Tuesdays with Dorie: Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta from Baking Chez Moi

I feel like I should write something about not crying over spilled milk since I poured half the milk mixture onto the floor while I was trying to get it into the glass jars! That’ll teach me … I don’t know what it will teach me, but I’m sure it will teach me something!

This is a perfect Summer dessert. It can be made ahead of time, it’s cool and refreshing, and it doesn’t heat up the house (if you’re in one of those weird locales that is actually hot during the Summer!).

Doug loves Mango, so this was a winner before I even made it! My panna cotta didn’t come out as white and vibrant as the one in the book, but I’m going to assume it has something to do with the vanilla, or maybe I cooked the milk a little too long. I didn’t use the vanilla bean, but I used the next best thing, which is the Nielsen Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. It’s one of my all time favorite shortcuts! Although, since reading Dorie’s blurb about vanilla beans, I’m a little obsessed with vanilla sugared toast! I also used honey straight from my cousin’s hives in Oregon to sweeten the puree. For the jars, I used my Weck Tulip canning jars. If you want to buy these (and why wouldn’t you), pay attention to the size. Otherwise, you might end up with both mini jars, and 1 Liter jars. I’m not saying that happened to me, but I’m not saying it didn’t happen to me!

Enough about everything I used. Can I just say that the texture on this is amazing! I already have visions of using it with strawberry rhubarb from my freezer, or even a cranberry puree for a light after Thanksgiving dessert. I’m excited about this one! I feel like a bit of a broken record, but until I’m disappointed by one of these Baking Chez Moi recipes I’m going to have to keep spreading the love!

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta|Frankly Entertaining

The Tuesdays with Dorie participants don’t publish the recipes, but you can get your own copy of Baking Chez Moi , by Dorie Greenspan, and join us! Feel free to follow along with everyone else here.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Apricot Raspberry Tart

Apricot Tart|Frankly Entertaining

I feel like I was actually a planner on this one. I actually read the recipe … the whole recipe… before I started! When I was reading I wasn’t too keen on the idea of making the ladyfingers again. It’s not that I didn’t love the ladyfingers, but it really hasn’t been that long since I made them, so I opted for the almond cream variation.

I love almond cream, and it seem like a perfect dessert to celebrate Bastille Day! This recipe also gave me the chance to use my rectangular tart pan. I’ve had the pan for years, but this is the first time that I’ve actually used it. I just read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and although I’m not doing everything the way it was suggested, I did find joy in my tart pan!

Apricot Tart|Frankly Entertaining

This dessert was a huge hit at my house. I told Doug that I felt like I could be a French housewife with this recipe, but interestingly enough, the mother of the family I lived with in France never made anything like this, she always bought stuff like this at the bakery. Doug doesn’t normally say much about the recipes that I prepare, so if he makes a point of saying something is delicious … twice, then I know it was a hit! Everyone loved this one. I feel like we’ve been on a great streak with the recipes lately, or maybe the whole book is that good!

The recipe wasn’t difficult, but it does take some time for chilling and cooling to room temperature. It actually turned out perfectly because I made the tart in the morning, and then I didn’t have to think about it again until after dinner. No playing musical chairs with oven space! I definitely recommend this recipe. I can’t wait to see what the others in the group have done!

The Tuesdays with Dorie participants don’t publish the recipes, but you can get your own copy of Baking Chez Moi , by Dorie Greenspan, and join us! Feel free to follow along with everyone else here.

Simple Tapioca Pudding Tartelettes

Until recently my experience with tapioca pudding had been pretty limited. Lately though, I’ve been using tapioca and experimenting with different ways to serve it. One of the great things about tapioca is that it’s the perfect blank canvas for any number of toppings. I think it would make an amazing trifle, and parfaits would be a simple and delicious Summer treat.

