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Ginger Molasses Pumpkin Bread

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I found this recipe on Food52 and it looked so good and got great reviews that I decided to make it and include it in my gift boxes this year. Trying new recipes is great especially if the results are good, this loaf did not disappoint, the combination of spices and pumpkin and molasses is delicious and even better it’s not overly sweet. If you do want a sweeter loaf you can tightly pack the brown sugar. The loaf is hearty, rustic, moist and makes a great addition to my gift boxes.

The recipe made two mini loaves that rose high above the pan and with the batter that was left I made some mini muffins that I rolled in melted butter and then in spiced sugar and I think next time I make this I will just make mini muffins, they are really good!!

This loaf and mini muffins are heading to the party, Fiesta Friday #149 and our co-hosts this week are Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Sandhya @ Indfused

Ginger Molasses Pumpkin Bread

Makes 1 9×5 loaf or 2 mini loaves plus 6 mini muffins

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed) Tightly pack for a slightly sweeter loaf

2 tbs melted butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk (full fat)

1/4 cup molasses

1 tbs chopped (minced) fresh ginger

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbs turbinado sugar (to sprinkle on top of loaf)

1 tsp cinnamon (to sprinkle on top of loaf)

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s

butter or use spray like PAM a 9×5 or 2 mini loaf pan (s)

In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. In another bowl whisk together egg, pumpkin,molasses, brown sugar, butter, oil, buttermilk until well combined. Add the fresh ginger and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until combined careful not to overmix. Pour into prepared loaf pan or pans and mix the turbinado sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top. Bake 40 minutes for a 9×5 pan and 20-25 minute for mini loaves. Toothpick or tester should come out clean when inserted into center of loaf. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto rack and allow to cool completely before cutting. NOTE: I went a step further and after removing from the oven I brushed the top of the loaf with melted butter and sprinkled a combination of sugar, ginger and cinnamon on top.

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Chocolate, Orange And Hazelnut Biscotti

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I am working on gift boxes, I have sent off several but still have a lot to go, it’s a labor of love and quite a lot of work, the planning, shopping, baking is labor intensive but packaging and sending takes time as well, carefully packaging is so important as you don’t want your baked goods to arrive in pieces. Putting together a box or basket to give as a gift takes planning and careful thought. You want to send things that travel well, items that can withstand a few days in transit without going stale and you must carefully pack so that when the carrier jostles it around it will stay intact. I always send 2-3 day priority mail and tell them it’s “perishable” asking them to stamp that all over the box. So far I have been lucky and everything I have sent arrives in good shape. Knock on wood!!

A work in progress

A work in progress this is going to New Mexico to the winning bidder in a charity auction for a sick pup

Every year I make biscotti, being Italian I grew up on these delightful cookies, they are best when dipped in coffee, milk or Vin Santo or sweet dessert wine. This recipe is from Marisa’s Italian Kitchen, I changed the ingredients just slightly, Marisa’s biscotti have anise seed or extract which I would have loved and thought I had but did not so I left out the anise, and added chopped hazelnuts, other than that I followed the recipe exactly. This recipe caught my months ago and I saved it knowing I would be making biscotti for the holidays, I was looking for a biscotti that is not to hard, light and tender and looking at her recipe I thought that would be what I was looking for, and that is exactly how they turned out. They are delicious, I think adding the almond flour gives them a light as air, crunchy and delicate texture. They are wonderful and thank you Marisa for a great recipe.

Chocolate, Orange And Hazelnut Biscotti

 adapted from Marisa’s Italian Kitchen

1 3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup almond flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup chocolate chips

3/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbs orange zest

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup melted butter

1 egg white beaten with fork (to brush on the logs)

Heat oven to 350 degree’s and line a baking sheet with parchment

slightly uneven logs ready for the oven

slightly uneven logs ready for the oven

In large bowl add flours, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine, add the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and stir so that the chocolate and nuts are covered with flour. In a small bowl beat the egg, sugar, orange zest, vanilla and butter. Add to the dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon stir until it’s a cohesive dough (the dough will be a little sticky, don’t add more flour thats the way it should be) Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough onto it. Divide into 4 equal portions and form each into a log that is between 8-10 inches long. Transfer the logs to the baking sheet, brush with egg white and bake for 20 minutes turning pan halfway through. After 20 minutes remove from the oven and sit the baking sheet on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Place a log on a cutting board and slice diagonally into about 3/4 inch slices with a sharp serrated knife and place back on baking sheet standing upright for more even baking.

