Tag Archives: vanilla recipes

Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata

There are so many things to look forward to in early spring and perhaps one of my great food pleasures is rhubarb. Rhubarb although often thought as a fruit is really a vegetable. We see rhubarb here in the northeast for such a brief period that once I see it in a store I grab what I can and make a series of dishes sweet and savory. This weekend is the beginning of a little rhubarb festival by the bay. The star of this festival is this delicious strawberry rhubarb crostata. A very crispy pie crust with a juicy filling of sweet strawberries and slightly sour rhubarb. It’s fantastic. I love the tangy taste of rhubarb! If I have enough rhubarb I often opt to use just rhubarb alone in the filling and add a little more sugar to balance it out. I’m in love with  the bright vibrant color of the filling. This is definitely a perfect early spring treat!

From by the bay wishing you delicious rhubarb food memories!

Maryann

Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata

Serves 4

Ingredients for Dough

  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter ( one stick)
  • 1cup , plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Ingredients for filling

  • 2 cups rhubarb  (stalks only) cut into 1/2 inch pieces and hulled and sliced strawberries combined (50/50)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To assemble

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Coarse sugar

Directions

To make dough cube the butter.  In a small bowl combine sea salt and water. Place both the butter and salt water in the freezer for 10 minutes. In a food processor add the flour and lemon zest. Pulse twice. Add the cold butter and pulse 3 to 4 times to incorporate pieces of butter into the flour. Slowly add some water until the dough is a crumb like texture. You may not need all of the water. Place dough onto plastic wrap and fold wrap over to close and push dough together to combine. Flatten into a disk covered with the plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Meanwhile, make the filling by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Preheat over to 375 degrees F.  Take a piece of parchment paper and place the dough in the center cover with the plastic sheet and use a rolling pin to roll out and fold turn parchment sheet  90 degrees and repeat another 3 times. Roll out the dough on the parchment on the bottom again with plastic wrap over the top of the dough into a round approximately 1/8 inch thick. Spoon the filling in the center of the round leaving a 1 inch border all around. Fold the edges over the filling partially covering around the border. Place parchment with pie carefully onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and cream to make the wash. Remove from the refrigerator and brush the egg wash on the edges of the pie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and place into oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Slide carefully onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Bananas for this Banana Dessert!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I’m sure you have seem every chocolate recipe imaginable! But what do you do if your favorite loved one doesn’t like chocolate! I say go bananas with this double dose of banana cookery from two of my favorite chefs! I decided to double my banana game for dessert one evening by making Dominique Ansel’s banana bread. This is the perfect recipe! It is rich, delicious, moist  and easy. Seriously this recipe is perfection. The bread stays moist for days if wrapped well. Next up is the banana jam, just imagine a caramel and a banana joined together and that is what this jam is ! It’s great on toast, biscuits and yes this banana bread. If you want to kick the whole thing up an notch serve a slice of banana bread topped with a scoop of vanilla or caramel ice cream and then drizzle the top with banana jam!  It’s heaven! Each recipe stands perfectly on its own but in honor of Valentine’s Day it’s about the union . This is a union you will want to experience.

From by the bay wishing you, top banana food memories!

Maryann

Dominique Ansel’s Banana Bread

As featured on Tasting Table courtesy of Dominique Ansel

Preparation Time 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 10″ x 5″ x 3 ½” loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and combine with the mashed bananas. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. Stir in the melted butter until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

Biscuit Love Banana Jam

Yields 4 cups    Preparation Time 40 minutes

As featured on the Food Network Courtesy of Karl Worley of Biscuit Love Nashville

 

Directions

Mix the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a heavy-bottomed large saucepan. Heat the sugar mixture on high heat until the mixture caramelizes; the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize. Once the caramel reaches a deep brown color, turn the heat to low and carefully add the bananas. Stir with a wooden or heat-resistant spoon until the bananas begin to break down, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the salt and remove from the heat. Stir in the lime juice and vanilla.

Serve with warm biscuits. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

 

Entertaining: What’s Cooking Labor Day Weekend!

