Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time for Break

Sad to say I feel the need to take a self imposed break from the blogging world because the guilt of not being able to post is overwhelming. There is alot of changes going on in the world of Salt and Chocolate, our house is officially on the market tomorrow which means I have been cleaning and fixing up my house like a mad woman for the last week. Don't worry P did ALOT of work too! And because it is on the market I have to keep it looking perfect and staged like this..
Yes, that is my kitchen and its impeccably clean especially for me. There is nothing out on the counter and everything has been wiped down. So that makes it really hard for me to cook because lets face it I make a HUGE mess everything I cook or bake anything!

I'm hoping that in the next few weeks I can figure out this whole living in a house that I have to keep clean at all times enough to be able to cook again. Because Drum Roll Please....... I'm getting my blog redesigned and it should be done soon!

So Sorry in advance for my absence and I will try to keep up with everyone's posts but I have a feeling this house thing is going to take alot out of me!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Waste Not Want Not

I often cook in phases where I will cook something until I have exhausted all possible variations, I'm finally sick of eating whatever the phase is, or everyone else is begging me to stop making what ever it is. I think a lot of bloggers do that, there tend to be lots of the same thing being made at the same time. Right now that phase for me is flavored nuts, which involve using egg whites, and I couldn't figure out anything to do with the 2 yolks so I had been throwing them out. Then I remembered that I need egg yolks to make Ice Cream so I saved them this time and with the wonderful Organic Raspberries I picked up I made some Raspberry Ice Cream. It was a great way to not waste. And I think I might be on an Ice Cream phase now but I need to be staying focused on the changes that will soon be taking place around here. You will all just have to wait and see!
Raspberry Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups of half and half
1 cup of vanilla sugar
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 1/2 cups of raspberry puree

In a medium size saucepan heat the half and half and sugar until the sugar granules have disappeared. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top of it. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Pour some of the warm half and half mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Add in the rest of the half and half mixture and whisk to combine. Pour this back into the saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the cream and mix to combine. Add in the raspberry puree and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill in the fridge for 2-4 hours and then churn as directed by your ice cream machine.

Note - to make the puree I blended 4 cups of raspberries and then pushed them through a strainer to remove the seeds.

Adapted from Raspberry Ice Cream by David Lebovitz in The Perfect Scoop.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dreaming of Autumn

Honestly can it get any hotter, I love summer and all but jeez we went from sweatshirts to swimsuits in a matter of days. I enjoy the slow warm up and cool down of the beginning and end of summer. It transitions into my favorite season, Autumn. It is the perfect weather for me, I can still wear sandals, but they can be comfortably paired with jeans and a long sleeve shirt. And some of my favorite foods can be found, like apple pie, pumpkin ice cream, did you think I was going to name savory foods? Come on now. So while sitting in my house with the AC cranked up, I'm dreaming of cooler weather and food that warms your soul.

Apple Tart

3 Apples, cored and thinly sliced - Use whatever is your favorite I used Gala
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons of apricot jam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a parchment lined baking sheet place the sheet of puff pastry. Arrange the apple slices so that they are layering over each other in either straight rows or starting at a diagonal in one corner, making sure to leave a small border around the edge. Fill in any spots that look sparse after covering the whole pastry with apples. You may have some apple slices left over depending on the size of your apples. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the edges start to turn a golden brown. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack. Melt the jam in the microwave until it is completely melted and using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of jam over the whole tart. Let cool to room temperature and serve.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fireworks in your Mouth

The 4th of July, I used to love it, the brightly colored themed food,the cook out and of course the fireworks. My Dad would travel every year and buy us good fireworks since they were illegal in the state we lived in. I still to this day do not know where he found the time to go cause we never saw him leave to go up there and would just be surprised on the 4th with whatever he decided to bring back for us. And lucky for us we lived on a cul de sac so he would just go in the street and set off the fireworks for us and all the neighbors to see. We got to help occasionally but most of the time my Mom deemed them too dangerous for us to be near. But of all of the fireworks we did my sister and I loved Sparklers and would try to hold as many as possible with out burning ourselves. I think back and I'm sure we loved them because my Dad bought so many that we could have one lit almost the whole time he was setting them off. But now that I'm an adult I see the other side of it, all the prep that it takes to put on a 4th of July Party. So this weekend when I attend some parties that my friends are having I will appreciate all the work that they do and I will try my darnedest to help with a themed dessert. So this is dessert number one, kind of an upscale themed dessert, no food coloring here!

Red White and Blue Crostada

1 lb of strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup of blueberries
1 tablespoon of sugar

80z cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 pie crust, store bought or homemade

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, and place the pie crust on the parchment paper. In a bowl combine the strawberries, blueberries and sugar and stir to combine and coat all of the strawberries and blueberries with some of the sugar. In a bowl combine the cream cheese, flour and sugar until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Using an off set spatula spread an even layer of the cream cheese mixture leaving an inch border all the way around. Place the berry mixture so that they cover all of the cream cheese mixture, it will be a big mound on top but will reduce in the oven. Fold the edges over about every inch to inch and a half and continue all the way around. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown. Let cool on a cooling rack completely and serve at room temperature or slightly warm.