Summer Pudding


Summertime….and the living is easy….  This simple seasonal dessert is so, so easy and perfect for company.  It creates very little heat in the kitchen, and is best made the day before, so it’s ready to go.  I made mine with leftover blueberry pancakes.  It is classically made with leftover bread, but you could substitute brioche, challah or poundcake.  (Just cut back on the sugar if using poundcake). Enjoy!

Serves 8

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs




3 lbs. mixed berries (cut strawberries in ¼’s)

175 g. sugar or equivalent sweetener of choice

3 tbsps. orange juice or water

7 slices stale white bread or 7 pancakes

4 tbsps. berry jam

1 tsp. vanilla




  1. Wash and dry berries – lay out on paper towels. Add sugar and orange juice or water and gently bring to the boil. Cook on medium until the sugar dissolves. Add the fruit, except for the strawberries. Allow mixture to cool.
  2. Line a medium bowl with plastic wrap. Spread jam on the bread or pancakes. Starting with a layer on the bottom place bread or pancakes around sides of the bowl, overlapping slightly to fill the bowl.
  3. Ladle some of the berry juices on the bread or pancakes. Add strawberries and vanilla to the fruit mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, distribute the berries in the bowl and add a little more juice.
  5. Dip any extra bread in the remaining juices, place on top and cover with the overhanging plastic wrap. Save extra juices.
  6. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. Unmold onto large deep plate and serve with the extra juices and crème fraiche, yogurt or ice cream.


NOTE: If you have juices remaining they’d be great mixed with some sparkling water. Add some rum, framboise, or kirsch, and lemon if desired.


Related Post

Asparagus with Orange-Flavored Aioli

Asparagus with Orange Aioli


Asparagus is synonymous with spring and summer. It has a nutty, earthy flavor that goes with lots of different types of sauces. Try this one!  This light and refreshing sauce can be used with other vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and fennel, raw or cooked.  Enjoy!



1 bunch asparagus, white or green

½ cup regular or vegan mayonnaise

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. grated orange zest

2 tbsps. orange juice

Salt & white pepper, to taste

¼ cup roughly chopped parsley (for garnish)




  1. Place trimmed asparagus in salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  2. Make sauce. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, orange zest and orange juice. Season with salt and white pepper.
  3. Plate asparagus and spoon dressing on top. Sprinkle with parsley.



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Vegan Chorizo with Peppers

Before I became a vegetarian for ethical and environmental reasons 28 years ago, chorizo was a food I really enjoyed along with other sausages and bologna and even kielbasas!  I had to grieve the letting go of those foods and focus on finding delight and flavor in all the vegan delicacies I could have.  This was in the early 90’s however when there was no such thing as vegan or mock “meats.” These days one can find a vegan version of virtually every meat, fowl or fish you can imagine.  This particular recipe uses chickpeas as the vegan base for the chorizo but you could also head over to Trader Joes to find to find an actual vegan version of chorizo to crumble up and add to the recipe.  I hope you enjoy the flavors of this dish as much as I do!

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs

Serves 4



Lots of ingredients, but very easy recipe.


1 lb. (2 cups cooked, or canned) garbanzo beans

½ tsp. salt, or to taste

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tsp. oregano

½ tsp. cumin

¼ tsp, red pepper flakes, or to taste

¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro

1 tbsp. paprika

2 tsps. Ancho chili powder

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cloves

2 tbsps. tomato paste

1 tbsp. white vinegar

1 cup cooked quinoa

3 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil

12 – 16 small sweet peppers



Heat oven to 400oF.


  1. In a food processor, combine 1 cup garbanzo beans and all remaining ingredients, except quinoa and extra-virgin olive oil. Process to a paste with ½ cup water. Add remaining garbanzos and quinoa and process with about 4 on/off turns.
  2. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a 10-12-inch sauté pan and add the mixture to the pan, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes. Add some water, if necessary, but the result should be a thick paste. Set aside to cool.
  3. Remove the tops from peppers, and using a small spoon stuff peppers with the chorizo mixture until well packed. (Can be done ahead and reserved in the fridge).
  4. Spread ½ of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a large shallow pot, place stuffed peppers over and finish with the remaining sauce. Add about ½ cup water to the pot.
  5. Cook, partially covered, for about 25 – 30 minutes until the peppers are tender, adding more water if necessary.


