Strawberry Shortcake with Lemon Curd

April 16, 2013 § 3 Comments

Shortcake Photo

A few days ago, I had an epiphany while I was hiking. I was thinking about food, as I often do, and was trying to decide what dessert to make that evening. I knew I wanted to use strawberries. I was thinking of staying simple, and doing strawberries and cream. Then I started thinking about how much I like lemon tarts and lemon curd. And then I realized, why not combine strawberries, lemon curd and whipped cream, and add shortcake to boot?!?

I thought I had come up with a completely original idea. When I got home, I took out my cookbooks to look up as many shortcake recipes as I could get my hands on, and low and behold, the first recipe I found “stole” my idea – they had their very own lemon curd shortcake recipe!

So there you have it. I may not have been the first to think of combining lemon curd, strawberries, cream and shortcake, but here is my take on it. And it was delightful, if I do say so myself.

Strawberry Half Flat

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Persimmon Buttermilk “Frozen Yogurt”

December 29, 2012 § 2 Comments

Persimmon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt 8

If you are anything like me, you give yourself free reign to eat whatever desserts you please during the holidays. For me, this means cookies for breakfast, chocolates for snack, and some kind of treat with just about every meal. By the time Christmas is over, graham crackers and candied nuts are basically health food in my mind.

Once the holidays are over, I have to figure out strategy for cookie detox. At the same time, I never succeed in implementing a total ban on sweets, so I start with some semi-healthy cookie replacements.

If you find yourself in a similar predicament right around this time of year, and can still get your hands on some late-season persimmons, I cannot recommend this dessert enough. It is simple to make, and completely satisfying to eat. Though I’m still indulging in an excess of sweets at this point, this frozen persimmon delight has helped me to cut out at least a few daily chocolates.

Persimmons « Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Butter

September 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

I never really fully appreciated apples until I lived on the east coast. You can definitely grow good apples in California, but they aren’t our very best fruit offering. When I moved to the east coast after college, my eyes were opened to all that apples could be. There were apple-picking excursions in upstate new york, and new apple varieties that were crisper than anything I’d had on the west coast. I remember when I first discovered what is now my all-time favorite apple, Mutsu. It literally blew my mind. I would sit on my couch marveling that an apple could be so crisp and tart and sweet all at once. I once texted a friend to brag about my apple. And for a while, I literally wanted Mutsus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was out of control.

Even though I’m back in California now, my eyes are open to all that apples can be. And I’ve noticed that over the past few years, local markets and stores have begun to carry a wider range of apples, including  Honey Crisp, Pink Pearl, and (finally!) my beloved Mutsu. As the days begin feeling more like fall, I’ve found myself craving apples once again, so I thought I’d start the season off on the right note with this simple and healthy apple butter. And, I suppose you should know that I actually made this apple butter with a future (considerably less healthy) recipe in mind. So get ready, apple butter will be making another appearance shortly! « Read the rest of this entry »

Passion Fruit Dressing

September 5, 2012 § 4 Comments

Don’t hate me… but for the past week I’ve been in Hawaii! For me, the three best things about Hawaii are the beach, the ocean, and the tropical fruits, not necessarily in that order. This week, I really went all out in the fruit department. I ate pineapple, mango, papaya, passion fruit, and – a first for me – dragon fruit. To be honest, I didn’t hate the dragon fruit, but I didn’t love it either. It is certainly visually stunning, but it just didn’t blow me away. I decided to spice it up with this passion fruit dressing, and the dressing ended up being the main attraction for me.

Whatever your feelings about dragon fruit, I think you will love this dressing over fruit salad. « Read the rest of this entry »

Tea Time Ice Cream

August 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

I love ice cream. A lot. But my boyfriend loves ice cream more. He loves it so much that I have considered buying an ice cream lock to protect my ice cream. He seems to think that if I don’t eat a pint in one sitting, I don’t want it any more!

Despite the many pints of ice cream that have mysteriously gone missing from my freezer, or maybe because of all these pints, my boyfriend deserves some credit for this ice cream recipe. Specifically, he deserves credit for three things:

  1. He is the proud owner of the ice cream maker I use. We tried making ice cream a few times without an ice cream maker. This involved whisking the ice cream every hour during the freezing process to minimize the formation of ice crystals. The whisking method led to decent, but not incredible, ice cream. I’ve also read that you can use a blender or food processor once or twice during freezing in instead of whisking, but I haven’t tried. Now that I have access to an ice cream maker, I’m not sure I ever will…
  2. He made a similar ice cream flavor last winter, which was a huge hit with everyone who tried it!
  3. Like I said, he loves ice cream! So he is always eager to try new flavors with me!

The basic idea behind this ice cream is a tea party! Of course, you have the tea. You also need a suitable cookie, in this case shortbread! And finally, I added a little lavender from my garden as a twist. I’m pretty sure you could substitute this ice cream for an afternoon tea or coffee any day, as the earl grey definitely packs a little caffeine punch!

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Plum Rhubarb Tart

July 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

As promised, more plums!

Picking plums is always risky business for me. I usually use a fruit picker to get plums off my parent’s tree, but I’m starting to think this isn’t the best method. For every two plums I successfully capture in the picker, I always shake at least one plum off the tree. This makes for exciting, but wasteful, plum picking, as I duck and weave under the falling fruit. Next year I may try using a ladder!

I think I was inspired to combine rhubarb and plums because I  have a single, young rhubarb plant growing in my garden. The rhubarb was looking pretty wimpy for the past few weeks, and I pretty much forgot about it.  And then, just as plums came into full swing the season, my rhubarb made a comeback! It is still way too small to harvest, but it is looking strong, and I think it deserves a bit credit for this recipe.

Whatever the inspiration, I hope you enjoy! And don’t be wary of the tartness of combining plums and rhubarb…with just a little bit of sugar, it makes a delicious dessert!

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Balsamic Fruit Buttermilk Cake

June 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

Summer is here, and that means lots of fruit! I don’t grow a ton of summer fruit in my garden, but the farmers’ markets are quickly filling with strawberries, apricots, cherries and nectarines.

One of the first food blogs I ever read was Joy the Baker, and I’ve been addicted to her blog ever since.  So, I think it is only fitting that my first cake entry come from her.

This cake speaks for itself. It has roasted balsamic fruit, buttermilk, and is baked in a skillet…what could be better?! Normally, I have some small measure of self control when it comes to baked goods, but with this cake, all control went out the window. Don’t be fooled by the small slice in my photo. That slice was followed by another…and another…and then at least three more!

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