September 27, 2013

Wannabe Raincoast Crisps

If you ever tasted Raincoast Crisps you probably had the same reaction I had, "OMG...these things are delicious and so addictive!" and then "I wish they weren't so expensive."  At about $10 for a small box they definitely weren't an everyday snack.  

Don't know why I didn't think of it sooner but I recently found an amazing recipe online that replicates these dried fruit and nut crisps perfectly.  In fact, a friend who I gave samples to said they tasted even better than the original!  Now if that isn't a seal of approval I don't know what is.   

I highly recommend you try making these yourself - they're so easy to recreate at home and cost a lot less too.  The crisps are really delicious with some cheese and fresh fruit jam.  The recipe is easily adaptable to whatever dried fruit and nut combination you like.  I split one recipe in half so I could have two flavors: fig/hazelnut and cranberry/pecan.  These crackers are fantastic served with your favorite cheese.  I plan on making tons to give as part of my holiday gifts.

September 21, 2013

Fresh Fruit Jam

On a recent visit with my family to Ad Hoc we were served, as the third course, a platter with nut-studded crisp crackers, various semi-firm cheeses and fresh fig jam.  The jam was simple and delicious and paired so beautifully with the cheeses that I was inspired to try fruit preserving when I got home. 

I was looking for an easy recipe because, let's face it, I have by bouts of laziness like anyone else.  It had to be a recipe that didn't call for huge quantities of fruit, sugar and a complicated canning and sealing process.  Who has time for that anyway?  

Naturally I turned to my friends at Cook's Illustrated who had a recipe for Easy Fresh Fruit Jam.  Three ingredients was all that was required: fruit, sugar and lemon juice.   Fifteen minutes later and I had an amazing preserve that could possibly even rival Ad Hoc's.

P.S. You can find the recipe for Cat Head Biscuits (in the picture above) from Cook's Country.  They taste amazing and are excellent with the fruit jam!

P.S.S. I love how the jam looks in these Weck mini mold canning jars.  I bought mine at Williams-Sonoma

September 2, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

If you're not familiar with them, pavlovas are a renowned dessert from New Zealand and Australia named in honor of a celebrated Russian ballerina.  Amongst all of the numerous cakes and treats  served at PG's 70th birthday bash this summer it was the Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova that was devoured first.   The combination of crispy, crunchy chocolate meringue topped with billowy whipped cream and fresh raspberries proved irresistible for the guests.   Ironically enough, the maker of said dessert (otherwise known as me) didn't have a chance to taste it for herself. 

Can you guess what I wanted to make as soon as I got home?  Yep, you got it!  With my first bite of its lusciousness I was in heaven.   Now I see what all the fuss was about.  I'll definitely be making it again!

Special tusen takk to Anne Marie for introducing me to this recipe.

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