Ingredients (from The Year in Food):
8-10 organic lemons (depending on how big your jar is)
about 1/2 cup sea salt (I used Maldon)
In the Jamaican airport I bought myself a cookbook called Eat Caribbean by Virginia Burke to read on the plane. It’s fabulous–full of colorful photographs and delicious recipes. I read the whole thing by the end of the second flight, and already knew I wanted to try jerk chicken right away. Since Ben and I are trying to eat more lightly for spring, I decided to opt for the recipe with jerk chicken on top of a tropical avocado and papaya salad. (Have I mentioned how much I love papayas? If you don’t, or you can’t find one, I bet this would be great with grapefruit, too.)
The jerk seasoning has a lot of ingredients, but is super quick to make. This recipe makes about 2/3 of a cup, so you can store the extra in your fridge and try it on other meats or seafood. I am pretty much dying to try jerk everything. The cookbook even has a recipe for jerk hamburgers! How fabulous does that sound?
This salad was a wonderful light dinner. The citrusy dressing, creamy avocado, sweet papaya, and spiced chicken complement each other perfectly. I will definitely be making this again soon!
This recipe is adapted from Eat Caribbean and serves 3-4.
Ingredients for the jerk seasoning:
6 scallions, trimmed
1-3 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, seeded and trimmed (I chickened out and used half a pepper, and it wasn’t hot at all. So I recommend using at least one whole pepper!)
1 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cane, malt, or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon oil
Blend all ingredients in the food processor to form a paste. Store in the refrigerator.
Ingredients for the jerk chicken:
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1.5 pounds)
Salt or lime juice
1-2 tablespoons jerk seasoning (The recipe called for 1, but I thought the chicken could have used more flavor)
1 tablespoon oil, plus some for cooking
Prepare a bowl of salt water, or water with the juice of 1 lime, and rinse the chicken pieces in it. Pat dry. Rub the chicken with the jerk seasoning and oil, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Heat a bit of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook, turning occasionally, until well-browned on both sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes total.
Next up was the Appleton Estate Rum Tour. The best part was when they opened up the bar after the tour–we got to serve ourselves shots of as many different kinds of rum as we wanted. My favorite was the rum cream, which is featured in my new favorite Jamaican cocktail (see recipe below). It’s like a better version of Bailey’s. I also liked the Berry Hill Pimento Allspice liqueur, which has a pleasant double burn from the alcohol and spice.
I bought an adorable mini-bundt rum cake at the Appleton gift shop, which was a deliciously buttery, rum-soaked cake. My mom has a mini bundt pan, so I am totally planning on making my own version when I get home. Maybe with a glaze involving rum cream? I love that stuff.
|Caves at Xtabi|
So, yesterday was jam-packed with tours, and today we decided to just take it easy by the cliffs. We walked about 15 minutes down the road from our hotel to Xtabi, a resort that we’d heard serves great breakfast. We could smell delicious baked goods even before we rounded the corner and saw the place. Right away, we knew we just wanted to spend the entire day there. The tables for the restaurant are in a large round gazebo and porch perched on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Two sets of stairs lead down to the lagoon, where you can swim or catch a ride on a glass-bottom boat. Another set of stairs lead to the caves, where stone benches invite you to sit and relax in the dark coolness by the grotto. I, however, left in a bit of a hurry after a couple of bats zoomed by uncomfortably close to my head.
Turns out the food is just as fabulous as the surroundings. I ordered the bread basket (hello, carbs do not count when you’re on vacation). It came with a corn muffin, banana bread, and a cinnamon roll, all split open, buttered, and grilled to crispy perfection. Ben ordered an ackee and callaloo omelette, which featured ackee from the tree right outside. It was also delicious, but I did not get a chance to snap a picture before he started eating (I guess it’s kind of annoying if someone is always trying to photograph your food from a few different angles before you can even get a bite in).
We lounged by the cliffs all morning, watching small rainstorms come and go. When it got to be a respectable hour (ahem, 11:30 am), we ordered drinks. I got one called a Dirty Banana–I was sold by the name and the fact that it had rum cream in it. This is my new favorite cocktail! I’m sharing a recipe here based on the ingredients Xtabi uses, so you can try it right away. You might have to tweak some of the quantities to get it just how you like it. Let me know what you think!
Recipe (serves one):
2 ounces Tia Maria
2 ounces rum cream or Bailey’s
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
Drizzle chocolate syrup all over the inside of a tall, frosted glass. Blend the remaining ingredients until smooth. Serve in the chocolaty glass. If you want it extra boozy, top with another splash of Tia Maria. Enjoy!
So, these pictures do not really convey how fresh and delicious this dessert was. It’s even almost healthy, because it has no sugar and is half fruit. It has a splash of wine, which is great for your heart. Also, it is fast and easy to make. A FOOL could make this! And, you would be a fool not to.
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 cup strawberries (I used frozen and didn’t have time to defrost, so I popped them in the microwave)
1 teaspoon Stevia powder
1 1/2 tablespoons red Moscato
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
Blend the first four ingredients and set aside. Whip the cream using a mixer until it holds stiff peaks. Fold about half of the strawberry puree, or whatever amount you prefer, into the whipped cream. Serve with additional strawberry puree on top.
