RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Pistachio

Bing Cherries in Sweet Sauce and Pistachio Parfaits

A while back I canned some fresh Bing Cherries in Sweet Sauce (not overly sweet, I wanted the black cherries natural sweetness.)  I thought I would make use of it not only as a meat sauce (wonderful especially with pork and chicken, would be really good with duck) but too in desserts, salad dressings, on and swirled in ice cream and even yogurt and wonderful refreshing smoothies.   I am sure with time there would be a lot more uses than I can think of right now.

We were cleaning out my pantry a while back and discovered a box of Pistachio Pudding.  I do not know where it came from (I still have no idea.)  The expiration date was still some time in the future so I knew it was still good.  To be honest, I had no idea how the boxed Pistachio Pudding would taste.

I love a good parfait and we had not had a parfait for at least a dozen years.  I thought when I found the box of pudding it would be a good mix with my Bing Cherries in Sweet Sauce.  I made a mental note to one day in the near future use the pudding mix and add the cherry sauce and see what I could come up with.

One afternoon I made the boxed pudding per instructions.  I should have known at this stage it was not what I wanted to just take the time and make some pistachio pudding or custard from scratch.  I had some left over Pistachio Crumble (cherry pie topping recipe) to put between the layers and sprinkle some on top of the parfait.  I put a cup and then some of the sweet cherry sauce in a heavy saucepan and let it cook down some to thicken the sauce a little.   While letting it cool down some I made some delicious whip cream to top it all off.

Making a parfait is so easy; you just layer in the different ingredients you are using and in a few minutes you have a perfect treat.

I should have gone with my first instinct, to make the pistachio pudding or custard from scratch.  I have now faced my enter self that cannot bring me to throw away a thing and all things should be used… nothing wasted!  The parfait(s) were delicious with the exception of the pistachio pudding.  It was horrible, but edible (palatable) but seems lite on taste and faint in color.  Next time I need some pudding or custard I will do what I have always done in the past make it from scratch, you cannot beat the smooth, silky, wonderful flavors that you can take pleasure in… with the boxed pudding I lost all of the savor!

It was good enough there were no leftovers but we all knew it was missing flavor; some of the bouquet was missing!  The Bing Cherry Sauce was delicious as was the crumble and whip cream (a wonderful mix,) they in a way made up for the lacking in the boxed pudding….

I thought of this quote as I was eating my parfait.  It too is sad to think that so many generations will live this way:

You can say this for ready-mixes – the next generation isn’t going to have any trouble making pies exactly like mother used to make.  ~Earl Wilson 

Pistachio Matcha Tea Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Sliders

I have to say I am feeling so blessed here, the sun has been shining all but a couple of days since July 4th, our official beginning of summer here in the Northwest.  It helps my health so much and is such an upper for the mental mind.   I started a new medicine for pain and it is bringing me much relief.  I do not have to take a pill, the magic is Lidoderm patches.   I place them over the places of pain; I look like a piece of polka dot fabric after getting fitted… but the pain relief is minimal, a beginning.   Anyone who lives in pain realizes I am sure that any relief of severe hurt is such a release; it is like a reprieve on life.

I have been doing a few things that most take for granted, some wonderful walks on the beach and out and about, it feels so good to be free.  I made the first visit to the market in a long time.  But soon realized that the back pain I get from walking on cement floors has not changed, but hey I will take any relief I can get.  I too realized that I still need to pace myself, it will just be a little harder with the relief of pain, and I want to do so much…

With summer upon us, one of the treats that I love and do not generally eat is ice cream.  I stay so cold all the time, eating ice cream just magnifies the bitterness I feel from cold.  But feeling so good I decided to make something I have not made in a while.  But this time I have done them from a different angle so to speak.   With sliders being so popular and of healthy serving size, the Matcha Tea has so many health benefits’, and the heart healthy pistachio nuts all being some of my favorites I blended them all together for these little treats.   A wonderful new little pleasure has been born.

I took one of my favorite French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipes, added some Pistachio Paste and nuts and then added some Matcha Tea Powder which brought these little treats to an all time high.  This is one of the best blends of ice cream I have had in a while.  The only thing I can think to add is chocolate and I think next time I will make some ganache and swirl it in, ooo…ooh!

