Apples, cranberries and marmalade make a delicious dessert wrapped in a flaky, tender crust.

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It has been very cold the last few weeks here in the Midwest. The winter’s bite can be quite harsh for my liking. So why not bake? It will keep the house filled with warmth and wonderful aromas.

Here is my basic recipe for these galettes. If you are not going gluten-free, try my traditional galette dough here.

Hope you enjoy this simple treat.

 

Are you on Instagram? Twitter? You can find me here on Instagram and twitter.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Apple-Cranberry Galettes [serves 3]

1 ¼ cup g/f mix

Hazelnut Caramel Tartlets

¼ cup sweet rice flour

1 ½ Tablespoons cane sugar

½ teaspoon sea salt

8 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 large egg

2-3 Tablespoons cold water [optional]

 

Apple-Cranberry Filling

1 ½ cups small apples, such as Lady Apples, cored & sliced

¼ cup cranberries, sliced

1 ½ Tablespoon lemon sugar -or- cane sugar

2 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice

1 teaspoon corn starch

1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest

2 Tablespoons orange marmalade [or more to taste]

1 beated egg [for brushing]

Sugar [for sprinkling on egg washed galettes]

 

Preheat oven to 350°F

 

preparing the dough:

1. In a food processor combine the flours, sugar and salt.

2. Add in the cold butter and process until coarse bits form.

3. Whisk the cream and egg together.

4. With the machine running add the mixture in and continue to process until it forms a ball, approximately 10 – 15 seconds*.

5. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

6. Form into a log and wrap in plastic wrap, chill briefly while you prepare the filling.

*note: The optional water may be necessary if the flour is drier than normal due to the dry cold months. This will help the dough be more elastic and fold better. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky.

 

preparing the filling:

1. Toss all ingredients together until evenly mixed.

2. Rest for 5 minutes so the sugar can bring out the juices.

assembly & baking the galettes:

1. Cut dough into three equal pieces and form into balls.

2. Roll each piece into an eight-inch circle* on a lightly floured surface.

3. Place filling in the center of each dough round.

4. Fold the sides up and over fruit leaving an opening.

5. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.

6. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden in color and fruit is bubbling away.

Note: Once the galettes are cool, you can brush extra marmalade for a nice finish. Heat marmalade in a small saucepan with a smidge of water to form a light coating glaze.

*note: Though the dough is not thoroughly chilled for this recipe, it should roll out very well. The process of rolling and filling the galettes should still be quick so the dough does not dry out.

Winter is just about here.

The crisp air builds a craving for…

Snowy white parsnips, knobby celeriac, sweet potatoes and also the elusive parsley root.  Many of my favorite cold weather comfort foods fall right onto the table for Thanksgiving.

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This image was part of a 22 page local booklet I styled and photographed to celebrate the holiday season. Details about this booklet may be found here.

You can check out the booklet by clicking the “Celebrate Local” banner

while it is up.

I am keeping this post short, due to the holiday ahead, but just enough to share one of my favorite holiday recipes with you.

Since Thanksgiving is all about thankfulness and gratitude…

I want to thank all of my followers and new ones for sticking by while I run circles trying to find the time to post here.  And for the many features I have been in over these last few months. Thank You!

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It seems like ages since I was last here. I hope that you are all well.

Here is my recipe for a savory root pudding. Delicious!

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If you are not one to favor parsnip or celeriac, you can choose your favorite starchy comforts for this one.

So here you go. Enjoy!

I wish you all very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Sweet Potato, Parsnip & Celeriac Pudding  [serves 6-8]

1 ¾ pounds sweet potato, peeled & cubed into 1” pieces

½ pound parsnip, peeled & cubed into 1/2 “ pieces

1/3 pound celeriac, peeled & cubed into 1/2 “ pieces

4 Tablespoons butter, unsalted

½ cup buttermilk

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup cream

½ cup parmesan, finely grated

¼ cup almond flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup ricotta

1. Place roots in a medium stockpot and cover with lightly salted water by an inch.

2. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until roots are tender, drain.

3. Return to the pot and heat; stirring to evaporate excess moisture.

4. Puree in a food processor with milk and butter until smooth.

5. Place puree in a large bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients except ricotta.

6. Pour mixture in a buttered baking dish and dollop with ricotta.

7. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden and centers is set.

*Note: If you choose different roots, make sure you have about 3 ½ cups total volume for this recipe.

I love summer. As far as I can remember, this is one of my favorite times of the year.

