Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mike makes meat: mmmmyummmm!

Ok, so I’m not much of a cook but when winter rolls around I often crave comfort foods such as roasts and stews. I would much rather have dinner magically appear in front of me. But once in a while I will make an attempt at tackling a recipe. Last winter it was beef stew, but 5 hours and 50 dollars later it was done and sadly lacking in depth and flavor.

Fast forward to last week: while reading an article in the current issue of Cook’s Illustrated (Best Beef Stew, Jan 2010) I was inspired by an in depth explanation as to why their test kitchen chose ingredients to maximize the flavor profile and complexity of this beef stew. And it seemed like a perfect recipe to adapt for use in my new pressure cooker. With recipe in hand and a good sense of determination, I set out to make amends with last years flop. When I got back from the supermarket I discovered that the four pound cut of Chuck Eye sitting in front of me was pre-sliced: not what the recipe called for. After a five minute reconsideration break and a glass of wine from the bottle bought for the stew, I rolled up my sleeves, put my reservations aside and moved onward.

I have to admit I was a bit intimidated. Not only was this my first time using a pressure cooker but also the first time making this recipe, while adapting the cooking time for the pressure cooker. I searched online for the suggested cook time, keeping the depressurization period in mind and it averaged at about 30 minutes in total. So, in the pot went all the ingredients. The pressure lid and the heat went on, and then I waited, impatiently. But a mere half hour later, I released the pressure on the lid, let it cool down for a bit and gave the stew a go. Success! Not only was using the pressure cooker so much easier than I expected but it cut my cooking time down by about an hour, with very satisfactory results. The stew was well received by those who tried it and now both the Best Beef Stew recipe and the Fissler Blue Point Pressure Cooker will have a permanent place in my kitchen.

Fissler Foodie Mike

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Pure Gadget Luxury"!!!

Check out this gift guide video featuring the Fissler CookStar Induction Pro, plus a lot of other great gadgets. I like how she talks about how it keeps the kitchen cool. Did you know that 2009 has been the year of the foody geek, thanks to Julie and Julia?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Blog: Pressure Cooking with Lorna Sass

Our friend and Very Important Fissler Foodie Lorna Sass has hit the blogosphere. Over at Pressure Cooking with Lorna Sass, the legendary Queen of Pressure Cooking is posting everything you ever needed to know about using your “pc,” as she affectionately calls it.

Those new to “pc” cooking should head straight for the About page, which features a video of Lorna explaining how she came to reign over pressure cooking. (Lorna may be a queen, but she’s equal parts down-home just folks. To wit: there’s a Facebook group named after her. Become a groupie at Lorna Sass is my Homegirl – Pressure Cooker Users Unite.)

Beginning and experienced cooks will find joy aplenty in the wide variety of recipes Lorna has posted. If you think they may be complicated and time-consuming, think again. Using Vegan Fava Bean Mushroom Soup as an example, Lorna explains her unfussy methodology:

“I make all of my soups in the pressure cooker because when I want soup, I want it fast. To put it another way, I’m not one who enjoys hovering over the stove. No, when I’m hungry, I’m good for about 5 minutes of prep. Then, after 10 minutes under pressure and the natural release (another 10 minutes or so), I have a delicious coarsely pureed soup. 30 minutes MAX from start to finish–that’s my style.”

As author of numerous cookbooks (see next post below), Lorna possesses an inspiring repertoire of healthy, luscious recipes. Your only problem will be choosing which to cook first.

Here’s to a merry “pc” dinner, Lorna-style.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cooking Under Pressure, 20 Years Young

The classic book "Cooking Under Pressure" is out now in an updated 20th anniversary edition. Author Lorna Sass happens to be a Fissler fan. In fact, she used Fissler's Blue Point pressure cookers in a class she taught this past year. If you've been hesitant about pressure cooking, get Lorna's book to guide you, and an easy-to-use Fissler pressure cooker. Fissler makes pressure cooking safe and fast, and Lorna's cookbook makes it delicious. Food Politics author Marion Nestle (second from the right in the group shot in our previous post from New York) said that, "“Anything Lorna Sass writes is a pleasure to read…She makes the cooking methods seem so easy that anyone who doesn’t own a pressure cooker will want one right away".
Here's a preview recipe courtesy of Lorna the "Queen of Pressure Cooking"!

