Dessert Recipes

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Dragon Fruit Salad Recipe

Dragon Fruit Salad

04.27.10 by Jackie

Dragon fruit (trái thanh long in Vietnamese) is an exotic fruit that has a very unusual appearance. The outer skin has a fuchsia color with green leaves and the flesh is white with seeds that are reminiscent of kiwi. The texture of dragon fruit is creamy and it has a subtle aroma of banana and ripe, soft pear. When fully ripened, the skin peels off as it would from an avocado.

I made a very simple fruit salad, using the Vietnamese Jaina dragon fruit variety, spearmint from our garden and agave nectar. The agave enhances the sweetness, and the mint lends a nice contrast of color and flavor. I served the fruit salad during a dinner party. Everyone was intrigued by the fruit, so it did double duty as a conversation starter.

If you ever travel to an Asian country, don't forget to ask for dragon fruit or pitaya. The last time I had dragon fruit was on my trip to Vietnam. I had no idea that this particular tropical fruit was cultivated in America. A couple of weeks ago I found it in an Asian market in San Jose. The salesperson told me dragon fruits are now grown in Florida, due to its humid and warm weather, which is similar to Vietnam. Quite honestly, the ones grown in the US are good but the ones in Vietnam are just exquisite and so much more flavorful. No sweetener necessary!

Dragon Fruit Picture


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Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe Recipe

A strawberry banana smoothie is perfect when you need breakfast on the go. I whip up the drink with frozen strawberries and a banana whenever Lulu is running late. Strawberries aren't quite in season yet, so frozen is your best bet. When you can get them fresh, this drink is even more delicious.

Besides being a vegetarian, Lulu is also lactose-intolerant, so it's a challenge to make him calcium-rich food. I used almond milk and yogurt to deliver calcium without adding too much lactose. I also added a scoop of whey protein to fortify the drink with a little protein. I placed the smoothie in a cup that I sealed with a lid and added a straw.

Lulu left for work with a strawberry banana smoothie in his hand and a kiss on his cheek. I think that's a pretty good way to start the day!


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Meyer Lemon Sorbet Recipe Recipe

Meyer Lemon Sorbet Recipe

04.23.10 by Jackie

Sorbet is a very easy sweet treat to make. All you need is the right equipment to create the frozen dessert. I gathered the last crop of Meyer lemons from the garden and thought it would be nice to make a gourmet sorbet, adding ginger. Because it doesn't contain any fat or custard, sorbet takes a lot longer to churn and it tends to melt very easily. Often alcohol is added to the mix because it lowers the freezing point and keeps the product softer. I wanted to make the dessert kid-friendly, so after experimenting with stabilizers in my new eggless ranch dressing recipe, I decided to use the same combination of xanthan gum and lecithin in the sorbet. The result is an incredibly velvety texture that coats your tongue in a way that ice by itself just can't.

To add a contrast of color and texture to the sorbet, I paired it with blueberries sweetened with agave nectar. This is a tasty, yet healthy way to end any meal. Enjoy!


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Semolina Cake Recipe Recipe

Semolina Cake Recipe

04.16.10 by Jackie

Gâteau de semoule (semolina cake) is a French dessert packed with Oriental spices. I think semolina dessert was influenced by North African ingredients such as citrus, raisins, date, almonds, cardamom and cinnamon. The creamy dessert itself isn't very sweet so the the richness of the caramel sauce compliments it very well. As French desserts go, it is fairly "healthy" because very little butter is required.

I make this dessert in the winter and early spring because very few fresh fruits are available at the market. It is typically served warm, which also makes it perfect for the cooler months of the year.

Tasting semolina cakes instantly sends me back to my childhood. I have to admit that we would buy them at the market back then. After dinner, I would take a serving, put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, and then savor every single bite. Semolina cakes may not be part of your childhood, but if you give this recipe a try, I'm sure it will make you feel like a kid again!


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Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe Recipe

Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe

04.09.10 by Jackie

I've been waiting for the lavender in my garden to blossom to be able to make my own Herbes de Provence mix. I had so much extra lavender that I thought I'd make our family's favorite dessert. Yes, crème brulée strikes again! Lavender has a strong floral taste, so a little bit goes a long way. To enhance the lavender aroma, I added lavender extract that I bought at Sur La Table store in Palo Alto. I really thought that the unusual flavor would turn off the kids but my little munchkin loved the lavender dessert the most and kept saying "It tastes like a flower, I love it!"

It's the third season we're planting lavender in our garden and I've learned that the variety most commonly used for cooking is English lavender, not French! So be on the look-out English lavender the next time you stop at the nursery.

If you're searching for a fancy French dessert for your next dinner party, try this recipe! On the practical side, you can make the cup dessert 'way in advance and create the sugar crust at the last minute. That way you can focus on your guests instead of dessert while still serving something fabulous. Your guests will be in awe.

Fresh Lavender Picture


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