Rich Meyer Lemon Tart with Gingersnap Crust

I have a Meyer lemon citrus tree growing in my backyard which makes a crop of fruit each winter — sometimes more, sometimes less. The fruit look like very large lemons with a tart, aromatic flavor, although they are technically not lemons at all. I look forward to figuring out recipes to use these unique lemony-looking fruit. Every now and then I like to indulge in something special and rich. A recipe for a Meyer Lemon Tart with a Gingersnap Crust in a magazine caught my eye. I’ve had this magazine tucked away for a couple of years — this seems like a good time to try the tart. The crust is made like a graham cracker crust — only using gingersnaps. The filling is similar to a Key Lime Pie using sweetened condensed milk and Meyer lemons. The ginger flavor in the crust balances the sweet, rich filling. If you like sweets, this is dessert hard to to resist.

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Let’s Eat Fruit: “Kitchen-Counter Fresh Fruit Bowl”

The 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released to the public on December 29, 2020. These guidelines are updated every five years. Panels of nutritional scientists and researchers meet to review the latest nutrition research on how to keep Americans healthy — what foods and nutrients do we need to eat. Their reports then undergo scrutiny by anyone who wants to make a public comment. (This amounted to more than 62,000 comments!) After all the comments are considered, a policy report is released to the public. The report is important because it dictates how government funds are allocated and spent, especially for food programs. As expected, one of the conclusions state that Americans don’t eat enough fruit. And this, unfortunately, is often true at our house. Although we always have fresh fruit around; sometimes it gets skipped. When I make a “Kitchen-Counter Fresh Fruit Bowl,” the fresh fruit seems to quickly disappear. Here’s a little more about the Dietary Guidelines and also how I make my fruit bowl.

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Cream Cheese & Persimmon Brownies for Halloween

These brownies have just a tint of orange color and just a pungent “bite” that make them perfect for a “hint” of Halloween. I love cream cheese brownies; and I’m never sure which I like best — the brownies or the swirled in cream cheese. I decided to add a ripe persimmon to the cream cheese filling of this delicious brownie recipe for a Halloween effect.

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Alice’s Small English Cottage Pudding with a Gluten-Free Twist

Every now and then my friend, Alice, sends me an idea for a blog post. Her recipe for “English Cottage Pudding,” turned out to make a delightful dessert. As we discovered, it is not a pudding at all. Americans would call this a small 8″ x 8″ cake. When a sauce — in this case cherry sauce — is poured over the cake as a topping, the result is a moist and flavorful cake. Alice practices gluten-free cooking and she substituted gluten-free flour in the recipe. It changes the texture of the cake, but it is still delicious. Since fresh cherries are plentiful in the grocery stores in August, I made a fresh Cherry Sauce for the topping. And I found some antique English china dishes dating from 1875 to photograph my cake.

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Holly Clegg’s Strawberry Custard Brûlée and a Blackberry Variation

This blog post is a tribute to cookbook author, Holly Berkowitz Clegg, who passed away last week. Holly raised her family in Baton Rouge and lived here for many years. Her message began as a healthy approach to southern cooking with easy meals in a series of “Trim & Terrific” cookbooks. Over the years her accomplishments include authoring 17 cookbooks selling over 1.5 million copies, appearing in national media and writing a bi-weekly food column for our local newspaper, the Advocate. I am making a blackberry variation of a recipe from one of her cookbooks, “Strawberry Custard Brûlée.” It is light and tasty. It exemplifies her goal to make things low-fat and easy. I like it — you will too. Continue reading

Luscious Blueberry Pound Cake

It is Mother’s Day today. Here’s an easy and elegant cake for the occasion. The first batch of blueberries on the bushes in my backyard are ready for picking and I decided to bake an blueberry pound cake. This recipe is a simple dessert to make. Last summer my teenage grandson came for to visit; we had a baking session and baked this cake. Continue reading

Persimmon Log Roll

I wanted to bake something really unique for a fall covered dish supper. I kept looking at the persimmons ripening on my backyard tree. How about a persimmon sponge cake roll? Now that’s different. Well I was in a hurry — the egg whites didn’t get stiff and my husband ate one of only two ripe persimmons. But I took the cake anyway and was pleased that it all disappeared. The cinnamon in the cake and cream cheese filling really toned down the flavor of the persimmons. Many folks said how tasty the cake was. Think I’ll make it again — this time properly.

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Variations on a Pound Cake

I love to bake desserts especially cakes and cookies. During the winter holiday season they make great homemade gifts and elegant additions to a festive meal. I received a Poppy Seed Pound Cake one year as a gift which was delicious. So I thought it would be fun to make some old-fashioned pound cakes and started experimenting with recipes. Here’s what happened.Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake - 1 - IMG_0914_1

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Most restaurants in the South include “Bread Pudding” on their menus; it is a popular dessert offering here in Louisiana.  The baked bread and egg custard is sweet and rich, often accompanied with Rum Sauce. But, I have to admit that I never really liked this dessert. That is until I discovered Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme’s version from the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans. His version is sweet and light with aromatic pecans; accompanied by a Lemon Sauce and Chantilly Cream. It will turn you into a “Bread Pudding” believer.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Lemon Sauce - 1 - IMG_0795_1

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Let’s Make Persimmon Ice Cream (with Frangelico liqueur)

Burr!  It’s cold outside tonight; but never too cold for homemade ice cream.  What a cliche. Really, nothing compares to homemade ice cream, although some of the ice cream chain stores come close. And where could you ever find persimmon ice cream?

persimmon ice cream - IMG_0723_1

When my father and father-in-law happened to be in town at the same time, they would always disappear together to locate the best ice cream store. Our family loves ice cream, and we made many favors of homemade ice cream when I was growing up.

I’ve continued to experiment with different types of ice cream over the years. Traditionally ice cream is rich in cream–making it a high fat, high calorie dessert. I have made several variations which are low in fat and taste surprisingly good. Persimmon Ice Cream is one such example.

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