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3 1/2 to 4 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup tightly packed, grated smoked mozzarella (5 ounces)
Salt to taste, if desired
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley (optional but pretty and delicious)
Heat the butter and oil in the cooker. Sauté the onion until soft but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, making sure to coat it thoroughly with the fat. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the broth (watch for sputtering oil).
Lock the lid in place and over high heat. Bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce pressure with a quick-release method. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.
The risotto will be fairly soupy at this point. Set the cooker over medium-high heat and boil uncovered, stirring vigorously every minute, until the mixture thickens and the rice is tender but still chewy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add a bit more broth if the mixture becomes dry before the rice reaches the desired consistency. When the rice is ready, turn off the heat. Stir in the tomatoes and mozzarella, and add salt to taste and basil, if you wish. Serve immediately.
Copyright, 2009, Lorna Sass, all rights reserved

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Mac Attack Cook Off

We attended the Mac Attack Pot Luck and Cook-Off recently, put on by our favorite (is there another?) Macaroni and Cheese blog: We Heart Mac and Cheese. Since our macaroni and cheese was going to be one of at least a dozen, we figured that hostess Hilary Havarti could use an extra warming plate to keep the casseroles toasty so we brought along the Fissler CookStar Induction Pro. After baking in the oven in an old Le Creuset enamel on cast iron pan (yes, cast iron is induction compatible) we set the induction pro on "keep warm" and for the next two hours the competition for best mac and cheese was on. Well, this Fissler Foody's mac and cheese didn't make the cut for flavor but it sure looked good sitting on the induction pro. Click here for the winning recipe. And check out the old Roper Scientific Cooking Chart in Hilary Havarti's oven. Quite a contrast technologically to the new Induction Pro.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Fissler Foody goes to New York

I was in New York last week and attended a panel discussion at New York University, called WHO'S WHO & WHAT'S WHAT: The Evolution of the Food Cognoscenti in America. Restaurant consultant Clark Wolf moderated the distinguished panelists, which included Mitchell Davis, Author and VP of the James Beard Foundation; Barbara Haber, Food Historian, Author, Curator & Chair of the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who Committee; Daniel Humm, chef at Eleven Madison Park, The New York Times' newest four star restaurant; Marion Nestle, Author of Food Politics & NYU Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health; and Bob Spitz, author of an upcoming bio of Julia Child. These people ARE the food cognoscenti in America, or at least a small but significant piece of it. A fascinating conversation on food and nutrition policy, the changing role of women in food, the competitive New York restaurant scene and the continuing influence of Julia Child (back on the best-seller lists long after her death) was followed by a reception featuring the amazing goat cheeses from Laura Chenel's Chevre. Moderator Clark Wolf wrote a book on American Cheeses so we knew the cheese would be good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

John Alan Wine Tasting Dinner at The Foundry on Melrose

We've been writing about good food here at Fissler Foodies for a while now. But don't you want some good wine to go with your meal? Click on the title of this post to get the details on an incredible tasting dinner in Los Angeles, featuring wines from John Alan Winery. Renowned chef Eric Greenspan will match his unique and creative dishes with a series of John Alan wines at The Foundry on Monday Oct. 26 (323.651.0915 to reserve your seat!)
*Five wines
*Five courses
*$85 per person
Seating is limited


Seared Scallops
garlic cream / caramelized pears
-- 2007 Viogner --

Duck Confit Risotto
mushrooms / dried cherries / blue cheese
-- 2005 Malcontent --

Breast of Duck
currant mole / crispy masa
-- 2006 East Bank Cuvee --

Duo of Beef
caraway carrot puree / golden raisins
-- 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon --

