In this food blogging community we meet many kind, and friendly people that we come to call our friends. If you are lucky you’ll make a few friends whom you begin sharing more than just tasty recipes with. You don’t even have to have met those new foodie friends in real life, to just know they are good genuine people. Gina, aka the SPCookie Queen, is one of those good genuine, kind and giving people. She has been there for me so many times, ready to offer her friendship, support and a comforting word. Her friendship is priceless and so cherished. She is also one of my baking idols, her talent for baked goodies leaves me in awe. When you visit her blog you leave with a smile on your face and craving her treats. She has a great sense of humor and her story telling always makes me laugh. She’s just a true talent.
Gina’s Birthday is August 14, yesterday, and she baked a gourmet treat to share with us. Please help me give my dear friend, Gina, a very warm welcome and wish her a very very Happy Birthday. Thank you Gina for everything, and cheers to a long and healthy life! Feliz cumpleaños amiga.
Thank you Nancy for inviting me over here to be your guest and for helping me celebrate my birthday.
Wasn’t it just last year you and some other dear friends were baking me pretzels? Time went way too fast, and I don’t like it one bit.
I remember the first time I laid eyes on your stunning photography, I was like who is this gal and why aren’t we friends. Then when I realized there was so much more over here than just pretty pictures there, was no stopping me from returning time and time again.
I keep thinking to myself when I get a minute I want to write a piece on what I think makes people keep coming back. Still waiting on that elusive minute, but this thought keeps coming back to mind.
“I’m drawn to people that I feel like I can read,”, not just in a glance over sorta way. More like the people who you start to know and almost know what they might do next type of reads. I guess you might say, have cultivated a real style. I guess that’s why I’m drawn here time and time again. I love your sweet, down-to-earth style you’ve cultivated here. When I read your posts, I feel like I can read you.
I know I tend to ramble on, so I’ll spare you and let’s get on with the birthday show.
I’m usually never one to pass up a big chunk of birthday cake covered in gobs of buttercream, but I just wasn’t in the mood for one this year. What I was really craving was something light, creamy, fresh and well downright easy.
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Ginger & Star Anise Syrup
2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 star anise
Place the ginger, sugar, water and star anise in a small saucepan. Turn heat on to medium high and bring to a boil. Turn heat off and cover and let sit until cooled. About 30 minutes.
Strain out the ginger and star anise and place in a pourable container. I love those plastic squeeze bottles for this sort of thing. Set aside.
5 or 6 yellow peaches (about 2 pounds), peeled, pitted and sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup ground ginger
In a bowl combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and ginger. Stir to combine and set aside.
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
In a bowl combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and beat with a mixer until stiff. Fold the mascarpone into the whipping cream. Set aside.
Also need: 2 packages of soft ladyfingers (not the hard ones, I usually find them in the bakery section of my market)
Use a 8″ x 8″ x 2″ baking dish and line the bottom of the dish with the ladyfingers. Pour 1/3 of the syrup over the ladyfingers.
Place half of the peaches on top of the ladyfingers. Resist the temptation to start eating at this point, I assure you it’s worth the wait.
Cover the peaches with half of the mascarpone cream mixture.
Repeat for a second layer. Place in the fridge till firm about 4 hours, overnight is ideal.
I had some syrup leftover because I don’t like to soak my ladyfingers too much or they will get mushy. It was perfect for spicing up my ice tea.
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday than hanging out over here with you Nancy. Thanks again for having me over.
Thank you so much Gina. It is such an honor calling you my friend and having you over. Now please everyone go stop by SPCookie Queen and say hello to Gina. Let me warn you, you are in for a real treat. There are cookies, cakes, pies, and savory treats too. You’ll love SPCookie Queen.