52 Photos ~ Dessert

Pumpkin pie shells

Pumpkin pies

Teeny tiny pumpkin pies


Declare a day of gluttony.
Chill the Western hemisphere.
Over a base of granite, soil, clay,
wheat and corn fields, drizzle
Lay down thick, black ribbons
of tar and concrete
from one ocean to the other.
Reread the recipe.
Assemble all ingredients
in a four-wheeled box.
Agitate steadily for a day.
Liberally distribute
nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs.
Periodically, open the doors,
to allow in the chilled air,
wind, exhaust, light,
sounds of gravel.
Be quiet.
When golden, remove
and let warm in the kitchen.
Share the crumbs, too.


These photos and post are in response to this week’s theme for the 52 Photos Project. You should participate, too! Read about how it works here. You can see a gallery of everyone’s photos for this week’s theme here. To see a list of all my blog posts for this project, go here.

You can find the recipe for the really delicious molasses-spice pumpkin pie filling I used here.

Tongan coconut quick bread

Tongan Coconut Bread - Out of the oven


It’s a land of complete mystery to me. All I knew before the My Kitchen My World group selected it as our next culinary destination was that it’s Polynesian. An archipelago of tropical islands sprinkled out somewhere in the vicinity of Fiji (about which I know very little as well, though it features in my mid-December fantasies of palm trees, white sands, blue water).

Tongan cuisine? Even more of a mystery to me. But I had this tube of Tongan vanilla beans in my cupboard, so I went searching for a recipe that called for vanilla.

Tongan Coconut Bread - vanilla beans

It surprised me to find that Tongan vanilla recipes are rare. I get the sense that the Tongan people grow vanilla as a cash crop, ship it out, and use the money to buy the foods they really do eat (traditional Tongan cuisine features seafood and pork cooked in earth ovens, and plenty of taro, yams, coconuts, and tropical fruits).

I was also wondering (since I’m me) about Tongan bread recipes. So no one here will be surprised that I finally landed on a recipe for Tongan Coconut Bread. I honestly have no idea if this recipe is something a Tongan mother would make for her family, but I liked the sound of it, and it did feature using whole vanilla beans. And the coconut sounded tropical. I was sold.

Tongan Coconut Bread

This is a quick bread recipe (by which I mean the bread is leavened by baking powder, not yeast; but yes, it’s also a quick-to-make recipe). It goes together in a snap and bakes to a very light golden brown, with a slightly crisp crust.

While it baked, this first of November poured down a gloomy rainstorm, but the house smelled like coconut. Not quite enough to make me believe I was on some Polynesian beach, with the waves whispering shoreward, but enough to distract me from the dismal morning and remind me that, even on rotten November days, there are good, easy things in this world.

I had a taste. It was pretty darn good, especially for the little effort that went into it. It’s not very sweet, and subtly coconuty. It was good on its own, and even better with a schmear of Nutella. How’s that for international cuisine?

Tongan Coconut Bread - crumb

Tongan Coconut Quick Bread

Barely adapted from Jasons.com
Yields: 1 regular loaf, or 3 mini loaves

3 cups all-purpose flour (or you can use half all-purpose and half whole wheat or white whole wheat)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened grated coconut
1 egg
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I used the “lite” variety)
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1 vanilla bean (if you have a Tongan bean, all the better, but any will do)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (the original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of scraped vanilla bean seeds. My bean yielded barely 1/4 teaspoon and I wasn’t about to use four whole beans on this recipe, so I made up the difference with vanilla extract)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Lightly grease one standard loaf pan or three small loaf pans.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, then scrape the cut sides with a knife to extract as many of the seeds as possible (save the scraped beans for another recipe or for making vanilla sugar).
  5. In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg, then add the sugar, vanilla seeds, vanilla extract, and coconut milk and mix well.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pans, distributing evenly if you’re using more than one pan. Smooth the batter with a spoon.
  8. For the standard loaf pan, bake for one hour. For smaller pans, bake for 30-40 minutes, until a tester comes out dry.
  9. Cool on a wire rack in the pans.

To see the round up of the group’s Tongan recipes, visit the My Kitchen My World (MKMW) site. (You can also see where the group has already traveled.) To join in, just make a dish (or more) for the month’s country, blog about it, and put a link to your post in the comments on the MKMW page.

Next month, we travel to Poland, my choice!