Artisinal Cheeses
-- 2006 Bonne Terre Rouge --

Rooftop wok spot

Fissler Foody Mike sends us this report direct from a Los Angeles rooftop:
"I just used the Cookstar Induction Pro with the Original Pro Collection Wok this weekend. I went to the farmer's market with my friend
Travis, bought a bunch of fresh veggies, mushrooms, brussel sprouts,
tofurky and seitan and made a stir-fry right on the table on his rooftop!
It was awesome. We cooked and ate lunch right there."
Fissler Induction Pro+wok+ingredients+Fissler Foody=A fabulous meal in the great outdoors. Oh, don't forget the extension cord.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tarts are tops

My friend Andrew Wilder (owner of Svenska Mobler) had a potluck at his place a few weeks ago. His friend Matthew MacIntyre brought what I thought was a store-bought fruit tart. It looked so perfect that I assumed it came from a bakery, but lo-and-behold, Matthew's very talented mother baked it herself. Everybody loved it.
I have a surplus of quickly ripening peaches, after going peach picking for the last peaches of the season at Yingst Ranch (contact info about halfway down this page), so, inspired by Matthew's mother, I baked a peach tart. I cheated a little bit and used Arrowhead Mills Organic Chocolate cookie mix for the crust. Arrowhead Mills offers the chocolate cookie mix around Valentine's day, but you can use their sugar cookie mix in the same way. As we get closer to the holidays that one should be easy to find. Since peaches are no longer in season try apples, pears or even persimmon slices for your tart. Mine looked great when it came out of the oven and I was all ready to take a picture of it sitting on a Fissler Magic Trivet, but then I found that the camera batteries had died. I couldn't wait for the batteries to recharge to taste it so you don't get to see it in it's whole perfection, but even with a slice out I think it looks pretty good. Though not as good as Mrs. MacIntyre's!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Celebrating the Julienne cookbook

For over 25 years, the families of San Marino and their neighbors in Pasadena have been Celebrating with Julienne. Whether they brought Sue Campoy and her catering staff into their lovely homes, or if they’ve come to the brasserie on Mission St. to be served by the restaurant staff, Julienne has been a part of the special occasions in their lives. Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and engagements have all had their unique menus and their beautiful settings. For all those years Sue Campoy was on hand to tell you what was new in the pastry case and to share the news of the neighborhood. The place overflowed with the abundance of the good life in Southern California. Although Sue Campoy passed away in March, the legacy of her beautiful restaurant, and now an equally gorgeous cookbook, keep that abundance alive.
Sue Campoy built Julienne’s foundation on the catering business she started in 1980, and she quickly became known for her innate understanding of the way food brings people together. Julienne’s food was always luxurious but accessible: the kind of food that makes an occasion special but not stuffy. After experiencing the Sue Campoy magic at their parties and celebrations, catering customers started demanding it every day, which was when Julienne, the restaurant was born.
From the day Julienne opened it has always been filled with happy customers. The talent expressed in Sue’s food could put a smile on anyone’s face but Sue also had the good fortune of finding a gorgeous setting to frame her culinary art. Invariably, visitors compare it to that place they discovered in the south of France, under an arcade, by the morning market. Like a brasserie by the Mediterranean, Julienne is a perfect example of the complete congruence of place and purpose, drawing the community to gather under its protective arches. It’s a place where customers feel both nurtured and indulged.
On a typical Southern California day animated customers flow in and out under the three high arches that shield Julienne from the heat of the sun. Canvas umbrellas guard groups of ladies who chat at white-cloth covered tables while a young couple sips ice tea at a cool marble slab. The pot of herbs between them scents the space, until a breeze sends the aroma of jasmine from a planter by the sidewalk. Mothers pass through the furthest arch, into the gourmet market to pick up tonight’s dinner while businessmen get ready to brave the speedway that is the 101, fortified with the brace of an espresso and encouraged with the sweetness of a scone. This is Julienne, the place, and it is also Julienne, the book.
For those who love Julienne and want to bring some of the magic home, but for those too, who will never have the opportunity to sit under those arches, Sue, her daughter Julie, photographer Emily Brooke Sandor, writer Colleen Dunn Bates and designer Joseph Shuldiner, crafted a book that uses exquisite images to recreate how Julienne looks, and practical recipes to recreate how Julienne tastes. Like Julienne, the enterprise, the book is divided into sections that represent the brasserie, the gourmet market and the catering business, with a little autobiography and history mixed in. It’s a delightful book that expresses Sue Campoy’s joie de vivre in sincere words, elegant images and, most importantly, doable recipes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yes, we can...make healthy mac & cheese

