Despite being named after the beautiful Italian city of Florence, these cookies (sometimes referred to as biscuits) did not originate from Italy. We can thank the French for these lovely wafer thin delights that I can’t stop eating. Honest Cooking has a wonderful history lesson on these beauties if you’re into that such thing. I happen to be into almonds and cookies so I’m into them for those very important reasons, but I’ll thank the French and the city of Florence both just to be on the safe side.
When it comes to frosting I am of the opinion that buttercream is best. There I said it and I’m sticking to it. Sorry, not sorry and all that jazz. Butter. Cream. I mean what is there NOT to love about that? Well maybe all the calories but sometimes a girl has to splurge on something besides shoes. I’ve said it many times but I exercise so I can eat. Period. Sadly I’m not one of those people that are blessed (yes you are BLESSED) with a fabulous metabolism and can eat e’vrything without having to even think about a treadmill. I eat e’vrything and then I MUST treadmill. Period. It’s a trade off I’m willing to make because again I like food. All the food, which is a good thing considering cooking is my job.
You all know how much I adore panna cotta (just do a quick search with the words panna cotta in the search box above and you’ll find a plethora of flavors). It’s a super simple dessert that will literally only take you 10 minutes of “working” time. The rest of the time your refrigerator does the work. That’s what I call winning. Why do I love it so? Because you can take the classic vanilla panna cotta recipe and by simply adding additional seasonal flavors it changes the whole scrumptious shebang. Making it perfect the perfect year round dessert. These gorgeous jars of vanilla bean panna cotta are topped off with fresh blueberries and a finger licking organic Blueberry Balsamic Sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm. It lends just the right amount of sweet and tart to the creamy vanilla base. Winning again.
My birthday falls in the month of July (I was an early firecracker as my Mom likes to say still to this very day, and I gotta admit, the description still fits). I’m one of those people that really digs birthdays and tend to celebrate it for at least a week if not more. Doesn’t everyone? I also really dig chocolate and COFFEE so it was only natural that I made a celebration worthy cake that would make chocoholics and caffeine addicts rejoice right along with me. I am super duper pleased with how this one turned out. So much so it might become my yearly birthday cake tradition. If it didn’t take a hot minute to pull together it might be my every time I’m craving a chocolate cake recipe but this one is firmly in the special occasion category.
Sweet. Spicy. Tart. No need to pick one, nope. You’re going to get all of that in every spoonful. If you like mangoes you’re going to love this supped up mango ice cream. Just like every summer in our house, our ice cream maker bowl stays in our freezer. We like it to be ready when we are to mix up a batch of frozen fabulousness. Which is quite often if the number of ice cream recipes posted on our little site is any indication. Go ahead and search ice cream or gelato here on our little neck of the interwebs, right up there at the top in the search box. See it? We’ve got something for everyone. I’m pretty sure we could open up an ice cream beach caddy but eh who has time for that.
I’m sad to report that my garden tomato plants aren’t doing so hot this year. I think all the rain we’ve had is the culprit. While I’m extremely sad about the state of tomatoes in the bell’alimento household, the silver lining is my fresh herbs are going CRAZY. I have more fresh herbs than I can use. I’ve been garnishing ALL the things and I’ve made more bouquet garni’s than I can shake a rosemary sprig at. I’m thinking if I have this problem (if you can call it that) then maybe YOU do too! Because sharing is caring, I’ve put together a few of my favorite things to do with all those herbs.
When my friends at Lucky Leaf, asked me to create a few recipes using their pie filling I started off with a Flourless Dark Chocolate Black Forest Cake. It’s made using Lucky Leaf’s Premium Cherry Pie Filling. The pie filling is both IN and ON that insanely delicious cake. If you’re into cherries I think you’ll really dig that. For my second recipe I opted for a simple summer treat the whole family will love. Strawberry Cheesecake Pops. It’s made using what else? Strawberry pie filling. These pops are as simple as can be to make. In a few hours time you’ll be fighting over who gets a second or third. Or maybe that’s just our family? We are passionate about food.
It’s been a little quiet in my corner of the world wide web lately. The past two weeks have been crazy around here. What with the end of the school year and the oh 100 activities that are jammed into those two weeks (why for the love of Nutella do they do that to us poor frazzled parents?), and OH can’t forget about this –> my newly acquired Motorcycle Learner’s Permit (braap braap) needles to say I’ve been away from the kitchen. When I wasn’t at a school activity I’ve been burning up the black top in my sparkly helmet.
This is going to fall under the don’t knock it until you’ve tried it category. It is an ice cream I’m seriously in love with. I first tasted a sweet corn ice cream a few years back and I’ll admit I was skeptical at first, I mean it’s corn and ice cream that shouldn’t work but I’m SO glad I tasted it because it rocked my ice cream loving world. When there’s fresh corn I’m making sweet corn ice cream. Period. Pair that with a knock your socks off Blueberry Balsamic sauce and you’ll be making it all summer too.
