Recipe: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Gelée

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…

Free Printable: Wide-mouth Mason Jar Labels, Fall Colors

This is the first year, in over a decade, that I haven't made it to my mom's for Thanksgiving.  It's also my mom's first big holiday since my grandmother passed away.  So, my brothers and I thought it would be a nice idea to come up with a way to bottle all our love and thankfulness for our mom.  In that way, we can all "be there" for Mom, even though, physically, we'll be spread out hither and thither.


I hadn't planned on writing about this project, but since I created some custom mason jar labels in the process, I figured I might as well share the printable with my readers. You can download these labels from Google Drive for free.  I posted them as an MS Word document, so you can personalize/customize each label inside the text boxes.  You should also be able to use MS Word to convert the colors to match your project or season! 

To download the labels, click HERE.  You won't be able to see a preview of the labels in Google Drive, but go ahead and select download.  When you open up the file on your computer, you'll be able to see, and edit the labels.

If you're interested in making a Thankful Jar for someone special in your life, here's how we made ours:

1)  I asked my brothers to email me a list of things about our mom that they are thankful for, using the prompt, "I'm thankful for...".
2)  Once I had everyone's "thankfuls", I pasted them into a MS Word document, picked a pretty font, and included the author's name at the end of each quote.
3)  I printed each person's "thankfuls" on a different color of paper.  Then, I trimmed them into strips.  Using a pencil, I scroll-rolled each strip.
4)  I made a custom label for a wide-mouth mason jar that included a sweet little poem. Next, I glued the label to the lid. Then, I popped the scrolls in the jar and hot-glued some decorative trim around the rim of the lid.

If you'd like to use the poem, here it is:

Any time you’re feeling blue
Here’s a simple thing that you can do:
Open up this humble jar
From those that love you, near and far
In this way, you won’t forget
How much your love has truly meant.


What are you thankful for?

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