Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Red Wine Bathed Peaches with Peach Sorbet

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The heady flavors of red wine, sugar and vanilla bean cooked down to a thin syrup then poured over fresh juicy peach slices and refrigerated until very cold. A perfect light dessert topped with purchased peach sorbet and garnished with fresh raspberries. A dessert that can be made not only in the summer when fruits are at their peak, but if there's no fruit available in the dead of winter, reduce the syrup a bit more and serve it over ice cream. White wine can be used instead of the red wine, if desired.

Red Wine Bath with Peaches
Serves 4-6

4 cups red or white wine
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
Store bought peach sorbet 
Fresh raspberries for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine the wine with the sugar, and the vanilla bean. Slowly bring the wine to a boil, taking care that it does not catch on fire as alcohol sometimes does. If so, let the flames die down. Continue to cook until wine is reduced by half. This make take twenty minutes or so. Taste and if you need more sugar, add it now, stirring to dissolve.

Put the prepared peaches in a bowl and pour the wine over it. Cover and refrigerate until very cold. The mixture will be very dark. Serve the peaches and wine syrup over the peach sorbet and garnish with fresh raspberries. Recipe adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich.

This is my contribution to Peaches hosted by Susan ofThe Well-Seasoned Cook, an event created by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan's RecipesVeggie/Fruit a Month is a long running event created by Priya designed to showcase the benefits of fruits and vegetables in ones diet. Next month, a vegetable will be chosen for the event.

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Birthday Party

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Birthday Party
For Black and White Wednesday, created and hosted by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.
Image shot with a Leica d-lux 5, converted to black and white using Nik Silver Pro 2.0 and framed with onOne Photo Frame

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cornmeal and Fruit Loaf-Tuesdays with Dorie

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Nice pick from Caitlin who blogs at The Engineer Baker. A superb breakfast or tea bread redolent with fresh and dried apples its earthiness from stone ground yellow cornmeal. I added crumbled crisp bacon as mentioned in the playing around side note, decreasing the sugar to 3 tablespoons and adding coarse ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.  I think it would be very nice served toasted with a fried or poached egg perched atop. Your bacon, eggs and fruit all in one! Caitlin has the recipe on her blog or you can find it on page 43 of Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, so give it a try! Also, visit the TWD Blogroll see other variations.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Black and White Wednesday-Antique Bavarian China and Silverplate

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For Black and White Wednesday, created and hosted by Susan of the Well-Seasoned Cook. Many times before I go to exercise class or to get my hair cut , I nip into an antique market downtown to check out what's new in the shop, but I either find nothing or the price is too high. Just a few days ago, I popped into the shop and found that nearly everything in the shop was 20% off. I spotted the 9 antique Bavarian china plates right away-a deal for $40. Then, a set of 6 silver plate forks and knives that I had admired several weeks before were 20%. I couldn't resist and bought both the dishes and the silver plate knives and forks. So here is my black and white entry for this Wednesday!

All three photos were shot in black and white straight from my camera. Only a levels and curves adjustment was made, then the photos were made into a triptych.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Triple Treat-Golden Brioche Loaves, Individual Brioches and Bostock

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Margie, the Tea Lady of Tea and Scones chose one of Dorie's recipes in Baking From My Home to Yours that I have had my eye on for quite awhile. I remember making the Pecan Sticky Buns, but always wanted to make the Bostock slices that are pictured with the recipe for the Golden Brioche Loaves. Bostock is an almond cream made from ground almonds, butter, an egg, cornstarch, flour and a little rum.  This mixture is spread over a slice of the loaf, then toasted in the oven until puffy and golden.  Yummy! Also, in addition to the that, I wanted to use my individual brioche pans that I bought ages ago. 
You can find the recipe for the Golden Brioche Loaves on Margie's blog, but I'm including the one for the bostock. There's not much in the history of bostock-basically, it's a slice of day old brioche covered either with an almond syrup and almond, then baked-or the same slice covered with an almond cream either made from ground almonds or almond paste. Dorie's bostock uses an almond cream. Here is the recipe:

Almond Cream

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup ground blanched almonds
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg
2 teaspoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To make the cream using a food processor: Put the butter and sugar in the food processor and process until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Add the ground almonds and continue to process until well blended. Add the flour and cornstarch and process to blend, then add the egg. Process for about 15 seconds more, or until the almond cream is homogeneous. Add the rum or vanilla and pulse just to  blend.

