bubbly peach cobbler

 Ahhh, cobbler a.k.a the poor man’s pie. What a misnomer. 

Cobbler should really be nicknamed the smart man’s pie. Smart men (and women) know their limitations. They know pie crusts are hard work. They know when to invest their time, energy, and patience into an unforgiving mass of dough. And they know when not to. Sometimes you roll out the dough, sometimes you just go with the flow. This is a time for the latter.

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iced tea in jar on table

This has been the most unusual summer. A very warm late spring gave way to a mild June. It got hot again, but just for a few days at a time. It rained quite a bit, and I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill summer afternoon thunderstorm. I quite enjoy those. No, instead of the usual heat and humidity, it was just damp and downright chilly at times. The sun regularly struggled to peak through the sky, so more than often, my longing for a warm summer night was met with disappointment. A sweater was always at arm’s length.  Continue reading→

Zero Wholesome Sweetners
“I don’t like sweet desserts.”

Statements like this annoy me. Ever said this? Maybe you just don’t like desserts my friend. Desserts are supposed to be sweet.

I get it though. I have a sweet tooth, but I too am put off by cloying caramel cake pops and surfeit scoops of mocha marshmallow maple ice cream. Seriously, we need to chill with the sugar in America. And this is coming from someone who sometimes judges restaurants based on the quality of their desserts. Sugar is bad. Yet it tastes so good. And there’s nothing quite like it. Splenda, Stevia, Sweet n Low, Equal… all are disgusting. The only thing I have found that works as a true sugar substitute is erythritol. Horrible name, but guess what? No aftertaste! I have found success in using erythritol in frozen desserts, baked goods and my morning cup of coffee.

So what is Erythritol?

Overpriced. (Think eight bucks for a 12 oz. bag.)

It is also a naturally occuring sugar alcohol, found in some fruits and vegetables. In order to be packaged and sold to in stores it is fermented with a yeast and crystallized. It is about 70% sweet as sugar, ranks zero on the glycemic index and has virtually no calories.

If it isn’t first dissolved in water, erythritol will produce a cooling sensation on the tongue (similar to mint). So in recipes for baked goods I substitute about 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup of erythritol for the required sugar. Any more than that and your brownies, cookies, and cakes won’t come out right.

Erythritol is sold under a few different brand names. I like Wholesome Sweeteners Zero, which can be purchased at Whole Foods and online. I’ve also used Z Sweet, which is erythritol with a bit of stevia added.

Another bonus: Erythritol won’t harm your pearly whites. Unlike sugar, it doesn’t promote tooth decay. So keep smiling and enjoying your SWEET desserts!

knife and glass on restaurant table

“Humility’s a slippery prize
That seldom can be won;
We’re only humble in God’s eyes
When serving like His Son.”

 

adding butter to curd

Meyer Lemons are sublime. They are sweet and only slightly sour and bursting with bright floral notes. They make me wish I lived in California where their fragrant goodness is teeming during the fall and winter months.

Alas, I live in the real world aka the East Coast (mid-Atlantic), where meyers tend to arrive in select stores in late January and disappear from the produce section by mid-March. Every year I attempt to stock up on them and scratch some things off my meyer lemon bucket list, but I never do. I end up making my lavender meyer lemon olive oil cookies and a meyer lemon curd, but that’s usually it. Then they’re gone.

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