{sms} mini strawberry rhubarb cobblers

With apologies to Tracey, I only made a third of the components of this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Pie. It was supposed to be a biscuit-topped cobbler in a pie crust. I didn’t make the pie crust and I’m not a fan of biscuit toppings for cobblers. I made the strawberry-rhubarb filling though!

For the the cobbler topping I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything and I made 1/2 the recipe of the filling which I baked in mini-ramekins. I ate mine with Fresh Ginger Ice Cream a la David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. It was the perfect dessert for a warm lazy Saturday afternoon.

Thanks to Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures for hosting this week. Check out her blog for the recipe and  her fabulous content/pictures. She’s also one of my blogging friends, although I admit I haven’t been active in the food blogging world as of late.


The $37 Drink

While I was in Vegas I craved a frozen strawberry daquari. In town there are alcoholic slushie stands EVERYWHERE. Of course, when I was craving one I couldn’t find one anywhere. I eventually found one…and it ended up costing me $37. Yes, $37 for a drink. It was larger, but still.

We stayed in a timeshare with a full-kitchen, including a blender. And as luck would have it, we also had all the ingredients to make my version of the $37 drink. It tasted awesome and  a lot better than the one I bought because the ingredients were all fresh and natural.

Here’s how I made it:

  • a bunch of strawberries (brought for the road trip, but not eaten)
  • a banana (ditto)
  • a bit of club soda (brought to make my favorite drink in the world: vodka + club soda with lime)

Blend it up until it’s a nice puree.

  • Add a bunch of ice (full-kitchen=ice machine)

Blend some more until it has a slushie consistency

  • Add a few sugar packets, to taste (part of the coffee set-up)
  • 5 generous shots of vodka (again, brought along for my favorite drink)
  • freshly squeezed lime juice (ditto)

Blend until just mixed. Pour and serve! It made 3 1/2 drinks.

{sms} strawberry-ruby grapefruit preserves

This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe selection, Strawberry-Rube Grapefruit Preserves, was fun and easy to make. You just throw in all the ingredients (strawberries, grapefruit juice & zest, sugar, apple) in a pot, boil, and let it reduce into sweet goodness. I made a 1/2 recipe and it still made a lot. One big pickle jar full.

It’s been perfect on toast and wonderful with plain yogurt and granola. I think it would also be good in a baked item, but haven’t made anything yet.

Thank you to Margot of Effort to Deliciousness for this week’s pick as we bake through the book. If you would like the recipe, please visit her BLOG.

Pane Siciliano and Panzanella

Pane Siciliano

There is something relaxing and cathartic about baking bread from scratch. It is intensely satisfying getting the “feel” and knowing when the dough needs more flour or more water or more time. I love baking bread.

Unfortunately, I sometimes bake too much bread. You may think it isn’t possible to bake too much bread–but my friends, co-workers, and family are bombarded with lots of baked goods from me. There is only so much I can give away and my freezer can only hold so much.imgp4033

I recently made Pane Siciliano from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. The recipe made 3 loaves. Without thinking clearly, I baked the bread the same weekend I made croissants. I went a little overboard that weekend. Anyway, you probably know which we ate first.

We ate one loaf. It was good very good. It’s the first time I used semolina flour. Almost a week went by and my poor loaves were still sitting on the counter. I have plenty of bread crumbs in my freezer. My husband suggested French Toast, but I was thinking panzanella.

Springtime Panzanella

I made two different panzanella recipes, both from 101 Cookbooks: Spring Panzanella and Strawberry Panzanella. Both were delicious, but the strawberry one was killer. What made both of these even greater was that all the produce was locally grown bought at the farmer’s market and the bread homemade. How cool is that?

Strawberry Panzanella


Spring Panzanella

Strawberry Panzanella

I’m submitting this to Yeastspotting, a weekly round-up of yeasted goods and bread.