Strawberry and Date Malted Loaf

The lighter taste and texture of strawberries creates a perfect balance to the heavier, metallic flavor of malted loaf. Add a bit of dates for extra richness and enjoy a slice with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

I am so excited to present you with my second recipe for a new group I joined called #twelveloaves. In this group we bake a bread every month with the addition of the monthly theme flavor or ingredient. This month we were asked to add malt.

Yeast breads are preferred but quick breads are also welcomed. Since I prepared this recipe quickly before running off on holiday I did a quick bread this month using a seasonal berry, strawberries, and dates.

Strawberry and Date Malted Loaf

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

SRC: Strawberry Avocado Salsa

Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time.

This month I was assigned the blog Cooking With Chopin, Living with Elmo, which is authored by the wonderful Ginny. She is a very happy housewife and mother to two boys and the youngs certainly enjoy spending time in the kitchen with their mom.The array of recipes to choose from was quite vast and finding one in particular to settle on was tough. I was very tempted to try her Bacon-Spinach Pinwheels, Lavender-Lemon Roasted Salmon or Apple-Cinnamon Pull Apart Loaf, but in the end a dish I had to prepare for a BBQ potluck won out: I chose the intriguing Strawberry Avocado Salsa. If you want to skip the obvious corn chips, this sweet and savory salsa goes perfectly with chicken, salmon or trout, or pork tenderloin.

Ξ Strawberry Avocado Salsa Ξ

2 cups ripe strawberries, finely chopped
1 large avocado, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
2 green onions (green part only), sliced into thin rings
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Juice and zest from one large lime
2 teaspoons finely chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and preferably serve immediately. If you plan on serving a bit later toss the avocado with someone of the lime juice to prevent from turning brown.



Ice Cream Bloghop: Strawberry Sour Cream and Chili Peppers

I am late this year. Normally I would be posting at least my second ice cream recipe at this date, because i am obsessed with ice cream. This month’s love blog hop is helping me get back on track as Ice Cream is the theme this June.I have made lots of unusual flavors in the past but I wanted something a bit more traditional this time,and add a kick of course!

Strawberries were calling my name. I have been eating them like crazy lately. I already a few recipes posted for strawberry ice cream but I think my holds it’s own.I went with a Strawberry Ice Cream that also contains Sour Cream and chose to add a bit of punch with a touch of Chili Peppers flakes. The hot factor is very subtle but it is there, a perfect ending I think.

Ξ Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream and Chili Peppers Ξ
adapted from Two Peas and their Pod, original recipe from The Perfect Scoop

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vodka or kirsch
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes

Place all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until almost smooth, but still slightly chunky. Refrigerate mixture for at least one hour. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

June is #icecreamlove month!

Please join in on the #icecreamlove fun by linking up any ice cream recipe from the month of June OR July 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #icecreamlove event! The twitter hashtag is #icecreamlove 🙂

See what ice cream flavors my fellow co-host have posted…

Astig Vegan
Baker Street
Baking and Cooking, a Tale of Two Loves
BigFatBaker
Bon à croquer
Cake balls, cookies and more
Cheap Ethnic Eatz
Georgiescakes
Hobby And More
Mis Pensamientos
No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
Queen’s Notebook
Rico sin Azúcar
Simply Reem
Soni’s Food for Thought
That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!
The Spicy RD
Vegetarian Mamma
You Made That?

 

5 Star Makeover Strawberry Puff Pastry Pizza

Today is the 1st reveal day for….

hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!

 

It really is an honor to be part of such a highly creative groups. And really what I like best with the 5 Star Makeover is giving everyone creative license on 1 theme: this month was the Pizza. Quite vague and challenging, the possibilities are endless. I cannot wait to see with everyone’s results.

For me, pizza is an occasional treat, not because of watching the calories but more as it is a food I do not crave much. But when I do get out of my way. Summer does not call out pizza to me so at first I was a bit stump for my concept. A sweet tooth I do have…ALL THE TIME.

