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Design*Sponge Feature: In The Kitchen With

Rhubarb Financiers & Coconut Ice Cream  In The Kitchen With

Thanks for the birthday wishes, emails, ecards and presents you sent. You made my day – week – month! It’s been a week full of work which suits me just fine since I don’t really know how to relax and take it easy. Seems like I am playing a game of "Catch me if you can" this summer and you know what? I am loving it. I am loving the work, the pressure and the adventures. I’ve never felt this alive and this happy . Our household depends on it too. It’s not just for the fun ya’ll. Although… hot dang, this much fun on the job should be illegal!

Coconut Ice Cream And Strawberries

What’s even more fun is to do a little feature for the gals of Design*Sponge. Grace and Kristina are always so thorough and dedicated to their craft that it’s always a pleasure to work for them. Kristina asked if I wanted to do something gluten free this time and I had no problem coming up with a few items making the best use of some of my favorite seasonal fruits.

Strawberries & Cream

For some reason we have been hooked on vanilla and coconut ice cream lately and as soon as the first strawberries showed up at the market we started having ice cream and lemon-thyme marinated strawberries almost every other night for dessert. That alone satisfies my better half just fine. I, on the other hand, always desire something else to sink my teeth into so I usually make a quick batch of gluten free shortbread cookies but with my crazy habit to load up on rhubarb at the market, I decided to use some of the poached one I prepared for the panna cotta and tart and use it in financiers.

Local Strawberries

Financiers, or friands in some parts of the world, have to be one of the easiest tea cakes to adapt gluten free and pretty hard to mess up too. And who can resist the addictive smell of browned butter? Obviously not us because these did not last long once all the shots were in the box. Maybe five minutes because we had to drink the ice cream first it was melting so fast?!

Our lemon-thyme and lemon balm plants have been growing wildly and we try our best to include them in most of the foods we eat this Spring. Salads, berries, spring rolls, marinades, etc… and we have been throwing whole stems in homemade lemonade a lot lately for a little extra flavor boost. Lemon thyme is milder than regular thyme and obviously on the citrus-y side which makes it a good substitute, replacement, change from mint. Hope you can give it a try one day!

Rhubarb Financiers

Head over to Design*Sponge for the recipes and more pictures and say "hello" if you can!

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Kathleen is Cooking in Mexico May 15, 2010 um 2:05 am

Gorgeous photographs! I love coconut ice cream. Recently I made coconut extract using home grown coconuts. When I strained the extract, the remaining shredded coconut (vodka infused) went into the next batch of ice cream. What a treat!

El May 15, 2010 um 2:38 am

Again, Happy Birthday. So glad you had a great birthday week. The post here and on Design Sponge is gorgeous. Congrats!

Gosia May 15, 2010 um 3:46 am

Mouth watering pictures. Also, anything strawberry rhubarb in the combination gets my attention, as is the cake stand you're showing. Where would I be able to get this beauty? Please share.

Carrie May 15, 2010 um 4:38 am

I haven't been able to get any lemon thyme yet this season but I absolutely love it in chicken noodle soup!

Paula May 15, 2010 um 7:22 am

I absolutely love your photos! I can look at them all the time!

Kitchen Victim May 15, 2010 um 10:39 am

C'est toujours aussi beau que bon par ici !!!


Anonymous May 15, 2010 um 1:44 pm

This is delightful!

Sticky Penguin May 15, 2010 um 2:20 pm

So many more delicious photos … Always an inspiration to get back in the kitchen! Also, I just *love * the floral print spoons – would you please share where you got them?

Tickled Red May 15, 2010 um 4:42 pm

As usual your photos are stunning. Thanks though for some new ideas about how best to utilize my Lemon Thyme. I can't wait to give them a try.

meandering pearl May 15, 2010 um 5:53 pm

im always inspired when i visit here!!! loveliest wishes

Anonymous May 15, 2010 um 7:30 pm

The argyle ice cream cups are adorable – where would one acquire those?

Anonymous May 15, 2010 um 8:02 pm

Oh wow, I had no idea they were paper. I originally thought they might be, but then remembered I had seen many cups with the rolled rim that were ceramic. Thanks!

Anonymous May 16, 2010 um 2:43 am

The post here is fantastic and on Design Sponge too.

Joy May 16, 2010 um 3:53 am

I love the cake. It looks so good!

amylouwhosews May 16, 2010 um 1:41 pm

Looks delicious and delightful!!

but what I want to know is where do you get those floral spoons?? So cute!

gail May 16, 2010 um 3:36 pm

Wow, I love the light airiness of the photos. Gorgeous!

steph- whisk/spoon May 16, 2010 um 7:28 pm

i am a design*sponge addict, and i love their gorgeous recipe features! rhubarb financiers–yum–i'm on it!

