Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mariko's Amaretto Fruit Dip

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Here's a delicious fruit dip from Mariko Shimomura, pictured here with her fiance, James. With a lot of drive and determination, they moved to the Washington, DC area earlier this year, located new jobs and are planning their spring wedding. This recipe is simple to make and tastes wonderful as a dessert fondue with pound cake or angel food cake cut in cubes, strawberries, blackberries, fresh pineapple, bananas or any fresh fruit in season. The Amaretto flavoring is delicious!

1 box of powdered sugar
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/3 cup of Amaretto
Juice from 1 fresh lemon
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz whipping cream

Beat all ingredients together with an electric mixer until smooth, refrigerate for 1-2 hours, serve with fresh fruit and/or pancakes (amazing on strawberries!). The dip tastes even better the second day when the flavors have had time to blend together.

Bea's Balsamic Dressing

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This is my favorite salad dressing recipe from Bea, pictured here on the right, with Margaret Kiyohara. I make a double batch so always have some on hand in the refrigerator. It is simply the best!

2 T extra virgin olive oil - add canola oil to make 1 cup
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Pour over your favorite tossed green salad. Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Corinne's Seared Tuna and Avocado Salad

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This salad is so decadent, delicious and the perfect dish for a light lunch. Corinne made this for me on my recent trip to Seattle. It originally came from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. It serves four, but we almost ate the entire thing because it was so good!

2 lbs very fresh tuna steak (yellow tail)
4 T extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1-1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
2 limes, zest grated
1 tsp wasabi powder
6 T freshly squeezed lime juice (3 limes)
2 tsp soy sauce
10 dashes hot sauce (Tabasco)
1-2 ripe Hass avocados, medium diced
1/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
1/4 cup red onion, diced small

Brush the tuna with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the tuna steaks in a very hot frying pan and cook for only 1 min. per side. Set aside on a platter. In a small bowl combined the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime zest, wasabi, lime juice, soy sauce and hot sauce. Add the avocados to the vinaigrette. Cut the tuna into chunks. Place the tuna, scallions and red onion on a serving platter and gently mix. Pour the vinaigrette over all. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mendicino Scones

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These scones resemble ones we had at a Mendicino bed and breakfast. They are so flakey and buttery in taste. You can add whatever fruit is in season, or you can use raisins or currants. They are exceptional - my favorite breakfast pastry! I hope you enjoy them.

3 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 cup plus 2 T sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup raisins, currants, or berries (optional)

Mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder and sugar). Add the butter and cut in using a pastry blender. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the buttermilk. Fold egg mixture into the pastry, add fruit and gently mix until almost blended. IMPORTANT: Do not overmix. Empty the bowl onto plastic wrap, gently press it into a flat circle (about 2" high). Cut into 8ths. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 min. Serve warm with butter and jam.