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Fresh Jujube Tart with Walnut Cream (Chinese Date Tart) Recipe

Lulu planted jujube trees 3 years ago and they didn't produce much fruit until this year. A jujube (also called Chinese date) is a little date-sized fruit that has a sweet smell and a flavor reminiscent of apples. In Asia, legend says that the scent of jujubes makes people fall in love. They are also a sign of fertility.

The fruits are so much more flavorful and sweet than the ones from our local market. In Vietnam, jujubes are eaten fresh as a snack. The girls have been going back and forth to the garden to pick the fruits from the trees. The crop is so huge this year; each branch holds at least 2 dozen jujubes. We've been asking friends and family to take some home, but we still had more, so I decided to try and make a dessert with some jujubes.

The texture of the fresh fruit is very similar to apples, so I adapted my tarte amandine and made it with walnuts and jujube instead. For a nice glossy look, I drizzled date syrup over the jujube tarts. It was the first  time I tested the recipe and it worked wonderfully.


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Falafel Salad with Lemon Tahini Vinaigrette Recipe

During our last trip to Philadelphia, Lulu and I realized how narrow the vegetarian options were in restaurants. Lulu had falafel during the entire time of our stay there.

He hasn't touched it since we got back and I thought it was time to re-introduce him to falafel. I served them in a Mediterranean-style salad along with lemon tahini vinaigrette, candied walnuts and thinly sliced kumquat preserves from last winter's harvest.


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Maple Pecan Fig Tart Recipe

Maple Pecan Fig Tart

09.28.09 by Jackie

We harvested our last batch of Black Mission figs from the garden today. I've been wanting to share them with our friends, and so I made two dozen mini-tarts this afternoon.

I adapted the almond cream that I use in my tarte amandine recipe, but instead of almond I used pecans because I think pecans complement figs really well. To sweeten the figs and pecans, I drizzle warm maple syrup. The result is a true taste of autumn.

 


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Tips for Perfect Pancakes Recipe

Tips for Perfect Pancakes

09.27.09 by Jackie

Pancakes have an almost magical ability to turn anyone into a child again. There's something irresistible about waking up on a Saturday morning, stumbling into the kitchen and being greeted by the smell of batter and a mountain of fluffy pancakes just begging to be smothered in maple syrup and whipped butter.

Perhaps part of the beauty of pancakes is that they're so simple to make. My teenage sisters-in-law often make them on their own for the family. As with many simple dishes though, attention to detail is the difference between drab and delicious. Read on to learn my tips on making excellent pancakes every time.


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Basil Mint Lemonade Recipe

Basil Mint Lemonade

09.24.09 by Jackie

It's already the end of the summer and I've been making every effort to get the best use out of the leftover mint and basil in my herb garden. With the basil, I've made a lot of pesto that I store in the freezer for the winter. There isn't enough left for an additional sauce, and I've always wanted to try a basil infused drink, so today I made a basil lemonade, basil limeade, to be more precise. Sweet basil can be a bit subtle, so I wanted to pair it with another herb to give the drink some kick.

Mint immediately came to mind. I've made drinks all summer using the different kinds of mint we have, including spearmint, peppermint, Vietnamese mint, and apple-mint. I still, however, have a lot of leftover chocolate mint in the garden. Lulu planted it for me a few years ago and it's been growing literally like weeds. It's not as strong as the other mint varieties, so it complements the basil in the limeade I made today without overpowering it. It may sound odd, but it's a really fun, beautiful and delicious drink.

I wish I had tooken the main picture but it is not mine. It was taken by a brilliant photographer named Ken Phuong. He's currently shooting with a team of photographers in the Bay Area.

how to make basil-mint limeade


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