A wee bowl of Scotland

Scottish steak pie

A few Octobers ago, we went to Scotland, and I think that trip changed H’s life forever. Before that trip, she had no particular affinity for the country, aside from knowing it was where J. K. Rowling lives and wrote the books that H adored, devoured, memorized, and essentially dwelt in for several years of her younger childhood.

But now. Oh now.

Scotland is her dream country. Edinburgh is her dream city. And don’t be surprised if you get a postcard in the next five years saying the three of us, the dog, cats, and goats have moved to the highlands for a spell.

Which I hope makes it clear why, when the My Kitchen My World group choose Great Britain as September’s destination, H immediately handed me a Scottish cookbook.

Scottish steak pie - pots

After flipping through the book, then giving it some thought, I settled on making steak pie, a tradition for Hogmany, the Scottish New Year celebration. I chose this dish for many reasons, not least of which is a delicious memory of the four of us (including my sister, L), sitting in a pub after a chilly, rainy morning of touring Stirling castle, and being served up huge, steamy steak pies, topped with tall puff pastry lids, and served with not one but two forms of potato.

Stirling - Two potatoes plus pastry at the Portcullis

It’s one of those really good memories I don’t want to ever lose. The four of us together, warm, laughing, on an adventure. And pints of really terrific beer.

I decided to make this dish on the last day of September, in celebration of M’s birthday. A personal Hogmany, you might say.

The filling itself takes little effort, just time and a warm oven. It involves the usual suspects of sauteed onions, and steak chunks dredged in seasoned flour and then browned. Then you add beef stock, a nice mound of freshly ground pepper, and put it all in the oven to slowly cook for three hours, stirring it occasionally and checking the stock level to make sure it hasn’t all evaporated.

That’s really it. The traditional recipe also calls for a tiny bit of beef sausage, but I couldn’t find any on the day I went looking. (Note: To make the filling, I essentially followed this recipe, but replaced the sausage allotment with more steak, and used two cups of beef stock in place of the beef stock cube.)

When the filling came out of the oven, the meat was falling-apart tender and the flour, stock, onions, and pepper had coalesced into a rick, dark, thick gravy.

Scottish steak pie - filling

The topping is a puff pastry. You can use any puff pastry you like, including frozen store-bought, which puffs up gorgeously and is always ready to go. Since I had the time, I decided to try making Gesine’s Quick Puff recipe.

I won’t share all my pictures of making the puff, but let me summarize by showing you two and telling you that it starts out as a big ol’ mess of butter, flour and water and you think it’ll never be anything you can be proud of, and then a few rolls, turns, and folds later, you get something gorgeous.

Quick puff - second fold

Quick puff

You can make the filling a day or two ahead of time, then, when you’re ready to go, just put the filling in an oven-safe dish, top it with the pastry, brush with milk, and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is puffed and golden and the filling is bubbling merrily away.

We served it with sauteed leeks. And roasted brussels sprouts, and Scottish ale. Why I didn’t think to accompany it with a wee dram of whiskey, I’ll never know.

Scottish steak pie - sauteed leeks

Scottish steak pie

To see the round up of the group’s British recipes, visit the My Kitchen My World (MKMW) site. (You can also see where the group has already traveled.) To join in, just make a dish (or more) for the month’s country, blog about it, and put a link to your post in the comments on the MKMW page.

Summer-fall hand pies: Mozzarella & tomato jam, Pear & smoky caramel

Mozzarella-tomato jam hand pies

Pie is problematic.

For one thing, it can be so many different things. It can be sweet, of course. But it can be savory, too.

If it’s sweet, is it filled with berries, apples, pears, plums, or rhubarb? Or maybe chocolate custard? Or peanut butter cream? Pecan, pumpkin? Ice cream?!

Pear-caramel hand pies

And on the savory side, we have everything from spinach pies to turkey pot pies to Scottish beef pies to fish pies to bean pies to shepherd pies to you-name-it pies. Where does it end?

Construction-wise, the options are daunting, too: top crust only, bottom crust only, both top and bottom? Flat top, lattice top, tiled top? Pie dough, cookie crumb, mashed potato, noodle? Round pie, square pie, rectangular pie, hand pie?

Hand pies - Cheese

I get a bit overwhelmed with options. I don’t thrive in a world of too many choices.

But here’s where pie is a comfort: it doesn’t matter what choice you make.

It doesn’t matter because pie is good no matter what.

