What on earth happened to August? One minute I am announcing I am hosting Our Growing Edge for the month and the next thing you know it is over and I am writing the round up. You can see all the submissions here. As you know I nominated treat yourself as the theme for the month and expected a plethora of sweet treats.
And while sweet treats did dominate there were also some savoury meals thrown in there for good measure. Which just shows how diverse taste buds are. For me the ultimate treat is normally chocolate but every now and again I crave salty food or on a really bad day salted caramel to get the sugar and salt combo going. What do you treat yourself with?
With my salted caramel addiction I couldn’t go past Rachel of Trampling Rose’s salted caramel stracciatella. I made this tiramisu as my contribution to the link up but Rachel’s stracciatella looks amazingly more tasty. It does require an ice cream maker but I am seriously considering buying one just to make this.
Sour Cherry and White Chocolate Caramel Doughnuts from Vermilion Red
I quite like the idea of going with a chocolate and caramel themed afternoon tea and making these sour cherry and white chocolate caramel doughnuts from Jordan of Vermilion Red You seriously have to check out the caramelized chocolate ganache sauce on these beautiful creations. Plus they have curd which is another of my favourite things. I suspect if I made these I might just have boring plain doughnuts with the ganache and curd “disappearing” during the cooking phase.
Of course if you don’t have an ice cream maker then you can make this dark chocolate mousse from Connie of Connie Consumes. I am so with Connie about not completely trusting people who don’t like chocolate. I will be giving this one a whirl in the near future as it looks so easy to make and it has those lovely air pockets that make a mousse so lovely and fluffy. Plus Connie added raspberries on top and they look so beautiful. Is there a better combination than chocolate and raspberries (ok maybe salted caramel and chocolate is…)
And then if you haven’t had quite enough chocolate at this stage, the Chocolate Crunchie Cake from Dosirakbento is perfect for the honeycomb and crunchie bar lovers out there. I was never a huge fan of crunchie bars when growing up but they have really grown on me in the past couple of years and this cake with broken crunchie bars as garnish looks divine. I totally agree with the colleague that there was no need to spoil the photo by adding fruit! This cake needs to be appreciated in all its chocolate glory.
Now that I have stopped dreaming about dessert, I should move on to the beautiful savoury dishes that were shared as part of the link up. And if I am not in a chocolate mood then chips have to come very high on my list of treats and these oven baked chips from The Village Pot look lovely and golden on the outside. The steak and gravy combine with the chips to make a great restaurant style meal at home. The gravy looks delicious but simple to make – this is a great meal to help with getting my iron levels back up while still eating a tasty meal.
The other savoury dish shared is this fresh tomato salsa from Drama Less Food. There is nothing quite like fresh tomatoes from the garden and with tomato growing season starting soon is Canberra this has got me all inspired to start planning where I am going to plant mine this year. I find that I often have a few too many tomatoes and this recipe will be perfect for that oversupply. I love the addition of jalapenos for some fire and it is such a simple recipe to make – certainly drama less.
The final four posts in the link up were about dining out and sharing with friends. Going out for food is my ultimate treat. While I am coming to like cooking more and more, I still think there is nothing better than having a great chef cook an amazing meal for you.
I am with Jess of Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Dreamer in wishing to be in Mexico. I have had enough of winter and while I know we are officially in spring here in Australia, the weather in the morning for the first day of spring in Canberra was atrocious. Super foggy and cold. The sun has now shown its face but I am not sure I can forgive it for hiding while I walked the dogs. I would much prefer to be eating tacos on Isla Mujeres, Mexico. I was interested to see that chorizo featured heavily in the tacos. Not something I would normally associate with tacos but now I have seen these I am rethinking my taco preferences.
While Mexico would probably be my preference for dealing with my winter blues, I love little girl story’s suggestion of high tea to deal with the cold weather. High tea is always a treat. All that mini food so you feel like you can try everything and washed down with some beautiful tea. There really is nothing like sharing a cup of tea with friends.
Christine from Petite Christine went to the Liholiho Yacht Club in San Francisco and I want to go now just to see their floor tiles in person. But my favourite bit is that they served spam fried rice. I know spam is not everyone’s idea of gourmet food but I am a huge fan and had it for nearly every breakfast when I holidayed in Hawaii. And it came with shrimp. Heaven! Christine’s favourite dish was the Baked Hawaii but I am not a huge meringue fan – I am going to stick with my spam. Christine also went to the ice cream place ShakeDown and I am now very intrigued with what Aussie vanilla ice cream is and how that is different from other vanilla ice cream. I didn’t realise we did things different down under.
Finally I am very impressed with our lovely host Genie’s commitment to eating out! Not many people I know would make a dessert stop after a 7 course degustation. But what else are you supposed to do if your degustation has a not so exciting dessert? She is a girl after my own heart. The plating alone of the desserts at Milse are enough to lure you in. This type of presentation along with the ability to combine 9 distinct flavours on a dish is what distinguishes true chefs from home cooks like me (well two of the many things). And I can’t get over how creamy the clam risotto looks from the degustation.
I hope you now feel inspired to create some treats in your life, whether it is in your kitchen or by heading out for a fabulous meal. While eating healthy most of the time is my plan, I am a big believer of treats in moderation. Otherwise life gets very dull.
And September’s Our Growing Edge link up has started and you can join here. It is a great push to get you trying new food. Get your thinking caps on!