To make a single portion of bostock, cut a slice of brioche 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Spread the bread with about 3 tablespoons Almond Cream, leaving a little border bare, and scatter over some of the sliced almonds, blanched or not. Put the bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, and bake in a 350-degree-F-oven until the almond is puffed and golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Serve the bostock warm or at room temperature.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Brisket with Chipotle Dressing-Secret Recipe Club

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As much as I love using my grill or smoker to cook beef briskets, I can barely stand it outside with the sun beating down on me and the sweat pouring off my face. Enter the slow cooker-with only ten minutes prep time and 8-9 hours slowly simmering and permeating the meat with the flavors of onion, bay leaves, garlic, serrano chilies, black pepper corns and kosher salt-it's ready and I'm cool and collected.

My mission with the Secret Recipe Club was to choose a dish from Daily Dish Recipes.  Nicole is a busy mother of 5 human children and 4 four-legged children  accomplished in just about everything, including scrap-booking, photography, writing and cooking up healthy tasty dishes for her family. Choosing a recipe from her blog wasn't difficult. She convinced me on the first sentence of her post-"With warmer weather and higher humidity---using my stove top or oven is something I avoid at all cost". Of the three slow cooker recipes mentioned, I chose the Crock Pot Shredded Beef on a Bun. What-you don't see a bun? Well, I can't help messing with recipes, so adapted it to make a Tex-Mex shredded beef taco with chipotle dressing served in flour tortillas and topped with red onions, radishes, avocados, crumbled queso fresco, cilantro. But you can serve the shredded beef on a toasted bun topped with coleslaw-delicious, too!

For the Brisket

1 large onion, chopped
10 black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 serrano chiles, coarse dice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 pounds trimmed beef brisket, preferably the flat half
1 cup beef bouillon

For the Chipotle Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 7-ounce can chipotles en adobo

TO COOK THE BRISKET: In the slow cooker, put the chopped onions, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, chiles, salt and pepper. Place the brisket on top and pour over the beef bouillon. Cover and cook 8-9 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high, or until very tender.

Transfer brisket to a cutting board. Reserve the cooking liquid. Discard any fat from the brisket and using forks shred the meat. Cut these shreds into manageable pieces. Place in a large bowl. Moisten with about 1/2 cup cooking liquid to moisten.

FOR THE CHIPOTLE DRESSING: Drain the can of chipotles en adobo, reserving liquid and chipotles. In a blender, pulse the, liquid from the chipotles en adobo, olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add chipotles to taste and puree again. Chipotles are  dried red jalapenos processed in a seasoned tomato puree, so are hot. Try one chipotle, puree and taste. If desired, add more. Remaining chipotles en adobo can be frozen.

Add a little dressing to the meat to moisten further. Place the meat on a serving platter lined with lettuce leaves. To serve, place meat in a flour tortilla and top with sliced radishes, avocados, red onion, cilantro, crumbled queso fresco and lime slices. Drizzle extra chipotle dressing over, if desired
Brisket and Chipotle Dressing adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wadmalaw Island Iced Tea-Thirsty Thursday's Back!

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A refreshing drink that embraces the traditional beverage of the South-sweet tea! Add Sweet Tea Bourbon from Firefly Distillery, scuppernong wine from Irwin House Vineyard (both located on the same property on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina) ,lemon juice, a few drops of orange bitters, a slice of lemon or a scuppernong to garnish and you have an exhilarating libation perfect to serve with a low country boil or a pig pickin'. Although Wadmalaw Island Iced Tea is an alcoholic beverage, it doesn't have the potency of the classic Long Island Iced Tea, a concoction of gin, tequila, vodka, Triple Sec, cola and a sweet and sour mix. A definite one drink max there!

Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon is an infusion of  tea leaves from the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only tea plantation in America, real sugar cane and a handcrafted Kentucky straight Bourbon Whiskey from acclaimed Buffalo Trace Distillery. With a lower alcohol content, this unique bourbon is great served on the rocks or as a tall drink diluted with spring water!  