standing upright for even baking

standing upright for even baking

Place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes on the pan and then remove to cooling rack. NOTE: Timing is important. I baked them for exactly the time outlined in the recipe and I think to achieve these results you have to. I am not one to stick to an exact baking time, I tend to wing it, but with a few recipes I make I have to and this is one of them. 

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Pumpkin Molasses Dog Cookies

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Counting down the weeks before Christmas and this year I am making lots of gift boxes, for charity auction winners, family, friends and clients. I go through a huge amount of ingredients, flour, butter, sugar, dried fruit, chocolate etc… I don’t really care to calculate how much goes into this because I’m afraid I would scare myself.

When making gift boxes or baskets I will always include dog treats if the recipient is a pet parent. I posted a recipe for dog biscuits with peanut butter and fruit,  but for the holidays I wanted to do something with more holiday flavors and pumpkin, molasses and a dash of warm spice just screams holidays, at least to me. Why shouldn’t our fur babies have something a little different, special and holidayish.  After doing a little research I determined that molasses in small amounts is not bad for our canine companions and we all know that pumpkin is very very good for them, I didn’t go grain free  for these cookies, but used whole wheat pastry flour which given as a treat and not in large amounts is fine. I found a recipe online for pumpkin molasses dog treats and proceeded to put my own spin on it.

Pumpkin Molasses Dog Cookies

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup coconut oil

6 tbs water (more if needed a tbs at a time)

1 large egg

5 cups whole wheat flour or comination of whole grain flours

1/2 tsp baking soda (optional)

4 tsp dried milk

1/4 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Optional- sprinkle a little coconut palm sugar mixed with cinnamon and ginger on top before baking.

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Heat oven to 350 degree’s. In small bowl mix together the wet ingredients, pumpkin, molasses, egg, oil and water. In large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, dry, baking soda and spices. Add the wet ingredients and combine until it is a cohesive dough, if you need to add more water do so in small amounts 1 tbs at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool on rack.

Percy ate it but liked the bite of ginger molasses cookies for humans better

Percy ate it but liked the bite of ginger molasses cookies for humans better

 

Best Damn Fruitcake The Start Of Holiday Baking

Festive

Festive

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything, things have been kind of crazy and time has gotten past me. Cooking has not been a priority except what I need to sustain myself. I am going to make a concerted effort to post more, cook more, develop recipes, it’s my passion that frankly has taken a back seat to other things and I feel like I am unbalanced. I need to get back in the groove so to speak and am hoping that all the cooking that I am doing will help me to get my mojo back. In January my blog will be 5 years old, thats a long time and I am proud of how this site has evolved and also saddened that I have let it slip away lately. It has taken me a while to get some balance after the passing of Nando and Izzy. Percy is helping me and is such a good boy, he has brought joy back into my life. I am so thankful for that.

The Holidays are upon us, for me that means a lot of time in the kitchen baking. Cookies, mini loaves, cakes and pies, it’s a very important part of the holidays for me and this year will be no exception. The title of this recipe may sound kind of funny but that’s actually what they called it in Pure Wow which is where I first found this recipe. I have changed it considerably from the ingredients to the baking time and temperature. That said this is the BEST fruitcake I have ever had. A far cry from the commercially prepared and dreaded Christmas gifts that many of us grew up on. No green and red candied or fake fruit, there is actually noticable cake with a balanced amount of fruit and nuts. I make this every year and although these photo’s are from last year as I have not started my baking yet it will be made this year many times over, it is included in my gift baskets for friends and family who all agree that it really is The Best Damn Fruitcake.

