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Mint Basil Chip Popsicles

Infusing fresh herbs into cream is what makes these Mint Basil Chip Popsicles unforgettable

So much can change in a year. If I looked back on my life, I always knew where I was going or at least tried to play a good game. From high school to journalism school. From j-school to grad school. And then things completely went off the rails.

What looked like a future in India became a present in the Bay area that painted sweeping strokes of a new future. I stayed tuned into the possibility of rethinking where I was headed until one very decisive moment of the kind of vocational meltdown that can only happen in a public place. In a darkened movie theater, the heroine of the flick made a decision anyone else might think is career suicide. And, in the end, she re-envisioned a life for herself that was good and whole. What sprang unexpectedly into an emotional moment was the idea that somewhere I had lost my way. Could I get it back? I sat there, unexpectedly weeping during this scene of The Devil Wears Prada?!  My boss a few seats down. Hoping against hope that she wouldn’t see me with her laser intuition and grill me.  Instead, Anne Lamott saw me as I approached her hustling a few popcorn kernels into her mouth while in a lobby line for another movie. We didn’t say much. She didn’t need to. A beacon of light only has to shine.

And thus began a tiptoeing back to consider what my future might hold and how I might claim it. Perhaps it seems like a misstep to follow that drumbeat rhythm taking you deeper into your story, but mine led me to poetry school and gratefully, a husband, a house, two cats. Not at all the life I thought my wanderlust leanings would go.

One of the cats heard the siren song of the Mint Basil Chip Popsicles

And yet, we surprise ourselves all the time, don’t we. Finding an appetite for peas as an adult that we abhorred as children. Circling back to the classical music of childhood when contemporary music doesn’t quite cut it. Infusing fresh farmer’s market herbs into cream for something with a bit more oomph but that still hits all the right keys for my Mint Chip ice cream loving heart. Mint Basil Chip Popsicles are this year’s gold star pick on a wooden stick.

It’s popsicle week. Last year I narrowly missed it by a few days with my Pink Peppercorn Fudge Popsicles but followed along swooning over the wide range of flavors. Last year was the deluge of good work writing, shooting, and planning that continues on into this year. It’s not where I expected to be when dreaming of the future as a child, but I can’t envision any other future better than this one. We make our lives or they make us?

The secret to Mint Basil Chip Popsicles is fresh chervil. It lends an herbal note you can't quite put your finger on.

Mint Basil Chip Popsicles

The inspiration for the base of these popsicles came from a visit to Tartine Manufactory and a swirl of their fior di latte herbal soft serve. I prefer my chocolate chipped in chocolate chip ice cream and accomplished the right texture using either the small or large holes on a box grater.

Makes about 8 popsicles

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 cups fresh mint leaves (about 1 bunch)
1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 2 robust sprigs)
1/2 cup fresh chervil leaves (about 9 slender sprigs)
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, grated

Bring the cream, milk and sugar to boil. Whisk to prevent scorching. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and cook for  2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Infuse the mint, basil, and chervil in the hot cream for 30 minutes. Strain out the leaves. Stir the chocolate shards into the infused liquid. Pour the liquid into the popsicle molds, filling them ¾ of the way. Leave no chocolate behind–spoon any remaining chocolate shards into the wells. Freeze for an hour. Insert the popsicle sticks. Freeze for 3 more hours.

Grating the chocolate for these Mint Basil Chip Popsicles gives you that classic chipped chocolate texture.

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Chocolate Mint Trifle

Chocolate Mint Trifle

If I could wish anything for you, it’s that you might know joy. In early 2014, back when I contemplated if I should make resolutions or whether I should balk at the idea of making the same resolutions for the umpteenth year, I began thinking differently about the promise of what a new year gives us. Instead of resolutions I could easily eschew, I wanted an anthem that could carry me through the unknown curves and dips of the year to come. At that early stage, I declared it would be a year of joy. What I didn’t know then is the kind of year that this one would shape up to become. What I did know is that joy sometimes is a choice and can traverse terrain where happiness might not easily go.

