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Rue Claire Raspberry Tiramisu!


By Gini Rainey

I might have mentioned recently that my husband and I took a lovely trip to Paris for our anniversary.  If you follow me on Facebook, you might also have seen a lot of the wonderful meals we ate while there. But if not, I’ll let you know right here and now that we found a little street a few blocks from our hotel that has limited vehicular traffic and is lined with sidewalk cafés galore!  One café in particular definitely caught our fancy, and we found ourselves gravitating to it more than once to enjoy their delicious food!  Sitting elbow to elbow with other people who were also dining there, we consumed an inordinate amount of crusty French bread, red wine, pasta, and tiramisu!

Let me tell you, their tiramisu is to die for!  Seriously!  And, lest you get it stuck in your head, as I did, that tiramisu can only be made with coffee, I’d like to introduce you to an amazing change of pace that uses raspberries.  You all know how much I love raspberries, don’t you?  Well, the tiramisu we were introduced to at Café Central in Paris was like one of the most airy and light parfaits I’ve ever put in my mouth and layered between the crunchies and the parfait was the most delightful raspberry sauce ever.  Just give this girl raspberry sauce and she’s happy!

Now that we are back in the good ol’ USA, I wanted to be sure I could figure out how to make this dessert because it’s too far to walk down the street to Café Central from our house!  For my version of this great dessert, I’m going to be using a recipe for the raspberry sauce out of “The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook” that was published in 2000 by The Martha Stewart Living Magazine and is a collection of 1,200 recipes, helpful hints and suggestions.

The Red Raspberry Sauce recipe will make about ¾ cup of sauce, so adjust accordingly if you want to make more.  This sauce will freeze nicely and would be a great thing to have on hand for unexpected company.  To make the sauce combine 1 pint of raspberries, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt in a small, nonreactive saucepan over low heat.  Cook until the berries release their juice and just start to break down – about 5 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to press the berries through a fine sieve and discard the solids.

Now, for the parfait, whisk 2 egg yolks with ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar.  Add 8 ounces of mascarpone and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and mix well.  In another bowl, beat the 2 egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the mascarpone mixture.  If you would like to layer your parfaits with lady fingers, brush 12 lady fingers with a mixture of 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then using small serving glasses, start with a layer of the lady fingers, a layer of the raspberry sauce, a layer of the mascarpone and repeat layers.  Garnish with raspberries and chill for a least 3 hours before serving.  What I think I will be doing is rolling a couple of biscotti cookies into crumbs and sprinkling the crumbs between layers and also as a garnish on top.  If you decide to use the biscotti instead of lady fingers, refrigerate the mascarpone mixture until just prior to serving and then assemble in layers to keep the biscotti crunchy.  This should make 6 servings of total yum!  Oh, and just one more thing, save some for me!

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A Good Pounding!

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By Gini Rainey

Good grief, that’s exactly what I deserve.  I have been so over-whelmed with life in the past few months – okay, this year – that I have neglected to do what I love doing – writing!  So, apparently it took an email to our editor/publisher to get me off high center.  She forwarded this email to me on June 24th and it comes from an editor named Jess Miller who just happens to be associated with  Jen Reviews is the authority on everything food, fitness and home and has been featured in some mind-blowing (my mind, anyway!) publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Greatist, Reader’s Digest, MindBodyGreen, Livestrong, Bustle, Lifehacker, Wikihow, and oh my goodness, many many more. 

Jess email says “I was doing research on pound cake recipes and just finished reading your wonderful blog post: In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid post that I’ve read in the past:  We just published a delicious cranberry pound cake with orange glaze recipe complete with step-by-step pictures and detailed instructions. It is completely free and you can find it here:  If you like the recipe we’d be humbled if you cited us in your article.” 

The gauntlet was thrown and I tried it.  I baked it last night and it is yummy.  Of course, knowing me, you know I have to pull in a cookbook of some sort, and for those of you out there who don’t know where the name “Pound Cake” comes from, I pulled out my earliest reference that I have, which is a replica of “American Cookery” written by Amelia Simmons in 1796. It’s really interesting to leaf through this book and try to read some of the recipes.  It is actually a photocopy of the original and along with various spots and stains, the letter “f” is used in place of the letter “s.”  Originally, a pound cake called for one pound of sugar, one pound of butter, one pound of flour, one pound or ten eggs, one gill of rose water and spices to your taste. (Hence pound cake!) We are told to watch it well (remember – wood burning stoves/ovens back then) It will bake in a slow oven in 15 minutes. 