I made the chocolate wafers/cookies, (with a couple of minor adds) from an ice cream sandwich recipe at AnniesEats.  Take a visit there, she is incredible, so much talent, her sugar cookies belong in a gallery.  Take a look at her cakes, pies, cookies and everything…  she is in the midst of her residency, Family Practice (I hope I have that right) and too just had a beautiful baby girl who joined her brother that just had his 3rd birthday.  I do not see how she has time for everything.

I used AnnieEats recipe with only a couple of changes, when I rolled them out I used Pistachio Flour instead of regular flour.   You can see it in the pictures and it added that little pistachio flavor that blended well with the ice-cream… I liked the look and I added the Matcha Powder to the mix.

These I have been told I will be making again.  Next time I will roll the cookie dough thinner, these were a little too thick for my liking.  I so enjoyed making these, it was so nice to be in the kitchen with some pain relief.  It makes such a big difference.  I feel so blessed and could give Betty (my health provider) a big hug and a Pistachio Matcha Tea Ice Cream Slider.  I think she would approve.

Pistachio Matcha Tea Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Chocolate Cookies/Wafers


  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Matcha Tea Powder
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • Pistachio Flour from rolling dough in

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, vegetable oil and brown sugar.  Beat on medium speed until combined.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla extract until smooth.  In a separate bowl combine the cocoa powder, Matcha Tea Powder, flour, baking powder and salt: whisk to blend.  With the mixer on low-speed, add the dry ingredients to the bowl, I put in ½ cup at a time, with the wet ingredients’ and mix just until incorporated and a soft dough forms.  Gather the dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 350˚ degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  On a lightly floured work surface, I use the Pistachio Flour here; roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out as many pieces as you can, transferring the cut outs to the prepared baking sheet.  Gather and re-roll the dough scraps as needed.  If desired, use a wooden skewer to make a dotted pattern on the cookies/wafers.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheet a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once I have the cookies/wafers baked and cooling I start the ice cream:


Pistachio Matcha Tea Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

That is a mouth full!  First thing I do is make the cookies/wafers. The ice cream is my own original recipe.




  • 1 ½ cups Milk
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • One whole Vanilla Beans (the beans scraped out of bean)
  • ¼ cup Pistachio Paste
  • 1∕∕3 cup Pistachio Nuts
  • About 2 Tablespoon Matcha Tea Powder


  1. Heat the milk over medium heat in a heavy saucepan.  I scrape the beans from a large vanilla bean and put this in with the milk; I too add the emptied bean and leave in until the custard stage.
  2. I whisk the sugar and Matcha Tea Powder until well blended.  Beat together the egg yolks and sugar mixture in bowl, stir in half of the hot milk, blending well.  Add this back into the saucepan with the remaining milk.
  3. Stir constantly, over medium until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of spoon.
  4. When thickened, take off heat and pour into bowl.  Stir in the cream using whisk and add the pistachio paste. Whisk until well blended.  Add the nuts and blend in.
  5. I usually make this a day ahead of time and  refrigerate, so it is cold when I put it in the ice cream maker, it makes it go so much faster.  Make the ice cream per the manufacturer’s instructions.

I take the cooled cookies/wafers and put ice cream (soft serve consistency) about two small scoops, on one of the wafers.  Spread it as needed to cover wafer. I will double this recipe for the ice cream next time I make the ice cream sandwiches; I would prefer more ice cream between the wafers.   I sandwich it in by putting a cookie/wafer on top.  I place these immediately in the freezer.  I have already put in a large cookie sheet before I started in the freezer.  I lay these ice cream sandwiches on the frozen cookie sheet as soon as I have each made. Once they are all frozen well I put them in a big freezer bag and take out just what I need when needed.

Too it might be easier if once you have your ice cream made to spread it in a jelly roll pan and freeze.  When frozen take the cutter(s) you used for the wafers and cut out ice cream shapes and put between two wafers.  Put them in freezer as soon as made.

These are small enough they won’t hurt your appetite and the small size means they are healthier, like the mini cupcakes.  They are fabulous….

Chocolate~Caramel Tart with Pistachios and Espresso Beans



Today is the day after, seems like I am always trying to catch up to the present time.  Yesterday was Father’s Day.  My Father has been gone now for twenty-three years, where does the time go.   I find myself at different times thinking of him and wondering what he would think on different things that have taken place over the years.  I too learned not to be my father, only he could possibly take that walk and we each are our own as it should be.

It makes me hope that I have been a better parent; I think we all want and hope to be and to do better than our own parents and hope the same for each new generation.  I am optimistic that my children will improve on their parents in one way or another.  That is something I can hope will come to pass and then through them to the future children.  That would be a wonderful blessing for our family now and through all the ages of time.

