Food For Thought
Whisk up something delicious!
1 1/4 c unbleached flour
3/8 c ( 6 fl oz) cold water
Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter blend the shortening into the flour till it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the cold water and pull the mixture together till it clumps. Turn out onto a floured board and lightly form into a ball. Divide into 2 pieces, and flatten each into 4' circle. The pastry can be used straight away or frozen.
Immediate Use: Roll the pastry till it is the desired thickness. Bake as directed
To Freeze: Put pastry circle in a freezer bag, exclude as much air as possible and then freeze ( defrost before using.)
6 egg yolks
1/2c fresh lemon juice
3/4c granulated sugar
finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a non-stick saucepan adding the sugar once the egg yolks and lemon juice are combined. Stir in grated lemon rind.
Cook over a medium heat stirring all the time till the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
Cut the butter into 1/2" cubes and add to the hot mixture, stirring till dissolved.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring jug.
Fill hot 1/2 or 1/4 pt canning jars with the lemon mixture, and seal immediately.
Makes approximately 1 1/2 c
Allow the jars to cool, and then store in the fridge. The lemon curd will solidify as the jars cool, and the lids will 'pop' indicating the lid has sealed.
(makes 12 )
3oz semi-sweet chocolate ( 60% cacao or more)
½ c unsalted butter ( room temperature)
1 ¼ c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c sour cream
½ c cold water
1c unbleached flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 envelopes ( Knox) unflavored gelatin ( 2 tsp per packet)
1 Tb cold water
1c Boing water
2c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2c semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tb coconut oil ( melted)
Carefully soften chocolate in heatproof bowl in microwave. Stir till melted and smooth . cooll slightly.
Sift flour, salt, baking soda, salt and baking powder together
Beat butter and sugar together till creamy.
Add the eggs and beat well. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix well. Mix in the sour cream
Add the flour mixture and water and blend well.
Line 12 muffin cups with liners and fill each almost to the top with batter ( about 1/3 c)
Preheat oven to 350F and bake cupcakes till tops are firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out pretty clean – about 25 minutes.
Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack
Soften gelatin in cold water, then add boiling water and stir till gelatins is dissolved. Put sugar and gelatin mixture in bowl of stand mixer and whisk until soft peaks form
Add vanilla and beat till incorporated and mixture holds its shape
Put into piping bag with ½ inch plain round tip
Swirl marshmallow into a cone on top of each cupcake .
Put in fridge while you make the chocolate shell.
Soften chocolate chips carefully in microwave and stir till completely melted and smooth. Stir in coconut oil
Dip each cupcake - marshmallow first - into the chocolate... shake lightly to remove excess and place on a tray to set. ( Can also be firmed up quickly in the fridge)
Mmm … indulge!!!!
It's easy to have a love/hate relationship with these temperamental yet exquisite (and gluten free!) cakes..(or are they pastries?)
I've tried many, many recipes, but recently found the Wilton recipe to be the simplest and most foolproof, plus quantities are in cups not grams! The full wilton recipe is http://www.wilton.com/french-macaron-cookies/WLPROJ-8606.html.
I use Bob's Red Mill almond flour as it's superfine and makes for a smooth batter. You can see a picture of some of my summer macarons at www.bobsredmill.com/almond-meal-flour/reviews/?p=2 ( thanks Bob ! ), I love using your almond flour and am honored to be featured on your site )
( pictured here are late summer Raspberry, Salted Caramel, Oregon Hazelnut and Lemon Lime.)
Here's the recipe, with my own adjustments:
Makes about 36 complete macarons
1c almond flour ( Bob's Red Mill - superfine)
2c confectioners sugar ( C&H )
3 large egg whites ( room temperature)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 c granulated sugar ( C&H)
1 tsp flavoring ( I like a Lorann flavor or a pure vanilla extract)
Put the almond flour and confectioners sugar in a food processor and whirl a couple of times till thy are just mixed together.Do not overmix
In a clean grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar together till foamy. Add the granulated sugar and whisk till thick and holds stiff peaks. Gently stir in flavor and color*
Gently fold in the almond flour mixtures and stir till well blended and the mixture has a 10 second hold - meaning when the mixture is dropped from a spoon it blends into the remaining mixture by the count of 10.
