Tasty Thursday

Get those fires started! This week's Tasty Thursday recipe comes from the delightful S'mores: Gourmet Treats for Every Occasion by Lisa Adams. With refreshing new takes on this campfire dessert, who could resist?

Simple Mint
3 to 4 Andes mints
1/2 graham cracker
1 marshmallow
1 crispy mint cookie (Thin Mint, Mint Oreo, Mint Brussels, etc.)

Unwrap mints and gently melt them on the graham cracker. Roast the marshmallow. Once the chocolate has melted, remove graham cracker from heat and top with roasted marshmallow and mint cookie. Enjoy!

Serves 1


Whole Foods Diet on SELF Blog

Erin Hobday with SELF Magazine blogged about Whole Foods Diet Cookbook yesterday. Read the review here. Watch for a printed article about Andy and Ivy Larson and the book in the November or December issue of the magazine.

Tasty Thursday

The Brazilian Table by Yara Castro Roberts and Richard Roberts is full of delectable recipes that will make your mouth water. This fabulous dessert is exotic and sensual—definitely something everyone should try!

Mango Galette
9 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup ice water, divided
2 mangoes, ripe but firm
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
Sprig of mint or flowers

1. Cut the butter into small cubes and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Place the chilled butter in the bowl, and with the tips of your fingers, press the flour with the butter, forming crumbs. Make a small hole in the center of the mixture and pour 4 tablespoons ice water into it. Gently mix the water with the flour and butter mixture by moving your fingers like the wings of a butterfly. The flour will flow through your fingers and it will absorb the water (the result should not be too wet). Proceed in the same way until no dry flour is left on the bottom of the bowl.

2. Place the dough on a cold counter. With the palm of one hand, smash the dough to combine the flour and the butter. Repeat it in order to create a marbled texture. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Sprinkle flour over a cold counter and start flattening the dough slowly by pushing down with the rolling pin to make indents. Turn the dough 90 degrees and proceed in the same way until the dough is 1/2 inch wide. Add more flour to the counter and the rolling pin as needed. Working rapidly with the rolling pin, flatten the dough, making sure not to press too hard. Turn the dough clockwise 45 degrees each time and proceed in the same way. You should have a circle 12 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.

4. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the circle on it. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Peel the mangoes and cut in 1⁄3-inch slices. Reserve.

6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Distribute the mango slices starting from the center, creating rows in a decorative pattern. Stop placing the mango slices 2 inches before the edges of the dough. Fold the edges gently over the fruit. Make creases on the dough as you fold. Refrigerate the galette if not baking immediately.

7. Just before baking the galette, brush the dough evenly with cream and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Distribute small dollops of butter around the fruit, sprinkle with lime zest, and bake for 30 minutes in the lower section of the oven. Lower the heat to 325 degrees F and move the cookie sheet to the mid-oven rack. Bake for another 10–15 minutes until the fruit is slightly golden.

8. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Slide the galette onto a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar around the mango. Garnish with mint leaves or flowers.

Serves 6


Ready for a little magic?

Bart King and his apprentice Caleb amaze and astound during a recent appearance on Portland's AM Northwest demonstrating tricks from the upcoming Pocket Guide to Magic.


Tasty Thursday

Sizzle in Hell's Kitchen by Carliss Retif Pond, is full of ethnic recipes from restaurants of New York City's Ninth Avenue neighborhood. This delicious Italian pasta is from Barbetta, courtesy of Team De Cuisine.

Butterfly Pasta with Baby Peas
2 tablespoons sweet butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen tiny baby peas, divided
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
2 stems fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 whole sugar snap peas, for garnish
1 pound Barilla farfalle pasta

1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat. Add shallots and onion and sauté until soft, adding a little water as needed to prevent browning.
2. Pour in chicken stock, bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 boxes frozen baby peas and boil an additional 5 minutes. Remove peas from stock and place in a bowl of ice water to blanch (stop cooking and retain bright green color).
3. Let stock cool and place in a blender with the blanched baby peas. Add the parsley and basil and puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Boil the remaining baby peas in water for 5 minutes; drain and set aside.
5. Boil the sugar snap peas in water for 3 minutes; drain and set aside.
6. Cook farfalle in salted boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or until al dente.
7. In a large heavy skillet over low heat, combine pasta, puree and remaining whole baby peas, folding lightly. Heat for 1–2 minutes. 
8. Plate and garnish with sugar snap peas.

Serves 4


Ivy Larson on Fox News

From the Editor's Desk: MAGIC!

The world has renewed its fascination with magic and wonder since the advent of Harry Potter (Half-Blood Prince opens tomorrow!) in the year 0 HP. (I figure we might as well start reckoning the calendar by it since it’s likely to be done in the near future anyway.)

For me, though, the Harry Potter books induce a sense of jealousy, pure and unadulterated. Why? Because I’ve always wanted to have magic or live in a magical world. But I don’t ... or do I?