I made a tart today to celebrate all fathers, from ages past to future Dads (and Gramps.)  I was asked for something with caramel, chocolate, espresso and the simple graham crackers.  I knew immediately what I wanted to make.  It has been over a dozen years since I made a graham cracker crust.  I had to Google to find the directions.  eHow had the basic recipe; I had forgotten how simple it really was… I had the Graham crackers but had wanted chocolate so I added 1 and ½ teaspoon of Dutch Cocoa Powder.  This recipe originally called for shortbread pastry, but the chocolate-graham cracker crust was just as easy.  It called for hazelnuts of which I had none, but I love a Pistachio and chocolate mix and had some so that decision was made.  It called for Milk Chocolate and I used a mix of 1 oz milk chocolate with 3 ozs of Bitter Chocolate it was a perfect and healthier mix.

The original recipe was called Milk-Chocolate-Caramel Tart with Hazelnuts and Espresso that I found in Bon Appétit sometime in the past, I was just waiting to use this recipe and it did not let me down even with all my changes.  I too made a change in the espresso powder, I had none and so used some Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans that I did have and they tasted perfect. It too called for a sprinkling of crunchy cacao nibs on top of finished tart (pieces of roasted cacao beans) of which I had none, so that is another reason I used the chocolate covered espresso beans.

It was delicious; it was on the rich side, real rich; a very small bite was all I could handle.  I was disappointed in one thing, the espresso beans when chopped left the dark chocolate looking a little sick, and were not that pretty on top of the tart, but they were delicious none the less, even for a person who does not like coffee of any kind (me!)  Next time I will probably leave them whole and put just a few, it would then have a ‘picture perfect’ look….

This recipe looks long and drawn out, but it is rather simple and took less time than I thought, will worth the little bit of time and effort….



  • 6 tablespoons of melted Butter
  • 1 and ½ cups of crushed Graham Crackers (about 24 graham crackers)
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon of Dark Dutch Cocoa
  • ¼ cup Sugar

Place the graham cracker crumbs, Dutch cocoa and sugar in bowl, stir them to combine.  Add the melted butter and stir or with hands blend until well blended.  Press into the tart shell, I used a 13 ¾ by 4 ½ inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottom.  Once all is press in the tart shell put in a heated oven ~ 350˚ and bake for 8 ~ 10 minutes.  Leave on counter until you have your filling ready to use.


  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 2/3 cup whole Pistachios (I used salted, love the salt with the chocolate and the caramel)

Stir sugar and ¼ cup water in heavy medium sauce pan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup is medium amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 8 minutes.  Remove pan from heat.  Add cream (mixture will bubble up be careful.) Place saucepan over medium heat: stir until caramel bits dissolve.  Add butter, vinegar, and salt: stir until butter melts.  Stir in 2/3 cup of Pistachios’.   Now spoon the filling unto the graham cracker crust.  Chill until cold and set, around 30 minutes or so.


  • 1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder ~ I used 1 ½ teaspoons of chopped Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean. (In using the beans you will see the actual crushed espresso beans floated in the chocolate topping, but they are delicious!)
  • 1 oz of high quality Milk Chocolate
  • 3 oz of high quality Bitter Chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Cacao Nibs ~ I replace with a few of the chopped Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans (I only used a few because they were not that attractive, but good!)

Combine cream and espresso powder, (here I replaced with the chopped dark chocolate covered espresso beans, in small saucepan.)  Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until espresso powder (the dark chocolate melted and lift floating pieces of chopped espresso beans) is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Add the chocolate and butter, stir until smooth.  Spread chocolate mixture over caramel in tart pan.  Sprinkle with cacao nibs (I sprinkled with a few chopped dark chocolate covered espresso beans,) Chill tart until topping is set about 1 hour.  This can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, cover and keep chilled.  To serve remove tart pan sides, place tart on platter and cut crosswise into bars to serve.

I will add the shortbread recipe for those that would like to go that route:

Shortbread Crust:


  • 1 ¼ cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Chilled Unsalted Butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon (or more) Ice Water

Blend flour, powdered sugar, and salt in processor.  Add butter, using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add 1 tablespoon ice water; process just until dough begins to clump together, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dry.  Transfer dough to 13 ¾ by 4 ½ inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottom.  Press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Freeze crust 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375˚F.  Bake crust until golden brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes.  Cool crust completely in pan on rack.

