Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First Crack at the Last Course


One of my Christmas gifts was a new cookbook from my BIL; The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern.

Once I had a chance to sit and really look through it, I think I came close to actually drooling while reading. This book is amazing.

I have plans for about 3/4 of the recipes, they're that good. But I had on hand the ingredients for two of them: Pine-Nut Tart with Rosemary, and Pink Grapefruit-Rosemary Sorbet.

(why can't I take pictures of light-colored foods? This is a very lovely light pink...in real life)

The sorbet was a breeze to make: two cups of grapefruit juice and one cup of simple syrup (simmered with a couple sprigs of rosemary) and our ice cream maker. But WOW; is it fabulous!

Strong, grapefruit flavor, with a nice, subtle hint of the rosemary. Not too sweet, and if you can handle the cold, you'll definitely want more.

The tart was a bit more work, but still fairly easy to make.

A nice almond crust, with a rosemary-flavored and pine nut studded caramel.

Matt says: "Relatively dense crust, fairly prominent almond flavor. Rather dark, not particularly creamy, caramel. Soft, just thick enough to hold together the pine nuts. Very dark, toasty, flavor all around."

He's happy, and I have another cook book winner. Thanks, Andrew!

Blog Party #6 has been announced, and this month? We're going Retro! Click here for all the information, and hope to see you at the party!

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10 Thoughts for food:

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Kalyn said...

The retro blog party sounds fun. I will try to do it this time if life does not get in the way.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Kalyn, we'd love for you to join us!

And remember; you can make your dishes any time between now and the party...which may work better for you. The post only has to go up by a certain date; there's no restrictions on when they're actualy made!

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous dexygus said...

i love this book. gorgeous photos and very inspiring.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Yay, the pastry chef weighs in!

I really like the two recipes I've made, and plan to pretty much work my way through the rest of it!

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Nic said...

Hi Stephanie. I have to say that that tart sounds good! Light colored and reflective foods are hard for us all, I think. =(

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Nic!

The tart was pretty easy to make, and I just happened to have all the ingredients lying around.

I wish there was a fool-proof way of photographing ice cream, and cream-based soups, and the like: it's driving me crazy!

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Laura said...

hey stephanie, that tart looks delicious, but I have to say when I first saw the image, I was wondering why you put baked beans in a tart shell. ;)

On the photo -- the trick is your flash. If you can take the picture without it, you're in business. Otherwise, you need a better flash on your camera, the kind that pivots (think professional-style) then you can angle the flash up or against something reflective to get sufficient light without washing out the color. Needsless to say, most of us don't have that available.

My suggestion is to try to fudge some lighting since you have the complaint pretty often. Use a clamp-style work light with a full spectrum light bulb in it, and experiment with some kind of translucent/sheer fabric to go over it, like cheesecloth, gauze, thin cotton, etc.

If you use the clamp work light then at least it's mostly portable. Just an idea.

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Randi said...

When I first saw that pic, I thought " why is she putting baked beans in a tart". Im relieved to see that they're pine nuts.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Baked Beans!!! That's so funny...

Laura, thanks for the tips. No, we can't afford a fancy camera like that, so w'll go with the FSL...I do hope that helps!

I am so sick of fighting with white foods.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Randi...again with the Baked Beans!!!

Well, if they can make a Boston Baked Beans candy, why not a tart?


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