Chia Pudding Parfait Shots

I almost made some “The Handmaid’s Tale” themed treats for Mother’s Day, but reconsidered.  That ominous baking project can wait!  Instead, I wanted to make use of some adorable shot glasses that my friend recently gave me.  They are the cutest little munchkin mason jars!

I’m celebrating the spring holiday with something on the (somewhat) lighter, (vaguely) nourishing side of the pastry spectrum.  However, my mom is actually the biggest fan of peanut M&M’s… so I’m not sure that she’d approve of this healthier decision.  In a way, these little chia pudding cups are actually kind of anti-mom.  Good thing she’s a safe distance away from me, back in Illinois!

I’ve never sampled chia seeds before, so this is my first documented experiment.  Here are the results.

The chia is flavored with coconut milk, honey, and a touch of vanilla.  I layered the chia pudding with raspberry preserves.  Each shot is garnished with banana cut-out.  The super-sweet preserves balanced the far milder coconut/chia flavor.  Time to search for your mini spoons!  For a less-healthy option, layer the chia with cinnamon yoghurt and top the shots off with Biscoff cookie crumbles.

I’m so thankful that my mom has instilled in me a love for creative challenges.  I’m pretty sure that most moms don’t let their kid paint a mural on the kitchen windows as a first grader!  Without her encouragement, I would never have embarked on this pastry chef/food styling adventure.  I’m looking forward to collaborating with her later this year by using some of the ceramic cupcake and cake stands that she’s created.

Happy Mother’s Day!  Make some chia parfaits with your mom… or your anti-mom.  Scroll down for the recipe.

Chia Pudding Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • raspberry fruit preserves
  • fresh bananas or fruit of your choice

Instructions:

Pulse the coconut milk, honey, and vanilla together in a blender.  Pour over the chia seeds and let the mixture sit overnight in the fridge.  The following day, layer your chia pudding with your choice of fruit preserves and fresh fruit.  Cheers!

 

 

 

Mini Edible Flower Garden

Hello folks and happy spring!  I have a lot of exciting styling jobs coming up this month, so this week I’ve been focusing on renewal and trying to fortify my life with relaxation and creativity so that I don’t burn out.

As some of you may know, I have fibromyalgia, a muscle pain and fatigue disorder.  I have to be extra careful about watching what I do so that my energy levels remain intact.  While having fibromyalgia sometimes seems like the end of the world, it has helped me weed out the clutter and realize what/who is truly important and worth spending my time on.

I’m constantly trying to focus on resilience.  I want to keep growing and creating beauty despite the challenges that I face.  I’ve found that sometimes you have to take it easy on yourself in order to push even farther toward your goals.  I think that this rule can apply to most people, whether they are facing health challenges or not.

This week, I wanted to create something light and colorful.  I’ve been missing my little garden back in Illinois, and I think this project is the next best thing.  Playing around with ganache is just as rewarding as playing in the dirt, am I right?

For this DIY dessert, I was inspired by SPOT Dessert Bar, which serves a larger potted treat garnished by a sprig of parsley, seemingly growing in the flower pot.  I decided to use edible pansy flowers instead.  Pansies are so much prettier than parsley!  I filled each mini pot with layers of ganache and streusel.

Scroll down for the recipes, and let me know how your edible garden turns out!

Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

  1. Bring cream to a simmer on the stove.
  2. Pour cream over chocolate and let sit for one minute.
  3. Slowly whisk the chocolate and cream, starting from the center.  It will soon have a soupy consistency.  Let set, and it will become thicker like frosting.

Streusel

Ingredients:

  1. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 6 ounces butter
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Over low heat, melt butter in a pot over the stove.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and fully incorporate.

Assembly: Pour alternating layers of streusel and ganache into the mini flower pots.  Start with the streusel, so that the ganache doesn’t escape out of any holes on the bottom of the pot.  Garnish with an edible flower, such as a pansy.  I picked these up from Eataly.