My older sister recently married into a Swiss family that are not only endearingly sweet and embracing, but they are also some fabulous cooks! Anytime I am invited to get together with them I know there will be an impeccable spread, even if its something as simple as homemade pizza. When we got together for Fathers Day, Margaret (my sisters new Mother-in-law) brought a lemon mousse for dessert that I’ve never tried before! It was so delicious, I had to include it on my blog and get the recipe to share. Luckily for me, the recipe was easier for her to re-create than it was to translate from its German origin. She invited me into her kitchen to whip up another batch and I eagerly accepted the invitation with pen (and camera) in hand.

In a large bowl, beat 2 egg yolks with sugar until foamy. (set aside the egg white in a separate bowl)

Mix in 8 oz of cream cheese until whipped and add the zest 2 whole lemons.

Mix in with 12 oz Sour cream and the juice of 3 lemons.

In a small bowl, combine 2tbs of water and a packet of gelatin. Heat on high in the microwave for about 1 minute or until boiling. Let cool and stir until gelatin dissolves.Add gelatin into the mousse and let it cool in the fridge for 15 minutes or until it starts to set.

In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream until you have small peaks and fold into the mousse.

Finally, beat the egg whites with a pinch of sugar until they stand firmly in small peaks and gently fold into mixture. 

We got a little help from Rudy with this one.

I love this picture 🙂

Chill for several hours, or until set.

* Top with lemon rind or toasted almonds to serve.

Swiss Lemon Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 8oz Cream Cheese
  • 12oz Sour Cream
  • 1 (1/4 oz) envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 Tbs. Vanilla Sugar
  • 3 lemons
  • 6 Tbs. Sugar
  • 2/3 cups heavy cream

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with sugar until foamy. Mix in cream cheese until whipped. Zest 2 whole lemons and mix in with sour cream and juice of all 3 lemons.In a small bowl, combine 2tbs of water and gelatin. Heat on high in the microwave for about 1 minute or until boiling. Let cool and stir until gelatin dissolves.Add gelatin into the mousse and let it cool in the fridge for 15 minutes or until it starts to set. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream until you have small peaks and fold into the mousse. Finally, beat the egg whites with a pinch of sugar until they stand in small peaks and gently fold into mixture.Chill for several hours, or until set. * Top with lemon rind or toasted almonds to serve.

Fathers Day Dinner

June 21, 2010

This year was the first Fathers Day that I can remember where my dad actually did what he loves to do. Play golf the entire day!  Luckily for him, he has lots of women around that love to cook. When the boys were all done with their round of golf, they were greeted with a mouth-watering dinner prepared in honor of our Dad’s. This menu would work beautifully for any potluck, BBQ or simple gathering since most of it can be prepared ahead of time; we just happened to piece it together for this special day. Below is a recap of what was prepared, click on the links for all the delicious recipes. Enjoy!   

Shrimp Cocktail– recipe adapted from Epicurious   

   

Ciabatta Steak Sandwiches with pesto aioli– recipe adapted from FoodNetwork *add minced garlic to spread for a true aioli.   

   

Peachy White Sangria– recipe adapted from About.com *substitute peach schnapps and sugar for white grape juice   

   

Super Slaw with peanut dressing  

   

And for dessert,  A Lemon Mousse   

*This German recipe is currently being translated, but will be available shortly!  

   

Cheers to you Dad! Thank you for all your love and support. Hope you had a happy Fathers Day!   

Love you, Pops.   

  Dad and I (Age 1) in Lahaina, Maui. 

    

   

Mothers Day Brunch

May 10, 2010

With everything our Moms do for us throughout the year, it’s important they know how much we appreciate them. This year we sought to make  mom proud by preparing a beautiful brunch in her honor. Here’s to you mom, the best cook I know! 

Spinach and Bacon Quiche with edible flowers to garnish 

 

Simple Salad 

 

Fresh Fruit and Mint Salad 

 

Freshly baked Croissants from Amy’s Pastry in Montebello. As young girls our mom would take us to this bakery and let us indulge in cookies, cake and yummy samples of their freshly baked french pastries. Having these on the table were a beautiful reminder of all the fun we had  growing up with mom by our side. 

 

Prosciutto with an assortment of Cheeses: Mozzarella, Gruyère and Havarti with dill. 

 

Pomegranate Limeade and Champagne with raspberries to garnish. 

 

Happy Mothers day!  

Mom, sisters and I (blowing bubbles to the left) in Puerto Vallarta. Don’t you just love our coordinated outfits?

OK, so I don’t usually celebrate Cinco de Mayo to this extent… if at all… but with so many reasons to bring people together , why not go all out? This gathering was initially intended to have friends over to celebrate a couple of birthdays, make Chinese food and teach them all my new dumpling making skills; but since May 5th was the scheduled date it just seemed unfitting to not have Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo! So I rounded up a few of my favorite Mexican recipes (from my mom, of course) and with a little help it all came together perfectly.

Here’s what was on the menu:

  • Cactus Salad– Prepared by my dear friend, Juan Carlos. Gracias!

Thanks again  to everyone who helped pull this together. Happy birthday to my dear friends and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Dim Sum and then Some

April 21, 2010

My good friend and fellow foodie blogger Kristi, signed us up for cooking classes at Hipcooks, here in West LA. We chose Dim Sum from their large variety of classes available because it sounded like the most challenging since we were both clueless on where to  start with all these flavors! Since then, we’d anxiously been looking forward to stuffing our faces with wontons, dumplings, pork puff pastries and more!

We had a TON of fun learning to make Chinese food with our teacher Jessie and were both surprised with just how easy she made it all seem! I cant wait to try making these in my own kitchen, and then sharing them with you.  Here’s a look at what went on in the Hipcooks kitchen…

The menu:

  • Steamed shrimp wontons

  • Chicken cabbage dumplings

  • Chinese-style green beans

  • Seared sesame beef in rice paper

  • Lotus Flower Pork Puff Pastry

  • Sweet Wontons with orange, walnuts and dates

We also enjoyed 4 types of Chinese tea, seared scallop lo mein and even scallion pancakes! Stay tuned for video of me attempting my very first pan flip while making those really delicious scallion pancakes.

If you’re looking to hone in on your Chinese culinary skills, check out Hipcooks. Can’t wait for my next class!