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Spice it up with Fiery Chocolate Shots

Chocolate shots with ginger, chile, and Baileys Irish Cream #chocolate @mjskitchen mjskitchen.com

 

Chocolate shots might not be the best name for this chocolate delight, because “shots” are normally drank all at once, in one shot.  That’s not what you’ll want to do here.  This sweet and spicy, chocolatey beverage is best sipped so you can enjoy all of its goodness several times over.  These Fiery Chocolate Shots are made with chocolate, milk and cream, a bit of ginger, urfa biber chile powder, and Baileys Irish Cream.  A great after dinner delight for date night.

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Persimmon Cranberry Parfait

A simple persimmon parfait made with granola and yogurt. Nothing fancy, just good.

 

Next time you get a craving for something sweet and healthy, delicious and easy to make, give these Persimmon Cranberry Parfaits a try.  They’re nothing fancy but they definitely will make you feel like you’re eating something fancy.  Fresh persimmons and dried cranberries are heated in orange juice and a splash of liquor, then layered with yogurt, granola and a few chopped nuts.  A delicious little treat in less than 15 minutes!

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Thai Tea Pudding

Thai tea pudding is a creamy pudding made with Thai tea, milk and a little condensed milk. | mjskitchen.com

 

This Thai Tea Pudding is a pudding version of the Thai iced tea that is served in many Asian restaurants.  It’s creamy, it’s sweet (but not near as sweet as the iced beverage), and quite addicting. Every time I serve it, it doesn’t matter what I had served for the main meal, this pudding steals the show.  It’s a great finish to any meal!

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Spiked Poached Pears

Pears poached in apple cider, Cointreau and spice

 

One of the flavors of the fall that I really enjoy is that of a perfectly poached pear.  Poaching transforms an under-ripe, rather tasteless pear into a tender and delicately flavored bite.  This Spiked Poached Pear recipe has been used for many types of pears and the outcome has been the same every time – delicious! The trick with poaching pears is to start with firm, a bit under-ripe pears. A soft pear that is ready to eat should just be eaten and enjoyed.  If you try to poach it, it will turn to mush.  However, if you have some pears that need a day or two before they are ready to bite into, then poach a few of them.  You’ll love the results.

In this recipe the pears are simply peeled and set into a relatively small amount of fruit juice with a touch of sweet liquor and some spices.  The recipe below is a combination of ingredients that we thoroughly enjoy; however, I do change it up a little here and there depending on what ingredients I have available.  For example, the liquor is quite versatile. You can omit is altogether or substitute with another sweet wine or liquor.  The fruit juice – the liquid base – can be just about any fruit juice you have on hand.  And the spices – those are easy to change up.  See the Kitchen Notes for variations.

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Chocolate Pudding, New Mexico Style and the Museum of International Folk Art

A chocolate pudding seasoned with red chile powder, cinnamon and ginger @mjskitchen | mjskitchen.com

 

Before I get to the New Mexico Style Chocolate Pudding recipe, I want to share our visit to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  There were three exhibits that we wanted to see and all three exceeded our expectations.

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Amish Quilts Exhibit

The first exhibit we visited was a display of Amish Quilts.  Many of the quilts displayed were more than 100 years old and were still vibrant and richly beautiful.  The museum allows photography as long as you don’t use a flash; therefore, I’m able to share some of this lovely quilts with you.   Having been a quilter at one time in my life, I never tire of looking at quilts, old quilts, new quilts, contemporary quilts.  Knowing the amount of time and love that goes into making one, I’ve never found a quilt I didn’t like.  The artistry and craftsmanship in these 100 year old quilts blew me away.

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Peach Pecan Ice Cream

A no cook fresh peach pecan ice cream with only 5 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep. #peaches #ice #cream @mjskitchen

 

Oh the many, many fond memories of making fresh peach ice cream out in the back yard. I have always loved peach season, not only for the juicy, ripe peaches, but also for the peach ice cream.  Growing up, we made it a tradition to make several batches of peach ice cream during peach season. Whenever we picked up a bushel of peaches, I knew some of them would end up in ice cream.  Bobby and I were able to continue that tradition for many years due to our lovely peach trees.  During peach season, our friends would gather on the back porch and we would all take turns churning the ice cream bucket.  Those were the days when ice cream was made outside in a 1 ½ gallon container surrounded by ice and rock salt, and everyone had to work for their serving.  Now a days ice cream is made on the kitchen counter and in much smaller amounts.  With my ice cream maker, I still have to manually churn it, but that’s o.k.  It doesn’t make near the mess and the clean up is a whole lot easier!

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Apple Pecan Crepes with Cheddar Cheese

Crepes with sauteed apples, toasted pecans, cheddar cheese and maple syrup

 

If somewhere in the human genome there is a gene for a sweet tooth, then my family has it! We always had desserts and sweets to nibble on when I was growing up and we all still need that little bite of something sweet after each meal. One of my favorite sweet treats that my mama use to make, and one I still love today is taking a piece of apple pie, topping it with a big slice of cheddar cheese and putting it under the broiler until the cheese melted all over the pie. These Apple Pecan Crepes are a lighter version of the apple pie and just as delicious.

To make Apple Pecan Crepes with Cheddar Cheese you first make some light crepes with a bit of dark rum. Fold grated cheddar cheese into the crepes and heat.  Gently saute’ apples in butter, topped with cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of maple syrup, then place them on top of the crepes.  Top with chopped toasted pecans and touch of warm maple syrup.  Now if that doesn’t get your mouthwatering, then nothing will!

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Meyer Lemon Sherbet and an Assortment of Meyer Lemon Recipes

A bowl of meyer lemon sherbet. mjskitchen.com

 

The co-op had some beautiful Meyer lemons the other day and I couldn’t resist buying a few, especially since I had never bought them before. I never knew what to do with them thus I never bought them. Now I know!  I used one of the lemons in place of preserved lemons in my Capellini with lemon, garlic and egg pasta dish. It was very good, better than regular lemons but not as good as using preserved lemons.  So what do I do with the other lemons?  The weather helped me answer that question.  We have finally warmed up to near record highs and the spring winds have started to blow; therefore, something cool and refreshing sounded good, thus – a Meyer Lemon Sherbet.

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Orange Brown Butter Tart from a Sweet Heart

A beautiful orange brown butter tart

 

I wish I could say that I made this beautiful Orange Brown Butter Tart, but I can’t. Instead I’m thrilled to say that it was made by my dear friend Anne @ a Salad for all Seasons (previously From My Sweet Heart) who is sharing it with us today! In case you don’t know Anne, Anne makes some of the best desserts, sweets, treats, mouthwatering delights and now salads on the web. Every once in a while she’ll surprise us with something savory like her Black Bean Tart with a Chili Crust. Oh my!!!  Anne has a passion for baking, and you can definitely see that when you visit her site. She’s fun, she’s creative, and she’s one hell of a baker! So let’s check out this wonderful tart.  Thank you so much for sharing this with us Anne!

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