Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Adventure Time: Bacon Pancakes

It's ADVENTURE TIME! And you simply cannot go out on an adventure in the land of Ooo without your bacon pancakes, amiright? No question.

Whether you're a fan of the show (and you really should be, IMHO) or just love yourself some bacon, you need to a) memorize the below "Bacon Pancakes" song and then go right ahead and b) make yourself the pancakes. Rinse repeat.

If you love this show (and other cult classics), you will adore Cassandra's new cookbook, The Geeky Chef Cookbook. Preorder your copy today.


Bacon Pancakes
Excerpted from The Geeky Chef Cookbook by Cassandra Reeder



Adventure Time is an animated series on Cartoon Network that follows Jake the Dog and Finn the Human in their wacky adventures in the land of Ooo. It began as an animated short that went viral and eventually became its own series. Adventure Time makes frequent references to video games, epic fantasies, and other geeky stuff. Though the target audience is primarily children, Adventure Time appeals to children and adults alike…especially adults who feel like they are just really tall kids.

One of the many fun and unique things about the show is the music. This particular gem of a recipe comes from a little ditty called, yep, you guessed it, “Bacon Pancakes,” written by Rebecca Sugar. It is sung by Jake the Dog during the episode “Burning Low” as he makes breakfast. The concept of bacon pancakes is pretty simple: you take some bacon and put it in a pancake, and then top the cakes off with some maple syrup for a breakfast that is truly mathematical!

Inspired by Adventure time

Makes 10 pancakes

10 strips of bacon, fried until crispy
1 cup (120g) flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra for frying
¾ cup (180g) buttermilk
1 egg
Pinch of salt
Maple syrup, to serve

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter and buttermilk, then whisk in the egg.

Tip the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture and whisk together until it is lump-free.

Prepare a large skillet by melting some butter to prevent the batter from sticking, then add as many bacon strips as you can put in the skillet with enough distance between each one to add the pancake
batter. You will probably have to do this in batches.

Pour the pancake batter down the length of each bacon strip until it is covered. Make sure the batter around one bacon strip does not touch the batter covering a neighboring strip of bacon—you want
them to be individual pancakes and rectangular-ish.

Cook until the pancake batter starts to bubble on the surface, then flip them over and brown the other side. Repeat until there are no more slices of bacon. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve. Defiance.

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Geek out with recipes inspired by books, movies, television, and video games!

You've conquered comic con. You binge watch Star Wars regularly. Now, it's time to get your geek on in the kitchen!

Cassandra Reeder loves to cook, and she's a bona-fide mega-geek. Comic-lover, avid gamer, and sci-fi and fantasy lover, she started The Geeky Chef in 2008. She creates real-life recipes for all the delicious foods you've seen in your favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies, TV shows, and video games. From Game of Thrones and theHunger Games to Doctor Who, the Legend of Zelda and the World of Warcraft, this book features 50 recipes and photos that you can re-create right in your own home for the geek in your life. Finally learn to create Butterbeer and Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter. Indulge in the Lemon Cakes from Game of Thrones. Sip from a bowl of Plomeek Soup from Star Trek and enjoy with Peeta's Cheesy Bread from the Hunger Games right in your kitchen! Fantasy foods are fantasy no longer...
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Little Ears with Kale

Have you ever made your own pasta? If not, why not? I know that homemade pasta can seem a little daunting, but this recipe from Chef Jonathon Sawyer makes it easy. Greater than that, you can actually involve the whole family. They say if you involve your family in cooking, they are much more likely to enjoy the meal. It's a great way to counter picky eating.

Little Ears with Kale
Excerpted from Noodle Kids by Chef Jonathon Sawyer of Noodlecat



It’s easy to see why this pasta is called orecchiette, an Italian name that translates to “little ears.” That’s what these little noodles look like. The “ears” are perfect for holding a chunky sauce. The classic orecchiette recipe calls for spicy chiles, garlic, bread crumbs, and bitter broccoli rabe, but Team Sawyer is really into kale. The south of Italy, just around the ankle and below on the proverbial boot of the peninsula, is a great grain-growing region. Really, the best copper-extruded artisanal dried pasta comes from there, although now great commercially produced orecchiette is available.

