts to liquid before you’re back int the freezer you’ll have to blend all over again.

Color: Milky white with green flecks, slightly translucent
Flavor(s): Coconut is most prominent, lime acid will cut through the sweetness as it melts across the palate. Coconut will linger.
Texture: Not as heavy as a milk or yogurt base. Slight granulation from the zest.
Mouthfeel: coconut cream coats the tongue a bit.

I like to serve these side by side garnished with a slice of orange and a mint leaf. Even in the dead of winter you can close your eyes, take a bite, and feel the sand beneath your feet and the island breeze in your hair.

Hi Friends!
It’s been a while, and lots has happened. We’ve discussed main courses, desserts, even appetizers. Now lets chat about condiments!

When you’re tired of mustard, sick of salsa, can’t look at mayo another moment, and want to forget you ever heard the word relish, lets look to… Marmalade? Heck yes. Let’s do it, ya’ll.

Not what Paddington was expecting, hm?

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I wrote this a while ago but held off on posting because I was submitted to a contest. I wasn’t selected as a finalist, so here ya go!

Mommy got treats for Mother’s Day, so Daddums deserved something special too, don’t you think?

A word about my Dad. He’s awesome. He’s taught me a lot of things over the years: how to drive, pre-calculus, that you’ll never be bored if you have a book close at hand, and most pertinent to this blog, that good food can nurture the body, heart, soul, and relationships.  I love you, Daddy.

My pops, he loves ice cream, and his favorite is peach ice cream. Of course, I can’t do things the easy way, so we spiced things up.

Grilled Brandied Peach-Honey Ice Cream
Inspired by Ezra Pound Cake

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I took this pic at 6am. Ice cream for breakfast!

My first time flying solo! For a dessert anyway. I came up with this one based on previous ice cream making adventures and common sense, no instructional recipe to follow but the inspiration is Shake Shack’s Coffee & Donut Custard. From what I’ve read, it’s a creamy coffee base with chunks of cake donut. In previous recipes it was more coffee-heavy with coffee grounds adding texture. The Shack always seem to offer it on a day of the week when I can’t / don’t want to trek uptown, so I decided to make my own. My goal was a creamy base with really intense coffee flavor and cake donut mixed throughout. Originally I went for a chocolate and a toasted coconut donut, but then I ate the coconut one (haha).
Lets do this!

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I have a bad habit of saying yes. I say it often, and sometimes without thinking, but always with the best of intentions and for the best reasons. So when my loving family requests delicious treats, the answer has always been and will always be “yes”.
Last week I got an e-mail from HRAuntie asking me to make a tiramisu for my uncle’s birthday. What I learned is that there are many many versions of tiramisu; some are authentic to the point of snobbery, some are corrupted to the point of inedibility.

Did you know?:  “Tiramisu” means “pick me up” in Italian

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Those that know me know that I started a new job today. I’m insanely excited about it and it feels good to be connected and motivated about what I do again. Last night I did some baking to (a) give me something to do besides wander around my apartment freaking out and (b) have a nice little treat to bring on my first day.

I decided on one of my go-to favorites, Banana-Coconut Bread with Fresh Lime Glaze
Inspired by MyRecipes: Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

StY Tweaks: More dairy, mix brown and white sugars, add citrus zest, add baking powder.

Bread

  •  2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Zest of 1 lime
The brown sugar gives the bread more depth of flavor and an earthiness that keeps the citrus from being too overwhelming.  If making by hand, cream liquid ingredients with the sugar and sift in flour and leavening agents.  If you’re lazy like me, throw it all in the food processor and go to town. Blend just till mixed – overblending/processing will bring out more of the gluten in the flour and you’ll get a flat, glue-y brick.
Glaze

  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • Juice and pulp of 1 lime
  • Optional – 1 tbsp condensed sweetened milk (leftover from last batch of frozen yogurt )
Bake bread at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out with few crumbs.  NOTE: The extra yogurt makes the loaves slightly cake-y, you’ll never get a clean toothpick unless you overbake and dry it out completely and thats not yummy.   Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then pour glaze over top.
Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves of bread.

Coconut Banana Lime Breads

As I mentioned in my last post, Daddy suggested bringing apple pie, so my thoughts turned toward a tart. I found gorgeous fresh plums and turbinado sugar at the farmer’s market, strawberries on sale at the supermarket, and ended up with this little gem.

Did you know? Tart and Pie can generally be used interchangeably, but by definition are both baked in a pan with a type of dough crust. A pie can be open or have a top crust, but a tart always has an open top. A galette is freeform and flat, and can be a pie, cake, or cookie depending on origin.

A Baked Galette

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It started with a phone call from my dad: “Are you coming to the house tomorrow? Get Mom an apple pie and some vanilla ice cream, she’ll like that.”  Did he forget who he was talking to? There are few things I enjoy more than making food for people who really enjoy and appreciate it, and set out early on Sunday morning to collect my Mom’s favorite foods. 3 supermarkets and 2 farmer’s markets later… clearly i’d gotten carried away. Recipes coming!

Mother’s Day Menu

Main Course

Main Course: Crabs, Veg, Bread, Wine

Dessert!

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