Can you believe it’s already August?!! I feel like this summer is in fast forward. I guess that’s what happens when you eat this much ice cream. Speaking of sweets, check out this exquisite berries and cream cake by Carey Nershi. Carey took a mini-break from her site Reclaiming Provincial for a few months, but is now back in full force, cake and all! I’m such a fan of Carey’s work, and I know you will be too. Oh, and if you give this cake a try this weekend, save some of those blueberries – I have more berry goodness coming your way soon! In the meantime, here’s what I’m loving this week . . .
It’s been a while since I made us a classic cocktail. I know, completely unacceptable! Thankfully I received a bottle of Caorunn gin (hooray for booze mail!) and immediately thought of the Aviation. This delightfully sophisticated cocktail is just too pretty (and tasty) to overlook. In fact, there may even be an embarrassing old video of me making an Aviation floating somewhere around the internet, but no need to discuss that at the moment! Please enjoy . . .
I decided to garnish with a couple edible violets because, well, edible flowers duh!
I don’t like dried fruit. I don’t even really like most all store bought fruit leathers. But lavashak? Addicted is the only way to describe the way I feel about this Persian version of fruit leather. It’s the inherent tart and sour qualities that I love so much – not too sweet, super fragrant and deliciously chewy. I was first introduced to lavashak by my friend’s mother, who makes sheets of it with fruit from her orchard, summer after summer. The traditional method is to pick lots of fresh stone fruit, like plums, pluots, sour cherries, apricots or peaches, cook them down into a thick sauce, spread them over ceramic plates and allow them to dry naturally in the sun over a period of days. It’s a great way to preserve summer’s best fruit. And kids love it too!
Stone fruit will really give you that wonderful tart quality that I personally like. But you can use just about any fruit here. I intentionally omit sugar – as long as you’re using ripe fruit, it doesn’t need it! Sour cherries, plums and pluots will make for tart and tangy lavashak. Peaches, nectarines and apricots will obviously be sweeter. For this recipe, I’m using two varieties of pluots: Flavor Kings and Dapple Jacks.
I like making people happy. It’s pretty much the best thing about being a bartender. Well, that and the tequila. And let me tell you, there aren’t many things that make people happier than punch – not to the face, but rather, in a bowl. Preferably with pretty ice and a few fists full of booze. This Philadephia Fish House Punch is certainly no exception. Taken directly from the pages of the one and only Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s new, and aptly named, “The Bar Book”, my favorite part of this punch (and future punches no doubt) was making the vacuum-sealed oleo saccharum. There’s something eerily satisfying about mechanically sucking all the air out of a plastic bag until it’s hard enough to use as a frisbee. Trust me, you’ll want one of these. And all things considered they aren’t that pricey. Personally, I can’t wait to start using it for marinades. In the meantime, let’s keep the party going this week with a big (gl)ass bowl of punch!!
This recipe requires some prep a day in advance, so be sure to read the directions carefully.
Summer has been a little crazy ’round these parts. Let’s just say that it’s truly a season of celebration. I’ll explain more later, but for now you’ll have to trust me. Regardless, we thought it would be the perfect time to revist our ricotta crostini party – this time, spicing things up with an assortment of cheeses and more of our favorite seasonal toppings. Sadly, my nacho cheese and pickled jalapeno crostini didn’t make the cut! I guess I better stick to the cocktails. Hopefully our little summer crostini party inspires your inner party animal and gives you some creative ideas for your next gathering. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some eating to do . . .
Ice cream week here at HonestlyYUM wouldn’t be complete without a roundup of some of our favorite scoops from around the Bay. I can proudly say that we truly boast some of the best ice cream, well, just about anywhere! Hopefully this list is helpful for those of you visiting the SF Bay Area. And locals, please chime in with your favorites – inevitably I left out some well-deserving spots (there are so many amazing choices!!!). I definitely plan on heading back out for a few more cones this weekend. Speaking of which, don’t forget to stop by Fentons Creamery’s 120th anniversary celebration this Sunday, July 20th, from 12-3pm for some serious ice cream fun!
Coconut Chocolate Chip Almond (Vegan) - Ice Cream Bar, San Francisco
This 1930′s style soda fountain in Cole Valley has floats, phosphates, shakes and sundaes – not to mention some of the best ice cream I’ve EVER eaten – vegan or not.
Ube - Mitchell’s, San Francisco
One of San Francisco’s oldest ice cream parlors, Mitchell’s knows a thing or two about making ice cream. In fact, I’d drive days for a scoop of their Ube (purple yam). Luckily, it’s just right across the Bay in the Mission district.
Lemon Meringue – Ici, Berkeley
Soft, fluffy meringue is mixed right into this beautiful creation. Oh, and make sure you get a cone – there’s a surprise at the bottom!