Desserts


There is just something about Mark BIttman’s recipes/dishes that keeps calling me back. I know you know the feeling. You find a chef/cook/baker you really like and then you just want to keep making their goodies. I am that way with Madjur Jaffrey, Donna Hay, and Mark Bittman, among others..

So when it came time to do another potluck for I heart Cooking Clubs I went with Bittman – again.

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    8 ripe pears peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into smallish pieces
    1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    8 – 10 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough, thawed
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    Powdered sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the pears, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Set the phyllo on your work surface and cover with a piece of plastic and a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Remove one sheet and put it in front of you, brush it with some butter and fold in 1/2 length wise.

Put about 1/8 of the pear mixture at one end of the phyllo strip and begin folding the filled section of the phyllo to form triangles back and forth along the length of the strip, like folding a flag. Keep folding the triangle back and forth until you reach the end of the sheet.
Transfer the turnover to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and brush it with a little more butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and apple mixture. You should have 8 turnovers.

Bake the turnovers until deeply golden and crisp (it’s okay if they ooze a little juice), 25 to 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or


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    cinnamon sugar.

These were quick, crispy, flaky, tasty and the perfect light dessert. They are on page 565 of Bittman’s The Food Matters Cook book

For the other Pot Luck picks visit us over at IHCC

If he recipe has the word CURRY in it you can bet I am going to make it. The word just conjures up far away places and exotic flavors. Kayte’s pick for this weeks Wednesdays with Donna Hay did just that. I opned up new food fast to read the recipe and found I had already made it for IHCC last December and it wasn’t one of my fave dishes.

But I decided to make it again with a couple of tweaks!

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While Donna says to simply halve the chicken thighs I cut them into smaller pieces. I also cut the sweet potato into smaller bites. I made only 1/2 the recipe but kept the Red Curry Paste at 3 Tbl. MUCH better. And then I added a touch of salt which brought out the flavors more. I thickened the broth some and served it with some browned rice. Also much better. But…. there is still something lacking to my taste buds. I want to like this but it just isn’t there for some reason.

Did the other Ladies of WWDH like Kayte’s pick? Check out their posts by hopping over to the WWDH Website where we all leave our links.

The recipe is on page 67 of Donna’s new food fast.

And anytime you want to join us for some really good food just leave a comment for one of us or on the website. We would love to have you.

Madeleines are such fun to make. So much fun that after missing the first madeleine recipe with the first Tuesdays with Dorie group I bought the pan and looked forward eagerly to each and every Mad recipe. We made them several times and once again with Baking with Julia. No matter how often I make them it never gets old so I was happy to see them for this week’s Baking Chez Moi pick.

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These little sponge cakes had plenty of lemon zest and then to make them even lemony-er we dipped them in a lemon glaze and baked them another two minutes or so. Yes! Please! I think lemon is my favorite citrus to bake with. The taste is always fresh and summery.

These were made a little differently from other Mads we had made. The batter was chilled. Then after filling the molds the batter was chilled again in the molds before baking in a hot (400 F) oven. The recipe says the batter will make 12 I actually came out with 17. I made a batch and made twelve from the batter but they overflowed the molds so I made another batch and made them smaller.

While I didn’t get much of the characteristic hump they are still pretty and tasty.

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I glazed some and left some alone. Definitely something to make again and again. I mean, really, how can you NOT make those pretty little shell shaped sponge cakes??

You can visit with the other Doristas and drool over their madeleines by visiting the Tuesdays with Dorie website. the recipe is on page 212 of Dorie’s Baking Chex Moi. Buy the book. Join the fun!!

In January Avid Bakers Challenge moved from baking with King Arthur Flour to baking with Christina at Scientifically Sweet. Unfortunately I missed out on January (Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins) and February (Orange, Date & Almond Biscotti) so I knew I had to jump in for March. And it was a good decision.

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This is a nice little loaf with plenty of lemon flavor. And although mine didn’t brown very well or rise very high it was a hit. I liked the texture the cornmeal added. More than cake, less than cornbread. It was just right.

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You can find the recipe on Susan’s Page. The only change I made was to cut the sugar in 1/2 and sub in some Splenda and a little raw Stevia for the sweetness. Now I’m thinking – how good this would be with some Blueberries thrown in. Next time!!

You can see all the Lemon Loaves over at THE AVID BAKERS CHALLENGE.

