Oct 132010

I recently went to a cocktail party where the hostess had served roasted figs in balsamic vinegar and honey. They were delicious.  The presentation looked so warm and welcoming. She paired it with roasted almonds and blue cheese with slices of bread. The flavors were amazing. This was something that was a simple to prepare and wonderful to serve to a large or small group as the weather is starting to turn colder.

Figs 1

Figs 2

1o Figs – cut in half and take the stems off

6 Tablespoons of Balsamic  Vinegar

2 Tablespoons of Honey

2 Tablespoons of Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

2 Teaspoons Olive Oil

Pre Heat Oven at 350

On a jelly role sheet (a cookie sheet with sides) or baking dish place cut figs. In a saucepan heat 3 tablespoons of Vinegar, Honey, Sugar Cinnamon, and Olive Oil and cook until simmering. Evenly cover the figs with the sauce and place in oven for 30 minutes then take out every 10 minutes and brush with vinegar. Take out when figs are nice and tender! Ready to serve.

Things that are paired well with Figs: Almonds, Anise, Blue Cheese, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Goat’s Cheese, Hard Cheese, Hazelnut, Mint, Orange, Prosciutto, Raspberry, Soft Cheese, Vanilla, and Walnut.

 Posted by at 9:02 pm
Jul 092009


This past holiday weekend I went home with some friends.  Since having people over to my tiny apartment is really not an option, I thought I would take advantage of space at home and I do enjoy cooking with my mom.  One of my friends who came had just finished business school, now I know she worked very hard but I also know she become enriched from her travels. Her suggestion was that we grill some rum soaked Pineapple for the BBQ.  That this is what she had done every/one night on one of her vacations in school. While it was served as a snack at this bbq – it also serves as a great topping for burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches.  What we also found out that some people liked the burned wedges since some of our slices were not perfectly cut. This was a brilliant idea and a huge success they were loved by all!

1 Whole Pineapple (with skin removed and sliced ½ inch thick)

1 Cup of Dark Rum

¾ Cup of Brown Sugar

Fresh Ginger Zest about 3 Teaspoons

½ Cup of Water to dissolve the sugar in

Combine all ingredients into Pyrex dish and let pineapple marinate for at least 1 hour. Grill pineapple on each side for 1 minute.

Other ideas for flavoring: Honey, Lemon, Lime, Cinnamon, Ground Cloves, and Vanilla.

Jun 232009




This is a different take on Pound Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries. This was a perfectly portable dessert that I made to bring to a picnic.

1 Stick of Butter

½ Cup of Vegetable Shortening

1 ½ Cup of Sugar

3 Eggs

1 ½ Cup of Flour

½ Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 Cup of Milk

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Preheat Oven 350

In a mixing bowl mix together Butter, Vegetable Shortening, and Sugar for about 2 minutes. Mix one egg in at a time and vanilla.  Add the Flour, Baking Soda, and Milk alternating between the dry and wet ingredients. Fill cupcake cups about ¾ of the way to the top and bake for 18-22 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before topping them with whipped cream. Makes about 15 Cupcakes.

Strawberry Whipped Cream

1 Pint of Heavy Cream

1 Cup of Marshmallow Fluff

7 Medium Sized Strawberries

2 Teaspoons of Sugar

Dice up the strawberries and in a bowl toss them with the sugar- let stand for just a minute or so. In a separate bowl add the Heavy Cream, Fluff and Strawberry Mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Note: the cream did splatter a lot with the Fluff. Top each cupcake with whipped cream; I finished them off by topping them with a chocolate cover strawberry.

Jun 112009




I was in South Carolina last week and when I was on the highway, I saw baskets of peaches on a truck. I was tickled pink about this sighting because I had totally forgotten I was in peach territory. Of course now I was on the lookout for where I could buy my own basket of peaches. Alas right before heading back to the airport I found a farmers markets and literally got a basket of peaches and took them back with me to NYC.

Now what to do with my peaches! I didn’t want to make a cobbler had done that last week with some strawberries and rhubarb. Salsa is what came to mind. I was also told that grilled peaches were great…but I didn’t have access to a grill.

2 Peaches (diced into small cubes)

½ Green Bell Pepper (diced into small cubes)

½ Red Onion (diced into small cubes)

2-3 Tablespoons of  Chopped Cilantro

Juice from two Limes

Jalapeño Pepper (that depends on the level of spice you would like…I got a little too aggressive when I made this Salsa!)

Mix all of the ingredients together and ready to serve. What I loved were all the colors together, I thought it looked so fresh and absolutely beautiful.

May 202009




I went to tea and one of the treats served was a strawberry piped with whipped cream. I thought this was an ingenious idea. Cut off stem so strawberry can stand flat and then cut an X on the other end of the strawberry and with a pastry bag pipe in the whipped cream.

