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)
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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.