For many years I only used the soft, young tips of spruce branches for cooking, but recently I tried some mature, first year branches, harvested on a snowy December walk. I kept the branches in the freezer, waiting for a special occasion, and pulled them out last week to use in spruce tip ice cream. Their flavor is different from that of the tips. It contains more of the quintessential “spruce” fragrance. It’s slightly resinous, sweet, and woodsy, and I love what it brings to this dessert. I recommend using a combination of young tips and first year needles for the best possible flavor. Read more
Every once in a while I make something I’m really proud of, and this is one of those times. The New Mexico locust trees (Robinia neomexicana) have burst into bloom here in Santa Fe, and their purple-pink flowers are so fragrant, I was sure they’d be tasty, too. I’ve used the flowers of black locust (R. pseudoacacia) in fritters, but I wanted to make the most of both the color and flavor of the New Mexican variety. Plus, it was in the mid-80s here today, and a cool dish of locust blossom sorbet sounded like it would hit the spot. Read more
Meyer Lemon Mousse is a superb dessert. “Why?” you ask. Because it’s everything you could want in a dessert. Its flavor and texture are sensuously satisfying. It’s both sweet and tart. It’s creamy and rich, yet light and fluffy. It’s easy to make, but looks like you slaved over it in the kitchen. Your dinner guests are sure to be impressed.
I had a large sunchoke harvest this year, so I’ve been experimenting with lots of different recipes. This Jerusalem artichoke cake is one of my favorites. Poor Michael had to eat three versions of it as I perfected the recipe. Happily, I am finally satisfied, and can spare you all that extra, unecessary cake eating. Read more
Inspiration for this acorn Bundt cake recipe came from Danielle Prohom Olson at Gather. As soon as I read the words “acorn Bundt cake”, I was hooked, but I also knew I wanted to add a few more foraged ingredients to my version. With gratitude to Ms. Olson, here’s my acorn Bundt cake recipe. So far, it’s getting rave reviews. Read more
You really don’t have to do anything other than scoop the flesh out of a pawpaw to have a superb dessert. But if you want to take your foraged harvest to a whole new level…try pawpaw creme brulée. It’s one of the most unique and wonderful flavors I’ve ever experienced. Read more
Of course I think EVERYONE should love wild foods, but I freely admit it’s a topic that is just coming into its own. Which is why I’m always so pleased and excited to meet people who share my passion. When Devon, at Nitty Gritty Life, posted her recipe for Oregon grape curd, I knew I had to try it. Then, because I’m a lazy, lazy forager who’s always looking for a shortcut (or two), I made a few changes. I haven’t met Devon in real life, but I owe her a debt of gratitude for introducing me to my new favorite dessert. Read more
Whenever I hear the word blancmange I think of the Monty Python sketch where a giant blancmange (from the planet Skyron) turned everyone in England into Scotsmen, so it (the blancmange) could win Wimbeldon. Which is only one of the reasons I smile whenever I eat this melilot blancmange. The other reason is because it’s delicious. Read more
I do not say this lightly: this time I have outdone myself. Rose Petal Panna Cotta is just plain wonderful. The light, creamy panna cotta is the perfect vehicle for the richly spiced flavor of multiflora rose petals. I wish I could feed it to everyone I know, then bask in the glory of their admiration. It’s that good. Read more
I enjoy surprising friends with foraged foods, and nothing I’ve made has surprised people more than this sweet, light, mallow meringue cookie, made from the seeds of a common weed. I won’t lie, it’s a labor-intensive recipe. But it’s totally worth doing, not only for the flavor and wow factor, but also because the transformation from seed to dessert feels a little like magic and who wouldn’t want to experience that?