This is an outstanding cake. It is subtly sweet and fluffy. The fresh fruit is dreamy with just a touch of vinegar and sugar to bring out the seasonal flavor. The mascarpone whipped cream filling is to die for. I wrote on my printed copy of the recipe “Best whipped cream ever!” And it really is. The cake comes together easily, even though the instructions look long. Fresh fruit is such an easy and pretty cake topper, assembly is a cinch.
Texas Hill Country peach season is here! I got giddy with excitement at my first stop at my trusted peach guy’s roadside stand, and ended up with about 60 peaches. I just can’t resist peak season local fruit. I thought it would be a challenge to use them all, but it wasn’t. I used them all and I’m ready for more. Many of them went towards this peach vanilla jam. It is incredibly flavorful and not too sweet, so you really taste the peaches. It’s easy to make too.
I have a major sweet tooth. Going sugar free is a real challenge for me. This tasty banana “ice cream” hits the spot. It has only three ingredients and is super simple to make. Really you just need frozen banana. I added peanut butter for flavor, which might be my favorite add-in for banana ice cream. Cocoa powder and almond butter are great too. I added coconut milk to make it easier to blend in my not-so-powerful mini food processor. If you have a powerful blender, you probably won’t even need the milk. This couldn’t be any easier or healthier given how indulgent it tastes.
My family loves this guilt-free fudge, which has just six natural ingredients and takes about ten minutes of active time to prepare. It has a gooey-soft texture and tastes perfectly of peanut butter. The sweetness comes from banana and a small amount of maple syrup. Combining peanut butter with coconut oil gives it a fudge-like consistency. Then there’s just a little vanilla and salt for a flavor boost.
Mug cakes are great because I can make one serving and avoid the temptation to binge! They’re also made with just a handful of basic ingredients and take only a few minutes to throw together. There are endless variations. This banana cake version is delicious. It’s gooey and a little pudding-like in texture. It satisfies my sweet tooth and is a special treat. In future posts, I plan to share recipes for chocolate, snickerdoodle, and peanut butter versions.
Have you tried microwave mug cakes before? Share in the comments.
I make these sparkly little berries almost every winter for holiday festivities. They are a delightful burst of sweetness and tartness. Sugared cranberries dress up any party spread and compliment so many different flavors. There’s still time to make these for New Year’s! They take a while because they soak for a few hours in syrup, but the hands-on time is only about 10 minutes. You make simple syrup with water and sugar, and a little added flavor from ginger. This syrup can be re-used to make multiple batches of cranberries. It can also be used in mixed drinks. It turns a cheery bright pink color and has a hint of cranberry flavor. This year, my friend Stephen improvised a super delicious and therefore dangerous mixed drink with the leftover syrup. He calls it “Cranberry ginger fizz,” and I’ve shared the ingredients below.
Recipes after the jump!
Deb’s decadent hot chocolate mix lives up to its name. It gets the decadence from using dark chocolate in addition to cocoa powder. The dark chocolate is ground in a food processor or finely chopped so that it perfectly melts when you add hot milk. It’s not too sweet so you can really taste the chocolate, and it has a thick and creamy texture. I expect nothing less from Deb of Smitten Kitchen. She is my favorite food blogger and taste bud kindred spirit. This hot chocolate mix is definitely gift worthy and takes about 10 minutes to make. Deb has some ideas for cute packaging and mixing in other flavors on her site.
I’ve loved chocolate milk since I was a little girl. I still drink it once a week or so as a special treat. Homemade chocolate syrup is so easy to make, and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry: cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and vanilla. If you want to make it fancier, you can add espresso powder, which gives a boost to the chocolate flavor. I didn’t use it this time, but trust me, it’s a fantastic addition if you happen to have it. The syrup is still chocolatey delicious without it though!
This recipe for s'more nut bars is definitely a keeper. It comes from the book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, which I have been reading about all over the food blogosphere ever since it came out. The book includes recipes from the New York bakery that is the namesake of the book. I'm sure I'll be making more recipes from this book (already the brownies and chocolate stout shake-- alas, I didn't take photos), and maybe then I'll spend a little more time discussing the authors' genius. For now though, I want to tell you about one of my favorite (dare I say my MOST favorite?) source for recipes and other food related info, Cook's Illustrated [www.cooksillustrated.com]. Cook's is a subscription based cooking magazine that comes in both print and online format. They have a test kitchen in which they make recipes over and over, systematically varying ingredients and using scientific know-how to create impeccable recipes. They also conduct reviews of kitchen equipment and taste tests. All of their reviews, taste tests, and recipes come with articles explaining the details of the process. I always check to see if Cook’s has a review if I’m buying a new kitchen tool, and I pore over the taste tests before I go to the grocery store.
What do you do with 15 pounds of strawberries? Eat some, bake some, freeze some. This past weekend, I went strawberry picking, which is, of course, how I ended up with 15 pounds of these delicious little balls of nutrients. Berry picking is one of my favorite summer activities. First strawberries, then blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Strawberries are one of the more challenging berries to pick because they are so low to the ground, so you have to either kneel the whole time, or not mind a muddy butt. They don’t last more than a week in the fridge, so if you pick very many, you’ll end up having to freeze some. And that means hulling. Strawberries are pretty easy to hull with a good knife, but it takes a while. It took me an hour to hull about seven pounds.
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.