Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dragonflies and Wild Lilies

There are often new discoveries lakeside.  I adore having a lake so close that I can go for a five minute escape, a pleasant prayer walk, or an afternoon of lazing at the water's edge letting my thoughts stir and drift echoing off the ripples of renewing breezes.

This is what I found today:

The lilies are a welcome and bold mix in the brown and green backdrop.

These two jolly friends were flapping and fluttering in their double figure eights like CCO dragonfly playmates having come out to play (remember that hand game?).  Very cute together.  I waited for them to take a break so I could catch them on camera.

So beautiful.

Stuffed Strawberries and Peaches

These little guys are perfect for any occasion, including dessert.  Fresh, light and super quick and easy.  I had no idea if this was going to work-whipping lemon curd in with the whipped cream-because it is so thick, but it turned out wonderfully.  It was airy with nice body, and the flavor was a kiss of summery, lemony sweet freshness.

I am going to do these again today, mixing the filling fruit with some raspberry jam with a dab of the whipped cream or straight lemon curd just for another flavor boost.

As always,  you can doctor my recipes to your specific liking.

I used:

Fresh peaches
Fresh strawberries
Frozen Maine blueberries (I have them on hand always)
3/4 C lemon curd
2 C whipping cream
1/3 C powdered sugar
Chocolate shavings
Can mix filling fruit with your favorite jam, lemon curd or a bit of the whipped cream.

Combine cream, sugar and curd in mixer and whip on high (starting slowly at first as not to spray paint your kitchen) until fluffy, whipped cream consistency.


Hull and core the fruit, hollowing a cradle for the fillings.

Spoon out the peach just to smooth and widen the pit area.

Stuff with fresh or thawed blueberries.

 Top with the lemon cream.

Garnish with shaved semi-sweet chocolate.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Im Eyeing

Hadn't planned on another "eyeing" post so quickly, but I got a Zulily email that Down East is being featured through them.  This is a really great store for different clothing at excellent prices.  Their style is modern vintage. Figured I would pass along the opportunity.  Or, you may want to see what the other sale offerings are as there are usually several going on at the same time.

Some pieces which I quickly spied I linked to, but there are many more styles you may want to check out for yourself.

The way Zulily works is through signing up to its site with your email.  They send their sale notifications out to you as they occur.  The sales change daily and last about two days each.  It is not only clothing, but household essentials and all kinds of stuff discounted.  I happen to love this site for exceptional bargains, but the downside is, things are usually not returnable so you may need to alter if the fit isn't exact.  Not a big issue, but wanted to make you aware.

Happy browsing!

Linking through my referral invitation or put my name in the referral section of their site, it gives me a little store credit if you happen to purchase anything, for which I would be so grateful.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Finnish Pancakes and Ham

There are several variations of the Finnish pancake (and several names), but this is the one that I have made for years and it has great texture.  Dense but still light.

I like to use fresh fruit on top, but preserves are a great alternative.  I also slather a layer of lemon curd on the surface before adding the fruit.  A sprinkle of powdered sugar goes on last.  It already absorbed in the photos, and I didn't want to add more because I don't like it real sweet.

 Melt 2 Tbs butter in oven while making the batter.  If you prefer a richer butter flavor, you can use up to five.  I tend to stick with two or three.

Protect your hands and counter as the baking dish will be worked with hot from melting the butter. 

 4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp sugar

 Scramble eggs in bowl.

Then mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir.

Pour into 9 x 13 baking dish with the melted butter.  Mine were occupied so I improvised with a pie plate.  The butter will get pushed up the edges.

 Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 min.  Remove to add a couple shakes of powdered sugar on top then bake for another 2 to 3 minutes or until edges are just turning golden and sugar is crystalized.  Do not overcook or it will be like rubber.

 Cut into servings and top with your favorite fruits or preserves.  You can use the lemon curd alone, or drizzle maple syrup over it.  My daughter eats it completely plain.  The topping choices are entirely subjective.
  I also made a ham steak to accompany it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dinner Delight

This is a very simple dish for dinner.

Boil capellini or any pasta.
Saute imitation crab meat in olive oil and garlic.
To crab add bread crumbs, Italian dried seasoning and salt.
Stir in cauliflower and sauté together until browned and tender.

Combine with pasta.

If you happen to have some of this around,

Slice a couple of basil leaves into flavorful and aromatic ribbons and drape across finished dish.

I also like to sprinkle parmesan cheese on top!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oh My Ganache!

After another week of golashes, I was needing some ganaches!!  I am happy to present: 

Ganache filled and coiffed vanilla cupcakes!!  Cue salivation.

4 oz. fine quality bittersweet chocolate
1/2 C heavy cream
1 Tbs powdered sugar
Options:  dash of vanilla and 3 Tbs powdered sugar
Yield: filling and topping for 24 cupcakes
Melt slowly in microwave and whisk often till fully incorporated and satiny.

Ganache will be like chocolate milk.  Refrigerate to thicken about 2 hrs.
Make your favorite cupcakes
or mine:
Fill liners 2/3 full

Bake and breath in the aroma!
Using a paring knife, slice out cone shapes from middle of each cupcake.

DO NOT throw away the insides.  Place them in a bowl and you'll see why soon.

Take out thickening ganache and whip about five min or until fluffy.

Use a teaspoon to push filling into the open cones.  Continue filling all.
 Not enough ganache for ya?  Alrighty, take a pretty piping tip and make a pretty ganache rosette swirl on top.

Here is where all that ganache goodness disappeared to.

 Or, use buttercream for those non-deep-chocolate enthusiasts.

Remember our bowl of cupcake guts?  I know, sounds gross.  Let's call them cones.

Add frosting to them and smush together to blend.  I used homemade buttercream, but store bought is an ok substitute if that's what you prefer.
Form balls for cake pops.  These will be rugged, hand-hewn asymmetrical spheres, and that's fine for this simple purpose:  kids devouring them as soon as they are ready.
Melt some chocolate disks or chocolate chips and insert lollipop sticks.
Spoon freely dowsing each one in a thick chocolate coating.
Add pizzazz.
Let harden and then...
These treats will wash the whole rainy week right down the drain!