This is a great activity to do with the kids. You make the dough and cut the disks. The kids form the shapes, and you finish the sauce.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup (110 g) crumbled Italian sausage, casing removed
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tablespoon (4 g) chopped parsley, divided
1 pound (454 g) orecchiette, homemade (recipe follows), or store-bought
½ pound (227 g) sliced kale
½ cup (50 g) toasted bread crumbs
½ cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Other stuff

Pasta pot with strainer
Medium saucepan
Potato masher

How to

1. Fill the pasta pot with water and season with salt until it tastes like seawater. Bring to a boil over high heat.

2. In the saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil and sauté the sausage until just cooked through, using the potato masher to get an even consistency. Add the garlic and ½ tablespoon (2 g) of the parsley and continue to sauté.

3. Add the homemade orecchiette to the pasta pot and cook for 6 minutes (or follow the package instructions for storebought orecchiette). Add the kale to the pasta pot and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

4. Transfer the greens and pasta with some water clinging to them to the saucepan with the sausage. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until a sauce forms, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil and remaining ½ tablespoon (2 g) parsley. Garnish
with the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes.

Yield: 4 servings

Homemade Orecchiette

This is our everyday orecchiette recipe, but you can also easily incorporate whole grains. Substitute up to half of the all-purpose and semolina flours with whole wheat, faro, or buckwheat flours.

Ingredients

1 cup (125 g) all-purpose organic flour
1 cup (125 g) semolina flour
1¼ cups (295 ml) warm water

Other stuff

Stand mixer with a dough hook attachment
Knife

How to

1. Combine all the ingredients in the stand mixer and mix for 15 minutes to develop the gluten. The dough shouldn’t be sticky when you are done. WAIT! Cover the dough with plastic wrap or under a damp towel, and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Using your hands, divide the dough into pieces and roll each piece into a dowel shape, about the diameter of nickel. Cut the dowels into ¼-inch (6 mm) thick disks. Using your thumb, press each disk flat, and then pull your thumb toward you to curl the pasta like an ear.





Yield: 1½ pounds (680 g)

--




Oodles and oodles of noodles! Get your kids in the kitchen with Noodle Kids. Packed with recipes, tips, suggestions, and inspiration to introduce children to, and get them involved in, making noodles like Japanese ramen, Italian spaghetti, Southeast Asian stir-fries, and classic American mac and cheese. The recipes are simple and will take you on a journey around the world. The tips provided can help you choose the perfect topping and even help you set up your very own noodle bar dinner party! So go ahead, see where these worldly noodle recipes will take you!

"There is nothing that sings in the key of joy like a happy child and almost nothing that brings me to a higher plane than a delicious plate of pasta. Chef/dad/genius Jonathon Sawyer has combined the two to create this handbook of tasty euphoria that makes the celebration of the creation and sharing of simple and delightful noodle-bound happiness as a family the ultimate expression of love and collaboration. This book will make you, your kids and their pals, (and your childish friends) a happy, jubilant choir of yum." - Mario Batali, chef, restaurateur, writer, and media personality

Monday, March 2, 2015

Peppered Onion Rings

We finally made it to March! Happy maybe-almost-sometime-soon-Spring, everyone. March is one of our favorite times of the year because it's Beer Book Month. If you love beer as much as we do, you should definitely swing on over to our sister blog and find out what's going on. They are featuring some great information and recipes as well as giveaways and more.

And since nothing goes better with beer than onion rings (IMHO), I thought I'd share this "wicked good" recipe from one of my favorite burger books. Enjoy.

And let's all hope that grilling season is upon us shortly. To spring!

