Summer is in full swing, which means tomatoes are at their peak – ripe, juicy, and bursting with flavor, especially when roasted. This French-style tart is a wonderful way to showcase them.
If you like lemon bars, I think you’ll love this variation of my Meyer Lemon-Mascarpone Bars, which substitutes passion fruit juice for lemon juice. Like lemon bars, these Passion Fruit Bars have a thick, buttery shortbread crust and luscious ooey, gooey filling, but with the distinct, floral flavor and aroma of passion fruit. The sharp tartness of the passion fruit is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the sugar and the richness of the creamy mascarpone. The glaze adds a touch more sweet-tart flavor and a little crunch from the passion fruit seeds.
Citrus season reaches its peak in winter. Isn’t that great timing? Just as Mother Nature is dumping massive amounts of snow on many parts of the country, here in California, she is providing an abundance of tangerines, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons so that we can bask in the bright, citrusy sunshine even on the coldest days of winter. To me, nothing says summer-in-the-middle-of-winter more than meyer lemons.
Growing up, my parents threw a swanky New Year’s Eve party every year, not only to welcome the new year, but also to celebrate their anniversary (they were married on January 1st). I loved watching all the adults in their fancy clothes eating lavish hors d’oeuvres and having fun! To this day I think of New Year’s Eve as a night for elegance and sophistication, even if we’re just planning a quiet night at home to watching the Times Square ball drop on television.
To me, nothing says elegance and sophistication like caviar, especially on New Year’s Eve. Don’t you agree? For some simple, yet elegant hors d’oeuvres to ring in the new year, try these Caviar and Smoked Salmon Appetizers, which pair perfectly with champagne!
Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Rolls with Caviar
Yields Approximately 12 rounds
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise (preferably sliced with a mandolin) or cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 ounces smoked salmon, or more as needed, cut into 12 pieces
Crème fraiche, or more as needed
1 ounce any variety of caviar or fish roe (I used salmon roe and paddlefish caviar)
To get the rest of the recipe for my go-to New Year’s Eve appetizers, Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Rolls with Caviar and Baby Potatoes with Smoked Salmon and Caviar, please click the link to follow me to A Lucky Life blog.
Happy New Year!
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Oh my gosh! I can’t believe the holidays are here and that means parties galore. Whether you’re hosting a party or need to bring something to one, why not give this recipe a try? These Brie Bites with Sugared Cranberries will make a stunning addition to any holiday table and is a wonderful accompaniment to the festive cocktails of the season. It’s made with rich and creamy Brie cheese and topped with sugar-frosted cranberries. They make a simple, yet elegant appetizer. It’s actually quite easy to make, but it requires some planning as the fresh cranberries are best when soaked in simple syrup overnight.
I have been a big fan of rice pudding since I discovered it at Rice to Riches, in New York City. Sweet and creamy, it is one of my ultimate comfort foods. I love its versatility since it may be eaten warm, right out of the pan, or cold, after chilling in the fridge for an hour or so. Rice pudding makes a wonderful dessert, afternoon snack, or as a delicious alternate to oatmeal in the mornings. It is also easy to customize with a variety of spices and other flavorings. (For inspiration, check out the Rice to Riches website as they offer over 30 flavors!) Rice pudding is cooked in one of three ways: on the stove, in the oven, or in a crockpot. I prefer to cook mine on the stovetop because it is ready in about 30 minutes and has a softer and creamier consistency. Continue reading
This time of year is fraught with temptation, from the leftover Halloween candy to turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, to toffee and fudge, Christmas tree-shaped sugar cookies, and Santa Hat Brownies. I don’t plan on cutting out all of these sweets completely, but, this year it is my goal to practice more restraint, maintain some sort of fitness routine, and indulge in healthier treats. Continue reading
Move over butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash and make from for the cute little delicata, an heirloom variety of squash with a thin edible skin, which makes it much easier to work with and take less time to cook. It is an heirloom variety with a pale yellow or beige skin and shallow ridges with dark green mottled stripes. As its name suggests, the delicata’s lack of a tough outer skin means that it is more fragile and doesn’t last as long in the produce section as most winter squash, which can make it hard to find.
I recently discovered the delicata and it has become my new favorite. It’s smaller size and thin, edible skin make it perfect for stuffing and roasting. For a quick and easy weeknight meal, try this Stuffed Delicata Squash with a hearty filling made with sausage, kale, and cheese. Continue reading
Brint: You know what would help you sort through these important issues?
Ridiculously Good-Looking Male Models, in unison: ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCINO!!!
– quote from Zoolander, one of my favorite movies
Ok, so this isn’t a frappucino, because who needs the brain freeze in this weather? But, maybe Derek, Brint, and the rest of the ridicously good-looking male models were on to something. If you’re pondering a big decision or are conflicted about something, don’t you think having an orange mocha treat would help you think more clearly? Well, I think this Orange Mocha Mousse definitely would. Not only because of the yummy combination of flavors, but did I tell you there’s also booze in here? Well, just a couple of tablespoons of orange liqueur, but you’re making it, so nobody will know if your hand slips while pouring the booze in and you “accidentally” put more in than the recipe calls for.
Anyway….on to the ridiculously delicious-tasting mousse!
I grew up a full-fledged carnivore, and, as a kid, I successfully avoided most vegetables. It helped that my parents weren’t the sort who made me sit at the dining room table until I finished everything on my plate. If they were, chances are that I’d still be sitting there! Haha! One vegetable I especially disliked was Brussels sprouts. The only time I tried them they were mushy, bitter and had a weird smell. Yuck!!
“I could eat a million of these!,” exclaimed my husband, Chris, as he took a bite out of the first of many mini sticky buns he had for breakfast. I definitely agree with him as not only are they cute, but they are delicious and very easy to make. These miniature version of sticky buns are filled with orange-flavored cream cheese and pumpkin butter and topped with a pecan and brown sugar glaze. Continue reading
I used to think of sangria as more of a refreshing summertime drink, but it can really be a year-round beverage if you use seasonal fruits. This white wine sangria is flavored with apples and honey, along with spices like cinnamon and cloves, for a fantastic autumn-themed cocktail. Continue reading
Growing up, my mom loved fruit and always kept a variety in the house which she encouraged my brothers and I to eat. However, one fruit that was conspicuously absent was the apple. It was not the taste she didn’t like. Rather it was the sound of someone biting into one that bothered her. It was like fingernails on chalkboard and the sound literally gave her goosebumps and sent chills up her spine. Continue reading
Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap.
~ Robert Fulghum, author
Imagine if we could do that, just like when we were kids. I agree with Mr. Fulghum, the world would be a better place. The only question is… Continue reading