If you are like me, you are finding it very hard to believe that September and Labor Day Weekend are here!  But with that we like to celebrate Labor Day Weekend with friends and family. Here are a few of the recipes I’ll be using to entertaining this weekend!

Part of my holiday weekend will be filling the house with some sunflowers, while I still can. Nothing says late summer more to me than sunflowers! In addition, I’ll be using the best of the produce from the farm stands this weekend and corn is still at it’s peak! I’ll be making some corn hummus with corn leftover from another meal. You need just four extra ears.  This recipe calls for roasting the corn in the oven at 425 for 45 minutes wrapped in foil. I’ve been making my corn like this all summer, it’s easy to prep in advance and really easy to serve a crowd of people. I prep it before anyone arrives, leave it on a tray in the oven and just turn the oven on an hour before I want to serve it warm. Delicious!! so make a few extra and also make Roasted Sweet Corn Hummus

Another favorite meal that is an easy meal for a crowd that is delicious and super simple to make is Brisket with Cola Barbecue Sauce. You’ll love the flavor using your favorite NON-DIET Cola in your sauce!

Wondering what to serve along side this dish , you definitely need some fresh coleslaw. I like to make my Grandma’s Coleslaw with Warm Dressing.  Definitely, a comforting complement to the brisket!

The perfect dessert for a crowd is a crumble and this crumble mixes blueberries and plums for a slightly sweet and spicy dish. You will love my Blueberry Plum Crumble!

If you need a breakfast brunch idea for the weekend, one of my favorite dishes is Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast. I use big thick slices of brioche soaked in vanilla and bourbon. Bourbon? Why not it’s a holiday weekend and the french toast is topped with a  yummy mixed berry and plum compote!

I will definitely try to bake some cookies this weekend to have around the house and in celebration of sunflowers I think I’ll be baking sugar cookies topped with sanding sugar to look like my beautiful sunflowers! Use my Favorite Sugar Cookie recipe!

From by the bay, make great friends and family food memories this weekend!

Maryann

 

Roasted Sweet Corn Hummus

Brisket with Cola Barbecue Sauce

Grandma’s Coleslaw with Warm Dressing

Blueberry Plum Crumble

Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast

Favorite Sugar Cookie

Countdown to Thanksgiving-Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

No Thanksgiving meal would be complete without a side of potatoes and this sweet potato dish is a perfect side. Creamy sweet potatoes are enriched with creme fraiche, touched with sweet cinnamon and then topped with clouds of marshmallow meringue made with marshmallow creme that is toasted last minute and served. Thanksgiving perfection!

From by the bay, wishing you toasted marshmallow meringue food memories!

Maryann

blog sweet pot marsh

Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • paste from one vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 ounces creme fraiche
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 8 ounces marshmallow crème

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet 1 hour or until tender. Let cool to touch and peel. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat sweet potatoes, vanilla paste, and next 6 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Beat in whole eggs. Spoon potato mixture into a greased 8 by 8 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, beat egg whites, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt at high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until foamy. Gradually add maple syrup, beating until stiff peaks form.
  4. Beat one-third of marshmallow crème into egg white mixture; repeat with remaining marshmallow crème, beating until smooth (about 1 minute). Pipe or spread meringue in a decorative pattern on warm potatoes. Bake 13 to 15 more minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.

 

Easy Cheese Danish

blog cheese danish

My mother’s favorite breakfast treat is cheese danish. She can brutal in her commentary on cheese danish from various bakeries, so it was with some trepidation that I tried this recipe one Sunday morning, especially since this recipe uses frozen puff pastry.  I used a little Greek yogurt in my cheese mixture as a tribute to my mother’s greek heritage. Maybe it was the greek yogurt that won my mother over, but she loved her cheese danish and that it the ultimate testament! Wow your family this weekend with this easy recipe!

From by the bay, wishing you easy food memories!

Maryann

blog cheese danish 2

Easy Cheese Danish

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1⁄4 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus additional for dusting
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 (2 sheet) box frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg (beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl use a fork and mix until smooth. Add the egg yolks, yogurt, vanilla, salt, and orange zest and mix until just combined.
Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry on the parchment sheet  roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10 by 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife. Try not to cut the parchment sheet.  Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold 2 opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Then fold the other two corners in, until you have a square again. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.
Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Dust the danish with confectioner’s sugar. Serve warm.