I’ve written here about joy before and perhaps it’s more a life anthem that I want to dance along with or wings I want to cinch onto my shoulders. On a blog, there is only so much that one writes about personally that is fit for public consumption. Though I write here regularly, about once a week these days, all the living gets done off the screen. This is the same for you too. Even in the midst of the social media tools to connect us, there are some times when we live unscripted and quietly. The stories that get pulled out of my personal vault get determined by a criteria of whether they can be used to build up another person–in whatever they are enduring, letting them see they are not alone. To live a full life is to experience the range of human emotion… and the experiences that can elicit them. Grief colored my days grey and blue for over a year and I wrote about it that it might bring comfort to someone who is just beginning the journey in that vast valley. Trepidation stained my mom’s cancer diagnosis to be swiftly followed by triumph. Jubilation flavored telling you about my tea book that is coming out in April. Nerves and elation will equally attend my book tour events in the spring. When you visit the food poet I hope you find a glass half full to drink from that will refresh your spirit.

This year, 2014, has been full of hard stops and end words that bleed into other lines and stanzas of poetry. I leave it so grateful for all of the incredible lessons it has taught me, arm-in-arm with a dizzying array of really smart people I’ve met in 2014.  In 2015, I will continue to write about food, poetry, and their intersections here on the food poet. And, I will let tea infuse the page in a few ways I’m currently brewing up. What 2015 will hold is also somewhat unknown.  But like this Chocolate Mint Trifle, all of the bits of our lives saturate the other ones, and, for you, I hope that those bits are mostly sweet. May it involve a serving of chocolate mint pudding soaking into chocolate cake and freshly whipped cream and a helping of joy so pervasive it will not disappoint. Happy New Year’s.

Click here for my Chocolate Mint Trifle recipe on the Weiser Kitchen.

Chocolate Mint Trifle

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Recipes

Chocolate Mint Pudding

Chocolate Mint Pudding

You know how some people became enraptured with cupcakes and dolloped, smeared or piped their weight in cupcakes during the time that that particular trend peaked? Do you remember the blocks long line to obtain the famed cronut and the intense scrutiny of bakers to try and match that masterpiece of Dominique Ansel’s? If you live in the Bay area, do you remember the kouign amann hysteria that began curling its sugar buttered edges around many a local patisserie? Or, let’s mark the time when macarons made their debut as the potential new darling once cupcakes had ceded their spot? All roads lead to cupcakes and candied bacon.

It’s not really that I eschew trends, but what could a cupcake ever have that can trounce a cup of cold custard? My affection for puddings and custards has unabated over the years. Somehow it has snuck past being latched onto as the new dessert centerpiece of the century, which is fine by me. Years after the cake and ice cream phenomena of birthday celebrations had finally passed (Serve it with a spoon? Serve it with a fork? Why do we not have sporks?), I came to terms with the idea that I could forego cake and ice cream on my birthday. If I could serve exactly what my heart desired, a sweet to usher in a sweet new year of life, I would hands down pick the sumptuous swirl of creamy pudding. The horror. I can imagine birthday purists cowering in their carrot cake and vanilla ice cream hovels. Is there a sexier dessert? Possibly. It might not have all the whistles, sequins and flair that one can inflict upon a cake or cupcake, but a good pudding has heft along with the creamy consistency that makes it a dessert to savor slowly. Several years ago, I began carting home a small tub of Chocolate Pudding from Tartine and would take several days to eat my way through that dark decadence. This year, I made my own.

Inspired by the idea of peppermint hot chocolate, I decided to whisk up a batch of Chocolate Mint Pudding. There is a whisper of mint, a come hither hint that does not pop you in the face with pungency, but makes semisweet chocolate so much better. Wait until you see how I’ve finagled it into a dessert for New Year’s Eve next week. But this week, I give you the dessert that will always keep my peripheral vision in check–if you bring pudding to the table, chances are good that I will soon follow.

