Naturally Lean by Allyson Kramer plus Foolproof Freezer Cookbook by Ghillie James, 2 Book Giveaway Number 5

After skipping last Friday due to a cold, Naturally Lean and Foolproof Freezer Cookbook are 2 Book Giveaway Number 5 lineup.

Each Giveaway is a Twofer, book cleaning before Spring.

First, plant based and gluten free recipes in Naturally Lean (Da Capo Lifelong, May 2016) by Allyson Kramer

Naturally lean

Secondly, Foolproof Freezer Cookbook (Kyle Books, 2011) by Ghillie James.

Foolproof freezer

-Question: Where is Ghillie James currently residing?

First come first serve.

E-mail your answers to: [at] mediterraneanworkandplay [dot] com

2 Book Giveaway Number 5

Hey! Jude's Pear, Prosecco and Rosemary Lollies, Ice Pops That Tame a Heatwave

These ice pops for grown-ups tame a heatwave.

This is the first slice of Jude's Ice Cream &  Desserts by Chow and Alex Mezger (Kyle Books, June 2019) that I am pleased to share.

Fresh from Jude's Ice Cream barn in Twyford, Hampshire (UK)
Lollies for the grown-ups!
These beauties are refreshing, rather sophisticated treats to enjoy in the heat of the sun. So when the weather forecast looks promising, whip up a batch and pop them in your freezer. Rosemary gives these fancy pops an aromatic edge, but any woody herb would be just as delicious –experi ment with sage or thyme to see which hits the spot for you.
P133 Pear  Prosecco and Rosemary Lollies
MAKES 10 X 100ml (3½fl oz) LOLLIES
300ml (½ pint) cold water
25g (1oz) granulated sugar
3–4 rosemary sprigs
3 pears (about 185g/6½ oz each)–about 500g (1lb 2oz) peeled weight
50ml (2fl oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice
200 – 250ml (7–9fl oz) prosecco
You Will Need
10 x 100ml (3½fl oz) lolly moulds and sticks
Put the water, sugar and rosemary in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 4–5 minutes before removing from the heat and picking out the rosemary sprigs.
Peel and core the pears. Cut the flesh into 2cm (¾in) cubes and put them into the rosemary syrup.
Return the saucepan to a low heat, cover and simmer the pears until tender, about 10–12 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow the pears to sit for a few minutes, cooling slightly.
Tip the pears and syrup into a blender, add the lemon juice and blitz until smooth (or simply blitz
everything in the saucepan with a stick blender).
Pour the mixture into a large jug and stir through the prosecco to make up the volume to 1 litre (1¾ pints). It will bubble a little, but be patient and the bubbles will dissipate. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the lolly moulds, but don’t fill them right to the top as the mixture will expand on freezing. Put in the freezer for an hour or so and just as the lollies begin to set, insert the lollysticks and freeze overnight until firm.
To serve, remove the lollies from the freezer, dip the moulds briefly in hot water, then gently pull the lollies out of the moulds and serve straight away.

(* Recipe and Photo from Jude's Ice Cream &  Desserts by Chow and Alex Mezger- Kyle Books, June 2019- Reproduced with permission of the publisher- All rights reserved)

Sweet as a Southern Peach, Comfort from 'Monster Shakes' by Vicki Valsamis

Sweet as a Southern Peach comfort from Monster Shakes by Vicki Valsamis  (Smith Street Books, May 2017).

Sweet as a Southern Peach 

Peach iced tea and Southern Comfort are a perfect match. 


22 fl oz milk

5 fl oz peach iced tea syrup

½ cup Southern Comfort

1½ oz/¹⁄4 cup soft brown sugar

3 scoops vanilla ice cream

Monster your shake

1 cup white chocolate buttons

pink pearl dust, for decorating 

Strawberry syrup (recipe below)

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Vanilla bean whipped cream (recipe below)

2 Cinnamon donuts

2 mini ice cream waffle cones

1 dried peach half, cut into quarters 

orange and yellow cake sugar, for decorating 

Serves 2 

Sweeit as peach

Place the chocolate buttons in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Dip the rims of the glasses into the melted chocolate and sit upright, allowing the chocolate to drizzle down the glasses. Decorate with the pearl dust.

To make the shake, combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and combined.

Line the inside of each glass with strawberry syrup. Gently pour the shake into the glasses and top with a scoop of ice cream. Using a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, top the shake with a swirl of vanilla whipped cream.

