Grapefruit Sorbet from Lomelino’s Ice Cream

Pink Grapefruit Sorbet

Pink Grapefruit Sorbet

One of my favorite desserts is ice cream. I purchased an ice cream making machine some years ago, and bring it out mostly during the summer months.

I have an abnormal obsession with ice cream and frozen treats. I can’t have any at home because I will devour them, sometimes in one day. In an effort to curb those calories and to explore the lighter side of frozen treats, I decided that I would start experimenting with sorbets. This past winter I really stocked up on citrus fruits. Pink grapefruits, meyer lemons, blood oranges, and cara cara oranges are always in my refrigerator when they are in season.

I happened to receive a review copy of the upcoming book Lomelino’s Ice Cream right when my refrigerator was stocked with all these winter citrus jewels. The book contains 79 recipes for ice creams, sorbets, and frozen treats including some gorgeous ice cream cakes. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the photos are gorgeous and that they make you want to reach in with a spoon.

Lomelino's Ice Cream  (©2015 Roost Books/Linda Lomelino)

Lomelino’s Ice Cream (©2015 Roost Books/Linda Lomelino)

Thankfully, the book has a full chapter on sorbets. I immediately got to work. The very first recipe I made was grapefruit sorbet. Followed by strawberry and champagne sorbet, citrus sorbet, and pomegranate sherbet. All recipes are fantastic!

Strawberry and Champagne Sorbet, Pomegranate Sherbet, and Pink Grapefruit Sorbet

Strawberry and Champagne Sorbet, Pomegranate Sherbet, and Pink Grapefruit Sorbet

One of my favorites is the grapefruit sorbet, and I have already made it several times. I adapted the recipe slightly, swapping out the wine for St Germain liquor, and adding a vanilla bean to step 1. My favorite way to serve it is in little 4 ounce glasses, topped with chilled sparkling wine. A perfect dessert, or a good alternative to mimosas for brunch.

Pink Grapefruit Sorbet and Sparkling Wine

Pink Grapefruit Sorbet and Sparkling Wine

Grapefruit Sorbet
Slightly adapted from Lomelino’s Ice Cream
Makes about 2 1/2 cups

2-1/4 cups pink grapefruit juice (about 4 medium ones)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon St Germain liquor (or white wine)
2 teaspoons vodka

1. Combine 3/4 cup of juice, sugar, scraped vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla bean in a small pot and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Transfer to another container, add in the rest of the juice, the St Germain liquor or wine, and the vodka. Chill overnight, or until completely cold.
2. Strain out the vanilla bean pod, and process according to your ice cream machine instructions. Once ready, transfer into a freezer proof container and freeze.

Lomelino’s Ice Creams will be available on April 7th. If you love frozen treats, I highly recommend getting a copy. And if you don’t follow Linda Lomelino yet, visit her blog Call Me Cupcake or her Instagram @linda_lomelino. Her photographs are so inspirational.

Do you have a favorite sorbet flavor?

Time for dessert!

Time for dessert!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Lomelino’s Ice Cream for review purposes. I was not compensated for writing this post. All views are my own.

Travel Tuesday: American Trade Hotel and Cafe Unido in Casco Viejo Panama

Casco Viejo

One of the places that I miss terribly back in Panama is Casco Viejo, the old city. During the past several years, this area has really experienced a sort of renaissance. Old buildings are slowly being restored, new restaurants have opened up in old spaces, and a handful of boutique hotels have opened. Although the area is visited by tourists, it still remains an every day hang out for locals.

Casco viejo feels like a world apart from the modern city scape. It’s full of street vendors, unique shops, trendy restaurants, art galleries, and a few food carts sprinkled here and there. What is most amazing, is the the view of the sea as you stroll along.

Raspao--Shaved Ice from a Street Vendor

Raspao–Shaved Ice from a Street Vendor

A Kuna woman selling traditional molas

A Kuna woman selling traditional molas

View of Panama City from Casco Viejo

View of Panama City from Casco Viejo

The American Trade Hotel, an Ace hotel, has been open a little more than a year. Not only is it in a great location, it also offers a number of amenities which include an intimate pool, a gorgeous restaurant aptly named “the dinning room,” a lobby cafe and bar, a coffee shop that exclusively features Panamanian coffees, and an exquisite jazz club.

