Archive for February, 2009

This is my first time participating in an event, called “In The Bag” hosted by “Real Epicurean“.    As I understand it, the host offers ingredients and the participants come up with a meal (or a dish?) using at least one, if not all, of the ingredients offered. 

February’s “bag” contents are…

  • Passion Fruit 

    A Passion Fruit

    A Passion Fruit

  • White Chocolate
  • Pomegranate

I could not initially find the passion fruit, however was successful during this morning’s grocery shopping experience.  Since I had purchased the Nectar already, I only bought one fruit for the finishing touches of my feature dessert.  I decided I would use 100% Passion Fruit Nectar, POM – pomegranate juice, and I always have Callebaut chocolate on hand, that includes White Chocolate. 

passion fruit nectar and POM juice

passion fruit nectar and POM juice

The three ingredients came together for our dessert in a very special Saturday night dinner I knew the hubster would love.  The “feature” dessert, using “In The Bag” ingredients:

Pomegranate Torte with Passion Fruit Buttercream filling under a delicate blanket of White Chocolate Ganache gently laced with Passion Fruit Nectar.

It was delicious! 

I have never used nor eaten a passion fruit before. I had no idea how to cut it which is why there is a little slit where there shouldn’t be in my fruit half.



  • Make a White Cake but use Pomegranate Juice as the liquid.  When cooled, slice into 1/2 so you have a 4 layer torte.
  • Make a Passion Fruit cake wash using 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 3/4 cup Passion Fruit Juice/Nectar. Boil 3 minutes, let cool and brush each torte layer with wash prior to filling.
  • Make a basic Buttercream filling, using the Passion Fruit juice/nectar in place of milk/cream/water for creating consistency.  *Add “Dreamwhip” to stabilize.  The filling may look a little curdled, but once chilled in the cake – it’s perfect!
  • Assemble the torte (one layer – wash – filling- 2nd layer- wash- filling – 3rd layer- wash-filling – 4th layer – wash.
  • Put assembled torte in fridge to let the filling firm up.
  • Making the White Chocolate Ganache:  Heat 1 cup heavy cream over low to about 165 F and hold, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, gently heat 15 oz good quality white chocolate. When cream is ready, pour over white chocolate, using a whip while blending.  Add 2 TBS Passion Fruit Nectar.  Let cool until it is desired consistency to cover your torte.


Pomegranate Torte with Passion Fruit Buttercream and White Chocolate Ganache

Pomegranate Torte with Passion Fruit Buttercream and White Chocolate Ganache


As it turned out… Sue and Sam came over for dinner! Hurrah!!!

Sue, Sam & Ted had “Beer Braised BBQ Pork Butt” from a recipe of  Dave Lieberman, The Foodnetwork.   Click the link for the recipe.  My only alterations were adding 2 TBS brown sugar to the dry rub and substituting dry mustard for the mustard seed.  No picture – it was just too “porky” for this Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian’s site.

Fresh rolls were needed to go along with the Pulled Pork.  I made whole wheat, quinoa flour rolls. They were not a sweet roll what so ever.  They went along quite well with the beans which were sweet and, I was told, they also paired well with the pork.


I went back to the Foodnetwork and Dave Lieberman for a side of  Baked Beans.  Again, please click the link for the recipe.  I didn’t use bacon.  I used soy bacon substitute and 4 oz “Soyrizo, Meatless Soy Chorizo“.  The beans and rolls were to be my main entree for this Saturday Night Special.   The beans were beyond fabulous!



As our appetizer, I made “Gratinated Cherry Tomatoes with Hot and Herby Mozzarella Filling“.  This was a super tasty little tid bit found at Lucillian blogspot.  Make sure you check that one out.  The exact measurements weren’t offered so I “winged” it. 



Was my Saturday spent in the kitchen? 

For the most part, but that’s the way I like it ….Dancing beetle:9311Heartbeat:10125uh huh, uh huh….

I hope I participated in a way acceptable to the seasonal food blogging event hosted by Real Epicurean and run monthly by Real Epicurean and A Slice of Cherry Pie.  Of course I had fun – I was in my kitchen!

Have a great night!


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It’s Saturday. This must be the most popular day of the week.

Last night Ted and I went to dinner, just down the road, at Chesterfields.  It was great except for one piece of fish that didn’t really do anything for either of us. 

I began with a Toasted Head Chardonnay. It was creamy, thick and buttery.

Toasted Head Chard

Toasted Head Chard

We couldn’t resist the glorious bread absolutely dripping with garlic butter.


Because we were both pretty hungry, we had an appetizer of  “Greens-Cherry Peppers Escarole Oreganato Mix Romano Cheese”.  I asked for a few more hot peppers to give it a bit more zip-a-roo. Yummy!


Utica's Finest: Meatless Italian Greens

Utica's Finest: Meatless Italian Greens

The last entree listed looked really interesting to both of us so we both ordered it. “Mix Grill-Halibut, Salmon, Swordfish grilled to perfection served on Champagne and Asparagus Risotto”. 

I asked for mine with just asparagus – no risotto. Ted had the full kit-n-kaboodle.

Both of us loved the dish except for the piece of Halibut. It just lacked flavor. Not sure why because Halibut is usually a really tasty fish. The salmon and swordfish made up for the lacky of  a Halibut.

Mixed Grill with Asparagus

Mixed Grill with Asparagus




Mixed Grill, as described, with Risotto

Mixed Grill, as described, with Risotto

Moving on to Saturday.
Let’s back up. We decided that Shane could be trusted now to be outside his crate at night if he wanted.  We put him to bed last night – he went in his crate. I didn’t shut the crate door. 
Within about 10 minutes he comes upstairs to our room. He got in trouble a little bit with Ted but eventually laid down. Shane seems to have a “thing” for Ted’s smelly socks.  The night went well. He scratched just a couple of times that I heard. Got up when Ted got up. Barked at about 5 AM when the paper was delivered.  Not bad for his first time (other than in the motels) outside his crate at night.
So this morning, we went for a 6.25 mile run. We went UP Sherman Drive. That’s a great big hill. We walked and jogged a bit up that hill (just under 2 miles).  It was a breeze from there.
I grabbed a nice, crisp apple upon arriving home, took a bath, made breakfast.  My Saturday omelet with left over Italian Greens. I couldn’t wait to eat!
Make sure to check in with me tonight (maybe tomorrow) because I’m doing a really special dinner for Ted and a REALLY special cake that I intend to write about and link to “In the bag”, a food event hosted by A Slice of Cherry Pie and Real Epicurean.
Have a great day!

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