watermelon granita with whipped coconut cream and mint

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Add the watermelon to a blender and blend until liquefied. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and press out liquid with the back of a spoon.

Add the watermelon juice and sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. When the mixture reaches a boil turn off the heat. Pour the juice into a 9×13 inch baking dish and whisk in the lime juice and rum if using. Freeze for 4 hours then use a fork to scrape the mixture into small bites. Freeze again and repeat the scraping process one or two more times within the next two hours.

When ready to serve, open the can of cold coconut milk and remove the liquid. Scoop the cream into the bowl of a mixer and beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until peaks form, about 2 minutes. If desired, sweeten with a bit of powdered sugar.

Serve in small jars (which you can prepare beforehand and keep in the freezer), top with a big scoop of coconut cream and a sprig of mint.

mix and match salsa

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strawberry rose tart

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carrot cake cheesecake swirl

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Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, canola oil, applesauce, vanilla and orange zest and whisk until no lumps remain. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking until incorporated after each addition. Set bowl aside. In another large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves and whisk until combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold until just combined. Then fold in the carrots, raisins and pecans if using. Spread half of the batter into the bottom of the prepared bundt pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on high speed until fully incorporated. Then add the egg and mix until just incorporated. Spread this cheesecake layer over the carrot cake layer. It will start to drop into the carrot cake batter – but that’s ok! It is a carrot-cheesecake swirl after all! After adding the cheesecake layer, spread the remaining carrot cake batter over the cheesecake and gently smooth.

Bake for 55-75 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts to brown before the inside is done, lightly cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake. Once the cake is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling make the frosting. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream cheese for 20 seconds or so until it is just soft enough to whisk. Whisk until somewhat smooth and then add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk again until smooth. Add milk or cream to the cream cheese starting with 2 tablespoons and adding more depending on your desired consistency. For a thinner, glaze like mixture add more. For a thicker, spreadable mixture use less! Pour or spread on top of the cake once cool. Serve and enjoy!

Something Different

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Matisse is a culinary connoisseur in the making, granted she’s only seven, but she knows what she likes and more importantly she likes to request culinary delights for dinner. So I find myself making a Brown Butter and Sage Aussie Meat Pie this evening and I have never made one before.

Divine. Delicious. Yum!!!! Even though it was about an hour and twenty minutes of hands on time, it only 30 minutes to cook in the oven and the result… Well simply fabulous!

(note to self: Revoke Matisse’s Food Network privileges)

Recipe:

Brown Butter & Sage Aussie Meat Pie

Made in a 9-inch pyrex pie pan.

1 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 cup parsnips, peeled and diced
1/4 cup celery stalk, peeled and diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas

Savory Pie Dough Recipe:

2 1/2 cups flour
8 oz (two sticks) unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tblsp sugar
1/4-1/2 cup ice water

1 egg, for egg wash

For the pie crust, in a food processor or quickly using your fingertips, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter until the chunks of butter are broken down to the size of peas and the flour feels like wet sand. Add the first 1/4 cup of water and mix until the dough comes together easily. It’s too dry if it immediately clumps apart. Add two tablespoons of water at a time, you can always add more water but not more flour, so careful not to add too much! Bring the dough into two balls and plop them on top of two sheets of plastic wrap. Loosely wrap up the ball and press down, smooshing the ball into a disc about an inch thick. Pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare the filling. Place the butter into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium heat. Add the onion and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and the meat, sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, carrots, parsnips and celery and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly for 5 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the sage, cooking until the butter is browned. Set aside off heat.

Meanwhile, roll out your pie dough to 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface, and loosely fill a pie dish with one round.

Add the peas, brown butter, and sage to the meat mixture and pour into the pie dish, over the dough. Roll out the second pie dough and pop on top of the pie, pinching the edges to secure. Slice a couple of vents on top and brush with egg wash (just a a beaten egg w a touch of water).

Place on a half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-30, or until the pastry is golden brown and juices bubble out of the vents. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve and enjoy!