My friend Hilary has this amazing single subject blog that's all about macaroni and cheese: http://www.weheartmacandcheese.com/
She posted a review of a healthy mac and cheese recipe, and since she subscribes to macaroni and cheese orthodoxy, it was not glowing with praise. Okay, she's not really that orthodox; the recipe just wasn't very good.
So for those who want their mac and cheese and don't want the calories too, I provide here my friend Felecia's mother's Healthy Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Parthenia Aldrich is a retired dietitian. She did a good job with this recipe. I tweaked it a tiny bit.

Parthenia Aldrich's Macaroni and Cheese
1 T mustard
1 cup low fat plain yogurt
2 T reduced fat cream cheese (American Neufchatel)
1.5 cups shredded, fat reduced cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese plus 2 Tbsps
1.5 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni (cooked seven minutes)

Stir all ingredients, except 2 Tbsps parmesan, into hot cooked macaroni
Pour in casserole and sprinkle with 2 T parmesan
Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All Meat: No Tofu

I've been posting mostly vegetarian recipes, but here's a good one for brisket (click on title), cooked in a pressure cooker, from food writer Jessica Harlan. She wrote a glowing review of the Fissler Blue Point Pressure Pan.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's for breakfast?

Scrambled tofu is one of my breakfast standards for which I find a non-stick pan indispensable. I use the Fissler Protect Alux pan. This dish is so easy to make and is really tasty. You can use any mixture of spices you like, but I find that I use turmeric and nutritional yeast consistently because of the color and the flavor they add. Penzey's has a great selection of spice mixtures. I got their Ozark style seasoning at their Santa Monica store but you can order it online. It gives the scramble a sausage flavor.

Scrambled Tofu
half of a 1 lb block of firm tofu (If you want the scramble drier, press tofu under a few plates for ten minutes, discard water)
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 heaping tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp Penzey's Ozark style seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or paprika (if you don't want it too hot)
Salt to taste

Heat oil in non-stick pan. Crumble tofu with your fingers or a fork then add to pan. Saute for five to ten minutes. Just like with eggs, the longer you cook, the firmer and dryer it will get. When heated through and cooked to your liking, add spices, stir and turn off heat.
Serve with whole wheat toast or grits or other hot cereal.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In the Mix/Can Cocktails be Healthy?

My friend Sam had a birthday gathering recently at the Hollywood Roosevelt's intimate Library Bar, where her friend, DJ Tatiana Litvin was spinning classic tunes. Some would call them "old skool" but we will avoid that term on this blog as the word "old" implies aged (pronounced with two syllables) and, reality aside, no one likes to associate birthdays with aging. So classic it is. On the subject of classics, bartender Matt Biancanello (pictured above) is one of the talented mixologists that have brought back the classic art of mixing cocktails. No sour mix here. He grabs fresh fruits and veggies from bowls on the bar and whips up custom cocktails, blending classic spirits like Pimm’s and Belvedere (okay, a future classic) vodka with unexpected flavors like white raspberries and fresh ginger. The guy works hard to make these drinks taste good but the quality of the fresh ingredients makes them kinda good for you too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


S1F Gallery had a big summer group show last weekend (that I had some artwork in). Perhaps to keep the artists and collectors from getting too tipsy on wine, the opening included a performance event by Austrian artist Rainer Prohaska, who cooked traditional Austrian Tafelspitz in a very untraditional makeshift kitchen at the entrance to the gallery. Prohaska uses food as paint in the canvases he showed next to the cooking space. He's here in LA as an artist-in-residence with the MAK center, which owns the Rudolf Schindler designed Mackey apartments, where he will be doing a final cooking performance on August 20th. Additionally there will be a reception at the Schindler house on September 3rd. Go to his website (link in headline above) to RSVP to attend the limited space dinner event or just show up at the reception for Rainer and other MAK artists-in-residence at the Schindler House