Recipe adapted from The Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook, this recipe make approximately 1-1/2 quarts. Although Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon is recommended, you may use your another tea-infused bourbon of choice and for the scuppernong wine, an inexpensive Madeira can be substituted.

Wadmalaw Island Iced Tea

1/2 (4 ounces) cup Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon, or bourbon of choice
1 (750-ml) bottle scuppernong wine or Madeira
1 cup (8 ounces) freshly squeezed lemon juice (6-8 lemons)
8-10 drops orange bitters
2 cups (16 ounces) tonic water or club soda

For Garnish
Lemon slices and fresh scuppernongs (green) or muscadines (purple)

In a large pitcher, mix all ingredients with the exception of the tonic water or club soda and stir thoroughly. Fill 8 on the rocks glasses with ice cubes and pour 4 ounces of the Wadmalaw Island Iced Tea into each glass leaving about 1-inch space from the rim of the glass. Top each drink with about 2 ounces of club soda and garnish with lemon slices and scuppernongs or muscadines when in season.  If you like a stronger drink, float a little Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon over the top, not stirring it into the drink. Enjoy!!

If you like this post, you might be interested in these articles:

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I received no reimbursements for any of the products mentioned here and was not paid by anyone to write this post. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Black and White Wednesday-Xoco Restaurant Chicago

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XOCO, a Rick Bayless restaurant in Chicago serves traditional Mexican street food. Delicious churros (fried breads), empanadas, tortas (sandwiches), caldos (soups) and rich Mexican chocolate drinks. A must when visiting Chicago!

Images shot with a Leica d-lux5, uploaded, then transferred to iPad and converted to black and white using Snapseed. Collage was made using PicFrame.

For Black and White Wednesday, created and hosted by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.
Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tropical Crumble-Plantain Peach Variation-Tuesdays with Dorie

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No offense to Dorie, but I decided to turn this crumble completely around using very ripe plantains and peaches instead of bananas and mango, plus another crumble topping from Baking From My Home to Yours.  Now I realize that the plantains are a very starchy version of the traditional banana and are often used in savory dishes, necessity is the mother of invention-I had plantains, but no bananas! I had a very ripe mango which was best left for another dish, so used delicious peaches from my local market.  For the topping, I adapted the topping used in Dorie's Cran-Apple Crisp on page 422 of Baking From My Home to Yours, but omitted the ground cinnamon and ginger. I was happy with the end result, but because of the starchiness of the plantains, I would pour a rich créme anglaise over the crumble to serve. 

Thanks to Gaye of Laws of the Kitchen who chose the Tropical Crumble on page 418-419 in Baking From My Home to Yours. 

Tropical Crumble
Plantain and Peach

Serves 2 generously

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-1/2 tablespoons light
2 ripe plantains, nearly black, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick on the diagonal
2 ripe, but firm peaches, peeled, seeded, halved and chopped into1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Grated zest of 1/4 lime

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 shredded sweetened coconut
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons pine nuts

TO MAKE THE FILLING: Melt the butter in a wide nonstick skillet over high heat. Sprinkle the brown sugar over butter and when it bubbles, add the plantain slices. Cook for about 3 minutes, without stirring, then turn the slices over and cook another 2 minutes. Add the peaches and the shape and texture.

Transfer the fruits and whatever juices remain in the pan to a heatproof bowl. Add chopped ginger, ground ginger and grated lime zest. Set aside while you prepare the topping.

TO MAKE THE TOPPING:  Put all the ingredients except pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms large curds, about a minute.  Place in airtight plastic bag and freeze for 20 minutesYou can make the topping ahead, place in a large airtight plastic bag and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to one month.

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400° F. Butter a small flat pie pan or dish and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Spoon the fruit and it's liquid into the pie pan. Remove the topping mix from the freezer. Measure out about 1 cup, freeze or refrigerate the remainder. and, using your fingers. Scatter the topping over the fruit. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top.

TO BAKE: Slide the baking sheet into the oven and lower the temperature to 350° f. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until topping is golden and the fruits are bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool to desired temperature-just warm is perfect. 

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekend Herb Blogging #296 Roundup

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Fresh fruits and vegetables abound in this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging! I'm pleased to present a lovely array of not only delicious food, but also beautifully styled and photographed. Enjoy Drool-worthy dishes from dedicated and talented food bloggers around the world!