Peppered Onion Rings
Excerpted from Wicked Good Burgers by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart with Andrea Pyenson


1 large white onion, peeled and sliced paper thin
on a slicer or very sharp mandoline
4 cups (950 ml) buttermilk
1 teaspoon (2 g) plus 1 tablespoon (6 g) ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon (1.8 g) plus 1 tablespoon (5.3 g) cayenne pepper, divided
1 teaspoon (2.5 g) plus 1 tablespoon (7 g) smoked paprika (unsmoked is okay, too), divided
Oil, for frying
3 cups (420 g) cornmeal
2 cups (250 g) flour
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, for seasoning
espelette or togarashi pepper, for seasoning (see below)

Special Equipment:
Deep fryer, optional

These rings get their name from the peppers we use to season the onions. Their most distinguishing characteristic, though, is that they are just as good at room temperature as they are hot, so they can be made a day or two before serving.

Place the onion slices in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Season with 1 teaspoon each of the black pepper (2g), cayenne (1.8 g), and paprika (2.5 g). Toss lightly. Cover and marinate for 4 to 12 hours, refrigerated. In a deep fryer or deep saucepan, heat oil to 250°F (120°C, gas mark 1⁄2). In a large bowl, mix the remaining tablespoons of black pepper (6 g), cayenne (5.3 g), and paprika (7 g) with the cornmeal and flour. Strain the onions well in a colander, tossing and pressing down on them to remove liquid, and add them all to the dry mixture, tossing and separating until every onion ring is coated and looks dry. Working with a few rings at a time, lift them out of the bowl, shaking off excess coating.

Fill the fryer basket half full and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the rings are just past golden brown. Make sure not to overcrowd, as this will slow down cooking and make the rings greasy. Remove from the fryer or pan and place on a drying tray lined with paper towel or a paper grocery bag. Immediately season with salt, pepper, and espelette or togarashi pepper. Repeat the process until all the onions are cooked. Eat immediately or, once cooled, place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Yield: About 6 cups (290 g)

Espelette and Togarashi Peppers

Espelette pepper (piment d’espelette) is a long, red chile pepper grown in France’s Basque region. It has an irresistible sweet/smoky/spicy flavor that makes it a perfect complement for meat, or seafood, or even vegetables.

Togarashi is the Japanese word for red chile pepper. The togarashi blends most commonly available in the United States are usually a combination of powdered or flaked red chile pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, seaweed, and other ingredients that together range from mild to wicked hot.

--

Wicked Good Burgers

Wicked Good Burgers ain't your daddy's patty on a bun. The upstart Yankee team that revolutionized barbecue with their upset win at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational turns their talents to burgers. Wicked Good Burgers fearlessly incorporates new techniques, inspirations, and ingredients to take the burger to the next level - whether it's the Meatloaf Burger on Pretzel Bread with Cabernet Mustard or the Island Creek Burger with Oysters and homemade cocktail sauce. You'll learn the art and science of freshly grinding meats - from beef to lamb to goat - for the ultimate juicy burger as well as cooking methods such as smoking, grilling, griddling, and sous vide that impart distinctive flavor.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cheese, Chive, and Black Pepper Scones

It's still cold out, so why don't we do some baking? These cheese, chive, and black pepper scones are perfect for just about any occasion. AND they're getting us excited for the upcoming Mother Earth News fair in gorgeous Asheville, North Carolina. Are you planning on attending? If so, be sure to pop by our booth and say hello.

And pick up your shiny new copy of Tabitha's amazing book, Whole Grain Baking Made Easy.

Cheese, Chive, and Black Pepper Scones
Excerpted from Whole Grain Baking Made Easy by Tabitha Alterman


The bold, savory flavor of quinoa is nice with the other savory flavors in these scones, but regular whole-wheat flour works too. These are great in wintertime served with tomato soup. If you make your own quinoa flour, you can add extra nuttiness by pretoasting the quinoa.

Yield: About 12 scones

Ingredients:

3⁄4 c. (83g) quinoa flour
1 1⁄2 c. (120g) whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. (10g) baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. (2.5g) baking soda
1 tsp. (4g) salt
1 tsp. (2g) nutmeg
Several twists freshly ground black pepper
1 1⁄4 stick (10 tbsp. or 141g) unsalted butter, cut into small pats or grated, and kept cold (ideally in freezer)
1⁄4 c. (57g) cold cream, plus extra for brushing tops
1⁄4 c. (57g) cold crème fraîche or yogurt
1⁄4 c. (12g) chopped chives
2 c. (226g) grated Cheddar cheese

Instructions:

Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat, or grease lightly with cooking spray. Place pan in freezer or refrigerator until use.