Tapioca Tartelettes|Frankly Entertaining

For my latest tapioca experiment I decided to make Tapioca Pudding Tartelettes. I made a simple shortbread crust, but if you want to go extra simple you can also use a premade pie crust or a roll of sugar cookie dough. The great thing about this recipe is how quickly it comes together. Even making the dough from scratch, the whole thing tales than a half an hour of hands on time. I used Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding for the filling and blueberries for the topping. You can also prepare all of the elements ahead of time and then assemble right before you’re ready to eat.

Tapioca Tartelettes|Frankly Entertaining

Summer is a perfect time for easy and casual get togethers. I don’t know why, but for some reason visitors prefer to come to Alaska in the Summer, and this Summer will be no exception for us. We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of friends and family next month, and we’re looking for ways to entertain while still being able to spend most of our time with our guests, instead of in the kitchen.

Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding

I used the tub of Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding, but if you want this to be even simpler, you can use the individual cups and top them with cookie bits and fruit. You’ll get a very similar texture and taste with about 60 seconds worth of effort!

Tapioca Tartelettes

Tapioca Pudding Tartelettes

Ingredients:

  • Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding
  • 1/2 c. butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • In season fresh fruit or fruit topping. I used fresh blueberries and this blueberry topping.

Instructions:

  1. To make the shortbread dough, combine butter, sugar and flour in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles a heavy crumb.
  2. Add the egg yolk and mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Divide the dough into 24 even pieces and then place each piece into the openings of a mini muffin pan. Tamp down each piece of dough, creating the tartelette shell.
  4. Bake in a 350º oven for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Let the shells cool and remove from the muffin tin.
  6. Fill the shells with the tapioca pudding and top with the fruit.

 

Kozy Shack is celebrating the Summer of Pudding on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Make sure to follow them!

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Tapioca Pudding Tartelettes
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Tapioca Pudding Tartelettes
Ingredients
  • Kozy Shack
  • Tapioca Pudding
  • ½ c. butter, cut into chunks
  • ⅓ c. confectioner's sugar
  • 1½ c. flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • In season fresh fruit or fruit topping. I used fresh blueberries and this
  • blueberry topping
  • .
Instructions
  1. To make the shortbread dough, combine butter, sugar and flour in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles a heavy crumb.
  2. Add the egg yolk and mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Divide the dough into 24 even pieces and then place each piece into the openings of a mini muffin pan. Tamp down each piece of dough, creating the tartelette shell.
  4. Bake in a 350º oven for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Let the shells cool and remove from the muffin tin.
  6. Fill the shells with the tapioca pudding and top with the fruit.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Strawberry Shortcakes, Franco-American Style

Strawberry Shortcake|Frankly Entertaining

I was so excited for this week’s recipe because it gave me a chance to make something that completely intimidated me. Lady Fingers seem so delicate and seem like something that would take way more work than I’d be willing to put in, but I was wrong. This recipe actually came together fairly simply. Although the lady fingers take a few bowls to put together, they’re not hard, and they’re not especially time consuming. There was more than enough batter to make the six servings, plus I made about 8 other traditionally shaped cookies.

I was a little skeptical after the cookies baked because they weren’t as sweet as I thought I’d like, but when I added the strawberries and whipped cream, the whole thing was amazing! My kids have been snacking on the leftover cookies, but I think I prefer the whole dessert to just the cookies!

Strawberry Shortcake

I went the simple route and just made these with strawberries and sugar instead of the roasted strawberries. I think this would also be amazing with blueberries, or some strawberry with rhubarb. I think a DIY shortcake table would be the perfect thing for a 4th of July (or Canada Day) celebration! If you had various fillings on the table it would be a perfect color palette. hmm…Putting my thinking cap on!

Strawberry Shortcake|Frankly Entertaining

The Tuesdays with Dorie participants don’t publish the recipes, but you can get your own copy of Baking Chez Moi , by Dorie Greenspan, and join us! Feel free to follow along with everyone else here.

Per Se: The Best Meal Ever!