* if making more than one color and/ or flavor, mix in the almond flour first, and before fully blended, divide mixture into separate bowls, add color and flavor, and mix in with the last few strokes of blending.
Pipe mixture into 1" rounds on a Silpat or parchment paper. Let sit for 30 minutes.
eat oven to 275F
Bake for 18-22 minutes, depending on your oven. I check at 18, and have found 20 minutes works for a smooth crust, well formed "feet" and most but not wet inside .
Let cool, then peel away from the paper or Silpat
Sandwich together with Flavored Buttercream, whipped cream or preserves
Unfilled macarons can be frozen for up to 1 month.
My one English cucumber plant produced at least 18 large cucumbers in the last 4 weeks (with no sign of slowing down!) and since my neighbors are dealing with their own cucumber and zucchini explosions, I was looking for something other than salad to use up this increasing cucumber collection.
What to do?... well if life hands you lemons, you make lemonade... so, why not make cucumber lemonade?!
Now I'm obsessed with this cool, summery beverage.....its so simple, so refreshing and actually good for you cos it contains fruits and vegetables : )
You can make this to your own taste for sweetness, lemoniness or cucumberiness, though here's a basic recipe to start you off.
2 good size ( 11") English cucumbers -chopped ( or remove seeds from equivalent regular cucumbers)
1/4 -1/2 c lemon juice ( I used the bottled kind)
1 lemon - chopped
1/3 c turbinado or demerara sugar ( gives a nice mellow sweetness) or granulated sugar
2c cold water
Whirl everything together in a Vitamix or blender till it's chopped up to a pico-de-gallo/salsa-like consistency
Strain through a fine mesh sieve
Adjust sweetness, tartness - it should be lemony, but there should also be a hint of cucumber.
Serve over ice. Can be dliuted with sparkling water or soda too.
A few days after the 4th of July we had a heatwave and I was craving something fruity, icy cold and refreshing. I also had a giant watermelon to get out of my fridge! What better way to cash in on that juicy deliciousness and gorgeous red color than combining that watermelon with some raspberries–they just go together. Hello Watermelon Raspberry Sorbet!
Enjoy your summer, and stay refreshed!
WATERMELON RASPBERRY SORBET
1 c granulated sugar
1 c water
1c frozen raspberries
2c diced watermelon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Make a simple syrup by boiling together the water and granulated sugar, stirring till the sugar is dissolved.
2. Stir in the frozen raspberries and lemon juice.
3. Put 1/2 the watermelon and 1/2 the raspberry mixture in a blender and process till there are no lumps. Strain mixture into a bowl.
4. Repeat with the remaining watermelon and raspberry mixture.
5. Chill the strained watermelon raspberry juice mixture.
Once the mixture is cold you can pour it over ice for a fruity drink, freeze it in a cake pan till its slushy hard (you'll have to stir it every so often so it doesn't freeze solid) or you can freeze it in popsicle molds or in an ice-cream maker.
I made double the recipe and used the Breville Smartscoop Ice Cream maker and used 3 1/2 c of mixture to make sorbet. I used the remaining mixture and Zoku popsicle molds to make 6 popsicles. A Vitamix is perfect to blend up the fruits. Have to admit I got the popsicle molds at Marshalls (lucky find!). The Breville ice cream maker was a bit of a splurge, yet one of my best buys ever. I use it a lot in summer, and in winter too actually. I love that it's always ready to go, no freezing a container beforehand, just mix up the ingredients, pour into the bucket and press start! The Breville Smartscoop is on sale right now at Williams-Sonoma and Costco always has the best price on the Vitamix.
I love to travel and I love food. Who doesn't, right?!
I grew up in England southeast of London in a small seaside town renowned for its oysters, and with a fish and chip shop that (IMHO) is the best in the world! I cooked my way to a lovely life and now live in Oregon, USA, a state known for its luscious berries, hazelnuts, fresh seafood and creative cuisine.
I'm a fan of cooking from scratch because the flavor, the texture, the smell and the taste of homemade is more than amazing–it's satisfying and comforting too. Sharing food with family and friends are good times we fondly remember, as well as the delicious food we ate!
So explore the recipes, the ideas, the tips and shop here, or take a class to learn how to create your own fabulous food experiences.