In a food processor or mixing bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and lots and lots of black pepper. Using your fingertips, two forks, a pastry blender, or the careful pulsing action of a food processor, rub or cut in butter. The smallest pieces should be no larger than a pea, and roughly half the flour should be coated in fat. Put bowl in freezer or refrigerator while you
mix the wet ingredients.

In a mixing bowl, stir together cream, crème fraîche, chives, and all but a small handful of cheese (reserve some for topping). With a large spatula, fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, just until combined. This is a good time to preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (191 degrees Celsius).

Put a large piece of parchment or wax paper on counter. Dump dough onto it. Holding onto dough from the outsides of the paper, fold dough over onto itself a few times, attempting to form a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Chill dough in refrigerator at least 30 minutes, then cut into triangles with a sharp, serrated knife.

Arrange scones on chilled baking sheet, leaving an inch between them. Brush tops lightly with cream, then sprinkle with cheese and more pepper. Bake 22 to 25 minutes, or until deep golden on top, with crispy bits of cheese.

--

Whole Grain Baking Made Easy


Take control of the grains you eat. Written by Mother Earth Living food editor Tabitha Alterman, Whole Grain Baking Made Easy is a guide for bakers who want to maximize the nutritional value of their breads and desserts while experimenting with delicious new flavors of many different whole grains. Alterman includes recipes for a wide array of flours and flour blends - from amaranth to millet to teff - as well as guidance on all aspects of home milling, such as choosing a mill and properly storing your grain and flour. With straightforward instructions and full-color photography, Alterman teaches home bakers age-old methods for making deliciously tender breads and cakes out of whole-grain flours. So whether you want to bake low-gluten goodies, maximize the nutrition in your baked goods, become more self-reliant, or experiment with heirloom or heritage grains,Whole Grain Baking Made Easy puts you in charge of the grains in your diet from start to finish.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are one of my favorite things to make on a Friday night. Sure, they're messy, but they're also packed with flavor and are always a popular choice. Rather than buy a bag of premade frozen wings, try this buffalo chicken wings recipe from Landria's new cookbook, Super Paleo Snacks. You won't be disappointed.


Buffalo Chicken Wings
Excerpted from Super Paleo Snacks by Landria Voigt




Ready for a little spice? Traditional buffalo wings are delicious, but too often they are fried in unhealthy oils and coated with gluten. This wonderful recipe is a Paleo twist on a favorite party snack that can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime for a protein-packed snack.

2¾ pounds (1245 g) raw chicken wings
½ cup (64 g) arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
½ cup (112 g) grass-fed butter
½ cup gluten-free hot sauce (such as Texas Pete’s)

Set the wings on a few paper towels and pat dry. In a resealable plastic freezer bag, combine the arrowroot, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne (if using). Add the wings to the bag, and shake until they are well coated. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet, and place the wings on the rack. Put the pan in the fridge for 1 hour to help the wings absorb the spices and dry out so they won’t end up soggy.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). After the hour of refrigeration, bake the wings for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and bake for another 20 minutes. While the wings bake, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the hot sauce until well combined. Set aside. As it sits, it will thicken up, which will add more flavor to the wings.

Take the wings out of the oven and brush them with the sauce. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Broil them for the last minute or two to get them crispy.

Yield: about 2 dozen wings

--


Super Paleo Snacks 

Snacks are essential for making sure we get the proper amount of nutrients. They refuel our bodies and allow us to be productive at work, school and during fitness activities, but it's so difficult to find a snack that isn't processed, boxed, or GMO. What's a Paleo-lover to do? You need snacks to feel good about eating, that are portable, appealing, inexpensive, and easy to make. That's a tall order. Luckily, there is Landria Voigt's Super Paleo Snacks. With over 100 recipes using Paleo superfoods like coconut, avocado, sweet potatoes, and almond, you will be on your way to amazing health benefits including reduced incidence of diabetes, autoimmune illnesses, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. These recipes are quick and easy to make, most take under 15 minutes to prepare! Try every easy Paleo-approved recipe for enjoyable bites, treats, and munchies. You'll always have something healthy, natural, and delicious for snacking!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chocolate Banana Pops

When I was in Newport Beach, California there were banana stands everywhere selling frozen bananas. It made me immediately think of Arrested Development and made my coworkers and I just have to buy a frozen banana. It was delicious. Seriously delicious. What I had thought was just a silly whim was actually an amazing (and fairly healthy) snack.

