Latte Panna Cotta

How do you sneak in an espresso beverage before bed? By hiding it in your dessert!

latte-panna-cotta

Latte Panna Cotta

Yield: 8 servings

 

Nonstick spray

1 packet powdered unflavored gelatin (2 teaspoons)

3 tablespoons cold water

2 cups heavy whipping cream

⅓ cup granulated sugar

1 cup half-and-half

2 ounces (2 tablespoons) brewed espresso

 

Prepare eight 4-ounce ramekins by lightly spraying nonstick spray into each and wiping gently with a paper towel to distribute the spray evenly along the sides and bottom.

Add the gelatin to the cold water in a medium bowl, and allow to bloom (soften) for 5 minutes; do not stir.

Meanwhile, stir the heavy whipping cream and sugar together in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved at just barely a simmer.

Slowly add the warm sugar cream to the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is fully dissolved.

Pour the half-and-half into a large bowl (or a large pitcher for easier pouring) and, stirring continuously, slowly pour the warm cream mixture into the half-and-half.

Stir in the espresso.

Fill the ramekins equally and refrigerate uncovered for approximately 5 hours until chilled and completely set.

To unmold the panna cotta, dip the bottom of each ramekin into very hot water for 45 seconds, or until you can see the panna cotta just beginning to melt around the sides. You may also take a knife and run it around the inner circumference of each ramekin. Place a dessert plate on top of the ramekin, then holding both the ramekin and plate, simply invert.

Honey Vanilla Ricotta with Fresh Berries

It’s summer! Make use of your stash of berries with this simple and super quick dessert. Sure to be a crowd pleaser (for kids and adults)… Enjoy! Recipe is below (and in my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, page 110) AND you can also watch me make this on my youtube page. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quJvHnOrIlE

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Fresh Fruit with Honey Vanilla Whipped Ricotta

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Fruit: (feel free to make your own berry combo!)

2 cups fresh sweet cherries, halved and pits removed

2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 pint blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a combination

5 large fresh mint leaves, chopped finely (2 tablespoons) plus 4 large whole mint leaves for garnish

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Vanilla Whipped Ricotta:

1 (16-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese, drained

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons honey, preferably orange blossom

 

In a medium bowl, toss to combine the fruit salad ingredients.

Put the ricotta, vanilla extract, confectioners’ sugar, and honey in the bowl of a food processor or mixer. Process or whip until smooth. Refrigerate until it’s time for dessert.

To serve, divide the fruit into bowls, top with a generous spoonful of the Honey Whipped Vanilla Ricotta and garnish with a mint leaf.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies – Drought Friendly – aka vegan

In the mood for something a little sweet and chocolatey? But healthy, right?!, because chocolate is an antioxidant and peanut butter is full of protein… right… YES! Try these Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies. Another recipe from our continuing Drought Friendly Recipe project.

Choc PB Cookies Drought Friendly

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies

Yield: 14 cookies

 

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (ground flax seed)

5 tablespoons water

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup chunky peanut butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, mix to combine the flax seed and water. Stir and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix to combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

Mix the peanut butter with the brown sugar on low speed in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment for approximately 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla and flax/water mixture. Mix to combine. Add flour/cocoa mixture and mix until just combined, approximately 1 minute. The texture should be like play-doh. (Do not over mix.)

Using your hands, form cookies into 1½-inch sized balls and place, evenly spaced, on a parchment lined sheet pan. Place no more than 9 per sheet tray.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Using the back of a flat spatula, gently press cookies down to form a disc shape.

Let cool completely on sheet pan so cookies firm up before eating.

Tis the Season: Coconut Pumpkin Pie – Drought Friendly

The holidays are upon us and with it comes delicious feasts and treats. Super Sous and I developed this easy, no-bake, drought friendly (aka -no dairy/vegan) Coconut Pumpkin Pie recipe to make your Thanksgiving and other special holiday meals a win. But, wait… why wait til the holidays?! You can prepare and enjoy this right now!

