Sunday, August 24, 2014

spice it up




The weekend has a chill, leaves are just beginning to show their first blush, & spicy, rich chocolates are still something we crave. I made some Thai peanut butter cups with candied local chili peppers from Guerrilla Grown Produce, creaming the nut butter with the resulting reduction of chilis & turbinado sugar syrup, infused fresh local Thai basil from the Greenfield Farmers Market, ginger, & raw North Country honey.The crunchy nut butter has a sweet, juicy, fresh heat, delicious with the counterpoint of nutty & bittersweet chocolate.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

fire in the belly




For late summer the nights have been cool with a distinct crispness to the air, & we've found ourselves craving warm spices & rich, hot foods. An aromatic drinking chocolate with traditional Mayan spices, frothed with a molinillo & then poured from a pitcher as high as we could reach created a thick, rich hot chocolate that has a surprisingly delicate mouthfeel & complex mosaic of piquant flavors. Paired with currant & hazelnut bread from Orchard Hill Breadworks which we toasted & spread with our thick, creamy chocolate pate, this would be a delicious way to enjoy a cozy backyard campfire, don't you think? Happy August!

Monday, July 14, 2014

La Fête Nationale



We celebrated Bastille Day & raspberry season with a festive & elegant way to serve our chocolate pâté: place a thick slice on top of a pooled tangy & sweet raspberry port wine reduction, pile high with local, fresh fruit & add a dollop of freshly whipped cream. The port wine contributes a deep, rich character to the sauce, without it becoming too sweet. Add champagne as the perfect accompaniment. Bonne fête!

Raspberry Port Wine Sauce
you can use frozen berries as well, although you may have to cook the sauce a little longer to reduce the liquid until you get a syrupy consistency

1 pint fresh raspberries, strawberries, currants or mixture of all 3 (or equivalent frozen)
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. port wine

Combine berries in a sauce pan with sugar, & cook on medium-low until the berries break down & emit their juices to create a thick, bright sauce. Stir in the port wine. Strain through a chinois (strainer) to remove the seeds, lightly pressing on the fruits to remove all of the juices. Let cool, & pool on a plate before placing a thick slice of chocolate pâté on top. Dust with cocoa powder & put a dollop of fresh, unsweetened whipped cream on the side. Voila!

Friday, July 4, 2014

hooray for the red, white & blue

To celebrate the holiday, we breakfasted on a rich & moist coffee cake loaded with strawberries & blueberries from Walker Farm, with a creamy white chocolate créme anglaise to give it a festive twist. Enjoy the holiday, & cook something delicious with friends & family!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

cheers

Strawberries + rosé + great coffee + long forest treks + future plans coming to fruition = terrific weekend!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

sweet summer




Our own strawberries disappeared quite quickly, finding themselves either on top of some delicious ice cream after our evening meal, or in the paws of neighborhood squirrels. We regularly go to Walker Farm for fresh produce during the week, so we happily brought home some of their sweet, flavorful berries to create a summery chocolate palet: sliced & oven-dried strawberries marinated in an aromatic balsamic vinegar & studded with a few large grains of pink sea salt. The concentrated sweetness & tartness of the berries made a wonderful counterpoint to sea salt & creamy, rich dark chocolate, perfect with a glass of summer rosé or crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Salut!

Friday, June 20, 2014

after a long winter's nap



This was a tough winter, bitter & cold, & snowed under with family illnesses (most mended or on the mend, thankfully). The weather has warmed up, the garden is going crazy, & I'm feeling inspired to get back in the kitchen. I made Smoked Almond palets in honor of cold weather past, & have my eye on future strawberry delights in honor of the abundance warm weather has brought. Cheers!