Set the donuts, ice cream cones and dried peach into the cream. Fill the cone with a swirl of cream and decorate with the cake sugar.


 Strawberry Syrup

 Makes 2 cups

 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

9 oz strawberries, hulled

½ cup strawberry jam

2 tablespoons glucose syrup

Combine the sugar with 2 tablespoons water in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly for 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved, brushing any sugar from the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Add the remaining ingredients and stir for 1 minute or until well combined. 

Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely. Puree with a hand-held blender for 1 minute or until smooth. Transfer into a squeeze bottle or container.

The syrup will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

Makes 2½ cups

10 fl oz whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 and 1/2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

(* Reproduced with permission from Monster Shakes by Vicki Valsamis , published by Smith Street Books in May 2017. Photography by Chris Middleton )

Elegance for Dessert, Lacquered Peaches with Rum Caramel Sauce from John Sundstrom 'Lark' Cookbook

Elegance for Dessert, Lacquered Peaches from Lark' Cooking Wild in the Northwest' cookbook  (Sasquatch Books, August 2016) by chef John Sundstrom...

I did not have a chance to sample John's fare while in Seattle early August so I guess it's one more reason to pay a second visit to the city.

Lacquered Peaches with Rum Caramel Sauce and Almond Ice Cream

This combination of butter and sugar–roasted peaches, rum caramel, and almond ice cream
is otherworldly and is my favorite dessert of the season . . . I think. Almonds and most stone fruit are botanically related (if you crack the pit open of a cherry, apricot, or peach, you’ll find a very small almond-like center) and are very complementary to each other. Use just-ripe (not overripe) peaches for this recipe, as they’ll roast for a total of about twenty minutes.

Makes 4 Servings


2 cups whole milk

¾ cup heavy cream

1 cup slivered almonds

8 egg yolks

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon almond extract


1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup water

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons single-barrel rum

Kosher salt


4 medium Red Haven peaches, fuzz washed and dried

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

Fleur de sel

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Lacquered Peaches by Zack Bent

1 To make the almond ice cream, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, cream, and almonds and bring just to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the almonds steep in the milk for about 30 minutes. Strain the almonds and discard. Return the milk mixture to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

2  Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. 

3  In a large bowl, thoroughly beat together the egg yolks and 
sugar. While whisking the egg mixture, add ½ cup of the hot milk mixture to the bowl to gently temper the eggs. Whisking constantly, add in another ½ cup of the hot milk mixture. (Continuous whisking prevents the eggs from scrambling.)

4 Now begin whisking the milk mixture in the saucepan and slowly pour in the tempered egg mixture. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon
or heatproof spatula. Continue stirring until the mixture has reached a temperature of 180 degrees F and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

5 Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a metal bowl or container. Immediately place the metal bowl into the ice bath. Stir occasionally until the custard cools to room temperature.

6 Add the almond extract, then refrigerate the custard until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours.

7 Process the custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a lidded container and freeze for at least 8 hours before serving.

8 To make the rum caramel sauce, in a medium saucepan
over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stirring frequently, cook the mixture until it becomes a golden-brown caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and very carefully whisk in the butter a little bit at a time.

9 While whisking, slowly drizzle in the cream until it is incorporated. Be careful because the caramel will sputter. Let the caramel cool until it reaches room temperature, about 30 minutes. Whisk in the rum and salt to taste.

10 Chill the caramel sauce until ready to use. It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Before serving, gently rewarm the sauce in a small saucepan until it pours easily.

11 To make the lacquered peaches, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

12 Arrange the peaches in a baking dish. Using a pastry brush, generously coat the peaches with the butter. Sprinkle the sugar liberally over the peaches so they are well covered. Bake the peaches for 12 to 15 minutes.

13 Remove the pan from the oven and pour about 2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce over each peach. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the peaches are tender and the skins are a light golden brown, wilted, and wrinkled, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside until you are ready to serve.

14 To serve, if necessary, warm the peaches for a few minutes in the oven. Place a peach on each of four serving plates and sprinkle with a little fleur de sel. Arrange some of the toasted almonds on the plate in a small pile and place a scoop of the almond ice cream on the almonds.

CHEF’S NOTE: Read through Ice Cream and Sorbet on page 78 for some general rules of thumb before proceeding with this recipe.

 (* Recipe (c)2016 by Johnathan Sundstrom. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Lark: Cooking Wild in the Northwest by permission of Sasquatch Books, Photography by Zack Bent)

Dripping Sticky Sweet Juice, Roasted Plum Sorbet, from Annie Rigg 'Summer Berries and Autumn Fruits'

What can be more summery than dripping sticky sweet juice down your hands?

