Saturday, August 31, 2013

Blackberry Brown Sugar Ice Cream and August's Funny Food Blogger Posts

The Union Square Farmers Market must have put up "Missing" poster of me this year. Last summer found me trolling the aisles a few times a week. This summer I was luck to manage 3 or 4 visits total.  Recently, I was seen making a fortuitous mad dash through it to a fashion photo shoot on the other side of the park. Screeching to a halt when I saw 4 boxes of these huge juicy blackberries for $10, I couldn't resist hastily buying them. Expensive I know,  but for those of us used to NYC prices, these were practically a bargain.

I was looking to use up egg yolks from the recent round of macaron making. Seems I am always looking to use up egg yolks from a recent batch of macaron making but whatever. Those orphan yolks usually end up in ice cream or a curd flavor.  Note to self: I need to find some new egg yolk outlets. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pomegranate Macarons with Rose Vanilla Buttercream Filling

One of the best perks about being a UN spouse is meeting all the other spouses from other countries.  One lovely lady recently returned from a visit to her home country of Romania and gifted me with this beautiful potent jar of rose preserves.

My first thought (of course) was macaron filling. Since I started my macaron making adventures, I rarely think of putting anything delectable that comes in a jar on toast, I always think mac-filling.

The preserves themselves were too watery to use full strength so I mixed them with some leftover vanilla butter cream.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Backpack Cupcakes for a Bella Cupcake Couture- Back to School Blog Party

Once again the fabulous Bella Cupcake Couture has come up with a fun challenge for us mad cupcake bakers. 

This time, Carrie sent several  bloggers an email outlining a Back to School Challenge. All 13 participants were sent blank cupcake wrappers  with the mandate to have a child decorate them and also asked us to conduct a short interview with the decorator. We were also sent pretty striped straws we could use however we wish. There is a great giveaway at the end of this post. Below are the other Back to School bloggers. Take some time to check out their posts. You will be amazed by their creativity.

I was a cheerleader and back to school to me always meant, not only catching up with my friends but cheerleading practice on indian summer days.

Emily and Ashley, the girls who helped me out with this challenge (I have no children of my own)  were lovely 7th graders, both cheerleaders.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Apricot Curd Chocolate Tart with Candied Lime Basil

I had a cousins BBQ at our place in PA this past weekend. With over 10 people, a record low for us lately, the crowd was manageable enough to leave me some time for baking.  

We're a large family.I believe there are about 64 cousins on my line in the family tree. It's hard to get everyone together as we are scattered all over the place. So getting this amount together was satisfying. Our sibling grandparents all came to this country looking for better lives. Most succeeded. The family name is Einhorn which means unicorn in German. I briefly contemplated making some goofy unicorn cookies but since there was only one young person attending, I decided to go with something more practical.

This delicious lime basil I grew was just waiting for something special. This was the occasion. I had the idea to candy it and lay it on top of tartlets. I can't say enough about this lime basil. The flavor is simply wow. I highly recommend growing some if you can get your hands on seeds or a starter plant next spring. It's at the top of  my already ridiculously long 2014 planting list.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Melon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was back in Germany last month, during one of my rides over the Dutch border, I stopped at a supermarket. Can never resist doing that. I was looking for some small gifts to bring back to the States. 

What I would have really loved to bring back is some vanilla Vla, a pourable pudding served with hagelslag (sprinkles or jimmies) or fruit. It comes in what looks like American milk cartons. But alas, too perishable for the trip. Must. Learn. To. Make. Homemade. Version.

I chose some Hopjes in pretty tins (coffee caramel flavored hard candies), grabbed a hunk of tangy aged gouda and headed to pay. I'm pretty sentimental about hopjes. My maternal grandmother who spoke many languages including Dutch and German, lived in Holland as a teenager and brought to America her love of these candies. I think of her every time I see them.

My Grandmother Ruth on the Left

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Vanilla Mint Bundt Cake with Vanilla Grapefruit Mint Glaze

I've been growing all sorts of varieties of mint and basil. So far the lime basil is my favorite. I have an idea forming on how to use it but the star of today's post is grapefruit mint.

Last year I grew all types of mint, chocolate, orange, spearmint. I added this grapefruit variety to the mix this year and so glad I did.  This unique citrus infused mint flavor adds a special something to any creation.

With the entire UN medical department about to descend upon us for a BBQ at our house in Pennsylvania on a recent Saturday, I woke up the morning of and realized in prepping for the event, I had sort of overlooked making sufficient desserts. Can you believe it.?  I blame it on my Grand Turk hangover. Even though Lemongrass and Lime Sea Salted Dark Chocolate Truffles were waiting in the freezer, it hit me they were all I had to serve to over 20 guests.

So I raided the fridge (half full jar of mint jelly) and the garden (the grapefruit mint) and quickly whipped up this cake.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hazelnut Purple Basil Pesto and no Funny Food Blogger Posts

The death of Google Reader, vacation, and a hard drive crash hampered my ability to properly follow all the wonderful food blogs and curate the monthly funny posts I like to list. So for the first time, there are no past month's entertaining links that follow. My apologies.

Despite my absence for vacation, the garden is Pennsylvania is holding its own. I've lost my parsley and dill to our resident groundhog and the tomato plants get robbed occasionally but most of the herbs are growing beautifully.

This year I planted purple basil. The color was so beautiful I couldn't resist. It was time to harvest some of it so I kicked off my yearly pesto making marathon with a hazelnut version using a mix of the purple and green leaves. Like last year, there will be many different pesto varieties