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Friday, July 22, 2011

My Blog Has Moved!

I have some very exciting news to share:

My blog has moved to its own custom URL!
Head on over to to see the new design along with a new post with the recipe for a Cherry-Mint Julep!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Orange Sherbet

A couple of weeks ago, a reader asked me if I had any good sherbet recipes that stayed creamy even after freezing, instead of turning into a big, icy block. This is a common problem with sherbets as their fat content is so low (1%).
This orange sherbet recipe is my personal favorite, and even Mikey, a self-proclaimed orange sherbet connoisseur thinks it's the bees' knees!
Of course true sherbet will never be as creamy as an ice cream---especially one with a custard base---simply due to the lack of cream, eggs, etc., but I think that this recipe is far creamier than others I have tried (especially as it starts to melt in the summer sun!).

I particularly love this recipe because it actually tastes like real oranges as opposed to that pretend, artificial orange flavoring that a lot of standard orange sherbets have. You see, I normally hate orange sherbet! Actually, I normally hate all orange-flavored things because they are so fake-tasting. But, this, this is so zingy and delicious!
But, while you get the fresh, citrusy, bright notes of true orange flavor, it is ever-so-perfectly matched with a creamy, vanilla base that together boast the best darn creamsicle flavor you have ever tried!

I should note that in my recipe I used raw milk. Of course you are welcome to use homogenized, pasteurized milk, but I find raw milk more enjoyable and creamy, personally.

(In regards to the reader's question about replicating Trader Joe's Pomegranate Blueberry Sherbet, I haven't tried this yet, but I would omit the orange zest, and replace the orange juice with Pom Wonderful's Blueberry-Pomegranate juice and see how that works out!)

Orange Sherbet
recipe adapted from here

  • 7 ounces granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 large orange
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups very cold whole, raw milk
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the milk and process until the sugar is fully dissolved (about a minute or two).
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the milk.
  3. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your manufacturer's directions. (Mine took about 35-40 minutes, much longer than other ice creams I have made which are usually done in about 15-20 minutes.)
  5. Transfer the sherbet to a container and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bacon and Leek Risotto with White-Wine Poached Duck Eggs


I made this dish as a part of a meal for an online cooking competition (fingers crossed that I place!), so there are more pictures than usual of the actual process... something I'm sure you won't mind when you lay eyes on this dish :)

In my opinion, there is nothing more appetizing than an oozing egg yolk. How can you make this better? Use a bigger egg! Bigger egg= bigger yolk. In this case, I used duck eggs on top of a sumptuous risotto.
I have to be honest, I LOVE this dish... far more than most other dishes. What can I say? I'm a sucker for comfort food, and this dish takes all of my favorite comfort foods and combines them: runny yolks, risotto, and bacon. What's not to love?
There are so many glorious textures and flavors that play off of one another here: rich, velvety egg yolk, crisp, peppery bacon, soft, sweet leeks, chewy, creamy rice... basically one of the best things you will ever lock your jaws around.

(By the way, I have a redesign for my blog being worked on and I CANNOT wait for it to be done because I am so sick of Blogger! It never works right for me. For instance, I have ZERO clue why my font is much smaller than normal here.)


Bacon and Leek Risotto with White-Wine Poached Duck Eggs
recipe adapted from here

  • 2-3 duck eggs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove
  • splash of vinegar (not pictured)
  • 3-ish cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices thick bacon, somewhat diced (I used a peppered bacon)
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced (white and pale green only, please)
  • ¾ cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine + more for poaching eggs (I used a Pinot Grigio)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½-1 tbsp. butter
  • 1-ish tbsp. grated parmigiana reggiano + more for garnish
First we need to poach the eggs:
  1. Get a sauce pan and fill it with a couple inches of white wine. Bring it to simmer with the bay leaf, garlic clove, salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar.
  2. Crack an egg into a ramekin and carefully drop it into the liquid. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook the eggs for about a minutes, spooning hot wine over the tops. poached_eggs
  3. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place in a cold water bath. Turn the wine off but leave it on the stove (we're going to reheat the eggs in the wine when the risotto is done).
Now for the risotto:
  1. Make sure that your broth is simmering in a pot on the stove. Get a nice big dutch oven or saute pan and heat the olive oil over medium or medium-high heat. Add in the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place onto some paper towels, but leave the drippings in the pan. bacon
  2. Add the leeks to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Take two tablespoons full of the leeks and set aside in a small bowl to garnish the dish later.
  3. Add the rice to the pan and toast the grains up for a couple of minutes. Add in the wine and stir until it is absorbed. risotto_stir
  4. Now start adding in the broth, one or two ladle-fulls at a time, and stirring after each addition until the broth is absorbed. Do this until the rice is done (the grains should have a slight bite to them), about 25 minutes. risotto_laddle
  5. Stir in the bacon (be sure to leave some out if you want it for garnish), butter, and parmigiana reggiano. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. risotto_add
  6. Reheat the poached eggs in the wine for a minute or so until heated through.
  7. Top each bowl of risotto with a poached egg (remember to season with salt and pepper), your reserved leeks and bacon, and extra parmigiana reggiano.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strawberry-Pistachio Rolls

I'll start by saying sorry for the pictures as they were taken with my iPhone. But, the exciting part of that is that I FINALLY HAVE AN iPHONE! Yayyy! I made these rolls in Florida where I didn't have my amazing photographer there to help me out.

I love experimenting with different sweet rolls (like these Meyer Lemon Sweet Rolls), so when I saw these on Kaitlin's blog, Whisk Kid, I knew I had to give them a try. If you're wondering, they are just as good as they look. The sweet strawberry and pistachio fillings play off each other, creating an amazing harmony of salty/sweet-fresh/rich flavors that make it quite easy to down an entire roll (which are about the size of your entire hand) all by yourself (not to mention the fact that the red and green look beautiful together).

While these are still amazing cooled, I find them to be at their peak enjoyment state when they are nice and warm out of the oven. I mean a) who doesn't love warm bread in any situation? and b) the fillings are all gooey and oozing about in the most delicious way.

I think it would be a wonderful idea to add a whole vanilla bean in there somewhere, perhaps in the strawberry filling, just to really put these babies over the top. Someone try it and report back?

pre-bake obviously:

Strawberry-Pistachio Rolls
recipe slightly adapted from here

  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 66g (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 milk, warmed
  • 78g (1/3 cup) butter, unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • more or less 500g (4 cups) flour
  • extra sugar for sprinkling
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast, water, and sugar. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast is activated (the top should be foamy).
  2. Add in the milk, butter, egg, and salt, and mix to combine. Add in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the bowl. Switch to the bread hook attachment and mix, on high, for 15 minutes.
  3. Dump the dough into a buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm area for about an hour, until doubled in size.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10 x 24 inch rectangle. Spread with the two fillings (recipes below), leaving a 1 inch border on each side. Tightly roll the rectangle up, and slice into 10+ rolls.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a pie dish (or individual ramekins, etc.) and place the rolls in, leaving a bit of space between each (DO NOT stuff your pan as the rolls will rise again and overflow the pan.... I'm speaking from experience here people).
  6. Allow to rise again for about an hour. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden-brown and baked through. (You can drizzle the tops with a simple glaze made from confectioners' sugar and milk if you desire, which you should, because it looks nice :).)
Strawberry Filling:
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the berries have slightly broken down and the mixture is thickened.
  2. Cool and set aside.
Pistachio Filling:
  • 128g (1 cup) pistachios, roasted and salted
  • 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2-1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 28g (2 tbsp) butter, unsalted, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  1. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is a thick paste.
  2. Set aside.
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