Hand pies - Pears

Pie will be there for you. Pie will be made of whatever you have on hand, whatever you just picked at the farm stand, whatever’s left over in the refrigerator after a long week. If it’s a sweltering, muggy day and you want to cool off, pie can be cool with fresh fruit and mint and an ice cream sidecar. If it’s a cold and rainy and dismal day (as today happens to be), pie can be warm, steaming, and comforting.

This week has been a bit crazy. I really didn’t have time to think about pie. I looked around the kitchen and thought: what can be pie? The ball of fresh mozzarella volunteered first, followed by the jar of tomato jam.

Mozzarella-tomato jam hand pies

The pears hanging out in the apple bowl wanted to play, too. As did the smokey caramel sauce that’s been in the fridge for a few months.

Pear-caramel hand pies

Okay. Let’s make pie! Two types. Two shapes. One summery and savory, a play on caprese salad; the other sweet and smokey like an autumn evening in front of a bonfire.

Problem solved.

Now, look around your kitchen, your pantry, your fridge? What wants to be pie?

This month’s Let’s Lunch theme is (you guessed it) PIE! Take a look at the wonderful variety of pies the rest of the group has made.

Annabelle‘s Chocolate Pie at Glass of Fancy
Anne Marie‘s Apple Pie Sandwiches at Sandwich Surprise
Betty Ann‘s Calamansi Pie at Asian In America
Cheryl’s Mexican Cottage Pie at Tiger in a Kitchen
Grace‘s Easy Apple Pie with Lard Crust at HapaMama
Jill‘s Guava and Cream Cheese Empanadas at Eating My Words
Lisa‘s Sweet Ricotta Noodle Pie at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Linda‘s Biscoff Banana & Pear Galette at Spicebox Travels
Lucy‘s Sweet Potato Custard Pie at A Cook and Her Books 
Margaret‘s Cushaw (Squash) Pie at Tea and Scones, Too
Nancie‘s Edna Lewis’s Tyler Pie at Nancie McDermott
Naomi‘s Huckleberry Pie Ice-Cream at The Gastro Gnome
Rebecca‘s Summer-Fall Hand Pies at GrongarBlog
Sara‘s Herb Pie from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s “Jerusalem” at Three Clever Sisters

Mozzarella-tomato jam hand pies

Yield: four to eight hand pies (depending on the size you choose to make)

  • 1/2 batch of pie dough (or 1/2 package of pre-made pie dough). For these pies, I used the “Flaky Butter Crust” recipe in one of my favorite baking books: Handheld Pies. (Note: Some people are afraid of making pie dough. If this is you, don’t worry. You can do this. Or, if you just don’t want to, feel free to use a pre-made dough from the grocery store. There are a lot of good ones out there. There’s no shame in using one. Most especially, because you will have pie and all sins are forgiven when you offer pie. It’s a scientific fact.)
  • 6 ounces (170 g) mozzarella cheese
  • 8-12 teaspoons of tomato jam (depending on how much you want to use) (Note: If you don’t have tomato jam, use whatever you like: hot sauce? pesto? sliced cherry tomatoes? You choose!)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Slice and then chop the mozzarella into 1/4-inch cubes.
  4. Roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thick.
  5. Use a knife or pizza wheel to cut squares. (I cut 6-inch squares. Cut the size you like.) Then cut each square in half diagonally to form two triangles.
  6. On each triangle, spread one teaspoon of tomato jam on one half of the triangle. Try to keep a clean border around the edge so that you can seal the pie.
  7. Add .5 ounces (15 g) of cheese to the jammy half.
  8. Fold the triangle in half, then seal and crimp the crust. Poke or slash the top crust to let steam escape.
  9. Put the pie on the prepared cookie sheet.
  10. Repeat for the remaining triangles.
  11. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Expect some cheese to leak out, unless you’re a master crimper (I’m not).
  13. Remove the pies from the sheet and let cool on a cooling rack, but only for as long as you like. It’s okay to eat these as hot as you can stand.

