dessert

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the day we show our love… I love my husband… I love my kids… I love chocolate-covered strawberries! They are little, red, sweet, and fruity gifts wrapped in chocolate packages. The best part is, well, eating them. But the second best part is that they require very little skill. I don’t know if you’ve made them before, but I want you to know that it is so easy a four-year-old can do it.

As organic as possible:

2 pints (16-18) fresh Strawberries

1 bag (approx 11.5 oz.) Milk-Chocolate chips

1/2 bag (approx 6 oz.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

1/2 bag (approx 6 oz.) White Chocolate chips (optional)

I know in a lot of professional dessert shops, they don’t rinse the strawberries. They actually use a soft brush and clean them like you would a mushroom. I understand the reasoning: you don’t want the extra moisture content to separate the berry from the chocolate. I get it. That said, I’m a little weird about not rinsing my fruit off.

I do use organic strawberries; which is important to me, not eating all of the toxic pesticides, not to mention GMO’s… But this is about Valentine’s Day -so let’s not go there! All I’m saying is that I rinse off my berries. Then pat them dry with a paper towel and let them sit until they are dry again. (I also realize that for someone who cares about the earth I use way too many paper towels.)

Now that we’ve got the dirty part out of the way, let’s get back to those clean berries. When they’re dry, all you need to do is melt your chocolate.

 

If you have a heavy bottomed saucepan, you could put the heat on low and let the chocolate slowly melt. However, it’s a more subtle and foolproof way to do the traditional double broiler method. Just put about an inch of water in the bottom of a sauce pan and set a glass bowl on the top (not touching the water) and set the heat on med-high letting the water come to a boil. Stir often until the chocolate is melted through, and no more chocolate lumps are visible. Carefully move the bowl to your work station (most likely the counter top).

Next, simply hold the berries by their green tips and dip and roll the fruit around in a chocolate bath until the berry is mostly covered with chocolate.

Let the excess drip off and then place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet.

It’s a simple as that, and you can totally stop there and eat your berries -and be happy. But my sweetheart happens to like white chocolate so I took it a step further and melted a little more goodness. This time because of the small amount, I microwaved the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, then 15 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate was smooth.

Because I am not a pastry shop I just used a Ziploc baggy with a hole cut in the corner for my drizzle.

Using a back and forth zigzag motion, draw the white lines across your chocolate-covered berries. Let the kids help, this doesn’t have to be perfection! (Unless you’re selling them, then you need to be meticulous… please refer to another blog.)

The work is done! Let the berries set for a while until the chocolate cools and hardens. If you have a refrigerator large (and sparse) enough to hold the trays… Lucky you! Just kidding. It can help the chocolate set faster.

And if you have a little extra chocolate that you don’t want to waste… Consider dipping in cookies, or graham crackers!

 Or of course, cleaning out the bowl yourself is always a viable option.

I hope your day is full of LOVE! (and chocolate)

Aunt Shirley’s Sugarless Banana Walnut Cake

This week my Great-Aunt Shirley went to be with the Lord. She was remarkably witty and kind, and very much a part of my childhood. She was also a diabetic, although I never heard her complain. She and my grandmother were diligent in controlling the disease as much as possible with their diet. In her memory, I wanted to share one of her recipes. I think this is my first purposefully published sugar-free recipe; which seems befitting. And I’ll tell you what I love about it (besides that it came from my great-aunt), is that she didn’t try and substitute the sugar with something artificial. The bananas are the only sweetness, and the walnuts actually shine. I think it would be great served warm with a small pat of butter in the morning with your coffee. Or, depending on your GI intake, I might drizzle a small amount of honey (maybe a tablespoon or so for the whole cake – 9 servings) over the top while it is warm and can soak it up to represent more of a dessert to which we are accustomed. Enjoy.

As organic as possible:

2/3 cup mashed Bananas (approx 2)

1/2 cup Butter or Margarine, softened

3 Eggs

2 cups all-purpose Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

3/4 cup Water

1 cup Walnuts

In a mixing bowl, beat bananas and butter until creamy.

Add eggs and beat well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; add to banana mixture alternately wit water, beating well after each addition.

