Foodiva's Kitchen: June 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

International Incident Party - Asparagus Fortress Terrine

I may have been waiting my whole life to make a terrine like this. As a matter of fact, I made it the day after Penny ( announced the International Incident Party theme for this month, which is Terrine. I had never really understood the hype surrounding this layered dish but couldn't wait any longer to create it and see for myself. It was a very long time ago that I ate my last terrine...was it in France? I am so ancient now, and I really can't remember.

So anyway, I dreamt about my terrine. That was how much it wouldn't leave me alone the first night. When I woke up, I immediately scribbled everything down on a scrap piece of paper. I wanted to hold on to the details and somehow turn it into something tangible, edible even, for this party. Luckily, it wasn't a convoluted series of images I ended up with because that's the way dreams oftentimes occur. Otherwise, my terrine would look some kind of bizarre....although, now that I think about it, my bizarre may be different from yours :-).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dragonfruit and Black Sesame Mochi Ice Cream

Happiness, hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink
~ Florence And The Machine, Dog Days Are Over

My childhood friend and I had gotten together for lunch recently and for dessert, we treated ourselves to mochi ice cream at a Japanese restaurant. It was black sesame ice cream wrapped in a plain mochi shell and to say it was is an understatement. The creamy, nutty flavor was not unlike frozen peanut butter, with the black sesame ice cream melting effortlessly on the tongue. As for the mochi, oh the mochi...have you ever had it like this before? Despite being frozen, it retained its chewiness, softness and silkiness that it didn't require much of an effort to cut through it. That leisurely afternoon treat lodged an intention in my mind... I needed to learn how to make mochi ice cream at home!

Friday, June 24, 2011

French Fridays With Dorie - Mozarella,Tomato and Dragonfruit Salad

To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist -- the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one's vinegar.

~ Oscar Wilde

I was so looking forward to this week's French Fridays with Dorie's recipe. That was, until I went looking for the ingredients and realised there was absolutely no fresh strawberries on the shelves anywhere. It was a repeat of the roasted rhubarb episode of last week... the MIA ingredient this time being strawberries due to it being out-of-season over here :-(.

No matter, I got the tomatoes, I got the mozarella and I even managed to get the fresh basil. All that was left was a suitable substitute for strawberries. Now if you were lucky enough to procure strawberries where you're at, then I was equally lucky to be able to get my hands on dragonfruit, of the red-fleshed variety, at that. As an aside, dragonfruit is also sold widely in France mainly due to the influence of the large Asian communities (especially Vietnamese) residing in its cities. So I guess my version of Dorie's summer salad is not totally out of the context of her cookbook, Around My French Table (well, not when you consider that Cola and Jam Spare Ribs have made it in there too!).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Instantly Gratifying Mango Donuts

Certain smells are hard to forget. More often than not,  they leave an indelible imprint on the psyche. The first whiff of rain that rises off the hot earth, for instance. Freshly cut grass. A freshly-bathed baby. The scent of cardamom. Hot laundry. Jasmine flowers in the evening. Ripe mangoes. And ghee. There are several others, of course, but this is a food blog and we shall try not to let everything - for want of a better word - hang out.

So, mangoes. And ghee. Why this combination? Well, mango season is well and truly here right now and at every market I've been to, the strong, sweet smell of mangoes seem to linger in the air. The mango trees in our garden are also starting to shower us with their bounty and subsequently, the whole house is also starting to smell of mangoes too. Not that I'm complaining, this is a once-a-year occurrence that gives me the opportunity to try out various mango-containing recipes. Lots of mango recipes!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blackberry Bread Pudding with Bamboo Charcoal Bread and Poached Pear, and Giveaway Winner!

Here's a slightly alien-looking bread pudding I made. Alien not in the way of flavors, but in the type of bread used. It's greyish-black and made with bamboo charcoal powder. The bakeries sell these breads here, they come as sliced loaves, burger or hot dog buns. Bamboo charcoal is supposedly good for health, as it helps clean up toxins in our body. If you can get past the psychological hurdle of eating this healthy version of 200-day-old bread, there really isn't any difference in taste to regular bread. It's just like eating Century Egg...easy once you've prepared yourself mentally, that is :-).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rhubarb-Coconut-Cinnamon and Raspberry Popsicles

“I felt I was painting with a Popsicle.”
~ Robert Merrill

"What did one tomato say to the other as they were rolling down the hill?"
"Go ahead, I'll ketchup."

