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This glorious tea is a replication of a special tea I had somewhere, once, with someone, on a sweet first date that featured this marvellous brew of toasted walnuts, almonds, caramel, chocolate and a hint of pure vanilla. You brew it, you sip it, you are ……transported. It is not quite tea, not quite cocoa but a sublime brew that is like a liquid dessert. It takes but a touch of sugar and hint of milk. It is unique and satisfying like no Chai or Café Latte ever could hope to be. The tea should be a mix of long and small leaves. This makes a fine gift or conversation stopper (if served after a gourmet meal and some extraordinary BB desserts). For the tea leaves used, you want a mix of fine leaves and some longer ones.
Bread puddings have always been the baker’s wise way to use up leftover bread and transform it into a homey, sweet dessert. This one is classic, creamy and comforting. A smidge of warm caramel sauce would do nicely or an orange crème anglaise or fresh fraise du bois. Nothing beats something this old-fashioned and easy and it moves into a blue ribbon category when you add the piquant sweetness of a strawberry rhubarb compote alongside it.
This dreamy, ambrosial apple sauce wil never make it from the pot to the dessert dish. Forget about leftovers! It is outstanding on its own, or atop chesecake, yogurt and granola, or with vanilla ice-cream. The combination of apples, vanilla and a few other goodies makes this a new classic.
This is rich, smooth and sumptuous. Perfect for Rosh Hashanah or break-the-fast Yom Kippur or a Sunday brunch dish.
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These are meant for the bath but I use them as a room scent and ambience item.
Find some gorgeous gauze bags or velveteen bags to pack the salts in. Tie with gorgeous ribbons or gold braid. Crafts stores often all you need but look online via Google for companies that specialize in these items. When you purchase a dozen or half a dozen at a time, the price is excellent. Fragrant oils are easy to find (check Scent of a Baker for some of my favorite sources). Vanilla is used here but green tea, mandarin, red currant, coconut, peach, or lilacs and other florals are good choices. For men, go with Vertiver, oak moss or oils such as ‘leather’, all widely available. You can use these salts in the bath or as I prefer, just place them around the house to keep a constant ‘waft’ of scent all over.
What’s nice is that you get home ambience fragrance, with the worry of lit candles or oil burners.
Mix it, jar it, seal it with a ribbon and a card and add in some nice cookie cutters or a heart of thistle shortbread clay mold.
I fell in love with www.Terrachips over the holidays. These are fried, thin chips of sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, yaro and beets. It’s easy to make your own at home but slow baked, not fried. Much less fat.Tossed with some sea salt and vegetable oil, they are addictive.
I saw versions of this unusual, multi-layered pastry like cake for years. When a baking acquaintance gave me her sister’s Rosette’s recipe simply inscribed as “Mrs. Peterson’s Vinartera or Iceland’s National Cake,. I was inspired to finally give it a whirl. In the end, I fiddled and adjusted with that recipe and the others I researched but I think kept the concept of Icelandic prune cake intact. This is an easy cake, a great keeper, and most unique. Prune is the traditional filling but I have made it with apricot filling or alternated apricot and raspberry preserves. This is superb with tea or afternoon coffee.This is decidedly European and a one-of-a-kind treat that could become your trademark. The Lemon Glaze is optional but a nice touch - in a café, such a dessert would fare a lot better with the sides neatly slicked up with this easy coating.
Sometimes you need a walnut filling for a strudel, potica, a wonderful rolled up pastry delicacy from European kitchens, or a nutty filling for a cheesecake or bubka. This is a great one.
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My personal favorite recipe. This recipe makes for impressive, crusty, corn meal-coated English muffins. Moist and full of holes, rough textured and hearty. A combination of unbleached white bread flour together with some white wholewheat (or regular whole wheat). A smack of butter and honey rounds out the simple flavor. Don't be spooked by the starter. It's child's play – you can make it an hour ahead or the night before and refrigerate it. Why bother settling for ordinary (insipid) store-bought, English Muffins when recipes like these are around? A large cast iron pan is great for baking. The rough hewn look of these are fetching.