Strawberry Cava Conserve with Toasted Almonds

Don't throw away those half-empty bottles of cava or champagne! Syrups and conserves recycle fruit leftovers into tasty, elegant pairings for cheese or a flavorful topping for yogurt and toast!

Earlier in the afternoon I made fresh strawberries into a syrup by cooking them with vanilla and sugar. The syrup was double-strained, saving the cooked strawberries for later use. The conserve recipe makes use of the cooked fruit that I previously cooked down to make my luscious syrup! I added 2 cups of Cava Brut to my cooked strawberries, one cup of sugar and a small 1/8 tsp. of salt. After cooking for ten minutes I grated a small tsp. of orange peel, 1/8 tsp. of candied ginger and one small tine off of a clove and a dash of vanilla. My ingredients cooked down on a very low flame until reduced by a third. Finally, I added toasted almond slivers and stirred my ingredients until well-blended. I spooned my cooked mixture into a sterilized jar and added two tbsp. of my freshly made sy…


After all the squeezing and mixing we had one of the best tall rickeys EVER! My finished simple syrup was infused with lychee juice and fresh rambutan.

Easy Rambutan Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 lychee syrup
6 rambutans (peeled)

Bring syrup to a boil while stirring liquid. Cook for two minutes, turn off heat and cover. Cool and strain into a bottle with a pourer.

Rum Rickey Rambutan

1 1/2 oz dark rum
1/2 oz rambutan syrup
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
sparkling water or soda

Fill a tall Collins glass with crushed ice. Add first three ingredients and shake well. Fill glass with soda or sparkling water and garnish with a speared half of rambutan and lime wedge.

Rum Rickey Rambutans

Ron and I are craving a tropical rum drink, so I came up with a refreshing idea! A rum rickey with rambutan-infused simple syrup! Freshly-squeezed lime, an easy simple syrup infused with fresh rambutan and a spritz of sparkling mineral water!

Ooh! I think I smell the beach!

Paris Cake in Newnan

Ok, I've been away for a short while! Tending to life . . .

Life has a way of stepping in and controlling the party.  My husband and I have been traveling back and forth to Louisiana for some time now-helping my parents a bit!  It has caused me to put some things on hold-but not everything. I've still in the kitchen trying and testing new ideas for Home At Last!

My latest fascination is with opera cakes and the picture I've shared is the inspiration behind my experimentation in the kitchen.  The cake shown has wonderful layers of crispy shell, dense cake, creme layers, meringue, hazelnut creme and chocolate! Heavenly!

I've experimented and come up with a few layers that are definitely yummy and able to hold up in the five or so layers.  Working on a meringue cake this week. I have a vision in my head and have to work it to the end! 

Fat Tuesday Fare

To celebrate Fat Tuesday at our house I cooked up some simple Louisiana fare! Oysters and shrimp. Simple, but, oh so good.  The oysters were consumed so quickly there was no time to snap a photo! 

I cleaned and deveined a pound of shrimp, tossed them in a flour, cornmeal and cornstarch mixture for tempting taste of Louisiana! and a successful close to another Mardi Gras season all around the state!