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…

Gift Guide: Hello Kitty Let's Play Dress Up
{An interactive shopping experience with the KuKee App}

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media
Group™ and KuKee, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #KuKeeapp

One of the  fun features of this line are the velcro-backed dress-up pieces that allow your child
 to change Hello Kitty's attire, right on their own clothes.

For my two girls, gone are the days of big hair bows, ruffled pockets, and cute-as-can-be character appliques.  They've traded in the frills and fancies of early childhood for the designer jeans and trendy sweatshirts of pre-teendom.  Each stage has its joys, but I must admit, I sometimes miss the dress-up fun the girls and I used to have when they were little.  So, it was with no uncertain glee that I greeted the news that my 3-year old niece had fallen head over heels for Hello Kitty! 

I was thrilled to have the opportunity, this past weekend, to spend some girl-time with my sweet little niece, shopping at Macy's for the Hello Kitty Let's Play Dress-Up line of clothes and accessories from Evy of California.  I'm not sure who was more enchanted by the sparkles, sequins and images of the iconic kitty cutie.  (Okay, I admit, it was me.)

The Hello Kitty Let's Play Dress-up Series (only at Macy's) includes super-soft jumpsuits, sparkle-spangled t-shirts, dresses, puffy vests, sweater tunics, and fabulous flouncy tutus.

It's Hello Kitty Paradise!

What made the adventure extra fun -- designed with the modern, tech savvy child in mind -- was the KuKee App.  The app is free (available for Android and iPhone) and takes only moments to download.  Then you and your child are ready for an interactive shopping adventure with Hello Kitty.

While at Macy's, you and your child can search for the specially marked pieces from the Let's Play Dress-Up collection.  Scan the Hello Kitty heart icon on the hang-tag or the fabric labels on the clothes themselves with the KuKee app. This will launch the interactive experience!  Easy!

At home, your child can still enjoy the KuKee app 
by scanning the fabric labels on their clothes...

Have I piqued your curiousity?  Download the free app for Android (HERE) or iPhone (HERE), then scan the image below.  Yes, it even works on computer images!

All of the Hello Kitty Let's Play Dress-Up pieces were on sale which made the experience all the more sweet!  My niece skipped away with her new Hello Kitty backpack full of new clothes, and I spent less than $75 (including the backpack).   If you'd like to plan a girls' day of Hello Kitty shopping and KuKee fun of your own, you can look forward to some great deals at Macy's on Black Friday.  Or, plan a "Girls' Day In" and shop Cyber Monday.  Outfits from the Hello Kitty Let's Play Dress-Up series make great holiday gifts too!

A Priceless Moment:  The girl's got taste -- On our way out of Macy's, a heart-shaped pendant studded with diamonds caught my niece's fancy.  Just look at that expression!  I have a hunch that's exactly how Hello Kitty would choose to accessorize her Let's Play Dress-Up outfits as well.


Follow KuKee on Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag to share your KuKee pics using #KuKeeapp

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