What I have for you today is my rendition of an Ice Cream Gâteau.  Ice cream gâteau is easy to prepare, yet looks spectacular.  By using a layer of parfait for both visual and textural contrast will add the finishing touches just before serving.

Here we are once again, perusing through the website for the inevitable dessert after a nice comfort meal.  Lately, in my neck of the woods, heavy rain has set in, along with rolling fogs that settle amidst the foothills of our property.  Quite a beautiful sight to enjoy, alongside my big cup of coffee.  It is also days like this when it calls for a semi or no-bake culinary muse in my kitchen!  So once again, I turn back to one of my favorite food blogger extraordinaire, Stella Dacuma Schour  of Cooking with Stellaaa, whose motto “I cook with feelings and without exact measurements” coincides with my culinary philosophy of reinventing a recipe in the simplest way possible and with heart.  In Stella’s original recipe, without a doubt, she definitely had me at ‘No-Bake Honey Cheesecake’.

Without further adieu, in the spirit of creativity without the hazzle, below is my version of this delectable dessert.  Do enjoy!–gcc

This is a special treat that my older son made when we spent a week at my mom’s for Thanksgiving.  Although his major has changed from Culinary Arts to Journalism, he still has a knack for baking and it’s always something I look forward to whenever I see him or he comes over our place.  The recipe can yield 24 cookie butter cups…but these bite-size goodness sure didn’t last long, not whilst his little brother was around.  Moreover, they are delicious with a cup of coffee or tea!  Good Eats…-gcc

An ice cream cone can solve any problem— even if it’s only for a few minutes– Anonymous  Agreed!  No matter the weather we love having an occasional 2 quart tease of our favourite ice cream (s).  I say ‘ice cream (s)’ because with my simple vanilla ice cream recipe, you can make a plethora  of whatever flavor you so choose to add onto the vanilla ice cream mixture.  A few months ago we purchased a Cuisinart Stainless-Steel Ice Cream Maker.  I would have to say that it is one of the best kitchen gadget investments we have ever made!  For the most part, we stopped purchasing ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet and frozen drinks from stores and simply enjoy the rich, organic flavors of the ones I make at home.  So, on this note, an ode to any day is a good day for homemade ice cream…and a balanced diet is an ice cream cone in each hand—one avocado and one ube…combined.  Yum!

I recently had a request from my younger son for some good ‘ole chocolate chip cookies. His favourite, he says. I can recall many months ago when I didn’t know a thing about baking, or didn’t really bother learning because my oldest son always did the baking. I called him the midnight baker because many a times, after dinner, or watching his favourite game(s) on TV, he would go to the pantry in the garage then come back in with flour and sugar. The remaining ingredients would always be a nice surprise for us to figure out…especially by smell. We all knew in the house that it was going to be something awfully good! The most requested of the cookies he made were chocolate chip cookies…So here’s an ode to some of the best late-night snacks we’ve ever had.

This recipe came as an inspiration from a fellow food blogger, Instagram follower and foremost an avid foodie, like myself!  Anna (aka Bambi) of Adobo Down Under posted a photo of her delicious “Really Moist Banana Bread/Cake” recipe on Instagram one day, and I thought to myself…I’ve got bananas sitting on our kitchen counter doing nothing!  So out of her recipe came an idea for banana bread pudding–which, coincidently, I have never tackled ‘bread pudding‘.  So, also with a little tip from hubby, and an ode to Bambi’s inspiration…off for some baking I went 😉

(By the way…check out Bambi’s recipe for Really Moist Banana Bread/Cake on her blog site!)

Here’s another great recipe adapted from the art of real food Seasonal Recipes for Every Week of the Year.  I really love meringues as you may have read from my past posts and/or those of you who are following @thecookingapprentice on Instagram!  It’s been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl.  Here’s an easy recipe you will love if you also enjoy pistachios–which is also big in our household!

After a few trials and minor errors (but I’m not counting), I can finally proudly present my first successful Macarons! (Macarons á la vanille) with a mascarpone cream filling.  The macaron recipe is inspired from The French Kitchen Cookbook and the filling recipe is from Cupcakes Galore cookbook.

I was excited to try my new cookbook ‘macaroons30 recipes for perfect bite-size treats so I flipped through the pages and thought to find the ideal and most delectable treat to bake–well, I was hopeful anyway.  So once again, off to our kitchen pantry I go, as well as, to the refrigerator , taking out everything I need.  Everything was going smoothly BUT somewhere along the way, the texture of the meringue just didn’t look right.  Instead of a thick, ribbon-like consistency, I got more of a cookie dough texture.  Not sure where things went wrong, but rather than tossing everything out and starting over, which I would never do, I simply scooped the cookie dough-like meringue onto the baking sheets and followed the remaining instruction for the meringue recipe from the cookbook.  The results, well…you tell me 😉

So in the back of my mind I’ve had this pending goal that one day I will make pistachio ice cream from scratch.  Two weeks ago I got around to buying the pistachio nuts from the grocer and placing it at the usual spot in the pantry for later use.  But of course, my hubby and the ‘lil guy kept munching on them i.e., for a TV snack.  So much for THAT bag of nuts.

Again, this week, another attempt to buy a bag of pistachio nuts–this time I had the ‘lil guy with me, so I specifically told him that I would make some ice cream with those nuts–hint, hint.  In an effort to end my endless plea of please don’t eat the pistachios, I finally decided to make some yesterday!  Yesiree…Egg-less Pistachio Ice Cream, made especially for my hubby. It is his favorite after all.

I woke up this morning with a mentality of kitchen play.  I had a lot of fruits in the fridge and always a pantry full of baking ingredients.  My idea was to make pies in jars because I had a lot of mason jars just lying around in the garage.  I set everything up–mise en place and was rearing to go. 

One day my curiosity peeked for yet another culinary adventure in the kitchen,–this time it was for Panna Cotta.  So I immediately did some research and found tons of recipes!  Overall, I never imagined how easy it would be to make my own…so off I went to the grocery store to buy all the necessary ingredients  to make this rich and beautiful dessert.  

Saturday late afternoon, hubby, my 9-year old and I were invited to a friend’s house to shoot the breeze–both metaphorically and literally!  George, our friend, who was also our realtor when we initially met, (We met George when we were house hunting summer of last year) invited us to come over, meet the girlfriend, meet the family and do some target shooting in their property.  So what does all this have to do with fruit tarts?

I FINALLY got around to making this wonderful dessert that I have seen plastered all over Instagram.  I thought what better way to enjoy my all-time favorite meringue cookies in a ‘messy’ sort of way!  When all was chilled and ready for devouring, my son says to me, “Oh it’s good…but kind of messy…”  I simply smiled and said, “An Eton’s Mess” 😉