Saffron Scented Panna Cotta – from one of my favorite new books!

My husband is going to have a fit when he realizes that I’m talking about his diet on my website. It really does have some relevance to this post, so I hope he will forgive me! He went to the doctor recently and was basically told he needed to cut back on butter, cream and puff pastry. Hahaha. Can you imagine how a request like that goes over in my house. We both stared at the contents of our refrigerator and sighed. After the shock wore off we decided to approach his doctor’s advice as a challenge. How can we continue to satisfy our love of eating and cooking, but do it in a way that fits his new diet. I immediately saw it as an opportunity to buy more cook books.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift from the Splendid Table just came out with a fantastic book How to Eat Supper.  It has encouraged us to try new things and rethink some of our classic recipes. Much like the philosophy Jeff and I have written about in our book about bread Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, they use for cooking. The food we cook should be fresh, made with great ingredients, fit into our busy schedules and above all else taste great! They deliver on all fronts and I just love this book!

One of the desserts I’ve tried from it is Lynne’s panna cotta recipe. (more…)

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Chocolate Poached Pears!

Every New Years Eve my husband and I stay home and have raw oysters, lobster and champagne. This has been our tradition ever since we moved to Minnesota, 15 years ago. Graham proposed to me on NYE so it has always been a special night for us. This year our two young boys joined us in the celebration. They helped to shuck the oysters and then reluctantly slid them down. Our 9 year old was satisfied with just one and will perhaps forgo this part of the tradition next year and head straight for the lobster! 😉 Our 7 year old, on the other hand, ate the oysters like popcorn. The only problem with having a child who likes raw oysters is now I have to share!

After a meal this rich I wanted something decadent, but light. Poached pears seemed the perfect ending, but with a twist on the classic. Pears slowly poached in chocolate sauce. Gorgeous and luscious, but absolutely no fat in the entire recipe. The 4 of us ushered in the New Year while playing scrabble and eating our pears! Not exactly the dance-all-night-raves of our youth, but just as wonderful! (more…)

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