Chocolate Mint Pudding

Chocolate Mint Pudding

Makes 4 servings

 

5 egg yolks

4 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups cream

2 cups whole milk

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

½ teaspoon peppermint extract

Freshly whipped cream, optional

Fresh peppermint leaves, optional

 

Whisk the yolks and cornstarch together in a large bowl into a bright yellow paste. Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate, placed in a medium bowl. Warm the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat for six to seven minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the milk into the chocolate and whisk until it is integrated and resembles chocolate milk. Pour ¼ cup of the chocolate milk into the yolks and whisk until combined. Whisk in the rest of the chocolate milk and add the extract. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into the saucepan, set over medium heat. Whisk until it thickens and leaves drag marks, about seven to eight minutes. Spoon the pudding into a small bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding and chill it for 3 hours.

 

 

 

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Creamy Mint Pesto Quinoa Noodles

It’s a weekend night. It has been a doozy of a week and I crash through the door with the intention of dinner in an hour. The catch is there is not a bone in my body really rendering its services for the task. Do we head out in what is the second storm to move through San Francisco in a week in search of hot food and a quick turn-around? Do we hail the almighty delivery person with their promise of pizza in under an hour that might leave us feeling not so great? I would like to say we never respond with either of the preceding responses, but let’s just admit that’s not the case. On this particular night, I got a hankering and as I am wont to do went in search of a way to scratch the itch. Pesto in the winter- it sounds now like a movie Nathan introduced “The Lion in Winter.” In this case, the lion was our stomachs and the winter was the rain lashing gashes into our windows. I scrounged. I coddled. I conquered.

Ah, pantry and refrigerator, how you spoil me with your conquests!

The key to making easy last minute ridiculously good food that gets you a smile, hug and a kiss is a properly stocked fridge and pantry. They are your allies when the going gets tough. If you’re interested, I can go through a pretty rudimentary list of our must-have’s, just leave me a comment and I will be sure to plan on covering the fun topic of the LBD in our fridge and pantry.

Tonight’s secret weapon: quinoa linguine. To go out of the ordinary from regular semolina linguine, you’ll find this gluten free pasta a winner with its combination of organic corn flour and organic quinoa flour. It’s a bit of a departure, but looks familiar.

Now for the Pesto in Winter (see how that rolls right off the tongue)? Pesto is comprised of several key ingredients: basil leaves, garlic, pignola, freshly grated parmesan, and olive oil. In the spirit of my kitchen, we work with what we have which this evening did not include the pine nuts, basil and I decided to forego the olive oil in place of grape seed oil. Instead, I began salivating over the idea of mint and pistachios, which are already salad mates, as picking up the ingredient slack. Then there was the addition of kefir. Let me just tell you, you might be seeing a lot of kefir in coming weeks so we will plan a more formal introduction later. The resulting creamy sauce clung to the al dente noodles. With freshly grated parmesan dusting the top of the dish, I found this too good to keep to myself.

Consider it my St. Paddy’s Day gift to you: a dinner that takes less than 30 minutes on a night where you need a bit of a boost.

VEGETARIAN RECIPES- Creamy Mint Pesto Quinoa Noodles

 

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CREAMY MINT PESTO QUINOA NOODLES 

YIELD: 4 servings

1/2 cup plain organic kefir

1 cup mint leaves

1/4  cup unsalted pistachio meat

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese plus more as desired for garnish

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

kosher salt, to taste

 

1.  Remove mint leaves from stalk and rinse.

2. Add mint leaves, pistachios, oil, salt, pepper, Parmesan Reggiano, garlic and 1/4 cup kefir. Puree until smooth. Taste and add the other 1/4 cup kefir plus a bit more salt if you want. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

3. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Then add the quinoa linguine noodles, broken in half and added by dropping them into the pot. Cook for 6-9 minutes uncovered and make sure to stir frequently, as you do not want them to clump. I tend to stir with tongs to make sure the noodles are circulated enough. You want them cooked al dente, so around the 8-9 minute mark, you should be good to go.