We all know that magic isn’t real, right? Hmm. Maybe not. Deep down, people want mystery, the unknown, and the unexplained. Why else would there be so many devoted Elvis watchers and UFO hunters? It’s the sheer adventure and awe that something inexplicable creates within us.

Stage magic, for all its smoke and mirrors, is the very same thing. How did Houdini really escape? How could the Statue of Liberty disappear like that? I don’t know, and there is some part of me that really doesn’t want to know, either. That’s because, as Bart King explains in The Pocket Guide to Magic, “ ... wonder, mystery, and amazement remind us of what a magical place our world is.”

I want to be reminded of how magical the world can be, don’t you?*

*If you do, then this would be the perfect time to reserve your copy of The Pocket Guide to Magic, which is filled with stories of magic and magicians as well as illusions you can practice on friends and family, giving them a little bit of the magic and wonder they unconsciously crave.

-- by Michelle Witte


Tasty Thursday

Mmmm! Cool and fresh, this jewel-toned soup from Rusty Parrot Cookbook by Darla Worden and Eliza Cross is this summer's perfect light and flavorful starter.

Fruit Soup with Spicy Ginger and Orange Broth, and Vanilla Grass
For the broth:
4 cups orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 large ginger lobes, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 kaffir lime leaves

For the soup:
1 mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 kiwis, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 blackberries
12 raspberries
2 ounces vanilla grass
2 tablespoons packed fresh mint chiffonade

Combine all of the broth ingredients in a tall saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture simmers. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat, and strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Cool in the refrigerator until completely chilled. 

To serve, ladle the broth into six chilled bowls and divide the fresh fruit among the bowls. Garnish with vanilla grass and mint.

Makes 6 servings


Add some fun to everyday chores with Sam Barry's help

How to Play the Harmonica author Sam Barry presents: Vacuuming the Playful Way...


Barbeque meals that won't bust your diet

Ivy Larson, author of Whole Foods Diet Cookbook did a segment over the 4th of July weekend about healthy barbecue meals on GMA Health/ABC News Now. In this segment, Ivy demonstrates how to make Picnic Pasta Salad with Red Peppers, Chives, and Goat Cheese, Grilled Portobellos topped with avocado salad, California Turkey Burgers, and Peanut Butter Brownie Bars. Watch the segment Healthy Fourth of July Picnic now!


Tasty Thursday

This velvety and rich mousse from Tassajara Dinners & Desserts by Dale and Melissa Kent is the perfect summertime dessert. Not too heavy and made with chocolate—a great combination!  

Chocolate Mousse
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
20 ounces heavy cream
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier or other liqueur

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler; keep warm and ready.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form; keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Combine the eggs, yolks, sugar, and liqueur in a double boiler. Whisk constantly until the mixture is pale and densely foamy. Gently fold the melted chocolate into the egg mixture. Fold in one-third of the whipped cream to lighten the egg and chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until the mouse is completely mixed together. With a pastry bag, fill the intended serving containers. Refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Serves 4–6


From the Editor's Desk...

The harmonica. I know how it sounds. (He he. Pun definitely intended.) A book about the harmonica that is supposed to teach about life and be fun and entertaining while we’re at it?

Yes, and I’ll tell you why.

The author, Sam Barry, has lived. Not in the normal sense we think of when we consider a person who lives life to the fullest. He’s not a daredevil, or at least he hasn’t told me so, though he has played in his share of rock bands—on the harmonica, if you can believe it.

When I say Sam has lived, I mean that he’s spent his life looking for ways to have fun, and not necessarily in the college freshman get-drunk-in-Vegas-get-married-and-lose-your-tuition-money kind of way.

As Sam writes, “We’ve been taking ourselves far too seriously for far too long, and as a result we’ve made a complete mess of things. . . . It’s time we tapped into a gift every human (and every puppy) owns—one we’re all born with—playfulness.”

So how do we become more playful? Well, I’m not about to give all that away, but I will tell you that Sam’s version includes a harmonica and the willingness to make a fool of himself on occasion.

But I will tell you that I’ve learned a few lessons during the past year I’ve been working with Sam on How to Play the Harmonica. I’ve stopped expecting the world to be perfect and have taken it for what it is: an opportunity to grow and play. I’ve laughed out loud as I worked—and felt the better for it. I’m learning to stop stifling my creativity and let all those glorious creative juices flow.

Did reading this book do all those things for me? Not completely. What it did do was help me recognize all the humdrum and standard ways I’ve been doing things because I thought that’s how it was supposed to be. It’s not. I can tell you, life will be more full and enjoyable when you stop listening to the prescribed way of “This is how it’s done” and let yourself get a little playful. We can all use a little bit of play in our lives.

If you are ready to take Sam’s challenge and live the playful way, I suggest you reserve a copy of How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons. Come on, you know you want to.
-- by Michelle Witte