Smoothies are like the *it* thing right now. Smoothie shops are popping up on every corner in every shopping plaza across the country. A smoothie is such a wonderful concept. Fruit, milk, a thickener, and delicious flavorings. Blend it all together and you get your healthy, yet flavorful drink. You also get your natural vitamins for the day. It sure as heck beats shoving broccoli down your throat. As you guys know, smoothies come in many different flavors and they’re incredibly easy to make. A lot of times, you can just blend up what you have on hand and voila, you have a smoothie! In my case, I have lots and lots of berries on hand at the moment. So, I figured it’s my perfect chance to share my version of a triple-berry smoothie.
There is currently six inches of snow outside. We still have a couple of months of this. I need something bright to remind me of the light of at the end of the tunnel, Spring. That’s where these lemon bars come in. Lemon bars are a staple of your local bake sales for good reason. They’re incredibly easy to make, tangy, creamy, and chewy. Great flavor and texture, which is what we all really want. Bakery-style bars right from your own home. It doesn’t get much better than that!
A few weeks ago, I shared a raspberry mousse recipe with you guys. Well, little did you know what was going on behind the scenes. That mousse went a long way. Not only did I use them for my raspberry mousse cups, which you can find the recipe for here, but I also was able to use the mousse for this lovely chocolate-raspberry mousse cake. For as good as this cake looks and tastes, it’s incredibly easy to make. I used a homemade chocolate cake, but you can use the boxed mix or grocery cake layers. From there, all I did was make some ganache, which is child’s play and used the leftover raspberry mousse I had on hand. It was that easy.
It’s Summer and it’s hot out. I really don’t do well in this weather. I’m more an Autumn girl. However, since I can’t press a fast forward button to the Fall, I’m going to have to tough this heat and humidity out. During the Summer, I want something cool and refreshing daily. These mousse cups check all the boxes. They look impressive. They are easy and quick to make. And man oh man are they good. I’m pretty much a sucker for any raspberry and chocolate combination. Lastly, the best thing is the differing textures. We have the cool creamy mousse, with the dense fudgy chocolate cake and cookie crumbs sprinkled throughout. It really doesn’t get much better.
Lemon curd is the best of both worlds. It’s delicious and it’s super easy to make. It’s jam and jelly’s richer, more luxurious cousin. I don’t know about you, but I play favorites. And curd is definitely my favorite of the fictitious food relatives. You can eat curd with fresh fruit as is or you can use the curd as a filling for a variety of tarts and pies or you can pour it over some ice cream. You have plenty of options. This curd is just tart enough. If you want a make your face pucker tart curd, you’ll have to add more lemon to this one. In my opinion, it’s perfectly balanced. Do yourself a favor and make this. It’s too easy, it’s ridiculous and it’s always great to have on hand for a nice light dessert.
**Note: For my fellow Muslims or for anyone else who can’t use pork gelatin, there is halal beef gelatin available. Other substitutes include agar agar or you can just use cornstarch. Both will act as thickeners.**
Bloom your gelatin in about a tablespoon or two of cold water. Set aside.
Prepare a pot of water and get it simmering. Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, whole eggs and egg yolks in a medium to large sized bowl.
Place the bowl of ingredients over the simmering water and whisk until the mixture reaches 180°F.
Take off the heat, add in the bloomed gelatin and whisk in until dissolved. Immediately, whisk in the diced up butter, a couple pieces at a time. Whisk until smooth.
Pour through a sieve into a container. I love using mason jars personally, but you can use whatever container floats your boat. You can see from the picture below, this is a necessary step because the sieve will catch any eggs that were partially cooked. Cooked eggs are lovely for breakfast, but they’re not welcome in my lemon curd.
That’s it! You are finished. Wait until the mixture is room temperature. I like skimming the top foam with a spoon. Then, I cover the container and place it in the fridge. You’ll notice it will be a thin consistency, but it will thicken as it cools.
I took final pictures after a couple days because I was working all week. You can see how significantly thicker the consistency got. It will look like this after a few hours in the fridge as well. Give a stir before using or leave it as is if you like it very thick. Enjoy in whatever application you’d like!
See how I do it:
- 3 Whole eggs
- 2 1/2 Egg yolks
- 3/4 cup Granulated sugar
- 4 Lemons (juice)
- 1/8 cup lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 5 oz, unsalted butter, diced
- small pinch of salt
Bloom your gelatin in about a tablespoon or two of cold water.
Combine the zest, juice, yolks, whole eggs and salt in a medium to large size bowl.
Prepare a pot or saucepan with water and heat until simmering.
Place the bowl of combined ingredients over the simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 180°F or about five to ten minutes on medium-low heat.
Once the proper temperature is reached, remove from heat.
Immediately whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Stir until dissolved.
Then, immediately whisk in the diced butter, a couple pieces at a time.
Whisk until completely smooth.
Pour the mixture through a sieve into the appropriate container for storage. I love using mason jars.
Leave uncovered until room temperature.
Skim the foam off the top with a spoon.
Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours.
I find lemon curd is best used the day it's made. It will store in the fridge for up to a week in a mason jar or a well-covered container, but really is the best day of or within the first few days. Lemon curd freezes well. Just place it in a well-covered container and thaw before use. It will last up to a month frozen. You may leave the gelatin out completely, it won't be as thick or you can substitute the gelatin with agar or a bit of cornstarch. If you're using cornstarch instead, experiment with the amount and you would have to place it in while cooking the curd, not after you remove it from the heat. I think this is perfectly tart, but if you want it more tart, add more lemon to the recipe.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Ice cream is an American favorite and with good reason. Creamy, cool and flavorful, what’s not to like? Well, summertime is here and it’s the perfect time to munch on some ice cream. I can’t think of a better type of ice cream to eat than some homemade, eggless strawberry ice cream. Yes, it’s homemade. That’s a plus. The recipe has no eggs. That’s a bonus. And it’s strawberry ice cream…which yeah….is kind of amazing. So, kick back, relax and cool down with this great recipe. Oh yeah, did I mention none of those pesky ice crystals? There are two keys to this recipe’s success. First, we toss the strawberries in sugar and let the large amounts of liquid in the berries drain. We don’t want that water in our ice cream. Secondly, we use milk powder. It’s key to absorbing the excess liquid and contributing to a creamy texture. Enough talk, let’s get started.