You could spend days lounging around the pool, feasting on local food, enjoying cocktails in between meals, and staying up late going to jazz performances.

Their brunch is fantastic, and they even accommodate gluten free diners. What to do after a leisurely brunch? Go for a taste of local coffee at Cafe Unido. Sit at one of the many courtyards to enjoy, or take a stroll in the old city to take in its colorful charm.

Hope these photos take you on a mini-vacation to Panama’s old city from the comfort of your desk. Beware—do not scroll down if you are hungry.

The Dinning Room at The American Trade Hotel

The Dinning Room at The American Trade Hotel

Gorgeous Tile Floor

Gorgeous Tile Floor

The Pool

The Pool

One of the many courtyards

One of the many courtyards

20140720-IMG_5075

Brunch Menu

Brunch Menu

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

Plantain Empanadas filled with corn and cheese, or spicy shredded pork

Plantain Empanadas filled with corn and cheese, or spicy shredded pork

Patacones with pulled pork, avocado, slaw, and cheese

Patacones with pulled pork, avocado, slaw, and cheese

Scrambled eggs with prawns, chorizo, and hojaldre (fried bread)

Scrambled eggs with prawns, chorizo, and hojaldre (fried bread)

Steak and fried eggs with arepa

Steak and fried eggs with arepa

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Specialty Coffees

Specialty Coffees

Cafe Unido Capuccino

Cafe Unido Capuccino

House made jams: celery & onion, papaya & habanero, & pineapple-cinnamon

House made jams: celery & onion, papaya & habanero, & pineapple-cinnamon

Enjoying a cup of coffee from Cafe Unido

Enjoying a cup of coffee from Cafe Unido

Travel Tuesday: Huitrerie Regis in Paris

Oyster and  Madagascar Shrimp Platter at Huitrerie Regis in Paris

Oyster and Madagascar Shrimp Platter at Huitrerie Regis in Paris

In October of last year I went on a wonderful trip to Paris with my very good friend Annelle. I hadn’t been back in several years. I mostly like to visit my favorite places and old hang outs. The good thing about traveling with a friend, is that you get to discover places that you normally would not have had on your list.

Annelle had recently discovered her love for oysters. She was adamant about going to Huitrerie Regis. I even think we went there for our first night’s dinner. For some reason, we were not able to find the place. We walked around and around the same block several times. It was late, and we were hungry.

Huitrerie Regis

Huitrerie Regis

When we finally found the restaurant, just a stone’s throw from the Marché St Germain, we realized it was the size of a matchbox and it was packed. We checked in and decided to wait for a table while enjoying a glass of Sancerre. There is no place to stand and wait inside, so we were drinking our wine pretty much out on the street with cars driving by inches away from us. And that was perfectly okay with us.

Sancerre

Sancerre

We went to much fancier restaurants, but somehow that dinner at Huitrerie Regis was magical. We were not rushed, we savored every last bite we had. They oysters were wonderful. The sweet shrimp from Madagascar were magnificent. Our dessert was a simple apple tart that is made by the owner daily. Unassuming but delicious. We were one of the last people there that night.

The sweetest Madagascar shrimp

The sweetest Madagascar shrimp

The aftermath

The aftermath

A simple but delicious house made apple tart.

A simple but delicious house made apple tart.

Then in November of last year, I came across Meet Paris Oyster by Mireille Guiliano. I bought the book on a whim, and I didn’t read it until a few weeks ago. To my surprise, the book was centered around Huitrerie Regis. It brought back memories of that wonderful meal, and I also learned about French oysters. If you are an oyster lover, I highly recommend the book. And if you are in Paris, definitely visit Huitrerie Regis. It’s a gem of a restaurant.

Meet Paris Oyster

One Vanilla Bean Turns 5! Baking Steel Giveaway & A Recipe for Breakfast Pizza

My favorite breakfast

My favorite breakfast

I can hardly believe that it has been 5 years since I started this blog with a simple, and poorly photographed, recipe for granola. To my defense, it’s delicious and I still make it exactly as I made it then.

