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Brenebon soup (red kidney bean soup) is a Manado (North Sulawesi of Indonesia) recipe adopted from the Dutch from their colonialism period. It has become the family recipes from generations, even now it is considered one of the best grandma's soup, that flavor of cloves will get anyone down with a fever feel better! The surprise is not only brenebon can be enjoyed as soup for rainy days, it can be enjoyed as shave ice for hot and sunny days. The texture of kidney beans goes so well with the smoothness of avocado and the sweetness from pandan-scent-brown sugar, and the mountain of crystal shaved ice ? It's like having magical snow and the ethnicity of tropical land into your mouth.
This is a fancy-looking but very simple dessert I often bring to parties and potlucks when a dessert is requested. At this point I’ve come to be known for this trifle, even though I’ve mixed up my offerings and often bring non-trifle goodies. It’s easy to put together~ even easier with ready-made pudding, whipped cream, and frozen cream puffs.
This illustrated recipe is a Christmas version of the Croquembouche, an impressive pyramidal confection popular in France for weddings and important celebrations. Comprised of cream puffs dipped in warm caramel and stacked to form a tree/pyramid, it is often finished off with a web of spun caramel or powdered sugar.
I first saw one of these beautiful structures in Provence back in 2015, when I came upon a
celebration for French firefighters in the town square. I've been wanting to make one ever since!
One winter, I was able to escape to the Southern Hemisphere to visit a friend in Chile. After a tiresome plane ride, my friend picked me up and we hit the streets of Santiago. The sun was hot and the jet lag was setting in, so we stopped for one of Chile’s favorite treats: mote con huesillos. After we ordered, two cups were filled with cooked wheat berries, dried peaches and finally an icy sweet liquid steeped in peaches, sugar, cinnamon and orange. Standing there, under the hot afternoon sun and drenched in sweat from a day of exploring, it was a most welcome treat that reminded me of one of the reasons I love traveling.
A sweet dream in pink, red and white and very simple to make – it just hast to be spring when the strawberries are full of flavour. Legend has it that this desert was invented in Eton where a small shop offered it to the students from 1930 onwards. I like that it doesn’t require any skills, just make a nice mess and indulge!
Fave Memory. Snow Ice Cream! My granny lived with us when I was growing up in Ohio and we would have snow days, she'd say go get me some snow and I'll make ice cream. So I'd fill up a big bowl and she'd whip it up. I'm not exactly sure what was in it- maybe vanilla, milk, perhaps an egg, chocolate sauce on top. It was cheap and good and I remember if fondly. Hoping for a snowy winter here in Portland this year!
FAVE MEMORY: For as long as i can remember my mom has made this absolute classic for every family celebration we have - it would not be a party if there wasn't a pavlova!! She has offered to make other things - she makes a mean trifle and is an excellent baker - but my sister and I insist on the pavlova, and our kids love it too now. It's completely delicious, surprisingly simple to make and looks really impressive on the table. Crisp meringue, with a gooey centre, lashings of cream and a mountain of fresh fruit - it's an absolute stunner. It has to be the Delia Smith recipe as mom swears by it and even the book itself holds so many memories for me.
My FAVE MEMORY relates to travelling with my family through Europe while visiting relatives, and my 10 year old son had decided that each day was not complete unless he had had a gelato, which was fine with us too as the gelati were so delicious, especially in Spain and Italy. The gelati were presented so beautifully in Spain with fresh fruit and chocolates often placed alongside the colourful trays.