Tag Archives: Dessert

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free)

14 Sep

These cookies are so quick and easy, and most importantly, delicious! I think it took me under 10 minutes to mix up the dough.

Makes approx. 2 dozen.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, mix ingredients with a sturdy silicone spatula or wooden spoon in the order listed below (adding Almond Butter only when prior ingredients listed below are well blended).

Then with a rounded Tablespoon or scooper, place 12 balls (a little larger than the diameter of a quarter) on a cookie sheet and with your fingers or small spoon flatten slightly (because the cookies will not spread much).

Bake for 9-10 minutes. After a couple of minutes of cooling on the pan, slide a metal spatula under them so they don’t stick.

Ingredients:

1 Large Egg, beaten
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, lightly packed
1 Cup Almond Butter, room temperature
1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (option: relace 1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips with Butterscotch Chips or use mini Chocolate Chips)

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Mixed Berries With Orange Blossom Water

16 Jun

A little goes a long way…just a splash!

This is a super simple and light dessert, or enjoy with yoghurt for breakfast. Garnish with some sliced Almonds or a sprinkle of Granola.

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Tiramisu Affogato

5 May

Here’s a super simple idea for a delicious dessert! No baking needed!

Buy some Tiramisu, take a small ice cream scoop and place 2-3 scoops in a pretty glass, pour a couple of Tablespoons of cold Coffee over it (leftover from the morning works perfectly fine!), and sprinkle with some grated Chocolate or Cocoa powder.

I love the Tiramusu from Viola Pastry Boutique and Café in Santa Rosa. Trader Joe’s also has one called Trader Giotto’s Tiramisu Torte that is frozen and costs about $7.

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It’s a tasty twist on having coffee and dessert all in one and can be assembled ahead (keep refrigerated until about 30 minutes before serving).

Buon Appetito!

Birthday Cupcakes

18 Aug

We celebrated my sister’s birthday last night. It was a blast. Her friend baked these cupcakes and I thought the flavors were delicious and very fun…Snickerdoodle (Vanilla cake with Cinnamon frosting), Strawberry Lemonade (garnished with fresh, sliced Strawberries and Lemon Zest), and I think the third flavor was Chocolate Mousse. I got the idea to lay out the cupcakes like this from Martha Stewart who I get a lot of inspiration from. It was a hit!

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Organic Blueberry Brown Butter Tarts

19 Jul

I absolutely love fresh berries in the peak of summer and when I see a local farm stand selling them, I can’t resist stocking up! In the winter time, the location of the Sonoma Swamp Blues Organic Blueberry farm stand is under water from the Laguna de Santa Rosa, but in the summer, Blueberries are grown here. We bought a pound of them and when I got home, I started thinking about what kind of dessert I could make with them.

One of the simplest ideas is to make a Compote, which is so versatile and can be stored in the refrigerator for about up to a week. Compotes can be made out of many types of fruit, such as Berries, Apples, Pears, Apricots, and various others.

For breakfast, I especially like to put warm Compote on Pancakes or cold Compote on Yoghurt, with my homemade Granola sprinkled on top (I’ll share that recipe another time).  For a no-fuss dessert, it’s a great topping on Vanilla Ice Cream.

Since I was on vacation when we bought these, I decided to do something a bit more fancy and baked up some Brown Butter Tarts. The Tart Shell recipe is from Paule Caillat. I love it because it doesn’t involve any rolling of the dough. You press it into the Tart pan with your fingers and poke the bottom all over with a fork before baking them until golden brown (see before and after baking photos below). I didn’t have the suggested size Tart pan, so I used four 4.75 inch individual tart pans, which are particularly convenient for individuals or couples, since you can add the filling right before you are ready to eat dessert. The Tart Shells store well in an airtight container for at least a week.

To make the Blueberry Compote, over low heat, cook the Blueberries in a medium pot on top of the stove with a 1/4 cup of water and 1-2 Tablespoons of Sugar (or to taste, depending on the fruit’s sweetness). You could use Agave or Maple Syrup if you prefer. I like to add the zest of 1/2 Lemon or Orange, and a Teaspoon of Cinnamon or Garam Masala spice blend. It’s a good idea to keep your eyes on the pot since it will bubble over and make a mess if you’re not careful.

I spooned approximately a 1/3 cup of the Compote in the Tart Shell, and garnished with a sprig of Mint. Of course, there are many other options for filling the Tarts, like Lemon Curd, sliced Peaches or Plums on a layer of Pastry Cream, or fresh Raspberries on top of a thin layer of melted Chocolate, but this couldn’t have been easier!

Mary had a little lamb (donuts)

29 Jun

Too cute not to share…I love this idea!

My So Called Foodie Life

Mary had a little lamb…how adorable are these donuts?! 🙂

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Moroccan Inspired Dessert (or Breakfast)

19 May

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This is one of my new favorite recipes! Put some plain Yoghurt on a dish with a couple slices of Orange (Cara Cara have a lovely pink hue), thinly sliced Dried Apricots and Dates (pitted), Toasted Almonds, Sesame Seeds, a drizzle of Honey, Cinnamon, and a splash of Orange Blossom Water (or it’s also good with a few drops of Rose Water).

The recipe is from a Moroccan Street Food class I attended last week at Kitchen On Fire. They have classes for all levels and I highly recommend them!