MahiMahi

I love the long daylight hours, the smell of dusk when the garden revives itself from the heat under the summer sun. I love its colors, the sun ripened berries and the crisp vegetables that taste glorious only at this time of year. If it could be this way year round I would be happy!

In the kitchen the counters are packed with summer produce from the market’s and vegetables with dirt still clinging to them right out of the garden. It is times like these that become an impromptu moment of creativity.

With a simple recipe such as this, requires care in finding the freshest ingredients. I wanted this recipe to have the perfect blackberries to accompany the rich nature of mahi mahi, and the sweetest, cucumbers right off of the vine.

What would be more perfect than freshly clipped micro greens to sprinkle over the fish. I adore these tender little pickings; with a steady supply they find themselves everywhere and in just about every recipe.  And I can always count on taking a few steps outside to grab a few plucks herbs from the kitchen garden.

This is summer! It is all about seasonally curated edibles. With such abundance, everything is bursting with bounty. Every kitchen garden, every herb pot and market stand.  This is what makes summer so special.

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy every fresh herb, every tender berry and every bit of sunshine?

Thank you Sonia for having me as a guest on your site! This post can be seen here and there is much more so take a look around!

Mahi Mahi, Blackberry-Cucumber Salad with a Grapefruit Vinaigrette

1 large grapefruit, reserve 1 teaspoon of zest

4 small mahi mahi fillets

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

1/3 cup cucumber, diced

½ cup blackberries, halved

1 handful of micro greens

2 Tablespoons small whole opal basil leaves

2 Tablespoons small whole Thai basil leaves

a few sprigs of chervil [optional]

Grapefruit vinaigrette

2 Tablespoons avocado oil or grape seed oil

2 Tablespoons grapefruit vinegar or grapefruit juice

1 teaspoon grape fruit zest

½ teaspoon grainy mustard

¼ teaspoon crushed chilies or piment d’espelette

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ – ½ teaspoon sugar [to taste] [omit if using grapefruit vinegar]

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Marinate fish with the juice from the grapefruit for 10 minutes.

2. Discard marinade and place the fish filets on a parchment lined baking pan.  Coat with grape seed oil.

2. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Roast in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Alternatively, grill the mahi mahi.

4. Meanwhile whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients except the oil in a bowl.

5. Slowly drizzle oil in while whisking vigorously until emulsified.

6. Place fish on a serving platter and garnish with blackberries, cucumbers, micro greens and herbs. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Pardon my long absence here. Well shoot!  There has been a lot going on. Since I have been away I am grateful to read all of your comments and emails. I loved this little post about my last recipe for the peanut butter tarts! Thank you Baking Bird.

Seasonally, who doesn’t love spring?

I dig spring; it’s all about the sweet peas, the mesmerizing shapes of the fiddleheads and aroma of spring onions. I could not imagine a spring pasta dish without peas, tender greens and fiddleheads. Could you?

SpringPastaRecipe

For this Northerner, I welcome it as soon as fall heads into winter, and looking forward to the first blooms of the season.

Springtime is where the sweeping away of the robust flavors of winter and the attentive nature of the palette gears towards fresh, vibrant things.

Peas3

All of these and more are delicate in substance needing nothing more than a brisk dive in frantically boiling water and to set their emerald color.

For a few weeks it will be the enjoyment of what spring has to offer. The most vibrantly emerald green soups, tender asparagus, and the most beautiful blossoms.

Peas1

Until then, have a beautiful spring.

Spring Pasta Recipe [Serves 4]

4 ounces gluten-free spaghetti pasta

3 cups fresh pea shoots –or- baby arugula

1 cups fiddlehead ferns

½  cup freshly shelled peas

½ cup freshly shelled fava beans

¼ cup thinly sliced purple spring onion

¼ cup capers, drained

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

White sesame seeds [for garnishing]

Fresh chervil leaves [for garnishing]

Ground red pepper [for garnishing]

Shaved Parmesan [optional, not pictured]

1. Cook pasta as directed on the package, rinse to cool.

2. Briefly blanch peas, fava beans and fiddleheads in salted water, cool in ice water.

3. Toss pasta with vinaigrette, blanched vegetables and capers.

4. Place half of the pea shoots on a platter.

4. Place dressed pasta on a serving platter and garnish with Parmesan shavings, remaining pea shoots, chervil, sesame seeds and ground red pepper.

