Yesterday was a Scorcher...

and poor little Crease couldn't handle it!  Good thing I thought ahead and he was able to enjoy an ice cold Pina Pop!  Pineapple is definitely his favorite fruit - if he spoke English, he would tell you. 

Crease Enjoying a Pina Pop [08.24.2010]

I made the popsicles by cooking down some fresh pineapple with lime juice, sugar and chili powder.  After the pineapple began to break down, I pureed the mixture.  I had reserved some pineapple which I chopped finely and added to the mixture for extra texture in the popsicle.  Yummy for me and for puppy!

Pina Pop [08.24.2010]


"Baked" Brownies

Not like that!  My friend Sarah gave me the Baked cookbook for my birthday and I finally got around to making the highly rated brownies from it.  (It's rated "Best Brownie" by America's Test Kitchen and endorsed by Oprah.)

Caramel Pecan Brownies [07.22.2010]


Of course I had to put my own twist on it.  I followed the basic brownie recipe, but decided to drizzle it with a homemade salted caramel and pecans before baking. 

The brownies have a fudge-like texture, perfect for the choc-o-holic.  I like them a bit chewier, but I'm a little picky.  

Overall, it was a crowd-pleaser. 


Family Road Trip

Last month we took a weekend getaway to glamorous Reno, NV!  :)  It's basically the only place that dad is willing to go.  My usual routine - a stop at Ikeda's in Auburn, either dinner or Sunday brunch at Sterling's, blackjack and shopping at Off 5th.

Ikeda's [07.24.2010]

Ikeda's is an awesome pit stop on a road trip because it's not the usual fast food chain.  It's a family-owned burger bar, fruit stand and bakery.  It's a sort of country store with not only fresh produce, but preserves, gourmet snacks, marinades, etc...  Next time you make that trip on 80E, think about supporting this local business!

As for the rest of my routine, had Sunday brunch at Sterling's - LOVE their filet medallions and key lime pie, broke even on blackjack and scored an awesome pair of Juicy boots at Off 5th.  To top it off, dad won me the Domo that Robert couldn't - maybe because he was a little tipsy.  Successful trip I would say!


Frozen Goodness

For my birthday earlier this summer, I received a new Ice Cream (Gelato) spinner from my parents.  It's a DeLonghi GM6000 and it replaced a primitive KitchenAid attachment that I was using.  The machine is awesome!  There no need to make room in the freezer for a giant bowl - it has a self-refrigerating compressor.  I love it so much that I was even contemplating giving up precious real estate on my counter for this thing.  

Alas, I didn't.  However, I have gotten some good use out of this thing.  

Flavors made:
Sorbets - Mojito, Bellini,Peach, Raspberry, Roasted Strawberry and Green Grape
Sherbets - Strawberry Buttermilk, Cantaloupe

Ice Creams - Burnt Caramel, Vanilla Bean, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip, Banana, Chocolate Banana

Pictured below are Vanilla Bean, Peach & Raspberry Sorbet Swirl and  Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet

Trio of Frozen Treats [07.06.2010]

Thanks Mom & Dad for the awesome kitchen appliance - more flavors to come!


Complex Corn

There are so many varieties of corn.  They are not only distinguished by color but also by their amount of sugar in relation to starch.  

A few weeks ago at the produce market, I came across red corn.  I have only seen colored corn in its dry form.  Obviously, I had to buy a few ears.  Then, just a the other day, I saw red corn at work.  It was a sign - this post is overdue.  

After a little contemplation, I decided to make risotto with crab - a totally indulgent dish.  It was creamy and rich.  Risotto is way easier to make than one may think.  Because of this, it's definitely become one of my go-to dishes.  It's also great because it's a  good platform for seasonal ingredients to shine.  Keep that in mind the next time you want to make something a little different for dinner!

Red Corn [07.10.2010]

Red Corn & Crab Risotto [07.18.2010]