fruit forward breakfast and dessert

I have two delicious fruit forward recipes to share this week for breakfast and dessert. The first is pancakes with a homemade strawberry syrup. The latter is carmel apple martinis that are so amazing it’s hard not to guzzle them down. What are your favorite fruit forward recipes?

RECIPE

1 package of strawberries cut into strips, reserve half for garnish
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 T cornstarch

Heat water and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Dissolve cornstarch into 1 T water with whisk. Add to mixture whisking briskly. Add strawberries and continue stirring. Allow mixture to boil until thickened. Strain if desired. Pour over pancakes and place use remaining strawberries as garnish.

Now for dessert…

This is probably the most amazing drink I have ever had. Even for people who don’t typically enjoy vodka or sweeter drinks, you will be amazed at how wonderful this treat is. This will forever be apart of my dessert repertoire.

RECIPE

1-2 oz Van Gogh Dutch Carmel Vodka
2-3 oz Knudson’s Organic Apple Juice

Shake ingredients together over ice. Serve immediately and enjoy!!!

To add a little spritz to your Carmel Apple Martini, pour in a splash of ginger ale!

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sigur rós

Sigur Rós is hands down one of my absolute favorite bands. After discovering them for myself in 2005, I have not had a single experience since where they were not a major part of the soundtrack of my life. The music of Sigur Rós touches me in way I can’t put words to, nor have I experienced often with other music. Have you ever heard something that resonates with you so deeply that you’re unsure of how to describe it?

Sigur Rós are from Iceland and their lyrics tend to be in a made up language. So in terms of singing along, it’s not the easiest. However the movement of sound, experience and layering of emotion, and the ability to engage with the music is unrivaled. I absolutely adore Sigur Rós. I have been fortunate enough to see them live in concert twice: once at Coachella and once at Red Rocks – seriously, some of the best shows I’ve ever seen to date.

Now the lead singer of Sigur Rós has a side project called Jónsi that is playing a show in Denver in a few weeks. And, I am so excited to say David scored us free tickets through Radio 1190 in Boulder! I am thrilled beyond words! The experience, I’m sure, will only affirm the genius of Jón, the lead singer of Sigur Rós and Jónsi.

Meanwhile, I’d love to share Sigur Rós and Jónsi with you. Check the links. It may change the way you experience music or life. (Or maybe I’m just dramatic.) Let me know.

pork tenderloin and inspiration

I was ecstatic when I entered my grocery store and saw blackberries on sale! I love to cook with fresh fruit but so often it is too expensive to justify despite my palate’s pleas. As soon as I decided to purchase blackberries, my mind swam with possibilities of how I might use them. First up, pork tenderloin with a blackberry reduction over sauteed asparagus and wild rice.

Pork tenderloin is one of the easiest meats to cook and one of the easiest to ruin. To achieve succulent, tender pork, the meat must rest at least 30 minutes after taking it out of the fridge to allow it to warm up. Second, the pork must be seared on all sides at medium-high heat to keep all of its wonderful juices inside. Next, it should be baked or grilled until the center reaches 140 F. Lastly, after cooking, the pork needs to rest prior to being cut to allow the juices to settle inside the meat instead of escaping all over your counter. If you follow these steps, you will have created a melt-in-your mouth experience that will forever change how you think of pork.

For this particular dish, I marinated the pork for a few hours in a blackberry vinaigrette that consisted of blackberry preserves, spicy mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme.

For the blackberry reduction I used one packet of fresh blackberries, 2-3 T blackberry preserves, 2 T minced onions, 1 clove minced garlic, salt, pepper, 1 tsp chicken bouillon, 1 cup dry red wine, 1 cup water, and 1 T rosemary. I smashed 2/3 of the blackberries through a strainer to remove the seeds. Next I sauteed the onions over medium heat until clear and added the garlic until fragrant. I deglazed the pan with red wine, added water, bouillon, salt, pepper, and rosemary. After it reached a boil, I added the blackberries and blackberry preserves. I reduced the heat to medium low and simmered for 15 minutes.

To serve, I added the remaining whole blackberries to the plate, and poured the blackberry reduction over the pork and around the plate. I served the pork tenderloin over sauteed asparagus and wild rice for a very flavorful, fruit forward dish.

This week I also happened to watch Julie and Julia for the first time. What a fun movie! I can definitely relate to both characters’ love of food and desire to find something they are passionate about. My own version of Julia (Child) is definitely Ina Garten. I would love the opportunity to learn from her about food, passion, and life. I adore her relationship with her husband and how she uses food to express her love for him. I often find myself inspired by my own husband when I’m in the kitchen. I like to think about what would bless him, what he would be excited for, what would energize him, and satiate him.

Are you ever inspired in the kitchen? If so, what inspires you?

spring has arrived!

Spring has arrived!!! I’m so excited!

Tulips; spring jackets; brighter colors; blue skies; flats and sandals; poppies; corals and lighter pinks; cherry blossoms; and temperatures in the 60s-70s. Who could ask for anything more?

Some of the things I’m looking forward to this spring include the following finds from Anthropologie:

What are you looking forward to this spring?