Saturday, September 5, 2009

Current Faves

In response to Tracy's post on her current faves over at shutterbean:

Autumn is coming! It's one of my favorite things! That first time you get to wear a sweater... leaves crunching underfoot... It doesn't last long so you better catch it quick...and enjoy it.

You know what else doesn't last long? (And is coincidentally one of my favorite things?)

Chocolate Tiramisu.

It's creamy, rich and has just the right balance of chocolate and coffee flavors. It's comforting...just like that perfect sweater.

Chocolate Tiramisu

12 ounces mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa**

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup coffee-flavored liqueur

1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons powdered instant espresso coffee

6 ounces ladyfingers (about 2 dozen), halved

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a medium bowl.. Using same bowl, beat the mascarpone, 6 tablespoons of the ground chocolate, 1/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup of the liqueur, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract, and the salt with a wire whisk. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup liqueur, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, the water, and the espresso powder. Line a 2-1/2 quart glass or crystal bowl with one fourth of the ladyfingers; brush with 2 tablespoons of the espresso mixture. Spoon one third of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat, making 2 more layers of ladyfingers brushed with the espresso mixture and topped with the mascarpone mixture. Top with the remaining ladyfingers, gently pressing them into the cheese mixture. Brush the ladyfingers with the remaining espresso mixture. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of ground chocolate over the top. In a small mixing bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream and the remaining confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream into a decorating bag with a large star-shaped tip. Pipe large rosettes on top of the dessert. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of ground chocolate on the rosettes. Chill at least 2 hours.

**I've heard others have had some success using powdered cocoa mix, but I think the flavor of Ghiradelli's is the best.

That's one of my favorites. What's yours?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Okay to Churn...

Can we talk?

I know I've been a little bit lax in my posting, but you know what's all the rage these days?

Forgiveness. Everyone's doing it.

When you forgive someone your heart just smiles and you feel a ton better. Forgiveness is like Raspberry Ice Cream.... That feeling you get when you let go. Stop hoarding all those freshly picked raspberries and just give in. Churn them, it'll be okay.

It's sweet, delicious, and makes your heart smile. Your personal trainer may not forgive you, but it'll be worth it!

Raspberry Ice Cream (Adapted from The Perfect Scoop)

1 1/2 cups raspberry puree (I like to strain mine; you'll need 6 cups of fresh berries)
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Dissolve sugar in the half and half over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set aside. Add half of the hot mixture to the egg yolks and then add all the egg mixture back into the hot pan. Stirring constantly, bring the egg mixture to 170 degrees, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Pour hot mixture through a strainer into the cream. Add the raspberry puree and lemon juice. Stir over and ice bath until chilled. Freeze according to ice cream freezer manufacturer's directions.

Enjoy a little slice of summer happiness, and then forgive yourself for having seconds!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's determined: ISFJ

After thorough testing and research, I've found my Jungian type:

ISFJ - The Nurturer

As an ISFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you takes things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system.

ISFJs live in a world that is concrete and kind. They are truly warm and kind-hearted, and want to believe the best of people. They value harmony and cooperation, and are likely to be very sensitive to other people's feelings. People value the ISFJ for their consideration and awareness, and their ability to bring out the best in others by their firm desire to believe the best.

ISFJs have a rich inner world that is not usually obvious to observers. They constantly take in information about people and situations that is personally important to them, and store it away. This tremendous store of information is usually startlingly accurate, because the ISFJ has an exceptional memory about things that are important to their value systems. It would not be uncommon for the ISFJ to remember a particular facial expression or conversation in precise detail years after the event occured, if the situation made an impression on the ISFJ.

ISFJs have a very clear idea of the way things should be, which they strive to attain. They value security and kindness, and respect traditions and laws. They tend to believe that existing systems are there because they work. Therefore, they're not likely to buy into doing things in a new way, unless they're shown in a concrete way why its better than the established method.

ISFJs learn best by doing, rather than by reading about something in a book, or applying theory. For this reason, they are not likely to be found in fields which require a lot of conceptual analysis or theory. They value practical application. Traditional methods of higher education, which require a lot of theorizing and abstraction, are likely to be a chore for the ISFJ. The ISFJ learns a task best by being shown its practical application. Once the task is learned, and its practical importance is understood, the ISFJ will faithfully and tirelessly carry through the task to completion. The ISFJ is extremely dependable.

The ISFJ has an extremely well-developed sense of space, function, and aesthetic appeal. For that reason, they're likely to have beautifully furnished, functional homes. They make extremely good interior decorators. This special ability, combined with their sensitivity to other's feelings and desires, makes them very likely to be great gift-givers - finding the right gift which will be truly appreciated by the recipient.

Click here to read on.

She was a famous ISFJ, and the world loved her!

Glad that's over. Now I can move on to other aspects of my identity.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Today I Made Partner!

...I joined my local co-op (finally)!

I'm so close, near enough to walk for a year now, and yet I hadn't joined until now! What gives?! Today I took my mom on a veggie shopping spree and decided today was the day!

Here's me, in all of my new natural food glory:

New Start + New Vegetables!
I <3 my co-op!