brie bites with sugared cranberries

Brie Bites  with Sugared Cranberries | daisysworld.net

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. 

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apple and pear crisps

Apple and Pear Crisps

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

apricot cornmeal cakes

Apricot Cornmeal Cakes

These days, I am completely obsessed with stone fruits. Every time I go to the store, I pick some up, either to eat fresh or to cook with.  I am featuring apricots in this recipe, but peaches, nectarines, or even plums would work just as well.  I came across this recipe from A Spicy Perspective, a beautiful blog from professional writer, recipe developer, and food stylist, Summer Collier. What intrigued me was her addition of Chinese Five-Spice Powder, which I have only (narrow-mindedly) used in savory dishes.  Continue reading

chicken karaage: japanese fried chicken

Chicken Karaage: Japanese Fried Chicken

I’ve always had a thing for fried foods: french fries, onion rings, corn dogs, and doughnuts. You name it, if it’s fried, chances are good that I’d love it.  Without a doubt, my favorite fried food is fried chicken. When I make it at home, I used to use a  traditional Southern fried chicken recipe with buttermilk until I discovered chicken karaage, Japanese fried chicken, or JFC, for short. Now, it’s my go-to fried chicken recipe. Continue reading

white sangria ice pops

White Sangria Ice Pops

While it is still a few weeks until the official start of summer, beach weather is already upon us here in Southern California.  So this morning, I took a little time out from all the household chores and errands to relax and enjoy the moment. Don’t you just love “me” time?  I grabbed a couple of beach towels, sunscreen, and some magazines, and headed out….to my backyard.  Fortunately for me, when going to the beach isn’t an option, I can still enjoy the sunshine and the slightest of ocean breezes right in my own backyard. No crowds. No traffic or parking hassles. No sand to make a mess. Just peace and quiet, except for the lyrical chirping of the birds fleeting about.

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spiced cocktail nuts

spiced cocktail nuts

As a kid, I used to love those mixed nuts that came in a big can. My mom would buy the one with the peanuts, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans. We each had our favorites. I would fight one brother for those enormous brazil nuts and the other for hazelnuts, but my absolute favorites were the cashews. Both my mom and I loved them. When the can eventually got passed to my dad, he had to settle for the peanuts and almonds. The pecans were almost always left on the bottom.

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angel food cupcakes with strawberry meringue

Angel Food Cake with Strawberry Meringue

When life gives you egg whites, make angel food cake. When life gives you a whole lot of egg whites, top the angel food cake with meringue.

Yesterday, I planned to make vanilla custard but hadn’t really thought about what to do with all the remaining egg whites. I briefly contemplated making an egg white frittata, but I quickly came to my senses, and, thanks to Alton Brown, came up with the far better idea of making my first ever angel food cake. However, since I don’t own a tube pan, I scaled down the recipe to make these cute little mini angel food cupcakes instead.

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strawberry-rhubarb sorbet

Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet

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.

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cream cheese shortbread with toasted walnuts and orange zest

Cream Cheese Shortbread

If you’re looking for buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies with a nutty crunch, look no further than these cream cheese shortbread cookies flavored with toasted walnuts and orange. The addition of cream cheese transforms these from the traditional sandy and crumbly shortbread to lighter, softer cookies. For an even more cake-like texture, roll the dough into balls instead of using a cookie cutter. Continue reading

chocolate almond toffee bars

Chocolate Covered Almond Toffee Bark

It seems that I inherited my sweet tooth from my Dad. Like me, he favors quick breads, cookies, and candies, and, like me, he also loves chocolate. When I saw this recipe for Chocolate Almond Toffee Bars, I knew it was the perfect treat to make for him.  I got my opportunity last weekend when we had a family gathering. I made sure there would be some extra pieces for my Dad to take home. What I didn’t expect was that he would have some competition for the leftovers…from my nephew, who proclaimed that all the leftover bars were his. I had to be the peacemaker and divide up the remaining pieces equally. It appears that a sweet tooth runs in my family. Note to self: Make a double batch for Christmas morning so Dad and little nephew could have as much as they want.

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red currant and poppy seed cake

A month ago, I would have passed on making this cake. It wasn’t because this recipe, from Aran Goyoaga of the breathtakingly beautiful blog Canelle et Vanille, didn’t sound delicious.  On the contrary, her recipe have always been so tempting, but I’ve never attempted any of them.  Why, you ask?  Well, I’m a little embarrassed to say!  Continue reading

candies and confections: passion fruit and vanilla bean pâté de fruit

 

Hi, my name is Daisy, and I am a sugarholic!

My lastest sweet obsession is pâté de fruit, or French fruit jellies, which are soft and chewy fruit-flavored candies rolled in sugar.  Pâté de fruit are made from pureéd fruit which is cooked down with sugar and pectin to a thick “jammy” consistency. Then, the cooked fruit paste is poured into a pan, cooled, and cut into shapes before being rolled in sugar. Alternatively, the cooked mixture can be poured into silicone molds to make individually-shaped candies. Continue reading

snickerdoodle cookies

The essence of the classic snickerdoodle cookies lies in its utter simplicity.  They are unfussy cookies made from ingredients you most likely have on hand – flour, eggs, butter, salt, baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon. You probably even have the cream of tartar, which you forgot you had, shoved all the way in the back of the spice cabinet. Snickerdoodles can be made entirely by hand, without any kitchen appliances, although I prefer to use the stand mixer for convenience. All you really need is a bowl and a whisk to combine the ingredients and your hands to roll the dough into balls and to dredge them in cinnamon sugar.  Fifteen minutes later (10 minutes to bake, 5 minutes to cool), you will be eating a crackly-topped cookie, fresh from the oven, that is soft in the middle with slightly crunchy edges.  Don’t forget the milk!

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razzleberry ice cream with dark chocolate chips

 

Raspberry Ice Cream

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day and designated July to be National Ice Cream Month.  It coincides with our own proclamation naming this year, 2011, as The Year of the Ice Cream.  As you know, Chris has been the diligent ice cream maker, churning ice cream at least once a week.  Today, to mark the Day, Month, and Year of the Ice Cream, it was my turn to create a cold concoction – Razzleberry Ice Cream.  My inspiration for this flavor came from Marie Callenders’ Razzleberry Pie, which is made with blackberries and raspberries.

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