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fruit cakes after a good soaking and brushed with a little plum jam

Best Damn Fruitcake

Makes one 9 inch loaf or 3 mini loaves

1 1/2 cups dried fruit of your choice- I used cherries, cranberries, apricots, pears and golden raisins. Use however much you like of each so that you have a total of 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups nuts chopped- I used pecans, hazelnuts, pistachio’s and almonds. Use whatever you like, however much of each so that it equals 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cup booze or fruit juice like apple cider- (I have used cognac, bourbon, port, also have thrown in some Poire William), heated on stove top or in microwave until hot not boiling .

12 tbs unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

1 tbs orange or tangerine zest

1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

pinch of cinnamon

1 tbs retained liquid from fruit

Demerara or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

Pre heat oven to 325 and prepare your loaf pan or pans. Butter or spray with cooking spray.

Pour the hot booze or juice over the fruit and let sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer the fruit sits in the liquid the better it is in my opinion, the recipe only has the fruit macerate for 10 minutes, but it can easily sit overnight or 48 hours.

Drain the fruit but retain the liquid, you will need it later so don’t discard.

Place the drained fruit and chopped nuts in a bowl and set aside.

In your mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes. It should be light and fluffy, scrape sides as needed. Add the eggs one at a time beating well between additions and scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla, orange zest and cinnamon.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and beat only until combined adding 1 tbs of retained liquid from the fruit. Remove the bowl from your mixer and add the fruit and nuts and fold in until combined. Add the batter to the pan or pans, smooth the top and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake with the rack in the middle of the oven. If you are making one loaf for about 90 minutes or until tester comes out clean. If mini loaves approximately 40 minutes. They will be golden brown. Remove from the oven and spoon some of the retained liquid on the loaf or loaves and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on rack, spoon some more liquid on them and wrap in plastic or cheese cloth and store in air tight tin, These are best served 48+ hours after baking. Over the next couple of days continue to spoon more of the retained liquid on the loaf re wrapping and storing in the airtight container until you are ready to serve.

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Before all the cooking starts I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you that celebrate Thanksgiving a wonderful holiday. We have so much to be thankful for, I know I do and putting aside the food we should pause and give thanks for everything, a warm home, plentiful food, family and friends and I think about those that do not have this. Whether human or animal I have to stop and remember those that are not as blessed. Thank you to all of you who have stuck with me and have been so encouraging.

Have a joyous day with friends and family and enjoy all the delicious food. 

Suzanne and Percy and my sweet angels Izzy and Nando who crossed the rainbow bridge

Ha!

Ha!

Thanksgiving

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom

Every year I make the same meal for Thanksgiving, there is little to no variations year to year because everyone loves it that way. It makes things easier sort of, the only planning involves the shopping and of course the preparation. I try to make as much in advance as possible to save myself work on the big day. This will be Percy’s first Thanksgiving with me and I plan on giving him a plate of food along with the rest of my guests. I am excited that this year my two cousins will be joining me as well. My menu is very basic, nothing fancy but everything is homemade and has withstood the test of time. The dishes on the menu are linked to former posts so that you can see the recipes. Mashed potatoes, well, no recipe required, so my potatoes have not lumps I use the food mill and then simply add sour cream, butter and salt and pepper, thats all, the same goes for the pumpkin pie, I used canned pumpkin and follow the instructions on the back of the can, I’ve tried other methods and quite honestly the results are so similar it’s not worth the extra effort. The meal is always served with wine, this year a Cabernet Sauvignon, Lambrusco, Sparkling blanc de blanc and I am still undecided on whether to serve a Chardonnay or white bordeaux.

Thanksgiving Menu

butter and herb roast turkey

dressing

mashed potatoes

oven roasted brussells sprouts

corn

cranberry sauce

dinner rolls

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Dessert

Pecan Pie

Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Spiced Apple Pecan Loaf And An Auction For Charity

3 mini loaves

3 mini loaves

You all know about my passion for animals and that I work with rescue and animal related charities. One of the groups I work with is called PugsquadSOS. We recently had an auction to benefit a small animal rescue group in upstate NY and I donated homemade baked goods. One of the items I included in this box of treats is this homemade spiced apple loaf. I used my banana bread recipe and adapted it for apples adding some warm autumnal spices and homemade applesauce. It turned out really well, the bread is not overly sweet, is light and smells wonderful because of the spices. This loaf along with other homemade baked goods is currently up for grabs on Instagram, we are raising money for 2 little dogs that need very expensive life saving surgeries and their families do not have the means to pay for it. If any of you would like to bid on my offering or any of the items on instagram go to @portiathepug_paw_pal_auction.

