This is a beautiful dessert all around. Eating it, you’ll notice the tart’s elegant flavors and presentation. But as the cook, you’ll appreciate that it comes together quickly in one pan, which later doubles as the baking dish. Serve a slice hot with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream melting into the sweet collapsed grapes and pooling with the caramelized grape juice, olive oil, and hint of black pepper.
Apologies for the sugar rush this week, but ’tis the season.
There’s a sweet little pie shop in my neighborhood that boasts a bakery case full of the cutest little pies you’ll ever see. Pies in jars, lollipop pies, handheld pies. Little deep-dish pies piled impossibly high with whipped cream or meringue. Itty-bitty mini muffin bite-sized pies. And, of course, the classic larger size.
I love them all, but my special favorite is the Cutie Pie, made in a standard-size muffin tin. It’s substantial enough, but you can get away with eating one all by yourself. In fact, I recommend that you do so. Make them for your holiday table, sure, but be sure to set aside a few moments and at least one tiny pie to enjoy alone as well.
Watch this space for more Thai food now that summer is coming. Tropical fruit gets all the love, but vegetables like eggplants, peppers, and squash are unique products of hot temperatures as well, and with summer comes the opportunity to cook like we live someplace warmer. Like Thailand.
My sweet tooth has always liked the idea of eating dessert first, and we’re starting our summer Thai series with it here. I have to admit that we cook less Thai food now that Little Uncle makes it so well and so close by, but the flip side of that coin is that it was one of their desserts that reminded me to dig out this recipe for black sticky rice pudding. (The dessert in question was kabocha squash simmered in sweet coconut milk; watch for it on the menu!) It’s a great dessert to make for a party because it’s so simple yet visually impressive, and also because you can make it in advance and serve it cold or gently reheated.
Little Uncle’s simmered kabocha was excellent stirred into this rice pudding, but if you don’t have any handy you can just serve it plain, as I usually do, or with mango slices stirred in or on the side. Of course you can also make this dessert with white sticky rice in place of the black, although, as you’d expect, the resulting color is a bit more pedestrian. Try to remember to save a swirl of the thick coconut cream from the top of the can to garnish the dish. Continue reading Black Sticky Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk (click for recipe)
The truth about how J and I met is kind of boring, so we usually make something up when people ask us. For a long time we used to say that we’d met in an internet chat room, back when that sounded scandalous, but now everyone meets online and we have to be more creative. We met underwater off the Great Barrier Reef? We were seated side by side for jury duty in small claims court? We both worked at Baskin Robbins in high school?
That last one is true, actually, although the establishments in question were thousands of miles apart. But it proves an important point: we have a long history with ice cream around here.
So I am well-qualified to tell you that this one is outstanding. I already sang its praises here, but I feel wrong depriving you of this recipe for Seattle’s iconic ice cream flavor from Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. Especially since, get this, you don’t need an ice cream maker to make it. Some magic having to do with the salt and the cream keeps the texture sublime, even if you make it with a pan and fork instead (directions below). If you do have an ice cream maker, you can save yourself a few minutes of stirring. Either way, this recipe will make your summer better. And probably the entire rest of your life. Continue reading Salted Caramel Ice Cream (click for recipe)
Have you liked emmycooks.com on Facebook yet? If so, I have one more request for you. If not, now’s the time! Here’s the step by step: visit the emmycooks.com Facebook page. Click the “Like” button. Wait, you’re not done yet! Now hover over the button (which now says “Liked”) and select the “Show In News Feed” option. There. Now the daily recipe should appear in your Facebook feed.
Alternatively, you can sign up right here to receive our daily recipe via email. (See the link over there on the right sidebar?) Or you can add www.emmycooks.com to your favorite RSS reader. Or just come back and see us now and again, that’s nice too.
Finally, before we get to the good stuff, there’s something that’s been bothering me. Since you are discerning readers, I imagine that it’s been bothering you as well. It’s this “emmycooks” business. See, when I started this blog I wasn’t really thinking about giving it a name, I just popped that in as the URL and copied it as the blog’s title. But oh! The improper capitalization. And the unnecessary runningtogether of two words. I apologize if this has been grating on you each time you visit this site, and I hereby unveil this blog’s dramatic new name: Emmy Cooks. Phew. Don’t we all feel better now?
It’s been a delicious month! Thank you for reading and cooking along with me. I love all the great ideas and thoughts you share in the comments. I can’t always keep up with them, but I’ll do my best to at least answer questions as I see them come in. Here’s to another delicious month together!
There are plenty of good reasons to make friends with your neighbors. You can always borrow a cup of sugar, they’re conveniently close for impromptu cocktail parties or afternoon barbeques, and you can share a lawnmower. (What, not everyone shares a lawnmower with their neighbors? Well, maybe you all mow more than twice a year.)
