Tag Archives: dessert

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Evi & Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Happy Birthday

Evi’s favorite dessert is not cake or cupcakes, it’s actually a fruit tart.  So to make the birthday girl happy, I made her a blueberry version this year.  The recipe is very similar to last year’s Birthday Fruit Tart.

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding

I get excited when a fresh issue of a cooking magazine shows up in our mailbox- so much inspiration, so many recipes to try out!  Check out which magazines we like to flip through on our “Blogs, Books & Magazines” page.  I also like it when I have ingredients to make particular recipes, without having to break the bank- or keep visiting the grocery store.

When I was flipping through the January issue of Food and Wine, I spotted a recipe for Almond-Milk Rice Pudding.  Knowing that I had about the exact amount of sushi rice in our pantry I’ve been wanting to use up, I thought this would be the perfect dessert, or snack, throughout the week.

Almond & Coconut Milk

The week prior, we had access to a car (thanks Carrie!) and I had bought various (delicious) items at Trader Joe’s.  Two of them were almond and coconut milk.  Not too familiar with these liquids?  Almond milk is made from ground almonds, and a great substitute if you have dairy allergies.  Coconut milk is made from grated coconut, also a great milk substitute, and used in many vegan and vegetarian dishes.  I recommend using the unsweetened versions, making this a little healthier, and not overly sweet.

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding 2

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding
Adapted from: Food & Wine (January 2013)

1 1/2 cups of sushi rice, rinsed
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 cups of almond milk
4 cups of coconut milk

In a large bowl, or pitcher, combine the almond and coconut milks together.

In a large saucepan, combine the sushi rice, sugar, salt and 1 cup of the milk mixture.  Cook the ingredients over low heat, stirring, until the milk is absorbed- about 5 minutes.  Then add in another cup of milk, stirring until the liquid is absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.  Gradually, every 5-10 minutes add another cup of milk and keep stirring, until you use all but 1 cup.  By then, the rice mixture should be thickened, and the rice will be cooked.  Lastly, turn off the heat, pour in the last cup of milk, stir, and allow it to cool.

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding

Serve with preserves, defrosted fruit, or fresh fruit (berries would be best).

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding 3

Food Matters Project #28: Lemon Cornmeal Cake

A little late here with my Food Matters Project post, but better than never, right?  And this is a good one to keep in your back pocket, a quick dessert- perfect to make before friends stop by for a mid-week dinner.

This weeks host is Jen, of Prairiesummers.  She chose Mark Bittman’s Apricot Polenta Cake.  Check out her version, and what everyone else made here.

I was very excited to make this since I’ve been saving a very similar recipe from A Meandering Mango.  When I was making this, I decided to take a little from both recipes and make my own version.  Mine tasted very similar to a lemon bar, refreshing and light.

This cake is a perfect way to celebrate a little milestone in our house!  This past weekend we visited Philadelphia, and ran the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon!  It was Sam’s first half, and he had fun doing it!  I’m very proud, and excited that there will be another race in the near future!

Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg. 560) & A Meandering Mango

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
juice & zest of 1 lemon
juice & zest of 1 lime
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white all-purpose flour
1/2 apple, slices*
2-3 fresh figs, finely chopped*

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Spray your baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (or use butter or olive oil).

In a stand mixer whisk together the eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes, until fluffy and creamy.  Slowly add in the olive oil, lemon and lime juices, lemon and lime zest, and vanilla extract.  Lightly whisk the ingredients together.

In a small pot, mix together the cornmeal and salt.  Then whisk in the water, until it is lump-free.  Set the pot over medium heat, whisk frequently and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, and cook until the water is absorbed.  Then set aside and allow to cool.

Stir in the flour and cornmeal mixture into the mixing bowl with eggs and sugar.  Stir well, then pour into the sprayed baking dish.

Arrange the apples and figs on top of the cake.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the cake.  Allow to cool about 15 minutes before cutting it.

*Other alternatives for toppings or frosting: fresh berries, fruit soaked in liquor or honey, ground nuts or coconut, powdered sugar or a honey drizzle!  Be creative, and let me know what worked!

Happy 4th of July!!!

I hope you all enjoyed the BBQ’s and fireworks today!

Thanks to our friends who had a great barbeque, we enjoyed the 4th!

Book Club: S’more Cookie

I hosted my Book Club at our house last week, there were 8 of us here to talk about The Corrections, and catch up on what’s going on in our lives.  Check out what else was on the Book Club menu!

I’ll skip around the book club menu a bit to tell you all about the dessert.  I do have a reason- today it’s my Dad’s birthday, and I think he’d love this dessert.  Happy Birthday Dad!  One of his favorite desserts are chocolate chip cookies, and this is equally good.

I found this recipe thanks to Pinterest, I kept seeing recipes for s’more bars or cupcakes, and since it is an American dessert, I thought this would be perfect.  Although s’mores tend to be eaten near a bonfire or while camping, this is the perfect indoor substitute.

Growing up I spent a couple of summers at Cedar Lodge Summer Camp, in a tiny town of Lawrence, Michigan.  It’s mainly a horseback riding camp, but there were some that attended and didn’t ride.  I have very fond memories of my summers there, especially at the campfire at the end of each week!

Every Saturday night, all the campers and staff would gather around the bonfire with their blankets, bug spray, flashlights and sticks to make s’mores.  First we would eat dinner (burgers, hot dogs, or sloppy joe’s) and then we would find a great place to sit to hear stories.  My first week there, I remember Eddy, the owner of the camp, told us a scary ghost story which kept me awake that night in the cabin.  After he passed away, Amy (his daughter and Camp Director) continued to keep us entertained.  With night settling in, all of us would make s’mores and huddle together.  It was the perfect way to close a week of camp, before the new set of campers arrived.

S’more Cookie
Adapted from: Wit & Whistle

I basically did the same recipe, although I made it in a bigger pan.  It’s possible to make it smaller as well.  Best served when it’s cooled off, maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6-8 blocks)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 King-sized Hershey’s chocolate bars
3 1/2 oz marshmallow puff*

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Using about a tablespoon of butter, grease a 9’x13′ baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar.  Add in the egg and vanilla, beat well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.  Slowly incorporate it into the large bowl, mixing at a lower speed until it’s combined.

Divide the dough in two chunks.  Press the half into the baking pan, an even layer.  Then place the chocolate bars on top, try not to break the bars.  Spread the marshmallow puff onto the chocolate in an even layer.  Press the remaining dough onto the layer of marshmallows.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is lightly brown.  Cut into pieces after this has cooled off.

*Do not use melted marshmallows!