Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Best of Summer

[T-Street Beach, San Clemente, CA]

The best of summer is coming to an end. Be sure to soak it up while it lasts!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lemon Semifreddo

I hope you don't mind two recipes in a row. I've had some time off from work over the summer and have enjoyed some extra time in the kitchen. This recipe has been a hit at more than one girl's night at my house.

In Italian, "semifreddo" means "half-cold." This semi-frozen dessert is like an ice cream, but is less icy and dense. Both light and creamy, this dessert is a perfectly satisfying treat in summer. This is not a tart lemon dessert, but a sweet creamy dessert with a light, fresh lemon flavor. Please note this recipe must be prepared in advance.

Tip: If you don't care for lemon, this recipe could easily be prepared with orange juice, orange zest and orange liquor instead.

[Creamy lemon mixture]

Lemon Semifreddo
Makes 8 -1/2 cup servings or 4-1 cup servings.
  • 4 eggs yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello (optional)

In a mixer, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until smooth. In a double boiler* bring water in bottom pan to a simmer. In the top pan of double boiler add egg mixture, 1/2 cup of the whipping cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and limoncello. Whisking constantly to prevent burning, cook mixture until pale and thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour mixture into a glass heat-proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap by laying plastic wrap directly onto mixture to prevent a "skin" from forming. Refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours.

In a clean mixer, whip remaining 1-1/2 cups of whipping cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate large bowl, stir thoroughly 1/3 of whip cream with cooled lemon mixture. With a rubber spatula, fold in remaining 2/3 of whip cream. Spoon the mixture into individual ramekins and allow to freeze for 6-8 hours.

*If you don't have a double-boiler you can use a heat-proof glass bowl set over a saucepan of water. The bowl should not be touching water.

[Luscious homemade whipped cream]

[The alluring final result]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tri-Colored Potato Salad

Over the Labor Day weekend, my man and I wanted to make potato salad for our BBQ. I'd never made potato salad before. It seems to be one of those dishes that is often bland and boring. But we put our tastebuds together and came up with this simple but tasty version. We were really happy with it. It was also really nice to make one dish ahead of time that was ready to serve right out of the fridge. I found a bag of red, gold and purple potatoes already packaged together at Trader Joe's - beautiful! Using a variety of potatoes adds an extra dimension both visually and texturally.
  • 3-4 pounds mixed baby potatoes (red, gold, purple)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons grainy deli mustard
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced dill pickle
  • Salt

Bring potatoes to boil in a large pot of water. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. (Note: You want the potato to slide easily off a fork when pierced but not so tender that the potato crumbles when pierced.)

Drain and rinse with cold water. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Cut potatoes into bite sized chunks.

In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and celery seed together. Pour dressing over potatoes. Add in onion and pickle. Toss gently. Salt to taste. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mckena Landing

Mckena Landing quickly became our favorite beach in Maui this past May. On the remote southern end of the island, Mckena is south of Kihei. Its a small quiet beach and despite what some websites say, we found some great snorkeling there. Although you do need go out a bit to the edge of the cove to find anything. We discovered more sea turtles in this area than any of the other beaches we visited.

Mckena Landing is also a great kayak spot. We rented kayaks in Kihei, put them on top of the Jeep and took our own kayak trip in Mckena. This spot is a bit off the beaten path, and doesn't have any amenities which may be why it stays empty. So shhhh! Don't tell anyone!

For more information including directions, visit Hawaii Web

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