4. Drain pasta and reserve 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water. Set aside.

5. You will combine the noodles and pesto in three batches, to ensure coverage. Start by adding 1/3 of the hot noodles to a large pan with 1/3 of the Mint Pesto sauce. Add in 1 tablespoon of pasta water and drag them around in the pesto until covered. Add in the next round of noodles and pesto and drag to combine. Do it one last time and add in the other tablespoon of pasta water if it feels too thick.

6. Serve with freshly grated parmesan Reggiano on top to taste.

 

SERVING SUGGESTION: This would actually go very well with a side salad, and perhaps a nice piece of poached salmon.

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Warm Cranberry Dressing

SALAD RECIPES- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Cranberry Dressing

This salad combines the best seasonal flavors of Brussels sprouts, delicata squash and cranberries to infuse texture and color into the winter doldrums.

After a false start when I was a child, I developed a surly attitude toward Brussels sprouts.  A few years ago, under the tutelage of Stacey and Lisa, I tried them again, roasted and crisped in olive oil and sea salt and found them to be a revelation. Later my interest only deepened when Chris, then at SPQR, sent out their ridiculously good roasted Brussels sprouts. I had found my way back into Brussels sprouts. If you haven’t tried them raw, they’re like tiny heads of cabbage.

This year could easily be summed up as the year of the coming of the delicata. I’ve been courting the delicata squash for weeks. This squash with its edible thin skin has a flavor profile that’s a bit milder than kabocha but just as complex. It can veer toward the savory or the sweet. Honestly, delicata squash is so good roasted in a little olive oil that it’s quite easy to eat up as squash rings after they’ve cooled.

Enter the third player, cranberries and we have a trifecta that really makes up a special salad. My affection for cranberries runs deep and I get excited once I begin seeing those bright red berries in produce departments. Usually, all we see of them during their brief seasonal stint is baked into sweets or as a condiment with turkey. I wanted to try something savory. The dressing is mildly sweet and the feta gives it a bit of creaminess.

shaved brussels sprout salad with cranberry dressing

 

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SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD WITH WARM CRANBERRY DRESSING
YIELD: 6 side salads or 3 entree-sized salads

SALAD

  • 15 medium Brussels Sprouts, washed
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, rinsed and pat dry
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 delicata squash, seeded and halved

 

DRESSING

  • 1/2 stalk leek, rinsed and sliced (3 tablespoons sliced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon feta
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry juice concentrate

 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Slice Brussels sprouts thinly and chop off the bottom of each Brussels sprout. Place in a large bowl over the spinach leaves and set aside.

3. Take the delicata squash and scoop out the seeds. Brush the teaspoon of olive oil onto both sides of the delicata squash.  When the oven is at 425, place it, skin side up on a pan and into the oven for about 30 minutes or until skin begins to brown or is fork tender.

4. Meanwhile, toast chopped almonds by placing in a small saute pan over low heat and jostle the almonds in the pan for a few minutes or until toasted.

5. Remove almonds by placing them into a bowl and set them aside.

6. In the small saute pan, pour the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then over medium heat, saute the leeks until they begin to turn pale golden. Add cranberries to the saute pan and stir the cranberries around for about a minute or until they slightly pop.

7. Spoon cranberry leek mixture into a blender along with lemon juice, honey, cranberry juice, 1 tablespoon of feta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until smooth.

8. Let squash cool. Slice into half rings and then into chunks. Drop the delicata squash chunks over the shaved Brussels sprouts along with the now cooled toasted almonds, 1/4 cup of the feta and mint. Drizzle the cranberry dressing over the salad and toss right before serving.

 

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Elberta Fay Peaches with Ricotta & Mint

DESSERT RECIPES- Elberta Fay Peaches with Ricotta & Mint

There are times when you want something simple.

Perhaps that entails coming home after working a Monday, which really means Saturday, Sunday and Monday rolled into one long cigarillo that’s got you slightly lit up. Maybe you’re like me with a sweet tooth that runs deep and you’re trying to find healthier ways to sate the beast.

This recipe is simply good.