Make it happen with this sweet treat from Summer Berries and Autumn Fruits,  120 Sensational Sweet & Savory Recipes (Kyle Books USA, May 2016) by Annie Rigg...

Roasted Plum Sorbet

My sister and I meet for a “light” supper in Soho about once a month and the evening generally follows the same pattern each time. We aim to eat somewhere vaguely healthy—as we’re more often than not pretending to be watching what we eat—and then we amble through the streets of Central London to our favorite gelato bar and undo all the good we did earlier. This recipe is inspired by a sorbet that I had on one such evening in late summer, the scoops piled high into a waffle cone and dripping sticky-sweet plum juices down my hands—the perfect end to an evening.







Roasted Plum Sorbet

Once the plums have roasted, let them cool, then scoop all the fruit and juice into a bowl, picking out and discarding the pits, vanilla bean pieces, and cinnamon stick as you do so. Blend the plums until smooth—I find this easiest using an immersion blender, but otherwise transfer to a food processor—and then pass through a fine-mesh nylon sieve if you want a silky smooth sorbet. I don’t mind the odd speckle of plum skin in the sorbet but it’s down to personal preference.

Pour 3/4 cup cold water into a saucepan and add the granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the roasted plum purée. Let cool, then cover and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before churning in the ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

An ice-cream maker will make a lighter sorbet, but if you don’t have one, simply freeze the mixture in a plastic freezer-safe container, whisking it every couple of hours to break up the ice crystals. Once the sorbet has frozen, break it into manageable chunks, transfer into a food processor, and blend until smooth and light. Return to the freezer container and freeze until firm.

High res front

 ( * Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Summer Berries and Autumn Fruits,  120 Sensational Sweet & Savory Recipes' --Kyle Books USA, May 2016 -by Annie Rigg, Photography by Tara Fisher)

Oregon Beer and Cherry meets Texas Fig Daiquiri, Who Will Beat the Summer Heat?

On July 15, 2013, I Lifted a Leaf on Fig Daiquiri , a fresh alternative to strawberry version from Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State (Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2013) by David Alan, the Tipsy Texan .

Fig daiquiri

(* Fig Daiquiri Recipe from Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State by David Alan- Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2013- reproduced with permission of publisher)

Beer and Cherries: As in Spiked and Sensible, Cherry Lambic Sorbet Recipe from  The Sugar Cube (Chronicle Books, April 2012) by Kir Jensen with Danielle Centoni. 

Cherry lambic sorbet

3 years after book was published, Kir closed The Sugar Cube and since November 2015 has become the pastry chef at Renata's 

(* Recipe from The Sugar Cube by Kir Jensen with Danielle Centoni-Chronicle Books, April 2012- photography by Lisa Warninger- reproduced with permission of publisher, all rights reserved)

Mesoamerican Cocktail, Spice and Chocolate 'Aztec Margarita' from 'Boozy Shakes'

After sailing 4th of July waters with Dark and Stormy Float, here's a Mesoamerican Cocktail, Spice and Chocolate 'Aztec Margarita' from Boozy Shakes (Ryland Peters & Small, ) by Victoria Glass.

Aztec Margarita

This sophisticated shake makes the most of chocolate and spice
– a classic flavor combination since pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

6 scoops Chocolate Ice Cream

15 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick

45 ml/3 tablespoons whole milk

45 ml/3 tablespoons double/heavy cream
120 ml/4 oz. gold tequila

60 ml/2 oz. chilli/hot pepper vodka

60 ml/2 oz. triple sec

3 tablespoons Chocolate Fudge Sauce 

3–4 drops of Tabasco


Cinnamon Sugar-rimmed Glasses

25 g/2 tablespoons caster/granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1  ⁄2 lime, cut into wedges

4 margarita glasses

Makes 800 ml/28 oz. and serves 4

Begin by making the Chocolate Ice Cream, or use a good-quality store-bought ice cream.

Place the glasses in the freezer to chill for a few minutes.

For the shake, lightly crush the cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar, and break up the cinnamon stick. Put the milk and cream in a small saucepan, add the spices and simmer until the cream begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until cold, to allow the spices to infuse with the milk and cream. Pass the cold cream through a fine mesh sieve/strainer set over a bowl. Discard the spices and chill the cream until needed.

