Black Pepper Panna Cotta & Red Wine Strawberries

Black Pepper Panna Cotta (main)

I bought a carton of strawberries.

I did it against my better judgment—the berries were suspiciously big and still a little out of season, not to mention overpriced. They were so red I couldn’t help but feel suspicious.

But I bought them anyway because I wanted to make panna cotta, and I thought berries would make the plate prettier. Plus, I’d found a half-cup of cheap cabernet in the fridge, forgotten by the apartment’s previous tenants, and I figured that would be enough to make mediocre berries taste good.

I went home and got to work, chilling the panna cottas and reducing the wine to a slow-bubbling glaze. After all that, I popped open the box of strawberries. I was surprised—they actually looked really good. Well, I thought, I’m glad they’ll photograph nice. I scooped up a handful, ran them under water, and let them tumble onto a cutting board, which slowly pinkened with juice. Before slicing, I picked up one of the smaller berries, pinched off the green, and popped the whole thing in my mouth.


Black Pepper Panna Cotta (strawberry)

Black Pepper Panna Cotta (spoon)

With one bite I was transported home to Seattle, to our front yard, to my mom’s strawberry patch.

She planted the seeds when I was a senior in high school. They’ve grown prolifically since then, the leaves a dense carpet. The berries are tiny, thimble-sized, and redder than roses. They’re profusely floral, like perfume in your palms, so fragrant you taste them before you’ve parted your lips. Each bite melts on your tongue and the sweetness probably causes cavities.

They’re the best strawberries I’ve ever had.

One year, I infused some into a jar of bourbon. Another time, I made shortcakes with thick dollops of real cream. But they’re always best as-is, still warm from the sun, by the bowl-full. My dad likes to dip them in black pepper, a preference I found off-putting until I tried it. You can’t actually taste the pepper—like salt on chocolate, it simply enhances the berry itself.

Once I’d settled on red wine strawberries, I added pepper to the panna cottas, without hesitation.

Black Pepper Panna Cotta (closeup)

The grocery store strawberries weren’t as good as my mom’s. Not even close. But they were outrageously better than I expected. The panna cottas were, too.

I was nervous they would stick to their molds, but each panna cotta wobbled right onto the plate. The texture was perfect—-firm enough to hold a shape, yet soft and creamy as pudding. The edges were smooth as marble. I’d originally imagined the pepper sprinkled throughout, and I was disappointed they had settled down instead. But on second glance, I liked the way it looked—-pure white with black flecks crowning the top, like caviar, gently trickling down.

And the berries. Glossy, sweet, and superbly robust. The color contrast was gorgeous. I didn’t regret stirring them into the red wine reduction, even though I usually like to eat delicious fruit as-is.

I’ll save that simple happiness for the next time I’m home.

Black Pepper Panna Cotta (half eaten)

A few notes about this recipe. The pepper wasn’t as spicy as I’d hoped, but the subtlety was lovely. If you want to really taste the pepper, though, add more, maybe even twice as much. I used a vanilla bean, which I think made it better (and prettier,) but you can also use extract. Finally, if you aren’t planning to turn out the panna cottas (just keep them in the molds, wine glasses, teacups, whatever) you could try using a tad less gelatin for an even softer texture.

Black Pepper Panna Cotta
Tweaked from David Lebovitz, who tweaked from Judy Witts
Makes 8 servings

4 cups (1l) heavy cream
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
6 tablespoons (90ml) cold water

Stir the heavy cream, sugar, black pepper, and vanilla bean (split lengthwise, using both the seeds and the pod) in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, then immediately remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.

While the flavors infuse, lightly grease eight custard cups with a neutral oil (I used canola). Sprinkle the gelatin onto the cold water in a medium bowl and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes.

After the half an hour is up, remove the vanilla bean pod and gently reheat the mixture.

Pour the warm cream over the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour the panna cotta into the prepared molds and refrigerate until set, 2 – 4 hours.

To unmold the panna cottas, I dipped the molds part-way into a bowl of warm water, then ran a knife around the edge of each cup. Flip onto a plate and gently wiggle the cup until the panna cotta lets go. Serve with red wine strawberries, or whatever you like.

Red Wine Strawberries
Also adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes enough to accompany the panna cottas

1 cup (250ml) red wine
6 tablespoons (100g) sugar
1 to 2 small baskets of strawberries (about 8 ounces, 200g)

Heat the red wine and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it thickly bubbles. Let the red reduce into a syrup, until only half of it remains (1/2 cup, 120 ml). Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Toss the strawberries (washed, hulled, and sliced) in the red wine reduction. Let sit for a minute or two, then spoon beside the panna cottas. They would also be incredible on cheesecake or vanilla ice cream.

