Sunflower Seed Cookies

“EVERY FRIEND TO THE OTHER IS A SUN, AND A SUNFLOWER ALSO.  HE ATTRACTS AND FOLLOWS.”  Jean Paul Richter

Sunflower Seed Cookies | From My Sweet Heart

Some days we could all use a little self imposed sunshine.  Such was my day today!  And while I didn’t intend on baking and posting today, a quick trip to the market had me gazing upon these enormous sunflowers and just smiling!  Plus….they were on sale!  While these are not my most favorite flower, when I see them…..it’s like looking at a huge smiley face ….and I can almost hear them telling me….“Have a nice day!”  And then I knew I wanted to bake a batch of sunflower seed cookies!  The best part of a chocolate chip cookie for me is the cookie flavor itself.  I swear I could bake them plain without the chips!  And so I wanted to use a similar cookie base.  But I just had to add something special….. [Read more...]

Toasted Mochalaska

“EVERY GREAT ACHIEVEMENT IS THE VICTORY OF A FLAMING HEAT.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Toasted Mochalaska | From My Sweet Heart

Well I decided what to do with the leftover coffee ice cream from the Baked Sunday Mornings.  As you may recall, I felt that the ice cream had an unusual, but tasty, salty quality to it.  So I felt pairing it with something sweeter might help round it out a bit.  And what better sweet thing than chocolate!  The traditional baked alaska is such a ’50s dessert.  But sometimes nostalgia is a good thing if we can put a slightly new twist on it.  So I decided to use brownies studded with toffee bits in place of cake.  And coffee ice cream covered in sweet meringue that is not baked, but toasted with my kitchen blowtorch!  (I’ve been dying to pull that out again).  You know…this can be a quick weeknight dessert by using your favorite bakery or store bought brownie; and your favorite flavor of ice cream from your grocer’s freezer.  (I sound like a commercial here!)  And all you would have to do is whip up the meringue and torch it.  All in all….a pretty quick assembly.  But here’s what to do if you want to make this yummy treat from scratch….. [Read more...]

Coffee Ice Cream

BAKED SUNDAY MORNINGS:  COFFEE ICE CREAM

Coffee Ice Cream | From My Sweet Heart

So I joined a baking group called Baked Sunday Mornings.  The members of this group will post a featured recipe from the wonderful cookbook, Baked Explorations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.  Ironically, the first baking assignment is Coffee Ice Cream!  Which is okay in my book because I happen to LOVE coffee ice cream.  And I needed to make this for another recipe I will be posting later in the week.

This coffee ice cream is different from the one I usually make because I don’t often use an egg base in my ice cream. I did like the creaminess of this ice cream.  But I should have listened to my gut regarding the amount of salt this recipe called for.  While I usually add a pinch or more, depending on the flavor I am creating….this recipe called for an entire teaspoon!!!  So while there is a nice coffee flavor (Kahlua is added!)….it almost took on a smoky, salted caramel quality. Unusual….but in a good way.  The recipe can be found soon on Baked Sunday Mornings.  I have been wanting to own this cookbook for some time.  And so I was very happy for the ‘excuse’ to have to purchase it!  This group will feature a new recipe to be posted every other Sunday.  And after perusing the many wonderful recipes from this book, I am definitely looking forward to many future posts! 
On a scale of 1-5, I will give this 3 whisks.

Yummy

Yummy | From My Sweet HeartA GREAT KITCHEN READ!

YUMMY…..Caroline Brewester

“ Desserts you can make in 5 to 30 minutes”

I absolutely love this cookbook and refer to it quite often!  It is a great go to book for amazing recipes that take very little time.  This is particularly good when trying to whip up something special on a weeknight. 

The book has 157 pages and 176 recipes.  It is divided into 6 chapters…for recipes that take 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 minutes each to compose.  Caroline Brewester was a finalist on a Britain hit show Master Chef.  Her recipes are straightforward and easy to follow.  Many of the ingredients you are likely to have on hand already in your pantry or fridge!  Her photography is wonderful and her pictures have great eye appeal.  Caroline’s desserts range from simple fruit pleasures to elegant souffles…..all in 30 minutes or less!

