At the farmers market, blood oranges, lemons, and other citrus are starting to give way to spring’s fruits and vegetables. This week, rows of beautiful ripe strawberries, with their deep, ruby-red color and sweet fragrance, caught my eye. It’s a perfect time to showcase them in this simple, refreshing sorbet.
One of the things my husband, Chris, and I like to cook together at home is pizza (recipe here and here). It’s quick and easy to make and allows us to customize and be creative with the toppings. When we have time, we like to make our own pizza dough, but when we’re on-the-go, like this weekend, pre-made dough from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods does the trick just fine. Just roll the dough and add toppings and it’s ready to go in the oven.
It seems that I can’t get too far away from thinking about food and blogging, even if I wanted to. Last Monday, I had a day off from work and I had planned on a rmuch-needed day of rest and relaxation. I was going to read magazines on my iPad, get a mani/pedi, and order some takeout from my favorite Chinese restaurant down the street. I wanted a day away from the blog, which meant no cooking, writing, and taking photos. I even banned myself from Pinterest to try to disconnect from anything that might remotely lead me back to the blog.
We normally have my family over for a big Easter Sunday celebration, complete with an egg hunt, but not this year. Since I’m getting too old to be crawling around the bushes hiding eggs, and my nephews are way too old to be hunting around for them, our family plans never materialized. My husband and I ended up having a quiet holiday weekend alone, with plenty of chores, and our taxes, to keep us occupied.
Are you looking for a light and refreshing dessert, perhaps for Easter brunch or a springtime garden party? Why not serve this Lemon Pudding in pretty little cups or goblets? Dress them up with some lightly sweetened cream, raspberries, and a sprinkling of pistachios and you’ve got a simple, yet beautiful treat that can be made ahead of time. The bright meyer lemon flavor is just right, slightly tart and not very sweet. I love raspberries and lemon together, not only for their delicious flavors, but also for their striking color combination. It is a pairing that definitely screams spring!
These icy refreshing drinks will magically transport you to a charming little cantina south of the border, without leaving home. Don’t forget the chips and guacamole!
I was inspired to make these refreshing Blended Mango Margaritas after reading Lucky Brand Style Director Karin Cole’s blog post from the small seaside town of Sayulita, Mexico, where she recently vacationed. The little town sounded so quaint and inviting, I wish I could follow her down there. But since I can’t get away at the moment, I did the next best thing…I brought a bit of Sayulita to me.
I guess I picked the wrong week to give up ice cream (see my last post). My intentions were good, having recently acquired chef and cookbook author, David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, I told myself I would explore the somewhat lighter offerings from his granitas and sorbets sections. Blood Orange Granita…Champagne-Cassis Granita…Nectarine Granita…Tangerine Sorbet…Cherry Sorbet. So many choices! I settled on Pink Grapefruit Granita (again, see my last post). It was light, zingy and refreshing. I loved it and felt very satisfied with myself for avoiding most of the fat and some of the calories of full blown ice cream. I was off to a good start.
Do you have a routine that became a routine before you even realized it? Well, over the past few months, I have developed a habit of eating a bowl of ice cream while watching television. You and I both know this is a hard habit to break, but I think at least I found a healthier substitute.
The French call it granité. In Italy, it is known as granita siciliana, where it is eaten any time of day, even for breakfast with a brioche. The rest of us know it simply as granita, a frozen dessert made with fruit juice or purée, coffee, or wine that is sweetened with simple syrup. It has a grainy, yet delicate texture, similar to shaved ice, and bursts with intense flavor and melts as soon as it hits the tongue. It is often served as a light dessert, especially nice after a heavy meal, or as a palate cleanser between courses.
Sumo Citrus. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t until I walked into Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and was greeted with a beautiful display of these uniquely-shaped and brightly-colored fruit with a thick, dimpled peel and distinctive “top knot”. These large mandarin oranges are seedless, easy to peel, and very sweet. They’re juicy, but not so much that the juice drips down your arm when you peel them like some oranges can do.
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, if I had these muffins, I’d eat breakfast every day. Heck, I’d eat two breakfasts a day. Unfortunately, this type of logic doesn’t follow healthy dietary guidelines, so I go without breakfast on some mornings and relish the days that I can indulge.
In the ’70s, disco music ruled the airwaves and, on television, Charlie’s Angels solved crimes without messing up their perfectly feathered bangs. Leisure suits, platform shoes, and bell bottoms were in fashion. Fondue, salad molds, and pigs-in-a-blanket were staples at parties. Cocktails like the Tequila Sunrise, Rusty Nail, and Piña Colada were all rage in the ’70s, but none were as popular as the ubiquitous Harvey Wallbanger, known as the decade’s signature drink. A Harvey Wallbanger is essentially a Screwdriver (orange juice and vodka) with a float of Galliano®, an Italian herbal liqueur made with 30 different spices.
Strawberries and cream. They make a great pair, don’t they? In their simplest forms, they are spectacular, but they’re even better when baked together, like in these muffins. As soon as I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make it. Fortunately for me, strawberries are available year-round in Southern California.
Over the last couple of posts, I’ve taken you to Hawaii for salmon poke and to Tahiti for poisson cru. Today, I’m taking you halfway around the world to Italy for pesce crudo, which literally translates to “raw fish.” It is similar to the Japanese sashimi, but instead of wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger, Italians traditionally dress the fish with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon, and sea salt. As with the other raw fish dishes I’ve shared with you, the key to crudo is to use the freshest quality ingredients and let their flavors shine.
I was first introduced to today’s raw fish dish, poisson cru, or e’ia ota, many years ago, on a trip to Moorea, one of the islands in French Polynesia, more commonly known as Tahiti. Poisson cru, Tahiti’s national dish, literally means “raw fish” in French. It consists of fresh fish, usually tuna or mahi mahi, and vegetables marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. It is found just about anywhere in Tahiti – from roadside stands to fine restaurants.
Sushi is arguably the most popular raw fish dish (and my absolute favorite), but there are many other raw fish dishes from around the world. Over the next few posts, I would like to share my interpretation of some other raw fish dishes I’ve enjoyed. First up is poke, a staple of “pupu” platters across Hawaii, traditionally made with cubed raw fish marinated in Hawaiian sea salt, soy sauce, roasted crushed candlenut, sesame oil, ogo or other types of seaweed, and chopped chili pepper.