The recipe referred to by Jess is a bit different and perhaps produces a much lighter version than the 1796 version.  What you will need to do to make Jess’s recipe is to begin with a 350° pre-heated oven and a lightly greased and floured 12×4 inch loaf pan.  Then in a bowl, whisk together 1 ¾ cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt.  In another bowl, cream 9 ounces of softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon orange zest until light and fluffy.  Then slowly add in 4 eggs plus 2 yolks (at room temp), followed by 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar. Then alternating between the flour mixture and ¼ cup room temp milk, gradually add to the sugar/egg mixture.  Lightly dredge in flour 1 ¼ cups of washed and dried fresh cranberries (because fresh cranberries aren’t on the market at this time, I substituted rehydrated dried cranberries and I think they did well) and gently fold into the mixture.  Pour into the pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  For the glaze, combine 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2 ½ tablespoons of fresh orange juice, and using a small spoon, drizzle over the completely cooled cake. 

This is one yummy cake – the unexpected tartness is a wonderful compliment to the buttery richness of the cake and would serve you well at a winter holiday meal – or even right now in the middle of the hot Texas summer along with a bowl of home-made ice cream! 

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Smith’s Bar-B-Que Opens in Jacksonville

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Smith’s Bar-B-Que had a great Ribbon Cutting on Friday, April 5. Smith’s Bar-B-Que is owned and operated by Gary Smith and has been in business for 11 years. They started in the Exxon parking lot but has now found a home at the Travis Towers parking lot at 558 S. Ragsdale. They serve ribs, brisket, sausage, pulled pork and their famous stuffed baked potato. You can also add beans, potato salad and peach cobbler. They also offer catering with no event being too big or too small. Gary Smith is a culinary school graduate, food service manager and the 1st to obtain his vendors permit from the City of Jacksonville. Hours are Friday and Saturday 11 am until…..

They are at 558 S. Ragsdale in Jacksonville, Texas and can be reached at 903.944.0036.

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Artists in the Kitchen

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By Gini Rainey

I have many passions in my life, mostly leaning toward my right brain, but after working for over 25 years as a business manager/owner, my left brain seems to have shoved a lot of those passions to the side, but trust me – they’re still there!  So, when I come across a cookbook that has wonderful recipes that are paired up with amazing works of art from the National Gallery of Art, you can be sure this is one book I had to have. 

With notable chefs such as Julia Child, Jeremiah Tower and Alice Waters creating dishes and menus to compliment the art of Matisse, Pissaro, and Gauguin, to name a few, you can only imagine what a lovely and creative book this must be. 

While using paintings of the obvious subjects, such as Vollon’s Mound of Butter and Jean Simeon Chardin’s Still Life with Game for inspiration, I think the recipes that truly intrigue me are from the chefs who viewed such paintings as Raoul Dufy’s The Basket and Mary Cassatt’s Afternoon Tea Party, let their imaginations run wild and came up with what might have been in the basket or what Cassatt might served at her Tea Party. 

Pablo Picasso’s Le Gourmet was the inspiration for Nancy Silverton’s Butterscotch Sauce that would make a delicious topping for a bread pudding or a dish of Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla ice cream. To make the sauce, combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup, and 2 ½ tablespoons Scotch whisky in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the mixture just begins to smoke and turns an amber color.  Meanwhile, place 1 ¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream in another large saucepan, split a vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape its seeds into the and then add the pod.  Add 1 cup of butter and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

When the sugar mixture reaches the proper color, immediately stop its cooking by whisking in the cream mixture in small amounts, waiting a few seconds between additions to prevent it from boiling over.  Once all the cream mixture is incorporated, simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.  Whisk in ½ cup of butter until combined.  The sauce will keep for several weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  To reheat, place the sauce in a bowl over simmering water.  If desired, add some toasted pecans or add a dash of sea salt to taste, and wow, you have got something really yummy going on there. 



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