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British Victoria Sponge Cake

Imagine a cake good enough to eat upside down. This Victoria Sponge Cake is 100% inspired by Mary Poppins – that lovable British nanny at the heart of  countless quirky adventures – and, yes, it’s that good. The recipe is mentioned in Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection, which I gave my daughter for Valentine’s Day. A note on these books: P.L. Travers’s collection goes well beyond the parameters of the Disney movie – the floating tea party scene at the heart of the film can be found on page 42, barely cracking the spine of this 1024 page classic. Every night at bedtime we settle into a new chapter, following the 5 Banks children on another adventure. They paint the sky, eat gingerbread stars, hang out with the constellations at a circus in space, and travel the world with a compass – and all that within the first few hundred pages. Mary Poppins not only never explains their adventures once they’re over, she insists she has no idea what the children are talking about. More than buttoned up, Mary Poppins is flat out strict, yet the children always have fun when she’s …

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Peruvian Tiramisu

Yes. Peruvian Tiramisu. It’s real and it’s happening right now. This is tiramisu exactly as you know it with the addition of one magical ingredient from Peru: lucuma fruit. To me, the brilliant gold flesh of lucuma tastes like a combination of caramel, sweet potato and pumpkin. With a bit of banana leaf undertones. I’m not sure how it came to be that there is a fruit which tastes like caramel, but I’m smitten. I mean, really. This is the perfect dessert to serve with falling leaves, crisp afternoons, and a whisper of frost. (Hello, autumn.) Kelly, the owner of Mi Tierra in Tulsa, tells me that, while lucuma fruit is folded into ice cream, drinks, and more, tiramisu is the “big city” way to enjoy the fruit in Lima. Now… about the fact that they’re eating Tiramisu in Peru… Here’s the deal: the Italian influence in Italy is second only the the Chinese influence. The first wave of Italian immigration to Peru occurred during the period 1840–1866 (the “Guano” Era): not less than 15,000 Italians …

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Tiramisu

Makes one large trifle (Serves at least 8) Your day was hard. Maybe you have a party coming up. Or you are out of ice cream. Perhaps your favorite DVD  got scratched. Or your 20 lb cat left a 1lb hairball on your favorite sweater. I have the answer for everything: make tiramisu. Trust me. After a hard day, tiramisu is easy. It’s the perfect dessert for fancy parties and casual parties. Plus, you won’t ever crave ice cream again. Well… not while tiramisu is hanging out in your fridge. After one taste, you’ll be so in love that you won’t care about the DVD or  the sweater. It’s just stuff, after all. Tiramisu, however, is glory on a spoon. Glory that you can scoop up at midnight, when no one is looking. Plus I have a few little secrets that’ll make it the prettiest tiramisu you’ve ever seen (or tasted). NOTE: Please start this recipe the night before you need it. Also, you can make caster sugar (aka fine sugar) by putting some in a …

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Mojito

Makes 1 drink The bold flavor of mint, lime juice, and sugar come together in this classic Cuban drink. If you have time, a simple syrup made of water and sugar cooked together is another possibility for sweetening the drink. Ingredients: 1/8 cup superfine sugar a handful of fresh mint 1/2 lime, juiced 1 shot rum crushed ice Method: Gather your ingredients… Drop a healthy handful of fresh mint leaves into a glass. Add the sugar and mash it together with the mint. Renowned author Mark Bittman says that there should be enough mint pieces to chew on. Squeeze in the juice of a lime for that tangy wow-factor. And a shot of rum. This is my faithful “Planet Hollywood” shot glass one of my brothers got me years ago. Remember when every kid had to have a Planet Hollywood t-shirt? I’m into the retro cool factor. Add crushed ice, stir well and drink! Minty fresh… Now, if only you can get your dentist to approve it! Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print …

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