Every now and then you've got to have a real treat (after all what's the sense of dieting if you can't!)…Last weekend in San Diego was such an event and found my husband, sister and darling brother in law enjoying a wonderful dinner in San Diego's abundantly blossoming Little Italy. After much deliberation we landed in a wonderful new Italian restaurant named Devanti Enoteca, where we were assaulted by the decadent aroma of truffles as soon as we walked through the door. The meal that followed was fabulous, perfect plates of luscious antipasti, fresh asparagus and egg, a chicken liver terrine to die for, roasted beets and fresh caponata, a truffled leek and mushroom pizza that was delightful and a truffled pasta that was every bit as exceptional as the one that we'd enjoyed at Nello only months before (san's the 250.00 dollars ostentatious price tag!) All was farm fresh, all was organic and trust me , it was all delicious !
After enjoying some pretty wonderful wine and food and the always good company of my hilarious foodie family we were just about to drive home when my brother in law Peter decided that it might be time for a wee bit of dessert and for that impulse there was absolutely no other choice but to walk to the absolutely astonishing Extraordinary Desserts, the restaurant owned by the talented Karen Krasne who I'm convinced is the incarnation of my long departed grandmother on my mothers side, a woman who I am told could drive men to pledge undying devotion after just one bite of her Oeufs a la Neige , a treat more commonly known as Floating Island Pudding. If you're sadly not familiar with Floating Island Pudding , it's a very old fashioned dessert, a soft and silky vanilla custard topped with clouds of perfect meringue. I'd only been to Extraordinary Desserts once before but remembered all too fondly a delicious Pavlova that I'd encountered there covered with fresh berries and just a bit of perfect chocolate layered between the meringue and drizzled with caramel laced with fresh passion fruit and guava sauce. Jim had never been , but my husband has blood plasma made of spun sugar so I knew he'd be game.
We walked the 12 long blocks to get there and were greeted by a crowd of laughing people who'd obviously had the same idea. We walked in and I though that Jim was going to pass out. I knew that I was. Extraordianry Desserts is always a beautiful restaurant, but this evening it was dressed for spring , Easter in particular. Trust me when I say that you've probably never seen desserts this gorgeous. Karen Krasne's recipes are indulgent, gorgeous and delicious; perusal through the cookbook of hers that I bought that evening shows mostly no less than 5 fairly complex parts that go into creating each of her amazing confections. But I think that you talented bakers out there might love the challenge so I've included here the link to the restaurant where you can buy the book. http://www.extraordinarydesserts.com/ We circled the display cases for a few minutes and settled on several pieces that we purchased , took home and ate with absolute abandon. Truthfully, if you ever wanted to see the literal definition of joy, you'd have to look no further than my brother- in- laws face when he is eating something like this.Watching him eat a bite of each of these was hilarious and incredibly satisfying! A textbook vegetarian and serial meditator , Peters life is usually filled with my sisters absolutely delicious yet completely healthy cooking , however when the woman makes desserts watch out, because hers are absolutely as good as these, so much so that I bought her the cookbook in the hopes that she would make me the Yule Log next year at Christmas time. Truthfully, she's the only person I know of with the patience to do so!
No words that I write could ever do these justice so without further adieu please let me present to you this years showcase of incredible Easter desserts. No more elegant parade of confectionary bonnets will be found anywhere! IF you decide to buy the cookbook and get inspired please let me know. I can easily be on the next plane for a tasting!
Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate it and for those of you that don't, Happy Spring! It's sprung here with abandon on the North Coast , so much so that I'm going out today to lay out my gardens. My asparagus bed is providing me me all of the fresh asparagus that I could ever want to eat, so todays meal is simple, hard boiled eggs and pickled beets, fresh asparagus, some steamed baby potatoes dressed with parmesan and truffle oil and a sweet pea soup laced with mint. Dessert? Of course but it will be my favorite….spiced jelly beans , marshmallow peeps and one dark chocolate Cadbury egg!
So share with me some of your favorite Easter or springtime foods and please wherever you are and whatever you celebrate, have a blessed day!
The winner of the draw for the March 11th Foodie Sunday is Kareng! Please send Marina your snail mail addy and I will send you your delicious prize!