chinese shrimp and sizzling rice neva: backcountry buddies dog training strawberries and cream malasadas morel asparagus prosciutto lemon pasta


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archive for August 2007

chocolate-dipped strawberry (cake)

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Recipe: chocolate-dipped strawberry cake

Figs are not only delicious on their own or with prosciutto, but they are also fantastic with balsamic vinegar! Case in point, I put some in our salad tonight:


salad of goodness



I love fresh figs.

**Jump for more butter**

fresh figs

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

What to do with fresh figs? I bought about two dozen of these babies the other day because I really do like fresh figs. Most of the recipes call for cooking them, and I think that’s a bit of a shame because I really like them raw.


figs are delicate when ripe



Well the California board of fig growers had one suggestion for raw figs – prosciutto. Honestly, I like prosciutto with just about anything and also with nothing. Sounded like a nice and easy starter for dinner tonight which was a repeat of eggplant parmigiana using that second eggplant and yes – covering with foil for the first 35 minutes makes the cheese melt much nicer – so do that and then uncover for the last 10 minutes to crisp it up.

perfect with prosciutto



It’s a hands down winning combination in my book. Too bad fresh figs have such a small window of availability. And you don’t need all that much prosciutto to go with a fig quarter (we didn’t eat all of that prosciutto). It paired beautifully with a fruity sauvignon blanc too. I could have eaten just that for dinner.

making brownies

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Recipe: rocky road brownies

No – not the way Cartman refers to… I’m talking about literally making brownies.

Never really satisfied with that earlier experiment of fudgy versus chewy brownies, I was flipping through some old issues of Chocolatier the other day and found brownie recipes worthy of a kitchen test. In my youth (back in 1994) I subscribed to Chocolatier because I liked baking with chocolate. I found I was mostly in over my head with that magazine. I tried again in 2000 and the same thing happened. Mind you, their other publication is Pastry Art and Design, if that’s any hint. I’m glad I hung on to those issues though, because now that I have perused the recipes, the three truffle (most difficult) ratings look to be on par with the more advanced stuff I did in pastry class. I mean to say – they are now within my ability level, and that feels pretty good!


marshmallows dusted in flour and cocoa



**Jump for more butter**