Tag Archives: love

Strange chocolate.

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IMG_3406If you need someone to blame, then it is my Mom’s fault. For most of my teenage years, we would tackle Bon Appetit’s ridiculously complicated Valentine’s Day dessert together. This recipe taught me several important life skills including the proper pronunciation of framboise and Grand Marnier, and that, though still underage, if you cook with a new alcohol, it is easy to convince otherwise responsible adults that you needed to taste it.

More importantly, it taught me to enter the kitchen without fear, to fail boldly, and that if it meant eight hours together with someone special, your day was a complete success.

Unlike the glazed strawberry tarts with crème patissiere and spun sugar, or the aforementioned white and dark chocolate, marbled heart, this recipe is a snap. You have to wait 20 minutes for the cream to steep with the vanilla bean, and make sure not to scramble the egg yolks.

Chocolate Pasta + Crème Anglaise

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 cups cream
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large-egg yolks
  • 1.5 cups raspberries
  • 1.5 tsp Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar*
  • 8oz chocolate pasta*

Simple Substitutions: You can use a thick, syrupy, 25-year balsamic and a tablespoon of dark, bittersweet chocolate shavings instead of the vinegar. No pasta? Grab some fresh berries, or just eat the sauce with a spoon. We won’t tell.

Directions:

  • Warm cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add bean and seeds to cream. Turn off heat, cover and steep for 20 minutes.
  • Strain cream and return to heat with sugar. Return to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  • Add cream slowly to egg yolks. Return to med heat. Stir until sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Crush 5-6 raspberries in a bowl. Strain sauce into bowl. Add vinegar.
  • Cook pasta until al dente. Strain and return to pot with sauce. Cook an additional 5 minutes over low heat. Stir often.
  • Cool to room temp over a bowl of ice water and serve topped with berries.
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Better together.

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My parents own a business, Tarnòw Nursery. For most of my life it has dominated their schedules, as a small business often does. They worked most weekends, right up to each holiday, and called in frequently when away on family vacations.

Nine years ago, the summer I moved to DC, I started getting these calls. “Good morning. We’re taking a day (or two) off. We’re sitting at the end of the driveway and trying to decide whether to turn left or right.”

I realized after a few of these calls that the direction truly didn’t matter. Where they were going wasn’t the point. They were off to spend the day together and nothing was more important than that.

Mom and Dad are the model for my relationship with my husband. I have come to realize that what I was witnessing was their feeling that the worst day spent together was better than the best day spent apart. Every moment, good and bad, was improved by each other’s presence in their lives.

Happy Father’s Day Dad. I know you and Mom will enjoy spending today together.