Tag Archives: summer

Peach Sorbet

Bellinis are delicious and I love them!  I have made Bellini cupcakes before and they were spectacular.  This idea popped into my head of creating a frozen Bellini or float.  I thought to myself, what if I made use of the wonderful, seasonally perfect, sweet, fresh peaches to make a sorbet or ice cream and then topped it with Prosecco.  This idea my friends, was genius!

To make a Bellini float you need 2-3 ingredients; peach sorbet, Prosecco (or any sparkling wine), and a peach slice, if desired, for garnish.  Simply scoop  1-2 scoops of sorbet into a wine glass and top with Prosecco.  Garnish, cheers, indulge.  Wonderful!

What I did not anticipate was how amazing the sorbet was going to be.  The texture is so incredibly rich and creamy it’s hard to remember there isn’t any cream or milk in the dessert.  This sorbet may be on the “lighter” side and be fat-free, but there is still a lot of sugar here.  I try and eat healthy meals, but I let my desserts be rich and decadent!

I made the sorbet on a Wednesday afternoon to have for a dinner party on Thursday.  I quickly discovered the peach sorbet was way too delicious to just shove in the freezer and wait 24 hours.  So I did what anyone on summer vacation would do; I chopped up some strawberries and called it lunch!

This is the second recipe in my boozy back-to-school tribute.  I add a bit of triple sec to the sorbet base to add creaminess and reduce the size of the ice crystals.  Science time – alcohol changes the freezing temperature resulting in a smoother texture.  Do it, add a little booze to your ice cream, it’ll change your life and your ice cream/sorbet will taste better.  Anyway, fresh peach sorbet on a lazy August afternoon, amazing!  Perfect summer in your bowl!

Print the recipe!

Peach Sorbet
Adapted from The Food Network
Yield – 1 quart + a little extra

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
5 large peaches, ripe
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons triple sec

  1. Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer the night before.
  2. Add the sugar and the water to a small saucepan.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  You have just made simply syrup.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Score the bottom of each peach with a large cross and add to the boiling water for about 5 minutes.
  4. Peel the peaches and roughly chop.  Use a blender/food processor/immersion blender or whatever you have to puree the peaches.
  5. Add the peaches to large bowl with 1 cup of the simple syrup, lemon juice, and triple sec.  Stir to combine.  Place the mixture in the freezer for about an hour to cool down.
  6. If using a KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment, set it and turn to the lowest speed.  Add the peach sorbet base to the bowl and churn for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Place the sorbet in a freezer safe container and freeze until hard.
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Filed under Ice Cream

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream in Jars

I have seen cakes and desserts in jars all over the blog-o-sphere and Pinterest and it’s finally my turn to take a stab at it!  The adorable-ness factor is huge, as is the portability.  My mom loved the mason jars and she made sure to get them all back.  When I saw mason jars on sale at Target, I knew I was ready to try my hand at desserts in jars!

I sort of cheated here.  This recipe has my favorite chocolate cake recipe I used in the Mint Chocolate Cupcakes.  Even though I gave you a half recipe, I actually made a full recipe, made 12 cupcakes, and poured the rest into pan to bake for these desserts in a jars!  What can I say?  I’m a crafty lady!

These little guys were brought over to share with my brother at his new apartment.  He’s a big boy now and moved out of the parent’s house into his own place!  I’m so proud! It’s weird though because my parents turned his old room into the guest room, so at night I would often turn into my old room, not the room I was sleeping in!  Change is hard.

Desserts in jars are the way to go, I finally understand the hype.  But remember, the jar is just the delivery method, the inside, tasting portion is full of endless possibilities! This recipe is a bit of a riff off of strawberry shortcake but with chocolate cake.  The cake is moist, the strawberries fresh & sweet, and the whipped cream ties everything together.  These cakes lasted an easy four days in the fridge.  If you make 12, the portions are a little skimpy, so as my dad said, just eat 2!

Print the Recipe.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Whipped Cream in a Jar
Yield – 9-12 8 ounce jars
Adapted from Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa, I use Hershey’s Special Dark
3/4 cup sugar
5/8 teaspoon (1/2 +1/8 teaspoon) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons 2% milk
1/3 cup hot water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Grease and coat a 12×9” pan in shortening and cocoa powder.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Measure the milk and oil.  Add the egg and the vanilla to the mixing glass and beat together with a fork.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined and then scrape down the sides.
  5. Add hot tap water and whisk until the batter is well combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted insides comes out clean.
  8. Once cool, cut into 2 inch circles and the crumble the rest.

16 ounces strawberries
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries.  Slice and place in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar over the strawberries and toss lightly.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to macerate the strawberries.
  3. Whip the cream until you reach soft peaks.  Add in the powdered sugar and the vanilla.  Whip until stiff.
  4. Add the whipped cream to the a piping bag.
  5. Set up an assembly line; empty jars, cake rounds, strawberries, whipped cream, and cake crumbles.
  6. Add the chocolate cake rounds to each jar.  Push down with your fingers.
  7. Spoon the strawberries evenly into each jar, add the juice too!
  8. Pipe a layer of whipped cream in each jar.
  9. Top with a sprinkling of cake crumbs.
  10. Pipe a whipped cream star on each.
  11. Screw on the lids and refrigerate until you are ready to enjoy.

Note – I made 12, 8 ounce jars, but they were loosely packed.  If you wanted more cake/filling per serving, divide everything into 9 jars.