I am bringing these loaves with me to Fiesta Friday #145, last week I co hosted and this week we will all be voting on the feature recipes.

I would also be remiss if I did not acknowledge our veterans today. Thank you to the men, women and canine corp that sacrificed life and limb so that we may enjoy the freedom and safety that sadly we sometimes take for granted, without their bravery it would be a far different world. Bless our Veterans and take care of them each and every day and not just on Veterans Day.

Spiced Apple Pecan Loaf

Makes 1 standard size loaf or 3 mini loaves

4 oz (1 stick) softened butter

1 cup sugar (preferably organic)

2 eggs at room temperature

1  cups flour

1/2 cup spelt flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allapice

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 heaping cup applesauce (I used homemade unsweetened and it was about 1 1/4 cups)

1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans

1 apple peel left on, cored and cut into thin slices

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s. Butter or grease standard size loaf pan or 3 mini pans.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. While creaming the butter sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices.  Add eggs one at a time beating between each addition until eggs are incorporated. Add the flour mixture and beat only until combined. Add the applesauce, creme fraiche and vanilla and beat until combined. Fold in the pecans and scrape into baking pans. Place apple slices and whole pecans on top and bake until golden brown and when tester inserted it comes out clean. This will take close to an hour for a large loaf and about 25 minutes for 3 mini loaves.

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Auction items

Auction items

The winning bid will receive:
1 dozen chocolate chip cookies

1 dozen healthful dog cookies

1 dozen fig/pistachio rugelach

1 dozen ginger spice molassess cookies

1 mini loaf banana bread

1 mini loaf spiced apple pecan bread

Beetroot, preserved lemon, dill & verjus sabja seed ‘risotto’- A Guest Post By Elaine

I am very excited about this guest post, I have know Elaine@foodbod for a long time, she is a constant source of inspiration for me and I am so grateful that she made this lovely dish especially for this post. Thank you so much Elaine, I admire your talent, your delicious recipes constantly remind me that healthful, clean, whole food does not have to be boring, it’s beautiful, vibrant, exciting and most importantly delicious. What she does with vegetables and spices is downright sexy. I follow Elaine on instagram as well and she checks up on me, giving me pepp talks and words of encouragement. It means the world to me, thank you Elaine and I think this dish is spectacular. I am bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday #144, I have been delinquent for a few weeks and thought this very delicious and special dish would make a great addition to the party. The cohosts this week are, me, moi, I (LOL) and the talented and lovely Margy@La Petite Casserole. Hope you all join the fun!!

Beetroot, preserved lemon, dill & verjus sabja seed ‘risotto’

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I’m so happy to be here again, doing a guest post for lovely Suzanne, such a lovely friend in our blog world. Suzanne has recently made some changes to her food choices, and has been doing brilliantly at increasing the health benefits of her meals and enhancing how she feels physically. Change isn’t always easy and I fully support everything she is doing; my recipe(s) will hopefully provide some more food for thought…

It all began when I read a post from Mollie for a spicy tomato jam; I like the idea of jams and chutneys, but I don’t like the sugar. I don’t eat sugar in any kind of form, except for the odd banana, but I realise that sugar assists in giving jam it’s texture and general gloopiness, so my brain started to tick… I’ve seen lots of recipes for using chia seeds to make jam, but I don’t actually like chia seeds (I know it’s sacrilege to say that, but I really don’t like the flavour or texture of the tiny seeds); I’ve also seen sabja or basil seeds used in the same way, which intrigued me. You can find these seeds in Asian stores or online.

