Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

Aebleskiver with Lemon Curd, Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Danish doughnuts to dunk into thick, tangy lemon curd.

Danish doughnuts to dunk into thick, tangy lemon curd.

 

Keep Portland weird?

I say: “Keep Portland delish, too!”

This Pacific Northwest city is famous for embracing and celebrating the quirky, the off-beat, and the unconventional in everything.

Of course, the most fun way get to know any city is through its food. Whether you’re planning your first trip to Portland or wanting a keepsake that pays tribute to the city’s vast culinary treasures, “Portland Cooks: Recipes From the City’s Best Restaurants & Bars” (Figure 1), of which I received a review copy, is sure to rev the appetite.

The book is by James Beard Award-winning food writer Danielle Centoni, a former colleague of mine who was once the food editor of the Oakland Tribune, and now lives in Portland.

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Forty restaurants, bakeries and bars are spotlighted, with each showcasing their distinctiveness in two recipes apiece. Indulge in everything from Ataula’s “Salt Cod Croquetas” to DOC Yakuza’s ” Okonomiyaki with Wild Mushrooms” to Olympia Provisions’ “Pan-Roasted Halibut with Shrimp, Clam, and Andouille Stew” to Salt & Straw Wiz Bang Bar’s “Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Marionberry-Habanero Ribbons.”

“Aebleskiver with Lemon Curd” from Broder restaurant sounded so good that I had to dig out my aebleskiver pan just to make them. The restaurant is famous for its Scandinavian-inspired breakfasts and lunches. And these puffy, doughnut-hole-shaped pancakes are super popular.

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Fruit and Yogurt Granola Tarts

A delicious -- if finicky and fiddly -- little tart.

A delicious — if finicky and fiddly — little tart.

 

I think of this recipe as Beauty & The Beast.

It’s a beaut because once “Fruit & Yogurt Granola Tarts” get all dressed up with summer berries, peaches, plums and whatnot, they’re not only dazzling but delicious.

But it’s also a beast because even though these are extremely simple little tarts to make, they are a monster to get out of their pans without crumbling.

You’ve heard how the third time is the charm?

Well, not in this case. I actually made this recipe three times — that’s how determined I was to try to solve the problem of getting the tarts out of their mini pans intact. But even tweaking the recipe not once, but twice, still didn’t help.

So why am I still including the original recipe here? Because I love the notion of creating a mini tart crust out of oats, butter, maple syrup and walnuts. It really is like a granola bar with its extremely nutty, oaty taste. And because you are using Greek yogurt and fresh fruit to top it, it’s nearly guilt-free as far as desserts go. Well, at least in my book. In fact, I think it’s as tasty for breakfast as it is for a finale to dinner.

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Time for Fig Tart — Two Helpings At Least

Fresh figs -- in all their glory -- in a perfect tart.

Fresh figs — in all their glory — in a perfect tart.

 

Figs are a rather stealth fruit.

For those of us not lucky enough to have our own backyard fig trees, we forget the candy-sweet, sticky, plump fruit have two seasonal harvests a year here — in June-July, and September-October.

As such, they rather sneak up on us. There we are, ogling the strawberries, plums and nectarines at the market, when all of a sudden out of the corner of our eye, our attention gets hijacked. “Are those figs?,” we find ourselves asking silently, as we hurry over to investigate. Sure enough, they are baskets bulging with the gorgeous purple or green figs.

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The Joys of Cherry Snow Cones in Summer

When the weather gets hot, reach for a cherry snow cone with a dash of kirsch.

When the weather gets hot, reach for a cherry snow cone with a dash of kirsch.

 

On Christmas long ago when I was a kid, my aunt gave me a snow cone maker.

It was one of those plastic, hand-cranked ones in the likeness of Frosty the Snowman. You’d plop ice cubes into the top of his “head,” turn the lever like mad, until fluffy shaved ice started filling his “stomach.” I’d scoop it out and fill a paper cone or cup, then drizzle on the syrup that came in the kit, which no doubt back then was made with all manner of artificial flavors and colorings.

No matter, it did the trick — offering up an icy, slushy, syrupy sweet treat that I couldn’t get enough of.

Decades later as an adult, I was gifted another snow cone maker much like my childhood one.This one, however, was in the likeness of Snoopy, and a cross between a real and a gag Christmas gift from a best friend who knew only too well my adoration of Peanuts characters. I’m not above saying I used it, too.

After all, no matter what age you are, there’s just something magical about snow cones, how mundane ice can be transformed into something so incredibly delightful.

Food52IceCream

That’s why when I saw this recipe for “Cherry Snow Cone” in the new “Food52 Ice Cream & Friends” (Ten Speed Press) by the editors of Food52, of which I received a review copy, I knew I had to make it.

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The Goodness of Graham Crackers

If all you've had is store-bought, it's high time to try making your own graham crackers.

If all you’ve had is store-bought, it’s high time to try making your own graham crackers.

 

Sturdy, dependable, and always reliable.

That describes graham crackers. But it could also describe my late-Dad, and probably so many other fathers out there.

Having recently attended my first stadium concert in more than two decades, it got me to remembering how my Dad would drive across the Bridge, ferrying my friends and I to the Oakland Coliseum when we were teens to see this or that concert. He’d drive home, then patiently wait a couple hours before making the drive again to pick us up after the last note was played, weaving his way through traffic and a crowded parking lot to find us.

I took his chauffeuring for granted then. Now, of course, I realize what a royal pain that must have been for him. Yet he never complained or tried to talk us out of going to see our favorite band. He just happily obliged to help make it all happen for his little girl.

If he were still around today, I would thank him for that — and so much more. But since he’s not, I’ll just mix, roll out and bake a batch of these graham crackers that carry a taste of nostalgia with every snappy bite.

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