Apple Pie In An Apple – Part 2

10 Apr

This post is related to Apple Pie In The Apple on my blog in February. I found another recipe online yesterday, and after trying this idea myself, I’ve adapted the original “re-blogged” recipe, and feel obliged to add Part 2.

Check out this link for the other recipe I found. It’s got nice pictures, including the lattice crust, that you may find helpful.

I’ve mentioned previously I’m not much of a baker (mainly because I don’t have the patience to measure out lots of ingredients), therefore, hoped to find an easy pie dough recipe and referred to Michael Ruhlman’s ratios for Pie Dough. I’ve put a link of his book Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking on My Tasty Store and there is also iPhone App  available for about $4.99. I think it’s worth it just for the convenience of having it if you’re a traveler who cooks while on vacation.

For a single crust:

  • 12 ounces Flour (350 grams)
  • 8 ounces Fat (I used Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces; note:1 stick of Butter is 4 oz.)
  • 4 ounces Water (I added 1 ice cube to keep it chilled)

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt (Optional)

1 Tablespoon of Sugar (Optional)

Mix dry ingredients and Butter in a Food Processor until Butter is in Pea-sized pieces.

Slowly add in the Water until it starts to hold together , but work it as little as possible (you may not need all of the Water, depending on the humidity of your environment). Don’t worry if it’s not totally formed into a ball.

Dump it out onto a piece of plastic wrap, knead it a bit and shape into a flattened disk, wrap up the plastic disk and place it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and up to a full day.

Once chilled, roll out on a floured surface and cut into strips for the lattice (you should count on chilling longer than 20 minutes if the temperature is warm and/or if the dough is very soft).

My tips/filling recipe are below:

  • 4 Apples
  • 4 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend (or Cinnamon)
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Optional)
  1. I figured out that you should not try to make the lattice directly on top of the apple (it’s too hard to get it looking nice). Make it on the counter and then place it on top of the apple. Leave a little space in the lattice for steam to get through.
  2. I also dotted the top of the apple with a little butter for extra flavor which you can see in the photo above (optional but delicious!)
  3. I used Pumpkin Pie Spice in lieu of Cinnamon
  4. I used 4 Apples, not 5-6 as in the original recipe I re-blogged, and there was plenty of filling for the apples.
  5. I used a Tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar per Apple in lieu of 1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar and 1/4 Cup White Sugar (since I prefer the flavor of Brown Sugar)
  6. I used a round metal Teaspoon measure to scoop out the Apple.
  7. I tried setting the Apples on the top slice of the Apple (that is cut off the top) as a base…it helped stabilize 3 of the apples but the 4th one slide off during the baking process. Not sure I’d do that again, unless the top slice was a little thicker, or maybe I’d cut a bigger hole in it for the base of the apple to sit in.
  8. I’m not crazy about covering them with aluminum foil and will be test without next time. I felt it took too long for the crust to brown.

I think this concept would work equally well if you wanted a short cut and topped the Apple with some nutty Granola instead of a crust. If you try it, please share your tips or ideas. Would love to hear them!

Apple Pie In The Apple

1 Mar
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I have not “re-blogged” before so I’m not sure what this post will look like on my blog–I’m testing it out with this one.

I think I will try the recipe myself over the weekend. Seems like a great idea to me!

Seven Hills – San Francisco

22 Jan

Our good friends Katie and Michael recommended Seven Hills (named after the 7 hills of San Francisco: Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Rincon Hill, Mount Sutro, Twin Peaks and Mount Davidson). We had an early reservation and after several minutes, the Chef came out to say hello to our table. As we were introduced by Katie and Michael, I had no doubt we were about to have a really special dinner.

It was such a pleasure to meet Alex Alioto and Alex Solomou, the partners of this fantastic restaurant, located on Nob Hill at 1550 Hyde St. Alex Alioto, the Chef, shared with us that he worked in restaurants in Italy and Germany, as well as The Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, working with Ron Siegal (who used to be the chef at Masa’s) and The French Laundry.

We shared Appetizers consisting of Salt Seared Monterey Bay Calamari with a delicious Eggplant Caponata, Roasted Niman Ranch Bone Marrow with a Parsley and thinly shaved Black Radish Salad (along side some Crostini and Hawaiian Red Sea Salt to garnish), and Grilled Mackerel with an Olive Tapenade. All outstanding!

The fresh pastas were light and delicious. I don’t order pasta often these days, but I had feeling their Carbonara would be worth the calories. It was amazing and I especially loved the generous, savory pieces of Fra’ Mani Pancetta.

One of the other stand out pastas of the night was a Tallegio Cheese Agnolotti with Squash Puree and Vegetable Broth. The Squash Puree was delicate and the infused green oil floating on top of the broth was a lovely sight. Thanks for sharing a bite, Jenny, and Victor for ordering some great wine!

For dessert, we shared some House Made Fresh Ricotta Cheese “Doughnuts” with an Orange Creme Anglaise. The Ricotta was mixed into the dough and they were lightly dusted with sugar. If you’ve ever had Ricotta Pancakes, they were similar, but even better since they were crispy all around. I especially loved the orange zest. Can’t wait to go back!

Hmmm…I think I need to make some Lemon Ricotta Pancakes soon!