Little burst of joy

Each year on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend we have a chicken cookout with some of our friends.  This started years ago when we were outside  on that day planting and getting our yard ready for summer.  Our neighbors across the street we doing the same so we decided that we would get together for dinner that night.  I was preparing chicken and some sides, they brought the dessert.  That weekend years ago was just like this one – a bit cold and a little bit of rain.  But we made the most of it.  We had a great chicken dinner and started to drink some Mumm Napa Champagne.  We ended up calling our foodie friends to come over for dessert and more champagne.  I think you know where this is going……  At the end of that evening Giada from across the street said the now famous line ” We just came for the chicken dinner……..”

“Giada” and Hubby
Foodie Friends
Our Back Yard Peeps!
Our chicken this year was the thin cut boneless breast lightly marinated in basil vinaigrette, then grilled.  We then offered chicken toppings!  Pesto, bruschetta, lemon artichoke pesto and a Portobello mushroom bruschetta.  
Grilled Chicken and Toppings!
But the best thing that night was hubby’s Rum Raisin Tiramisu!  This was a triumphant return of the Tiramisu because he made this about 2 years ago for Easter dinner but at that time he put a little too much rum in the mix.  I bet you are saying that there can’t ever be too much rum, but there was.  Our foodie friend described the Tiramisu’s raisins as “Little Burst of Joy”, so that is what I am calling this post.  
To another successful Chicken Dinner, at least the food, drinks and our guest are concerned.  The weather – not so much! 
So not the best picture…. But look how good this looks!

Ina Garten’s Rum Raisin Tiramisu


3/4 cup raisins
1 cup Mount Gay dark rum, divided, plus 2 tablespoons
6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
16 to 18 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided (2 oranges)
1 1/2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
24 to 30 Italian ladyfingers, or savoiardi
Semisweet chocolate, shaved


Place the raisins and 2 tablespoons of rum in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Uncover and set aside to cool.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 5 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Lower the speed to low and mix in the mascarpone until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add 1/2 cup of rum, 1/4 cup of orange juice, the vanilla extract, and the seeds from the vanilla bean. Stir until combined.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of rum and remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice in a shallow bowl. Dip one side of each ladyfinger quickly in the rum mixture and place them in one layer in a 9 by 11 by 2-inch rectangular or oval dish. Break the ladyfingers in smaller pieces and dip them in the rum mixture to fill the spaces. Sprinkle half the rum-soaked raisins evenly on top. Pour half the mascarpone mixture over and spread evenly. Repeat the layers of dipped ladyfingers, rum-soaked raisins, and mascarpone mixture. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

Before serving, sprinkle the top with the shaved chocolate and serve cold.

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