Rhubarb-Lemon Balm Spritzer

One of the great things about the new apartment that the boyfriend and I moved in to a few months ago is the balcony. We have enough room for a small table and chairs, and we were able to set up an herb garden in a few hanging planters. We have most of the basics (basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary) and a few more extravagant aromatics (lemon grass and lavender, namely). We also planted a mojito mint and a lemon balm plant.

When we were at the nursery, I went a little crazy on the herbs and aromatics. And when I smelled the lemon balm, I just couldn’t pass it up. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to use it for, but I knew I would figure something out! And that I did…

Serendipitously, when returning something to IKEA a few weeks ago, I stumbled on the rhubarb syrup in the marketplace. It was nestled between the lingonberry and elderflower syrups, and I knew it needed to come home with me. As it turns out, the rhubarb and lemon balm go beautifully together, and this Spritzer is my signature Summer 2013 drink!

Click below for the recipe. Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments! And thanks for reading! 🙂

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Ice Cream

This past week, I have been in rhubarb heaven… And this post just culminates the Nirvana. Remember that strawberry-rhubarb compote that I posted about earlier this week? Well, it’s the base for today’s post about strawberry-rhubarb ice cream, as well as an extra fruity topping!

The story for this post all starts with a desire for an ice cream flavor that I tasted in San Francisco last Thanksgiving, which I have been dreaming about for about 10 months. It’s a secret for now tho cause I intend to blog about it soon! 😉 Well, I mentioned it to the boyfriend, and he suggested that I just go to Whole Foods and try to find some. But, this was not an acceptable option for me. I wanted to make it myself. I just needed a recipe and an ice cream maker…

I broke down a few weeks ago and bought the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchenaid. And it sat in my kitchen for about 10 days, taunting me… Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore and needed to make ice cream! (In spite of my severe lactose intolerance, I still eat ice cream as much as possible. I love ice cream enough to suffer the consequences!) So, armed with my new Kitchenaid ice cream maker and leftover strawberry-rhubarb compote, I set out to make ice cream. Hours of research (this is my first time making ice cream!) later, I cobbled a few recipes together and stepped in to the kitchen and went for it.

Afterwards, I sat down on the couch with two bowls of strawberry-rhubarb ice cream in hand, one for me and one for the boyfriend, and devoured every last drop. I even caught the boyfriend defending his bowl like a wild animal defending a meal when he thought I was going to take it away from him. And, while I’m still getting used to the idea of bragging about my recipes and creations, I have to say that I got this one right: a little bit of sweet and little bit of tart, mixed in to a creamy, custard base. I think it’s time to enjoy another bowl… 😀

Click below for the recipe! Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments below! And thanks for reading! 🙂 Continue reading

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Well, I’m back from New York, no worse for the wear. Meeting the boyfriend’s parents went really well, and spending time with his family was great! And now that I’m back home, it’s time to continue Rhubarb Fest 2012! 🙂

After the amazing Rhubarb Crisp from last weekend, I had about a pound of a half of leftover rhubarb to use. (I always over-buy because if I don’t, it’s always gone by the next time I go to the grocery store or farmer’s market!) Since I was going out of town, I chopped up the extra rhubarb and threw it in the freezer so that it wouldn’t go bad while I was away. And then my brain started thinking about what to do with leftover rhubarb when I got home…

When I was a kid, my mom always packed my lunches. And I remember the early Spring or late Summer lunches that occasionally held a little container of rhubarb goo. That was always the favorite part of my lunch. No cookies or candies or fruit roll-ups for me. I wanted the precious rhubarb goo that only manifested during a short season each year. I think I was the only kid at the lunch table that would gladly slurp up the fruity and tart rhubarb compote. The other kids always looked at me strangely when I pulled out a tupperware of dark red stewed rhubarb, wondering what the heck I was eating. It certainly wasn’t the only reason the other kids thought I was weird, but it sure didn’t help much! 😉

As an adult, I’ve stewed up rhubarb a few times, whenever I have leftovers or no idea what else to make or just want some childhood nostalgia. However, while I always remember my mom making hers with only rhubarb, I decided to sweeten my recipe up with a pretty hefty amount of strawberries, reducing the sugar significantly to compensate. The compote is great on toast and biscuits, amazing over ice cream, or simply satisfying by the spoonful! And now I’ll have to head to the grocery store to buy more rhubarb before the season abruptly ends because I’m sure the mason jar in my fridge won’t last long… Especially after Friday when you see what I use the compote for! Check back to find out! 😀

Click below for the recipe! Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments below! And thanks for reading! 🙂

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Simple Rhubarb Crisp

This weekend, I’m headed up to New York to spend the weekend with the boyfriend’s family, meeting his parents for the first time. Since I can’t show up empty-handed (and because baking is my zen), I spent some time in the kitchen last night baking up a fresh fruit crisp to bring along!

I spent some time mulling over what to bring, my head swirling between thoughts of cake and pie and cupcakes. But, when it came down to it, I had only about 30 minutes between packing, doing laundry, and cleaning my apartment to bake something. Thankfully, I picked up some beautiful rhubarb at Whole Foods last weekend, hoping to have time to make something this week. The boyfriend’s dad loves rhubarb, so I figured that this would work out perfectly. I just needed something that would take minimal time to prepare!

Enter the fruit crisp. It is a super-simple dessert to throw together, with no dough rolling required, and the fresh fruit is perfect for a summer dessert. Topped with vanilla ice cream, it’s a perfect balance of tart and sweet, warm and cold, fruity and creamy. And hopefully the family doesn’t mind the little hole in the corner of the crisp, so that I could sneak a taste and photo for today’s blog entry! 😉

Click below for the recipe! Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments below! And thanks for reading! 🙂

And quick tip because a friend of mine commented “AARRRRGH DAIRY…run away run away” when I posted the photo up on my Facebook. You can easily make this dessert dairy-free (and vegan!) if you substitute shortening for the butter and top with non-dairy ice cream! 😀

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