Saturday, March 31, 2012


A great addition to an Easter buffet.  Feel free to substitute store bought marshmallows.  It won't make that much of a difference.

While this is not the classic Ambrosia salad served in the South, I have had it like this many times and love it.  Guess that's the child in me.  It reminds me of a fruit salad my mother used to make years ago.  Maybe it's time to revive that one.  Stay tuned...

Serves 6

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 6 ounces homemade mini marshmallows, approximately 3 cups
  • 1 cup clementine orange segments, approximately 6 clementines
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup drained maraschino cherries


Place the cream and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks are formed. Add the sour cream and whisk to combine. Add the marshmallows, orange, pineapple, coconut, pecans and cherries and stir to combine. Transfer to a glass serving bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, Food Network

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ricotta Orange Pound Cake With Strawberries



A great dessert for Easter Sunday. The only thing I would add is a heavy dose of homemade whipped cream!



  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered or 3 oranges, cut into supremes


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and Amaretto until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a mesh sieve, dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar.

Meanwhile, place the strawberries (or orange supremes) in a small bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit until the juices have pooled around the strawberries.

To serve, slice the cake and serve with a spoonful of strawberries and their juices over the top of the cake.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Almond Cake

There's nothing like an almond cake in the Spring.  Great with berries!

Serves 6 to 8


1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup almond paste, cut into half-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
4 egg yolks
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, cake flour and baking powder. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and almond paste on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla extract and slowly pour in confectioners' sugar. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Raise speed to high and add the egg yolks and whole eggs, one at a time. Reduce speed to medium and add the sour cream and dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool. Remove from pan and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Recipe Giada de Laurentis

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Planning Your Garden With An Expert

How would you like to have a professional garden designer help you plan your garden? And by professional,  I don't mean just any professional,  but one whose garden designs have been profiled in cover stories by Southern Living and Atlanta Magazine’s Home and whose work has been photographed and highlighted in such notable media outlets as Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, and HGTV.

An avid plant collector and gardener herself, Sandra Jonas has been designing noteworthy landscapes for over 20 years, from residential gardens of all types to public parks, cemeteries, and restorations of historic sites.    Fortunately for all of us, she publishes the blog Recreating Eden in which she shares her extensive knowledge and experience.

Well, this nice and accomplished lady happens to be my friend.  I have never met her in person but we have exchanged enough emails and posts to make it officially so,  You see, she plants and I's kind of a symbiotic  relationship,  but it works.  Last year we were supposed to meet,  but illnesses in our respective families prevented us from doing so.  Not so this year, for I don't care how far I have to drive to meet this fabulous lady and see her potager.

If you want to join Sandra and me while we plant and cook, check out her latest post on preparing the soil for your vegetable garden.

Oh, and by the way, she used to be a model...a real knockout!

The dead flowers are still on the hydrangeas while the new growth has started to come in

Can't wait to get my hands on these...



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