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Monday, July 17, 2017

La Glace à la Lavande Facile




I have always had an affinity for ice cream.  Seriously, it's a problem.  I love almost every kind.  It is truly my favorite dessert. 

Perhaps it is reminiscent of my youth; my mother would walk into the middle of the living room and in almost a near-whisper state, "Farrell's."  The mention of that one word would cause an eruption of joyous excitement.  It was really a special treat for my sister and I to go during the hot California summer when we were kiddos.
Farrell's Logo


We loved a simple cone, as well...I recall how neat it was to go to the local Thrifty's and for thirty cents, you could get a scoop of truly delicious ice cream, chosen from a plethora of flavors.
 Photo courtesy of Thrifty's via a post on their Twitter Account.



Both Thrifty's (Pharmacy) and Farrell's eventually closed.  Rite Aid continued to sell Thrifty's ice cream, but only at limited locations.  I was so excited when a couple of Farrell's Restaurants opened in Southern California, and that I have been able to share nostalgia with my children.  Rite Aid may bring back Thrifty's from what I have read, but locations near me don't carry it.  Boo.



Summer's unbearable heat calls for cool treats, and sometimes, I want to avoid braving it in the sun and traffic.  What better way to indulge my craving than with homemade ice cream that is so easy to make you can achieve its creation in a mason jar, yet so decadent it is inspired by renowned French chef Roger Verge?



This ice cream is delicious, with the delicate and pleasing flavor of lavender...just so refreshing for this time of year!





For this recipe, you will need:


3½ Cups Heavy Cream
1¼ Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Culinary Lavender
¼ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Cup Milk
8 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar


Using a food processor, grind the culinary lavender until it is a fine powder.



I find using my trusty (and very old, please excuse) coffee bean grinder is a sufficient substitute, especially when grinding only a minimal amount of an ingredient.
 



Combine the lavender, sugar, and salt; mix together thoroughly.  In a chilled metal bowl, combine all ingredients along with the sugar, lavender, and salt mixture.  Place all ingredients into a mason jar, and shake vigorously until the mixture has thickened (it should be able to coat the back of a spoon without dripping off).  My recipe is for a larger amount of ice cream, so I used an ice cream maker, which is also an option you might utilize.  Simply place all the ingredients into the chilled ice bucket, and follow directions on the ice cream maker.


Chill overnight for best results.  I served my ice cream with Pizzelle Italian waffle cookies as a garnish.  Light and crispy, with a mellow vanilla flavor, they are family favorite.  So yummy!



Voilà!!  The perfect treat for a hot summer day, and so simple!  The omission of egg yolks makes this recipe one that is easily prepared via a mason jar. 



If you enjoy this recipe, you may pin it for future reference:



Keep cool!!





If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

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Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Refreshing Summer Bougainvillea Salad





Is there a better time than the Summer for a crisp, refreshing salad infused with delightful fresh fruit!!?  I absolutely love a good salad, and the following recipe is no exception. 




At the beginning of the Summer Solstice, my garden was practically bursting with beautiful bougainvillea.  If you would like to read more about it, you may do so here.



Did you know that bougainvillea leaves are edible?   In South America, it is used often and it is even brewed into tea!  To my unsophisticated palate (lol), the flavor is similar to arugula, which I absolutely love.  Being that my gardens were so very bountiful, I thought why not indulge in some?   For this recipe, you will need:


Grape leaves, rinsed thoroughly
Spring mix, rinsed
Fresh fruit such as strawberries or grapes, rinsed
Candied nuts
Bougainvillea, rinsed thoroughly
Crumbled feta cheese, if desired

The first thing I added were grape leaves fresh off of my grapevines.



I was sure to rinse them thoroughly, and because the leaves on my vines are fairly large, I cut them into smaller portions.




 Next, I added a bit of spring mix from my local grocer.



I added some fresh fruit.  Strawberries sounded so refreshing, as did sweet grapes right off my vines!  So yummy.  I also added candied nuts, which is the perfect counterbalance to the tartness of the greens.


If you would like to view my recipe for simple candied nuts, you may do so by visiting the post in the archives here.



Finally, I added the gorgeous bougainvillea.  Isn't this lovely?



