Thursday, February 18, 2010

Unexpected Gifts

It’s been a pink week for me! On Tuesday, I arrived to teach a private class at Cooks Warehouse and a present was waiting for me. The Brookhaven team knows me well - A “Glam Box” of Pink Lipsticks and Glosses were the perfect fun surprise! So in the spirit of unexpected gifts, fun and laughter, here’s one of my favorite desserts. So Fast, Easy, and Delicious, it's a gift to you AND your family or guests.
Grilled Bananas with Pecans and Cinnamon
4 Ripe Bananas

¼ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 TB Cinnamon, plus more for garnish
1/2 Gallon Vanilla or Ginger
Ice Cream or Yogurt

1/2 Cup Pecans, Chopped and 
Step One
Slice the bananas, in their skins, in half crosswise and then lengthwise so each banana yields 4 pieces. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle the honey on the cut sides of the bananas and sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar. Let the bananas sit for 5 minutes.
Step Two
Place the bananas, cut side down, on the center of grill. Grill for 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Using a pair of tongs, turn them over and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the skin darkens and easily pulls away from the bananas. When done, place on a plate, and while still warm, dollop with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream, sprinkle with roasted Pecans and cinnamon. Serve Immediately.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweets for the Sweet - Valentine Truffles

February is a wonderful month for those of us who love chocolate. Yeah! I would much rather a box of homemade candies than ones that are purchased, wouldn't you? I am sharing my super easy and delicious chocolate truffle recipe, so you can pass on the love, too. The truffles are not health food, but a real treat made with all natural ingredients and no preservatives or artificial flavors. One unctuous dark sweet can take care of a whole lot of chocolate craving.

This recipe is so easy, your children can make them with you. If you are sharing with the little ones, just substitute any fruit juice for the 2 TB of raspberry liqueur. I love dark chocolate, and like rolling the truffles in cocoa powder, but if you can switch it up, by rolling them in chopped toasted nuts or coconut.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate (at least 70% Choc Liquor), chopped finely
¾ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 TB Unsalted Butter
2 TB Raspberry Liqueur
½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Step One
Place the chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Heat the cream and the butter on the stovetop until it comes to a boil. Immediately remove it from the heat and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for about 5 minutes to soften the chocolate, then whisk the chocolate and the cream mixture together. Be patient, it will get smooth. Add the liqueur.

Step Two
Pour the mixture in a 9 x12” pan and cover it really well with plastic wrap. (Fats like butter and cream pick up off odors in the frig very easily, so you really want it well covered.) Place the pan in the frig for at least 8 hours, or overnight – or until it firms up.

Step Three
Place the cocoa powder on a plate. Remove the chocolate from the frig. Using a teaspoon, scrape the chocolate mixture into a small ball and place it in the cocoa mixture. Roll it around until it is coated, and then place on another plate. At this point you can return them to the frig, or serve them right away.