A dilly cucumber-infused vodka muddled with some lime juice and agave. Top off with sparkling water.
I cannot resist going home with skinny stalks of asparagus when I see them in the market.
Roast the asparagus for about 20 mins at 425 with olive oil, salt and pepper drizzled over the stalks. Remove and scatter the zest of half a lemon and some Parmesan. Crushed red peppercorns are a pretty addition if you have some.
Holy smokearoos, this dessert is all drama. And there’s plenty of room for a bit of self-expression with it too … just what you want in a dessert, no?
Meringues are such great fun to make. And eat! They’re also a snap to make if you have a food processor, and if you leave the eggs out to get to room temperature. That latter point is key. Take note.
Care of my godmother’s desk with a few changes.
You’re going to need a spring-form pan for this recipe.
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar (super fine is even better)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
sliced cup up fresh berries mixed with a few teaspoons of sugar and orange liqueur
Heat oven to 450F.
Douse with no- stick spray or butter the bottom of the spring-form pan .. don’t spray the sides of the pan.
Beat egg whites til foamy. Gradually add the sugar, bit by bit .. not too enthusiastically all at once. Add the extracts, and continue beating the egg whites until the meringue makes stiff, glossy peaks. Spread evenly in the pan and make sure it is level. Place in the oven and turn off the heat at once.
Let the egg whites stand in the oven overnight.
The next morning, loosen the edge of the torte with a sharp knife and despring the pan. Voila!
Whip up the cream and layer on top of the meringue.
On top of the whipped cream, add the fresh berry mixture.
Gorgeous! I added some edible flowers on top but that’s nothing short of gilding the lily .. certainly not necessary.
These mushrooms were made for stuffing! They’re huge. Here’s a super easy Stuffed Mushroom Recipe for when you need a quick appetizer.
Fig toppling over lemon on mushroom
Sensitive Portrait of Islay macTavish with Mushroom, Lemon and Fig
Making cakes does not come naturally to me .. they require such precision and I tend to *not be so precise in the kitchen .. typically because i’m entertaining and talking and cooking all at the same time.
But a cake made with sour cream is quite simple and fairly hard to screw up (famous last words!). While the cake is very moist, it’s plain and simple and it does well with a fresh fruit salad served with it. This one is soaked in pink champagne .. it’s an apertif and dessert in one dish!
I used Violette Liqueur because I had the tail-end of a bottle on the shelf. You likely won’t have that liqueur lying around and, certainly, there’s no need to make a special trip to find it. This will work just as well with Sherry.
Make sure you have a 9 inch spring-release cake tin before you get started on this.
This feeds 8 - 10 people.
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of sour cream
a knob of room temperature butter
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 1/2 cups of plain flour (you’ll use some of this for dusting the cake tin)
4 tablespoons Violette Liqueur or Sherry (or some other liqueur you’re a fan of!)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
a spring-release cake tin .. one that is 9 inches (standard).
Any kind of berries will really work well for this.
2 cups of sliced strawberries
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of raspberries
2 cups of pineapple
2 cups of pink sparkling wine
1/2 cup of sugar
Turn on the oven to 350F.
Combine evenly the sugar and sour cream together, and then trickle in the canola oil. Add the eggs one-by-one stirring enthusiastically so the mix doesn’t get clumpy and remains evenly distributed.
Butter the cake tin lightly and then take a few teaspoons of the flour and dust the cake tin with it.
In another bowl mix the flour and the baking powder. Important to make sure the baking powder isn’t lumpy so mix well. (If your baking powder is lumpy, you can add it to the flour via a small sieve.)
Slowly mix in the flour mix into the batter, stirring well. Then add the liqueur.
Now pour the batter into the cake tin.
Bake for 50 - 55 mins. You should be able to poke a sharp knife into the center of the cake and have no wet batter on it as you pull out the knife.
While the cake bakes, make the fruit salad. Mix up all the fruit, sugar and sparkling wine and let the fruit sit.
Remove the cake from the oven, let cool for 15 mins (you can make this the day prior), slice into portions and put on plate. Put the fruit salad next to the cake on the plate, and spoon over some of the liquid from the fruit salad onto the cake.