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Sabja seeds swell to many many times their size when added to liquid, without adding a strong flavour, but with bringing huge nutritional benefits, and being great for digestion. For more information about these little seeds, check out these links:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/340366-basil-seeds-for-weight-loss/

http://indianhealthyrecipes.com/sabja-seeds-drink/

http://www.wildturmeric.net/2014/07/7-amazing-health-benefits-of-sabja-seeds.html?m=1

Sabja seeds are typically used in drinks or sweet offerings, but my mission was to use them in savoury creations, so for my first experiment, I utilised Mollie’s recipe, left out the apple juice and the sugar, but added sabja seeds. And created a great spicy tomato sauce…

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Spicy Tomato Jam

They work really well, they bulk out the sauce, and don’t quite create the jam like consistency I’d hoped for, but do act as a thickener, whilst adding all their goodness. If you try the sauce cold, you can detect the seeds moreso than when you eat it warm, not unpleasantly, but when you eat them warm, they merely melt into the sauce. I’ve eaten this with various vegetables, I think it would be good with pasta too.

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Next experiment: I wanted to try out the seeds as a rice replacement in a risotto style dish, just because I wanted to see how it would work, and again, it would create a great healthy dish. And I can tell you, this works really well!!!! If you are looking to cut done on calories or carbs, or just want to increase nutrients in your diet, I think this might be useful for you. Or, like me, if you just fancy experimenting, give it a go!

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Ingredients

Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
5 baby beetroots, cooked
100-150ml verjus/verjuice (you could use white wine if you like)
Handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
35g sabja/basil seeds
1 preserved lemon, drained, washed, flesh removed & discarded, and skin finally chopped

Optional to serve: Crushed roasted hazelnuts, goats cheese

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Method

Firstly, purée three of the baby beetroot with a couple of tablespoons of the verjus (make sure you try a bit of this puree, it’s so good!) and roughly chop the other two.

Use a pan with a lid.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan over a medium heat, then add the shallots and cook until nicely softened.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so.

Add the puréed beetroot, chopped beetroot, preserved lemons, dill and verjus, and any beetroot juice, and cook until the beetroot is nicely warm.

Add the sabja seeds, stir it all well, and continue to cook over the heat for a few minutes. Turn of the heat, put the lid over the pan and leave it for a few minutes before serving, this allows the seeds to really plump up.

Stir well before serving.

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Serve with a sprinkle of finely grated cheese, or stir through some soft goats cheese and sprinkle with crushed roasted hazelnuts.

This is a light version of a risotto idea, I found it sufficiently filling and interesting to eat on its own. If you like a richer risotto, stir through some mascarpone, or cream, whatever is your choice; I also kept mine quite chunky, I like to be able to chew my food, but feel free to chop everything finer or purée all of the beetroots if you’d prefer a smoother version – but do try it as it is first and see what you think.

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And there you go, something familiar, yet different, I hope you like it. Thank you for having me Suzanne xxx

Happy Halloween, Cheesy Cauliflower Puree With Roasted Vegetables And Pear With Poire William Creme Anglaise

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Halloween is a big day in our neighborhood, our community group the Society for Clinton Hill sponsors a Halloween Walk and other events, there are months of planning that go into this. Last year there were over 3000 children and adults that participated and this year I think there will be more, judging from the response we have gotten so far. We have a halloween map showing houses that hand out candy, a theatrical production at 313 Clinton Avenue, the Dead Zombie Band puts on an incredible show and everyone looks forward to it. Because we are a not for profit organization local business donate to help us defray the expense of putting this whole thing together. I am on the board of directors for the community organization and am in charge of the PR, social media and the website as well as helping to coordinate.  It’s a tremendous amount of work but very rewarding. I will post photo’s this week. Happy Halloween to all!!

Sorry about all the cauliflower recipes, as I said in the last post it’s an obsession of mine and a filling and delicious sub for carb laden rice or potatoes or pasta. In this case I probably would have served over polenta but instead served with a cauliflower puree made rich with a little creme fraiche and grated comte cheese. The vegetables are simple, a small graffiti eggplant roasted with whole cherry tomatoes and shallot. For a textural diversion I sauteed some fresh bread crumbs in garlic, butter and olive oil and sprinkled over the top.

