It’s just the two of us and sometimes making a recipe as it’s called for makes way too much for us to enjoy. I love chocolate and dessert but choosing between eating it everyday for a week or being forced to toss it out just doesn’t work for me. I know, I’m crazy to not want to enjoy dessert every evening, but my scale tells me I’m not wrong. To solve this dilemma, I’ve learned to half recipes to make enough for two for a couple of evenings. Over the New Year’s Eve holiday I found a recipe for salted chocolate pots de creme and took it from 8 servings to 4. It was quite easy and I highly recommend this approach when baking sweets for two.
At first I thought this would be a difficult recipe to make, but was pleasantly surprised at just how simple it really was. If you can whisk ingredients together you can make these with ease.
Salted Chocolate Pots de Creme
The recipe calls for :
4 oz of good quality 75% cacao chocolate
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons of whole milk (or 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maldon Salt flakes to garnish
Chop the chocolate and place in a heat proof medium bowl and cover with a mesh sieve. In a medium sauce pan whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale. Add in the heavy cream, milk, and salt. Stir constantly over medium heat until heated to 175 degrees or for about 8 -10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Pour through the sieve over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Pour evenly into 4 5 oz. ramekins, let cool and chill for 4 hours. Sprinkle with Maldon salt flakes before serving. ( you can find it on Amazon, and no, I don’t have an affiliate link)
If you’d like to make enough for 8 servings simply double the recipe.
These salted chocolate pots de creme were a big hit with both Kevin and myself. I love that I can make these again easily when we want a sweet treat without over indulging.
I love summer fruits and one that has always been a favorite are fresh cherries. I can eat them by the handfuls. I didn’t think I could eat two pounds of them though and decided to try a new recipe. We both love apple crisp and I thought why not try a cherry crisp.
I took to Pinterest to see what cherry crisp recipes were floating around out there and found one I thought I could modify a bit to suit our gluten free lifestyle. Most the recipes called for cherry pie filling instead of fresh cherries. I wasn’t interested in using canned cherries for this recipe. Honestly, what I came up with was pretty good.
The cherry crisp recipe is pretty simple to make.
1-2 lbs of fresh cherries, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon Almond extract
1/2 cup gluten free quick cooking oats
1/2 cup Almond flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons of butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish or a deep casserole dish with butter
In a bowl place the cherries with the sugar and almond extract, stir and set aside
In another bowl mix the flour, quick oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt and butter. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly
Pour the cherries into the baking dish and top with the flour mixture
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden and the cherries are bubbling.
Remove and set to cool. Serve with fresh whipped cream, Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.
This cherry crisp turned out to be a fabulous dessert that also doubled as a quick breakfast when served with a bit of Greek Vanilla yogurt. I’m sure it will be made again soon.
Come the holidays when fresh cherries will be hard to come by, I may give it a try with cherry pie filling.
We are very fortunate to have a nature preserve around the corner from our house that offers numerous guided hikes and lessons on everything from species found in the park to types of plants and ecosystems. Awhile ago we attended a kitchen botany class. Originally we thought it might focus on the plants in the park that could be incorporated into meals, or perhaps allow one to survive Naked & Afraid. Instead, it focused on how our fruits and veggies went from wild roots, stems and leaves to cultivated foods we take for granted. It turned out to be very interesting. Here are a few things we learned.
Did you know the weed Queen Anne’s Lace was the precursor to carrots. The root of the plant was cultivated to be the carrot. Colored carrots did not occur naturally. Across different parts of the globe, humans manipulated the genes of the plants to tease out certain colors. They were first cultivated near the Caspian Sea with the color purple playing a role. The Dutch developed the orange carrot in honor of the House of Orange. This manipulation is called genetic plasticity. Other foods that were considered roots at first are radishes and parsnips.
We learned that it took 7,000 years to cultivate the onion. Its wild origins are largely unknown, though. Today, we simply walk into a farmer’s market and have our choice of onions.
In the Mediterranean asparagus grows wild. Before being cultivated, it was considered a stem and is a distant cousin of the onion and leek. Cucumbers date back almost 3,000 years and originated in India.
