Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July tomorrow!!
The craziness begins tonight when I host my first of two ‘Lean on Lamb‘ Supper Clubs. The Tri Lamb Group contacted me a few weeks ago asking if I’d like to host a supper club series, and I gladly accepted. The company selects food and lifestyle bloggers from LA, Boston and Washington, D.C. I’ll post about the dinner soon.
I’m spending Saturday and Sunday visiting with friends and family here in LA, then I’m working a post AMA party Sunday night/Monday morning. Let the fun begin! Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Today is one of the few days when consuming excessive amounts of chocolate and candy is deemed appropriate—from chocolate covered strawberries to boxes of assorted chocolates to candy hearts. The list of guilty pleasures goes on. However, since I’m always baking, I consider it acceptable to eat desserts every day, especially since I have a terrible sweet tooth.
In spirit of the holiday, I made mini vanilla heart cakes, using a simple butter cake recipe from Betty Crocker. I decided to spruce them up with a red marble design, decorative sprinkles and gel. The cakes didn’t turn out as moist as I’d hoped, but at least they looked cute!
I still had 5 Granny Smith apples leftover after making apple pie, so I decided to make use of them. Of course, I could have eaten them plain and been healthy, but I’ve never been fond of green apples. However, I do enjoy them when baked, since their sourness is typically masked by other flavors (such as cinnamon and sugar).
I searched the Food Network website and decided on Paula Deen’s five-star apple tart recipe. As I’ve said many times before, I knew this dessert was bound to be delicious, since Paula is the baking queen. Sure enough, the tart was delectable.
Initially, I was unsure about pairing cinnamon-sugar coated apples (recipe did not call to season apples) with the orange juice and apricot preserves glaze. But my skepticism was erased after taking a perfect first bite of crust, apple, custard, glaze and whipped cream. The sweet flavors of the warm tart melted in my mouth.
Next time I make this dessert, I would pre-cook the apples in cinnamon and sugar (like I did for the apple pie) since they still had somewhat of a crunchy texture after baking. Nonetheless, the apples paired beautifully with the buttery shortbread crust and sweet glaze. With all the components combined, this tart was a truly delicious dish—especially when topped with a dollop of fluffy homemade whipped cream.
Last night, I hosted a dinner party at my house with some close friends. Like my parents’ party last weekend, I had a tapas style dinner accompanied by a plethora of white and red wine. We had a fabulous variety of foods—baked brie with jam, maple syrup and brown sugar, stuffed jalepeños, cheese crostinis, caesar salad with homemade dressing and pesto sandwiches.
I made mini pesto sandwiches, sausage and cheese stuffed jalepeños, a fruit tart and a peanut butter pie.
My neighbor often makes this fruit tart when my parents have dinner parties. She always expresses how simple it is to make the tart and doesn’t understand my family’s obsession with the dessert. However, my guests last night seemed to understand the tart addiction and cleared the platter in no time. This dessert might actually be my favorite Paula Deen recipe—her knack of creating dessert recipes never ceases to amaze me.