I recently joined a great MeetUp, Entrepreneurs Professionals Glendale, and wanted to bring something nice for everyone to share. One of the members, Aron Ganz of Ganz Media gave the berries their name, Strawberry Torpedoes, a much shorter name, and I am grateful for that!
This is a group of entrepreneurs and professionals, who own small to medium businesses. We are not drones of the corporate world, and realize that even though being self-employed has its difficulties, it has huge rewards. Our group, led by Lynn Sarkany of MarketFinders, meets to exchange ideas to help our businesses, share stories, and network with each other. If you are a like-minded individual, you might consider joining us. Please visit Entrepreneurs and Professionals to find out more.
I had recently found a whole bunch of baking chocolate on sale, had some strawberries and a package of cream cheese. But, instead of making the Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries that I made last time, I thought I would add a little more adult flavor to the dish.
I added cocoa, coffee, vanilla, almond and cinnamon to the cream cheese filling, and I injected the berries with balsamic vinegar. When you bite into these berries, they explode flavor into your mouth.
I really love peaches. I like peaches and cream ice cream, I like peach preserves, I like peaches out of hand, I just like peaches.
My neighbor brought me some peaches a few days ago, and I wanted to make something simple for breakfast for Spane. I suddenly remembered I had peaches in the refrigerator, and decided to cook them off, much like I did Rosy Peaches.
Peaches Sauteed with Marsala and Cream is a very simple recipe, and quite tasty. I served it over pound cake that I had lying around, but it would also be great on cereal, or on toast, or just in a bowl. You could have it for breakfast like we did, or as a dessert.
Figs are amazing fruits. Figs are among the richest plant sources of calcium and fiber. They have been cultivated for thousands of years, even before wheat. Figs dated 9,200 years ago were discovered in the Jordan Valley in a house in the early Neolithic village of Gilgal I by a team of researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and Harvard University.
Figs are mentioned in the Bible many times, beginning in Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 7 where Adam covers himself with a fig leaf. Jesus even curses a fig tree in Mark Chapter 11, verse 12 and Mathew Chapter 21, verse 19. I guess there was only one unfortunate fig tree, it has a bevy of other cultural and historical references. A whole chapter is devoted to it in the Qur’an. Sura 95 of the Qur’an is named al-Tīn (Arabic for “The Fig”), as it opens with the oath “By the fig and the olive.” Buddha achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree, a large and old sacred fig tree. In Greek mythology, a crow angers Apollo having been tempted by a fig. In modern times, we have wonderful Fig Newtons.
The journey to this tart was one of discovery. I had not cooked with figs before, let alone made a fig tart. My only exposure to figs was the ubiquitous Fig Newton cookie. With that in mind, I wanted something that was sweet, but not too sweet, and with a cookie type crust. I also found a French Tart Dough recipe to which I made major changes, and my Stove Top Cooked French Sweet Tart Dough turned out to be perfect for my Blue Cheese Stuffed Fig Tart with Balsamic Honey Glaze.
When I was a little girl, and I had been very, very good, my mother would make my favorite dessert, Cherries Jubilee. Okay, so now you know how old I am because that was a popular dessert in the 1960’s. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that dark chocolate covered cherries are my favorite candy.
At some point, a can of dark cherries found their way into my pantry, and I decided to make them into Cherries Jubilee. But, I didn’t want them ordinary, I wanted mine to sing the praises of chocolate!
Considering the recent birth of the British royal baby, George, I wanted to make something “English”, even though the chef who created the dish was French.
The dessert was created by Auguste Escoffier, who prepared the dish for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Originally, the dish consisted of pitted cherries which were flambéed with Kirschwasser. Someone decided later to serve that over ice cream. Because the dessert was impressive it became very popular, and everyone was doing it. Of course, that set its death knell. Well, it’s back, probably because of the popularity of Mad Men, a television show set in the 1960’s.
And now, The Good Plate’s version of Cherries Jubilee with Chocolate Cherry Sauce….
So, this morning, Spane was hungry, and breakfast food was in short supply. Usually, I have everything I need to make pancakes, but this time, I had left over apples from making Apple Stuffed Wontons, and I knew they would be really good in pancakes. The problem was they were a little large, and Spane didn’t want to wait. So I made two giant pancakes, one for him, and one for me. They were delicious!
I have always been crêpe challenged. Flipping a giant pancake just seemed impossible to me, so I have stuck with the dollar size variety. But, armed with the right kind of pan, a forgiving batter, and the willingness to try, I was actually able to make a pretty good-looking, although thick, crêpe.
I have a wonderful neighbor who has apple trees, and he has been giving me a lot of apples. After having made Franks with Apples, I was at a loss at what to do with those apples. He has given me a lot. I thought of making Apple Brown Betty, but it has been so hot lately the idea of having my oven on for an hour was just abhorrent. Applesauce could have been an idea, but I wanted something unique and thought-provoking. Whilst looking at some of my other recipes, I got inspiration from my Apple Cranberry Raisin Puff Pastries. Then I remembered that I had purchased some wonton skins on sale at the market, and I decided to stuff those with the apples.
I have never liked pie with ice cream, but pairing the apple stuffed wontons with spicy ice cream sounded like a plan. I like to buy vanilla ice cream, and then add my stuff to it. Yes, someday I will get an ice cream attachment for my Kitchenaid, but not today.