I made this little dessert as an ode to moms, but specifically my mom. I wanted it to have a touch of rose, for the bountiful gardens she tends. It had to be multi-layered, for the way she has constantly re-invented herself through the years, from a young wife supporting her husband through graduate school, to a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, a successful business owner, a teacher, and a community leader. It would need a variety of toppings, for she’s worn many hats throughout motherhood, as maker of our home, nurturer, provider and role model. It had to be something solid but with a rounded softness and lots of give, for the many ways my sisters and I have depended on her and the countless ways she is giving to everyone around her. Continue reading
The sight of crocuses and daffodils sprouting up always cheers me, not only because they signal the arrival of spring, but also because they seem to defy all odds. How something so delicate pushes through the hard earth is beyond me. Yet every year it happens, those bright petals bursting forth without any trace of winter weariness. A triumph of the softer side.
My oh my, we are in love with this dessert. This yogurt-based pudding, much like a panna cotta, makes an elegant presentation, and its tart-and-sweet complexity makes it all the more interesting. Vanilla and orange zest give it intense flavors, while cream, milk, and yogurt combine for a silky-smooth creaminess. The recipe, from the amazing Jerusalem cookbook, calls for fresh peaches, but I improvised some and used frozen cherries instead, and they were a wonderful complement to the vanilla, ouzo, and lemon flavors in the sauce. Delicious! I’m looking forward to making this with summer-ripe peaches too.
What’s not to love about a sweet, creamy indulgence that takes no more than 15 minutes of actual work to create? Every time I make (and eat) panna cotta I ask myself why I don’t make (and eat) it more often. A few ripe berries on top and it is wonderful; a mouth-watering berry syrup drizzled over it and it’s divine. Continue reading