Sweet Recipes

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Homemade Tangerine Kumquat Marmalade Recipe Recipe

Every year, we make preserves with the fruits from the garden. As I told you in a recent post, I had it all planned out so that nothing would go to waste and was determined to create Orangina soda. I used the kumquat pulp for the syrup of the drink and used all the kumquat rind for marmalade. To repeat the same flavors of the soft drink, I added tangerine to the marmalade as well. To make the marmalade a bit fancier, I added some vanilla beans and vanilla extract at the end.

Making marmalade is labor intensive, so gather some friends and family to get through the process. Rest assured that your efforts will be rewarded. We cooked and canned 13 pounds of fresh kumquats. If sealed properly, you can keep the jars of marmalade for a year. Good luck holding on to it that long though. The girls have already gone through two jars! The sweet fragrance of the kumquats and vanilla is intoxicating. Spread a little (or a lot) on a slice of buttered toast, pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy. It's the perfect way to start the day!


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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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Kumquat and Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Chocolate chip cookies are so classic that one might ask, why mess with perfection? Well, I think my kumquat and chocolate chip cookies are the answer to that question. Citrus and chocolate are a great pair in desserts, and this is no exception. The zing of the rind really enhances the creamy quality of the chocolate.

I decided on kumquat preserves because I still had one jar leftover from last season (I'm making more today!). For the cookie dough, I mixed butter, brown sugar, finely chopped fresh kumquat zest and whole wheat flour for texture and a little nutrition. It provides a nice canvas for the morsels of chocolates and chunks of preserved kumquats.

If you're still skeptical that kumquats can enhance the flavor of chocolate chip cookies, there's really only one solution; make them yourself! You won't be disappointed.


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Virgin Pina Colada Recipe

Virgin Pina Colada

03.28.10 by Jackie

Piña colada is a sweet cocktail made with coconut and pineapple juice. I made it kid-friendly, but the authentic version requires a few shots of rum.

Les beaux jours sont de retour! "Sunny days are back" and I thought it would be a well-deserved drink to bring to my husband after a long day at work. When Lulu came home, I told him to lie down in a long chair outside on the deck and wait for me. I whipped up the cocktail for him (and for the girls as well) and brought a tray full of the piña colada drinks. His reaction was: "Oh, you read my mind, sweetie. This drink reminds me so much of our anniversary trip to Cancun!"


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