Lychee Rickey with Frozen Grapes

I've been experimenting with the Lychee (SOHO) Liqueur; a flavor lost about 4 years now, since we brought back a bottle of Dekuyaper Lychee from St. Thomas, never to be seen again in any liquor store.

My first drink (not pictured) was better, in my opinion. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and a few sectioned pieces, chilled, mixed with Lychee Liqueur. I would say it was almost like a perfumed campari, slightly bitter but very fruity.

This was mandarin seltzer, Lychee Liqueur and some frozen, skinless/seedless green grapes; a loose interpretation of a Rickey cocktail. The grapes are a keeper for other summer cocktails!

Fresh Figs with Prosciutto, Balsamic Glaze

I've been out of commission for a bit and am finally getting back to posting, so I'll start with a ....starter. There were fresh figs at the market, and even though they were good, they were not great. I wish someone would put up signs on previously refrigerated fruit "WARNING: I have been refrigerated and have lost some of my smell and texture, but I am available for sale at $ .....".

The balsamic reduction is with molasses, about 1 tablespoon per cup of balsamic. Set on low heat and let reduce to about 1/4 of a cup or until coats the back of a spoon.

Grilled Eggplant Salad

Grilled Eggplant Salad

  • 2 mini eggplants
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1-2 springs of fresh mint
  • white vinegar to taste
  • salt to taste

Grill eggplants and onions until tender. Let cool slightly and chop into uniform pieces. Chiffonade mint leaves and smash garlic; add to the eggplant and onions. Add about 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1/2 tsp of salt, taste and adjust to get the right combination of seasoning and acidity.


Grilled Polenta with Bacon Whilted Pea Sprouts

This was a great side dish for a grilled rib eye. I got the idea of this combination only after I was loading the groceries into my car. I skipped lunch so I was famished browsing through the store, and ended up with 6 full bags of "stuff".


Cheese and Herb Mini Muffins

I had to cut back 10 different herb plants this morning, so I figured I'd make a little something with the cuttings.

Cheese and Mixed Herb Mini Muffins

1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
black pepper
cayenne pepper
1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tbsp finely chopped herbs (pineapple oregano, dill, sage, cilantro, shiso, marjoram, and lemon thyme)

Mix the dry ingredients together.

2 tbsp melted, unsalted butter
1 egg, whisked
1 c plain, whole milk yogurt

Mix the wet ingredients well, and add the dry ingredients. If the batter is dry, add more yogurt. Spoon into an oiled mini muffin pan. Place the muffins on the middle rack of a 400F degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite jam.


Meyer Lemon Macarons with Apricot Passion Fruit Buttercream

I fell in love with macarons while visiting Paris. Lately they started appearing on some local restaurant menus and still very infrequently in stores. For whatever reason I had not tried making them until today, but was inspired when I saw a sad looking box of shattered bright pink ones at Whole Foods. The price was impressive 10 for $10. I mean, seriously? They are meringue. They do take time to make right, but by weight that's more expensive then the 3 year aged Gouda, which is much more work intensive. Strange comparison, but I was trying to make a point.
My version here was based on the recipe from Serious Eats for the meringue, but I also added 1 teaspoon of ground Meyer lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla sugar, and a few drops of yellow food coloring. For the creme, 8 tablespoons of butter (room temperature, unsalted), 4 tablespoons of apricot jam, flesh of 1 very ripe passion fruit with seeds and a few drops of red food coloring. Whip all the creme ingredients together. If separated, warm on stove top in a stove proof bowl for 10-15 seconds, and whip vigorously to bring together. Follow the recipe on Serious Eats for baking and assembly. Enjoy the airy, brightly colored fruits of your labor!