Filed under Cake

Strawberry Vodka Lemonade

After I had listened to a year old podcast by Joy the Baker and Tracy of Shutterbean, I was inspired to make this Infused Vodka from Tracy’s website.  Once the vodka idea was in my head, I had several ideas of what to do with said vodka!  The first idea was a strawberry lemonade.

The sad thing was I had never made lemonade before.  After some high quality Internet research it seemed like the magic equation for lemonade was 1 cup water to 1 cup sugar to 1 cup lemon juice and then add water to taste.  I reduced the amount of sugar in my simple syrup because I knew the strawberry vodka would be really sweet.

I was so pleased with this cocktail!  It starts going down so smoothly and I was like, oh man, I thought this would be stronger.  But then, after several tastes, the strength started to catch up with me!  This cocktail packs a delicious, hidden punch!  The sweetness of the strawberry vodka is balanced by the tartness of the lemonade.  I can’t wait to make this again!

Print the Recipe.

Strawberry Vodka Lemonade
Yield – 4-6 servings

3-4 days before serving
16 ounces strawberries, washed, trimmed, & cut in half
3 cups vodka (I used Stoli Strasberi)

  1. Add the strawberries and vodka together in a pitcher or jar with a lid.
  2. Shake or stir the mix.  Place the mixture in a cool dark place.
  3. Try to shake or stir the mix 1-2 times per day for three days.
  4. Strain the mix through a fine mesh strainer into a bottle, I just used the empty vodka bottle.  Store until needed.

An hour or two before serving
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh lemon juice (7 lemons)
2 cups strawberry vodka
1 cup water
sliced lemons and strawberries for garnish

  1. Add the sugar and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally to make a simple syrup.
  2. Juice the lemons.
  3. Add the simple syrup, lemon juice, strawberry vodka, and the remaining 1 cup of water to a pitcher.  Mix to combine.
  4. Add in the sliced lemons and strawberries. Refrigerate for at least an hour to cool the drink and let the flavors marry.
  5. To serve add ice to a glass and pour over.  Garnish as desired.


Filed under Beverages

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Nichole came to visit!!  She used to live right down the street but then she moved far, far away to Arizona.  We always have a great time when we are reunited and this trip was no different!  Nichole celebrated her birthday while she was in town and we went to one of my favorite restaurants, Bogota, for a delicious dinner and wonderful drinks!  After dinner, we came back to the apartment for dessert and our annual birthday dance party, true story.

Some friends are not huge chocolate lovers and Nichole is one of them.  In the past I have made her unique desserts like pistachio-lime-zucchini cake which is much more delicious than it sounds!  This year I sent her a link to my Pinterest page and told her to pick out a few things.  I was not surprised at all when she included these lemon, blueberry cupcakes among her choices!  And this, my friends, is a great choice!

The lemon cupcake is soft and moist and full of juicy blueberries.  The frosting is very sweet but has the right balance of tartness and lemony goodness.  The blueberry drizzle is a perfect and much needed topping to make this cupcakes marvelous!  Its sweetness brings everything together and adds just the right finish.  This is a messy cupcake you should eat on a plate, but embrace the mess, its all worth it!

Print the Recipe.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Yield – 12 cupcakes

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup frozen blueberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Zest the lemons and add to the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
  3. With your fingers rub the sugar and lemon together for about 2 minutes to release the essential oils.
  4. Add in the butter and oil and mix until well combined.
  5. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  6. Add in the yogurt.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  7. Sift together the flour, powder, and salt onto wax paper.
  8. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions with 2 additions of buttermilk in between.  Mix until just combined.
  9. Fold in the blueberries to combine.
  10. Use a standard size ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the batter between lined cupcake cups.
  11. Bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked all the way through.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Blueberry Sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

  1. Whisk together the sugar, corn starch, and water in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add in the blueberries and stir to combine.
  3. Heat and bring the mixture to a boil and then cook for 5 minutes until the blueberries break down.
  4. Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend the blueberries into a smooth sauce.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Lemon Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
small squirt of yellow food coloring

  1. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Place the frosting into a piping bag and pipe a nice blob on the cupcake.
  3. Transfer the blueberry sauce to a squeeze bottle and drizzle on top of the cupcakes.


Filed under Cupcakes

Lemon Blueberry Scones

Sometimes you just need to have a weekend marathon of Downton Abbey, and any marathon that involves a British period piece require scones.  It’s like a law or something.  After our taco dinner salads, we needed something sweet the next day to continue our marathon.

These scones are more biscuit like than muffin like, which I love!  They are not too sweet and and definitely delicious with the little bursts of blueberry throughout.  All the cream makes for a very tender scone!  Scones are easy to throw together and require minimum equipment.

If you read my last post about Downtown Abbey it should be clear how obsessive I am.  Season three is set to begin showing in September, I cannot wait!!!

Print the recipe.

Lemon Blueberry Scones
Recipe from Baking Illustrated, page 58
Yield – 8 scones

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
5 tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon lemon zest (1 lemon)
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup heavy cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. Use a pastry blender to combine the butter and lemon zest into the flour.  Cut the dough until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Gently toss in the blueberries.
  5. Add the cream and mix with a spatula until just combined.
  6. Pour the whole mixture on the counter and knead lightly to bring together.  Don’t overwork the dough, it’s going to be crumbly, just let it be.
  7. Push the dough into a circular shape and cut into 8 pieces.  Place each piece on the parchment paper.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.  Let cool on a wire rack.


Filed under Breakfast