Per Se Review| Frankly Entertaining

Last year Christina and I met up in New York City for Memorial Day week end, and we had the absolute best time. It was the first time I had been o NYC since I was 16, and I tried to fit everything into 4 days. We ate way more than was healthy, and the only regret I had was leaving the I Love Doughnuts shirt that I got for my son on a bench at #MadSqEats. But, if you can get through a weekend with the only bad thing being a lost t-shirt, then I think we can call it a success!

The food highlight of the trip last year was having lunch in the Salon at Per Se. My dad had given us $150 to treat ourselves, and we used every penny at lunch! It might seem a bit extreme (my dad was a little surprised when we called to thank him for the amazing lunch), but I’m here to tell you it was worth it!

Let me start by saying, if this is something you don’t think you would appreciate, then don’t do it! Everyone has their thing, and mine is food. I wouldn’t appreciate the value in a sports car or a super fancy pre-school, but eating out can make me cry when the food is that good! I will also say that we ate at the Salon and not the main dining room. We also didn’t drink any alcohol which would have easily doubled the bill. I would love to try the dining room, but I feel like that’s something that I should save and do with Doug!

The Salon at Per Se doesn’t accept reservations, and it’s only open for lunch on weekends. We made sure we showed up ten minutes before they opened and we were seated at a table looking directly out onto Columbus Circle and Central Park.

The service is beyond amazing. I don’t know how much water I drank because my glass was never empty! And even though this is one of the best restaurants in New York City, the servers were not at all snotty. Everyone that we talked to was gracious and personable.

When we went back to NYC a couple of weeks ago we debated eating at Per Se again. I didn’t want to ruin the amazing experience that we had the first time, so it was a dilemma. In the end, Christina and I decided to go back and try dinner. I will just say it was perfect. We did not get the table with the view, but I didn’t even notice.

The portion size at Per Se is small, but it doesn’t feel small. I ordered two dishes plus dessert, and there was a smoked salmon amuse bouche (amazing!), gougères, and bread. There was also an extra dessert tray that came after the dessert that we ordered. I ordered the duck foie gras appetizer and the lobster. For dessert I had the crème brûlée. Christina had the gelato for dessert, which she declared to be the best gelato ever!

All this is to say, if you find yourself in New York City celebrating any kind of special occasion, and you appreciate  a delicious meal, Per Se is a restaurant that is well worth the hype.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate-Cherry Brownies

TWD: Chocolate Cherry Brownies | Frankly Entertaining

I’d been seeing people’s sneak peeks of their brownies all week, and so I was really excited for this recipe. I love a good brownie, and this recipe makes my favorite kind: dense, chewy and in no need of frosting. I’ve never been a huge fan of cake brownies (with the exception of the mint chocolate brownies that my nan made). I never use a hand mixer when I make brownies I because don’t want to add any more air to the batter than is absolutely necessary!

Dorie’s brownies are probably the densest I’ve ever eaten, to the point where I wondered if they were baked all the way through (29 minutes didn’t seem long enough for an 8 x 8 pan). I actually had fresh cherries on hand, but I followed the recipe and cooked the fried cherries in red wine. (side note: I can’t buy wine in the main part of the grocery store here in town, so I have to go to the separate part of the store to purchase it separately and then walk around the grocery store with a brown paper sack. I was so paranoid that I was going to run into someone I know who might think that it was a little too early, and I’m a little too mormon, for that kind of purchase!) Anyway, I’m glad I followed the recipe, because the cherries are amazing! If I had some whipped cream it would almost be like a delectable black forest bite!

Chocolate-Cherry Brownies

The other amazing thing about this recipe: they’re probably the least time consuming brownies that I’ve made from scratch (don’t judge, I sometimes use a mix!). These came together amazingly fast, and to shave off some time I melted the butter and chocolate in the microwave! I basically had the entire batter put together in the time it took to cook off two Tablespoons of wine! This is definitely a recipe that I recommend.

The Tuesdays with Dorie participants don’t publish the recipes, but you can get your own copy of Baking Chez Moi. Feel free to follow along with everyone else here.

