September 29, 2013

Indian Summer Part 2: Lemon-Yogurt Mousse

I'm pushing the limits of an Indian summer theme here, seeing as how it's nearly October! Blame it on a hectic move this weekend. Then again, Indian summers seem to be obsolete in Texas. We'll enjoy 80° days well into November here whereas back home they've already gotten their first frost. So, maybe it doesn't matter that I'm posting a summery dessert at the end of September! Whatever the case, Indian summers mark my favorite time of year, a final heat wave before autumn reaches its peak and quickly declines into winter. And a refreshingly light dessert seems an ideal way to salute the end of the season. 

So, let's say you're squeezing in one last cookout--burgers, steaks, buns, potato and pasta salads. Heavy food. Yummy but still quite dense. It hurts my tummy just thinking of eating layer cake on top of all that cookout fare! Trust me, you and I both will enjoy more than our share of holiday baking in the next three months. Why not see the warm, sunny weather out with something less dense?

September 24, 2013

Indian Summer Part 1: Petticoat Tails

I really should wait to share these petticoat tails until I finish my Indian summer post, but I just couldn't help myself. I just had to sneak in these crumbly shortbread wedges a wee bit early!

In the past the closest I had come to shortbread was those tinned butter cookies gifted around the holidays. Since we don't have any Scottish blood in our family, I suppose it's no surprise that I'm not familiar with shortbread. I decided to give it a go, however, because I wanted something subtle and slightly sweet to pair with other sweet things (fresh fruit, airy mousses, etc.). And shortbread turned out to be just what I I needed.

September 12, 2013

Gingered Apple-Pear Crisp

The advent of pumpkin spice lattes has signaled the arrival of fall. In days gone by it was the harvesting of crops, turning of leaves, and cooling of temperatures that got me excited about fall. But when your climate doesn't provide such delightful seasonal variation, autumn becomes more a state of mind than an actuality. Thus, in keeping a thankful view on things, I'm taking advantage of the pears and apples being harvested, and I'm choosing to stir the mood of fall.

I was determined to do something with apples and pears but reluctant to do a crisp. Crisps are usually the only dessert that I can actually refuse. They just don't do much for me. My problem, though, was that the process of elimination wasn't leaving me any other options. I didn't feel like rolling out a crust which meant no pie, tarte, or dumpling recipes. I also wasn't in the mood for cake or quick breads. But a crisp?