Category Archives: Desserts

Sunday Dinner in July

Last night’s meal was the perfect example of an easy, somewhat healthy, satisfying plan ahead dinner.   It was so good that the goons kept eating and drinking and eating, and I finally had to kick them out at 10:30pm.  It was a school night!

First, I made the Blueberry Buckle on Saturday afternoon.  It’s kind of like a lemony blueberry coffee cake.  Add a little extra salt and lemon zest to the recipe below.

Then we looted our garden and hit the farmer’s market to make a Mediterranean salad with lemon dill dressing.  Butter lettuce, tomatoes, cukes, peppers, red onion (sliced thin and rinsed under cold water), basil, chickpeas and feta.  The dressing is lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon, fresh dill, salt & pepper.

Butter Rice is a great goon filler staple.  Rice, chicken stock, saffron, butter and lots of salt to taste.

Top it off with sweet corn on the cob.

And perfectly grilled flatiron steak marinated in olive oil, onion, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Loosen the belt buckle for the Blueberry Buckle.

Link to Blueberry Buckle Recipe:



Almost No Bake Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

Easiest dessert ever.  The inspiration came from the local Italian restaurant where the owner’s wife whips up something similar every week.  Love her, but she wouldn’t share the recipe with me so I had to come up with my own.  This is the perfect summer treat because you barely have to use the oven.  I was thinking how tasty it would be with Nutella and a hazelnut crust.  Or with lemon curd and a shortbread crust?  Salted caramel and chocolate cookie crust?

Almost No Bake Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

For the crust –
3/4 of a bag of Nilla Wafers
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 pinch of salt

For the filling –

2 8oz. containers of mascarpone cheese
1 cup of Kefir (you can use lowfat plain yogurt)
1 envelope of gelatin
1/2-3/4 cup water
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 pound dark chocolate, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Crush the cookies into fine crumbs, preferably with a food processor and pulse in the melted butter until well combined.  Press the mixture into a pie plate and bake for 10-15 minutes or until it’s golden brown.  Set aside to cool.

To make the filling, clean out the inside of the food processor, and add the mascarpone.  Whirl it for 30 seconds to fluff up the cheese.  Measure the Kefir and mix in the envelope of gelatin until well combined.  Add the Kefir, gelatin, sugar, and vanilla and whirl until well combined.  Add 1/2 cup of water and pulse until it becomes less stiff, add more as needed.  Add the melted and cooled chocolate and turn the food processor on for 1-2 minutes to whip some more air into the mixture.  Pour into the prepared crust, slap it in the fridge for 2-3 hours, and enjoy!


Oh My Lemon Pie

Everyone ate the pie before I could take a picture. It's that good.

When I’m having friends over for dinner, I always feel like I’m always running around and end up throwing something together at the last minute that looks like a lame gooned-out afterthought. This pie can be in the oven in five minutes and uses ingredients that you always have on hand. I made this last night and one of the guests raved that it was the best dessert that he has eaten all year. The goons have spoken!

The original recipe came from where they blended the ingredients with an entire Meyer lemon – skin, seeds and all. I had a hard time getting my hands on a Meyer lemon, so I initially tried this recipe with a plain old organic lemon but it came out seriously bitter with chunks of pith. I tweaked the recipe to use a standard lemon (more juice, less rind), and it was sweet perfection.  Tastes like a lemon bar pie.  Serve it with a few sprigs of mint and vanilla ice cream, or try it with a shortbread cookie crust. My mom thought it would be nice with toasted coconut on top and coconut ice cream. Enjoy!

Oh My Lemon Pie

– 1 prepared pie crust
– 2 lemons, juiced
– 1 thick lemon slice
– 1 teaspoon lemon zest
– 1.5 cups of sugar
– 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1-2 pinches of salt
– 1 stick of butter
– 4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth (about one minute). Pour into prepared pie crust and bake 40 minutes, or until lightly brown on top. That’s it!

Goons Eat Dessert Too

I realize that I have yet to post any dessert recipes or pictures.  Dessert can be a great way to keep goons from going up for third helpings.  It’s also a nice thing to bring as a gift before eating other goons out of house and home.

So we have been watching Master Chef over the last few weeks, and it’s been fun to see home cooks make all sorts of basic dishes that I’ve never attempted before.  In order to determine whether I could be Master Chef worthy, I’ve been tasking myself with making things outside of my comfort zone.  Last week they made Lemon Meringue Pies in a two hour pressure challenge, and I just had to give it a whirl.  They looked amah-maz-ing on TV and did not seem to be THAT hard.

Cooks Illustrated is my favorite place to start for new recipes in general, but particularly for desserts.There are too many ingredients and techniques in this recipe to post the whole thing, but basically, you make the crust, make the lemon custard, and top it off with the meringue.

After three hours of using every piece of baking equipment in the house, the pie was good but not THAT good.  Everyone licked their plates, but was it worth it?

It was definitely the prettiest dessert I’ve ever made, but I would have freaked if someone went for the pie-in-the-face trick.