Next month we are making Fudgy No Butter Brownies – I am definitely in for that one!!!

This week’s dish from Donna Hay is wonderful. Sage browned in butter than mixed with pasta and roasted pumpkin. I have come to love sage and brown butter. It is nutty and warming. The pumpkin adds a touch of sweetness to the mix.

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If you need something quick and warming this is a great side dish for just about anything.

The recipe is my choice this week from Donna’s off the shelf page 18.
See what the other cooks in Wednesdays with Donna Hay thought of this pasta dish.

I will be the first to admit I am easily distracted. If I am cooking or baking I really have to focus. If I don’t then I end up – not so much anymore – with Black overly browned food. Needless to say when I saw the words Brown-Butter I was a little leery. I mean, BROWN butter. Not BLACK butter. Not OVERLY BROWNED butter. Just BROWN enough to give a nice nutty flavor. As Dorie admonished “….a fine line between brown butter and burned butter,…” So I stayed with it. Kept it on low heat and ended up with PERFECT Brown Butter to make this nice not too sweet cake.

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Besides the BROWN butter there is Vanilla Bean and Rum (if you wish) to flavor this cake which is the perfect foil for ice cream or whipped cream, or caramel sauce.

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    PERFECT!!

We liked this nice little ‘weekend’ cake. I think I would add a smidgeon more rum next time and I wish I had had some vanilla beans. The vanilla extract was fine but not as flavorful as the bean.

The recipe for this cake is on page 6 of Dorie’s baking chez moi, which you really need to have on your cookbook shelf.

And for the rest of the Dorista’s cakes visit with them at Tuesdays with Dorie and see if they liked it as well.

There are a lot of us who were raised in one place and ended up in another. We never forget the foods of our early years. We add to it from the new places we live. We change. We adapt. Our tastes change but never our love of our ‘native’ foods. This is the case for Julie who is The Texan New Yorker. She was my ‘assignment’ for January with the Secret Recipe Club.

Julie proclaims herself as a Formerly Picky Eater. But after deciding she wanted to eat healthier she learned to cook. She was ‘reared’, as we say in the South, in Dallas then moved to the East coast . He recipes are a great combination of Texas and New York and all the adaptations in between.

I have found over the years that just picking ONE recipe from hundreds is IMPOSSIBLE. I count myself lucky if I can whittle it down to 20 or so that I HAVE to make.

So, Julie, here is what I HAD to make from your wonderful Texas to New York recipes.

It was a little chilly in December and January so a nice thick soup was very comforting. In this case Julie’s Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Can I tell you how delicious this was? Full of cheddar cheese and broccoli. I made it directly from her recipe except I sprinkled some additional cheese and some raw broccoli on top.

And what is soup if you cannot have it with some kind of bread. A grilled cheese sandwich is my usual go to with soup but with all the cheese in the soup I needed something to accent the flavor not dilute it. BISCUITS!!

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Perfect to dip into the nice thick soup. I am thinking that the Bacon Cheddar Chipotle Biscuits would also be good with this. Those biscuits are definitely influenced by her years in TEXAS!!

After Christmas I ended up with a couple of pieces of Pumpkin Pie. I knew I couldn’t just toss them, I didn’t need to eat them (so full!!!) and I didn’t want to freeze them. A conundrum! Solved by JUlie with her…

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which I will call a smoothing because somehow that sounds healthier. This is so easy and definitely competes with the pie shakes at Sonic. Think of the all the possibilities if you have ice cream and left over pie – any kind of pie.

    1 piece of pumpkin pie, homemade or store-bought
    1/2 cup whole milk
    1/2 a pint of vanilla ice cream
    Whipped cream, for serving

Combine all ingredients, except whipped cream, in your blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with a generous dollop of whipped cream and some of the pie crust crumbs left in the pie plate.

Makes 2 small smoothies or 1 large smoothie.
How dangerous is THAT!! And how simple.

Now, about those other recipes I have pinned. So much goodness, so little time.

It’s not called the Secret Recipe Club because we have to blog in secret – How 1984 would that be? – but because until the big reveal date our assignment is a secret. Then we can share what we have cooked form our ‘assignment’ and let the world know about all the deliciousness we found. If you want to join in you can find all the information you need by visiting the site. Way too much fun and kitchen adventures to be had.

You can check out all the fun we had this time by visiting below:

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