This salad is best served with a light and fruity vinaigrette.  I love fruit-infused varieties such as raspberry or strawberry.  Delish!!  I also recommend you add a tart cheese such as crumbled feta, but as my kiddos aren't fond of it, I omitted it from mine. 



I served the salad in a whimsical wheelbarrow salad dish, because, why not!?  :-)



If you like this recipe, you may pin it for future reference:








 


If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cool, Refreshing Gazpacho




The summertime seems to get hotter each year, with no solace in sight.  It is likely the reason I crave such a lighter menu at this time of year.  Gazpacho is the perfect remedy for the Summer palate.  The hot California weather (105° and hotter this month!) mimics the warm weather of the Mediterranean, where this dish originated.  In Andalusia, and pertaining to this dish, more specifically Málaga and Seville, the people craved a dish that would refresh them and offer a reprieve from the unbearable heat.  Gazpacho, which is a soup that is served cold, was the perfect solution.  Most modern gazpachos are made with tomatoes and vegetables.  The Andalusia region was abundant with olive trees and vineyards, and thus my recipe is likely closer to the original, which was only bread, water, olive oil, and vinegar.


My recipe is an adaptation from William-Sonoma's Savoring Spain and Portugal.



The Original:











1 cup blanched almonds
4 small slices day-old coarse country bread, crusts removed, soaked in water to cover, and squeezed
    dry
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt, plus salt to taste
6 tablespoons (3fl oz/90 ml) olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 cups (24 fl oz/750 ml) ice water, or as needed
Freshly ground pepper to taste
36 seedless grapes, peeled and cut in half




In a food processor or blender, combine the almonds, soaked bread, garlic, and the 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until the almonds are very finely ground.  With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil, the vinegar, and 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) of the ice water and process until you have a creamy white liquid.  Transfer to a bowl. 


Stir in as much of the remaining 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) ice water as needed to a achieve the soup consistency you prefer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. 


Just before serving, stir in the grapes.  Ladle into chilled bowls and serve.


Serves 4






My Version:




1 cup blanched almonds
4 Sourdough (important, do not substitute; use sourdough) English muffins, halved, toasted, soaked
   in water to cover, and squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3fl oz/90 ml) olive oil
3 tablespoons Italian herb infused white wine vinegar
3 cups (24 fl oz/750 ml) ice water, or as needed
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Rinsed small and sweet seedless grapes off of the vine, as desired
Grape Leaf to garnish, rinsed
Parmesan Garlic bread as an accompaniment




In a food processor or blender, grind the almonds until they are a fine powder.  I found that using my coffee bean grinder works perfectly fine as a substitute.


Combine the powdered almonds, soaked bread, garlic, and the 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until the ingredients start to meld.  With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil, the vinegar, and 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) of the ice water and process until you have a creamy white liquid.  Be sure to stop the motor periodically and with a rubber spatula, push the thicker ingredients down towards the blade to ensure the mixture is completely blended.  Once the mixture is completely blended, transfer to a bowl. 


Stir in as much of the remaining 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) ice water as needed to a achieve the soup consistency you prefer.  Season with pepper.  It was not necessary to use 'salt to taste' in my recipe because I used the herb-infused white wine vinegar; it is already very flavorful.


Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.  I added a grape leaf and a sparse amount of grapes (so that they were not heavy enough to sink the leaf) as a garnish for a pretty presentation.



Ladle into chilled bowls and serve.  Just before serving at the table, stir in the grapes into the individual bowls. The grapes I used are fresh off my vines, and they are sweet.  They are also very small and have softer skins, so there was no need to either a) peel them, or b) cut them in half.





The result was a delicious soup which was so filling and refreshing!  I served it with rustic pieces of parmesan garlic bread.  So good!  Serves 6 approximately 1-cup servings




Delicious!!



If you have enjoyed this recipe, you might like to pin it:










If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nue Gâteau au Citron avec Infusion des Raisins Blancs / Naked Lemon Cake with White Grape Infusion


Sometimes when entertaining, it is necessary to improvise and to think out-of-the-box.  The other day, I was hosting a dinner and I wanted to serve a dessert that was light and fresh; it is the dead of Summer after all. 