Stir in nuts.

Spoon into a greased 9 inch square baking pan.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool. Yield: 9 servings.

Because I just have to, here is a picture of my grandma (top left) with her brother and sisters, Aunt Shirley is top center.

And this is Aunt Shirley as I will always remember her.

Aunt Shirley’s Sugarless Banana Walnut Cake

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup mashed Bananas (approx 2)
  • 1/2 cup Butter or Margarine, softened
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1 cup Walnuts

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat bananas and butter until creamy. Add eggs and beat well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; add to banana mixture alternately wit water, beating well after each addition.
  3. Stir in nuts.
  4. Spoon into a greased 9 inch square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until cake tests done.
  5. Cool. Yield: 9 servings.
http://sadiesnest.com/aunt-shirleys-sugarless-banana-walnut-cake/

 

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

In general I thinks kids young and old love chocolate chip cookies. And nothing compares with fresh baked, warm out of the oven, homemade chocolate chip cookies. My oldest son is always asking me to make them. Actually he is always asking if he can make them; which I know means that I will be making them. Making cookies from scratch seems like a large task until you start- and realize it’s basically throwing all the ingredients in one big bowl, mixing it up and dropping spoonfuls of batter on a baking sheet. We got this. It’s so worth it.

As organic as possible:

From the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book:

1/2 cup Shortening

1/2 cup Butter, softened

1 cup packed Brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated Sugar

1/2 tsp Baking soda

2 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

2 1/2 cups Flour

1 – 12 oz. package (2 cups) semisweet Chocolate chips

 

In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and better with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.

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Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Sadie tip: I always round the granulated sugar! 😉

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Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Sadie tip #2: I always splash in a little more vanilla! 😉

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Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

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Stir in chocolate chips.

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Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an uncreased cookie sheet. I like to use an ice cream scoop, because we like big cookies. 🙂

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Bake a 375° oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

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Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Woot woot! Eat ’em warm. Or whenever you want.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Shortening
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 - 12 oz. package (2 cups) semisweet Chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and better with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.
  2. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
  4. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an uncreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake a 375° oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
http://sadiesnest.com/classic-chocolate-chip-cookies/

 

Stroopwafels

I know I’ve mentioned it before, my fascination and appreciation of the Dutch stroopwafel. Visiting that street vendor was a highlight of my trip to the Netherlands. New York has its hot dogs. Paris has its crêpes. And Amsterdam has its stroopwafels. If you haven’t tried one before, imagine being attracted by a similar smell of an ice cream shop that is making its own waffle cones. But instead of cones, they are making fresh waffled cookie type sandwiches with a thin caramel-esque syrup-y  inner layer that you can hold in your hand while you walk around the outdoor market or town. They can be purchased in different sizes, but the stroopwafels are globally known for their cup-sized roundness; because the idea is that they come back to life as they are warmed through while resting on the rim of your morning (or afternoon… or evening…) coffee or tea. And the unfortunate truth is that I haven’t had any stroopwafels since being stateside that tasted remotely like what I remembered in Holland. Until now. When these are fresh, they are incredible.

As found on Food.com

Waffle cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
Filling

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons dark corn syrup

DIRECTIONS

Preheat a pizzelle iron. Or in my case a Belgian Cookie Iron.
To Make Waffles: Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

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Cut butter into the flour.

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Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, eggs and yeast mixture.

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Mix well and set aside to rise for 30 to 60 minutes.

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Roll dough into 12 small balls.

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Squeeze each ball into the preheated pizzelle (or Belgian cookie) iron…

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and bake for about 30 seconds.

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Place the little beauties onto a wax paper.

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To make perfectly rounded edges, use a large biscuit cutter to trim off the excess. (Optional)

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Using a butter knife or the like, cut (or separate) the waffles into two thin waffles.

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Spread the filling…
To Make Filling: In a saucepan boil the brown sugar, the remaining one cup of the butter, cinnamon (this is a must-have ingredient), and dark corn syrup until it reaches the “soft ball stage” (234-240°F, 112-115°C), stirring constantly.

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To Assemble: Cut each waffle (or separate) into 2 thin waffles and spread with filling.