With lovely photos of hiking on the "Sentiero del  Ponale"in the Lake Garda area of Italy, Briii of Briggishome doubled her fun by also picking elderberries to make Pontac Sauce, a savory fruit sauce perfect to serve with fatty meats like duck, goose and pork. Briii is also the host of the Italian version of WHB.

With the luscious fresh tomatoes that are in season in many parts of the world, Cinzia of Cindystar, who also blogs from the Lake Garda area of Italy, makes Pomodori Freschi Ripieni-Fresh Stuffed Tomatoes. The tomatoes are hollowed out, drained and stuffed with chopped fresh basil, bread crumbs and yogurt, then garnished with a gorgeous sprig of basil. 

From the lovely island of Keaau in Hawaii, Claudia who blogs at Honey From Rock cultures her own batch of kefir which she adds to her Cold Curried Pumpkin Soup. Inspired by babysitting her grandson's  kefir culture, Claudia now makes her own kefir and praises its health benefits. Claudia is making a salad dressing with kefir and suggest adding kefir to other cold soups such as borscht or potato leek.

Dressed with a creamy cashew-based garlic sauce, this Creamy Cashew Kale and Chickpeas salad from Janet of  The Taste Space is a perfect side for a gathering of friends and family. Served warm or at room temperature, this colorful combination of kale, chickpeas and red bell pepper is only one of several delicious salads that Janet from Toronto, Canada has mentioned for her famous potluck dinners.

Just the name of the recipe, Tupelo Honey Coleslaw with Sweet Potatoes and Sunflower Seeds conjures up a cooling dish to combat the sultry dog days of summer here in our Northern Hemisphere. Adapted from the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina, Joanne of Eats Well With Others uses Greek yogurt instead of a mayonnaise base and adds healthy roasted sweet potatoes, shredded carrots and sunflower seeds for extra crunch to the cabbage mixture.

 Wintermelon and Meatballs in Tomato Sauce, an unusual, but delicious summer dish comes from Tigerfish who blogs at Tezscape-An Escape to Food. Wintermelon whose nom de guerre suggests a winter produce is actually a summer melon, but because of its white ash or wax suggests frost, it is so named. The sweet taste of the wintermelon is perfect complement to the savory meatballs with tomato sauce.

Roasted balsamic strawberries stars in Frittata with Roasted Strawberries and Homemade French Neufchatel Cheese from Simona of Briciole in California. Having successfully made gelato with roasted strawberries, Simona uses them in one of her favorite savory dishes. A tantalizing eclectic frittata incorporating a homemade French Neufchatel cheese.

An ancient grain, Freekeh is roasted green wheat much higher in healthful properties than mature roasted wheat. Haalo  uses cracked Freekeh as a substitute for the traditional bulgur wheat to make Freekeh Tabbouleh, a delicious Lebanese salad of herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. Haalo is the lovely manager of Weekend Herb Blogging having taken up the gauntlet from Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen.

My contribution for WHB #296 is Bourbon Poached Peaches, making use of the abundance of fresh peaches now available this season. The peaches are great served over vanilla ice cream and will keep refrigerated for up to a month.

If I have missed anyone, I apologize-just let me know and I will update the roundup. Chris from Mele Cotte is hosting WHB#297.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bourbon Poached Peaches

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Peaches were first cultivated in China and were mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the 10th century BC. Eventually, the peach made its way to Europe and the Americas where it was a popular treat. Although Thomas Jefferson cultivated peach trees at Monticello, commercial production of peaches did not begin until the nineteenth century. The Southern states of the United States lead in commercial production of peaches.

Peaches are divided into two categories-Clingstones and Freestones. Clingstones seem to be the first crop out in the summer whereas Freestones (my preference as the stone comes easily away from the flesh) are available several weeks later, at least where I live in Georgia. High in antioxidant Vitamin C, a medium peach has around 65 calories, a great low fat nutritional snack. Delicious as desserts, peaches are also great grilled and served as a side dish. 

Poached in an intoxicating Bourbon syrup, these luscious peaches gleam when served over vanilla ice cream, but are also delightful with waffles and pancakes. The poached peaches can be refrigerated for up to one month. If properly canned, they can be kept at room temperature for up to three months. Recipe from Martha Stewart Living Magazine,  August 2011.

