Pretzels certainly have a twisted history. The exact moment of invention is a little unclear, but most historians can trace the history to around 610 AD. Italian monks presented their students with baked dough shaped in the form of crossed arms. Crossed arms were their traditional symbol of prayer. As the tradition spread throughout Europe, the three holes were widely accepted to represent the holy trinity. The spread of Catholicism throughout Europe and eventually the new world increased the popularity of the soft, doughy snack. Dairy, meat, and eggs are prohibited during the period of lent and the pretzel was a simple and delicious way for Catholics to enjoy a snack without breaking tradition.
Did you grow up with a recipe that didn’t seem to fit into your family heritage, or the culture or region you resided in? You love it of course because you grew up loving it, but it’s unclear how and why it was always available in your home. Baklava is one of those quizzical foods for me. The treat was always at holiday celebrations, birthdays, and occasionally would even show up in our lunch boxes.
Do you ever wonder how the first pastry was invented? As a chef, sometimes I wonder these things. Especially about the complicated recipes like mini pies. What happened, someone decided they liked the least desirable part of bread and ripest fruits available so much that they wanted to wrap them up together and roast them over flames?
Allegedly, pie has been around since the ancient Egyptians. It is said that pies were originally made simply to store the filling for eating later and not to eat the crust with the filling. Thank god someone made the mistake of taking a bite out of the full pie...
Cheesecake is a simple dessert that provides an incredibly rich and decadent flavor and creamy texture.
Strawberry and chocolate is often associated with the very simple dessert known as a chocolate covered strawberry. Pure and simple, this combination of flavors is often associated with love and decadence. I have definitely fallen in love with our strawberry chocolate mini layer cakes. Miniature cakes are the perfect way to serve guests a personal serving at any event or dinner party. Perfectly suited for weddings, baby showers or even engagement parties. There is no need for cake cutting or even running out of cake to serve your guests. Typically I will create cakes from scratch but this cake is moist, delicious and super easy to make when you are lacking in time and energy.
If you love to entertain and you are looking for a simple, delicious and beautiful dessert then look no further. Mint chocolate cookie parfaits combines the flavors of a hot cup of cocoa, the smooth and creamy filling of a cheesecake and the soft chewy texture of a cookie all in one dessert.
Fireworks, picnics, cottages, bon fires...... If you live in the United States, the most beloved of all summer holidays is the Fourth of July. A time when our country celebrates its independence from Great Britain. A time for family, friends and celebration with food and drinks.
There is nothing quite as delicious as a key lime pie! The tart key lime filling mingles well with the sweet and buttery graham cracker crust, but let's not forget the whipped cream! Mounds of freshly whipped cream is an essential component to the perfect key lime pie. But let's be honest, unless you plan on eating the pie directly from the pie plate (which is perfectly acceptable), or you are hosting a beautiful plated dinner, hauling around a plate of pie at a party that is constantly slipping to the edge is a bit cumbersome. I have a solution! Key lime pie mini parfaits!
Portable and easy to eat in just a few bites, this parfait has all the components of a traditional key lime pie in a very easy to serve size.
The Florida Mangoes are in season and they are delicious! Fragrant, large, and brightly colored, the Tommy Atkins mango is the most popular variety seen in the grocery stores and at farmers markets. Mangoes are at their peak from June-September.
When picking a mango, choose one that is firm but the outer skin gives when gently pushed. The aroma should be sweet and tropical, and the coloring should be consistent throughout the fruit, ranging from bright red to a deep orange. Mangoes can be utilized in many applications from a savory and spicy mango salsa to a sweet and juicy tropical fruit salad. When in season, the most delicious and unique way to let the fruit shine is in a sweet and creamy mango tart.
Classic blueberry pie is the quintessential summer dessert, and the perfect addition to any barbecue or backyard picnic that you may have planned this summer. This past weekend was the unofficial kickoff to barbecue season. Many of us celebrated the Memorial holiday weekend grilling out with friends and family, while others brought the RV out of storage or dusted off, and aired out their tents. I have beautiful memories of big family picnics packed up and hauled out to the Holland State Park. We would pick the perfect spot for everyone and set up camp. My grandmother always made her famous potato salad and perfectly cooked pasta salad with huge chunks of cheddar cheese. Aluminum foil would be brought out to line the community grills, and burgers and hotdogs would be cooked to perfection. There was never a lack of desserts -- homemade cookies and pies would magically appear from the picnic basket towards the end of the meal. Completely stuffed and happy to relax on our blankets in the sun, we would watch the boats slowly sail through the channel on their way out to bigger bodies of water. I feel very blessed to have such wonderful Michigan summer memories of my childhood. What is your favorite summer holiday memory?
Do you remember the vanilla candied lemon post, and how beautiful those bright yellow lemons looked in the jar? Did you look at those vanilla candied lemons and think, "I should make those!"? Maybe you made them, and now they stare at you every time you open the fridge door. You wonder, "What in the world am I going to do with these?" I have just the solution: lucious mini-lemon cheesecakes with vanilla candied lemon slices.Continue reading