The key is starting with great ingredients, but you do that anyway, right? Recently, we made a batch of fresh homemade ricotta which is unbelievably lush and silky. I snuck a spoonful and licked the spoon clean. I eyed a peach in the fruit bowl and the mind started playing its tricks of tasting without tasting with the tongue. Creamy. Sweet with that tang of sunshine in forgiving flesh. Bright mint. Yes, this trio tasted like summer.

What I planned for dessert ended up becoming an afternoon treat.

elberta fay peaches

You can use nectarines, peaches found in the produce section of your store or if you happen upon some Elberta Fay Peaches, watch out. These beauties are best unadulterated. And that’s the key to summer anyways, isn’t it? It is the season for simplicity if ever there was one.  It is the best time to enjoy cool thick ricotta with juicy slices of peach and mint. It is a season for more people time and less kitchen time.

Peach, meet ricotta and mint- I think you all will be fast friends.

ricotta and peach recipe

 

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Elberta Fay Peaches with Ricotta and Mint

(VARIATION: This combo would work well on a crostini. If you go that route, add your peach slices and sliced mint leaves to 1 T organic butter in a saute pan and saute over low heat for a few minutes or until peaches begin to fall apart slightly. Smear ricotta on crostini and top with a spoonful of peach.)

YIELD: 1

1. Cut your peach into slices and then layer in a small bowl.

2. Spoon in the fresh homemade ricotta.

3. Add the mint leaves whole or you could also slice them up.

(Optional: You can also sprinkle a dash of Saigon cinnamon on top and that is a lovely addition. Or enjoy as is.)

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Star Ruby Grapefruit Mint Bars

DESSERT RECIPES- Star Ruby Grapefruit Mint Bars

If you talked to a handful of people, you’d get a handful of responses on what Easter means to them:

Eggs dunked and dyed with food coloring.

A feast with family.

Chocolate bunnies filled with marshmallow crème.

The day Christians celebrate Jesus rising from the dead.

Absolutely nothing.

My response to this would be an eager assortment of the aforementioned options, but it is one of the most important days in my annual calendar to stop and reflect on the meaning of new life and to celebrate. You can bet on joyful songs printed in the church bulletin and strum on guitar.

It is a day of celebration.

On Friday, I wrote morosely of missing my dad over the past year and the word that kept coming to me this Easter morning is “why are you looking for the living among the dead?” There is something to be said about turning into the parking lot and walking up the short hill to visit my dad’s gravesite, perched in between two dwarf trees. The first time I visited after the funeral, I expected a huge onslaught of emotion. Perhaps a wailing and gnashing of teeth. Instead, zip. Nada. I stood there staring down at a plot of just tilled earth, earmarked with a nameplate and his full regal name glinting of gold from the sunshine beaming down on it.

In the vase that screwed into the nameplate were some silk flowers rustling in the wind. The whole scene left me feeling tepid. Now I’m not prone to put off my emotions. To try and feel something dense and heavy in this place would have been a put-on, a farce. I looked down and considered the fake flowers (a sign eschews visitors from putting real ones for the reason that they will get blown away) – the carved nameplate and the coffin many feet below. As much as I wanted to feel a connection to my dad, he wasn’t there, though I still go visit as it has darling dwarf trees and a name I love etched in gold. It represents a place where I can reflect. Going or not going doesn’t make me a better daughter.

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

This was a question asked of women many many moons ago, also grieving. The death of their teacher, prophet, priest and king turned their lives upside down- their fulfillment of a promise was suddenly in question. They found the tomb where his body was lain, empty with the giant stone rolled away. In their bewilderment of the missing body, there is a part of me that can imagine that initial anguish. Who would desecrate the resting place of someone you love? And yet as they considered the empty tomb, they heard this question. It completely re-oriented their perspective and experience.

We celebrated the Easter holiday with Nathan’s parents and two of his siblings. We set off for their faith community held at a local community center. For me, this was a treat I had been looking forward to. Their church is small but full of people who are genuinely glad to welcome you. Their authenticity and hospitality makes you want to come back. And on this Sunday, they had planned a potluck… Potlucks feel so Southern to me especially in the guise of a church. I had been plotting what I would bring to the table for several weeks now and had my a-ha confirmed when I bumped into new friend Charissa at the chocolate salon last weekend. She had spent time with Beyond the Plate and shared with her a recipe for gluten free Grapefruit bars.