Ever wonder who makes up those corny jokes on popsicle sticks that you can only read fully once you finish the popsicle? And how much do they get paid for that job? Oh well, I hadn't eaten too many store-bought popsicles over the last decade (or two) so I'm not sure whether these jokes still exist and if they do, whether they're still not that funny... 
Today's not a regular French Friday offering, as you can probably tell if you've read this far. While the rest of the French Fridays with Dorie crew are happily roasting rhubarb (for that's the recipe this week), I am left holding a can of discolored rhubarb. Unfortunately, this fresh vegetable is not currently available to those of us residing in the Southern hemisphere. 'Tis simply not in season and my plans to participate in this week's online cook-out have been utterly and quite literally, canned.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter PieCupcake

The difference between success and failure can often be humility. There is a fine line between unique and weird, there is also a fine line between confidence and ego. Careful that you don’t cross it, because as soon as you do the path could easily lead to failure.

~ Brad Moore

Back in January, I came across this jawdropping dessert on Making Life Delicious blog and what it was essentially was a pie  baked inside a decadent chocolate cake. The Chocolate Pecan PieCake was made to celebrate in the new year and the recipe was posted on January 1st, 2011 (1/1/11). It was over-the-top special, yet in my mind the dessert oscillated back and forth in between OMG! and WTF??

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Secret Recipe Club - Classic Coconut Cakelets With Mango Curd Filling

Can I tell you a secret? But you must promise not to keep it to yourself. I've recently joined the Secret Recipe Club, a blogging concept initiated by Amanda of Amanda's Cookin'. The idea is that each participant is assigned another participant's blog out of which they are to choose a recipe, cook it, write about it and keep mum (quiet, zip-lipped, shush) about it until the actual date of posting. Sounds like fun, yes? Well you already know that I've never been one to shy away from a bit of fun :-).

Friday, June 10, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - Sarsaparilla and Jam Spareribs

Let's just face it, I'm not very good when it comes to savory stuff. My repertoire of meat and seafood dishes is limited. Considerably limited. Don't get me wrong, I love eating these types of meals...I'm just not so commodious when it comes to the actual cooking part. My repertoire for dessert is greater, perhaps 10 times more. I think I already mentioned my sweet tooth? Yes, you get what I mean :-).

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Anniversary! - Lavender-Honey-Cardamom-Lemon Dark Chocolate Tart and Paper Blogoversary!

Today, Foodiva's Kitchen is 365 days, 178 posts, 92 followers, 31,481 visitors and 2255 comments old. Wow! 1 year old, my Paper Blogoversary. Who would’ve thought a year ago that I would come to know of this new word that’s not yet officially in any dictionary – Blogoversary? And who knew when I began Foodiva’s Kitchen that writing this blog would impact my daily life and the way my family eats in ways I hadn’t even envisaged?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pull-Apart Chocolate Matcha Swirl Bread with Kit Kat Filling

This seems to be the law of progress in everything we do; it moves along a spiral rather than a perpendicular; we seem to be actually going out of the way, and yet it turns out that we were really moving upward all the time.
~Frances E. Willard

Yes, I know it's Friday. And I know this is not the scheduled French Friday with Dorie's recipe post. I'm sorry, but I'm slightly distracted. Due to my recent fascination with various forms of pull-apart bread, I've embarked on yet another breadmaking adventure this week, this time involving pull-apart buns. Filled buns...spiral-patterned buns filled with Kit Kat bits.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Brangelina of Polvorons - Blackberry, Black Sesame, Coconut-Lavender and Raspberry. Also Giveaway!

In order to have friendship you must look past the color to the soul, because within the soul lies a rainbow of many colors
~ Lyman Frank Baum

About a month back, I introduced you to the joys of Polvoron, a crumbly shortbread widely enjoyed in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and the Philippines. It's crafted with milk powder, butter, flour and sugar, and delicious when eaten with coffee, tea, or alone as a snack. On my last post about these delectable little sweets, I added three different ingredients as flavorings - matcha (green tea), chocolate and red dragonfruit.

This time round, I wanted to experiment a bit more with other flavors and came up with these winning 4 (or 5): blackberry, raspberry, black sesame and a combination of coconut and lavender. I'm not ashamed to make this confession - I prefer making polvorons to macarons. Like good guys vs. bad guys, the former's more reliable, no eggs need to be aged, no ovens need to be turned on, you can make them whether rain or shine and best of all, no tearing-out-hair sessions need occur when the feet don't form. Polvorons, in fact, don't have feet and always turn out the way you envisage them to be!
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