Bourbon-Poached Peaches
4 pounds Freestone peaches, (about 12)
2-1/2 cups sugar
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped, pods reserved
1 cup Bourbon

Wash peaches. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath.Cut a small  X in the bottom of each peach. Boil peaches for1-2 minutes. My peaches were refrigerated so took about 4 minutes to loosen the skin.

Transfer to ice-water bath. Let cool slightly, then peel and pit the peaches. Cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges.

Bring 4 cups water, the sugar, the vanilla seeds and pods to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add sliced peaches and Bourbon. Simmer until peaches are tender, but still hold their shape, 5-7 minutes.

Transfer peaches to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Cook syrup over medium heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Pour over peaches. Cool completely.

Divide peaches among five 12-ounce sterilized jars using a slotted spoon. Pour syrup over tops. Add vanilla pods to jars, if desired. Seal jars and refrigerate  until ready to use.

This is my entry as host in Weekend Herb Blogging #296.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Weekend Herb Blogging #296

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It's always a pleasure to host Weekend Herb Blogging created by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and now managed by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once.  

The rules for this event can be found here.  Your may post anytime during the week of August 8-14, 2011. I will post a roundup of all the posts on Monday, August 15th. Please email your information with WHB #296 in the title of the message to lynnylu AT gmail Dot com. In your email, please include the following information-

  • Your Name
  • Your Blog Name and Url
  • Your Post Url
  • Attach a photo (400 pixel wide max)
Thanks and looking forward to your posts! Happy Monday!

Please do not use images or text without my permission.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Tantalizing Cocktails and Beverages-A Kodak Photo Book

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Recently, I was given the opportunity by Foodbuzz and Kodak Gallery to receive a free 20 page photo book using Kodak's SMARTFIT technology, a method that quickly and automatically creates a photo book in minutes. Having never put together a photo book online, I was excited to find that in a short time, I could put together  my special photos and come up with a professional photo book. I spent some days deciding on a theme for the photo book. Food photography is my forte, but as it is a very broad subject, I needed to concentrate on one aspect. Lately, photographing cocktails and other beverages has dominated my photography, especially summer drinks and heat-relieving thirst quenchers. After deciding on the theme, it was an easy task using the SMARTFIT technology to upload all the photos by date taken. It was easy to rotate, resize, move or layer the photos. The book was nearly done-I just rearranged some of them and decided on which one to choose for a front and back cover photo. Voila! 

Although my photo book hasn't arrived yet, below is a photo of the cover and a link to see how the completed book will look. Kodak is so proud of their easy method of creating a book of memories that they have an exclusive offer for readers of my blog-40% off a medium hardcover or large photo book. Simply click this link to get started. The offer is only available through the aforementioned link and is good from 8/1/11-8/31/11 (August 1-31, 2011). 
Tantalizing Cocktails and Beverages

This post is part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program and Kodak Gallery

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Rosemary Raisin Bread-Black and White Wednesday

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For Black and White Wednesday created and hosted by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook, a diptych of a loaf of rosemary raisin bread, recipe here. The original color photo was converted to black and white using  Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Cocoa Almond Meringues

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After a few days in Cleveland, Ohio, attending a rained out Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox game  and then a week at Myrtle Beach soaking up the sun and revisiting old haunts from beach week trips during college summers, I was ready to make these airy, but chewy chocolate almond meringues chosen by Mike of  UglyDudeFood. The humidity is terrible here in Georgia, definitely not conducive for making meringues, but turning the AC temperature down to 70° F helped somewhat. My meringues are light-colored due to the fact that I only had a really, really scant 1/4 cup of cocoa, but that didn't seem to affect the chocolate flavor.

After cheating on the chocolate, I also cheated on the photography! My house is up for sale and it's tough for me to pull out all my photography gears and props, so I used my iPhone to take the photo. I think as long as you don't use any weird filters on food photos, you can take a fairly decent food photo. After uploading the photo from my phone to my computer, I used onOne Software Photo Frame to add the blurring to the outside of the photo.

Check out Mike's blog for the recipe and TWD for other posts on the Cocoa Almond Meringues.

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