I tried to make a marbled design on top of mine, and it looked slightly better than this in real life.
So, have you ever made a fool? What kinds of fruit have you tried? I am totally into this because it’s the easiest dessert ever and I love to whip cream. Maybe I’ll try it with whipped coconut cream next time.
Chocolate truffles are so easy to make, it’s amazing that places like Godiva get away with charging so much for them. If you want yours to be even more like the ones at the chocolate shop, you can melt your favorite milk or dark chocolate and dip the chilled truffles in it instead of rolling them in cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar. Use a fork to remove the truffle once it’s covered in melted chocolate. Let the extra drip off, and place the truffle on wax or parchment paper or in a candy cup. This is a deliciously rich, fancy, no-bake dessert that will impress anyone. Chocolate truffles also make a great gift wrapped up in a cellophane bag or placed in a decorative box or tin. This recipe makes about 20 truffles.
Vegan Coconut Almond Truffles
Here it is…another fabulous vegan dessert! You
have to try this. It’s easier than easy, and super delicious. No
cooking is involved, and it comes together in less than five minutes.
So, I told you it’s vegan. Can you guess what
the secret ingredient is? I will give you one hint: it’s not avocado
(although I have been wanting to try this recipe for chocolate avocado pudding).
Here’s a picture of the process:
Have you figured it out? It’s coconut cream!
Isn’t that crazy? Maybe you already knew about this whipped coconut
cream miracle, but I had no idea until I saw this photo tutorial
the other day. Today after dinner (I tried to make shrimp korma—it was
pretty good but I want to tweak the recipe before I share it with you) I
had an extra can of coconut milk and a hankering to try it. But, I
felt like it would be lame to just make and eat a bowl of whipped
coconut cream. So, I searched for a dessert featuring this amazing
stuff, and found and adapted this recipe from
Baking Chic. If you have a can of coconut milk, go put it in the
refrigerator right now so you can make this tomorrow. If you don’t have
a can of coconut milk, go out and buy one, then put it in the
refrigerator so you can make this tomorrow. If you’re in a big hurry,
put your can in the freezer so you can make this in half an hour.
Ingredients (serves one):
Cream from one can of coconut milk, chilled
1-3 tablespoons cocoa, to taste
1-3 tablespoons sugar, to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Open the can of coconut milk, and spoon the hardened cream off the
top. Save the liquid for something else, like a smoothie. Using an
electric mixer, whip the coconut cream until fluffy. Mix in sugar to
taste and vanilla. The original recipe called for three tablespoons of
sugar, but I thought that would be way too sweet once I saw how little
cream I had (maybe the yield varies by can). Mine was perfect with a
tablespoon and an extra teaspoon of sugar. Set aside a few tablespoons
of the whipped cream to use as a topping. Mix in the cocoa to taste (I
used a tablespoon and a half). Serve the chocolate mousse with the
reserved whipped cream on top.
Hi, I’m Becky and this is my new blog. The
first recipe I’m going to share with you is for homemade lemon curd.
While you may not think you need to make this unless you’re planning on
hosting a high tea, I’m going to try to convince you that you actually
need to make it right now. This stuff is ridiculously delicious, plus
easy and fun to make. I made mine to pipe inside the lemon coconut
cupcakes I’m making for Easter dinner, but I’m worried I might have to
make a second batch. I’ve been sneaking spoonfuls at every opportunity,
and my boyfriend and I each had a generous dollop on the Dutch babies I
made for breakfast this morning (recipe for that is here).
If you love lemon like I do, you have to try this! It would be
fabulous on scones. I’ve never made scones, but will have to try it if I
end up with any lemon curd left at all.
This recipe is adapted from Ina’s, in the Barefoot Contessa cookbook and here.
I reduced the sugar, and think mine has the perfect balance of sweet
and tart flavors. She says you can make this with oranges or limes
instead of lemons—let me know if you try it!
Ingredients (makes about two cups):
4 lemons, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 pound butter (1 stick) at room temperature
Generous pinch of salt
1. Zest the lemons, avoiding the white
pith underneath the yellow rind (I usually scrape each spot across the
grater twice). Place the zest in a food processor with the sugar, and
process thoroughly to break the zest up into tiny pieces.
2. Juice the lemons (roll them under the palm of your hand first so
they’ll release more juice) until you have 1/2 cup of lemon juice. I
had to use all four lemons to get that much juice.
3. Cream the butter with the lemon sugar (I used my stand mixer
with the paddle attachment). Add the eggs one at a time, and then the
lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
4. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan. At this point, it probably
looks like a big mess. Mine looked like curdled milk. Maybe lemon curd
is named after its gruesome looks at this stage in the process? Don’t
worry though, your lemon curd will smooth right out as soon as it heats
5. Cook the lemon curd over low heat, stirring constantly, until it
thickens (10-15 minutes). I used a thermometer to keep tabs on
things—my lemon curd thickened around 155 degrees, and you don’t want to
let yours get much above 175.
That’s it! You made lemon curd. Now, try not to just eat all of it
with a spoon. I cooled mine and poured it into jars—it will keep for a
couple of weeks in the refrigerator, although I can’t see it ever
lasting that long at my apartment. Tomorrow I’ll be piping mine into
some springtime coconut cupcakes—I’ll let you know how it goes and share
the recipe soon!