We are lucky enough to have the kind of neighbors who, in addition to all of the benefits above, sometimes drop by with treats. Recently it was a dish of petal-pink tender baked rhubarb, barely sweet and redolent of orange zest and ginger. I know, right?
I admit to eating a few stalks straight from the dish with my fingers, and heaping spoonfuls made their way into bowls of yogurt for breakfast. But I have a new cookbook, Good to the Grain, and it has a picture on the cover of some mighty handsome little single-serving rhubarb tarts. I couldn’t resist cooking the remaining rhubarb down into a jam with fragrant strawberries and baking them into delicate and delicious free-form tarts. They’re like the biggest, best jam-filled cookie you’ve ever had. We shared them with the neighbors, of course.
Our strawberry plants are being tended much more diligently than usual this year. I had really given up on the strawberries, as they are such slug magnets and I want the sunniest spaces for my tomatoes and zucchini. But my little girls are not so jaded, and they claimed a huge pot and chose blooming strawberry starts at the plant sale. They watch them closely and water them daily. For their efforts, they have been rewarded with some hard little green nubbins that even the slugs still scorn. June-bearing, my foot.
So I am clearly jumping the gun by buying strawberries so early in the year here in Seattle. But I have seen the photos of your gardens elsewhere, and I don’t want to wait until it’s too late to get this recipe to you. Besides, it’s been an ice-cream-making kind of week around here–it’s never the wrong time of year for that.
This recipe is from David Lebovitz’s inspiring book The Perfect Scoop, which makes me want to make so many frozen confections. This year I’m definitely going to try the parsley ice cream.
You know how I roll: it’s 10 p.m. and crap, I forgot to make the cookies I promised the PTA I’d bring tomorrow for Teacher Appreciation Week or some such made up holiday. (Not that I don’t appreciate teachers, because I DO. Bless them. Thank you, teachers everywhere. But do I really have to make cookies at 10 p.m.?) (Don’t answer that.)
This has become my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen, a site that I like because I feel confident that Deb cares just as much as I do about food being very, very delicious. And these cookies fit the bill: they’re classic, chock-full of chocolate, and chewy with a crispy edge. What more can you ask of a cookie? Well, I’ll tell you the final way in which they’re perfect: they’re made with melted butter. If you, like me, never plan ahead to have softened butter waiting on your counter to make cookies, this will mean something to you. And if it means nothing to you, lucky you, just go ahead and love these cookies for their other charms.
A ripe pear is a beautiful thing. You can’t really improve on the experience of just eating the luscious thing with a napkin handy. We all know that.
But sometimes, maybe once a year, you might want to try something different. I’m not saying better, although I truly love this recipe–but different. I try to reserve a few perfect pears each year to bake, always stuffed with this sweet hazelnut butter.
The recipe comes from Deborah Madison’s Seasonal Fruit Desserts, not to be confused with Rustic Fruit Desserts, which I was lauding last week when I made my favorite Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger. (And I also have the fruit-heavy Chez Panisse Desserts book. This may be an unreasonable collection given that, in the end, my heart belongs to chocolate. But I digress.) I never have the hazelnut oil that the recipe calls for so I used walnut oil this time, and I didn’t have Frangelico so I used water. And even so, they were perfect: sweet and nutty, soft and crunchy, maybe even as good as a ripe pear alone.
One word of warning: wait for your pears to ripen before you bake them. They will be so much better. And this recipe is not the place to jettison your overripe pears, either; when your pears are past their prime, make this instead. Continue reading Hazelnut Baked Pears (click for recipe)
Is it wrong to make cake two days in a row? My weekend was just kind of like that. Watch for some healthy salads in the coming days to balance things out! Well, maybe.
Yesterday’s rhubarb cake was inspired by the new produce of springtime, but today’s recipe is inspired by old produce: a bunch of browning bananas. I tend to throw them in the freezer and forget about them, but it was my turn to bring snack to the soccer game, so I figured I’d toss the bananas into some healthy muffins. Instead, I made these cupcakes–a happy accident.
See, the recipe comes from the Moosewood Simple Suppers book, and it features four ripe bananas, olive oil, and yogurt. Healthy, right? I somehow glossed over the amount of sugar until I was actually measuring it into the bowl. These are cupcakes, folks, plain and simple. And good ones! And quick to make.
The cream cheese frosting is optional and we enjoyed most of our cupcakes plain. If you do choose to make the frosting, though, the recipe gives you the option of dressing it up with a splash of coffee or a spoonful of cocoa powder, either of which would be a worthy compliment to the sweet banana flavor.