roasted strawberry, buttermilk, and mascarpone ice cream

Roasted Strawberry, Buttermilk, and Mascarpone Ice Cream

The reviews* are in:

This ice cream is so good! It tastes like strawberry cheesecake.
– unbiased family member #1

You made this?!? It taste just like the ice cream you buy at the store.
– unbiased family member #2

I didn’t think I liked fruity ice cream until I tasted this. I love it!
– unbiased family member #3

*Yes, the reviews are from my family, but none of them were compensated for their opinions.

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commemorating year two: meyer lemon curd crepe cake

meyer lemon curd crepe cake

Today is the second anniversary of Daisy’s World. I started this blog two years ago as a way to share little snippets of my life with family and friends and I can’t believe that it has evolved into this highly gratifying artistic endeavor. For me, food blogging has been a self-indulgent hobby that has taken an inordinate amount of my time and attention, but I relish the opportunity to share my creativity and passion with all of you.
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chocolate pecan cinnamon rolls with mascarpone orange glaze

Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Mascarpone Orange Glaze

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.

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strawberries and cream muffins

Strawberries and Cream Muffins

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.

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blackberry galette with mascarpone and orange marmalade

I made my first galette a couple of weeks ago, and it has quickly become one of my favorite desserts.  I love its simplicity and rustic quality, along with its versatility. Short on time this past Labor Day, I opted to make this quick “semi-homemade” Blackberry Galette. Instead of pastry dough, I used a sheet of ready-to-bake puff pastry.  The light and flaky puff pastry encased a trio of ingredients – blackberries, mascarpone cheese, and orange marmalade. The tart blackberries made a nice contrast to the slightly sweet orange marmalade and rich mascarpone cheese. It was a simple dessert, yet very pretty and full of flavor. Served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this galette was a perfect end to a nice holiday dinner.

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creamy herbed polenta with mushroom ragout

We tend to associate comfort food with winter but this creamy bowl of polenta is also good on a summer evening.  Simple and comforting, it is like sunshine in a bowl.  It is luscious without being heavy and satisfying without being overly rich.  Well-made polenta, with plenty of butter and parmesan cheese, is delicious by itself.  Topped with an earthy mushroom ragout, it’s even better. I served this polenta alongside Grilled Lamb Chops marinated in olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and a green salad with a simple meyer lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.  The whole combination was hearty, yet still fitting for supper on a warm summer evening. Continue reading

blueberry corn muffins with blueberry-flavored mascarpone and my first giveaway

Corn is one of my favorite vegetables, and I enjoy eating it in many forms – grilled corn on the cob, cornbread with honey butter, and, yes, canned creamed corn. Actually, when I was younger, I used to eat creamed corn with evaporated milk and sugar. I loved it!  Even as a kid, I had an insatiable sweet tooth. Continue reading

mini sugar doughnuts

Mini Sugar Doughnuts

When it comes to doughnuts, there is a dizzying array of choices, but for me it really comes down to one – a sugar doughnut.  I much prefer the light and airy yeast-based doughnuts to the denser and chewier cake doughnuts.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a maple bar or chocolate doughnut every once in a while, but I really favor the slight crunch of all the sugar that coats the exterior of the fluffy, melt-in-my-mouth goodness of the simple sugar doughnut.  The inspiration for these doughnuts came from a restaurant in Seattle called Lola.  One of the items on the breakfast menu is Made to Order Doughnuts with Seasonal Jam and Vanilla Mascarpone.  The hot mini doughnuts come to the table in a white paper bag and the wait staff vigorously shakes the bag to ensure that copious amounts of sugar adhere to the fried dough. Totally Awesome!

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santa hat brownies

Santa Hat Brownies | daisysworld.netAren’t these Santa Hat Brownies just so cute?  Thanks to Erica’s Sweet Tooth for the inspiration.  I was looking for a fun and simple holiday treat and I ran across a recipe on her website. They’re so good and easy to make, especially since I bought Trader Joe’s Ready to Bake brownie mix (just pour the ready-made brownie batter in an 8-X 8-inch pan and bake for 22-25 minutes). You can use ready-made brownie bites or bake a pan of your favorite brownies. I whipped up some vanilla-mascarpone buttercream to simulate the white trim on the hats.  Voila!  A festive dessert to get everyone into the spirit of the holidays.  It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

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Update: November 17, 2013

This year, I plan to bake these Santa Hat Brownies and other holiday treats to give as gifts to friends and co-workers.  Since I will be making homemade gifts, I thought it would be a great idea to make the gift tags too.  I want to make recipe cards so I can easily share the recipe and it could double as the gift tag as well.  The card below is the one I designed for the Santa Hat Brownies using Picmonkey, an online photo editing tool.  Pretty neat, huh?  I love Picmonkey and already use it to add text and overlays to the photos on this blog.  For my recipe cards/gift tags, I am going to print the photo of the food on one side and the recipe on the other.  This is going to be a real fun project!

