Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Dessert and my father do not mix.  He does enjoy them occasionally; however, a piece of cheese sounds  like a better last course than a piece of cake. Obviously, I did not inherit his taste in food.  But over many Halloweens, I have discovered his weakness... peanut butter cups! So for this past Father's Day, I made this chocolate peanut butter pie.  Wouldn't you know, for the first time in my life, Dad got a second helping of dessert. 

An Oreo crust, cream cheese peanut butter center, and topped with a dark chocolate ganache. I could have done a little more with the presentation but I was too eager to inhale the pie instead.  So roasted peanuts served as a wonderful garnish.  And any dessert that can overcome my Dad's resistance to sweets is definitely a keeper; especially on Father's Day. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Raspberry Clafouti

Doesn't this picture make you think of a Sunday Brunch? Well, I hate to ruin the imagery but this was taken on a Tuesday after work.  I know, it's a weeknight, what am I thinking?

Sorting through some recipes, I came across a picture of this souffle, custard-like dessert.  I had no clue what a clafouti was but I knew I had to have it. I did the in-depth research. *Think Ina Garten and Wikipedia. Only top notch sources for knowledge. Come to find out, it's origin is French.  Pronounced Cla-Foo-Tee, I really thought it might be a deeply southern dessert.  Say it out loud and add a twang...yea, you can hear it. 

I also found that traditionally this dish is made with cherries (I will eat them but not as a first choice in fruit.) Instead, I found that raspberries and chambord might make for an even better take on the traditional version.  Boy was I right! Light like a souffle but rich like a lightly sweetened custard, the raspberries went perfectly.  Simple ingredients make the clafouti easy and quick to prepare.

Go ahead and surprise your family or guests with this dessert.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blueberry Polenta Pancakes

Picture this...
The cool breeze of summer, sun shining, surrounded by mountains, crisp air, and blueberry bushes are filled with plump berries. Where does such a place of perfection exist?  Why, the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. 

For me, summertime is reminiscent of past summers and college years spent in the western NC mountains. In July and August, blueberry picking is in full swing and even hiking on the parkway can reveal some wild bushes.  These are the perfect berries.  Slightly sweet and sour, they can be eaten straight off the bush or baked into goodies.  Can you tell I am craving a vacation? While the berries available for purchase in the produce section are good, hand-picked mountain berries are where my heart lies. So when I came upon this recipe for Blueberry Polenta Pancakes, I just had to recreate them.

They are not as sweet as say a ricotta or traditional pancake but they are superb with a side of bacon.
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