My love for grapefruit notwithstanding, this particular pairing intrigued me. The tartness of a lemon bar with the replacement of my favorite fruit- could this be a match made for Easter? On Saturday, Nathan and I scoured the farmer’s market for the last dregs of grapefruit as the season winds down. I initially thought of trying this recipe with Oro Blanco grapefruit but their mild flavor would not have given me that tart punch you expect in this kind of bar. I selected a few Star Ruby grapefruits, longing instead for the Texas Ruby Reds from home. The juice and pulp of these grapefruits glistened bright pink after being cut open and juiced. I added the mint for a refreshing sidenote, though it’s so subtle it sure does play second fiddle to the grapefruit.

During the Easter morning service a man named Bill shared a story of living through his father’s death. I bristled a bit inside, but listened keenly as he began talking about how his father’s demise led him to a personal transformation. Our dads died around the same date several years apart. He choked up in front of this group, proclaiming that he hadn’t shared this with anyone before. Eight years later, he is changed and yet side-struck emotionally talking about this difficult time. And that’s where family comes in.

Earlier that morning, Nathan and I rolled out of bed and padded down to his family’s breakfast table. His mother cheerily greeted us with, “Happy Easter!” Nathan replied, “He is risen,” and she replied in return, “He is risen indeed!” At the table, she set before us an egg cheese casserole, still warm from the oven and currant apricot rolls. I may not have mentioned it before but his mom is quite the bread-baker in the family and turns out exquisite rolls and loaves. Don’t get me started on how quickly her nicely wrapped Stollen leftovers got devoured from our kitchen pantry after Christmas. A certain son LOVES his mother and particularly loves those rolls. This time with family around a breakfast table set the stage for the rest of our time together at church.

Once the service ended, the adults and children congregated in the cafeteria. Some adults headed back outside to tuck eggs behind flower beds, hide eggs in the crooks of the tree limbs.

The children eagerly gathered with baskets and bags, anxious to go outside and find the hidden eggs. They set off in groups based on age, the littlest tots running outside first, followed by slightly older childen and then the big kids. Watching them and the spurts of energetic pursuit made me laugh aloud remembering my own childhood and the game of egg-finding. Only in Sonoma county, one of the women mentioned the dyed eggs had come from her chickens in her backyard- brown eggs that might be good in an egg salad sandwich the day after.

With heavy baskets, the children headed indoors with their respective adults and assembled into lines for food. I stood behind Bill who had told the story of his dad and thanked him for sharing and letting him know a little of my own. I knew that story was meant for my ears. He thanked me and we talked about how speaking your grief and loss aloud does lighten the load.

Speaking of loaded, this was quite a potluck. By the time I arrived at the table, my plate had smatterings of the smorgasbord of offerings. People crowded around short school cafeteria tables and benches. We sat with a winemaker who fills truffles with pinot and joked, “Would you like to try my pinot?” – “especially if it’s inside chocolate…”

One of the women, Janice, at the church and I hit it off the first time I heard she was originally from Texas. Janice and I commiserated over missing Texas pecans. Cynthia, a new friend and I quickly hit it off talking about her many years lived abroad in France and the Chagall Musee Biblique museum’s Cantique des Cantiques room with its red canvassed walls. These people brighten my life one story at a time.

When we left Sonoma county, the weather seemed a bit more chipper. The car had a bit more zip. Beck and I left sated emotionally and spiritually from love and time spent with family. Talk about new life.

 

 

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Star Ruby Grapefruit Mint Bars

adapted from Ina Garten’s “Lemon Bars” from the Barefoot Contessa
CRUST

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

FILLING

  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest (1 large grapefruit)
  • 1 tablespoon minced spearmint
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed Star Ruby grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup AP flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.

Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. The main thing here is to make sure the filling has set. Let cool to room temperature.

~ Cut into small squares and serve.

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