Thursday, May 28, 2009

Swedish Cream

Swedish Cream

This is much like a panna cotta with the addition of sour cream, making it a little richer, creamier, and thicker than a normal panna cotta. With the addition of sour cream it pairs wonderfully with berries and all the stone fruits of summer. It couldn't be simpler and works well to make ahead of time. If you wanted to turn these out, as opposed to serving in a dish, you might want to increase the amount of gelatin to 1 tsp.

Swedish Cream -makes 6 small 1/3 cup servings
1 cup cream or half and half or milk*
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp powdered gelatin (dissolved in 5 tsp water)
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)

*use milk if you want something lighter or cream if you are looking for something very rich

Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl, make sure all the gelatin gets hydrated. Let sit for 5 minutes. In a separate pot scald (heat just before boiling) the cream with sugar and vanilla bean (if using). Take off the heat, add in the gelatin and stir to dissolve (remove the vanilla bean). Put the sour cream in a separate bowl and slowly pour the hot cream into the sour cream , stirring with each addition to make sure the sour cream gets completely mixed in, and then add in the vanilla extract and almond extract. Pour into serving dishes and and refrigerate until cool and set (at least 4 hours). I like to serve the Swedish cream with fresh fruit tossed with a little sugar.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Miso Mustard Butter

Miso Mustard Butter

I'm not sure where this recipe came from, like quite a few in my collection, I rip them out and save them, but it doesn't have the source on it. I'm not claiming this as my own, but I'm not sure who to credit! It was a great find, however. This butter is considered a compound butter, which is basically a flavored or seasoned butter. It can be as simple as garlic butter you spread on french bread for garlic bread. When summer is in full swing you can chop up all your fresh herbs and use that to make a lovely herb butter, maybe adding some garlic or citrus zest. The possibilities are endless! I used it a few days ago when we grilled a beautifully thick rib eye steak. The possibilities for compound butter uses extend way beyond meat. I also roasted some asparagus which could have easily been finished with some of this butter coming out of the oven. I'm sure it would be great over fish or maybe some roasted or steamed potatoes (or veggies), or perhaps toss it with pasta. Make the whole recipe and then whatever you don't use you can shape into a log shape using parchment or plastic wrap and then freeze it (make sure it's well wrapped). Slice a round off whenever you need it, and as long as your ingredients are hot you won't have to worry about defrosting it.

Miso Mustard Butter (makes close to 1 cup of butter)

1 stick (8 TBS) softened unsalted butter
2 TBS white miso
2 TBS dijon style mustard
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS minced fresh ginger
1 TBS lemon juice
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Make sure your butter is very soft, but not melted, and mix everything together. I find it's easier to mix everything but the butter together first then add the softened butter. It makes it a lot easier to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

These cookies are always a huge hit and they couldn't be easier to make. I also like to finish these cookies off by dipping the bottoms in tempered chocolate (click here and scroll down to the bottom of the post for tempering instruction). You can make the macaroon batter ahead of time and keep it in the cooler for up to a week without any problems. These cookies also keep pretty well for 5 days or so before they begin to dry out (make sure to keep them covered).

Coconut Macaroons (makes about 36 cookies)

2.75 oz egg whites
6 oz granulated sugar
.4oz pastry flour
.75 oz corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
large pinch salt
6 ozunsweetened finely shredded coconut (if you can't find it in the bulk section, look for Bob's Red Mill brand)

Pre Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the egg whites, sugar corn, syrup, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and mix to combine everything and then add in the coconut. Mix until everything is combined, the mixture will be fairly stiff. If you have a small cookie scoop, it is the easiest way to shape the cookies. Make sure to really pack the scoop so the cookies won't easily fall apart. If you don't have a cookie scoop you can just hand shape 1-2TBS full of dough. Make sure to pack it together before placing them on the cookie tray. I like to roll round balls and then slightly flatten them on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until you see the very tops of the cookies start to brown. When you touch them, they will feel really soft, like they're not done, but as they cool they will firm up. Cook them too long and they start to dry out. Let them cool completely before taking them off the sheet pan.

Feel free to play around with variations. You could add spices or zest to the batter. You can also fold in small chunks of nuts or chocolate, or melted chocolate for chocolate macaroons.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Before I start in on today's post I want to apologize for the lack of posts lately. I have good reason though! I found out a few weeks ago that I'm pregnant. My husband and I are very excited. I'm now through my first trimester and feeling better, but for a while cooking or writing about food sounded less than appealing. I'm very happy to see though that it was short lived! I thought I would start back with a recipe that I find very comforting and a great and quick way to start off the day. I'm sure you've come across many smoothie recipes. I'm fairly sure you haven't seen too many with oatmeal in it though! I got the idea from a few years back when my husband and I were following the Abs Diet it was a very sensible way of eating that basically focuses on a core group of healthy and fresh foods. The oatmeal in the shake gives it a great creaminess and also helps to add fiber and it sticks with you all morning long. In smaller quantities it also makes a great mid day snack. Feel free to play around with all the ingredients in this recipe. I hesitated in labeling this recipe as a specific smoothie (I would have labeled it a banana peanut butter smoothie) because I didn't want to turn anyone off, as you could add whatever you had on hand or were in the mood for. What I'll do is when I'm making oatmeal for breakfast, I'll make extra- then there is oatmeal cold and ready to go whenever I need a quick breakfast. Give it a try and see what you think!

Oatmeal Shake

Smoothie (makes 1 large meal sized smoothie)

1/3 cup cooked, cold oatmeal
1 small banana or 1/2- 2/3's of a large
1 TBS peanut butter (preferably natural without any added sugar or salt)
1 TBS of vanilla flavored protein powder*
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 cup milk (whatever kind you want or you could replace it with soy milk ect.)
3 ice cubes

*for the protein powder I used a whey protein powder- vanilla flavor. This adds some sweetness to the shake along with extra protein. You could also use a soy protein powder if you wanted, if it's not flavored or you want to skip the protein powder all together you might want to add a tsp of honey, maple syrup or sugar. We've made it without any added sugar or protein powder but be forewarned that it's definitely not very sweet. The protein powder or added sugar doesn't make it overly sweet just adds a little more flavor.

Put everything but the ice in a blender, blend until smooth and then add the ice cubes and blend until all the ice is blended in.

Oatmeal Shake-2