So when I saw this recipe for Chocolate Banana Pops in Laura's newest cookbook, I couldn't help but share it with you all. The book doesn't publish until June, but you can preorder your copy today. That is, if you can get someone to hold your chocolate banana pop.

Chocolate Banana Pops
Excerpted from The Best Homemade Kids' Snacks on the Planet by Laura Fuentes of Momables.com


Eating a banana has never been this much fun! This is the perfect kitchen activity for kids, so invite
them to help make their own treat.

1 cup (175 g) chocolate chips
1 tablespoon (14 g) coconut oil
Assorted toppings for coating bananas, such as crushed homemade cookies, sprinkles, nuts, or shredded coconut
3 bananas, peeled

In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil.

Place each topping in a separate shallow dish. On a flat surface, cut bananas in half. Push an ice cream stick through each banana half.

Dip the first banana half in the melted chocolate, allow the excess chocolate to drip from the banana
into the bowl, and transfer the banana to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle a few toppings over the banana. Have fun with this step, mixing and matching toppings as you please.

Repeat the dipping and tossing process with the remaining banana halves. Place coated banana halves in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove from freezer and enjoy!

Yield: 6 servings

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The Best Homemade Kids' Snacks on the Planet

If you're a parent or a caregiver, you know that kids are hungry all the time. And while you want to give them the best, snack time can be a true test. How do you avoid the convenient-but-unhealthy storebought treats and instead provide something that not only tastes good, but is good for them them too?

With The Best Homemade Kids' Snacks on the Planet, you'll find more than 200+ great ideas for solving the snack conundrum. Recipes and ideas you can whip up in minutes, without fuss in the kitchen, or fuss from your kid! So whether you're packing snacks for your purse, the school bag, the sports bag, or the can't-make-it-until-dinner whining hour, you'll find quick and healthy ideas everyone in your family will love.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Goat Cheese and Rose Cheesecake

Let's make cheesecake, shall we? I know, making cheesecake at home can seem daunting, but with a little patience, you'll end up with something truly outstanding. Rather than just sticking to cream cheese and canned fruit, give this goat cheese and rose cheesecake a try. You might find it's the best thing you've tasted in a while. I know I did.

If you loved this recipe (and really, how could you not?) be sure to preorder your copy of Melanie's cookbook, Making Artisan Cheesecake, today. 

Goat Cheese and Rose Cheesecake
Excerpted from Making Artisan Cheesecake by Melanie Underwood


Although this cheesecake has honey, it is not that sweet and is more akin to having a cheese for dessert. If you like it sweeter, add an extra 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar. Also, cream cheese can be substituted for a creamier cheesecake.

CRUST
Nut Crust made with pistachios (recipe follows)

CHEESECAKE
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (20 g) dried rose petals
2 2/3 pounds (1176 g) goat cheese
2/3 cup (230 g) honey
6 eggs

GARNISH
Fresh organic rose petals
Rose Syrup (recipe follows)

To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4). Follow the instructions for the Nut Crust (recipe below), using pistachios. Let cool completely before adding the cheesecake batter.

To make the cheesecake: Lower the oven to 325ºF (170ºC, or gas mark 3). In a medium-size saucepan, heat the heavy cream just until boiling. Remove from the heat and add the rose petals. Cover the pan and set aside for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture, pressing down on rose petals to extract as much of the cream as possible. Set aside to cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the goat cheese on low speed until softened, scraping down the sides of the bowl, underneath the paddle, and the paddle frequently with a rubber spatula, about 2 minutes. Add the honey and continue mixing on low and scraping down the sides, bottom, and paddle until combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix just until combined, about 10 seconds after each egg. Slowly stir in the infused heavy cream.