A dessert pizza! Now we are talking. Which so many beautiful summer fruits in the market how can I not display one in all its glory on my crust canvas. And how about using a lighter ‘canvas’ too the the usual pizza dough. Puff pastry it had to be. Here is my gourmet pizza with a twist of strawberries to finish off a beautiful meal out on the porch.

Ξ Strawberry Puff Pastry Pizza Ξ

Ingredients

1 Frozen puff pastry sheet
1 egg yolk  mixed with a bit of water
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tbsp sugar
fresh strawberries
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

   

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C – 400F.
  2. Spread baking paper on a cooking tray and spray with oil.
  3. Thaw pastry. Roll out pastry into a large rectangle. Fold inwards a 1 inch edge of the puff pastry.
  4. Brush the pastry with an egg yolk wash and place tray in fridge for 10 minutes.
  5. Cut strawberries in half, set aside.
  6. Spread strawberry jam on tart.
  7. Spread the ricotta cheese over jam gently.
  8. Place strawberries on top of ricotta in even rows.
  9. Sprinkle with sugar and drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes until pastry is golden and puffed.

It was a superb treat indeed. The flaky crust was nice and light, the jam and ricotta where a perfect base sauce and cheese, the full fruit standing proud was melt in your mouth and I really enjoyed the special taste of the splash of balsamic vinegar over the strawberries. It was a winner all around.

Strawberry Jam Balsamic Ice Cream

It’s so hot and I had a craving for a fruity ice cream. I just had a tiny bit left of my Rosemary Walnut one, the last I made, and I knew there was not enough to satiate my need for a cool treat. But I had no large quantity of fruits at home and no way was I going out into the furnace exterior.

But I had a new jar of strawberry jam! I am feeling a lazy way out of this one…and it was worth it even if not the real deal! I love the added touch of balsamic vinegar as it really enhances the favor of the fruit and cut the sugary jam taste.

Very simple yet very rewarding!

Ξ Strawberry Jam Balsamic Ice Cream Ξ

1 cup light cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup strawberry jam (or any jam you have)
1 tbsp  Balsamic vinegar

– Add the jam and milk into bowl and whisk until jam has broken up. Mix in the cream and balsamic vinegar.

– Use ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer’s instructions.

OR

– Spoon chilled custard into shallow metal pan, freeze until almost firm, about 3 hours. Break into chunks; puree in food processor.

– Pack into airtight container and freeze until firm, about 2 hour.

So good you'll like the paddle clean!

IIP: Lebanese Fruit Cocktail Sundae

It’s that wonderful time once again for an International Incident Party hosted by the wonderful Penny at Jeroxie. This month the theme is Sundaes! Oh How I love Thee Ice Cream! Yep I do eat ice cream 12 months out of the year…but Penny, who is down under, is laying in the hot summer sun right now while I am knee deep in snow! Maybe not the best time of the year for me. I guess it is time to play reverse psychology with myself and turn a negative into a positive….my Sundae will call out for Spring to arrive asap!

But quickly before, the randomly picked winner of the What is your Color TEArapy Mood Contest is…drum roll please….Kate from DietHood.com. Congratulations!

About 10 years ago I discovered a place in Montreal – in a lost industrial corner of the city – called Cocktail Antabli, a place that specializes in exotic fruit cocktails and waffles. It is owned by a Lebanese family. After my first experience there it became a mandatory yearly pilgrimage at the very least once a year. The fruit cocktails are ginormous and filling….they are more then a meal on their own. But so good, especially the big gooey white topping with pistachios drizzled in honey. And I always picked one with the amazing avocado purée.