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette [for recipe above]

3 Tablespoons toasted hazelnut oil

2 Tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice

1 – 1 ½ teaspoon Meyer lemon zest

1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon cane sugar

¾ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

1. Whisk together all ingredients except the oil until smooth.

2. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.

I crave more of the tender quick breads and galettes, and J. craves desserts that are richer, such as these tarts. While desserts at home change throughout the year, the age old peanut butter and chocolate combination is an ever present theme. I find that this recipe, as simple as it is, to be straight to the point, no fancy spun sugar, no voluptuous ribbons of butter cream or expensive boutique ingredients.

There is nothing to distract you but pure joy.

 

It takes a favorite treat to feel a little special these days here at home. J. is always excited when I make desserts especially ones with peanut butter and chocolate. As I whirlwind about baking with whatever comes to mind, I take a pause at times to consider a simpler approach to give comfort where I can, with our busy schedules and much to do’s, these are perfect.

If you are not going gluten free, try this pâte sucrée recipe or perhaps a chocolate one here. I am sure you will find these to be simply delicious.

Hopefully I am back to a more consistent posting schedule!

Hope you all had a smashingly great Thanksgiving holiday!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart Recipe [Makes 6 tartlets]

g/f pâte sucrée

In the Days of Summer

½ cup creamy peanut butter, unsalted

½ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate glaze recipe [here]

1 Tablespoons salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F after tart dough is ready to roll out.

preparing the peanut filling:

1. Mix together peanut butter and softened butter until smooth.

2. Whip in confectioner’s sugar and salt until smooth.

3. Spread filling among six prepared tart shells and chill in the refrigerator.

4. Pour glaze over filling and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

*note: Reserve extra glaze for another use.

Serve right out of the refrigerator or allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes and enjoy.

Gluten-Free Pâte Sucrée Recipe

2 cups gluten-free baking mix

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Tart rings used were 3 inches in diameter and ¾ inch tall.

Only half of the dough was used for these peanut butter tarts, so save the remaining for later.

preparation:

1. Process butter and confectioner’s sugar together until fluffy, 2 minutes.

2. Add egg and sea salt and process for another minute or so.

3. Add g/f flour mix and pulse just until combined, approximately 5 seconds.

4. Dump bowl onto a work surface and knead just to form a ball.

5. Flatten dough and wrap in plastic wrap; chill for 2-4 hours.

6. Cut half of the dough into six portions.

7. Roll out one dough portion at a time to an eighth inch thickness.

8. Line a tartlet ring and place in refrigerator; repeat with remaining dough.

Bake @ 375°F from chill for 20-23 minutes or until edges start to turn golden.

Cool for a few minutes in the tart pans, then unmold and cool completely on a cooling rack.

*note: For the filling recipe I wanted to elaborate on the consistency a little bit. The peanut filling should be thicker than a buttercream. There may be a little tweaking if your choice of peanut butter is softer or thicker. And always adjust the sweetness or saltiness as your taste may differ.

When the weather turns blissfully chilly I think of comfort foods, nothing to fancy, just bowls of soup and bits of bread.

 

I have been in a soup making frenzy lately. It’s the season of course. I switch gears in the kitchen to winter squash, root vegetables, figs, apples, and braised meats. I notice I reference braises a lot, even in warmer months of the year. I like braises, I like the rich homey aroma they give. Like soup how could one not feel at home?

To celebrate the arrival of mellower days, I keep to the kitchen making soup and lots of it seems. It’s that time of year when you don’t have the urgency of the plants and the garden. The start of each season is a flush of new flavors reviving the tired day to day meal.

 

Apple & Fig Salad w/ hazelnuts

Fig & Goat Cheese Tartines

I think I had soup every day this week and hearty meals to keep that inner fire going. I experiment, play around with ideas, but I always fall back on simple easy soups, no fuss. A butternut, root vegetable soup like this one is just right. Perfect comfort food.

Besides soup and braises, I made recently a chicken sausage & shrimp “dirty” rice. A not so typical rendition, something I just put together. It was delicious!

 

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash, Celeriac, Parsnip & Apple Soup [serves 4-6]

1 ½ cups leeks, halved & thinly sliced

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ½ cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped

1 cup celeriac, peeled & chopped

½-1 cup parsnips, peeled & chopped

4 cups homemade chicken stock

2 sprigs thyme

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 medium apples, peeled, seeded & chopped [I used a red & green variety]

1. Saute leeks in butter on medium-low heat until tender and translucent.

2. Add squash, celeriac, parsnip, stock, thyme and salt.

3. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until nearly tender.