Pear-caramel hand pies

Yield: four to eight hand pies (depending on the size you choose to make)

  • 1/2 batch of pie dough (or 1/2 package of pre-made pie dough; see the note for tomato pies, above).
  • 2 large, firm pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces.
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey (adjust amount to your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon (or any other pie spices you like: allspice, ginger, clove, etc.)
  • 4-8 teaspoons caramel sauce (use whatever caramel sauce you like, or, hey, how about chocolate sauce?)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado or other coarse sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Combine the chopped pears, sugar (or honey), vanilla, salt, and spices in a bowl and let sit until the pears are juicy, about 15 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thick.
  5. Use a cookie cutter, bowl, or drinking glass to cut circles. (I cut 4.5-inch circles. Cut the size you like.) Each pie requires two circles, so make sure to cut an even number of circles.
  6. Put one teaspoon of caramel sauce in the center of a circle.
  7. Add about 2 tablespoons of the pear mixture (adjust as needed, depending on the size of your circle and your preference).
  8. Top the pie with another circle, then seal and crimp the crust. Poke or slash the top crust to let steam escape.
  9. Put the pie on the prepared cookie sheet.
  10. Repeat for the remaining circles.
  11. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  12. Brush each pie with milk, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly golden.
  14. Remove the pies from the sheet and let cool on a cooling rack.

My first stop on the My Kitchen My World tour: Sweden


My very patient online baking buddy Margaret has been inviting me for several months to join the My Kitchen My World group, which is on an extended culinary tour of the world, country by country, month by month.

I finally decided to join for August’s virtual visit to Sweden, and then, of course, August slipped by and… “Hello, September!”

Luckily, Margaret is unendingly patient and encouraging, so here I am, slipping this little taste of Sweden into your day, a bit past the official deadline.

Me being me, with my predilection for all things bready, it didn’t take long to settle on baking a Swedish bread, and nothing seemed more basic or essential than the traditional knäckebröd, the crunchy cracker (or crisp bread) that can be served with everything from cheese to jam to smoked fish to soup to stew.

When I saw the picture of seeded knäckebröd on the Bread & Companatico site, I was smitten.

This is a quick cracker recipe that uses a combination of flours and seeds. Really, you can use whatever you have on hand. The traditional recipe calls for at least some rye flour, but Barbara also gives a gluten-free corn flour variation. I used a mix of rye, bread, and whole wheat flour. You can include whatever seeds you have on hand (I used black sesame, white sesame, and sunflower), but I think what gives this cracker its essential taste is the inclusion of whole cumin seeds.

Knäckebröd - Kneaded

Knäckebröd - Proofed

Knäckebröd - Divided

Knäckebröd - Rolled

Wikipedia informs me that these sorts of flat/crisp breads have been a part of Swedish cuisine for over a thousand years. No wonder. They’re easy and fast to make, portable, and, since they’re baked until very crisp, they last a long time without going stale or moldy. I imagine Swedish babies teethe on these things. And they’ll last in a ship’s hold for the Atlantic crossing.

The first night, we served our knäckebröd with goat milk ricotta and tomato jam (see? I told you I’m obsessed with that. To make your own, use this recipe from Food in Jars. I promise you’ll love it).

Knäckebröd with ricotta and tomato jam

Since then, I’ve been nibbling on it plain as a snack, eating it smeared with tomato jam, or with a slice of cheese. Each time, I’m surprised, and delighted, by that hit of cumin. I think it would work perfectly as a scooper for a rich Indian curry. I think I’m going to like traveling with MKMW…

To see the round up of the group’s Swedish recipes, visit the My Kitchen My World (MKMW) site after the first of the month. (You can also see where the group has already traveled.) To join in, just make a dish (or more) for the month’s country, blog about it, and put a link to your post in the comments on the MKMW page.

52 Photos ~ Chopped


He brought home a watermelon.

I was craving fruit and he brought me a whole watermelon.

A whole watermelon isn’t an extravagance in the scheme of things. But if feels extravagant. And somewhat like that old joke where eternity is defined as a ham and two people.

But I took to carving it up and made a big fruit salad that lasted for days.

And while I was at it, I peeled the rind and chopped that up, soaked it overnight, simmered it until tender, simmered it in spiced syrup, and put it in jars.

It won’t last until eternity, but maybe at least until midwinter. Which, at this moment, feels a blissful eternity away.

Watermelon Rind Preserves - Melon

Watermelon Rind Preserves - Flesh removed

Watermelon Rind Preserves - Cut into pieces

Watermelon Rind Preserves - Cooking in syrup and spices


Watermelon Rind Preserves

I got this recipe from the gorgeous book, The Glass Pantry, which I don’t use anywhere as often as I ought to.