Santa Hat Brownies recipe card | daisysworld.net

Note: I have been paying for Picmonkey’s monthly Royale Plan for the past year.  Picmonkey provided me with a free month’s membership ($4.99 value) to use them to make these recipe cards. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own. (Product Review Disclaimer).

Santa Hat Brownies
Yields 12-16 brownies

Ingredients:
1 pan of your favorite brownies, cooled and cut into desired size and shape (I used a round cutter)
12-16 small strawberries, cleaned and hulled
vanilla-mascarpone buttercream (recipe below)

Vanilla-Mascarpone Buttercream
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2-1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Method:
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla extract and salt.  Add 2-1/2 cups of sugar, half a cup at a time and continue beating until smooth.  Add more sugar, if needed to reach desired consistency and sweetness.

To assemble, pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream on top of each brownie.  Cut off the base of a strawberry so it is flat and place it upside down on each brownie, pushing slightly to secure in place.  Top the tip of the strawberry with a dot of buttercream to finish the santa hat.

Adapted from this recipe found on Erica’s Sweet Tooth

© Daisy’s World, 2011-2012. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

meyer lemon-mascarpone bars


I am huge fan of the Meyer lemon. I prefer to use it whenever possible instead of the regular lemon because it is slightly sweeter, without the acidic flavor. I have a prolific dwarf Meyer lemon tree in a container in my garden that produces about 60-70 lemons twice a year. I share some with friends, but I juice most of them and store the juice in 1- or 2-cup portions in freezer bags.  Depending on the amount a recipe calls for, I defrost a smaller or bigger bag.  I am spoiled having Meyer lemon juice all year long, since I can make these anytime the mood strikes me. Continue reading

prosciutto, mascarpone, and spinach pizza with balsamic glaze


On a trip to San Francisco a couple of years back, we had dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, Postrio, located in the Prescott Hotel in Union Square.  We sat at the bar and ordered two of Puck’s wood-fired pizzas – the Smoked Salmon with dill and crème frâiche and the Prosciutto & Figs with balsamic, mascarpone cheese, and  truffle oil. The Smoked Salmon quickly became his signature pizza when he opened the original Spago’s in 1982.  It was a huge hit with the Hollywood crowd who couldn’t get enough of the smoked salmon topped with caviar.  Although Postrio’s version omitted the pricey roe, it was still a great pizza.  However, what stole the show was the other pizza we ordered, the Prosciutto and Figs.  This is still one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.  I mean, who wouldn’t love this?!  Just imagine it – chewy pizza dough with a base of mascarpone cheese covered with a generous amount of prosciutto and arugula drizzled with a balsamic glaze and truffle oil. Right after inhaling that pizza, while still sitting there at the bar, I wrote all the ingredients so we could try replicate it as best we can when we got home. Continue reading

mascarpone rice pudding with dried tart cherries

On one of my recent trips to New York City, I discovered Rice to Riches, a modern, Jetson-inspired store that serves only one thing – rice pudding.  The gourmet rice pudding at Rice to Riches comes in 21 designer flavors with whimsical names such as Fluent in French Toast, Cinnamon Sling, and Sex, Drugs, and Rocky Road. There are a variety of toppings to choose from – toasted buttery pound cake, espresso crumble, toasted coconut, and graham crackers, to name a few.  The bright, bold color scheme – orange, pink, yellow, and white – along with the irreverant slogans makes Rice to Riches a fun and kitcschy hangout.  The rice pudding is served in the coolest custom-made plastic containers with long curved spoons.  I loved those containers so much, I had to buy a pack of them.  They are cool, aren’t they?

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caramelized fig breakfast bruschetta

This is reprinted from The Thompson Family Cookbook, a collection of recipes from my extended family that I compiled last year.  The recipe was adapted from the Breakfast Bruschetta served at Starling Diner, a cute little neighborhood restaurant in Long Beach, California owned by my cousin, Joan.  Starling Diner is a wonderful place to hang out and have a leisurely breakfast.  The food is outstanding and the ambience is comfortable and relaxed.  My favorite things on the menu are the creamy Breakfast Polenta, the decadent San Francisco Stuffed French Toast and these Breakfast Bruschettas.  At Starling Diner, the bruschetta is served with seasonal berries, but I think the recipe works beautifully with caramelized figs as well.  Perfect for a casual brunch, this is a quick and easy dish to prepare that may be assembled ahead of time.

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roasted fig and mascarpone tart with candied walnuts

Time really does fly when you’re having fun…and what fun I’ve had this past week!  From celebrating my wedding anniversary to transforming my backyard into an urban vegetable garden to making some yummy desserts, this staycation has definitely been a blast!!

One luxury of my time off has been to indulge in longer baking sessions than I would normally have time for during a regular work week.  As such, I was able to develop this tart recipe.  This was a perfectly sweeet ending to my weeklong staycation.

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