Lemon-Vanilla Gelato

Happy Summer! I love making different varieties of gelato, ice cream and sorbet at home during these hot, dry months. When I was a kid, we had one of those hand crank ice cream makers. Every Fourth of July my parents would drag it out from the closet beneath our stairs, dust it off and fill it with ice and rock salt. It was my brother’s and my job to crank it, taking turns until our arms felt like jelly and it became impossible to turn. Then my father would take over and finish it off. It was such a special treat, but such an ordeal to make that we only got to enjoy homemade ice cream once or twice a year. Thank goodness for modern ice cream makers! Mine is, by far, one of my favourite small appliances – no joke!

Continue reading “Lemon-Vanilla Gelato”

The Sidecar

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m a bit of a history nerd – especially when it comes to my favourite branch of history: Cocktail History.  I find it fascinating to delve into the mystery and legends surrounding the Golden Era of Cocktails.  (And by “Golden Era” I, of course, mean prohibition era, whence all the best cocktails originated.)  It’s always useful to have a few fun facts up my sleeve about what I’m serving, if only to pull out as a bit of small talk to liven up the conversation should it happen to run dry. 

In the canon of classic cocktails, the Sidecar tends to get a bad rap or is simply overlooked as a stuffy libation lost in the smoke from bars of the past.  I’m not sure why – maybe it’s because no one on Instagram has endeavored to make it “cool” again in the way they have the Negroni or the monotonous Margarita, but it seems to me that the Sidecar has been pushed to the side in favour of more socially lucrative drinks.  Strange, because a drink with such an elegant blend of fine French liqueurs seems like it should warrant a little more “Insta-attention,” don’t you think? Continue reading “The Sidecar”

Lemon Meringues with Grand Marnier

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m obsessed with everything lemon + meringue.  Everything except lemon meringue pie.  It’s the texture of a partially cooked meringue that tends to weep sticky tears over a much too sweet custard, and that egg-y smell that tends to come with it.  My approach to making a lemon meringue pie is to cook everything separately, including the meringue, in the form of meringue cookies.  These can then be carefully arranged on top just before serving – no weeping or worrying that they are uncooked.  If I don’t have time, or patience, to make a full-blown lemon meringue pie, I make these instead.  Big, pillowy, delicate meringue cookies, flavoured with lemon zest and a splash of Grand Marnier. Continue reading “Lemon Meringues with Grand Marnier”