Overall, it was an excellent recipe, I was not happy with the Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, only because of the way they looked after chopping them, if using again I would not chop them.  If I was not going using the whole chocolate covered espresso beans I would use the espresso powder and possibly some nibs next time I make this.  I also would use the shortbread crust to help cut through the richness of the tart.   But the merging of caramel (which tasted like a toffee caramel ~ very good,) chocolate, pistachio and espresso mix is a wonderful tart full of luscious delight we all agreed….

Comfrey also known as Quaker Comfrey and Russian Comfrey

Taken in one of my gardens by the light of the full moon….

Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Tart with Pistachio Pastry Shell



Happy St Patty’s Day!


I cannot believe it is March 17th  already; this year is flying by so fast.  It seems we just got through with the beginning of the New Year and now I am saying Happy St Patty’s Day to all of you (time sure does fly.)  Let me know if you find a bucket of gold at the end of a rainbow.   It might be possible; we have had storms with thunder the past few days.

I am hoping that all the rain we have been getting will bring an earlier spring this year.  I have all kinds of color popping up in my gardens, the daffodils that I took a picture of the other day for My Sneak Peak of Spring.   The Crocus’s are up and in bloom.  I am seeing little buds on the mini hyacinths, not too much longer before the blossoms burst into color.  I noticed all our apple trees have plenty of buds and so do the plum trees.  Hopefully we will have a good crop this year.

Makes me want to get at my spring cleaning and have everything ready for a summer of fun in the sun.  Doesn’t that sound like lots of excitement; my exuberance is running over just like all the creeks from all the rain.  It seems so long since we had nice weather.  I can imagine sitting out in the sun with my feet up in the chase and feeling the warmth of the sun and the grill is cooking a delicious meal and all I have to do is just relax.  That sounds so wonderful.

This holiday round I am making the dessert.  I am in such a good mood seeing all the buds and color out there and having our first hummingbird show a couple of days ago, I decided to do a special dessert for our St Patty’s Day Celebrations.  I did a review of Nuts Online products a few months back.  They are so great; the products are of the highest quality.  Everything that I have used from them I have nothing but good to say.  In this dessert I am using their pistachio paste, pistachio flour, pistachio nuts, their Matcha Green Powder Mix, and their bittersweet chocolate wafers.  That only leaves the butter, cream, all-purpose flour and vanilla that are not from Nuts Online.  I find this is happening more often than not, I am really thankful that I found out about Nuts Online products.

This pastry recipe is the same one that I have used before for my tart shells and such, the difference will be I will be substituting pistachio flour for part of the regular flour and adding ½ teaspoon of the Matcha Green Tea Powder.  The tea powder has such wonderful flavor and one glass of matcha is equivalent to around 10 glasses of green tea in terms of its nutritional value and antioxidant content.  This is extremely healthy for you.   The Japaneseuse Matcha in their tea ceremony called Way of TeaThe tea gatherings are a simple way the Japanese show their hospitality, it usually includes some type of confections and can also be used in light meals.   What a kind way of sharing, their hospitality is always so warm and their generosity is really healthy.   






  • 1 ½ cups Pistachio Flour
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 10 Tablespoons cold unsalted Butter (I will use less next time I make this with Pistachio Flour, I did not take into account the nut oil content in the flour, it was very good, but it did not need as much butter with the natural nut oils) 
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Ice Water

  • Pistachio Paste  1 ½ teaspoons per tart

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees.


Place the pistachio flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and butter in a food processor.  Process to coarse crumbs.  Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of the ice water and pulse until dough comes together, if necessary you can add a little more water.

Flour your bread board and roll out the pastry to a thickness of ¼ inch.   I found this pastry very tender to work with and had to mend it once I had them in my little tart pans, but it was easily repaired and came out perfect.  I am wondering if it was because of the butter and nut oil totals in the end result.  Like I said, next time I use the Pistachio Flour I will use less butter.  But in the end it was well worth the extra effort.

Line your tart pans that have removable bottoms with the pastry.  If you have any leftover pastry, you can freeze it.  It does well and all you have to do is thaw and use as normal.

Line the pastry shells with parchment paper and fill with baking weights (dried beans will do.)   I had forgotten I was out of parchment paper and so I used the extra-large papers for cupcakes and they worked perfect.  I just flattened them out and put them in the tarts shells, the size was right to the edge of each tart shell, perfect.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, remove the weights and paper and set aside.

