sweets

Back in May, just before we moved to Scotland, Saveur ran an article that featured a Corsican chestnut cake. The article talked about how chestnuts are the prize crop of Corsica, the mountainous Mediterranean island that claims to be the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte and Christopher Columbus. David McAninch, the article’s author, was more interested in gastronomy than history, entitling his article Pleasure Island. Corsican flavors run towards a plethora of local ingredients: wild game stews, pungent soft cheeses, fish soups, and fragrant herbs. Desserts almost always call into service the citrus and chestnuts that grow in abundance on the […]

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By Riki Shore My policy these days is to not eat dessert unless it’s a special occasion. Luckily, those come around fairly often! This past weekend we celebrated my mother’s birthday with a true Sunday lunch. We had a rack of lamb roasted with herbs and garlic, roasted asparagus and kabocha squash. For dessert, I made a coffee ice cream (my mom’s favorite), but it didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked. Thankfully, I made a second dessert, as I’m wont to do, and it was outstanding – a strawberry sorbet made with berries that Stella and […]

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By Riki Shore This weekend my daughter and I made these Chewy Chocolate Meringues for her table at a kid’s marketplace. The idea was simple: kids would sell wares they’ve made by hand and manage the money transactions themselves. As a homeschool family, we’re always looking for constructive and fun ways to connect with other children, and the marketplace seemed to offer a great opportunity. She’d be practicing discipline, planning, time management, measuring, counting, marketing, and sales all in one go. With any luck, she’d make some money to boot. In addition to the meringues, we decided to make chocolate […]

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Spiced Pecans

March 24, 2012

in Recipes,Snacks

By Riki Shore Candied, toasted or spiced nuts are a staple in our house. We snack on them, eat them on the go, add them to salads and stir-fries, and call them dessert. Recipes for spiced nuts abound. One common method calls for tossing a frothy egg white with the nuts and spices; when baked, the egg white acts as a binder and creates a delicate crust on the outside of the nuts. The result can be delicious, but I prefer a less fussy technique. These spiced pecans are tossed with melted butter, spices, sugar and salt. Once evenly coated, […]

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By Riki Shore I recently posted about using pineapple in a pork stir-fry. Pineapple, with its sweet-tart tanginess, is a great addition to savory foods. It pairs naturally with pork and makes a great salsa for fish and shrimp. Another great use of pineapple is to roast it with a little sugar and spice for a delectable dessert topping. The sugar mellows out the acidic note, while the spices accentuate the tropical flavor. Roasting slowly softens the fruit and brings it to the edge of caramelization. I used to make this all throughout the Chicago winters at Charlie Trotter’s, where […]

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By Riki Shore I don’t usually drink smoothies, but I got a hankering for one the other day. The worst smoothies resemble milkshakes: loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats, and devoid of protein. To solve this problem I turned to two Bastyr University grads, Tom and Ali, and their blog, the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. Their recipes are always doable and they explain nutritional benefits in great detail. They use raw, soaked almonds to create a high-protein, dairy-free smoothie. Here’s what Tom has to say about almonds and strawberries: Contrary to popular belief, not all calorically dense foods lead to weight gain. Case in point? Almonds. […]

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By Riki Shore Just as I did for Rob’s birthday, I let Stella pick her birthday dessert this month. Since she knows she has to stay gluten-free – and she doesn’t really prefer a gluten-free cake – it’s not surprising that she chose ice cream. This year she chose not just one flavor, but two. I thought, why not? You only turn 7 once. We perused David Lebovitz‘s The Perfect Scoop and after only a few minutes, she pronounced, “Ginger and Orange Creamsicle”. And that was that. The only change I made to these recipes was to reduce the sugar […]

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By Riki Shore Looking for a gluten-free lunchbox treat, I turned to Bill and Haley of The Food Lover’s Primal Palate. Their Make it Paleo cookbook has gotten great reviews and I wanted to try out some of their recipes for myself. I decided to start with their Chocolate Chip Cookies. One of the benefits and drawbacks of having gone to culinary school is that I can rarely leave a recipe unchanged. I read it and start thinking, ooooh, that would be good with X, X being some ingredient that I can’t live without. In this case, I know my […]

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By Riki Shore As I mentioned last week, we celebrated a milestone birthday recently. One of the benefits of having a wife with a culinary degree is that Rob can dream up whatever dessert strikes his fancy and I’ll make it for him. After a lot of discussion and perusing of cookbooks, he decided on chocolate-star anise pots de creme. Now, where in world did he come up with that? Did I have a recipe for it and just didn’t realize it? Actually, he was inspired by a recipe for star anise pots de creme in a Jean-Georges Vongerichten cookboook and […]

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By Riki Shore There have been lots of recipes for pumpkin breads, apple breads, and banana breads swirling around the internet recently. I don’t eat much sugar these days, which means I don’t do a lot of baking anymore. Most of the time I’m content to cook savory instead of sweet, but the coming of Fall and all those great quickbread recipes gave me the itch to bake. To decide what kind of bread to make I turned to my best critic, my daughter, who immediately proclaimed, “banana bread!” And so it was decided. After scouring several great gluten-free blogs […]

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