Tomato Sauce


1-1/2 cups diced onions

2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt & pepper, to taste

2 cups tomato puree

6 cilantro sprigs, chopped

¼ tsp. sugar


  1. Saute onions at medium heat in olive oil until they are translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, season with salt & pepper and continue to cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes more.
  2. Add tomato puree, cilantro and sugar. Continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes over low heat.



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Spelt Flatbread with Orange, Raisins & Fennel


Spelt flatbread


Have you tried spelt yet?  Spelt is an ancient grain (9000 years old!) and contains more fiber, protein and B vitamins than wheat and even has immunity-boosting properties.  While not a gluten-free grain, it does contain less gluten than wheat and wheat derivatives.  It has a sweet and nutty taste similar to barley but when made as a flour as used in this recipe, it has a very similar flavor profile to wheat.  So grab your spelt flour (or make your own!) from Whole Foods and get going on this yummy recipe.






250 g. unbleached all-purpose flour

250 g. spelt flour

375 ml. (10 ozs.) water

30 ml. extra-virgin olive oil

10 g. (1 ¾ tsp.) fine sea salt

4 g. (1 ¼ tsps.) instant yeast

1 g. (1/8) tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. orange zest

1 tsp. fennel seed, toasted & crushed

1/3 cup golden raisins




  1. In a large bowl, mix the spelt flour water and yeast together with a bench (dough) scraper to combine. Cover and allow the dough to ferment for 30 minutes.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix the dough until soft and sticky.
  3. Using your scraper fold the dough in the bowl for about 1 minute.
  4. Let the dough rest in the bowl for about 1 hour at room temperature.
  5. Divide into even portions and shape into rounds.

Rest them, seam side down, and lightly covered for about 20 minutes.

  1. Hand stretch the dough into flat ovals.
  2. Cook on a dry griddle over medium heat for 1 ½ to 2 minutes on each side until slightly charred.











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Rotelle with Assorted Mushrooms, Asparagus & Herbs



pasta dish for dinner


Pasta and good health does not need to be mutually exclusive — Especially when you make a dish like this that has an abundance of vegetables and fresh herbs to accompany it.  The earthiness and umami of the assorted mushrooms here coupled with the perennial Spring favorite, asparagus makes this meal fresh, hearty and incredibly delicious.  Pair it with your favorite wine and enjoy it as mindfully as possible to savor every single bite.

Bon Appetit!


Serves 4.

Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs



2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. sweet butter, or oil

1 lb. mixed mushrooms, sliced 1/8-inch

½ bunch asparagus, cut in 2-inch pieces & blanched

¼ cup finely minced shallots

2 tsps. finely minced garlic

¼ cup white wine

3 tbsps. Madeira

¼ cup chopped parsley leaves

2-1/2 tbsps. chopped tarragon

1 lb. Rotelle pasta (whole wheat is preferable)

2 tbsps. white truffle oil (optional)

½ cup (or more) grated Parmesan.



  1. Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat, add mushrooms, salt & pepper and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium and add shallots, garlic, and herbs (reserving some for garnish) and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes more, until wilted.
  2. Add the white wine and Madeira and cook over medium-high heat until the liquid is almost gone, 5-6 minutes. Add the blanched asparagus. Set aside.
  3. Cook the Rotelle according to package directions and drain, reserving some of the pasta liquid.
  4. Put the pasta into the pan over heat containing the mushrooms, season with salt & pepper and remaining herbs. Add pasta water as necessary, toss, and add the white truffle oil (optional), toss again and check seasonings.
  5. Serve sprinkled with the grated Parmesan.


NOTE: To blanch asparagus, plunge asparagus into boiling salted water and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain and refresh in ice water to stop cooking. Drain and reserve.


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