After you have cooked the pastry in the oven, let it cool some then spread about 1 ½ teaspoons of pistachio paste in the tart bottom.  I used an inch wide rubber spatula.  Do not left up the spatula while you are spreading, wait then pull and gently left once you have it smoothed over the entire bottom of the tart.  Set the tart shells aside for now.

For Filling:

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.


  • 1 ¼ Cups Heavy Cream
  • 9 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate (not more than 65% Cacao if marked,) chopped
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt

Bring cream to boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes.  Gently stir until smooth.  Whisk together eggs, vanilla and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate.

Pour filling into cooled tart shells.  Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 20 to 25 minutes.  (Center will continue to set as tart cools.)  Cool completely in pan on rack, about one hour.

The Glaze:


  • 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1 ¾ ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Warm Water


Bring cream to boil and remove from heat.  Stir in chocolate until smooth.  Stir in corn syrup, then water.

Pour glaze onto tart, then tilt and rotate tart so glaze coats top evenly.  Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.

I do the tarts up to the glaze one day and refrigerate.  The next day I do the glaze and set the tarts on counter for an hour or so and then put in refrigerator.  I took the buttercream frosting and went around all the edges of tarts with the icing.  I am not a professional baker and too I had loaned my baking tips, bags and such to a friend, she moved and I did not get them back.  (I realized this after looking everywhere for the tips, I could not believe I had forgotten or I would have replaced them at Sur La Table last sale!)  Today, all I had to use was the ‘giant’ decorator tips to do my buttercream edges on 6” tarts, with the smallest pastry bag.  That was not an easy task.  I have a shake in my hands from a neck injury and with not having the proper equipment, I was surprised that the buttercream came out as well as it did.  I will be ordering a new set of decorating tips this evening.   I think too since I have never had any help with decorating with icing maybe I should take a cake decorating class, that would be fun.

Too, I had about a cup and a half of white buttercream frosting in the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to thaw yesterday and set it out on the counter earlier.  I put a little over half of a quarter cup of pistachio paste in the buttercream frosting and ½ teaspoon of Matcha Green Tea Powder.  I put this all in my mixer bowl with the whisk attachment and beat it until everything was mixed well and fluffy.   Once I had the frosting in the bag I then went around each tart as best I could.   The green was the perfect pistachio green color, beautiful against the deep chocolate-brown of the tart filling.   Not the normal green folks use to decorate for St Patty’s Day, but that is more than okay with me.

I roughly chopped some pistachio nuts to put a few on top of each tart when I was through with the icing.  I then refrigerated them until it was time to serve.

This chocolate glazed chocolate tart, the shell is incredible, flakey and full of flavor.  The filling, is a deep-deep chocolate with a bittersweet taste, the aroma when it is cooking is out of this world.  The glaze is perfect, the sweet merges with the bitter of the filling and my taste buds were awaken with one of the best chocolate flavors I have ever experienced.  It is extraordinary, a full flavor, full body, silly smooth chocolate that surpasses any implausible chocolate experiences I have had.    Add to that a Pistachio Buttercream edge, pure indulgence, a dessert that is simple pleasure, nothing less.   Worth every bit of effort to make!

The aroma coming from my kitchen had Ninnie checking it out several times, and she eats no human food (a little roasted chicken breast, cooled to the right degree! She leaves the room when we eat, she does not have to be told, seems it is her demeanor not be around human food!  She came this way!)

The tart pastry recipe, I have used for so long and cannot remember where I got the recipe.  The difference in the pastry was I substituted some of the all-purpose flour with Pistachio Flour to make Pistachio Pastry for the tarts and added that bit of Matcha Green Tea Powder.  The tart filling and glaze was from Epicurious.  The buttercream frosting was left from the last cake and I cannot remember where I got the recipe. The recipe must be older than my first-born; I know it is an Italian Buttercream Recipe.  I wasn’t for sure how much pistachio paste to add to the frosting so I added a few teaspoons at a time.  I had some powdered sugar ready in case I would need some, but it was perfect and needed none.  This Pistachio Buttercream Frosting is one of the best flavored icings I have had in a long time.  I will be using this the next time I make Macarons.  This dessert was such a treat to eat and was much more than I could have expected.  I have made the tart before, but pairing it with the pistachios was really incredible.  It will be a repeat for sure.

I quartered the 6 inch tarts and it was the perfect serving, it is very rich to say the least, but it leaves you wanting more.


Happy St Patty’s Day!



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