Today is Independence Day here in the U.S., so let’s do one of my favorite desserts and recipes from this book, 14-8: Baked Alaska. Obviously Simply Delicious didn’t invent this dish–it’s an American dessert that’s existed since Civil War times and is so well known you can even make it as a Sim.
I have a history with this particular version of the dish, however. I first made it as my “showstopper” dessert for a big family dinner I cooked as a teenager (along with a similarly-aged family friend) many years ago.
I also taught about 200 K-8 kids (ages 5-13ish) how to make this recipe and several others as part of an after-school cooking class program that was one of my first teaching-related jobs. I’ve been waiting YEARS to write this one, so now it’s your turn with it.
If you were around in the 1980s-1990s, you may remember the obsession with low-fat everything, and finding ways to make “sinful indulgences” into something “guilt-free“. Note the deliberate choice of words, and that we still use that type of psychological framing around food today (and have been for a long time, even prior to the era in question).
The “low-calorie swap” in 16-42: Easy Lime Pie is cottage cheese, which was all the rage in the 1970s as a “healthy” option, but could still be found in a lot of recipes throughout the 80s and 90s.
I feel like even Simply Delicious didn’t really know how to make this pie sound appealing–do you think halved grapes as a garnish can be considered something notable? You can definitely tell this particular recipe was aimed at the dieting/low-calorie crowd.
Let’s get the first question out of the way right now. Compôte means “mixture” in French, so 15-20: Apple Compôte is essentially fancy applesauce. Don’t even worry about exerting the effort to mash the apples–these are just syrupy slices.
Some of you might have thought of pie filling when you saw “compôte”–I know I did. There’s actually differences between jam, jelly, preserves, conserves, and compote–I still don’t know if this iteration matches up with their definition, but here’s a recipe from my same trusted source (Serious Eats/Stella Parks) for essentially the same thing we’re making here.
I think 14-9: Glazed Crêpes with Pears might be my final untested crêpe recipe from Simply Delicious–but there may be others in there. I’ll even give you a quick spoiler (since this recipe is kind of boring…another spoiler) for upcoming posts–there are more recipes out there than what I had originally. I know because I found (and purchased) some in a local Goodwill.
I’ve still got quite a few posts to go before I dig into some of the *NEW* recipes (and show you the book they came in), but for now, you can read aboutyetanothercrêperecipe after the jump. But this time, with pears! And glaze!
I had extra strawberries left over from 14-22: Strawberry-Peach Cobbler, so I tried to reuse them into 15-45: Strawberries with Cottage Cheese. Simply Delicious is big on using cottage cheese in an effort to be “low-fat” (all the rage in the 1980s when this book was published) and healthy, but they’re not usually very successful.
Don’t be deceived by their pretty picture here. It’s not ice cream. It’s cottage cheese. Just keep that in mind going in.
Finally, we’ve reached the first recipe (for this project) made in my new (to you) kitchen: 14-22: Strawberry-Peach Cobbler. It was summer and 4th of July, so something with fruit that goes well with ice cream was bound to be a hit.
Speaking of 4th of July, I made 2-37: Chicken-Salami-Rice Salad for a party that I attended with a guy that I had just started dating. 10 years later, this is the first recipe I cooked in my very first house, that I bought with that same guy (who I ended up marrying not long after I made that first recipe).
15-23:Kiwi Mousse in Chocolate Cups is the final recipe from last year’s Mother’s Day (MD2019) AND the final recipe from this kitchen, which was the backdrop for this project for 5 of its 6 years (at the time of this writing) of existence. I made this in tandem with 15-10: Frozen Raspberry Desserts, since they both make use of chocolate cups and frozen fillings.
These ones didn’t turn out quite as well as their raspberry counterparts, but they made a nice contrast and provided some variety. Along with these two chocolate cup desserts, I also made 15-17: Summery Cantaloupe as part of my dessert offerings for Mother’s Day.
Obviously, the name of this recipe is 15-17: Summery Cantaloupe, and if you’ve seen any of the pictures of the recipe (like above, as a header image), you’ve put it together that the melon pictured is in fact, not a cantaloupe.
The CSA box that week provided a very nice watermelon, and so that’s what I went with for part of my Mother’s Day 2019 brunch (MD2019). Yes, I’m also behind on writing these up.
I’ve made Simply Delicious fruit salads for Mother’s Day before–if you’re looking for similar ideas, check out 15-19: Layered Fruit Salad and 15-30: Champagne Sundaes from 2017‘s brunch. If you’re up for the challenge of carving a cantaloupe (or in my case, watermelon), continue on.
I’ve finally caught up to Mother’s Day…2019. I made 15-10: Frozen Raspberry Desserts along with a few other desserts from Simply Delicious, which has essentially become a tradition at this point. Considering I got these books from my mother, she has no one to blame but herself.
Mother’s Day is a bit ahead of summertime, but the fruit is usually already out and plentiful by then. The hardest part of making these desserts is the chocolate cups, which I also used for 15-23: Kiwi Mousse with Chocolate Cups. If I have to go through the trouble of making them, I’m getting as much bang for my buck as possible.
I’ve used this project as an excuse to make dishes to share at work before. This time, I made 16-45: Raspberry Tartlettes for a quarterly staff meeting. I had a colleague that was interested in trying vegan recipes and another that required gluten-free dishes, so I tried to incorporate both in this attempt.