Entries Tagged as 'desserts'

honey-glazed grilled watermelon

April 18th, 2012 · 16 Comments

So, it’s summer here — serious, full on summer with long hot days, light till 8 o’clock, and wearing shorts is practically mandatory on the weekends.  And I LOVE it. 

I love it so much that I’ve created this recipe for you would-be barbeque-ers out there!  I did these in a grill pan in our kitchen, but I cannot WAIT until we’re living in a house with a a real outdoors grill!  It’s no fun setting off the smoke detectors every time I try this. 

Coco hides under the bed when I get the grill pan out.  (Smart dog.)

You could easily serve this as a light appetizer or mix it into a salad, but these would also make an excellent healthy dessert!  There’s nothing better than fresh summer watermelon, is there?

honey-glazed grilled watermelon

8 slices seedless watermelon
2 tablespoons honey
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper


Lightly sprinkle the watermelon wedges on both sides with the salt. Stand the watermelon wedges on their edges on a rack over a sink or pan and let them drain for half an hour.

Preheat the grill to high.  After the watermelon has drained, rinse each piece under cold running water. Place each piece between two folded paper towels and gently but firmly press to remove excess water.

Brush the watermelon lightly on both sides with the honey. Grill over high heat until grill marks have formed and the melon is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from grill and sprinkle with sea salt and a little fresh ground pepper.

Tags: appetizers · desserts · food

strawberry balsamic tart

April 12th, 2012 · 15 Comments

This dish was tumbling around in my head after I saw an inspiration photo on Pinterest — and then combined it with the flavors in this recipe and this recipe, to come up with this tart!  I love the strawberry-balsamic combo, and this felt like the perfect way to make it into something a little prettier! 

There’s something so beautiful about a tart like this — it only takes a few minutes to pull it together, but it looks like you put a ton if time and effort into it!  I also love that this could double as an appetizer or a healthy dessert!

Strawberry Balsamic Tart

1 puff pastry crust (I used Pepperidge Farm)
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
1 pint strawberries, greens removed, sliced
10 small basil leaves
2 tsp balsamic vinegar


Defrost puff pastry and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees in a preheated oven.  Microwave the strawberry jam with 1 tsp of water for 30 seconds.  When the puff pastry comes out of the oven, brush it with the warm jam, leaving about 1 inch around the edges of the tart.  Layer the strawberries over the jam and add basil leaves as desired.  Drizzle 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar over the tart, and serve.

Tags: appetizers · desserts · food

cinnamon and white chocolate soufflé

January 23rd, 2012 · 16 Comments

If you guys learn one thing from this blog, I want it to be this: Soufflés are not hard!


I mean, I wouldn’t want to make them for a stadium full of people, and in a restaurant there are obviously kitchen-to-table service issues that are out of the cook’s control, but for just your family or a couple of friends, they’re actually a pretty simple dish. 

And holy cow, just wait until you see your guests’ faces when you whip up one of these babies!  Or one of these, or these, or these!  A perfect soufflé doesn’t have to rise six inches in the air, or even rise perfectly evenly — it can just be its slightly-imperfect self, and still absolutely delicious.

After this cinnamon-white-chocolate creation, I feel pretty satisfied with the sweet soufflé recipes on this site.  Now it’s time for some savory ones, huh?  YUM.

Cinnamon and White Chocolate Soufflé

1/2 cup sugar
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs, separated


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Butter and sugar four ramekins, as desired.  Beat egg whites with the sugar at medium speed, until they just hold stiff peaks.

Mix the white chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla and heavy cream and microwave for 30 seconds.  Let sit for another 30 seconds and stir until combined (if chocolate is not fully melted, microwave for an additional 15 seconds).  Allow to cool for another minute and then stir in the egg yolks.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites.  Fill 4 ramekins almost to the top.  Bake approximately 10-12 minutes, or until the soufflés are puffed and just set.  Serve immediately.

Tags: desserts · food

glazed sugar cookies

December 19th, 2011 · 6 Comments

I can’t believe it’s been two years since the last time I made frosted Christmas cookies!

I’ve modified the recipe slightly this time around, and I have to say that I vastly prefer this icing for decorating.  No special tools required — just your hands for dipping and a toothpick for the smaller details.  Glycerin isn’t always easy to find, but any specialty baking store (or Amazon) will carry it!

A word of warning, though — you’re best off setting aside a whole day (or at least an afternoon) to make these.  Between chilling the dough, baking the cookies, waiting for them to cool and then decorating them, these take a while!  The first time I made cookies like these, I started them after work one night and found myself finishing them up around two in the morning (eek).  But they’re a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon over the holidays!

Glazed Sugar Cookies

For the Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix them into the wet ingredients.  Chill the dough for approximately an hour, or until stiff.

After chilling, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/4 inch in thickness.  Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Icing

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp milk, or more as needed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp glycerin

In a large bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, glycerin and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired. Spread icing on the cookies with a knife or dip the cookies in the frosting to ice them.

Tags: desserts · food

toffee cookies

December 12th, 2011 · 4 Comments

I’ve been on a Christmas cookie kick for the past few weeks, and this was the recipe that started it all.  I like how at this time of the year, it’s perfectly appropriate to bake a new batch of cookies every weekend — you can bring them to parties, bring them to your office, or just eat them all yourself (ahem… Chad). 

The other day at dinner, I ordered a dessert that consisted of toffee ice cream piled onto a toffee cake, surrounded with toffee sauce — incredible.  So, as you guys can imagine, my love of toffee flavor runs deep.  I used store-bough Heath pieces for this recipe, but if you wanted to go all out, you could try my recipe for making toffee from scratch.  It’s easier thank you think!

Toffee Cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups chopped toffee pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

Mix in the flour, salt and baking soda until well blended.  Stir in the toffee pieces.

Sccop the cookie dough in small balls (use a small mellon-baller to make them even) onto cookie sheets lined with parchment or Silipat.  Place dough balls several inches away from each other on the cookie sheets (these spread a lot).

Bake for 9-10 minutes, and allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Tags: desserts · holiday