2023-24 Risers & Fallers: Central Division


We’re back baby!  A lot of stuff to go into, and I promise I won’t write anything about any possibly disgruntled players who possibly might be traded to certain teams.  I will, however, talk about the effects of the offseason on certain players.

I’m working here on a series of risers and fallers.  One of my key tenants of fantasy hoops is that every player in the NBA is good.  Like, really good.  But not all players get minutes needed to put up statistics and thing like that, which we obviously count on for fantasy basketball.  My goal isn’t to figure out which sixth round pick will return 3rd round value.  I’m trying to figure out who is in line for minutes, like the late round guys who will pay off.

For fallers, that’s going to be more guys who I’m avoiding.  You’ll see, I’m just over-talking again.  Kelder should be seen and not heard.  Let’s just get into the content.

NBA Central division is first up, in order of my predicted finish in the standings…

Quickest & Simple Homemade Barbeque Sauce! You Never Need To Buy It Again.

The simplest Homemade Barbeque Sauce! You never need to buy it again...

Quickest & Simple Homemade Barbeque Sauce … you never need to buy barbeque sauce again. Here’s a drop dead simple recipe, ready in under 5 minutes, infinitely customisable and pretty darned delicious.

The post Quickest & Simple Homemade Barbeque Sauce! You Never Need To Buy It Again. appeared first on Passionate About Baking.

What is a Loose Ball Foul in Basketball (Full Explanation)

During a basketball game, occasionally a player will commit a foul on an opponent while the neither team has claimed possession of the ball.

There is a specific name for that type of foul – a loose ball foul.

In this post, we will explain what a loose ball foul is, I’ll share some examples, and then we’ll discuss how to avoid committing one.

【Basketball】風格強烈的球場頂級小跑車 – adidas Trae Young 2 Performance Review 實戰評測







跳過了Trae Young 1,我第一次與Trae Young系列就從Trae Yung 2開始。從幾次實戰過程中明顯感受到Trae Young 2前腳掌Lightstrike與N3XT L3V3L的Lightstrike在厚度上有顯著的差異。

N3XT L3V3L的Lightsrike較厚實、有著相當不錯的緩震性,代價就是在前腳掌的彎曲性就相對受到限制(讓我們先把耐用性放一邊),而Trae Young 2的Lightstrike展現了迥異於前者的反應性(讓我們再次把耐用性放一邊)。Lightstrike材質清楚地呈現出快速反彈的特性,搭配幾道較深的切割,腳掌彎曲的動作自然不受限。


Trae Young 2



從D Rose 5開始,Boost一直都是adidas籃球系列最頂級的配置。到了Trae Young 1 推出的時代,前腳Lightstrike 搭配足跟Boost的配置,正是多數鞋迷對於愛迪達籃球家族的期待,同時可見adidas對Trae Young的未來性以及期待絕對不在話下。從國外網友拆解圖片來看,Trae Young 2比1代有著更厚實的足跟Boost,也比我前陣子實測、表現優異的Harden Vol. 6厚實。

在例行性週間運動以及週末聯盟賽比賽過程中,Trae Young 2的足跟緩震性真的沒話說,真的非常有感的在足跟處給予強大的緩震性能,甚至有點多過於一般後衛對於緩震的需求。但因為沒有拖泥帶水的感受,所以我非常滿意Trae Young 2的足跟緩震表現。如果你在找一雙有強大緩震性、不失反應性而且寬楦頭的後衛鞋,Trae Young 2絕對值得一試,只要你能夠通過以下的考驗…….


Trae Young 2 之 鞋領的考驗

曾經,我以為adidas Crazy BYW X已經是相當難穿上的鞋款,直到我遇到了Trae Young 2。

尚未入手之前,看了許多國內外媒體對於Trae Young 2的實戰心得,幾乎所有人在穿上Trae Young 2時,都遇到了相當大的挑戰。也就是說:Trae Young 2的鞋領處實在任何人都不是太友善。

因此對於要穿上Trae Young 2難度之高心理準備我是已經有的,但真的沒有想到會這麼難穿。

Trae Young 2的鞋領雖然比Crazy BYW X 略低,但強度絕對向上提升好幾個等級。不誇張,要將腳套穿過Trae Young 2鞋領處必須要花上非~~~常大的力量才有可能達成。看似柔軟的Primeknit材質,有著非常低的延展性。

但行文至此,其實Trae Young 2 的鞋領考驗尚未結束。在鞋帶孔區塊對於高腳背的我來說並非第一時間就能適應。大概要到實戰到兩小時後,雙腳才能適應這樣的壓迫感。


