Mango Nutella Crêpes

Once I conquered my fear of making crepes and realized I could quite easily make these at home rather than reserving them as a treat best left to the hands of someone more experienced, they found their way into my weekend breakfast repertoire. Pancakes, waffles, bagels, and omelettes are all great Saturday morning breakfast food, but there’s no reason not to include some delicious Mango Nutella Crêpes in your routine as well.

After having made my first batch of crêpes, I still had a ton of nutella in the pantry, and nutella just screams crêpes to me (and in unison, my belly was also screaming crêpes, so it was decided). So while local strawberries have come and gone, it was onto another favorite fruit that has been looking pretty darn good on the store shelves these days: mangoes! Yes, this isn’t tremendously different from the prior crêpes, but… click to read more…

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Strawberry Oat Bars

I don’t typically do much for breakfast, especially during weekdays when I normally just eat some store-bought granola bar with my coffee as I run out the door. I usually don’t have the time or appetite to have much more, but I did have the urge recently to improve on the quality of my breakfast, so trying my hand at my own granola bars seemed like a great place to start.

In addition to the obvious inclusion of oats and nuts, I also employed some spices (cardamom and ginger) as I thought these would rather nicely complement the filling: strawberries (since I know how nicely they can go together)! I was a bit worried that using fresh strawberries would result in a wet, mushy granola mess (since they macerate and get quite wet in the presence of sugar), so I sliced them thin and insulated the granola from them… click to read more…

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Very Strawberry Cupcakes!

As if cupcakes on their own aren’t spectacular, these cupcakes in particular were really something. I had aimed to work strawberry flavors into every element of this cupcake, as if the title of this post didn’t already convey that. Strawberry cupcake? Check. Strawberry cream-cheese frosting? Check. Strawberry Rhubarb jam filling? Check. Awesome? Yes.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Filled Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting and some indecisively placed strawberry garnish. I hate strawberries ;-)

With all of this strawberry action at once, you might be surprised, but the result wasn’t just getting hit in the face with strawberry. It actually worked quite harmoniously and each component kind of showcased a different side of strawberry: the cake was subtle, sweet, and floral, whereas the frosting was rich, creamy, and really a much more vibrant punch of strawberry. This is all in contrast to the strawberry rhubarb jam piped inside the cupcake. Oh, and funny thing, the only reason I thought of these cupcakes? I was shocked by how much jam I had made… click to read more…

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Sweet “Faux” Gras Pâté on Pear Chips…wait, wtf? Chicken for dessert?

Jeff at Culinary Disaster posed a challenge among a few friends recently to make a dish using chicken. I think we’ve all made many a chicken dish before, and seeing how dessert is where I seem to have the most fun, I thought it would only be appropriate that I try to do something a little odd and make a chicken-based dessert since I thought (a) that has to stand out and (b) that sounds like a hell of a challenge. I know…dessert…and chicken? You didn’t misread, so let that one sink in and bear with me (have I ever steered you wrong, dear reader?). Trust me, this one has a happy ending!

Obviously, one has to tread carefully to get a dessert out of a chicken, and leaning too heavily on eggs seems like a crutch (given how obvious they are in dessert, anyways). So I thought I might be better off looking away from the usual breast/thighs… click to read more…

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Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Seeing how I knew my steamy love affair with strawberries simply wouldn’t last forever, I decided that jam would be a fantastic way to prepare myself for strawberries and I going our separate ways for the season. So to commemorate the tapering off of the winter strawberry harvest in Florida and to indulge my newly discovered pension for rhubarb, I made Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

This was my first ever jam-session ( *rimshot* ), so I approached with just about as much irrational fear as my first preserving experience. Something about saving fresh produce for many months to come just has me worrying that I’ll screw something up and give myself botulism or some other happy malady. But if you’re reading this, I’m still here, alive and well, so phew! 😛

In addition to not wanting to let the strawberry season… click to read more…

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Braised Lamb Shank with Sherry Blackberry Sauce

After having enjoyed a rack of lamb and remembering how much I love lamb, I needed more. This time, I opted for a different cut of meat, one of my favorites: the shank! I wanted to continue experimenting with “darker” sauces paired with lamb, so today, I have a Braised Lamb Shank with Sherry Blackberry Sauce.

Braised Lamb Shank with Sherry Blackberry Sauce

This was a very hearty meal. Given the beautiful, spring-time weather, it almost seemed a bit too heavy, but this is also when you get the best lamb, so I got over this dilemma pretty quickly. The meat was fall apart tender, rich in flavor, and infused with the dark flavors of the sauce. The sauce, at a high level, was a reduction of the braising liquid, but there was more to it in addition to the full, hearty flavors imparted by the lamb. The other major players:… click to read more…

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