August 25, 2021

Lemon Posset and Lemon Cupcakes


For the Lemon Lovers Table that I recently created I included some citrus-infused treats.  At each place setting there was a decorated sugar cookie to welcome my guests.  Other desserts included the cutest  lemon petit-fours from Trader Joe's and homemade Lemon Posset and Lemon Cupcakes.

I had my first taste of lemon posset at ad hoc restaurant and I was immediately hooked on the creamy, tangy dessert.  It was so refreshing, especially after having ad hoc's famous buttermilk fried chicken!  Luckily I found a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that couldn't be simpler to make using only three ingredients: heavy cream, sugar and lemons.

For the lemon cupcakes I used a vanilla cake recipe from The Cupcake Project.  It was the winner of a recent taste test from The Kitchen.  While the cupcakes were really tasty, I actually prefer a cake that has a tighter crumb to it.  I frosted the cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream that was mixed with pre-made lemon curd. To pipe the buttercream swirls I used a large petal tip (Ateco #126).  I confess it was a decorating technique I pinched from Violet bakery in London. 

August 22, 2021

Lemon Lovers Table


I couldn't wait to put together this Lemon Lovers Table and I absolutely adore how it turned out.  It all began with the most fabulous citrus-themed linens (tablecloth, placemats and napkins) from Mrs. Alice, the tablescape brand.  If you've never heard of Mrs. Alice I urge you to check out their website because they sell so many gorgeous things.   I could easily blow my paycheck on their products!

Lemons always remind me of Capri, the small island off the Amalfi Coast in Italy that I visited a few years ago with friends.  We had the best time there!  Everywhere you turned in Capri there were lemons present, whether it was the actual fruit growing on trees, the scent perfuming the air or as an ingredient in the food.   I long to return there once the pandemic subsides.

The linens paired beautifully with Aerin x Williams-Sonoma tableware I already owned.  I found these darling woven straw fruit napkin rings on etsy.  To complete the table I made a few lemon treats such as decorated sugar cookies, cupcakes and lemon posset.  Talk about a citrus explosion, but I love it!

Tablecloth, Placemats, Napkins: Mrs. Alice
Woven Straw Fruit Napkin Rings: etsy 
Plates, Drinking Glass with Raffia collar: Aerin x Williams-Sonoma 
Wine Glass: Amazon
Bamboo Flatware: Pottery Barn 

August 4, 2021

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Garlic Focaccia


Liguria Bakery in San Francisco makes the best focaccia in the city and I've been going there for years.  They only sell focaccia, nothing else, so you know their signature product is top notch.  My favorite flavor is the pizza focaccia with it's tangy marinara sauce on top, but you can't go wrong with any of the flavors.  I'd been craving the classic Italian salad of prosciutto and melon (prosciutto e melone) and wanted to have some focaccia to go with it.
Being too lazy to get in my car and make the drive to North Beach (and deal with parking) I decided to look for a quick and easy focaccia recipe; one that didn't require  hours of preparation or a starter.  A quick internet search and I found this one from ATK Young Chefs' Club for Roman-style focaccia.   Add in some cherry tomatoes that were on their last leg and I made this fantastic Roasted Cherry Tomato and Garlic Focaccia.

Seriously, anyone can make this focaccia and yield amazing results.  The recipe is written for kids so that should tell you how easy it is to make.  [My only updates were to omit rosemary and add a mixture of halved cherry tomatoes, chopped garlic, olive oil, herbs and salt & pepper as the topping.]  The bread's texture is super light and fluffy and the tomatoes and garlic really elevate it to the next level.  It was the perfect accompaniment to the salad and dare I say could rival that of Liguria's famous focaccia?  I'll definitely be making this recipe again.

August 1, 2021



It's rare for me to stray from my go-to chocolate chip cookie (Jacques Torres's recipe published in the New York Times), but I recently discovered a new take on the all-American classic that had me wondering if it was time to reconsider.  Over the years I've visited the Pacific Northwest many times but never had I been to Hello Robin Cookies.  
Until a few months ago I'd never even heard of the cookie shop until I was FaceTiming with my friend Evelyn who lives in Seattle.  While we were chatting her family just so happened to come home with a dozen cookies from the aforementioned bakery.  They're favorite cookie being Mackles'mores, chocolate chip dough studded with marshmallows, baked on a graham cracker and finally topped with a chocolate square.  Intrigued, I immediately went online to find out more. 

Luckily there were plenty of websites that not only published the Hello Robin recipe but also videos showing how it was made.  The only adjustment I made to the recipe was omitting the cinnamon.  I scooped out the dough into 2 tablespoon size balls and froze them to bake off later.  This method worked liked a dream because I found the frozen dough baked beautifully. 
After the baked cookies came out of the oven I topped them with a square of Dandelion Chocolate's Gola Rainforest chocolate.  With its hints of brownie, marshmallow and roasted almonds I thought the chocolate would pair beautifully with the Mackles'mores.   The chocolate chip cookie on its own is fantastic, nice and chewy with caramel hints, but the addition of the graham cracker really takes it over the top.  So good! It wants for nothing, except maybe a cold glass of milk.

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