To give you just a few examples of the recipes you might find in each category:

5 minutes:  Lemon Possets, Crisp Cinnamon Puff

10 minutes:  Bananas Foster, Coppa di Zuccotto

15 minutes:  Blueberry & Lemon Brulees, Pecan Maple Moneybags

20 minutes:  Lemon Polenta Cupcakes, White Chocolate and Lime Mousses

25 minutes: Poires Belle Helene, Chocolate Souffles

30 minutes:  Rustic Apple Pie, Baby Baklavas 

This book also offers a wide variety of fresh fruit desserts such as orange-honey salad with toasted almonds, cinnamon glazed grapefruit, thai tropical fruit salad with sweet chili syrup, and watermelon gazpacho.

Ms. Brewester shows us that creating a great dessert, with the occasional help from good quality, store bought ingredients doesn’t need to take a lot of time.  But her recipes are so beautifully pulled together, no one would ever realize they aren’t always made completely from scratch.  This book has been a great resource for me, and I think you would find it just as helpful and fun!

P.S.  Please read my growing list in GREAT KITCHEN READS for more fabulous cookbooks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lotta Lemon Pie

“IT IS PROBABLE THAT THE LEMON IS THE MOST VALUABLE OF ALL FRUIT FOR PRESERVING HEALTH.”  Maud Grieve: A Modern Herbal (1931)

Lotta Lemon Pie | From My Sweet Heart

Ahhhh Maud….I hope you are right!  Then there’s all the more reason we should all eat this sweet, creamy, tangy pie …and often!  It’s not that there’s a crazy amount of lemon in this pie that makes it so good.  But it’s what’s going on in the layers that makes it incredible.  The most concentration of tangy lemon flavor is in the crust.  The lemon cream is light and sweet.  And then the whipped cream on top is only kissed with the zest of the lemon.  So each bite has you puckering, savoring, licking your lips and digging in for more!  The secret to the tart, lemony crust is…… [Read more...]

Spiked Peach Limeade Granita

“YOU ARE ICE AND FIRE; THE TOUCH OF YOU BURNS MY HANDS LIKE SNOW.”  Amy Lowell

Spiked Peach Limeade Granita | From My Sweet Heart

This icy treat has a fire all it’s own!  Chilly to my tongue, but definitely warms my heart!  It is  hard to believe that something so ridiculously easy can taste so amazingly good!  Refreshing?  Yes!  A great combination of flavors, but the rum most definitely shines through! [Read more...]

Chocolate Rocks & Twigs Bark

“ROCKS?  WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT EATING ROCKS?”  Maurice Sendak/Where The Wild Things Are

Chocolate Rocks and Twigs Bark | From My Sweet Heart

Sometimes you come across a product that you are not looking for, never even knew existed, and don’t have a clue what you will do with it!  And so it was that I happened to find these chocolate rocks!  These are fun little pieces of chocolate candy which really do look like rocks!  But the texture is light and crunchy.  This weekend, I had a craving for chocolate bark and so I decided to incorporate these cute little pebbles into the mix!  See what I did and tell me how you might make use of them……. [Read more...]

Peaches and Cream Brulee

“LIFE IS BETTER THAN DEATH, I BELIEVE, IF ONLY BECAUSE IT IS LESS BORING, AND IT HAS FRESH PEACHES IN IT.”  Alice Walker

Peaches and Cream Brulee | From My Sweet Heart

You like peaches, right?  I thought so! 

And how about crème brûlée?  YES!  Me, too!!! 

So it’s inevitable…..they have to come together!  Two simple flavors come together to create such a sweet medley in your mouth.  Just get yourself some of these fresh, ripe, juicy peaches…..mix a simple sweet vanilla custard on the stove.  A sprinkling of sugar….and a little caramelization!  This is going down as one of my all time favorite summer desserts!   Wait till you see what it looks like when you start scooping!!!…… [Read more...]

Fuzzy Summer

Fuzzy Summer | From My Sweet Heart