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I used an offset spatula and my fingertip table…

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Repeat this process until all the filling is used. If using store bought, simply spread about 1 tablespoon of filling on one waffle cookie, and place a second cookie on top.

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Makes about 12 servings. Look at these!!!

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Tip: Try eating stroopwafel by resting it over a warm cup of coffee or tea — the steam will warm these up just right.

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Stroopwafels

Ingredients

  • Waffle cookies
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1?2 cup warm water
  • Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons dark corn syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat a pizzelle (or Belgian cookie) iron.
  2. To Make Waffles: Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  3. Cut butter into the flour.
  4. Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, eggs and yeast mixture. Mix well and set aside to rise for 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into 12 small balls.
  6. Squeeze each ball into the preheated iron and bake for about 30 seconds.
  7. To make perfectly rounded edges, use a large biscuit cutter to trim excess. (optional)
  8. Using a butter knife or the like, cut (or separate) the waffles into two thin waffles.
  9. Spread filling.
  10. To Make Filling: In a saucepan boil the brown sugar, the remaining one cup of the butter, cinnamon (this is a must-have ingredient), and dark corn syrup until it reaches the soft ball stage (234-240°F, 112-115°C), stirring constantly.
  11. To Assemble: Cut each waffle (or separate) into 2 thin waffles and spread with filling.
  12. Repeat this process until all of the filling is used. If using store bought, simply spread about 1 tablespoon of filling on one waffle cookie, let it cool about 1 minute, and place a second cookie on top.
  13. Tip: Try eating stroopwafel by resting it over a warm cup of coffee or tea -- the steam will warm these up just right.
http://sadiesnest.com/stroopwafels/

Apple Oat Crumble

Fruit crumbles are like the epitome of any season. You take what is sweet, ripe, and locally grown, add a buttery sugary topping and bake the fruit until it’s warmed through and soft. Then you eat it straight up by the spoonful! Whoa! Oh sure, you can get wild and throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce on top. Who am I to crush your creativity? The point is, there is a lot of good to be had… and by golly let’s have it!

As organic as possible:

1 pat of butter for greasing (about 1/2 Tbsp)

5 tart Apples, such as Granny Smith

1 Tbsp Flour

2 Tbsp Brown sugar

2 Tbsp rolled Oats

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of salt

 

Topping:

3/4 cup Flour

1/2 cup rolled Oats

1/2 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Brown sugar

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 cup cold Butter (1 stick), cut into cubes.

 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a med-small baking dish (about 9×9) with a thin layer of butter, set aside.

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Rinse and dry your apples.

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Cut into bite sized pieces.

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Place cut apples in a medium bowl. Add tablespoon of flour, 2 tablespoons of oats, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and pinch of salt. Gently toss.

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Pour apple mixture into prepared baking dish. Set aside.

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In a separate bowl add topping mixture, flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Mix. Add cubed butter. Using a pastry blender (or two butter knives), cut butter into mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs (about pea size).

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Pour flour mixture evenly over the top of the apple mixture.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until topping starts to brown and apples start to bubbling out the sides. Enjoy the smell of your kitchen, this is home.

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Serve warm, with coffee, family, friends or scoop of vanilla ice cream. (All optional).

 

Apple Oat Crumble

Ingredients

  • 1 pat Butter for greasing (about 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 5 tart Apples, such as Granny Smith
  • 1 Tbsp Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rolled Oats
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • Topping:
  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled Oats
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup cold Butter (1 stick), cut into cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Rinse and dry your apples. Cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Place cut apples in a medium bowl. Add tablespoon of flour, 2 tablespoons of oats, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and pinch of salt. Gently toss.
  4. Pour apple mixture into prepared baking dish. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl add topping mixture, flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Mix.
  6. Add cubed butter. Using a pastry blender (or two butter knives), cut butter into mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs (about pea size).
  7. Pour flour mixture evenly over the top of the apple mixture.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until topping starts to brown and apples start to bubbling out the sides. Enjoy the smell of your kitchen, this is home.
  9. Serve warm, with coffee, family, friends or scoop of vanilla ice cream. (All optional).
http://sadiesnest.com/apple-oat-crumble/