Helene May 16, 2010 um 9:09 pm

Amylouwho: they are from a company in Denmark called Green Gate. My mom sent them to me a couple of years ago.

alexis May 17, 2010 um 3:48 am

mmm these tea cakes look delicious. I'm tempted to serve them with white tea steeped with fresh strawberries.

Mark @ Cafe Campana May 17, 2010 um 10:49 am

Great selection of cakes. They all look so good.

Anonymous May 17, 2010 um 1:31 pm

my fiancee and i just made a batch of toasted coconut ice cream from david lebowitz's cookbook. it's insanely addictive. i baked some oversized chewy amaretti cookies to make ice cream sandwiches, and i think we've found our desert island dessert. wow. your spread looks amazing. do you cater [or decorate] weddings?



Anonymous May 17, 2010 um 3:11 pm


Although I've read your blog since a year ago, I have always loved it, absolutely loved it! As a matter of fact, your blog was the first that made me exclaimed: "WOW" and it has opened me to fun, passion, joy, peace, etc. in ways that I have never discovered before! Ever since then, I have discovered the food blog world and loved it ever since. I have not yet created a blog of my own, but maybe I'll find enough courage to do so, one of these days!

Happy Belated Birthday!

Patricia @ ButterYum May 17, 2010 um 6:00 pm

I just drool over all of your pics! I have to ask, where in the world did you find those adorable financier pans?


mel May 17, 2010 um 8:07 pm

strawberry season is here! love it!

Linda May 17, 2010 um 10:07 pm

Where are you lovely little spoons from. I have admired many of the ones you use. I love them all.

Helene May 17, 2010 um 11:39 pm

squirrelbread: unfortunately, I can't out of my home kitchen and I don't have time right now but I appreciate your asking!

Linda: they are a from company in Denmark called Green Gate.

Madeleine May 18, 2010 um 1:23 am

You are officially super woman in my book — I don't know how you do it! Any tips on where to get those adorable glass bowls for ice cream? I think I eat enough ice cream that I can justify buying bowls for just that purpose. :o)

Helene May 18, 2010 um 2:24 am

Madeleine: thank you but I am so not superwoman. Having a husband who *loves* to clean is quite helpful. Although he hates to cook!
Anyways. The bowls: these were cheap from World Market but I also saw them at Pier 1. They are labeled under "trifle bowls" as they mimic the shape of the big trifle bowls.

marla {family fresh cooking} May 18, 2010 um 2:44 am

Helen, i love your passion and enthusiasm! Isn't it great to love your job so much that you can wake up and face each day with a grin. I feel the same way!
I have never knowingly tried Lemon Thyme, sounds wonderful! Nice tea cakes…I will check 'em out at DS.

kitchen tables May 18, 2010 um 7:19 am

The strawberries looked so fabulous! You did a great job on the photos, too!

Bimmer May 18, 2010 um 12:13 pm

I love your photos as usual!

Those cupcake liners look great!

Cookin' Canuck May 18, 2010 um 12:42 pm

Lemon thyme strawberries! What a treat those must be! Your photos are lovely, as usual.

RecipeGirl May 18, 2010 um 12:42 pm

Oh pith, I missed the buzz that it was your birthday. Happy belated ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm with you… work is piling up and a bit stressful, but I love every minute of it. How can we not enjoy every minute of being in this sort of business!?

Your strawberry creations are beautiful. Strawberries sure are a decent subject to photograph… you capture their beauty fabulously!

Madeleine May 18, 2010 um 3:57 pm

Thanks for the tip! If only I could start a dating service with men who like to clean, I'd be rolling in dough instead of just rolling dough! ;o)

Lindsey @ pickyeatings May 18, 2010 um 4:25 pm

LOVE your food, and also love Design Sponge, so that's two favorite things together!

Radu Prisacaru May 18, 2010 um 4:37 pm

Fantastic blog. Keep on rockin, Radu Prisacaru โ€“ UK Internet Marketer & Web Developer

Brooke May 19, 2010 um 6:05 pm

Gorgeous photos that make me want to run to my kitchen and use up all my Gaviota strawberries. Your pictures and recipes are such a great inspiration! Thanks.

Anonymous May 29, 2010 um 3:55 am

I always enter your blog knowing I'm going to see some fantastic recipes & photos. I love the way you take a picture, I only wish I had that talent. Thank you for the enjoyment I get from your blog.

amish furniture October 10, 2010 um 7:06 pm


mariyacakehouse September 17, 2011 um 6:31 pm


your pictures were very stunning ! keep up the good work…

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