Bins full of corn on the cob standing front and center at the farmers market is a true sign summer is in full swing. Straight off the cob, grilled or boiled, it is hard to resist summer’s earthy sweet treat. There is something about the crisp kernels that make my taste buds go into overdrive. One of my favorite ways to enjoy corn is my creamy Corn and Basil Soup. It is one of the few hot soups I can eat on a hot summer day. The bright flavors make it refreshing and comforting at the same time. If hot soups in the summer aren’t your thing, you may also serve it chilled. But do yourself a favor and try it hot. You may be surprised. Oh and by the way, floss isn’t required after slurping savoring it. A rarity when it comes to eating summer corn.
Are you ready for the most chocolaty, rich and nutrient dense dessert you will ever have? If your answer is yes (there is no reason is shouldn’t be) then I have the perfect recipe for you, decadent raw food brownies. They have been tested on my best friend, who is a self acclaimed chocolate connoisseur, and passed with flying colors. Instead of rambling on and on about how delicious these bad boys are, I am going to suggest you get up from whatever you are doing and go make them. Oh, and no need to turn on the oven. All it takes is a few go-arounds in the food processor for the brownies to come together.
At The Honest Plate cooking class I served the brownies with a Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (recipe to follow) and paired them with Matthews Chalkboard Red Wine (www.matthewswinery.com). It was a match made in wine and dessert heaven, which is the heaven I would like to go to.
The other night I had the joy of teaching a cooking class to a group of fabulous ladies. We created a delicious menu full of healthy summer appetizers paired with Matthews wine, my absolute favorite winery (www.matthewswinery.com). Through the chatting, laughing and wine drinking we managed to pull together a menu of…
-Gazpacho Shooters with Prawns and Basil Oil.
-Chicken, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Avocado Cilantro Crème.
-Crostini with Homemade Ricotta, Peaches, Honey and Basil.
-Dairy Free Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Decedent Raw Foods Brownie.
-Spinach and Arugula Salad with Blackberries, Walnuts, Pears and Blue Cheese tossed in Lemon Vinaigrette.
Since the cooking class, the crostini with ricotta, peaches, honey and basil has consumed my mind. If you have ever wondered what heaven tastes like, this is it. Homemade ricotta is creamy, clean tasting, a bit salty and every bit perfect. It is also suuuuuper simple to make. Honestly, it is as easy as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The moment you pull out this appetizer your guest are going to think you swapped identities with Giada De Larentiis. Don’t worry, the simplicity of homemade ricotta will be our little secret 😉
I will be posting the other recipes from the cooking class this weekend. Just like the Ricotta Crostini, they are guaranteed to be yumzo.
INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT Raw Local Honey
I am a big fan (and user) of local raw honey. As cute as that little plastic honey bear bottle is, it lacks key nutrients found in raw honey. How is this possible? When honey is heated and pasteurized it loses many of it’s vitamins, minerals, enymes and powerful anti-oxidants. It has been said raw honey can cure the world of all aliments. I am not 100% sure it can cure the world of every single disease, but I do know it can aid in digestion, treat ulcers, cure a cold, reduce stress, balance blood sugar, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain and eliminate allergies. Local honey is especially important when it comes to eliminating allergies. It contains local pollen, which helps the body build a tolerance to seasonal allergies. While we are on the subject of bees…go ahead and run from them but don’t squash, swat or kill them. They make our world go round. Stay tuned for more on that subject.