journalist | pastry chef | food tourist
journalist | pastry chef | food tourist
Kumquat season can’t start soon enough for me. Beginning in January and lasting until almost April, these mini orange-like fruits are delicate and gorgeous, and a fabulous healthy snack.
Full of Vitamins A, C, and E, kumquats are incredibly rich sources of healthy dietary fiber, minerals, and flavonoid (i.e. pigment) anti-oxidants. The peel is not only a zesty snack, its also a bite of essential oils. Combined with dark chocolate, you might as well eat them all.
1 pint kumquats, sliced into 3 or 4 pieces
1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or similar Cane Syrup)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 TB granulated sugar
2 oz. 60% dark chocolate
In a small pot over low heat, stir together honey, syrup, and water. Add kumquats and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, or until kumquats begin to appear translucent. Remove from heat. With a slotted spoon, move each kumquat piece from the pot to a cooling rack.
Heat oven to 180 degrees. Place rack with kumquats over the same size baking sheet, and put in oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until pieces are slightly dry. Sprinkle with sugar. Allow to cool for at least two hours.
Melt chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over a pot of bowling water. As soon as the chocolate starts to melt, remove from the pot and stir until completely melted. Dip each kumquat piece halfway in chocolate and place on cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until set.
These recipes involve two of my top holiday ingredients: chocolate and pumpkin. They work splendidly for the Christmas recipe must-make list… warm, spicy, filling and definitely Holiday-ish. Wake up to some cinnamony brioche and say goodnight with a spiked cider.
Recipe from Hedy Goldsmith’s Cooking Out Loud
Ever since I found this recipe a few years ago, I’ve made some kind of variation every year. I’ll add nuts, make it vegan (this is fabulous with coconut oil), eat it crust-less, and switch up the type of chocolate. Garnish with quality coffee ice cream, or pomegranate syrup, or just enjoy the richness of the filling by itself. Once you try it, I’ll guarantee this will switch to your “always make” list.
Recipe from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
I love a good brioche. It’s such a delicate, yet rich bread, with the most perfect outside crust I think a bread can have. I was hesitant to add spices or pumpkin since brioche is so good by itself, but this recipe is a winner, and the subtle nuances of the pumpkin bake beautifully. The swirls of cinnamon sugar and pumpkin spice a delicious surprise when you cut the loaf open. I was able to make 5 mini loaves out of one batch, enough to give away and freeze. I think I could eat for breakfast every day until spring breaks.
Recipe by Adrianna at A Cozy Kitchen
Who doesn’t want to wake up to the aromas of chocolate and pumpkin all at once? In a pancake to boot, made with buttermilk and dark brown sugar… can there really be anything better in life? I say no.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Entertaining with the Seasons, by Georgeanne Brennan (Free Press, 2010).
Warm cider is a-given during the holidays. This clove infused recipe is perfect for holiday entertaining. Add a splash of your favorite whiskey and garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange peel for a spiked version. Enjoy as an after dinner drink or accompanied by a slice of apple pie.
Continuing with the warm and festive cocktail kick I’m on… here’s an absolutely fabulous recipe from Chef Jason Lage of Market Table Bistro. He shared this with me back in December 2011, and it was originally published in the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
If eggnog isn’t part of your Christmas dinner tradition, it will be after your first sip of this belly-warming, smooth drink.
1 quart heavy cream
10 whole eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
5 or 6 whole cloves1/2 of a cinnamon stick
fresh nutmeg, 1/2 tablespoon (plus extra)*
2 tablesppons chopped ginger
vanilla bean (optional), 1/4 teaspoon salt
Christmas isn’t Christmas without something red, sweet, and chocolatey. This pomegranate bark, made with pistachios, and a touch of orange zest, is the perfect gift, or healthy dessert, for your holiday must-make list. Featured on Refinery 29 yesterday (woohoo!)—this recipe came to be after a way-too-fun brainstorming session (the first of many) with new friend, and kindred spirit, Carlene of Healthfully Ever After. We were looking to develop some easy, healthy, but delicious desserts for the holidays.
The photos were shot by the lovely, and talented Yvonne Rock (she is truly gifted!). You’ll want to read Carlene’s full post here. She is amazing to work with and I could talk about food for hours with her!