Hi there–it’s been a while, but things got busy recently. Here’s one that’s been half-finished in my draft queue for way too long.
We got onto a “ridiculous desserts” kick recently, and made 15-14: Knickerbocker Glory along with its similar cousin, 15-7: Banana Split. If you’re still holding off on going out somewhere for ice cream, either one of these are pretty easy to make at home and are definitely ridiculous. Not quite on the level of “cake hanging off of a milkshake for Instagram“, but also definitely not something you’d eat very often.
“Knickerbocker glory” is a real thing that Simply Delicious didn’t just make up, and has been around for about a hundred years at this point. They were allegedly invented in the US (at the Knickerbocker Hotel), but seem to be a much bigger deal in the UK these days than they are here. They’re even mentioned in Harry Potter!
Since Independence Day is just around the corner, maybe you can make these as an “American” summer treat–especially if it’s super hot where you are right now.
Parfait means something different in America than in other places, so if you’re a Yank like me, you may find the description and name of 15-3: Orange Parfait to be a bit of a mismatch.
In current-day America, parfait usually refers to a fruit/yogurt/granola cup you might find at Starbucks or McDonalds for an easy breakfast on-the-go. In other places (like France), parfait usually refers to what is essentially ice cream, which is pretty close to what Simply Delicious has got for you here today.
Fun fact: there can be meat parfaits as well (similar to a pâté). I think I’ll skip that version for today.
This is a do-ahead recipe, so there’s a bit of planning that must go into it if you want to have it ready to serve for a particular event. They don’t really frame it in any other way other than preparing it for a party, but if you want to make these just for you, go ahead. Treat yo’ self.
It’s citrus time where I live, which means that everyone has buckets of oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits that they can’t give away fast enough. I myself have an orange tree, but I’m often given lemons from friends and family as well–16-13: Lemon Meringue Pie is a good recipe to use up some of that winter citrus. You can also check out 15-29: Raspberry-Lemon Parfait or 17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars if you have a LOT of lemons to use up.
This is a NEW book recipe, so I never even knew until recently that Simply Delicious even had a lemon meringue pie recipe. If I had known, I guarantee I would have attempted it much earlier than now.
I LOVE lemon meringue pie–it conjures recipes of slowly rotating cake and pie displays in coffee shops. Man, do I miss eating in a restaurant.
I had a goal to finish all the ones I cooked in 2019 by the end of 2020…not sure if I’ll meet that goal (EDIT: I did!), but here’s one more from last year: 16-49: Chocolate-Glazed Raspberry Tart. Not only is this from last Thanksgiving (along with 6-42: Turkey Pot Roast and 17-15: Cream Puffs), but I also made a version of it as part of a fancy Christmas dinner 12 years ago (XMAS 08) as well. Since today is Christmas Eve, I think it’s a good day to tell you about it.
When I made this back in ’08, I made 6 individual tarts instead of one big one–I was afraid it would look weird once I cut it, so I thought individual servings would look better. I had been watching a LOT of Top Chef at that point (and still do, but that’s the ONLY cooking show I’ll watch).
Since I had a few of the same guests attending as that Christmas dinner back in ’08 (and the same number), I decided to make the same modification this time. Usually I will reverse modifications when I recook recipes I’ve already done to try to honor the “original” recipe, but this time I decided to stick with it.
A LOT of the dessert recipes in Simply Delicious feature almonds, and 14-23: Almond-Baked Sliced Pears is a perfect example of these type of “semi-fancy” recipes. I’m not sure why almonds are featured so heavily in the book (or 1980s cuisine in general), but I suppose it’s to lend a sense of haute cuisine to something that would be (in reality) executed in a home kitchen.
The 1980s were all about stylish and flashy veneers without much to back it up underneath, even when it came to food, and this recipe is a perfect encapsulation of it. The fancy top covers up the cheap canned pears underneath, dazzling you with a hint of something high-class to distract you from the less impressive core which makes up the bulk of the dessert. Maybe some things should have just stayed in the 80s.
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.
Summer 2020 has been quite the disappointment so far, and still being stuck at home is tough. If you’re looking for something to lift your spirits, 2-21: Shrimp Salad probably isn’t going to do it. However, if you close your eyes while you’re eating it, maybe you can pretend you’re on the beach instead of your couch.
This salad features not one but TWO cream-based dressings, so you know it’s fancy. I recently covered 2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad which also features a shrimp-based salad. However, that one includes apples, bananas, and asparagus, so this one might be a safer choice.
When I made 11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp, I decided to try to knock out a bunch of recipes at once, thinking I could just buy a few pounds of shrimp and save myself multiple trips to the store. One of the other shrimp recipes I made was this one, 12-21: Luxury Rice with Shrimp.
One of the glaring problems with this theory is that shrimp goes bad QUICKLY, and unless you want to cook/eat a ton of shrimp all at once, you might not end up using all of it in time.
This is what happened to me, and I ended up having to toss a bunch of the shrimp (which was on sale–BIG red flag) before I could even use it and buy more (not on sale this time 💰💰). So much for trying to reduce my environmental and financial impact.
Consider that before you attempt my idea. Also, make sure the recipe is worth it–this one was not even worth rebuying the shrimp, in my opinion.
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.