Muesli Parfait Breakfast Bar

Muesli Parfaits | Frankly Entertaining

We’ve been in our new house for three months now, and we’re getting ready to welcome our first guests next week. We’re so excited to have visitors, and to see some friendly faces from Texas!

It’s important to me to try and be a good hostess when we have company. We do our best to get the house clean, and to make sure that we have fun ideas for all the kids, but there is one thing that gets me almost every time: breakfast! I want to be that hostess who is awake before everyone else. I want to be the hostess who’s making pancakes and bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice … I’m just not that person! More often than not I ended up staying up way too late visiting with our guests, and by the time early morning comes I’m too tired to get out of bed! I’m not sure which is more rude: going to bed before our guests, or showing them where they can find the cereal!

Nature Made Muesli

About a year ago we were visiting with good friends for the weekend, and when we got up in the morning, the hostess had laid out a granola bar to make parfaits for breakfast. It was the perfect solution for so many little mouths to feed. There were a huge variety of toppings and yogurts, so everyone was happy. In fact, when I was making the parfaits for this post, my seven year old talked about how much fun we had at our friend’s house when they made the parfaits!

Muesli Parfaits|Frankly Entertaining

I thought it would be perfect to adapt the parfait recipe using  the new Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli. There are lots of ways to prepare muesli. You can serve it cooked warm with milk (like oatmeal), or cold (like cereal). It can also be used in baking (you can switch it out for oatmeal in cookies and bars).

We decided to kick the flavors up a notch by toasting the Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli-Blueberry. Toasting heightens the flavors and adds a little more crispness. Plus, the warm muesli mixed with the cold yogurt are amazing together! The toaster oven is perfect for this job, but you can also put the muesli on a cookie sheet in a 350º oven for about 7 minutes.

Muesli Parfaits| Frankly Entertaining

I put these in pretty dessert cups, but for a seriously no stress breakfast, these could just as easily go into plastic cups, and then there wouldn’t even be any dishes! The only fruit we chopped was the strawberry. You can seriously have this on the table in under ten minutes. As a bonus, it’s healthier than granola! Another bonus, it’s perfect for picky kids: they get to have some control over what they’re eating, and you know all the ingredients that are involved! We’ll definitely be doing this again for our visitors next week (ironically, it’s the same people who introduced me to the whole idea in the first place)!

Setting up a Muesli Parfait Bar:

What you need:

  • Nature Valley Muesli, we used Blueberry and Original. (You can download a coupon here). Toasting the muesli makes an unbelievable difference. If you haven’t tried it toasted, try it with this recipe!
  •  2 or 3 varieties of yogurt
  • fruit (we used cherries, strawberries and chocolate covered raisins, but pineapples, bananas, peaches and figs would also be amazing)

Optional Add Ins:

  • Honey
  • Preserves
  • Coconut
  • Brown Sugar
  • Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1.  Set everything out on a table in separate bowls.
  2. Allow your guests to layer the Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli with the yogurt and whatever other toppings they like.
  3. Enjoy! (I wasn’t kidding when I said that this would be easy!)

Thanks to Nature Maid for sponsoring this post. Don’t forget to download the $1 off coupon!

 

 

Tuesdays with Dorie: Nutella Buttons

TWD: nutella buttons

That’s right, it’s Tuesday, and I’m posting! It’s some kind of Spring miracle! Speaking of Spring, the sun is shining on the Kenai Peninsula. I even planted some vegetables yesterday. I’m not sure how the garden will grow this year, but I’m considering this my learning season! Hopefully the moose doesn’t eat everything!

I didn’t actually make this recipe with the Nutella. I used cherry jam and topped them with the ganache. Doug thought the cherry and chocolate was weird together (maybe he’s never heard of Black Forest Cake!), but I thought they were tasty. They were definitely a hit with the kids. My only issue was that I ended up with two dozen of them, and we can’t eat them all! This is a birthday week at our house, so we are full of desserts! Even though I love the ganache, I think it makes it too messy to take to school with lunch.  As for flavor, the cakes themselves weren’t overly sweet, so the ganache took them from an afternoon snack to a dessert. I think I’ll be making these again and mixing it up a little with the fillings and the toppings. The white chocolate might have been the better topping with the cherry filling.

