Currently viewing the tag: "cream"

granita
I spent several summers in my almost 20’s frequenting Java Jack’s in South Minneapolis. It was a late-night, chain-smoking, Soundgarden-cranking coffee hangout, an odd choice for an early-morning, non-smoking, Sarah McLachlan-loving woman. But my sister and I drove there every single night after we closed down the shopping mall coffee shop we worked at, and spent our evenings out on the patio slurping down granitas with the regulars. They weren’t real granitas, of course, just some sugary coffee spinning around all day in a worn-out slushy machine, but I drank more of them then I could ever count, and enjoyed every single drop.

So when I got a copy of Tasting Rome  in the mail (Katie Parla and Kristina Gill’s beautiful new book that focuses on both traditional and contemporary recipes from their lives in Rome) and flipped open to find a recipe for a real granita, I got to work right away making it. Strong, cold coffee, a bit of sugar, and whipped cream piled to the sky is a bit more sophisticated than the concoction I drank on those hot summer nights years ago. Both have their place, but I’m looking forward to warm afternoons on the back porch, not a whiff of cigarette smoke, and Ella Fitzgerald scatting quietly while I sip my icy drink.
granita

granita

granita
‘While crafting this book, we sought inspiration in peripheral, graffiti-clad neighborhoods, patrician districts, archeological parks, neighborhood bakeries, artisanal gelato shops, dimly lit cocktail bars, chaotic markets, and innovative restaurants. The result of our explorations is this collection of recipes that embraces Roman flavors and goes beyond the tight focus on tradition to acknowledge that the city’s cuisine has evolved and that strict tradition, while predominant, certainly isn’t the only reality.’ – From Tasting Rome

GIVEAWAY: Clarkson Potter is giving away a 3 copies of Tasting Rome. Each winner will also receive a set of three 8×10 prints from the book, an 18×24-inch hand drawn map of the center of Rome by Lena Corwin and a set of exclusive recipes which aren’t in the book. To enter, please leave a comment below, with your name and email address. (If you want to tell me what music you’re loving lately that would be lovely! But not necessary.) Giveaway open worldwide, and entries will close on Sunday, April 10. The winners will be chosen at random.

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crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
I’ve been making crème fraîche the same way for years: heavy cream and a little bit of buttermilk shaken in a jar, then left on the counter for 24 hours. I’ve changed my method, however, after coming across Renee Erickson’s version in her book A Boat, A Whale, & A Walrus. Here larger amounts of cream and buttermilk are whisked together, then covered in cheesecloth and left on the counter for 2-3 days. It may seem like a subtle difference, but 72 hours later I was greeted with the creamiest, dreamiest crème fraîche that I had ever made. It was rich and slightly tangy, and I was ready to dollop and smear it on everything within reaching distance.

Ms. Erickson’s book is quite beautiful, and I respected it even more after reading the introduction. “I’m…not a classically trained chef – actually, I’m not trained at all – so there aren’t a lot of rules about cooking in my kitchens. It’s more important to me that people are happy and comfortable than that they can crack an egg with one hand or slice a case of shallots in a minute flat. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t want to make someone else do it. I want my staff to have healthy lives and dynamic, interesting jobs that don’t entail someone hovering over them.” After working 15+ years in retail, coffeeshops, and kitchens I may have uttered a ‘thank you!’ upon reading those words.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of A Boat, A Whale, & A Walrus!

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Strawberries & Cream Amaretti Cookies (gluten free)
It’s the summer of fun! For reasons before mentioned, I am lining up guest posts for this summer. Up next is Izy from Top With Cinnamon. I’ve been enamored with Izy’s photographs for awhile now, and when I found out she was 17 years old, I was even more impressed. I wish I would have had this much ambition (and had been this cool) in high school. This woman is going places.

Hi guys! I’m so happy to be guest posting here on Sarah’s gorgeous blog, which I’ve been a fan of for such a long time. From the beautiful writing and photography to her Instagram feed and inspiring Pinterest boards, Sarah is one of my favourite bloggers around, especially as here on Vanilla Bean there’s no shortage of baked goods!

I am a baker at heart, so it’s always hard for me when the summer hits, full force, with the enveloping heat and humidity. It makes it hard to bear standing around in a kitchen for an hour, whilst an oven blazes by your side. But what is a baker to do? I try to stick to recipes where the baking is a minimal part of the recipe. Cookies tend to do the trick as the baking time is usually only around 10 minutes. Now, we all know gooey chocolate chip cookies will always be amazing, but I don’t really want to be stuffing my face with warm cookies when it’s hot out. I want a cookie that’s best at room temperature, or maybe even cold from the refrigerator. This opens up a whole new level of cookie creation, people.

Here in London, the Tennis Season is upon us. Queen’s first, and soon the well known Wimbledon Tennis will start. Now you may be wondering why I’m talking about tennis when I was just talking about cookies, but stick with me on this one!

During Wimbledon matches, the classic pairing of strawberries and cream is served to the spectators. It’s refreshing, cool and summery-sweet. I took inspiration from this and translated it to cookie form! I piped vanilla whipped cream into a chewy, thumb-printed amaretti cookie, and topped it with a sliced strawberry. I also drizzled some white chocolate onto some of them, kind of overkill, but it looks nice (haha).
Strawberries & Cream Amaretti Cookies (gluten free)
Strawberries & Cream Amaretti Cookies (gluten free)
Strawberries & Cream Amaretti Cookies (gluten free)

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