Mini Strawberry Espresso Surprise!!! Fiesta Friday #55

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Hello everyone it’s another Fiesta Friday!!! I want to thank our host Angie@The Novice Gardener and her co-host today Sue@birgerbird and Suzanne@apuginthekitchen.  Suzanne has become a great blog friend and I want to thank her 🙂  So enjoy Fiesta Friday everyone!!!

So earlier this week I went to my favorite place “Flying Olive” 🙂

The Flying Olive has 50 varieties of olive oils and vinegar’s, I love going there because you can taste anything before buying it 😛 check out their website for all the info and check out their 2 locations one each in Ohio and Kentucky.

I currently have Strawberry, Red Apple, Wild Blueberry, Cranberry Pear in the vinegar’s and in the olive oils I have Butter, Persian Lime, Cilantro and Roasted Onion and Tuscan Herb 🙂

During my recent trip I got Dark Espresso Balsamic Vinegar as I just love coffee so I knew I had to get it.

So I had some strawberries at home so I knew I was going to use those some how and I was thinking of using mascarpone cheese. After getting home and checking out what I had already in my pantry, I thought this would be a perfect mini dessert.  A couple of years ago for Christmas my friend Danny gave me a few sets of mini plates, bowls, spoons and forks, he know how I like to entertain 🙂 so this is my is my mini dessert.

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Ingredients (ended up not using the half n half)
If you wanted mascarpone to be more creamy
then I would add a little half n half.

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Added the vinegar to my strawberries

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Added the vinegar to the Mascarpone cheese

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Mixed up

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I crushed the Biscotti and added a little to bottom on the dishes

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Topped the biscotti with the strawberries that were soak in the Vinegar
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Then a dollop of the mascarpone mixture

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drizzle of more vinegar

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shave some chocolate, I thought this chocolate would go perfect

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Done…serve or chill until your party begins 🙂

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Mini Strawberry Espresso Surprise

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3/4 cup Flying Olive Dark Espresso Balsamic Vinegar, divided
2 containers tiramisu flavored mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
3 chocolate biscotti’s, crushed
1 piece dark chocolate

In a bowl add the chopped strawberries and 1/4 cup vinegar, stir and set aside.

In another bowl add mascarpone and 3 Tbsp. of vinegar and whisk together, set aside.

Set out your mini dishes that you are going to use, add about a teaspoon or a little more of the crushed biscotti to each dish, then add strawberries on top of biscotti, start with a teaspoon on each then add more to each to finish up the strawberries.  Dollop mascarpone cream on each dish, then with a teaspoon drizzle a little of the vinegar over top the mascarpone and finish with some of the shaved chocolate.  I like this recipe as a mini since it has a great richness to it 🙂

Serve or chill until needed.

This was so good, it was not overly sweet, and that tartness at the end from the balsamic vinegar was just perfect!!!  Enjoy the rest of your Fiesta Friday!!!

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fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-party

 

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Strawberry Bruschetta

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A friend of mine was coming over because we were going to go see Theresa Caputo – The Long Island Medium.  She was in town doing a show, and if you know who she is or watch her show then you know who I’m talking about, no we did not get read.
But the show was much more then that, it was great experience and I’m happy for the people who came and might have gotten a glimmer of hope and peace.

And since we were not going to be having dinner, I thought maybe a little appetizer and a glass a wine before hand would be nice.

I had been thinking of this recipe and how I wanted to make it a little different then other recipes…well it came to me…maple syrup 🙂

(you can see from the pictures I cut the recipe in half, the recipe below is the full recipe)

Ingredients

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Dice the strawberries

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add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup

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add a pinch of salt and stir, let set for 1 hour

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add maple syrup to ricotta and a pinch of salt, stir

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Slice your baguette, brush with olive oil, bake to brown

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till light brown

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stack your basil leaves on top of one another, and roll like a cigar

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Chiffonade

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Ready to assemble 

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spread ricotta, then top with strawberries

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then basil….One done 🙂

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The rest done 🙂

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Recipe – makes 18 – 20 pieces

14 strawberries, diced (1 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
 couple pinches of salt (I used Kosher)
1 cup ricotta cheese 
18 – 20 slices of a baguette
olive oil
Fresh Basil, chopped

In a small bowl add diced strawberries, vinegar, 2 tbsp. maple syrup and a pinch of salt, stir to fully coat all the strawberries, set aside for for 1 hour, stirring about every 20 minutes. You can leave longer, the strawberries will start to release their juices, this is a good thing since we will be using all the left over juice.

