This might just be my new favorite summer dessert. For many reasons. Fresh strawberries and beautiful sage from the farmer’s market. A combination of sweet almond and zesty orange cookies as a base. Mascarpone cheese (’nuff said). Fluffy whipped heavy cream. And no oven required.
How can something be so good when there’s no chocolate in it?
The no baking part is especially wonderful. It’s not even that hot outside yet, but I prefer to not crank my oven up high in the summer. This tart just highlights the best of the best. My first pick of strawberries of the season and quality mascarpone cheese. I’ve been really into berry + herb combinations recently. Blueberry basil, raspberry mint, strawberry sage. Fantastic on a tart or in your cocktail. I think I’ll spend all summer exploring these combos. Adding gin, heavy cream, honey, prosecco as I’d like.
Now on to this perfect tart…
Strawberry Sage Mascarpone Tart
For the filling:
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoon sugar
- 8oz cups mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 pound strawberries, sliced thinly
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
For the crumb base:
- 7 tablespoons butter
- 10 oz almond and orange cookies
- Make the base: Melt butter. Crush cookies to a crumble in a food processor. Mix the crumbs with butter. Spoon the crumbs into a round tart pan with a removable bottom. Smooth into the corners and up the pan sides. Refrigerate until set.
- Make the filling: Separate the egg, putting the yolk in a bowl with the sugar and beating for a few seconds until mixed. Beat in mascarpone and vanilla extract. With a clean whisk, beat heavy cream until it’s whipped, and then fold it into the creamed mascarpone.
- Assemble: Spoon mascarpone filling into the cookie crust, spreading it to the edges. Arrange sliced strawberries and fresh chopped sage on top of the mascarpone. Keep cold until serving.
While between trips and traveling, I’ve been able to get back to a semi-normal routine the last two weeks. That means getting back to the farmer’s market on Sundays, stocking my fridge, and cooking again. It’s great to feel some sense of normalcy while in the kitchen. Like this is my thing. This is my home.
This Sunday pasta is basically just me being super stoked about everything new and green at the market – spinach, ramps, asparagus – and putting it together. Oh and treating myself to $10 burrata. Roasting the asparagus adds a deeper flavor to the light pasta. The creamy burrata pulls the whole dish together. I basically want to live inside this pasta when it’s spring.
Spring Cappellini with Ramps, Roasted Asparagus, Spinach, Burrata
Preheat oven to 400°. On a baking sheet, toss asparagus and garlic cloves with olive oil and sea salt. Roast for 25 min. Meanwhile, sauté ramp bulbs in lots of olive oil and butter. Add in ramp leaves and let wilt down. Add in a bunch of fresh spinach and let cook down. Remove asparagus and garlic from oven, chop, and stir into the ramps and spinach. Grate in fresh parm. Cook pasta and toss with veggies. Stir in fresh, creamy, burrata.
This post is for my family. Mostly for my older brother who loves every banana. And is graciously letting me film My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone at his apartment.
It’s a week away and I’m a bit stressed out about it, honestly. Forget the whole spending a day with Joey thing (just trying not to think about that.) But I have a cook some complicated recipes on camera, which is new to me.
So I’m practicing a lot beforehand. Testing out the recipes, talking to my mom and aunts and uncles about how they make them. While I have so many nerves, I’m feeling more and more connected to the food I’m cooking. They’re recipes that mean something to me and my family. They so many memories attached to them. This is another reason this show means so much to me. It’s not just about Joey or making my tween dreams come true. This show is about everything that means something to me. Food and family and passions.
This banana cupcake recipe is like everything else I’m preparing for the show. Simple, sweet, and full of flavor memories. These might just be the cupcakes I bake for Joey next week!
One-Bowl Banana Cupcakes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with 24 paper cups.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly incorporate the eggs, oil, bananas, milk, and vanilla.
- Pour evenly into cupcake tins and bake for 20 minutes, rotating pans half-way through, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on to a wire rack completely before frosting.
Dulce De Leche Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 block cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup dulce de leche
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese. Add in dulce de leche and vanilla.
- Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar until sweetened to your liking. Frost cupcakes.
April 1st is probably my least favorite day on the internet. Why did anyone ever think pranks were fun? Like running marathons and tequila shots. Just don’t get it. But April 1st is also the beginning of my birthday week and the start of my favorite month. Things happen in April. Trees bloom and ramps grow and people get happier because they’re walking around drinking lemonade and eating fro-yo in the sunshine and how could that not make you happy?
On the note of happiness and birthdays, it’s not surprising I want celebrate with something chocolate and fudgy. While I prefer cake, these Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios would absolutely do the trick. Use whatever is your favorite brownie recipe, then add this salted fudge frosting – kicks them up a notch to be birthday-worthy. Chopped pistachios bring in one of my favorite spring flavors (and colors).
Don’t be gullible…April rules. Just add chocolate.
Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios
- 6 oz dark chocolate chips
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips divided in half
- 8 oz butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt dark chocolate, half of the semi-sweet chocolate, and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs. Mix in cooled chocolate. Slowly incorporate the flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix to combine. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
- Pour into a greased cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.
Salted Fudge Frosting
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg with 1 1/2 cups sugar on low speed, add the cocoa into egg mixture. Add remaining 1 cup sugar, vanilla, butter and sea salt and beat to combine. Spread onto cooled brownies. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
Trying to regularly get back to this blogging thing. Something has been off for the last few weeks. Maybe it has something to do with not spending time here. So let’s try it again. We’ll start with something simple. The basics. Breakfast.
I’ve been thinking about breakfast a lot recently. Rumor has it, I might be cooking breakfast on a tv show with one of my all time favorite legends. I’m still afraid of jinxing it, so while I don’t want to over-gush just yet, I do want to talk about breakfast.
To me breakfast isn’t about starting the day off right physically. Sure, I try to eat mildly healthy so that happens. But for me, breakfast is about starting the day off with a feeling. Letting yourself feel maybe for the first time, getting yourself ready for all the other things you’ll feel that day. Nothing has changed since you were in bed…you’re still in your pajamas, your eyes are still a little shut because it’s bright out, you probably haven’t even spoken yet. But then there’s that first sip of coffee that makes your brain tingle. The sound of cracking an egg. The flavors of an everything bagel or cheddar cheese that remind you of breakfasts mom and dad used to make. Tastes and smells and little observations that make you feel. It’s your first chance to connect with something. Isn’t that what you get out of bed for? Those feelings, that connection, is what wakes me up. What gets me going in the morning and keeps me going all day long. It’s how you start your day off right.
I often fall into breakfast habits, so I’m trying to switch it up a bit. Stay in tune with what inspires me. Find new connections. A few weekends ago I had a friend over and we made these cinnamon brown butter waffles with maple berries. The thing about breakfast is that there isn’t and there shouldn’t be too much work to it. After all, your eyes might not even be open. A few stirs, a machine that does the work for you, and a new friend to talk food with. It’s simple. We should eat more breakfast.
Cinnamon Brown Butter Waffles
- 7 Tbs butter
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
Preheat waffle iron. Brown butter over low heat. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Beat in eggs and milk until combined. Pour mixture over headed waffle iron and cook to your iron’s instructions until waffles are golden brown and crisp.
Maple Berry Compote
In a small saucepan, cook berries (I used raspberries and blackberries) with some good maple syrup. You could also add some bourbon. Cook until reduced into a sauce.