I have a sweet tooth. A pretty wicked one which isn’t good for someone who doesn’t necessarily prefer to bake. If you asked me I would tell you I’m a cook. Don’t get me wrong, I can bake, I just prefer the flexibility of cooking vs the rigidness that baking requires. You just can’t wing it when you bake and I like to wing it, always have. For me at least, when I try to wing it when baking things go all kinds of wrong and they’re not easily fixable like when I’m cooking. When cooking, I can adjust this add a pinch more of that until it comes around to what I had envisioned the dish to be. So when you’ve got an easy delicious dessert that requires minimal baking, I’m SO in. There’s a reason Panna Cotta is my go to dessert ; )
Peach Bellinis are one of my favorite spring and summer time drinks. I am after all originally from Georgia which means I kind of have to like peaches (and peanuts, preferably boiled (yes boiled) but that’s another story for another day). I would lose my Georgia Peach card if I didn’t and I’m just not willing to give that up. Nope. There’s something about biting into a fresh juicy Georgia peach (I’m sure there are lovely peaches grown elsewhere but again back to that whole being born in Georgia thing. Route for the home team and all.) you know it’s a good peach when you end up with sticky sweet lips afterwards. And okay a sticky chin too, that’s just going to happen, unless you’re perfect and well I’m not so don’t forget the wipes.
Don’t let the flourless fool you, this cake is absolutely amazing, and yes you can make a cake without flour. I have to say (and I’ve probably said this before) but I had my reservations when I first started making flourless cakes way back when. I mean a cake without flour? How and can that even be good? The answer to all the things is YES. This my friends is a whole lot of dark chocolate gluten free goodness on a plate and you should make it immediately.
With the weather about to start heating up the last thing I will want to do will be to heat up my oven and by default my kitchen. Air conditioning is expensive yeah? I make A LOT of no bake treats in the spring and summer. My sweet tooth can not suffer because I don’t want to spend more on my air conditioning bill. That would be negligent of me. I can’t let that happen, it would be shameful. Hello no bake beauties. These are so simple it’s almost a non recipe. Simple is a good thing so let’s just focus on that.
Coffee ain’t just for drinking friends. Nope, it’s also for doing all kinds of other stuff with, like turning it into a beautiful blissed out buttercream. If you like COFFEE as much as I do you’re going to love this hopped up espresso buttercream. It’s going to give your dessert a little kick in the caffeinated pants. I mean that’s if you can manage to not eat all of it before it’s time to slather it onto a cake, or cupcakes, or between two cookies. Whatever you’ve got handy, a spoon. We won’t judge.
It’s APRIL tomorrow people. I just can’t believe it. Where has the first quarter of this year gone? It’s passed me by in a cold white flash I guess. Not that I’m not looking forward to spring. Real spring that is. The one with flowers popping up, much much warm weather, my hands in the garden, cute wedges on my feet and lots of wind therapy and tangled hair from the open road. Not this current bi-polar spring that is going on. I’ve got whip lash trying to keep up. Heater on. Heater off. Shorts sleeves. Long sleeves. Gah. I’m going to drown myself in a few cups of this panna cotta and all will be well until the weather makes up it’s mind.
If you’ve known me for any length of time you KNOW that Spaghetti alla Carbonara is my hands down all time favorite meal. It’s the meal I would eat ALL. DAY. EVERY. DAY. That’s if I had a super ramped up metabolism and/or didn’t gain any weight no matter what I shoveled into my mouth. I of course am not blessed with that metabolism. Nope, and if you are one of those VERY lucky people, please don’t tell me. That wouldn’t make me like you very much and I really want to like you.
You might have heard these bars called by a few different names: Millionaire Bars, Millionaire’s Shortbread, Copycat Twix Bars. Whatever you call them (I’m leaning towards sticky fingers chocolate bars myself), you won’t be able to stop after one. They’re the perfect mix of sweet and salty and will satisfy your sweet tooth craving in a big way. Instead of making our own shortbread for this recipe, we’ve taken a shortcut and used our favorite shortbread rounds by Walkers. You know the ones. They have a distinctive taste and simply melt in your mouth . In a word they are butteriffic.
Why yes it’s snowing outside (in our neck of the woods and probably in a lot of yours) and we’re making homemade ice cream. It makes perfect sense yeah? At least in our heads. In all honesty we eat ice cream year round. No matter if I have to sit in front of the fire place to warm up or jump in a hot bath afterwards. I’m nothing if not dedicated. I’m also dedicated to good chocolate and COFFEE so this ice cream pairing was bound to happen. I can’t believe I didn’t make it happen before now. What was I thinking? I’m glad I went ahead and rectified that.
I haven’t met too many people who don’t adore flan. It’s creamy dreamy and you might be surprised to know that it’s super simple to make. Now there is quite a bit of time involved but the majority of that time your oven and fridge are doing the heavy work for you. Now that you know, there’s no reason not to try and make this at home. If you can stir, blend and pour you’ve got this. Trust me.
Have an occasion that calls for creating special dessert? Maybe you’re celebrating a birthday, graduation, anniversary? Maybe it’s even Valentine’s Day (we don’t dare to not have dessert on heart day gasp)? Or heck maybe it’s because you just WANT chocolate. Whatever the occasion we’ve got a chocolate recipe for you to choose from. Our list includes: TARTS, MOUSSE, PUDDINGS, CAKES, CUPCAKES, COCKTAILS, BARS and even RAVIOLI. All have a little bit or a whole lot of one of our favorite ingredients: CHOCOLATE! I’m going to go ahead and tell you it’s probably not going to be easy decision if you’ve got a sweet tooth like mine that is. I would tell you I’m sorry but misery loves company you know.