Creme Fraiche

No story. No fancy words. Just a simple plea. make.your.own. and

Creme Fraiche
3 cups heavy cream–room temperature
6 Tbs plain greek yogurt–room temperature

Stir the yogurt into the heavy cream. Put into a glass jar and cover with a bit of cheesecloth (to keep out bugs and dust, but allow for airflow). Let sit draft free at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 36 hours. The longer you leave it out, the more tangy it will become. Give it a good stir, it will thicken right before your eyes. Tightly cover and pop in the fridge.

enjoy where you would otherwise enjoy cream or sour cream

mix with a bit of brown sugar and pour over berries
stir into warm soup
create a calvados cream sauce for roast pork
pour over warm peas, carrots
cold beets
just for starters….

Carrot Cake

I really like carrots. I like them raw dipped in a bit of sea salt, honey roasted with onion dip, and deep fat fried loaded into a feedbag. All good. But, best of all? Baked in cake

Carrot Cake
this recipe comes from my culinary school notebook, it is not my own–except the decor..that is all me

4 large eggs–room temperature
6 oz vegetable oil
14 oz granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
9 oz flour
1 Tbs cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 lb carrots–peeled and grated
2 1/2 oz walnuts-toasted and roughly chopped
Whisk together sugar, salt, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whisk together the eggs and oil until the eggs are thick and pale yellow (about 10 minutes). Mix in the dry ingredients, just to fully incorporate. Fold in carrots and walnuts. Split evenly into 2 prepared* 9″ cake pans. Bake at 325 for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Preparing cake pans includes spraying with pan spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper
allow to cool and split each cake round into 2 layers. Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting** Decorate with marzipan carrots.

Cream Cheese Frosting
i’m not opposed to sharing my cream cheese frosting recipe, but truth be told…i don’t measure
1 part unsalted butter to 2 parts cream cheese, a pinch of salt a bit of vanilla and enough powdered sugar to reach your desired sweetness. Use the paddle attachment of a mixer and beat until creamy.

Strawberry Balsamic Shrub

My childhood summers had one constant; my grandparents. Although maybe not the true reality, I remember our last day of school coincided with their arrival; The Grandparents, all 4 of them (yes, both sets) ready to take on the summer in California. My Grandma Grace, oh how fitting that name was for this amazing woman; each and every summer night wandered into the kitchen with pin curls in her hair in a perfectly pressed house dress, and served herself a tablespoon of vinegar. She drank it with the flair
of pouring herself a nightcap. She passed a few years ago and was well into her 90s. Healthy as an ox until the day she died. Sturdy and strong with peaches and cream, wrinkle-free, skin. She ate fresh food all of her life. It was all that she could afford. I believe her nightly vinegar shooter, was her secret weapon.

I like vinegar, but I take mine moderated in a shrub. A shrub marries the sweetness of fruit and sugar with the acidity and brightness of vinegar; in a way that makes that little shot every night, very palatable. A shrub is typically meant to be mixed with soda water, but
it is great in cocktails too.

Strawberry-Balsamic Shrub

2 cups ripe strawberries-cleaned, hulled & sliced
1 tsp fennel pollen (optional)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
10 black peppercorns-slightly crushed
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Place strawberries, sugar, fennel pollen (if using), and peppercorns into a glass crock or wide-mouth jar. Allow to sit for about an hour, then macerate to break up the strawberries. Cover and allow to sit 24 hours. (i let mine sit at room temperature, but if you are concerned, it is okay to put it in the fridge). After 24 hours macerate the mixture again, aiming to crush the strawberries. You can move on to the next step, or allow to sit another 24 hours at this point. Add to the mixture the balsamic vinegar and the cider vinegar and stir well. Allow this to sit 7-9 days at room temperature, stirring daily. The sugar should eventually “melt” into the liquid. It is important that you tend to the mixture daily. After 7-9 days. Strain the mixture using a fine-mesh strainer (if you don’t mind a few bits in it) or a strainer with cheesecloth (if you do) and bottle for use. For longer shelf life, I recommend storing in the refrigerator.