Miss you to pieces…and a fantastic no-bake cheese dessert recipe

Alright, I haven’t been posting for a while, I have no one to blame but myself  and it’s only because I decided to do nothing and devote more time for sitting.

But first, this:

no-bake cheese dessert with blueberry sauce

I’m kitting I’m kitting…

I get 4,000 reminders from the Mr and daughters that go something like this: “hey mom/babe i haven’t heard your shooting gun pew pew for a while, what happened? and don’t give me excuses i/we don’t wanna hear it!”. So why did you ask.
See, my camera makes fast and repeat shooting sounds kinda like run-and-gun…too funny.

Now this:

no-bake cheese dessert with blueberry sauce

I’m also aware of the fact that by not posting every week can/may/has an effect on my blog and my beloved followers (hi honey), not to mention a limited amount of eyeballs.

What!?

…but that doesn’t stop me from coming back and posting about the things I love to do that fuel my soul.

And now this:

no-bake cheese dessert with OMG blueberry sauceYou see, now and then life throws at you a couple of balls to juggle like there is no tomorrow for example: we got another dog, a puppy, I don’t even know why. That’s a lot of show right there. Being away from home for a long time isn’t easy on my family (although I get to do whatever I want and end the nights really…really late).  I recently traveled overseas to plan my daughter’s Bat-Mitzva this summer. Apparently it’s like planning a wedding minus the groom. And I’m only scratching the surface here. The book I want to write that is long over-due and that my family “reminds” me about it every day…I’m about to explode. My head is full with so much to write that sometimes its hard to get it all out. Don’t get me wrong I love my head it’s wonderful and full of awesomeness but…wait let me breath…nonetheless, I will and shall make it happen.

And now, I am delighted to introduce a fantastic dessert that has just the right ingredients to make anyone happy. It’s summer, it’s hot, we wear less and excercise more but this dessert only completes our summer picture perfect. It’s surprisingly provocative and infused with acidity, sweetness, creaminess and texture that create a sultry dessert – it’s a party in your mouth.

No-bake cheese dessert with OMG blueberry sauce

no-bake cheese dessert with OMG blueberry sauce

So easy to make I call it SmartDessert because first, you can enjoy this elegant sweetness under any weather even if you’re having a turbulence in your living room. Second, it’s three easy recipes in one, where I’ll post about separately, that you can enjoy completely on their own. Smart he?

My favorite part is the blueberry sauce. O.M.G – It is to die for. I mixed a couple of liquids and made a heavenly blueberry reduction. The Mr was speechless! so was I. But you know how kids are…they always have something to say…errr.

Finally, this:

no-bake cheese dessert with OMG blueberry sauce

Shall we?

Ingredients:

Cheese batter

8 oz. cold Mascarpone cheese
1 cup very cold heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
pinch of kosher salt

Blueberry sauce:

2 c. fresh blueberries
1/2 c. Kahlua liqure
1/4 aged balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp pure honey

*1 tbsp honey butter, room temperature – click for the recipe

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Yields 6 cups. Grease 6 glass ice-cream cups with honey butter. refrigerate until ready to use.
In a medium bowl combine cheese, vanill, sugar and salt. Whisk until smooth and creamy. In another bowl beat the whipping cream until thick and fluffy. Fold the cream into the cheese mixture. Scoop into the chilled ice-cream cups. Refrigerate 4 hours.

In the meantime, combine kahlua and balsamic in a non-stick medium pan on medium heat. When starts to boil lower heat to low and cook until liquid reduced by a third. Add blueberries and honey, mix and continue to cook a few more minutes stirring occasionally, until sauce is honey-like consistency. Keep in mind not to overcook the blueberries. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature**.

Take the cups out of the refrigerator, arrange on a serving tray and top with blueberry sauce. Serve.  It is A.mazing every.single.time.

**I store the Blueberry sauce in a glass container in the refrigerator, it becomes hard when chilled. I stick it in the microwave on high for a few seconds to melt, just before re-use.

This sauce also makes an amazing jam on a fresh country toasted bread.

Delicious red-hot Moroccan fish tagine

There are only two words that when I hear at any given moment I get all excited (besides other two words o.k.). Words that make me feel all warm and cozy inside, make me imagine rich colors, exotic spices, velvety sauces, table filled with hungry mouths. Well, that’s just me – Moroccan food. Yes. Yes.