So for this challenge I decided to recreate my favorite fruit cocktail from this shop. Now a Sundae does require ice cream and there is none in the original version, so I decided to turn the avocado purée into avocado ice cream. My post may look daunting because there are several recipes…but they are all short and very quick. I highly recommend you make this treat. The secret is picking perfectly ripe and sweet fruits. Oh ad that gooey white stuff I found out is called Ashta. The trick when eating it is to go a bit under the ashta and only have a small portion of it with each spoonfull so you still have ashta left with your last bites. I was very pleased to find a recipe for it on one of my favorite blogs owned by Joumana, Taste of Beirut. OK here we go with the making of:

Lebanese Fruit Cocktail Sundae

Ingredients:
mango, strawberry, banana…sliced or cut
avocado ice cream (see below)
mango purée (see below)
strawberry coulis (see below)
ashta (see below)
pistachio
honey

Directions:

  1. In a very tall glass layer a bit of bananas and mangoes then cover with a bit of strawberry coulis.
  2. Next layer strawberries and cover with a bit of mango purée.
  3. Add a scoop of avocado ice cream.
  4. Repeat the 3 layers
  5. Top with a big scoop of ashta, crushes pistachio and a liberal drizzling of honey. Find a very long spoon!

Avocado Ice Cream Recipe

250ml heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
250ml milk
3 ripe avocados

Peel and seed the avocados, put into a blender with the milk and make a purée. Pour the purée into a mixing bowl, add the sugar, lemon juice and cream and beat until creamy. Transfer the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Mango Purée

flesh of 1/2 a mango
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
Blend together to get a creamy purée.  If too thick, adjust consistency with water.

Strawberry Coulis

1 cup of strawberries, chopped
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
Blend together to get a creamy coulis.  If too thick, adjust consistency with water.

Ashta, makes about 1 cup

2 slices of American-style white bread
500ml of half-and-half or 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy cream
2  tablespoons   of cornstarch, diluted in a bit of water
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of orange blossom water, 1 teaspoon of rose water

  1. Start by cutting the edges off the bread. Cut the soft white part in dices.
  2. Pour the half-and-half or milk and cream mixture (or whole milk) in a heavy-bottomed saucepan; add the diced bread and let it soak in the milk mixture for as long as possible, a day if you can.
  3. Heat the milk and bread mixture, add the sugar; dilute the cornstarch in water; stir the milk mixture continuously until it starts to steam; add the cornstarch and keep stirring until the mixture thickens, making sure it does not burn (adjust the heat).
  4. Add the flavored waters if using, stir a few seconds more and remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl, let it cool and then cover with plastic and store in the fridge overnight to give the cream a chance to thicken.

International

 

Sunday Morning French Toast

I have been craving a good french toast for some time now. I rarely make a big special breakfast on Sundays at home and I do not do brunch out much anymore, usually it was an excuse for a social get together with friends. It just happens that lately with Stef we have been going to breakfast places a bit more lately. I love french toast and I love pancakes. Have you ever noticed not many places will offer a combo dish with both. I find that infuriating lol. Anyways I have been ordering more french toast and I am always disappointed. They are never that good compared to mine.

Enough is enough, I decided to make my own this morning. I made sure all my required ingredients were in house last time I went shopping. This is not my traditional version but a fancied up one I invented on the spot. I hope you will make then and enjoy them as much as I did. Ingredients list is very approxiame, I never measure for this. Also it is a very quick thing to do, 10-15  min about.

Evelyne’s French Toast

1 serving

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk or cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • dash of cayenne (yes)
  • 2-4 slices of bread, to use up liquid (I used 3 thin slices of Challah, a jewish egg bread)
  • BUTTER

Heat a frying pan quite hot and melt in some butter. Whisk together all the ingredients except bread in a flat bowl. Dip bread on both sides in the egg, resting 1 min on each side. Fry one slice at a time in the pan until golden brown. Put cooked french toats on a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Toppings

  • 5 strawberries
  • a small handful of frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 water
  • 2 tbsp or honey or corn syrup
  • 1 point of a star anise crushed

Once all your french toast are done, use the same pan to make a blueberry syrup. Add everything but the strawberries to the pan set on a med-high heat. Let this boil and cook down to a thin syrupy consistency. In the mean time quarter your strawberries and arrange decoratively in a pile on top of the french toast. When syrup is ready just poor it over the plate and enjoy! Delicious especially with a glass of homemade frappe as you see in the back here.