Sometimes we can all use a little bit of butterscotch and perhaps a few drizzle of caramel in our lives, right?  Mix this together, along with a few other heartwarming ingredients and place it in a cast-iron skillet …My friends, you’ll have yourself a heart pouncing, whirlwind of a dessert in no time flat!

Okay, who doesn’t love brownies?  Specially these sticky-finger ones that also stick to your teeth when eating them…hehe…just don’t smile afterwards (or during)!  Was on a little baking frenzy yesterday, so here we are!  Bet yeah can’t have just one 😉 Served warm, these not-too-sweet brownies are also great à la mode.–gcc

Tres leches” is Spanish for “three milks.”  The cakes that bear this name are sponge cakes that are literally soaked in three types of milk: sweetened condensed, evaporated and half-and-half [for this recipe].  However, whole milk or heavy cream can also be used, depending on your preference.  These cakes are also topped simply with a homemade sweetened whipped cream and maraschino cherries.

With my favorite recipe books lined up and food writing class as we speak, I  am off to a good start for the new year!  Speaking of which, as I hone in on my Filipino roots, although I don’t practice most, I still like to partake in learning about our traditions, customs and superstitions.  In matters of food, part of our customary tradition, or superstition, if you may, in preparation for New Year’s Eve is to have twelve (12) round fruits, each to signify a month of the year. Ideally, twelve different round fruits such as clementines, cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruits, oranges, watermelon–but as it can be challenging to gather all things round and fruity, some of the fruits end up being non-circular such as mangoes, apples or the like.  As for me, well, I grabbed one bag of clementines which had at least 12 in a bag, so I was good to go…

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

Beignet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Beignet (pronounced /bɛnˈjeɪ/ in English, /bɛˈɲɛ/ in French; French, literally “bump“),[1] synonymous with the English “fritter”, is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux paste.[2] Beignets are commonly known in the U.S. as a dessert served with powdered sugar on top; however, they may be savory dishes as well and may contain meat, vegetables, or fruits.[2] They are traditionally prepared right before consumption to be eaten fresh and hot.

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

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!)

Making butter is quite easy: heavy cream needs to be shaken or beaten to a point where the buttermilk and butterfat separate. This can be done in an old-fashioned churn, by shaking the cream vigorously in a jam jar for about 30 minutes (See my last post about a butter kit I purchased), or by the easiest method–I am happy to share, a stand mixer. Just don’t leave it unattended as the separation of butterfat and buttermilk happens instantly within 20 minutes time.

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” 😉