Tag Archives: sweets

Chocolate Tamales with Port Infused Cherries

Chocolate tamales with port infused cherries and toasted pecans | mjskitchen.com

 

When you think of dessert, does “tamale” come to mind?  Well, if not, maybe I can change that with these chocolate tamales with port infused cherries.  Inside of these little corn husk packages are individually sized chocolate cakes, packed with dried cherries that have been re-hydrated in sweet Ruby Port.  The “cakes” or tamales are made with masa (corn flour), cocoa, and a few other choice ingredients.  Served these tamales warm with a small scoop of vanilla bean gelato and you’ll feel like a kid at a birthday party eating chocolate cake and ice cream.

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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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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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Sweet Kabocha Pudding

A sweet pudding made from kabocha squash

 

A few days ago I roasted a Kabocha squash with the intention of making a soup; however, when I tasted the pulp it was so sweet, I decided that I wanted to make a dessert.  But what kind of dessert do you make with squash? As I was tasting the squash and thinking about how creamy it was, the squash spoke to me….pudding.  Oh how I love pudding!  So there you have it. A sweet Kabocha pudding was born.

The main ingredients for this Kabocha pudding are squash pulp and almond milk. A little maple syrup is used as the sweetener and agar as the gelling agent.  Because I used agar, the texture isn’t the same as pudding made with eggs and milk, but it is still very creamy and smooth.  Bobby grabbed a pudding from the fridge thinking it was butterscotch. He took a couple of bites and then said “I have no idea what I’m eating, but it’s damn good!”  Need I say more? 🙂

Because I only used 1 cup of pulp to make this pudding, I still had 2 cups left to make a small batch of Kabocha and Fennel Soup. A completely different use of the Kabocha and oh so good!

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Pear Apple Cobbler – A Twist on an Old Favorite

A pear apple cobbler for two | mjskitchen.com

 

My absolutely favorite dessert is the classic southern fruit cobbler (see recipe below).  It is SO easy to make and you can use any fruit that is in season or that you have in the freezer. I’m calling it “classic” because it is one of those recipes that goes back several generations. My southern grandmother made it and I’m sure she got the recipe from her mom.  My mother made it all of the time and I am continuing with the tradition.  I call it “southern” but a friend of mine that was born and raised in New Mexico by native New Mexican parents has used the same recipe all of her life as well. So go figure.  It’s obviously made and loved by a lot of people.

The only problem with the recipe is that it makes enough for 6 people. Since it’s just the two of us, that means Bobby eats two servings and I eat the rest. 🙂 I have no willpower when it comes to this cobbler. If it’s sitting on the counter, I’ll take a bite every single time I walk through the kitchen.  Before you know it, it’s gone.  In an effort to be good, I decided to experiment with the recipe, by cutting back on the quantity as well as the fat and sugar.  The result was excellent!  The first time I made these individual servings I used a Bosc pear. The next time, I added a small Winesap apple with the pear.  Both versions were delicious and very easy to throw together. Bobby and I each got one serving with no tempting leftovers. It was perfect.

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Salted Pecan Bark

Salted Pecan Chocolate Bark @MJsKitchen

 

I love nuts of all kinds, but I have to say that pecans are my absolutely favorite. Up until 3 years ago when my mother sold the family home, all my pecans came from the pecan tree in the backyard of the house in which I grew up.  When I moved to New Mexico, my mother would ship me bags of shelled pecans for Christmas. Yes, I said “shelled” pecans!  On my visits back home, I would raid her freezer which normally had more pecans that she could eat.  It always gave me a thrill to think that I was still eating pecans from the same tree after all of these years!

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Quick and Easy Strawberry Jam

How to make a single jar of strawberry jam without pectin, in less than 30 minutes. #jam @mjskitchen mjskitchen.com

How this Quick & Easy Strawberry Jam evolved.

My mother jammed, jellied, preserved or pickled everything from peaches to watermelon rinds, cucumbers to okra.  Fortunately, I paid attention and learned.  Along with learning the techniques of canning, I also developed a love for canning and preserving.  I think preserving your own food is something that you really need to enjoy because it can be time consuming and tedious, depending on what you are canning.  Most times you have to be able to enjoy spending the whole day in a hot kitchen, working over a stovetop that has at least one burner going continuously (keeping the jars hot), peeling, squeezing, cooking, stirring, and canning until all of the fruit or vegetables have been processed.  It’s so much fun!  Really!  Of course a NCIS marathon to keep you company doesn’t hurt.

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