TWD: Nutella Buttons

The Tuesdays with Dorie participants don’t publish the recipes, but you can get your own copy of Baking Chez Moi. Feel free to follow along with everyone else here.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Limoncello Cupcakes

Limoncello Cupcakes

I’m trying my best to get back on the Tuesdays with Dorie  bandwagon, and at some point I may actually start posting these on time (unless I continue to be foiled by my throttled internet! That’s right, bandwith on your home internet is not unlimited in Alaska. It’s what my kids ask for almost every day!) What do you do with a recipe when you don’t use the main ingredient? Improvise of course! Since I don’t drink, I knew I wouldn’t be dousing my cupcakes with lemon liqueur, I decided I would just go with a lemon simple syrup. It was the right consistency and the right flavor, so I don’t think I really missed too much.

Limoncello Cupcakes

I was a little worried about adding the cardamom, but the flavor was really subtle, and all the kids loved the cupcakes. Instead of using orange marmalade for the filling I used some Italian mandarin cream that I’ve had in the pantry waiting for a special occasion. It may not have been the best choice. The flavor was amazing, but the texture was a little off after it was baked.

Limoncello Cupcakes

All in all, I was very happy with these cupcakes. The texture with the glaze was perfect, and I loved the flavor. Another plus is that these are simple to make. No muss, no fuss, and everyone is happy that there’s dessert!

Alaska

 

In other news, it’s April 14th, and it’s snowing! For the most part, the weather since I’ve been in Alaska has been amazing. It’s not super cold, and the air is always fresh. Sometimes though, you look at pictures of friends swimming outside back in Texas, and you realize just how far away you are!

The Tuesdays with Dorie participants don’t publish the recipes, but you can get your own copy of Baking Chez Moi. Feel free to follow along with everyone else here.

Grilled Asparagus How To

Grilled Asparagus How To | Frankly Entertaining

‘Tis the season for asparagus, and today we’re talking how to get the most vibrant and delicious greens on your plate. I think the fear that most people have about cooking with asparagus is that it will turn out limp and mushy and like it came from a can. I’ve made one recipe with canned asparagus, and it was not a winner at my house!

I’m not going to lie, I never prepared my own asparagus until I went to a couple’s cooking class when my husband and I were first married (ah, the honeymoon stage, before date night involved a very pricey sitter and a trip to Target!). I cannot for the life of me remember the menu we prepared, ut I do remember the asparagus. I remember all the hints, and ever since, We’ve had nothing but delicious asparagus.

I don’t prepare asparagus all that often, mostly because I don’t think about it. I knew however, that asparagus would be the perfect complement to the lab dinner that I was serving for Easter. The glorious green side came together in the time it took for the lam to rest and the rolls to bake. I love it when a meal comes together!

Grilled Asparagus How To |Frankly Entertaining

Without further ado, here are the simple steps to grilled asparagus:

  1. Pick healthy looking asparagus from the market. If it’s already limp, it’s not going to firm up in the pot.
  2. Snap the stalks at the ends. You don’t need to trim the stalks with a knife. The asparagus will naturally snap at the right place when you bend it.
  3. Bring a deep skillet of salted water to a boil.
  4. Add asparagus to the boiling water, and cook for one minute.
  5. Remove asparagus and immediately place in a bowl of ice water. (Be amazed at how green they get)
  6. Drain the skillet and add butter.
  7. Melt the butter over medium high heat and add the asparagus. Cook just until hot.
  8. You can go over the top and add bacon or garlic, but the butter is all it needs.

See, I wasn’t lying. It’s simple, and it’s amazing. I dare you not to love it!

 

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