Apr 292009


Blueberry Maple Muffins/Cupcakes
I was making a dessert for a friend’s birthday and I told her I would come up with something original. She told me don’t go crazy’ I guess people who know me, know I have a tendency to be slightly over the top. Anyway while I was trying to come up with something new I started looking at the ingredients that I had available that might be fun. I had two jars of Maple syrup. This lead me to think about pancakes and blueberry pancakes well then why can’t I do the same with a blueberry muffin. So I tried it. I used my Blueberry muffin recipe and added ½ cup of Maple syrup. I was so pleased with them I quickly called home as I always think of my mom when making Blueberry Muffins.
Well, that was not enough. Since the cupcake has taken over the country/world I had to make a frosting. I decided to go with a Maple Buttercream. It would be too much and for me to say that, it must be too much if the icing was globed on like a traditional cupcake. I just piped a little out on top of the muffin and topped it off with a blueberry. Now I had blueberry pancake cupcakes!

Maple Frosting
1/2 Cup of Maple Syrup (Can add more if desire more maple flavor)
1 Stick of Butter Softened
1 Box of Powdered Sugar (1 pound)
3 Tablespoons of Milk

Whip all ingredient together until light. fluffy, and smooth.
Place a dolop on each now cupcake.

Dec 022008


I first saw Pear Sauce served with a cheese souffle. I thought this was genius. I had never really thought about making Pear Sauce. This weekend I decided to try and was enormously please with the result. This is a perfect substitute for Apple Sauce.

2 Pears  Peeled, Cored, and cut into 1/8 Pear Cubes
1 Tablespoon of Super Fine Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Boil the pears for about 10-15 minutes (test with a fork that they soft.) Remove from water and place pear cubes in a blender. Add sugar and cinnamon and blend together until smooth. Let cool before serving. Makes about 1 1/2 Cups of Sauces

Oct 302008


Recently, I went apple picking or should I say apple hunting there were very few apples left. But it was nice to get out of the city and I was in good company. A few weeks ago, someone brought a Carmel apple into work and it was delicious. So when I had these few precious apples I wanted to do something special with them. Carmel Apples seemed like a very good idea. I think they are fun for a few reason it reminds me of childhood, even though I only made them once as a child and there are fun variations you can do with them. Add nuts, chocolate bits, Marshmallows, raisins, cookie crumbs, what ever you like, I guess.
These were fun and simple and of course I did not have Popsicle sticks readily available.

8-10 Apples
2 Cups of Heavy Cream
1 Cup of Dark Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Sugar
4 Tablespoons of Butter
½ Cup of Light Corn Syrup
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla

In a pot mix place all the ingredients except the Vanilla and Apples. With a candy thermometer bring the mixture to 255 degrees and remove from heat. Stir for about 30 seconds and then mix in vanilla.
Place a silplat onto a cookie sheet.
Now carefully dip each apple into the Carmel. (I then place them in the freezer let harden a little and then re-dipped.
Let the apples cool and ready to eat!

Sep 252008


This is also an inspiration from my latest trip. This was one of my favorites from the entire vacation. I was so inspired that since, I returned I have been baking all kinds of fruits. I have been stuffing and baking apples and trying all different kinds of varieties. Tonight, I baked an apple filled with diced plums. These baked pears I think are a perfect way to end any dinner light or heavy and perfectly simple too!

3 to 4 Pears (cut in half with core removed- I used an ice cream scoop)
1 Bottle of Red Wine
1 Cup of Sugar
1/4 Cup of Honey

1 -2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon

In a Pyrex baking dish evenly spread sugar on bottom of the dish and place pears cut side down. Drizzle honey over the pears and pour red wine in dish. Finish by sprinkling cinnamon over the pears and bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve with either: Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream, or Whipped Cream

Jul 102008


Okay, so this is where I think there was a meeting of the minds in the Sangria tasting. Making a simple syrup with the classic citrus fruits from a Sangria and using the sugared fruits in the Sangria. Now this was definitely a little more time consuming but I think it is worth it.

Simple Syrup:
1 Lime Slices
1 Lemons Sliced
1 Orange Sliced
2 1/2 Cups of Sugar

In a saucepan mix all ingredients together until sugar has completely dissolved.


Fruits from Syrup
1/3 Cup of Cognac
1/3 Cup of Simple Syrup
1 12 oz Can of Lemon/Lime Seltzer Water
3 Cups of White Wine

Remove the fruits from the pan and place in a pitcher, and add the rest of the ingredients except the Seltzer Water. Let stand for at least 3 hours in a refrigerator and before serving add the Seltzer Water and serve over a glass of ice.