Start by tossing the strawberries in sugar and letting them sit at room temperature covered with plastic wrap for 6-8 hours.
Drain the excess liquid through a colander and place in a bowl.
Pour in the milk, sugar, vanilla, milk powder, salt.
Use a blender or immersion blender to blend the mixture together. You don’t want any lumps of powder or berries. It should be a smooth, uniform mixture. Pour in the heavy cream and stir until combined.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine until about 1/2-3/4 full and churn 15-20 minutes or until soft serve consistency.
You can enjoy at this point, but I suggest freezing it from anywhere to a few hours up to overnight. If you choose to freeze, leave out for 5-10 minutes before serving.
See how I do it:
- 1 lb fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 1/4 cups granulated or cane sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup skim milk powder
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Toss the strawberries in 1/2 cup of the sugar in a bowl and allow to sit out at room temperature covered with plastic wrap for 6-8 hours.
Drain the strawberries in a colander in the sink.
Combine the strawberries, milk, milk powder, vanilla extract, 3/4 cup sugar in a bowl and use a blender or immersion blender to puree until smooth. No lumps should remain.
Pour in the heavy cream and stir until uniform in color.
Transfer this ice cream base into the ice cream maker and churn about 15-20 minutes, according to manufacturer's instructions. Make sure you only fill it about 1/2 way full or 3/4 way full when you pour the base in. You'll have two batches of base.
Transfer the finished ice cream to a storage container. Serve immediately or harden in your freezer for 8 hours or up to overnight.
Temper ice cream for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish how you please and enjoy!
You'll have extra ice cream base. It makes about two batches worth. Don't over churn and leave some space in the ice cream maker so "overrun" can occur.
This strawberry sauce is so versatile. You can use it to top ice cream, cheesecakes, cakes, and pretty much anything else you want. Though it’s not strawberry season at the moment, Spring and Summer is just around the corner, so we may as well get ready for it the right way. The sauce is delicious, but not overpowering like some may be. I’ll personally be using this sauce to make a tasty trifle. Watch out for that next week!
Start by placing some whole strawberries to the side. You’ll cut off the tops and slice these, but you won’t put them into your sauce until after it’s cooked. Cut off the tops and slice in half the rest of the berries. Place in a saucepan with the sugar.
Cook on a medium to medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until thicker. Stir occasionally. A wooden spoon is best for this recipe.
Once it’s done cooking, it should look something like this.
Take off the heat and pour into a separate bowl. Add in the lemon zest and vanilla and mix.
Blend with your immersion blender until desired thickness is reached. If you want it thinner, add in some water or lemon juice when in the cooking process. It will obviously be tarter if you go the lemon juice route. You can also strain it after you blend it and just add the liquid to some sliced berries and mix.
Enjoy with some ice cream, cheesecake or in a trifle, like I’ll be doing. Keep covered, refrigerated for up to a week.
See how I do it:
Cut the tops of the strawberries and slice them in half. Leave two whole berries to the side and slice them as well. Place in a saucepan along with the sugar. Cook on a medium to medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and pour into a seperate bowl. Add in the lemon zest and vanilla and mix. Use a immersion blender to blend to the consistency you'd like. Enjoy! Refrigerate covered for up to a week.
Cut the tops of the strawberries and slice them in half. Leave two whole berries to the side and slice them as well. Place in a saucepan along with the sugar.
Cook on a medium to medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Remove from the heat and pour into a seperate bowl.
Add in the lemon zest and vanilla and mix.
Use a immersion blender to blend to the consistency you'd like.
Refrigerate covered for up to a week.
It was just another day. I was online browsing recipes as I usually do and I made a discovery that would forever change my life. I saw a picture of a lovely white meringue, topped with fruit and cream. It looked absolutely delicious. I thought, hey, why not? Let’s give it a try. Little did I know, just how freaking good this dish is. Pavlova is a dish that originated in New Zealand. It’s a meringue that is topped with cream and fruit, traditionally. I’ve never had anything like it. The outer shell gives a little bit of a crispy texture. The inside has a marshmallow texture. It is the lightest dessert ever. Topped with the fresh whipped cream and strawberries to add some sweetness. It has all the elements you want in a dessert and all the elements really contrast well with each other. Strawberries go great with it, but really any berries will work. If you haven’t had Pavlova, it will change your life. Seriously. You’ll thank me later.
Who doesn’t love cheesecake? It’s perfect anytime and it’s so versatile. Flavors vary from Oreo to pumpkin to red velvet. New flavors seem to be created on a daily basis. But if you’re not as adventurous, you can always come back home to the traditional. You can’t go wrong with the traditional cheesecake. A graham cracker crust, the creamy middle and the topping of strawberry puree. It’s so delicious and goes really well anytime, but especially in the spring or summer. This recipe is the one we used in class. The first time I tasted it, I felt like I was on cloud nine. The crust is slightly spiced, the middle is super creamy and light and of course the tartness and sweetness from the strawberries really goes well with the subtle cream cheese tang. If you’ve never made cheesecake, try this recipe and I guarantee you’ll never doubt your cheesecake skills again.