4. Add apple and continue to cook until everything is tender enough to puree.

5. Puree soup in a blender and season with additional salt to taste.

Chicken Sausage & ShrimpDirty Rice” [serves 4]

½ cup basmati rice [3/4 cup chicken stock -or- water]

¼ cup wild rice [1 cup water or more]

¾ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cubed

2 Tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning

½ pound cauliflower, cut into florets

1 Tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning

½ medium yellow onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

½ large green bell pepper

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

1-2 large garlic cloves, minced

1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

½ cup homemade chicken stock

½-1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

¾ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon crushed chilies

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 Andouille chicken sausages [bake in oven until cooked, cool & sliced]

8 jumbo shrimp [such as Tiger shrimp]

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F.

1. On separate baking trays toss butternut squash with oil and seasoning; cauliflower with oil and seasoning. Roast in oven until tender.

2. Meanwhile cook the rice in the amount of water specified. Drain wild rice if needed after it is cooked.

3. In a roomy pan sauté sausage in olive oil until browned. Remove from pan.

4. In the same pan, sauté onions, celery and bell peppers until tender, adding more olive oil if necessary.

5. Add garlic, cook for a minute then add remaining spices and cook for another minute.

6. Add tomatoes, stock and thyme. Simmer on low until mixture has thickened, approximately 15 minutes.

7. Add shrimp, cover and cook through.

8. Fold in cooked rice, sausage, squash and cauliflower adjusting seasoning to taste. Sprinkle with parsley.

These blushing beauties won my heart over the red plums I was shopping for to make with these Russian cream desserts.

 

Roasting plums with honey and vanilla seemed like the perfect foil for some Russian cream. But there they were, perfectly ripe raspberries seemed a bit more exciting and vibrant than that of their neighboring fruits.

 

In the meantime, J. and I are excited to get out of the city to travel to the north and see some good fall color. The fall season here is a bit bland this year. It has been for the past several years.

 

I can’t wait to enjoy the sea of color; the blushing hues of oranges, the intense crimson of the maples, to walk through the wilderness and take in autumn while it lasts. Hopefully it won’t be too late!

 

A thank you to all for your comments and inquiries from the last post! With many requests for the stone fruit tart recipe, I have posted it here.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Russian Cream, golden raspberries, coconut & pistachios [serves 4]

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk [from cans] -or- full fat cream

5 Tablespoons can sugar

1 teaspoon gelatin

¼ cup cold water

1 cup full-fat sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract [optional]

½ pint golden raspberries

¼ cup coconut flakes

2 Tablespoons pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon confectioner’s sugar for dusting

making the cream:

1. In a small dish place water and sprinkle gelatin over the surface, set aside to bloom.

2. Heat coconut milk and sugar in a small saucepan just to a gentle boil.

3. Whisk a small quantity of coconut milk to the gelatin and add to the saucepan.

4. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla is using until smooth.

5. Divide mixture into four serving dishes and chill for at least 4 hours to set.

assembling creams:

1. Arrange raspberries in the center of each dish.

2. Sprinkle pistachios and coconut flakes around raspberries.

3. Lightly dust creams with confectioner’s sugar.

I know I have not found the time to tell you much about what I’ve cooked this summer. I have been away working on some special projects. Even in the tightest of schedules I can always find a few moments, inspired by market stands bursting with summer goodness a way to cook.

 

It has been a summer of fanciful salads, chilling soups, delicate sweet tarts; some savory and more than I can count the delightful Sunday suppers with friends. So many good things come out of summer despite the heat, I love it.

 

Stone Fruit Tarts w/ Coconut Pastry Cream & Pistachios

Summer Inspired Fruit Salad

Having fun with heirloom tomatoes.

An Heirloom Tomato Tart.

Coconut, Strawberry & Red Currant Ice Cream.

One recipe this summer I fell in love with are these stone fruit crumbles filled with rainier cherries, Freestone peaches, red currants and raspberries. Why not settle for just a one fruit crumble when you can have them all so beautifully baked under tender crumbs. They taste of summer and are basically the easiest thing on this earth to make.

Stone Fruit & Summer Berry Crumble

During the days of summer one cannot help but pick the best sun-ripened fruit for a tart or pluck a few fragrant herbs from the garden to season hand-harvested tomatoes. Simple joys, simply delicious!

So here you are, take a peek and enjoy these summer snapshots.

Enjoy!

