Grilled Dried Peaches over Rosemary Ricotta

I wish I was the type of person that revelled in dessert making. Getting lost in that creative process that ends with a sweet reward. Pies from scratch, cupcakes freshly frosted and cookies cooling are never in my kitchen. All of my effort is given to making the main meal. I’ve made a cheese cake, once, being the first and last time. It had a crack that ran so deep, my soul went into it with all hopes of making a cheesecake ever again, lol. And with inspiration taken from my Atkins dieting days where ricotta cheese and a zero calorie sweetener was such a treat, this recipe was born. It’s like eating a piece of creamy peach cheesecake, without all of the effort. And the touch of rosemary is nice because it makes it more earthy and a little savory but you can always go without if you are not a fan. Serves 2.

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few rosemary leaves, minced *optional
  • 2 dried white peach halves* Trader Joes carries them and I store them in the freezer, great for a mid-winter snack when peaches feel far far away!
  • non-stick cooking spray

Soak the peach halves in water for about 45 minutes. Heat up your grill and spray your peaches and grill for a few minutes on each side. Grill them until you have some nice grill marks. You really have to watch them because they can easily burn. Pull them off when they are ready and let them cool a bit. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut them into strips, cubes would be great also. Combine the ricotta, honey, extract and rosemary. Garnish your ricotta with the peaches and some minced rosemary. Enjoy!

Nutella & Mascarpone Cheese Dessert Platter

I’m not much of a dessert person but I do love Nutella! And if you are having company over, this is such a quick platter to put together to satisfy that sweet tooth! Enjoy!

  • 1 8oz. container mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of Kahlua or more
  • 4 graham crackers broken up
  • a few thin slices multi-grain bread, grilled (try to get one with nuts & seeds)
  • 3/4 cup Nutlella or more
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • 1 pat unsalted butter 
  • sprinkling of cinnamon
  • a few pieces of dark chocolate 

Combine the mascarpone cheese and the Kahlua and spread on the platter. Spread your Nutella down and grate some dark chocolate over a corner of the mascarpone cheese. Break up the chocolate into little bite size pieces. It’s nice to have that little touch of bitterness. In a separate bowl, combine the hazelnuts with honey. Add to the platter. This is a great platter because you can really do what you like with it. If you aren’t a honey fan, you can leave the hazelnuts plain, on the side or omit them altogether. For the banana mixture, melt the butter and add the banana sauteing until they brown and the bananas begin to break down. They don’t take long, about 5 minutes, stirring often, stir in the cinnamon and add to the platter. (The bananas are in the corner above the multi-grain bread, sorry not too much exposure but if you are a banana lover, add this to the platter!) Surround with the graham crackers and the multi-grain bread. I like adding the multi-grain bread because it gives the sweetness of all of the spreads a little bit of a break, almost like the crust on a sweet fruit pie. On second thought, if you are a fan of  peanut butter, it would be great with the Nutella and mascarpone cheese and maybe a little sea salt on the side! The combinations are endless, have fun! This platter serves about 4.

Raspberry Wine Truffles

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, a day to celebrate the moms in our lives, and make them feel extra special. And the one thing that comes to mind, when making someone feel special besides lots of hugs and kisses are truffles. Truffles are just decadent little balls of pure bliss, I love a good truffle. This recipe makes about 2 dozen. Enough for mom and you. ;)

  • 1 pound of dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 oz. of heavy cream
  • 2 oz. of raspberry wine, I used Tomasello
  • 3 pinches of ground cinnamon *optional
  • 10 grinds of the black pepper mill *optional
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

In a double-boiler, melt your chocolate, mixing with a spatula occasionally, on high heat. Once melted, slowly add your heavy cream, incorporating it into the melted chocolate, (still over high heat). Add your wine in and mix it in thoroughly. At this point, you can mix in your cinnamon and ground pepper. Take it off the heat slowly, and pour it into a bowl, cover it and put it into the fridge to set. (I left it in overnight). Keep in mind, once you are ready to make your truffles, you want to bring the chocolate up to room temperature (an hour or two is good). And set up a little station for yourself, the bowl of chocolate, a plate with your unsweetened cocoa, and a plate for the ready made ones. I used a 1-1/4 inch cookie dough scoop to form the truffles, forming them and setting them aside. You get a little arm work-out in, lol  Then between your hands, roll your scooped chocolate into a tight ball, it’s a messy process, but a delicious one. Then roll your truffles, a few at a time into the unsweetened cocoa, shaking off the excess cocoa powder. And now the most important step, enjoying them…