Friday, June 10, 2016

Serviceberry Shortcake, Yolk Hearts and More.....

Some recent 'stories':

~This year I strayed from the usual serviceberry application and instead piled the berries on shortcake. Really, you could almost put anything on top of a flaky biscuit and whipped cream, but this was by no means a stretch.~

~While slicing open a dozen hard boiled eggs to devil for a potluck.........~

~Too much spinach in the garden led to this questionable idea. Spinach, feta, lemon zest.~


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Lemon Pavlova with Peaches and Cream

Never a big fan of meringue, this version won me over. The slow, low temperature baking process produces a fragile, porcelain-like exterior with a soft, chewy middle. The individual pavlova (named in honor of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova) are shaped with a small well in the center to hold whipped cream and fruit. The recipe may seem involved, but is in fact fairly simple, the key is not to rush the cooling time in the oven.
Here we used canned peaches, but look forward to making these again when the berries come on.

Lemon Pavlova with Peaches and Cream (adapted from May 2016 Better Homes and Gardens)

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream 


  1. Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature 30 minutes (this helps create more volume). Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. For meringue, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment* beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form and meringue is no longer gritty (18 to 20 minutes), scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in lemon juice and orange water. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in cornstarch.
  3. Spoon meringue mixture into 8 large mounds (about 3/4 cup each) on a parchment paper-lined very large baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart. Using the back of the spoon, create an indent in each meringue. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven; let meringue dry in oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Remove and cool completely.

       Whip cream into stiff peaks. Spoon over individual pavlova and top with peaches.
       Garnish with fresh mint. Serve immediately. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ramp Chimichurri

1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch (about 6-8) fresh whole ramps, cleaned
sea salt
lemon zest 
olive oil 
white wine vinegar

Combine first four ingredients in a food processor fitted with a blade. Slowly add olive oil with blade running to slightly thicker than desired consistency. Add a small splash of vinegar at a time the same way, tasting between additions. Store in a jar fitted with a lid. Keep refrigerator or freeze.

Serve on roasted meats, with oven fries, add to soups or scrambled eggs.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Nettles In Bone Broth

Here we are at the very beginning of spring here in the Western North Carolina mountains. After going out in the rain to get these first shoots, they were given a quick bath in a pot of hot bone broth. A little toasted sesame oil, and the equinox is officially marked.