Chocolate Bourbon Kiss

There are all kind of kisses , the universal symbol of love. Every kiss, they say,  is the talk of the soul. These little bites of chocolate and bourbon are a perfect kiss for your Valentine !

From by the bay, wishing you little chocolate kiss food memories!

Maryann

blog bourbon kiss

 

Chocolate Bourbon Kiss
Makes approximately 30 cookies

Cookies
3 cups vanilla wafers
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup ground pecans
1/3 cup bourbon
coarse sanding sugar for rolling or granulated sugar

Directions

In a food processor, process wafers until finely ground. In a large pot over low heat melt chocolate chips stirring to help melt. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, syrup and bourbon until smooth. Add the ground wafers and pecans and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar and let dry . Store in a airtight container for up to 1 week.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble with Vanilla Custard Sauce

a strawberry rhubarb crumble 014

 

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble with Vanilla Custard Sauce

Serves 4-6

 

Filling

3 cups rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 cups fresh strawberries

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

½ cup fine sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Topping

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup flour

½ cup quick cooking oats

½ cup unsalted butter, chilled

1 vanilla pod, add just the seeds

¼ cup ground almonds

 

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x13 pan. In a bowl add the rhubarb, strawberries and Grand Marnier , let sit ten minutes. Then add the sugar , cornstarch and salt. Mix and pour into the greased pan. In a medium bowl ,mix together the brown sugar, flour and oats. Cut butter into mixture with pastry blender until crumbs are pea size. Spread across the fruit mixture. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Serve with ice cream , whipped cream or vanilla custard sauce.

 

Vanilla Custard Sauce

Makes 1 cup

¾ cup whole milk

¼ cup fine sugar

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Whisk yolks in a bowl until blended. In a medium sauce pan bring milk and sugar to a boil without stirring. Remove from heat and whisk slowly into the bowl with the egg yolks. Return the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Sauce is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Pour the sauce through a sieve into a bowl and place the bowl into another large bowl with ice and cold water. Stir in vanilla and whisk occasionally until custard is cool. Once cooled , cover the custard with wax paper to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hrs. before serving with Rhubarb Raspberry Crumble.

 

 

 

Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast

It’s my first Sunday home after an inspiring vacation in Nashville, Tennessee! The food was so delicious and clearly many people are living the farm to table lifestyle, especially with the close proximity of farms to downtown Nashville. My weekend back home started with the trip to my local farm, where I found the ingredients to make a delicious late summer fruit compote of blackberries, raspberries and dark plums. This autumnal colored compote is a sweet complement to use at breakfast on top of french toast , pancakes or waffles, or at dinner on top of a pork chop or even for dessert on top of ice cream or a slice of pound cake. I decided today to recreate my Nashville experience with bourbon soaked french toast along with the mixed berry and plum compote. It’s a perfect brunch dish for s slow, relaxing Sunday in New York.
From by the bay, wishing you bourbon soaked food memories!
Maryann
blog bourbon
Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup bourbon ( up to 1/3 cup depending on preference)
4 whole eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
8 slices bread, ciabatta or brioche ( thick slices)
2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter as needed
Directions
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Set aside baking sheet with rack to hold french toast warm in oven. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the milk, sugar, bourbon, vanilla, eggs and cinnamon.  Pour into a shallow dish, I use a glass pie plate. Dip the bread into the batter and let sit a minute or two to soak. Add butter to a hot griddle or non stick saute pan. Once the butter is melted place the battered bread on the pan and cook until the bread becomes golden brown. Flip the bread slice over and cook until the other side also becomes golden brown. Place toast on rack in warmed oven and continue to make your french toast using butter as needed. Once done place onto a platter and shift confectionary sugar on top. Serve with butter and maple syrup or fruit compote.
blog fruit comp
Mixed Berry and Plum Compote

Ingredients
1 cup mixed berries such as raspberries and blackberries
1 cup chopped plum, pitted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
Directions
Place all the ingredients into a non reactive medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or when the plums are softened. Serve at room temperature. Can to stored in the refrigerator for about a week.