Next, decorate the glasses. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and place in a shallow bowl wide enough to fit the margarita glasses. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of each chilled glass before upturning them into the cinnamon sugar. Twist to coat the edge, then set aside. 

To make the shake, put the chilled infused cream, tequila, vodka, triple sec, Chocolate Ice Cream and Chocolate Fudge Sauce in a blender with 2 drops of Tabasco. Pulse until smooth and frothy. Taste and add more Tabasco if desired. Blitz again and pour into the prepared glasses. 

( * Recipe from 'Boozy Shakes' by Victoria Glass- Ryland Peters & Small, $16.95;
, Photography by Gareth Morgans)

Sail 4th of July Cocktail Party Waters with Dark and Stormy Float from 'Boozy Shakes'

Happy 4th of July, 2015...

Sail 4th of July cocktail party waters successfully with Dark and Stormy Float from Boozy Shakes (Ryland Peters & Small, March 2015) by Victoria Glass...

Dark & Stormy Float

A Dark & Stormy is the perfect summer cocktail. With an added few scoops of Ginger and Lime Ice Cream, summer just got cooler.

2–3 scoops Ginger and Lime Ice Cream (see below)
50 ml/13⁄4 oz. dark rum
275 ml/1 cup and 1 tablespoon fiery and aromatic ginger beer, such as Fentimans
Ginger and Lime Ice Cream
1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream made without the vanilla pod/bean
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 balls stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped, plus extra to decorate
4 tablespoons syrup from the jar of stem ginger
the grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 4 limes, plus extra to decorate
1 milkshake glass

Makes 400 ml/14 oz. and serves 1

Dark and stormy float

Begin by making the Ginger and Lime Ice Cream or use a good- quality store-bought ice cream. For homemade ice cream, make Vanilla Ice Cream, omitting the vanilla pod/bean and whisking the ground ginger into the cream in the saucepan instead. Add the chopped stem ginger, ginger syrup and the zest and juice of the limes to the custard before chilling.

Place the glasses in the freezer to chill for a few minutes.

For the shake, place a scoop of ice cream at the bottom of the glass before adding the rum and half of the ginger beer. Once the foam stops rising, add another scoop of ice cream before adding the remaining ginger beer. Top with an extra scoop of ice cream if you want to, and decorate with chopped stem ginger and lime zest.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Boozy Shakes' by Victoria Glass- Published by Ryland Peters & Small, March 2015- Photography by Gareth Morgans)

Domino Players Tested, Mantecado, Cuban Vanilla Ice Cream from 'The Cuban Table'

Sometimes you need domino players around to test and approve your latest ice-cream batch as was case with this Cuban vanilla ice-cream re-created by Suzy Batlle at Azucar! Ice Cream Company and one of the recipes in The Cuban Table (St Martin's Press, October 2014) by Hungry Sofia Ana Sofia Pelaez...

Cuban Vanilla Ice Cream, Mantecado

Makes 1 quart

While the lineup at the ¡Azucar! Ice Cream Company always includes classic Cuban ice cream
flavors such as guava, mamey, and coconut, Suzy Battle received endless requests for mantecado—a rich vanilla ice cream she’d only ever heard about. Suzy invited the domino players permanently perched across the street from her Little Havana shop to test the recipe until she got it right. She generously shared the results with me adapted for small homemade batches.

For the custard

6 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons sugar

One 12-ounce can evaporated milk, chilled


To prepare the custard, combine the egg yolks, whole milk, 1 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a food processor or blender and pulse until well blended. Pass the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard covers the back of a wooden spoon, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Chill the custard at least 2 hours or overnight.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining 5 tablespoons sugar and beat on medium speed until it forms stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Add the chilled evaporated milk and continue to beat until it thickens slightly, 2 to 3 additional minutes. Stir in the prepared custard and mix until well blended.

Process in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, 15 to 20 minutes.

Freeze until ready to serve

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from The Cuban Table -St Martin's Press, October 2014- by Ana Sofia Pelaez, Photographs by Ellen Silverman)

Cooling Station on Hot Summer Day, Banana Maple, Raspberry and Honey Popsicles by Donna Hay

At the cooling station on hot Summer day, Banana-Maple, Raspberry and Honey popsicles from Fresh and Light (Harper 360, 2014, US edition), by Donna Hay, one of the most visually appetizing books of the year.

Popcicles image_HAY

(* Reproduced with permission from Fresh and Light by Donna Hay, US edition published by Harper 360, 2014- Photography by William Meppem)