Friday, September 9, 2011

Desserts this week

Just about all of my favorite desserts -- with the possible exception of caramel flan -- are built around fruit. And this week was no exception. The Pavlova (which I've made with all manner of berries as well as peaches) really kept a nice shape for filling, so I snapped a photo of it. Too bad the prettiest one I ever made was with raspberries and blackberries, and darned if I didn't forget to take a picture that time.

And tonight I tried a clafoutis with plums (sprinkled with brown sugar) for the first time. Usually I make it with a jar of cherries from Trader Joe's or fresh apples or pears. Plums weren't quite as good, but they made a more photogenic dessert. I like plums better in a rustic tart or a cobbler.

Both desserts created through the magic chemistry of eggs. For one, egg whites beaten really, really stiff with sugar to create a lovely, marshmallowlike meringue, and for the other whole eggs just lightly whisked to make a rich custardy dessert.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Home Spa Lunch

Although every evening I prepare a full dinner from scratch, I just graze during the day, unless I'm going out to lunch. But the grazing too often is a few slices of cheese and a couple of cookies, or, of late, reduced-fat potato chips with sour cream. Bad in so many ways.

So today I decided to make the two of us a spa lunch after our respective runs (well, mine is more of a dreadmill shuffle, but it beats nothing).

I made Giada's Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip and her homemade pita chips and cut up what is probably almost the last of the good watermelon of the summer. I thought her dip a little bland, but the "real runner" said it was good and I don't like anything but spicy Mexican or Indian anymore, that I'm losing my tastebuds. At any rate, it was pretty and pretty healthy, the only fat being a bit of olive oil in both the dip and the chips. Quite a balanced plate, with protein in the beans, green in the spinach, and antioxidants in the melon (not scientific, but I think that's right). Better than the usual alternatives, and I'm striving for more lunches like this.