如果你能順利通過穿入鞋身以及適應腳背壓迫的考驗,搭配上鎖定強度很高的足跟設定,恭喜你就能體驗到近期adidas最舒服的楦頭設定。穿入Trae Young 2 後,寬大的楦頭會讓人以為自己是不是不小心穿上了大半號的鞋款。看看下圖的圖片,就能清楚看到Trae Young 2在我腳上彎曲時前足還會有些凹陷感,顯示其楦頭之寬。


得益於低延展性的Primeknit鞋領以及非常有存在感的足跟鎖定,Trae Young 2大幅改善了過往aididas常被詬病的不跟腳缺點。所以,其實我很喜歡這樣的舒適感,讓我的雙腳能更自然的延展,雙腳發力不受限,又不會有不跟腳的缺點。當然前提還是你要能夠通過Trae Young 2鞋領的考驗。



搭配寬大的前腳掌,Trae Young 2 外底以內外側人字紋以及中央部位平行紋路組成,創造了相當大的接觸面積。雖說Trae Young 2在場上不是會發出很大磨擦聲響的鞋款,但抓地力依然有水準之上,在略髒的室內木板地上得以應付場上各種動態。


總評 – 充滿個性的球場頂級小跑車

我覺得Trae Young 2就是一台頂級跑車概念鞋款。優點是底盤低、反應迅速,但缺點就是必須為了將這樣強大的力量控制住,而有了讓人覺得鎖定感是不是有點太多了的疑惑。

除此之外,Trae Young 2的科技配置可以說是用好用滿。前腳掌Lightstrike、足跟處Boost、鞋面Primeknit以及傳統有效的中足處TORSION System,每項科技都在該位置上都發揮了應該有的好表現。




Apple Brown Betty

This easy Apple Brown Betty pairs tender baked cinnamon apples with a sweet, spiced breadcrumb topping for a classic cozy dessert ideal for using up fresh-from-the-orchard apples. It’s the perfect dessert to kick off fall baking season! Easy Apple Dessert Recipe If your last visit to the apple orchard left you with more apples than […]

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ACC Preview #15: Duke, Part I

Duke v Virginia
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA – MARCH 11: Head coach Jon Scheyer and the Duke Blue Devils hoist the trophy after a win against the Virginia Cavaliers in the ACC Basketball Tournament Championship game at Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Duke won 59-49. | Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

It was a very promising first season for Jon Scheyer’s Duke program

ACC Preview #1 – UNC || ACC Preview #2 – NC State || ACC Preview #3 – Wake Forest ||ACC Preview #4 – Virginia || ACC Preview #5 – Syracuse || ACC Preview #6 – Pitt || ACC Preview #7 – Clemson || ACC Preview #8 – Miami || ACC Preview #9 – Louisville || ACC Preview #10 – Virginia Tech || ACC Preview #11 – Boston College || ACC Preview #12 – Florida State || ACC Preview #13 – Georgia Tech || Notre Dame

Part I

The first question you have to ask about Duke Basketball right now is this: how is the Transition going?

If you’ve been under a rock for the last couple of years, Mike Krzyzewski announced his retirement as Duke’s coach on June 2nd, 2021, naming Jon Scheyer as his successor. K coached one more season as part of the Transition, but Scheyer was on the way.

It was a popular choice. Fellow assistant Chris Carrawell said he was so excited that he went out in his front yard and ran around. The players seemed genuinely thrilled. And why not? Like virtually everything in Coach K’s career, this was carefully planned and has a chance of being a major success. And aside from Maryland fans, we can’t think of anyone who sincerely dislikes Scheyer. Like UNC’s Hubert Davis, he’s immensely likable.

We used present tense about the Transition because after a 42-year career that stands up to anyone’s, including John Wooden’s, you don’t switch gears in a big hurry.

Krzyzewski finished his career with 1,202 wins, 101 NCAA tournament wins and a 65-22 record in the ACC Tournament.

His teams won 15 ACC Tournaments, got to the NCAA regional finals 13 times and won the whole thing five times – 1991, 1992, the first back-to-back champions since the Walton Gang at UCLA in the early ‘70s, and then again in 2001, 2010 and 2015.

He also restored the luster to the US National team with three Olympic gold medals and a career record of 75-1.

It’s kind of surreal really. Not only did he have unprecedented success (Wooden never had to deal with a seeded tournament like K did, much less a 68 team field), but year in and year out he maintained incredible consistency.

In 2005 he successfully recruited Scheyer. Scheyer started as a freshman and was good out of the gate.

By his junior year, he moved to point guard, which seemed surprising at the time, but it turned out to be a brilliant move. Much like Steve Kerr, Scheyer didn’t look like a great athlete, but he was unbelievably smart and took great care of the ball. Duke’s team in his last two seasons were not overwhelming athletically and not overly fast. Scheyer minimized turnovers and got the ball where it needed to be. He wasn’t necessarily a natural point guard, but he became a great point guard and exactly what Duke needed with that group.

