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Chocolate Soda (Old Fashioned Egg Cream)

In honor of National Ice Cream day, I thought I’d share these tall, dark beauties that I craved almost incessantly during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. It was cool, chocolaty, and refreshing, just the thing for any hormonal mama. As a matter of fact, it was going to be the follow up to this post, but baby Leo decided to show up a couple weeks early and then I forgot all about it.

Here’s the recipe: Pour chocolate syrup in the bottom of a glass (or chocolate fudge topping thinned with milk). Add two generous scoops of rich chocolate ice cream. Then fill ‘er up slowly with sparkling water, with a little whipped cream on top. Sip slowly and enjoy!


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Craving #1 – Grilled peanut butter, banana, and jelly with cream cheese

I’ve always liked sweets, chocolate, and baked goods, so craving these things while pregnant is really not unusual for me. However, at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago, Chloe and I stopped at PBJs (thanks to a mention from Charlotte) and tried their grilled “Cream of the Crop”: challah bread, strawberry jam, bananas, PBJ’s peanut butter and… cream cheese? It was SO yummy! A few days later I made myself one at home (and then another one…). Who knew cream cheese could elevate a PB&J to such heights?

Check out PBJs unique menu here.

Grilling Tip: Spread butter on the outsides of the bread (and not just in the skillet) before frying to get a nice even brown. And when making a grilled cheese, spread mayonnaise on the outside of the bread and turn the heat down a bit. The mayo imparts extra flavor and a beautiful golden crisp.


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Fresh fruit and cream meringue pavlova

This is the dessert I made yesterday – a layered meringue with a freshly whipped lemon cream filling topped with vanilla whipped cream and garnished with fresh organic fruit. I made the meringue layers using this recipe, but instead made two 8″ circles. Then, using a pint of heavy whipping cream, I made a batch of freshly whipped cream, which I divided into two bowls. The first bowl was for the filling. I added about a half a jar of lemon curd and about a 1/3 cup of sour cream and mixed it all together. The second bowl was for the topping, to which I added only some Swedish vanilla sugar (from Ikea) and some regular powdered sugar, until it was slightly sweet, enough to balance the tartness of the lemon cream. Then I decorated the top with freshly sliced strawberries and blueberries.

This dessert got rave reviews (and requests for second helpings), but I made a tactical error in assembling it too early. In order to keep the meringue crisp, this dessert should be assembled just before eating. Otherwise the meringues become soft, just like the whipped cream layers. It didn’t alter the taste, but the texture was all creamy, no crunch. I think if I decide to make this dessert again and want to do it ahead of time, I’ll scoop the creams and fruit into individual cups, and then top with a piece of crisp meringue, right before serving.

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