Recipe: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Gelée

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Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert of silky, sweetened cream set with gelatin, is all at once simple, classic and elegant.  It is, at its best, subtle, not overly sweet, and the perfect way to end a meal on a light and refreshing note.
Panna cotta comes together quickly and can be molded in any type of vessels you choose -- from ramekins to demitasse, martini glasses to mason jars.  I like to compliment my panna cotta with a thin layer of gelée -- a gelatin stabilized glaze made from fresh fruit.  Apricots are in season right now, and are bursting with summer sweetness, so I chose to do an apricot gelée.  You can use my recipe with any type of fruit you'd like.  
Here are some photos of panna cottas I've made in the past with a variety of gelées and vessels:
Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Honey Gelée and Bee Pollen
Lemon Panna Cotta, no gelée
Meyer-Lemon Panna Cotta, Strawberry-Rhubarb Gelee

I like to decorate my desserts with edible flowers, especially in summer and springtime. My theme fo…

LITERARY LULLABYES

MAGICAL BOOKS FOR BEDTIME
Here are some of our favorite stories to share with our little ones at bedtime, sure to set their imaginations in motion for a magical journey to dreamland.



Good Night, Fairies, by Kathleen Hague~ “Children enamored with the notion of fairies will drink up Kathleen and Michael Hague's lush picture book like nectar. When a mother is asked by her child about how fairies spend their days and nights, she embarks on a dreamy account of these mysterious, magical creatures. For starters, fairies hang the stars in the sky each evening "so every child will have a night-light." They also teach birds to sing, paint the wings of butterflies, comb mermaids' hair, and sleep "on leafy beds in secret gardens." The wondering child falls asleep to these poetic musings, welcomed to dreamland by the fairies. Lyrical colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations, filled with elaborate detail, accompany this gentle bedtime story. Readers are challenged to find and count all 321 winged fairies in the book, and to look for the red-capped fairy hiding on each page.” ~ Amazon


In Every Moon There Is a Face, by Charles Mathes and Arlene Graston ~ “This elegant book began with the simple words of a poet, which inspired an artist s vision, a moon, a face, a child. The face in that moon draws us into a wondrous journey beyond the bounds of time and space, an experience that grows deeper and more magical with each reading as we connect with our creative selves. Arlene Graston's spell-binding paintings flow perfectly with Charles Mathes's gentle lyrics, inviting us to embark on a voyage of discovery and delight.” ~ Amazon

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