We are having a slow spring, it’s May 3rd and there is snow flakes coming down with rain and cold forecast for the weekend. I say bring summer to yourself. This mix of citrus and summer fruit is a great start. Made with all fresh fruit and garnish with berries it’s sunshine in a glass. You can mix the strawberry lemonade mix with soda or gingerale to make it a spritzer. And is tasty with vodka or a white rum. Now close your eyes and pretend you are sitting on the patio working on your tan lines.
I’m feeling optimistic that sunshine, cocktails and patios are in my near future. Last summer a friend gave me some of his Gin Infused Cucumber Mango to try. I brought it out one evening mixed it with some tonic and a twist of lime, very smooth and refreshing. I have always claimed that I am not a fan of Gin, but as I become more adventurous with my mixology there are a lot of tasty cocktails to mix with gin. I have to be honest I had a bottle of Gin sitting in my cupboard since my house-warming party-eight years ago. That bottle of Gin has made it out to the table several times, and no one ever touches it. I thought about donating it the guy with the sign at the corner, but came up with a better idea. I’ll get an infusion going of my own, it only takes like one week of the Gin and cucumber mango sitting in your refrigerator to infuse with flavor. Then my friend gave me a good tip, take the fruit out and squeeze it through a potato ricer back into the gin and it’s ready to enjoy.
I had some homemade mustard at a dinner party and thought it was an interesting idea. And then I came across this beer mustard at a hot dog stand, and I had to give it a try. Very simple to make and you can use any of your favorite beers. So now I’m making up all kinds of recipes and dressings to use my mustard. recipe from Savuer
A Grasshopper Pie a slice of spring for Easter. This pie is a classic you don’t see around as much as we did when we were kids. So why not be retro and whip up a minty fluffy pie for the holidays? As a kid it was a big treat to order a Grasshopper at the restaurant, still one of my favorites. (can u still order those for kids theses days?) Especially when you are at a swanky supper club in the middle of rural mid-west america. And any excuse to buy a bottle of creme de menthe. This pie is one big flash back…good times
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups fine chocolate wafer crumbs (about 30 wafers)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/3 cups well-chilled heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup green crème de menthe
- 1/4 cup white crème de cacao
- 4 large egg yolks
Make the crust:
In a bowl stir together the wafer crumbs, the sugar, and the butter until the mixture is combined well, pat the mixture onto the bottom and up the side of a buttered 9-inch pie plate, and bake the crust in the middle of a preheated 450°F. oven for 5 minutes. Let the crust cool.
Make the filling:
In a metal bowl mix in the gelatin with a 1/3 cup of the cream and let it soften for 5 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, the crème de menthe, the crème de cacao, and the egg yolks, set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it registers 160°F. on a candy thermometer. Transfer the bowl to a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir the mixture until it is cooled and thickened. In another bowl beat the remaining 1 cup cream until it holds stiff peaks and fold it into the crème de menthe mixture thoroughly.
Pour the filling into the crust and chill the pie for 4 hours, or until is set. Dollop with whipped cream and sprinkle the pie with the chocolate cookie crumbs.
food stylist: Barb Standal and Karla Spies
The Ski season is not over yet here, even tho it’s officially the first day of spring today. There s still snow to shovel. The other weekend we had a ski weekend up at the UP at a friends cabin. I made this crock pot shredded beef the night before, and packed it to go. I bought like four pounds of beef roast and cooked it in the crock pot for 10 hours on low.
Slice up the meat into several chunks and mix with; One can cream of condensed tomato soup, one diced onion, five diced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons celery salt, 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce and one packet of french onion dip mix. I mashed up the meat with a mashed potato masher and kept all the juice with it. It had a great flavor and simple to reheat on the stove top. I like to put some coleslaw on top of the beef. It was great after a day of skiing, a tasty beer sitting by the fire-place.
The images were shot in the studio for a client packaging, I thought you might find them tasty looking:) This recipe is defiantly a repeat for another ski weekend coming up.
We were shooting a lemon meringue pie this week at the photo studio and I wanted to share with you this beautiful pie that the food stylist Barb Standal created. I wish I could say I could bake such a well crafted crust and wield a lovely swirl top, but I can only admire the skills of Barb. I did get to be a part of the Meringue testing that took place a few days before the photo shoot, they tested four different meringue recipes to test how they performed when baked. So of course we had to do a taste test along the way. One was too sweet, one was too saggy, one was too eggy and one was just right. I will share with you the recipe of the winner..Cuz Betty know’s best. The winner was no other than the classic Betty Crocker. Hopefully this might inspire you to bake this beautiful pie a nice treat.
Cool update Star Tribune story on Lemon Meringue:
<a href=”http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/taste/197866881.html” target=”_blank”></a>
- 1: Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell using 9-inch glass pie pan. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- 2: Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix 1 1/4 cups sugar, the cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in cold water until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- 3: In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. Stir about 1/4 cup of hot mixture into egg yolks. Gradually stir yolk mixture into hot mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- 4: Remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Pour into cooled baked shell.
- 5: Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. In small deep bowl with electric mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla on medium speed about 1 minute or until soft peaks form. On high speed, gradually beat in sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spoon meringue onto hot filling; spread to edge of crust to seal well and prevent shrinkage.
- 6: Bake at 350°F 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is light golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until filling is set, about 3 hours. Store in refrigerator.
- FYI: Eggs separate most easily when they are cold, but the whites will whip best at room temperature. To take off the chill, set the bowl of whites into a larger pan filled with warm water.
It’s snowing outside in mid february and all I can think about is spring. I have a craving for something fresh and green. I heard about this sweet pea dip that sounded interesting, there are a lot of versions you will find, most of them with garlic mint and parmesan cheese. This one sounded good to me and low-calorie. I mixed half edamame peas and half sweet peas, we really liked the combination. The Edamame gives it the rich base layer and the sweet peas give it some sweetness. It does have a very nice fresh flavor, thoughts of fresh spring peas in the garden. Happy dipping
The other day we had some fresh fish in the studio for a photo shoot, this golden trout was just too pretty not to cook up for a photo shoot. I worked with stylist Karla Spies and we found this recipe from my favorite Donna Hay. I do not cook a lot of fish at home mostly because I don’t have a lot of experience and find it kinda of intimidating. But this method of baking it in the parchment paper in the oven was rather simple and makes for an easy clean up. The combination of the mango salad and trout has a nice compliment of flavors.Preheat oven to 400 F. Layer pieces of non-stick baking paper on a tray and fold 3 edges in to form an envelope, leaving one edge open. Slide the lemongrass in the envelope, drizzle the Trout with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Slide the Trout in the envelope and fold the remaining edge of the parcel to enclose the fish, bake for 25-30 minutes depending on the size of your fish. The fish should be firm to the touch and cooked through.
Place the chilli, bean sprouts, mango, mint and green onion in a bowl and toss to combine. Carefully open the parcel, letting the steam escape, and top with the mango salad and spoon over the dressing. Serve with the lime wedges.