Stone Fruit & Berry Crumble Recipe [serves 4]

4 medium peaches, pitted & cut into ½ inch pieces

½ cup Rainier cherries, halved & pitted

1/3 cup whole red raspberries

1/3 cup whole golden raspberries

¼ cup red currants

2 Tablespoons cane sugar

1 ½ Tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 vanilla bean, split & seeds removed [reserve pod for another use]

2 teaspoon raspberry vinegar

gluten-free Crumble Recipe

¼ cup amaranth flour

¼ cup sorghum flour

3 Tablespoons cane sugar

4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

preparing the crumble:

1. Mix together the flours, sugar and sea salt in a bowl.

2. Cut cold butter into the mixture. I like to grate the butter and work it into a crumbling mixture with my fingertips. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

preparing the fruit:

1. Whisk together sugar, arrowroot and vanilla seeds.

2. Toss mixture with prepared fruit, add vinegar and allow to macerate for 10-15 minutes.

3. Evenly divide fruit into four baking bowls or oven-safe dishes.

4. Top with crumble and bake for 35-40 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and crumble is golden.

Enjoy with soft whipped cream or ice cream.

Stone Fruit Tarts w/ Coconut Pastry Cream [makes approx. 8-4 inch tarts]

Assorted fresh fruit [such as cherries, peaches, red currants…]

Coconut Pastry Cream

1 ½ cups glutted-free baking mix [bottom of post]

½ cup almond meal

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon sea salt

preparating the dough:

1. In a food processor combine butter and confectioner’s sugar together until fluffy, 2 minutes.

2. Add egg and sea salt and process for another minute or so.

3. Add flour and almond meal, pulse just until combined, approximately 5 seconds.

4. Dump bowl onto a work surface and knead just to form a ball.

5. Form dough into a log and chill for 4 hours.

baking the tart shells:

1. Cut dough into thin slices and press into tart shell to an eight inch thickness, do not roll out.

Left over tart dough can be frozen for impromptu tarts latter!

2. Dock bottoms of tarts and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Bake shells at 350°F from chill for 12-13 minutes or until edges start to turn golden.

4. Cool for a few minutes in the tart pans, then unmold and cool completely on a cooling rack.

assembling tarts:

Spoon a layer of coconut pastry cream into each tart and arrange fruit; sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Once tarts are assembled they should be eaten as soon as possible.

Coconut Pastry Cream

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk [from carton]

1/2 cup regular coconut milk [from cans]

1 1/2 Tablspoons corn starch

3 Tablespoons cane sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup coconut puree [such as Boiron Brand]

3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

1. Place coconut milk in a small sauce pan and bring just to a boil

2. Meanwhile, whisk together corn starch and sugar in a bowl.

3. Beat in egg until incorporated and sugar is dissolved.

4. Slowly pour hot coconut milk into egg-sugar mixture while whisking.

5. Return mixture to saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly.

6. Once coconut mixture thicken strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.

7. Stir in coconut puree and cold butter until incorporated.

8. Cover cream with a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface, chill.

 

 

Creamy mousse, coconut rum soaked lady fingers, rainier cherries and passion fruit, perfect for a hot summer afternoon.

I am always inspired by the flavors and colors of summer. It’s easy to imagine what to eat when there are so many wonderful things available this time of year.

Peaches, plums, cherries and other splendid things. I wouldn’t know what I would do without summer.

Snacking on baskets of summer fruits is nostalgic. Growing up foraging for days in the hidden fruit patches was what we did. The experience was special. Wild fruits bursting with flavor had something extra than being delicious, something so natural as if touched by magic.

Besides loving the season of fruitfulness this mousse dessert soaked with coconut rum is refreshing. However I am still thinking of my friend d’s mixed berry pie we all shared the other week during dinner.  With wild berries now available, I might just make a berry pie for a picnic with friends.

For now, timing is perfect for cooking easy, vibrantly flavored recipes so simple that makes summer extra special.

Lots of fresh recipes I can’t wait to share.

Do you have any fond memories of summer?

Coconut Mousse Recipe [Serves 6]

6 Tablespoons coconut puree*

3 Tablespoons cold water

¾ teaspoon granular gelatin

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

1-2 teaspoons cane sugar

24 gluten-free lady fingers

1 cup coconut syrup

24 rainier cherries

2 passion fruits

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and allow to bloom for a few minutes.

