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…

BACK TO SCHOOL (SO SOON?) -- BACK TO SCHOOL BLOG HOP!

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(a wee bit of back-to-school clipart for you!)

Where did the Summer go?  The words Back to School never fail to make me nostalgic for my own school days ~ The crisp autumn air, that feeling of excitement mixed with trepidation, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, and, being a child of the 70s, the pride in ownership of a shiny, new metal lunchbox.  The lunchboxes may have changed, but some things remain constant, like the Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2, the Pink Perl Eraser, and back to school shopping.  

For many parents and families, Back-To-School harkens the arrival of the End-of-Summer traditions.  For my family, this means a big beach bonfire with friends, back-to-school shopping, and Mama-time manicures/pedicures with the girls the night before school starts.  What are your traditions?

If you've written any posts on the subject of school, back-to-school, school lunches, or end-of-summer traditions, please feel free to link below.  You're welcome to share your ideas and comments in the comment field below as well.  

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