It’s rich, hot and sexy and nutritious but most of all it’s unforgettable. Authentic Moroccan food is never an unhealthy bunch of spicy ingredients thrown onto something and cooked. No no. Moroccan food is simply pure fresh ingredients with one main star – fish, chicken or beef and lots and lots of love.

moroccan fish tagine

So today we are focusing on love = Moroccan fish = love.
Ever since I remember myself my mother cooked fish every Friday for Shabbat table. She would start her cooking on Wednesday, preparing a juicy marinade for the fish. Then she would dip the slices of fish in the marinade, making sure not even a tiny spot is uncovered. She would lay them perfectly in a large pot on a bed of fresh vegetables and refrigerate it for two days – until Friday noon. Then she would place the big pot on the stove, first high heat and a few minutes later I would hear bubbling and the house is filled with this CRAZY aroma that drove us all nuts we wanted to eat each other. Patiently while humming in her beautiful voice mom would then turn the heat to low and let the fish cook until it’s tender almost falling off the bones, the sauce is thickened and redder than ever. My juice buds are going bananas now. My mother is simply a Moroccan food genius.

I’m hopelessly inspired by her so I’ve developed my way of re-creating my mother’s fish tagine. Let me tell you – when we have guests they always wipe the plates clean. I don’t even have to wash the dishes 😉

moroccan fish tagine

Now let’s impress some people shall we:

ingredients:
Note about fish: I use whole fish clean inside and out and cut to 2″ thick. You can use fillet if you like: red snapper, halibut, white fish – it’s a personal preference.
Here I use 2 medium whole Trout
6-7 peeled garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
2 heaping tbsp of good quality sweet red paprika
(optional) 2 green chili pepper sliced diagonally
(optional) 5 small red-hot dried chili peppers
3 medium carrots peeled and sliced diagonally
2 celery stalks sliced diagonally
1 medium size red bell pepper cut to strips
1 small lemon thinly sliced
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped parsley
preparations:
In a medium pot arrange vegetables except for the bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Set a side.
In a medium bowl combine herbs, oil and spices and dried chili peppers. Mix well into the oil. Coat pieces of fish with the spice mixture or dip each piece in the mix. Arrange fish on the vegetables, top with red bell pepper. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least two hours. You can leave it to marinate in the fridge for a full 24 hours if you’re planning to eat it the next day.
Turn stove on medium/high, pour 3/4 cup of water in the pot, leave uncovered and let fish get the first boil. When boiling turn to medium/low, cover and cook while reducing liquids, about 25 min or so. Keep an eye making sure sauce does not dry out. The smell is going to drive you crazy. Be patient it cooks quickly.

To serve: get your best dish out why wait for a special occasion? this is it. Gently lay a slice or two of fish on the plate, arrange some cooked juicy vegetables around it and spoon some of this rich red sauce on top. If you have fresh bread don’t hide it. The first bite with the bread dipped in the sauce and you transfer yourself to the land of spicy dreams: Morocco.

You don’t have to say a word…but I can’t promise you keep silent for long…

The perfect pear – shockingly delicious dessert

perfect pear dessert

perfect pears dessertIt’s gorgeous, its sexy and shockingly delicious thanks to the aged balsamic vinegar that adds a unique zap to this dish.

Deep in color and transparency the glaze is gently poured over the pears drips from top to bottom, creating this perfect little puddle on the plate – a perfect warm blanket for a scoop of vanilla ice cream – it will awaken all your senses!

It’s a favorite in my family and among friends and one of the easiest to make. The idea is to use an aged balsamic vinegar – the best you can efford.

pears in a pot - perfect pear dessertshall we:

Ingredients:
4 firm pears, peeled and left whole (Bosc work well)
2 cups of water
½ cup of a good quality aged balsamic vinegar – the best you can efford.
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
5 cloves
1 tsp cardamon seeds, crashed
vanilla ice cream (optional)

perfect pear dessertPreparation:

From the bottom of the pears cut a small slice so pears can stand upright.
In a medium heavy sauce pan combine water, balsamic vinegar, sugar and spices. Lay the pears in liquid and bring to a gentle boil on a medium/high heat. Cover the pot half way with a lid (so not to cause an over-spill), reduce to simmer. Cook pears for about 30 min or until tender, making sure you turn pears at least once.
Remove pears from the pot and set a side to cool. Continue to cook the balsamic glaze on a medium/high heat until thickens and sauce reduced to about half a cup. At this time the sauce turns into a beautiful transparent dark glaze. Remove from heat and let cool. The sauce thickens a little bit more while cooling. Remove bits of spices if you want. I usually leave it.
On a beautiful dessert dish place pears, or a single pear, upright. Gently spoon the warm balsamic glaze over the pear. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Serve it to yourself of course, and guests – you don’t have to say a word. They will.

perfect pears dessert

perfect pears dessert with vanilla ice cream

Eat. Bon apptite