In another small bowl add ricotta and remaining maple syrup, along with a pinch of salt, stir to fully combine, keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Take slices of baguette and brush with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until lightly brown.   Let cool.

Putting them together, divide ricotta among the slices of bread and spread over top, top ricotta with strawberries, but try not to get too much of the juice, you can drain, but reserve the juice for a tip later in this post.

Take you basil leaves and stack them on top of one another and roll like a cigar, take your knife and slice roll (like in photo above), this is called Chiffonade.

Top the strawberries with a few pieces of the basil and serve with the beverage of your choice…ours was some Sweet Strawberry Wine 😛

These were so delicious, what great appetizer for a party or a great dessert after a summer meal.  It’s light and it really it the spot 🙂

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Okay now I told you to keep the juice from the strawberries…which is now Strawberry Maple Balsamic Vinegar
Which you can put on a salad like I did, or you can whisk in a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil as well and toss with your lettuce or mixed greens.
This would be great on a salad with sliced strawberries and candied pecans too!!

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Grilled Pound Cake with Fresh Berries

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This dish will be delicious sitting outside on the patio with maybe a nice dessert  wine, where I live we have a great sale on berries this week.  We have Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries all for $1.48 each; I thought these berries would go great with some grilled pound cake.

You can use any kind or flavor of pound cake, if you want make some scratch or buy some at your local store or bakery.  In our store we carry some delicious pound cake from 2 local bakeries, Buskin and Servatti’s and of course good ole Sara Lee in the freezer stection.

Take your pound cake and slice it about 1 – 1 ¼ inch thick, place it on a medium hot grill, cook on each side just until you have char marks.

Keep it whole or cube your slice, place in a bowl or on a plate, top with some fresh berries, a nice dollop up whipped cream. I also like to add a little chiffonade of fresh mint.

Enjoy this any time of the summer, this a great dish to bring on a picnic as well…Enjoy!!

Strawberry & Spinach Salad

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Strawberries are coming into season, I love this salad, its easy and delicious.

I use this balsamic vinegar that we sell in one of our stores

I absolutely love this, its aged and sweet the best I ever had, and I like that the bottle is refillable.  You buy the bottle filled for $11.99, then when you are out you can refill it for $6.99, best deal in town if you ask me.
So for me I use it all the time, oh even on vanilla ice cream, with sliced strawberries…YUM!!!

Strawberry & Spinach Salad

1 pkg. candied pecans (in nut aisle)

8 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried, set aside
1 pound container strawberries, rinsed, hulled, cut into quarters, set aside

Vinaigrette:
In a small bowl add
¼ cup good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt and pepper, add more to taste
whisk in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil to emulsify

In a large bowl add spinach, strawberries and ½-3/4 cup of the vinaigrette, toss to combine.  Turn out on to a large serving plate arranging strawberries all round.  Top with glazed pecans. Pour remaining vinaigrette in a container, in case any one would want more.

You can serve this as the main entree or as a side with a frittata or quiche  Frittata recipe to come on Monday.

Have a great weekend!!

Fresh Berry and Mascarpone Cream filled Crepes

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4 full cups of any fresh berries, (if using strawberries quarter first)
1/8 cup of granulated sugar
2 tbsp. raspberry or blackberry liqueur (optional)
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, little extra for garnish
1 tbsp. vanilla
8 crepes (in your produce dept. are packages of pre-made crepes, I have used these in a pinch, they do work well)

In medium bowl add all berries, granulated sugar and liqueur (if using), gently combine, set in refrigerator for 20 minutes.  In another bowl add mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, cream and vanilla, mix together with hand mixer on high until mixture is thick.

Lay crepe out, spread about a 1/3 cup of cheese mixture down the center of the crepe, top with 1/2 cup of the berry mixture, fold sides in towards center, sprinkle powdered sugar on top.  You can add less berries to the crepe and keep some to garnish on top if you wish.

This dessert is so easy, you can keep berries and cheese mixture in the fridge until your ready to make and serve…Enjoy!!!!

It’s Spring time ready for some Very Berry Sangria

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Very Berry Sangria

  • 1 bottle Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (CA)
  • 1/2 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (sliced)
  • 1 12 oz. bottle of ginger ale
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 oz. blackberry liqueur

Toss the wine, the berries, the blackberry liqueur and the sugar in a pitcher, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Pour in a bottle of chilled ginger ale just prior to serving. Add ice in either the pitcher or individual glasses. Enjoy!