And of course in 2009-10, he led Duke to the national championship against a tenacious Butler team that fought until the very last seconds of that game.

Although he was undrafted, Scheyer was making a good impression with the Miami Heat in summer league ball when an eye injury brought his playing days to a premature end. Soon he moved into coaching, joining K’s Duke staff in 2014.

He showed promise early and often. Remember when Jeff Capel left and people thought Duke’s high-level recruiting was over?

Didn’t happen. Scheyer emerged as arguably a better recruiter.

Remember the UNC game with not one but two Duke buzzer beaters?

It was Scheyer who prepped Tre Jones for that moment, explaining where the ball was likely to go if he missed on purpose.

After he was named coach-in-waiting, he put on a tour-de-force in recruiting.

Expectations were sky high. Many predicted greatness.

And then the games started and Duke ran into some early obstacles.

First, star freshman Dariq Whitehead suffered an injury that required surgery. Dereck Lively took some time to get over an injury of his own and didn’t really get going for several weeks. Tyrese Proctor was a very promising guard but he didn’t get to Durham until quite late and took some time to catch up too.

Keep in mind that Duke only returned Jeremy Roach and Jaylen Blakes from Coach K’s final team. Not only did was there a new coach; there was nearly an entirely new roster.

Not surprisingly given these headwinds, Duke’s offense sputtered for some time early in the season, with ill-planned passes occasionally going into the stands. The offense was ragged for weeks and on occasion you could see the frustration and anxiety on Scheyer’s face. It takes some chutzpah to follow a guy who is considered by many to be the GOAT and certainly no worse than second best coach in college history. It can’t have been easy for him.

Yet while the offense struggled, the defense was winning games. And while there were some bad losses early, it’s not like the team was getting crushed every night. But there were some bad losses.

Duke fell to Purdue by 19 in late November, then lost at Wake Forest, 81-70. At NC State, the Pack outscored Duke 18-2 to start the game and things didn’t get much better the rest of the evening.

This roughly coincided with a toe injury for junior point guard Jeremy Roach, something which limited him for much of the season. If you’re counting, that’s three potential starters who had serious issues to overcome and one who had some catching up to do.

Scheyer eventually switched Proctor to the point and let Roach be more of a shooting guard. Whitehead never fully recovered, but Lively eventually got himself together and when he did, he completely changed Duke’s defense.

Duke still had some ups and downs, notably a brutal beatdown at Miami. But the team was healthier and more tough-minded. After a controversial loss at Virginia, where the officials blew a last-second call that would have sent Kyle Filipowski to the line with one second on the clock and a chance to win the game, everything clicked. Duke grew up and won 10 straight before losing to Tennessee’s version of MurderBall in the tournament.

Scheyer finished his first season with a record of 27-9 and an ACC Tournament championship.

It was a solid first year by any standard and that team overcame several key injuries and the pressure of the post-K era. Program and coach showed immense promise.

Still, just as we reserve judgement on UNC’s Davis for his up-and-down teams, we can’t say for sure what to expect from Scheyer’s team in just his second season either. For our part, we’re very optimistic, but you can’t know until you do. That’s just life.

It was a rewarding Year 1, but the Transition is not yet complete. We’ll take a closer look at how Scheyer has put his stamp on the program in Part II.

DBR Bites #25: Kon You Believe It?!

Syndication: Journal Sentinel
Curt Hogg / Now News Group / USA TODAY NETWORK

Another one!!

Thursday night, Duke Basketball received a surprise commitment from Class of 2024 star Kon Kneuppel, and we had to jump on to react to it on DBR Bites Episode 25!

Kneuppel’s commitment was way out of left field, to the point where Duke’s “Another One” video that they post with a commitment didn’t come for quite some time. But, Duke fans should be very excited about landing the best shooter in the Class of 2024 to add to a class that is already one of the best in college basketball and loaded with supreme shooters.

After the break, we break down some stats from Kneuppel’s play on the EYBL circuit, and we take a deep dive into the Kneuppel family tree and their basketball pedigree (we’re taking you back to the Gus Macker, folks). Needless to say, we’re very excited about this addition to The Brotherhood!

Make sure you’re following us! Head to our Linktree to get all our available social media and links to follow and subscribe to the show. Don’t forget, we have affiliate partnerships with Homefield Apparel (use the code DBRPODCAST to save 15%) as well as Fanatics. They have some great gear on there as we get ready for football season, so click the affiliate links to save on gear and support the show. Also, follow us on Twitter ⁠@DukeRoundup⁠!