The most interesting thing we learned was that bananas are a hybrid between two different plants. Every banana you’ve ever eaten has come from the same exact plant. Once it was cultivated, all of the crops grew from a single hybrid and were cloned billions of times. We are actually on the third version of the hybrid as disease wiped out previous crops.
I found the workshop fascinating and will never look at the produce section of my local market the same. It gave me a new found appreciation for the fruits and veggies available to us.
Popsicles were always a favorite summer treat as a kid. I recall the sticky drips of cherry on my toes that had me running for the pool to wash my bare-feet. Ah… childhood memories. Seriously though, why should kids have all the fun? This month, I’m sharing my favorite boozey popsicles for the grown ups.
The first is a classic summer cocktail that seeks to quench your thirst on a hot day. It was my Grandfather’s favorite drink, and often considered an old person’s drink by my husband. It is one of my favorites in the summer. There’s something a bit nostalgic about sipping a G&T on the porch in the late afternoon.
Instead of sipping one, I took the classic Gin & Tonic and froze it. How cool is that?
The recipe is simple. You’ll need a bottle of gin, a bottle of tonic water, the juice of half a lime, and thin slices of cucumber. Mix 1 1/2 cups of tonic water with the lime juice and 4oz of gin. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter which brand of gin you opt to use. I used Tanqueray as it’s what I had on hand. You could use a less expensive gin for these and arrive at the same result.
My first attempt came out a bit icy, but was still a fabulous indulgence of on a hot day.
I found a few interesting facts about Gin while writing this piece. Did you know it dates back to the Middle Ages and is derived from juniper berries? It was an easy liquor to distill with ingredients readily accessible to everyone. It started as a Dutch liquor and gained in popularity under the rule of William of Orange. Eventually it became known more as a British libation. Even today some of the best gin hails from the U.K.
These boozey popsicles will be a hit at your next pool party or girls night in.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Women’s Golf Day event held by Innisbrook Golf Resort, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort in Palm Harbor, Fl. It was a fabulous event designed to introduce more women to the game of golf.
Women’s Golf Day started up about four years ago as a means to introduce young girls, and women to the game as well as invite women that already play to come out for an afternoon of golf clinics, product demos, 9 holes of play or chip & putt events. The annual four hour event spans 43 countries and has over 20 million participants. Participating locations must meet a certain criteria in order to qualify to host an event. The two that stood out to me as noteworthy were that the event had to have 2 hours of golf and 2 hours of socializing or networking. The other was that the venue had to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and provide promotion of the Foundation at the event.
Innisbrook Golf Resort graciously hosted approximately 100 women to an afternoon of golf clinics where participants were taught how best to hold a club, the right posture and proper form for hitting the ball. They set up on the driving range and let us all have a go with either a driver or an iron. Golf on the range was followed up with spa treatments from their Salamander Spa and delicious food with an open bar. Yes, they provided us with an open bar. Gotta love the 19th hole.
We are very fortunate to have such a world class resort so close by. Each March Innisbrook hosts the Valspar PGA Tournament and through out the year the host events open to the public like their 4th of July celebration complete with fireworks. It was a real treat to attend their Women’s Golf Day event.
I own a set of clubs but haven’t played in a very long time. I wasn’t even sure if I knew how to hold a club. It turns out it’s almost like riding a bike and I picked up my grip right where I left it, so to speak. After a couple of swings and more than a few misses, I was able to drive the ball a bit of a distance with a little lift too. As I was sitting there waiting for a friend to take her turn I texted Kevin to ask if we could hit the driving range more often. Playing 9 holes would be a lot of fun and somewhat cost prohibitive at the moment for us, but a bucket of balls is a cheap way to swing a club and get out there to practice.
Innisbrook sent us all home with a gift bag of goodies including a coupon for an additional 1/2 hour golf lesson when booking a full hour with one of their amazing Golf Pro’s. I’m hoping to be able to make use of it later this summer. It’ll give me a good excuse to break out my clubs.
If you’d like to participate next year you can find a location near you hosting an event next June by checking the list of locations on the Women’s Golf Day website. I’ll see you on the links.