Prepare the springform pan for a water bath (download here). Place the springform pan in a large cake pan or a roasting pan (one that is around the same height or lower than your springform pan). Pour the batter over the crust and level it with a small offset spatula. Place in the oven and pour almost boiling water into the roasting pan (it should come up halfway around the sides of the pan). Bake for about 55 minutes, until the cheesecake is firm around the edges, but still jiggly in the center (the jiggly part should be about the size of a quarter).

Remove from the oven and remove the cheesecake from the water bath. Remove the foil from the sides of the pan. Gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Allow to cool at room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (this will help the cheesecake set completely).

To unmold the cheesecake, gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan. Release the latch on the side of the pan and then lift the ring straight up. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

To garnish: Top with fresh rose petals and drizzle with rose syrup. 

Yield: One 10-inch (25 cm) cheesecake

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BOTTOM-ONLY NUT CRUST

2 cups (190 g) finely ground nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans; mix no more than two)
2 tablespoons (26 g) granulated or brown sugar
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4).

In a medium bowl, combine the nuts and sugar. Add the butter and stir with a rubber spatula to combine, making sure all the butter is absorbed and the crumbs or nuts are evenly coated.

Place the mixture in a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan. Using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. For a bottom-and-sides crust, use the sides of a glass to press about half of the mixture into the sides of the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly firm. (The nut crust will be toasted to a golden brown and have a nutty aroma.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, about 10 minutes.

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Rose Syrup

Find the reddest rose petals you can to make this syrup as it will intensify the color. Be sure to use only rose petals that have not been sprayed with pesticides. If you do not have access to fresh rose petals, dried petals are a great substitute and easily available. You can substitute any edible flower, but try to pick ones with bright colors.

FRESH ROSE PETAL SYRUP

1 cup (60 g) packed fresh organic rose petals
1 cup (200 g) sugar, divided
2 cups (470 ml) water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium-size bowl, combine the rose petals and 1/4 cup (50 g) of the sugar, rub them together to bruise the petals, then cover and set aside overnight.

In a medium-size saucepan, combine the remaining 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar and the water; bring to a boil and then add the rose petal/sugar mixture. Simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes, or until syrupy and thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Strain the syrup and discard the petals. Stir in the vanilla. Refrigerate the syrup until ready to use.

Yield: 1 cup (235 ml)

DRIED ROSE PETAL SYRUP

1/2 cup (30 g) dried rose petals
2 cups (470 ml) water
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium-size bowl, combine the rose petals and water; cover and set aside overnight. Strain the syrup and discard the petals.

In a medium-size saucepan, combine the rose water and sugar; bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is syrupy and thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Stir in the vanilla. Refrigerate the syrup until ready to use.

Yield: 1 cup (235 ml)

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Making Artisan Cheesecake

Make it a classic or make it your own- with this book, you can create virtually any cheesecake you can imagine.

Cheesecake is a classic, hugely popular dessert consisting of a mixture of soft cheese, egg, and sugar on a crust. There are many, many variations, from fruit-flavored cakes to cheesecake pops to versions with ricotta, quark, or goat cheese. And there are a variety of techniques for making a cheesecake successfully, including baking in a water bath and not baking at all, that can intimidate home cooks. Try your hand at mouthwatering recipes like:

- Maple Macadamia Cheesecake
- Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Honey & Lavender
- Coffee-Toffee Cheesecake
- Hot Chocolate Cheesecake
- Mascarpone & Raspberry Cheesecake
- Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

Making Artisan Cheesecake presents the classic and well-loved cheesecake in a new, adventurous, and modern way, and answers any questions about it that home cooks and bakers- foodies who love delicious classic desserts- might ask. In addition to sharing many variations, author Melanie Underwood teaches all the techniques behind building a range of different styles, and encourages readers to develop their own unique recipes. She also covers options for crusts, cheeses, and batters; baking techniques; how to keep the top from cracking; and the differences among various styles, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Italian, Brazilian, and Japanese.