Tag Archives: nuts

Reaching for the ‘clouds’ for the New Year!

Well hello to everyone… yes I realize it has been quite a while since my last posting, but there were many obstacles that prevented me from having the time to focus. Hopefully this will be a new blogging beginning for the New Year!
With 2015 finally upon us and an annual Holiday get-together with our friends approaching tonight, I felt this would be the best time to kickstart everything into motion.
Starting with ‘what can I bring’ to our amazing hostess, the words ‘how about dessert’ was music to my ears! After thinking about something out of the norm, I settled on a triple layered hazelnut mocha pavlova, with a hazelnut liquor cream filling…
It all started yesterday by roasting hazelnuts [the amount is your choice, but I went with six ounces] in the oven and also melting milk and dark chocolates [another six ounces] over simmering water. Both were set aside to cool…
While the nuts and melted chocolates cooled, six egg whites were whipped with a pinch of kosher salt until soft peaks formed, from there the sugar began to slowly get added until the whites became glossy and stiff. Once stiff peaks were evident, vanilla and almond extracts were added and the mixer then turned off. The chopped hazelnuts and a cup of chocolate chips were gently folded into the shiny pillowy mixture, as well as the cooled, melted chocolate to create a lovely marbled wonder.
Poured onto three parchment drawn discs and spread out, it was then into the 225*F oven for two and a half hours. Once cooked, the door was opened and the pavlova’s left to cool completely.
For the whipped filling, I beat cream and some hazelnut liquor until firm. This boozy filling was spread on each layer and stacked. The pavlova tier was popped into the refrigerator to ‘set-up’ overnight and then this edible beauty was dressed with some shaved dark chocolate on top before packing up and heading to the party!
The end result… crisp exterior with a slightly chewy center and a creamy delight to hold everything together… a total favorite!
What will I bake next???

-R

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the winter blues… turned vibrant green!

To move the focus off of this last [hopefully] winter storm that is upon us, I decided that something light, summery and refreshing was perfect for dinner…
After a quick dash to the market; fresh basil and pignoli nuts made their way into my bag, along with some cozy snow time treats.
Once home, I plucked the basil leaves from their stems, gave them a quick rinse under the tap and set everything aside to dry off a bit.
While the fragrant basil leaves were drying, into a food processor went some pecorino to get pulsed up until grated.
To bring everything together and make an amazing pesto, into my food processor went the basil leaves. Everything was pulsed up, along with a quite a few cloves of smashed garlic, the pignoli nuts [that I toasted lightly], some of the freshly grated pecorino, salt and pepper.
While pulsing everything, a steady drizzle of high quality olive oil really pulled [literally] everything together!
The vibrant green pesto was lovingly tossed with delicate tagliatelle and an extra sprinkle of the grated pecorino…
Each mouthful transported me from the cold and windy nonsense going on outside, to what summer has to offer us in the not so distant months to come!

at a low simmer…
-R

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just feeling a little nutty…

Feeling in the mood for a snack, I thought what better to do than whip up some roasted nuts!
Cashews, pecans and almonds were tossed with some canola oil, brown sugar, karo syrup, spicy chili powder, salt and minced rosemary. [You can play with how savory, spicy or sweet works for you]
Everything went onto a baking sheet and into the oven for twenty minutes [tossing once while cooking].
Once cooled [ok hard to do] it was time to enjoy!

at a low simmer…
-R

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sometimes you feel like a nut…

After visiting one of my favorite places… out I came with this hearty beauty! Full of flavor and a touch of nuttiness. This rustic little gem paired perfectly with a crisp glass of white wine, red grapes, fig jam and a creamy, slightly pungent triple crème…

at a low simmer…
-R

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no nuts here…

So with a bunch of quickly ripened bananas, I thought what better to do than whip up a banana bread… not being an enormous fan of nuts however this ‘bread’ would be ‘fixed’ before even being born…
Four ripe bananas behaved badly and got a good mashing; they were then mixed in with some french sour cream and a healthy dose of vanilla. While they were starting to get along, I whisked [by hand since the recipe calls for it… bleh] two eggs [I use extra large] and sugar… this was whisked until it became fluffy and a pale yellowy color… After adding the banana mixture into the eggs, I gently added in the dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, salt and some spicy cinnamon…
The voluminous batter was then poured lovingly into a slightly greased loaf pan, gently tapped to remove any air bubbles and shot right into the pre-heated 350 degree range for about an hour. The scents of this intoxicating concoction drifted throughout the house and was attempting to put me under its spell… sweet bananas, spicy cinnamon… oh how difficult it was to contain myself!
At last, once golden and cooked through, the bread was placed in the corner [like an unruly child] to cool off. After cooling down, but still slightly warm, what better way to enjoy a slice of this sexy treat [yes I’m sorry there is no way this is just a ‘bread’] than with a light dusting of powdered sugar and a soothing cup of tea…
Hmmmm perhaps I have to seek out close-to-ripe, instead of unripened bananas from now on at the market…

at a low simmer…

-R

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