This Naked Lemon Cake with White Grape Infusion was the perfect finisher after a long, hot day.  It was also extraordinarily simple to put together, because I used a pre-packaged cake.  Infused with the lovely flavors of lemon and white grapes, it was an instant hit!   I hope you'll enjoy the post.




You will need:


The Cake:
A traditional Yellow Cake Mix (I used Pillsbury)
Lemon Juice
Freshly squeezed white grape juice or white grape juice
Supplies as needed for boxed cake, eggs, water, and oil
Flowers, grapes, and grape leaves for garnish, rinsed




The Filling and Buttercream Frosting:
3½ Cups Confectioner's Sugar
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
²/³ cup shortening


For the Cake:
Follow the directions on the cake exactly but for one exception.  The directions on the cake will call for:  1 cup water, ¹/³ cup oil, and 3 eggs.  Instead of using 1 cup of water, reduce the amount to ½ cup water and instead add ¼ cup each of the lemon juice and grape juice.  Bake the cake according to package directions; in a 350 degree oven.  Remove cake and allow to cool completely.  You may even chill the cake if you like, making sure to set out approximately 10-15 minutes before decorating.




For the Filling and Frosting:
Cream all ingredients together except for the shortening.  The consistency should be light and fluffy.  Reserve half of the creamy mixture and place into the refrigerator to chill.



Once your cake has cooled, slice into sections.



On each sliced layer, frost with the whipped filling.



Once you have frosted between each layer,


add any remaining icing to the reserved chilled icing, and using a hand mixer, cream altogether with the shortening.  Using a very light hand and spatula, frost your cake, making sure you do not cover the cake completely, and allow the baked cake to show through.  The majority of my buttercream was placed on the top of the cake.  After the frosting was complete, I garnished the cake with cleansed items from my garden.  Fresh grapes off of my vines and bougainvillea from the garden made for pretty décor indicative of the Mediterranean region, but you may use whatever you like.



Isn't this lovely?  This cake will keep for 4-5 days, or you may freeze if desired to prolong its freshness.



If you would like to save this recipe for future reference, you may pin it here:







If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

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Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

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Thank you for stopping by! ❤


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spicy Savory Mini Sandwiches

The beautiful warm weather has arrived in Southern California, thus beginning the wonderful season for outdoor entertaining.  As a native Californian, I have grown up enjoying the spicy foods of friends, and over time have developed a palate that really craves that bit of KICK!  If you are planning a simple get-together, these mini sandwiches will be sure to please!


Spicy Grilled Ham and Cheese



A few days ago, we celebrated Easter, and there's nothing better than using that wonderful sweet and savory ham to make grilled ham and cheese. 

To compliment the sweet and savory flavors of my ham, I decided to make this sandwich with a lovely French brioche.  This wonderful brioche is buttery, dense, and just slightly sweet, delish!


To give my sandwiches that little spicy oomph! I used chipotle cheddar.



The result is a delightful sandwich full of smoky spicy flavor with a subtle tinge of sweetness.

 

If you would like to view the recipe for my Sweet and Savory Holiday Ham, you may do so in the archives here.



Spicy Roast Beef Brioche


For these sandwiches, I also used brioche, but in mini loaf form.


I sliced the breads,







added a bit of sriacha mayo to each side of the bread.
 

Place slices of aged Swiss on one side of each, set aside.

In a small saucepan, I sautéed fresh sliced mushrooms in a bit of white truffle oil and a pinch of garlic salt to taste.  When the mushrooms are just about done, add the sliced roast beef and cook just until warm.  Add the meat and mushroom combination on top of the cheese side of the brioches and place onto a prepared cookie sheet.


I prepared a cookie sheet by brushing it with a bit of the white truffle oil.  Place the sandwiches into a preheated 350 degree oven and toast just until the bread is golden and the cheese is completely melted.  These sandwiches are savory with just the right amount of bite!  You may eat them by themselves, or of course with au jus.  Enjoy!



If you would like to see these nummy noshes featured I my 2016 Tartan Day Tea, please visit the post on my blog Parsimonious Décor Darling here.




If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