2. Gently warm coconut puree in a small bowl over barely simmering water. Set aside.

3. Place gelatin over simmering water to melt. Turn off heat and continue.

4. Whip cream and sugar in a bowl just before stiff peaks form.

5. Whisk warmed coconut puree into the gelatin until incorporated.

6. Gently fold coconut/gelatin mixture into whipped cream.

assembling individual desserts:

1. Dip lady fingers one at a time in coconut syrup for a brief moment and place one in the bottom of six serving cups.

2. Spoon a little coconut mousse over the lady fingers.

3. Repeat with another layer of lady fingers and more mousse. Continue until you have four layers of lady fingers. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour to set mousse.

4. Garnish mousse with rainier cherries and a small amount of passion fruit flesh.

5. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve chilled or bring almost to room temp.

assembling one whole desert:

Follow the layering instructions as stated above, but cover the base of a dish with soaked lady fingers and a layer of coconut mouse. Repeat to use up remaining lady fingers and mouse. Garnish with cherries and passion fruit; dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Gluten-free Lady’s Fingers [makes 24]

6 Tablespoons sorghum flour

1/3 cup tapioca starch

3 large eggs, separated

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup cane sugar

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Sift together sorghum flour and tapioca starch together. Set aside.

2. Beat egg whites with sea salt until soft peaks form.

3. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form.

4. Beat in egg yolks.

5. Gently fold in flour mixture.

6. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch round tip and pipe strips of batter two inches long.

7. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, and then repeat when the first dusting is absorbed.

8. Bake for 12 minutes.

9 Remove from the pan once there are finished baking to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

Coconut Soaking Syrup [makes 1 cup]

1/3 cup coconut rum

1/3 cup canned coconut milk

1/3 cup cane sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Cool.

*note: The coconut puree used for this recipe is a concentrate made from coconut with added sugar and should not be substituted with coconut milk. I used Boiron brand puree.

Eating what’s fresh and in season is one of life’s simple pleasures.

Now finding the time to cook them all is another thing.

Weekdays food is always center of home life, but the weekends are special, no need to rush home to prepare dinner. I get a chance to browse the markets, assemble ingredients and plan how everything will come together.

Last weekend I had planned on another special meal, but J. insisted I take the day off to avoid overheating the house. The expected highs were that of July. Instead, after visiting the farmer’s market early that day, I got right into the kitchen to prepare lunch, a simple one that didn’t seem to recreate the outside temperatures.

I quickly blanched the fava beans, green beans and peas in salted, boiling water and finished them in a skillet to create a brilliantly-vibrant mélange for the scallops. All dressed simply with tarragon butter and toasted walnut oil.

I love the action that happens in the kitchen. I love the slicing, chopping, sautéing, and everything else involved in the process of making meals. I can’t help it. Sometimes I think I am crazy always wanting to be in the kitchen, heat wave or not. So many things to try, combinations to make, lots of food to be had and shared.

Where to start and when to stop and enjoy it!

A trip to the Polar Hill Farm was scheduled to see the goats, get away from the city and to see how they make thier award winning cheeses.

After the heat of Sunday and a late severe thunderstorm in the evening, the air cooled. Next morning the skies were clear and it was time to see some goats.

The tour was pleasant and the goats were adorable. Later this week I will share some of that with you!

Sea Scallops [serves 2]

6 large sea scallops

3 Tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs [or panko in not going gluten-free]

2 Tablespoons minced parsley

2 Tablespoons toasted walnut oil

Sea salt to taste

1. Place scallops on a sheet pan lined with parchment.

2. Brush scallops with walnut oil and sprinkle them with crumbs & parsley.

3. Bake in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes or until scallops are just firm and slightly opaque.

Farmer’s Market Vegetable Mélange [serves 2-3]

½ cup fresh fava beans

1/3 cup fresh peas

1/3 cup green beans cut into 1” pieces

1/3 cup fresh sweet corn kernels

¼ cup tiny French Breakfast radishes, halved

1 Tablespoon tarragon butter

1 Tablespoon toasted walnut oil

Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper & chives to taste

1 Tablespoon chives, thinly sliced [garnish]

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Blanch fava beans, peas and green beans separately for a few minutes or until just tender.

3. Place vegetables in ice water to cool and stop the cooking process. Drain on towels.

4. Heat tarragon butter in a skillet over medium heat and add all of the vegetables.

5. Gently cook until heated through. Drizzle in walnut oil and season with sea salt.

6. Sprinkle vegetables with chives and serve promptly.

Tarragon Butter

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp.

2 Tablespoons freshly minced tarragon

½ teaspoon sea salt

1. Whip together all ingredients until smooth and blended.

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