Crust Pumpkin Pie

Making the Crust for the Pie

Crust in Pie Pan Pumpkin Pie

Pie Crust Ready for Chilling

Half Pumpkin Pie

Up Close and Personal with the Pie

Overhead Pumpkin Pie

Overhead Shot of Pie

Slice Pumpkin Pie

Cut Yourself A Slice

 

Coconut Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Snap Crust and Candied Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Yields: 1 9½-inch deep dish pumpkin pie

 

Pie Crust:

1 (10-ounce) bag ginger snap cookies (preferably Mi-Del brand)

¼ cup coconut oil

4½ ounces pitted Medjool dates (7 large medjool dates)

Add the ginger snaps, coconut oil and pitted dates to a food processor. Process until very well combined, approximately 1 minute.

Empty the contents into a 9½-inch deep dish pie pan.

Using a flat instrument (I use the top of a non-stick spray can) press the ginger snap mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom and also up the sides of the pie pan, using your thumb as a guide at the top of the pie pan as you press the mixture up the side of the dish.

Transfer into the refrigerator and chill for at least 45 minutes.

 

Pie Filling:

¼ cup water

1½ teaspoons agar agar powder

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (not low-fat)

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 (5.4-ounce) can coconut cream

½ cup dark brown sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 

Stir to combine the water and agar agar powder in a medium (3½ quart) saucepan. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, coconut cream, dark brown sugar, salt and pepper and stir well to combine.

Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil, stirring often with a spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the sauce pan to prevent burning.

Once the mixture comes to a rolling boil, immediately remove from heat and set aside to cool for one hour, stirring occasionally. After one hour stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour the cooled pumpkin mixture into the prepared pie shell and return to the refrigerator.

Chill for at least three hours until firm.

Slice, and serve with a few candied pumpkin seeds.

 

Candied Spiced Pumpkin Seeds:

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ tablespoon grapeseed oil

¾ cup toasted and salted pumpkin seeds

1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B

 

Mix together the cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute, then add the oil and swirl the pan to evenly distribute.

Add the pumpkin seeds and stir to fully coat.

Cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds to heat evenly.

Sprinkle the spice mix evenly over the pumpkin seeds and stir to coat. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring every 5 seconds.

Pour in the pure maple syrup and stir to coat. Continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Keep an eye on the seeds, and if they begin to smoke, turn down the heat a touch and stir more often.

Remove from the heat and transfer the seeds to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Spread out the seeds, using 2 forks and allow to cool completely. They will candy (harden) as they cool.

Spicy Mango Ginger Popsicle

As I write this blog post (another in the series of “Drought Friendly Recipes“), a light rain is falling in Los Angeles – music to everyone’s ears.

Some good news on the drought front – Starbucks has said that it is phasing out its use of California water for its Ethos brand bottled water. Ethos brand water gives a percentage of it’s sales to ” help support water, sanitation and hygiene education programs in water-stressed countries” so it makes sense that pulling water from drought stricken California makes no sense at all.

Meanwhile, Nestle is still sucking up California water at the rate of some 240 million gallons a year. Aquafina and Dasani are also using California water for their bottled water, among others.

In an effort to conserve California water, let’s fill our own water bottles before we head out of the house and avoid buying bottled water as much as we can since it’s most likely coming from California.

And now for something sweet, refreshing and delicious – perfect for your upcoming summer potluck and barbecue parties.

spicy mango popsicle

Spicy Mango Ginger Popsicle

Yields: 6 popsicles

 

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice

1/16 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1½ cups sweetened mango puree or pulp

 

Combine lime juice, sugar, ginger juice and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add mango puree and stir to combine. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

Banana bread muffins? With pumpkin pie spice? And chocolate hazelnut spread? YES, please!

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut1

I can just see that chocolate hazelnut spread peeking through the cracks…

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut2

Chocolate banana hazelnut deliciousness

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

Yield: 12 Muffins

 

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/3 cup pitted deglet noor dates, approximately 10 dates

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan

2 whole eggs

3 very ripe large bananas, broken into large chunks, plus 1 large banana, diced small

1½ tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread

 

Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

Place flour, oats, salt, baking soda, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and dates in a food processor. Process until dates are broken down and mixture is fairly even. (There will still be some very small pieces of dates which is fine.)

Add butter, eggs and the 3 large bananas broken into chunks and process until mixture is fully combined.

Stir in (do not process) the diced banana.

Fill each muffin tin with 2½ tablespoons of batter. Top each with 1/8 teaspoon chocolate hazelnut dollop. Cover each muffin with another 2½ tablespoons of batter.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Test readiness by poking a toothpick or knife in the middle of a muffin; if it comes out clean, it’s ready.

Remove from oven and let cool before removing from muffin pan.