Adventures of an unfussy foodie.

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June 27, 2010

Daring Baker Challenge: Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

I'm excited to debut my first Daring Baker's challenge!

This month the challenge was to make a decadent Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse.

I started by making my own mascarpone -- I'm still not sure if I did that out of ambition or to save a little money, but I'm glad I did. Here's the tutorial I followed.

Once that was done, I set about making the components of the dessert. Despite the three separate components, and the time involved, I found it pretty simple to make.

I had never made a pavlova before. If you aren't familiar with pavlova, it's kind of like a big meringue with a soft marshmallowy center. This one was so delicious, I could have eaten the batter straight from the bowl! My first pavlova turned out a little wonky, but that's no big deal. I broke it up and served it trifle style.

The chocolate mascarpone mousse is the real star here, and definitely worth the time and effort. I highly recommend it! I'm excited to lave some left over. I think I'm going to stuff strawberries with the remainder for Sunday dinner tonight. :)

I omitted any alcohol or citrus from the recipes provided below, but if you like that sort of thing I'm sure it would be delicious. I also added raspberries, which I though gave it just the right touch of freshness and tangy sweetness. I loved this just the way I made it.

June 14, 2010

Local Flavor: Robin's Nest

I'll be honest with you. I don't really want to share this restaurant with you. I want to keep it to myself. (I'm selfish like that...) But because I love you all with a muchness, I guess I'll let you in on it.

Robin's Nest is the best sandwich shop in Salt Lake, hands down. Why, you ask?

Let me break it down for you:

Robin's Nest excells at out-of-the-ordinary sandwiches. I'm telling you, I have never met a Robin's Nest sandwich I didn't like.

My first love was The Madam: "Roasted Turkey Breast, Tomato, Melted Provolone, Lettuce, Bacon and Light Ranch on Ciabatta" (don't forget to add avocado!). Then one day an employee there told me that the Madam was playing it safe and that I should explore other options. I told him to bring me his favorite sandwich, and I wasn't disappointed. He brought me the Robin's Grill: "Bacon, Tomato, Avocado, Cheddar, Provolone & Roasted Garlic Spread (!) on Sour Dough" -- it was heaven. The last time I went, I finally tried thier signature chicken salad sandwich, The Rooster Call. It was easy to see why that was the sandwich that made them famous.

In addition to the fabulous set menu, Robin breaks out mouthwatering weekly specials that always make me drool a little.

Then there's the orzo pasta. So much basil-y, pinenutty goodness! It comes with your sandwich, whether you order a whole or a half -- trust me, skip the chips and have this instead. But come early. It's so popular that they often run out!

The Robin's Nest also has a very convenient downtown location at 311 S. Main St. Open from 10:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday, Robin's Nest caters to the business lunch crowd (and what a crowd there is!), but don't let that stop you from stopping by. Despite the cramped set-up, the service is friendly and quick,  and the food is amazing.

June 09, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday: Bento Lunch Box

Ms. Bento Lunch Jar by Zojirushi

I've been pondering the bento box for quite some time now. These Japanese-style lunchboxes are becoming quite the trend in the US. They are cleverly designed to compartmentalize your lunch, and some are equipped to keep it hot or cold for hours. They are available in a lot of different styles, many of them featuring Hello Kitty or characters from Studio Ghibli films. (!) While these are adorable for kiddos, the Ms. Bento featured above (along with the larger Mr. Bento) is more office-appropriate.

My office has the teensiest tiniest fridge in creation. It is always crammed full of junk. This bento box is designed to insulate food, meaning that I could leave this at my desk and not worry about my lunch until it's time to heat it up in the microwave. Plus, it comes with a spork. I'm sold!

What do you think of bento boxes? Do you have something else you use to transport your lunch or keep it at the right temperature?

Interested in seeing more bento options? Check some out here.

June 07, 2010


Although I didn't get in quite as many posts as I had hoped, I did have fun focusing breakfast in the month of May. Now that June is upon us, we'll move on to lunch.

I work full time and go to school, so lunch is one of those meals that can fall by the wayside more often than not. Most of the time, I try to make a little extra dinner and take that for lunch the next day, but that doesn't always work. If I don't have leftovers, I often get a Lean Cuisine from the grocery store or eat out. Lunch doesn't really get to be celebrated as a great meal -- I just shovel food in my mouth to get me through the rest of my work day.

Shouldn't there be more?

What do you like to do for lunch?

I look forward to exploring lunch more adventurously this month! As always, your comments, suggestions and requests are welcome.
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