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Although it is true that every season at Kachess Ridge Resort is breathtakingly beautiful, I have to admit springtime is one of my personal favorites. After a winter's fun of snowmobiling, skiing, sledding, tubing and more, there is nothing quite like watching nature perform its annual spring cleaning as the remnants of white fallen snow melt into the earth giving way to more green than one can imagine. New life and energy abound, as pockets of color come to life through the gorgeous wildflowers that are cast throughout the mountains. I relish the moments when I can simply drink it all in.
Dolci Divino specializes in decadent sweet as well as savory single cupcake-size cheesecakes. These cheesecakes will not only amaze you and/or your very lucky guests, but they offer something brilliantly new in that their single-serving cupcake sizes invite you to taste and experience as many of their unique and luxurious flavors and your gourmet palate desires! Dolci Divino's divine cheesecakes are absolutely perfect for anything from holiday parties or weddings to a romantic dinner for two. Indulge Yourself Today!
A Pesto Like You've Never Had Before.
Yep. Pesto. The inspiration behind this absolutely amazing pesto? We'll get to that in a bit. When I think of this pesto the phrase 'soul mates' comes to mind, as it offers up layers of complex flavors that absolutely belong together.
I keep a constant supply in my refrigerator for use with wherever my whims may carry that day; scrambled eggs, a cheesecake appetizer, pasta w/chicken and broccoli, crostini, the possibilities truly are endless.
Where to start. Well, first things first, the roasted garlic. Although this process adds a bit of time onto the process, it is well worth it. Roasting the garlic mellows the intensity, while bringing out a sweetness. Cut 1 bulb of garlic in half horizontally. Drizzle the cloves with a bit of olive oil, place the halves together and wrap in foil. Now, in opinion, reaching the point of caramelization is key, but you can roast it as much or as little as you like. After garlic is done, let cool slightly and then remove the cloves from the bulb. You will not want to wait too long, as the caramelized areas will harden and they will be much more difficult to remove. Let cool.
Combine arugula, basil, pistachios, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor and pulse on low. Slowly add in the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. And Lastly...
The inspiration. The cheese. And my daughter's allergy to all things dairy. I had to find a way for her to share in the experience of pesto, but with parmesan serving as a key ingredient (at least to the flavor aspect), she had never even been able to taste it. This pesto can be made with or without the chèvre, as the pistachios and walnuts add the depth and punch of flavor that the parmesan would ordinarily give it - and it is equally as delicious without. However, the chèvre gives yet another unique element of flavor that is balancing, yet not lost on the palate. If you have a dairy allergy, just be sure that the chèvre is goat milk only. Many of the goat cheeses that are available, actually are not dairy-free. Add the chèvre and pulse just until blended. Your pesto should not be smooth, you will want the nuts to ground, but not finely ground as they add a fabulous texture.
1 Bulb of Garlic, Roasted
1 Cup Walnuts, pan toasted
1/2 Cup Pistachios, shelled and dry roasted
3 Cups Wild Arugula, washed with stems removed
3 Cups Fresh Basil, washed with stems removed
1- 1/2 Cups Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Chèvre (I absolutely prefer to use Mountain Lodge Chèvre )
We recently hosted my sister's Italian Wedding up here at the resort. And I, having owned and operated a bakery, made five different varieties of cheesecakes in various sizes and shapes. However, I cannot take all of the glory, as I had some fabulous friends in the kitchen with me and absolutely could not have done an of it without them!! I will at some point list the others, but I wanted to share with you our Tiramisu Cheesecake -a truly decadent dessert!
(photo courtesy of lululuathome)
1. You can use the more traditional topping of 1 tub of Cool Whip spread over top of cheesecake and dusted with unsweetened cocoa.
2. Personally, I always prefer to use fresh whipped cream vs. cool whip. Spread 1 pint freshly whipped heavy cream with a teaspoon of vanilla over cheesecake and top with grated bittersweet chocolate -or-
My personal favorite is to simply top it with bittersweet chocolate curls with a light dusting of unsweetened cocoa. Chocolate curls look fabulous and make any cake look professional, and so they may seem daunting to you... but these step-by-step instructions given to you courtesy of thepioneerwoman.com will have you making chocolate magic in no time!
1. Remove bottom of a 9 x 3-in. springform pan; wrap bottom with plastic wrap.
2. Stir coffee, 2 Tbsp sugar and the Kahlúa in a shallow bowl until sugar dissolves. Set 1/2 the ladyfingers aside. For each of remaining ladyfingers, quickly dip one side into coffee mixture and place wet side up on pan bottom to cover, cutting ladyfingers as needed to fit. Freeze about 15 minutes until firm. Lift plastic wrap, with ladyfingers, off pan bottom and place on a flat plate in freezer.
3. Heat oven to 325°F. Reassemble the springform pan and coat with nonstick spray.
4. Quickly dip one side of reserved ladyfingers into coffee mixture. Place wet side up on pan bottom to cover, cutting ladyfingers to fit and pressing to fill spaces. Freeze until ready to fill.
5. Beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar and the cornstarch in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended. Beat in mascarpone and reserved 2 Tbsp coffee. Pour half the batter (3 cups) into pan; spread evenly. Top with ladyfinger layer from freezer; sprinkle with grated chocolate. Spoon on remaining batter; spread evenly.
6. Bake 45 minutes, or until center still jiggles slightly when shaken. (Air bubbles may form on surface; they’ll sink as cake cools.) Turn off oven (leave door closed); leave cake in oven 45 minutes.
7. Carefully run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake (leave the pan sides on). Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.
Strawberry Ginger Beer Pie
It seems you cannot fully appreciate the warmth and playfulness of this summer season without enjoying the mouth-watering sweetness of summer strawberries. Well, at least I know I can't, and although you may be shy to admit it - I suspect the same is true for you.
No worries, however, whether you have come to terms with your need for this summer fix or not, you are going to want to try my twist on a traditional summer favorite...Strawberry Ginger Beer Pie.
And now back to the subject at hand...
Strawberry Ginger Beer Pie
8 Cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
4 1/2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
3/4 Cup Rachel's Ginger Beer
Pinch of salt
For top of pie crust:
To Make the Pie-
Prepare your favorite flaky pie crust, making enough for and 10 inch pie plate and lattice work. Lightly oil pie pan, and line with your rolled pie crust dough. Set aside along with lattice strips. Heat oven to 375.
Toss strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well coated. Gently stir in the ginger beer. Pour mixture into into your prepared pie pan and cover with lattice. Brush pie crust edges and lattice with milk and sprinkle with sugar (to your taste!).
Place a sheet pan on the oven rack below the pie to catch the drips. Bake until golden brown and bubbly. Let chill in the fridge until completely cool.
Ahhhh... finally summer has arrived.
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