27 July 2015

Assurance



About once a week, I pick up Griggstown chicken sausages at our farmer's market along with whatever vegetables are seeming new. Sold frozen raw,  it's a delicious product, infused with parsley, white wine and garlic, or sundried tomato and basil, and it serves as assurance that if I have no idea what to make one day coming up, it's there and ready to go without the demands for breadcrumbs or other accessories like meatballs need. When I get home from the market, I set it in the fridge to defrost: tomorrow will require a dash less thought. And then, that's done. While I believe the popular thing to do with these sausages is to grill them, a large percentage of us don't have that outdoor access even during these months, and I've completely fallen for this oven application. Sometimes, I don't even envy grillers...sometimes. This is one of those times.

16 July 2015

An ideal berry crisp



I had begun a mental list of things I wanted to do without my husband-to-be while his brothers swooped him for a "bachelor" weekend. I thought of any movie, drink, or food that could make a 36 hour appearance, but the list felt silly. When I remembered that he also expressed interest in the new documentary about the gay "voice" I abandoned the list. Despite the fact that he'd likely pay me at this point to stop. discussing. centerpiece flowers. right. now., we like to do most things together.















When a surplus of cherries and blueberries bought for their trip returned home, I noted: berry crisp! on a scratchpad. So today I'm sharing this crisp. It's a go-to. The filling is adapted from Heidi Swanson's 'tutti fruity' filling and isn't too sweet. Berries are already sweet. You don't want them cloyingly so. A little red wine is a weapon in that department.  It is one of the easiest desserts you can make in the summer.


I learned  last fall, after a few apple crisps sourced around the Internet, that one size does not fit all. Just because apples are baked down with a crumble topping it does not a good crumble make. I experienced a goldilocks effect with the three I'd tried and even thought I was 'not that into' apple crisp at one point... until I found the one! And good thing, because I don't think it's possible to not be into apple crisp : )

04 July 2015

Chocolate, spelt and mascarpone scones


Mascarpone to me is one of those small wonder ingredients like creme fraiche or a good ricotta, that can seem to pop out of nowhere and steal the show, whether it be from behind the scenes or plain and loudly schmeared into pure white creaminess atop something that demands its contrasting presence. The Italian cream cheese known for its tiramisu attribution, had found a suitable place as an as-close-to English clotted cream we can get, alongside jam for scone topping in my kitchen. But what happened, I wondered, if the cheese went into the dough itself? 



I set to find out using a recipe from the Tiny Buffalo baking company, using figs, mascarpone, a little maple syrup and the usual suspects of scones: butter, flour, cream, as well as a glaze made from concentrated fig preserves. Even when I went the fig route, I skipped the glaze, and they turned out great: lightly sweet, with a little extra something from the cheese. Then I fiddled with swapping in alternate flours, and half + half for cream. I varied the spices, I tried them as cut scones rather than dropped.