835 N Kings Rd
West Hollywood, CA 90069-5409
Exhibition September 3 – 5
Opening reception September 3, 7 p.m. (no reservations needed)
Whether you think cooking is a fine, or just an applied art, you will probably love the Tafelspitz. Boiled beef with carrots and potatoes may sound mundane but it was delicious. Can't get to the art happening? Here's a meat and potatoes recipe for you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Miso Mayo is not just for soy nuts

I was over at my friend Alice's for lunch and I pulled a squeeze bottle of something called Miso Mayo out of the fridge. Alice's friend Janet, who I'd just met, casually said that she makes that stuff. I thought she meant that she makes her own homemade version, but what she really meant was that she created Miso Mayo. And after tasting it, I'm sure glad she did. Janet's creation went from a home recipe to a small food company, distributing Miso Mayo to Whole Foods and health food stores around the country (see link above to the Miso Mayo site for a list of stores). There are three flavors but I'm most partial to the Spicy Red Pepper version. I substituted it for the olive oil in this recipe for Quick Corn and Black Bean Salad and it added the kick that was needed to satisfy my bland-averse palate.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Freegan Greens

Whenever I go to our local farmers' markets I always ask for free beet greens and other scraps. The farmer's are always happy to give these away since they usually need to truck them back to the farm where they wind up in the compost heap. It amazes me that people buy beets but don't want the greens. Lately I've been collecting the leaves that are trimmed off of cauliflower and broccoli too. There's little difference between these and collard greens. They just take a little more trimming and cooking time. Collecting this kind of discarded produce is called freeganism and with the economy the way it is, more and more people are doing it. And frankly, greens like these are incredibly tasty and full of vitamins and minerals. If you insist on paying for your greens, Trader Joe's has a prewashed bagged mix called Southern Greens that's pretty good.
I cooked up my freegan greens in the Fissler Blue Point pressure pan and flavored the greens with turkey tasso (spicy turkey ham) from Schexnayder's Acadian Foods . I used the pressure pan as a conventional skillet, with the glass lid, but you could use the pressure lid and cook your mess of greens really quickly.

Freegan Greens and Tasso
Saute one chopped onion in olive oil, add two quarts of trimmed, chopped greens (cut out tough stems), or one bag of Trader Joe's greens, or two bunches of store bought greens. Saute for ten minutes, add a cup of broth, water or white wine and a cup of chopped turkey tasso, or pork ham, or smoked tofu (all of which are optional but good for protein). Cook covered for fifteen minutes. Add salt or seasonings as desired.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The (Pig) Mayor of LA

Some of the best and worst dishes I've ever had were made with pork. The worst include the common dry, tasteless porkchop, frighteningly undercooked pork loin, and a mu-shu pork dish I once ordered for take-out with my sister where we found a used band-aid hiding out amongst the vegetables.
The best memories include classic BBQ ribs in Chicago, perfect bacon, and the plethora of Korean pork dishes. Just last night, I experienced another pork nirvana locally in Los Angeles. Right around the corner from our office is a brand new Korean bbq restaurant named "Don Dae Gam" owned by the younger brother of baseballer Chan Ho Park. Korean bbq joints are so common in this area that I didn't expect anything different, but boy, was I in for a new experience!
From the adorable logo of the pig's back to the sleek modern stainless steel tables, everything about this place was not typical. "Don Dae Gam" translates into something like "The Pig Mayor". The most unusual aspect of this bbq restaurant is that they use real charcoal for all of their in-table grills and what a huge difference charcoal makes. We ordered the "Special Pork Neck" meat which was completely new to me. The meat is tender, marbled but not fatty, and slightly chewy. Grilled atop charcoal and served with a sea of side dishes and spicy salads, this was pure heaven. Add to that a side dish of their delectable "pa-jun" or Korean green onion pancake, and it becomes a perfect meal. (By the way, their "pa-jun" is the best I've tasted in the US or in Korea.) The best part of the dinner? Their affordable prices. This place is definitely going on my regular list.
Don Dae Gam Pork BBQ
1145 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles 90006
***Check out our own fave pork recipe, BBQ pulled pork in 20 minutes, at www.fisslerusa.com/sample/gnuboard4/bbs/board.php?bo_table=ressure_cooking_rec&wr_id=4

