Banana Parfaits


I've noticed over the course of writing over the past few years about this, that and the other ingredient that there are a few things that folks have a particular love and devotion for.   One of those things is bananas.  We do love our bananas!  And what's not to love - they are the perfect, scrumptious, portable, non-sticky/drippy/messy fruit.  (Not that I don't sometimes love peach juice running down my chin.)   And one of the others is chocolate.  Duh.  So when I run into a recipe that has both chocolate and bananas, I know that soon I'm going to be digging into something good.  It happened to me with the Banana Bites that are still one of my most popular posts EVER, and here we go again...and this time with some angel food cake, a few almonds, some mascarpone cheese, all in a dessert that will take you, oh, about 15 minutes to assemble, and that's if you are going really slow. Here's the scoop.  Find some pretty wine glasses, the rounder the better.  Now take some angel Read More & Get the Recipe

Creamy Pasta with Roasted Zucchini, Almonds and Basil


We are now in the wonderful midst of the lazy, hazy, wonderful days of summer, and that means the best local veggies of the year.  Fresh local vegetable season is over before you know it, and so I throw them into everything I can think of these days.  This week our local farmers market had a giant mountain of zucchini that was still warm from the sunny field, and that was all the excuse I needed to make this one....and it had the extra added advantage of also needing some basil, which I have about 100 acres of at the moment. Now this DOES involve turning on your oven, which is usually against the rules in my house during the months of July and August unless Absolutely Necessary, but let me tell you that the delicious roasted crispy edges of the zucchini make it Absolutely Necessary.    Once it is done, it gets tossed with a quick little cream sauce that includes lemon zest (yum!) and a few tablespoons of your favorite goat cheese.  My favorite goat cheese comes from these Read More & Get the Recipe

Salted Toffee Chocolate Squares


These quick little babies are a cross between cookie and candy, and are a close cousin to the cookie brittle I made over the holidays. Both of them involve taking a layer of crackers, laying them out in a single layer on a cookie sheets, spreading them with a variety of sweet and sinful stuff, baking them, and standing back, because there is an immediate stampede to the kitchen. Now, my single best piece of advice on both of these recipes is this: Reynolds Non-Stick Foil. That stuff has changed my life, sticky-cooking-stuff-wise, almost as much as my Silpats have. Layer your baking pan with a sheet of that stuff and your sticking worries are over forever. Once you have your foil down, put a single layer of graham crackers down. Sprinkle them with toffee bits (you can find these in your supermarket next to the chocolate chips, usually the Heath brand), and then with the chopped nuts of your choice. I like chopped almonds for this one but that's just me -- go for whatever you Read More & Get the Recipe