Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Favorites from Alexandra's Kitchen, Elle Decor, Kirsty Mitchell's Photography, Seth Herlinger and More


Good morning! How are you this beautiful Friday morning? I am fabulous and as I say every single Friday, ready for the weekend. I have books to read, and a spot at the ocean waiting for me. What about you? What are your plans?


Baked Ricotta Cheese from Alexandra's Kitchen

As I mentioned I have spent the last couple of weeks in Wisconsin and cheese is a staple there. One of my new favorite dishes is this Bake Ricotta Cheese from Alexandra's Kitchen. It is delicious easy and a great accompaniment to aperitifs. 

I love to mix up a new cocktail to start the weekend and this Elderflower Spanish Gin and Tonic from Craft and Cocktails is on my list for the weekend. 





If you missed my post this week featuring this scrumptious and easy Swedish Cream with Raspberry Sauce make sure to check it out. I promise that you will love this refreshing dessert.


Image from Elle Decor

Looking for some reading material for Fall. Elle Decor suggests these books for 2016.



Kirsty Mitchell Image from Arto Philia


I have been an admirer of Kirsty Mitchell the photographer for many years, her story and work are amazing. This week she is taking orders for the second printing of her fabulous book Wonderland and I cannot wait to get mine. 

Thanks to my friend Marsha I discovered an amazing photographer, called Seth Herlinger . Check out his site HERE.

Yesterday was the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. We are certainly very lucky to have these beautiful parks in the USA. 

Did you discover a must read or must see this week? If so please share with us. I hope that you have a  happy and safe weekend.





Thursday, August 25, 2016

Just Curious...What Have You Been Up to on Your Summer Vacation?

Good morning! I hope that you are well and having a great week. I have been catching up at home and work and frankly need a day to relax so I am happy the weekend is upon us. I am still finding it hard to believe that it is just a week to September! In my mind Fall starts in September and I am already compelling a list of pumpkin recipes, holiday activities, etc.





Way back in May I made a wish list for summer and asked what was on yours as well. I am happy to report that I did everything on my list but camp and I managed to cram in so much more. My summer has been filled with trips to Philadelphia(twice), Wisconsin, Missouri, and trips around Virginia. There has been lots of time at the ocean, visiting family, hosting family and friends, outings on my paddle board, and so much more.




I have been able to be as busy as a bee and as relaxed as a slug. I have read a ton of books. I have cooked, baked, grilled, eaten my weigh in cherries and drank an ocean of limeade. I have walked and swam, biked and paddled. Honestly,  I have been having such a great time I am for the first time ever reluctant for summer to come to an end.




So I am curious, what have you been up to on your summer vacation? Have you traveled? Had a stay-cation? Read or watched movies? Have you grilled a favorite dish or invented something new? Did you spend time with family or take time to yourself? Whatever you did I would love to hear about it so please share your adventures!






Have a great day!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Swedish Cream with Raspberry Sauce





Good morning! How are you? I apologize for my sporadic posting these last few weeks, between house guests and travel I just decided to focus on family and enjoy the waning days of summer. I am home and without guests for a few weeks so posts should be more regular. 






One of my favorite things to do with family and friends is to cook/bake and make treats. Over the summer there has been a lot of that going on. One of the desserts that I make frequently is Panna Cotta with all sorts of fresh fruits and fruit sauce, but this time I decided to try something new and similar, called Swedish Cream. Have you had it before? If not, it is fresh, creamy, rich and delicious and an easy to make last minutes dessert. (By last minute, I mean at least 3-4 hours chill time). 







Swedish Cream with Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon gelatin
1/4 cup of cold water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Stir gelatin into cold water and let stand 1 minute. Combine whipping cream, sugar and soaked gelatin in saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat until gelatin dissolves, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cool 15 minutes. Whisk in yogurt, sour cream and vanilla. Divide mixture among 6 to 8 stemmed glasses; refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. To serve, top each dessert with raspberry sauce and a few fresh raspberries. Garnish with mint sprig.






Raspberry Sauce:

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups water plus 2 Tablespoons water, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a saucepan combine two cups water, sugar and raspberries. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Mash the berries through a sieve to remove as many seeds as possible. Return juice to the pan. 
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Mix until smooth. Add cornstarch to the raspberry juice, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. 
Set aside to cool and then add to the top of the cream mixture. 








What have you been making and baking? If you have a recipe to share I would love it, especially one that showcases fresh fruits.

Have a great day!


Friday, August 19, 2016

White Chocolate Cake with Raspberries and White Chocolate Buttercream

Good morning! I hope that you had a great weekend! I have been away spending time with my family in Wisconsin and attending my family reunion. As I said before I come from a large family and we are scattered across the US, Canada  and a few are overseas so it was nice to see almost all of them in one place at one time, which is very rare. 






We talked, laughed, reminisced and of course ate lots of great food.  I made several desserts while at home and this White Cake with Fresh Raspberries and White Chocolate Buttercream was one of them. I love this cake because it is light, refreshing and delicious. 







White Cake 
Recipe from Add a Pinch

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cupcake pans with cooking spray or cupcake liners and set aside. 

Cream together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add the 3 cups of sugar, one cup at a time making sure to incorporate the sugar fully before adding the other. Then add the eggs one at a time, be sure to incorporate each egg before adding another. 

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then in another bowl whisk together the milks, vanilla and almost extracts. Add to the butter/shortening mixture, alternating between the milk and the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.





White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
8 oz. white Ghirardelli chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
4-5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Chop chocolate, place in bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Cook for another 30-40 seconds, stir until smooth. Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low, add vanilla and mix. Then add the heavy whipping cream and the melted chocolate and beat on high until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl periodically to be sure everything is incorporated. 







Have a great week!




Friday, August 12, 2016

Raspberry Coffeecake with Crumble Topping

Good morning! How was your weekend? The weather was spectacular here, sunny, not too humid and a slight breeze. Between the weather and the furious pinning of Fall baking, and ideas on Pinterest and the pumpkins, yes pumpkins are the grocery store it is beginning to feel a lot like Fall though. As I have said the last few weeks, I don't know if I am ready for Fall yet, are you? 





I was at the grocery store this weekend and there was a plethora of raspberries among other things so I decided to use my stand-by recipe for coffeecake and make a Raspberry Coffeecake with Crumb Topping for Sunday morning breakfast.  I have made this with  mixed berries, cranberries, peaches and basically anything I have in the house and it is fabulous each and every time. If you have not tried it yet put in on your list, it would be great for the holidays!






Raspberry Coffeecake with Crumble Topping
Cake:
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 1/2 Sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups sour cream
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda 
1 Teaspoon salt


2 cups raspberries, plus more if you want to garnish



Crumb Topping:
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare an 8" spring form pan with cooking spray, or butter and flour. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. 

To make the crumb topping, combine the sugar, flour and salt in a small bowl.  Stir in the melted butter and mix until it resembles small crumbs. 

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together using  a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Then beat in the eggs on at a time. Add the almond extract and sour cream and continue mixing until just combined.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. set aside. Stir the flour mixture into the wet batter and mix.  
 Place the cranberries to a small bowl and add a tablespoon of the flour mixture.  Toss the berries in the flour to help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. 
 Add the mixed berries to the bowl and stir just until combined.

Place the crumb topping evenly over the batter and bake  for approximately 50 - 60 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.  Dust the top with powdered sugar and sugared berries if you like. 


Have a great week!


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