Is there a full moon? Really weird stuff happens when the moon’s face is in full bloom. Last week, we were out of eggs. Shawn was probably relieved, because that meant that I could not bake. But, my yearning for sweets soon had me baking an eggless vegan cake, not my usual gig. This week, I have no cornmeal, which is normally not a big deal, because, ordinarily, I do not have a use for it. But something I saw a couple of days ago got embedded so deeply into my mind that getting my hands on a box of that stuff suddenly became a state of emergency.
The funniest thing is that our pantry is bursting with cans, jars, bags and boxes. Jams, we have got – Cherry, blackberry, strawberry, apricot, even pumpkin, but not a single box of cornmeal. So I had the crazy idea of making my own. There just was no time to waste going to the market for polenta and that bag of popcorn was not going anywhere. It might as well go to some good use. I only needed a cup of cornmeal. So I put my handy, dandy little coffee grinder to work. That did not do a great job. So my resident engineer (aka my hubby) suggested upgrading to the juice bullet thingy. I really wanted to make a specific Lemon Polenta Cake with Blueberries. This reaction is quite a normal response after seeing photos of food on billyparisi.com. Go, see for yourself, if you do not believe me.
Billy Parisi is an accomplished chef and family man. His drool-inducing creations pop off of the vibrant pages of his site, but are elegantly simple enough for busy home cooks like me. Here is a man who wears many hats: Food and Content Creator, Sometimes TV Host, Picture Taker, Coffee Drinker, Daddy, Husband, College Sports Enthusiast, Fashionisto, Film and Music Lover. With a culinary degree paired with one in communications and videography, he has both the technical training and an eye for design.
Billy is an approachable, friendly, grounded man with a positive disposition, an all-around likable fellow. With a character ideal for the role of an educator, Billy’s enthusiasm for food as an attainable art is clear in the beautiful composition of dishes and the uncomplicated techniques of his recipes. He intends to wow you with a gorgeous plate of food, but is also willing to share his secrets to replicating it at home for yourself. In this vein, he was also willing to answer some (very nosy) questions I had for him.
C: Which do you prefer to make: Sweet or savory?
C: Your Soigne dishes are stunning. Do you force yourself to compose new recipes or
For a cook, good food is intended to convey a powerful message. Sometimes it a romantic novel that takes you on a trip to a beautiful land far away. Other times, it places you back into your grandmother’s kitchen when you were a child.
This gorgeous cake is one of Chef Billy Parisi’s signature creations. The lemons and polenta give it an Italian accent. The blueberries give it American flair. Most importantly, it is elegantly simple to prepare by design.
This cake is also gluten-free as the almond and corn flours stand in place of traditional all-purpose wheat flour. And don’t worry about those lemons as they won’t go to waste. The zest is needed for the cake batter, but the juice goes into the homemade blueberry sauce. Get the original recipe here.