Category Archive: Weekend Gourmet

Weekend Gourmet: Scoop It Up!

This edition of Weekend Gourmet celebrates one of summer’s most iconic treats, ice cream. With the help of an ice cream maker, it couldn’t be easier to turn your kitchen into an ice cream parlor. You don’t need to buy any fancy or expensive models to make gelato, sorbet, sherbet, or classic custard based ice cream. It’s all about how creative you want to get, so next time you visit your favorite gelateria, look around and be inspired by their flavors. Here are some of the most inspiring recipes I found on the blogosphere, and I think you will agree with me that they are all scoopalicious!

Michelle, the Brown Eyed Baker made the above pictured Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream, which is custard based and studded with big chunks of toasted almonds and sweet cherries. The recipe is simple and straightforward, but the result is anything but plain…crunchy, creamy, and chewy all at the same time! Who can resist?

This take on the classic combination of mint and chocolate by Marzipanmom is pure indulgence! Her Mint Chip Ice Cream contains bits of Ghirardelli’s Mint Bliss Chocolate, and it’s topped off with a luscious Mint Chocolate Ganache with Creme de Menthe. This is worth every calorie!!

I’m a huge fan of Nutella, so when I saw the Nutella & Mascarpone Ice Cream with Hazelnut Praline that Ellie from Almost Bourdain had made, I knew I had to share it. This is as rich and sinful as ice cream can get, and I can’t think of a better combination than the earthy flavor of hazelnuts and the silky smoothness of mascarpone. Wow!

Susi at Susi’s Kochen Und Backen Adventures has taken the heavenly combination of bananas, caramel, and nuts to a whole new level with her Banana Cajeta Cashew Gelato. I love how there are a lot of bold flavors here – there’s goat milk in the cajeta, and the ice cream gets an interesting twist from salted chashews. Divine!

So get our your ice cream makers and start scooping!

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Weekend Gourmet: The Mighty Zucchini

Zucchini have got to be one of the coolest vegetables around! Their mild (but fabulous) taste lends itself to all kinds of dishes, from savory to sweet. The firm flesh can be sauteed, steamed, grilled, and even eaten raw. You can use them peeled or unpeeled, sliced into rounds, julienned, cubed, minced, or shaved with a mandoline. The possibilities are endless. For some tasty ideas on how to add culinary spark to your weekend, check out the following treats from around the blogosphere.

Melissa over at Bitchin’ Camero has dished up this wonderful Green Curry Spinach & Zucchini Soup. I love how ordinary ingredients like spinach and zucchini are turned into something extraordinary in this recipe by giving them an Asian twist with green curry paste and coconut milk. How creative! The perfect example for the versatility of zucchini.

For a light and yummy summer lunch, Tracy over at Shutterbean has got just the right recipe. Her Spaghetti with Zucchini, Walnuts, and Raisins look so delicious! This dish cooks in no time, but serves up a burst of flavor. And who can say no to crunchy walnuts paired with sweet raisins? And lots of parmesan on top…mmmm!

And since I think the combination of nuts and raisins in savory dishes rocks, I have to share with you Lydia’s fabulous side dish of Zucchini with Golden Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Lemon at The Perfect Pantry. This would be superb with anything grilled, but especially with chicken or a nice firm fish. Simply delicious!

And for all of you with a sweet tooth (and that includes me), here’s the mouthwatering proof that zucchini pair exceptionally well with chocolate! Lisa from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary made this show stopping Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Don’t you just love the green specks of zucchini in the batter and the generous amount of softly melted chocolate chips on top? What can I say, I have a huge sweet tooth…

So get your aprons out and start cooking up a storm with zucchini this weekend!

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Weekend Gourmet: Summer Bounty

Earlier this week, I made a trip to the market and within minutes was giddy with excitement. The stalls were overflowing with ripe, juicy, brightly colored summer produce! I completely forgot myself and ended up buying loads of fruits and vegetables, which I then had to lug home. But it was so worth it. This abundance of ripe produce only comes around once a year, and lasts way too short, so better make the most of it, right? So without further ado, here’s what caught my eye on the blogosphere – delicious recipes brimming with the best summer has to offer. Enjoy!

For starters, Caitlin features a wonderful Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Brown Butter Corn. I love how instead of the usual oil and vinegar dressing, the corn gets sauteed in brown butter. And farro is one of my favorite grains. It’s so versatile and provides great texture and substance to a salad. I can easily envision this salad as a wonderful side for grilled chicken or fish. Tasty!

Next up, a superb Summer Corn Soup by Jennifer over at Seasons and Suppers. This is a light and healthy recipe bursting with flavor. There’s lots of sweet corn, celery, marjoram, and a delicious topping of sour cream, tomatoes, and fresh basil. Oh, and did I mention that Jennifer serves this soup with home made buttermilk biscuits sprinkled with fleur de sel? Mouthwatering…

This scrumptious Zucchini, Sweet Onion, and Bell Pepper Tart by Branny over at Branny Boils Over is calling my name! It is so refreshing to see bell peppers used creatively rather than in the tired old stuffed version. The tart sounds like a combination of a pie and a quiche, but without the heaviness of cream and too many eggs. It features a crust made with whole wheat flour and olive oil rather than butter. Perfect with a little salad for a light lunch!

And to finish it all off, the ultimate summer Watermelon Peach Limeade from Karen at Our Life In The Kitchen. Whether you make this with vodka, tequila, or no alcohol at all, this drink should best be sipped in a hammock under a palm tree, on a lounge chair by the pool, or in a rocking chair on a shady front porch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The color alone is heavenly… Summer doesn’t get any better than this!

Happy weekend!

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Weekend Gourmet: Mon cheri!

You know summer is here when markets are filled with cherries…deep dark red and juicy. So what better way to welcome you to the first edition of Weekend Gourmet than by showcasing some gorgeous cherry recipes. First up is a mouth watering Cherry Jam with Lemon Pepper Shortbread from Dolcetto Confections. The combination of sweet cherry jam with crisp lemon and pepper flavored shortbread sounds divine. I love the look of the delicate little shortbread rounds topped with the beautifully colored jam.

Nothing beats a Classic Cherry Pie, and Camilla over at Food Republik has a scrumptious recipe that I will have to try out. My favorite way to eat cherry pie is when it’s still warm and the juice from the fruit is all nicely caramelized…and of course, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Ah, summer!

Andrea over at Bella Eats features beautiful photos from a cherry orchard and a fantastic Bread Salad with a twist – instead of the usual tomatoes she uses cherries.  Bold arugula is paired with sweet cherries, creamy goat cheese, crunchy croutons, and a simple dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. What a lovely idea for a light lunch or dinner!

Forget about store bought ice cream! Elle from Elle’s New England Kitchen has made what has got to be the most irresistible cherry ice cream ever – Pistachio Praline Cherry Ice Cream. The name alone is sublime, but this ice cream is truly gourmet and so creative. The base is made with a divine pistachio praline paste, and the ice cream is loaded full of cherries and pistachios.

And for the grand finale – Chocolate Cherry Molten Cakes With Glazed Fresh Cherries from The Tasty Bits. This one pretty much speaks for itself, and I can hardly contain myself at the thought of these warm little cakes, oozing chocolate and topped with cherries that have been glazed with cherry liqueur…

So get your aprons out and start cooking. Happy weekend!

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