In an effort to satisfy my sweet tooth and still stay away from refined sugar and flour I created this simple dessert by poaching pears in Poire William (pear liquor) with a touch of maple syrup to sweeten and served with a créme anglaise again with a little maple syrup to sweeten and some Poire William.  Créme Anglaise is a custard sauce made with eggs, milk or cream, sugar, vanilla and rum or some sort of spirit or liquor. Because I am not really eating refined sugar I chose to lightly sweeten with maple syrup, this was adapted from Julia Childs recipe in her book, “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom”.  I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t thicken properly because there is no sugar but it worked just fine.

Cauliflower Puree with Roasted Vegetables 

Really no recipe required for this I made enough for 2 servings

Cauliflower puree follow instructions but use creme fraiche rather than cream.

1 small eggplant cut into bite size pieces

cherry tomatoes

1 shallot peeled and cut into quarters

cheese of your choice I used comté and didn’t measure- grated – add as much cheese as you like

olive oil

salt and pepper

fresh breadcrumbs

1 small garlic clove thinly sliced

butter

Make the cauliflower puree and set aside. Clean and cut your eggplant and shallot, heat the oven to 400 degree’s. Place parchment on sheet pan and lay the vegetables and whole cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. The eggplant and shallot should be soft and the tomatoes nicely caramelized.

Heat a little olive oil and butter in a skillet on med high heat, add garlic and sauté until soft. Add the breadcrumbs stirring so that the fat is absorbed by the breadcrumbs. Toast in the skillet until crisp and browned.

Heat cauliflower puree in saucepan add grated cheese. Serve immediately with the roasted vegetables spooned on top, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and garnish with a little parsley if you like.

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Créme Anglaise

2 servings

Adapted from a recipe by Julia Child

3 egg yolks

2-3 tbs maple syrup

1 cup half and half or whole milk

2 tsp vanilla

2 tbs Poire William (you can use the juices from the poached pears for this)

Whisk egg yolks with the maple syrup until the yolks are thick and pale yellow. Heat milk to scalding and add in a slow steady stream to the egg yolks whisking constantly. Pour into the saucepan and cook on medium to medium low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, using your finger swipe a line and if it stays intact it’s done. Remove from heat immediately, pour through a fine sieve to remove any bits of egg that may have cooked and add the vanilla and pear liquor.  Refrigerate until ready to use, since this is best served warm heat over simmering water (bain marie) until warm to the touch. The créme anglaise which is usually a light yellow because of the maple syrup and vanilla is more beige in color.

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Poached Pears

Heat oven to 375 degree’s. Peel, cut in half and core the pears,  place in a buttered baking dish adding some Poire William, pear nectar or whatever liquid you like. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until pears are soft when gently poked with the end of a sharp knife.

If your créme anglaise is cold you can warm over simmering water. Spoon onto a plate and top with the pear.

You can add a cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom pod or whatever spice you like to the pears and this will infuse with a gentle warm spice that would be delicious as well.

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Count Dracula

Percy as Count Dracula

A Guest Post From Cheryl – Caramel Apples

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I am overwhelmed right now, being pulled in so many different directions my head is swimming, it’s no ones’ fault but my own, I can’t say no when it comes to the community work. This came at just the right time, I was so pleased and surprised that Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks Wiser offered another guest post. This simple treat is perfectly seasonal and a delicious treat for Halloween! Thank you so much my dear friend.

Take it away Cheryl……

A fun Halloween Treat for Everyone!
Wonderful Caramel Apples, so easy and so delicious.

I use Large Rome Apples (or your choice), 2-16 ounce bags of Kraft Caramels (melted), 12 Wooden Sticks, plastic wrap, ribbon for bows.

Slowly Melt the caramels on low heat, allow to partially cool down, pierce top of each apple with the stick, dip into the caramel sauce, let them drip, then place on a large sheet pan covered with either parchment paper or waxed paper for the caramel apples to set-up. Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Wrap in plastic and tie a pretty bow! Great for gifts.

Enjoy your Halloween.

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Ocean Living and Cooking, Florida Fun antics and adventures for YOU!

Thank You Suzanne for letting me share this easy, fun treat! xo

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