Date Bar Dessert

When Owen and I got married, I was excited about learning to cook. Finally, I had my own kitchen! At my wedding shower, a longtime family friend gave me the instructions for her favorite brownies written on a recipe card (along with her gift) and on the day of our wedding, one of my sister’s high school friends gave us The Best of Country Cooking 2001 by Taste of Home. She had glued on the front page “A Recipe for a Happy Marriage” and a hand written note. That was where it all began. I love that cookbook, it’s full of memories and sentiment. It also contains the recipe for Date Bar Dessert, one of the first desserts I brought as a newlywed to our Thanksgiving family gathering. Of course, it’s always exciting when people enjoy what you’ve made! (It’s hard to go wrong with oats, butter, brown sugar and sticky sweet dried fruit.) Owen and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, so I happily share this gift with you! In time for the holidays I might add, although on any given day it really makes for a delicious breakfast with a cup of coffee. Just sayin’.

As organic as possible:

1 3/4 cups old-fashioned Oats

1 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour

1 cup packed Brown Sugar

1 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup cold Butter

2 1/2 cups chopped Dates

3/4 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Water

1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. *I prefer the old school two knives instead of a pastry cutter for this large amount, but do as you please.

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Press into a greased 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan.

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In a saucepan, combine dates, sugar and water.

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Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in walnuts. Spread over crust.

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Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares or bars.

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*It is recommended to serve with whip topping, but I have to tell you I like it without. You choose!

Date Bar Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned Oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold Butter
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped Dates
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. *I prefer the old school two knives instead of a pastry cutter for this large amount, but do as you please.
  3. Press into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan.
  4. In a saucepan, combine dates, sugar and water. Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in walnuts. Spread over crust.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares or bars.
  6. *It is recommended to serve with whip topping, but I have to tell you I like it without. You choose!
http://sadiesnest.com/date-bar-dessert/

Juan’s Flan

My husband happens to be my biggest supporter. You may have noticed his regular comments on Sadie’s Nest as Owen. He also promotes my blog amongst his colleagues. How nice is it that they positively respond with kind words and even recipes! I am truly flattered, and at the same time extremely frightened! I don’t want to disappoint you Juan!! My flan did not turn out pretty…  I am secretly referring to it as Frankenflan. Just keeping it real: a day in the life of an experimental home cook. But that’s what it’s about, trying new things! Thank you so much for sharing a family recipe with me, “a traditional Mexican dessert that originated in Spain.” In spite of its (my flan’s) appearance, it was amazingly delicious!

For the syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar

First you have to make the syrup, which is made by melting the sugar in a pan until it turns into a mustard-like color. Then you spread it over the mold carefully because it gets really hot. (And in Sadie’s experience it cools and hardens quickly- so work fast!)

For the custard:

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 – 8 oz. bar Cream cheese

 

Mix all of the ingredients in a blender. After mixing, pour the liquid contents in the mold that already has the syrup. (Because I don’t own a cool flan mold, I used a traditional glass pie dish.)

In a preheated oven at 350 degrees, you place the mold inside another larger mold (or as Sadie did, place the pie dish in a larger rectangular baking dish)  and pour room temperature water at the same height as the flan mixture in the mold. Bake for 45 min. 

*Please note: Perhaps because Sadie doesn’t have a traditional flan mold or one to place it in for its water bath, I needed to add another 10-15 minutes of carefully watched time until my flan was set.

Let it cool, then remove it from the mold, and place in a refrigerator for a couple of hours. Serve and cheers to Juan! 😉

Isaiah’s Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

School’s out. So what do you do when your mom thinks she’s a home-ec teacher circa 1991 and you have a hankering for a chocolatey treat? You get out the measuring cups and mixing bowls so you can make yourself something awesome! I’m so proud of him, I’m beaming. And I’m eating some outstanding deliciousness. Chocolate and peanut butter are such a great combination. But don’t take it just from me, let’s hear Isaiah tell us about it: “They’re made with peanut butter, and they’re cookies.” (Cue the crickets)


Adapted from William-Sonoma’s The Cookbook for Kids

As organic as possible:

For Cookies

1/2 cup Butter

3/4 cup Brown sugar

1/4 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Chunky peanut butter

1 Egg

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1 1/4 cup Flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Salt

 

For Chocolate Dip

1 1/4 cup Semisweet chocolate chips

1 Tbsp Vegetable shortening

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Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat on low speed until blended.

Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, placing 12 balls at least 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Using a fork, press twice into each cookie to make a crisscross pattern. Bake the cookies until golden, 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, add the chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl. Add the shortening. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir. Then microwave for 30 seconds longer or until melted.

One at a time, dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When all the cookies are dipped, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator just until the chocolate is set, about 5 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Warning! This may attract on lookers.

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Another Warning! This is messy.

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But they’re worth it.

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Promenade Artisan Foods

Trenton, Michigan is a great town along the Detroit River with historic charm and a thriving trendy vibe. It contains downriver Detroit’s best kept secret of Elizabeth Park (unless you’ve been to Jazz on the River or had your wedding pictures taken over the bridge). It also just happens to be the home of the cutest café to ever open in southeast Michigan, Promenade Artisan Foods. If you are from the area you might have sampled their cookies, brownies, and pies etc., carried by many local markets, or maybe even placed a personal order yourself for a pie during the holidays. Of course, now if you are in the area you can visit the coffee shop/café/dessert place in person!

 

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Promenade Artisan Foods is celebrating their Grand Opening to the public this week! The owners Jonathan and Chelsie Brymer are a husband and wife team that have a love of family and passion for serving their community. They put that same love and care into every baked good they make from scratch and cup of coffee they pour -over (that’s a coffee joke). And speaking of coffee you are certain to enjoy another Michigan favorite as they are serving Chazzano Coffee of Ferndale to ensure you get excellence.

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I have had the pleasure of sampling a few of their menu items and delicious creations. The strawberry tartine is a lovely light treat, an open-face style multigrain toast with a Mascarpone cheese, fresh strawberry slices and a drizzle of a balsamic reduction- really fantastic. Of course the kids loved the chocolate chip cookies, and a Nutella “pop tart” inspired pastry. But the biggest surprise was an Espresso Soaked Amaretti topped with pistachios, uh, genius! I think we should all have one every night after dinner.

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Also in all seriousness, don’t leave without a slice of tomato, feta, and bacon quiche. Because even if you’ve filled up on pastries and don’t have room for it when you are there, you are going to be so happy to warm it up for yourself for breakfast the next day. (And I know this to be true from experience.) For more information, store hours, and to see their seasonal offerings visit the Promenade Artisan Foods Facebook Page.

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Thank you Jonathan and Chelsie for sharing your culinary gifts and love of life with the metro Detroit area… And God bless you and your family with your new endeavor!

Love,

Sadie’s Nest

Annie’s Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake with Macadamia Nut Crust

My friend Annie is an excellent cook and baker. Her sugar cookie decorating is flawless (I’ve actually invited her over for a lesson) and after more than one meal I have requested recipes because of being blown away by her flavor combinations. It just so happens that she also creates perfect cheesecakes. Thankfully for me she is also completely generous with her time, ingredient lists, and instructions!

As organic as possible:

For the Crust:

1-8 oz pkg of macadamia nuts, crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup of sugar

3/4 cup flour

Mix all 4 ingredients and press into 9″ cheesecake (spring form) pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Cheesecake:

2 lbs of cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups of sugar

1 Tbsp flour

3 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

2 Tbsp fresly grated lemon zest

1 tsp of vanilla

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Using a stand up mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar and flour. Then add eggs and yolks one at a time. Add the zest and vanilla and mix until combined. Lastly, add the heavy cream and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the batter into the macadamia crust-lined pan and bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then 200 for 30 minutes. Turn it off and let the cheesecake sit in oven for 2 hours. When cooled completely apply topping as follows if desired:
The topping is from Ina Garten online (1 cup of raspberry jelly melted over low heat, then mixed with 2 pints of fresh raspberries until all the raspberries were coated)

Featured Image courtesy of Ryan French