I started the blog to share my recipes with family and friends. Also, I was bored out of my mind during the 2010 snowmageddon! I’ve met some wonderful people through my blog and through social media, and developed close friendships.

I wanted to do a special giveaway for readers of the blog. One of the kitchen items that I’ve been using a lot lately is the Baking Steel. The boyfriend got it for me as a Christmas gift, and boy is he happy he did! I’ve been obsessed with it, making all kinds of pizza: NY style pepperoni pizza, a simple Neapolitan style pizza, thin crust pizza, cheesy garlic bread… I can’t stop.

NY Style Pepperoni Pizza

NY Style Pepperoni Pizza

Cheesy Bread and Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza

Cheesy Bread and Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza

The great news is that Baking Steel has kindly agreed to provide a Baking Steel to one lucky reader! Baking Steel started as a Kickstarter project. The concept is a simple one, the steel is a better conductor of heat, producing a better crust, and creating better oven spring for baked goods such as bread. The resulting crust is a thing of beauty.

Baking Steel Superior Alternative to Pizza Stone (photo from Baking Steel)

Baking Steel Superior Alternative to Pizza Stone (photo from Baking Steel)

In order to be eligible to win:

  1. Leave a comment below telling me what is your favorite pizza combination.
  2. Optional: Follow me and follow Baking Steel on instagram.
  3. You must have a contiguous US address for shipping of the product in case you win.
  4. If you are one of those people who has social media accounts only to enter giveaways, you will be disqualified. This is not an opportunity for you to go resell something on ebay.

I will randomly pick a winner on February 14th. Now I leave you with a recipe for my latest obsession: breakfast pizza. Thank you for visiting my blog and for following along for the past 5 years!

Breakfast Pizza

  • 1 ball of pizza dough, about 8 ounces, store bought or home-made (this is my favorite crust right now)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 small maple breakfast sausage links, casings removed, cooked and crumbled or cooked whole and cut into pieces
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons sliced chives or finely chopped parsley
  • a few drops of truffle oil (optional)
Breakfast Pizza Before Baking

Breakfast Pizza Before Baking

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to using.  Pre-heat Baking Steel in the oven according to manufacturer’s directions. Place the mozzarella cheese and the cheddar cheese in a small container and freeze while you are pre-heating the oven.
  2. Stretch dough to a 9 inch circle, making the edges a bit thicker than the rest. Place on a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle mozzarella and cheddar evenly on the dough. Top with the crumbled sausage, sliced boiled eggs, and bell pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Tip on your baking steel and cook for about 10-12 minutes, rotating the pizza once halfway through cooking time. Remove the pizza from the oven, and sprinkle with chives and truffle oil if using.

Note: If you don’t have a Baking Steel (yet) or a pizza stone, you can pre-heat a cookie sheet in the oven at 500F degrees for about 15 minutes. Make sure to place the cookie sheet upside down in the oven. Prepare your dough on parchment paper, and slide the parchment paper with the pizza onto the pre-heated cookie sheet. Cook 12-15 minutes at 450F. The crust won’t be as crispy and crunchy, but it will still be delicious.

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast Pizza

Disclaimer: Baking Steel kindly agreed to provide one free Baking Steel for the winner of this giveaway. I was not compensated for writing this post. All views are my own.

**Update** 2/14/15 The winner of the Baking Steel is Kaoru!

Day Designer Giveaway Winner Announced

Day Designer Giveaway

I am completely overwhelmed by your response to the Day Designer giveaway! I can’t believe that there were over 200 entries!

I read every single comment. I really wish I had a day designer for each one of you. After reading all of your comments, and using the Day Designer, the one tip I have to stay organized is to make a task list that corresponds to a specific slot of time. Make sure you allow enough time to complete each task.

And now for the winner of the giveaway… the winner is Nica de Leos!

Congratulations, Nica! Please email me your mailing address. My contact email is in my about page.

Thank you to everyone who participated! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.