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Get to the (Blue) Point

Click above to read what Maggie Reed said about Blue Point Pressure Cookers!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grilled Zucchini

My friend Angie gave me some huge zucchini she grew in her garden. You don't need a barbecue to grill. I heated up my Fissler Blue Point Presssure skillet to grill slices of zucchini. The inside of the pressure skillet has the same Novogrill honeycombed surface found on the Crispy Steelux pan (the one I used for the cauliflower curry) and the new Fissler Original Pro wok. I could have used the Crispy Steelux pan but the pressure skillet is bigger.
If you want to do this, slice the zucchini in 1/4 inch slices on the diagonal, rub with olive oil and salt. While the slices are marinating heat up the pan till very hot. Lay the slices in, lower the heat a little and let grill. Turn to the other side to finish. After removing from the pan I layered the slices on a platter, sprinkled with a little balsamic vinegar and chopped herbs from my terrace garden (oregano, basil and thyme).

Bistro Miyoda has handmade ramen

I was in Gardena the other day and stopped for lunch at one of the many ramen places in this heavily Japanese suburb of LA. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Bistro Miyoda Noodle House makes their own handcut noodles fresh every day. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill ramen. Not much atmosphere here but the ramen is exceptional: 15915 S. Western Ave. Gardena, CA 90247. (310)538-9790.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bangladeshi Cauliflower Curry

I make no claims that this is an authentic Bangladeshi curry but I did get the spice mixture at Deshi Groceries at 3723 W. 3 St., one of about five Bangladeshi shops on 3rd, between Western and Vermont, here in Los Angeles. Most of the grocery stores in this small Bangladeshi enclave north of Koreatown also serve prepared food, like fish curries and unusual vegetables including bitter melon. Similar to but definitely different from Indian food.

So, my curry was cooked up very easily in my Fissler Crispy Steelux frypan. I just sauteed an onion in some coconut oil, added a spoon full of ginger paste (bought that at the Deshi grocery too)and a couple of crushed garlic cloves plus a heaping Tbsp of curry powder. After stirring that around for a minute I added a can of crushed tomatoes, 2/3 cup of water and half a head of cauliflower, broken into pieces. I simmered for twenty minutes and served it up with brown rice and some tofu for protein.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apricot pie for 4th of July!

It’s apricot season in Southern California so an apricot pie seemed in order. I picked the apricots out in Leona Valley, the cherry growing region that’s about an hour and a half northeast of Los Angeles (www.cherriesupic.com). There is one small apricot orchard, Stein's Apricot Ranch, amidst the many cherry picking places there. $2 a pound for apricots you pick yourself. You can get sometimes get apricots cheaper at the farmers’ markets but for a modest price you have the pleasure of a day in the country and a better knowledge of where your food comes from.

The pie was easy. Since I was invited to four parties over 4th of July weekend I made four of them. This is a no-bake pie; ideal for summer: easy, healthy and delicious!

For four pies:

1 32 oz container lowfat plain yogurt

1 small package cream cheese

3 cups of water, boiled

3 packets unflavored gelatin

3 cups of pitted apricots

½ cup sucanat

½ cup honey or agave syrup

2 tsps vanilla extract

Graham cracker pie crust

Halved apricots for garnish

Mix gelatin, sucanat and honey or agave in a bowl. Add boiling water. Stir and let gelatin dissolve.

Chop apricots finely in food processor. Beat cream cheese, apricots and vanilla in mixer using flat paddle. Add yogurt and gelatin mixture. Mix until smooth. Divide into four pie crusts and refrigerate until firm (3-4 hours). Garnish with apricot halves.

This can be made with agar (seaweed gel) for a vegetarian pie.