Yield: 2-3 pints

1 pound watermelon rind
5 quarts water
1/2 cup salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole cloves


  1. Peel the skin from the rind and scrape the rind free of any flesh.
  2. Cut the rind into 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Combine 4 quarts of water with the salt in a large bowl, and stir to dissolve the salt.
  4. Add the rind to the salt water and let soak overnight at room temperature.
  5. The next day, drain the rind.
  6. Place the rind in a stainless steel or other non-reactive saucepan with 2 cups of the remaining water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until the rind is just tender when pierced with a fork. Depending on the thickness of the rind, this will take anywhere from 20-50 minutes.
  7. Drain well and set aside.
  8. In a saucepan large enough to hold the rind eventually, combine all the remaining ingredients (sugar, lemon, cinnamon stick, cloves, and remaining 2 cups of water).
  9. Bring the mixture slowly to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until the sugar dissolves and a syrup forms, about five minutes.
  10. Add the rind to the syrup and cook over low heat until the rind becomes transparent, about 20-30 minutes (timing will, again, depend on the thickness of the rind).
  11. Remove the lemon slices and cinnamon stick.
  12. You can now pack the rind and syrup in jars and process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes, or put in jars and keep in the refrigerator for shorter-term keeping.

Watermelon Rind Preserves

These photos and post are in response to this week’s theme for the 52 Photos Project. You should participate, too! Read about how it works here. You can see a gallery of everyone’s photos for this week’s theme here. To see a list of all my blog posts for this project, go here.

True facts about potato kugel

  • No matter what anyone says, potato kugel tastes best when you grate the potatoes and onions by hand.
  • To make a full batch, the grating will take you about an hour. Set aside time so you don’t have to rush. Line up reinforcements because your arms will get tired.
  • You can’t escape scraping your knuckles on the grater. Keep bandaids handy.
  • When you scrape your knuckles on the grater, the onion juice will get in the cut and sting.
  • It will all be worth it.

Potato kugel

Potato kugel

Goat cheese panna cotta with mango foam

March fog


Neither lion nor lamb.

It’s a fickle fish this year, darting in one direction, then another, to the surface, then back under the weeds.

Cold clear days, warm foggy mornings, sweet springing afternoons, hail, snow, rain, mud, ice.

One day, a week ago, we had all the windows in the house open. Today, we’re back to having both wood stoves lit.

Closed-fisted buds. They’re not risking it yet.

March and fog

It’s a little hard to be patient. Even when we know it’s coming. Even when the afternoon light gets longer by minutes every day.

But we can cheat. Let’s springify things around here a bit.

Let’s bring out those beautiful French dessert dishes, the ones with the bees.

Goat cheese panna cotta - Bee cups

Let’s pick out some ripe mangos and make a puree.

Mango puree - Mango

Let’s blend cream, goat milk, goat cheese, sugar, gelatin, and vanilla.

Goat cheese panna cotta - Poured

White as snow. But let’s teach it how to bloom like spring.

Goat cheese panna cotta

Goat cheese panna cotta


This month’s Let’s Lunch theme is Daffodils/Spring, in recognition of the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual Daffodil Days, when it sells daffodils to raise funds for the Cancer Society. This theme was suggested by this month’s gracious host, Karen at Geofooding. Visit her post for more information about Daffodil Days and for links to the rest of the Let’s Lunch group’s tributes to spring.

Goat cheese panna cotta with mango foam

Yield: Six or more servings (depending on the size of ramekins/dishes you use)

Goat cheese panna cotta
(adapted from Fine Cooking)

  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (or 2 leaves of gelatin)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream (or 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup light cream)
  • 1 cup fresh goat cheese, at room temperature (I used plain chèvre)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup goat milk (or cow milk, or buttermilk)
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over four teaspoons of water to soften the gelatin (if you’re using gelatin leaves, follow the package’s instructions to soak the leaves.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and sugar and bring to a simmer. Do not boil the mixture. When it reaches a simmer, turn off the heat.
  3. Whisk the softened goat cheese into the cream mixture, until there are no visible pieces of cheese left and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the vanilla and softened gelatin, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Then add the goat milk and whisk thoroughly.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large, glass measuring cup or a bowl that has a pouring spout.
  6. Pour the mixture into six large or eight (or more) smaller ramekins. (If you want to unmold the panna cottas to serve them, lightly grease the ramekins before you pour the mixture into them).
  7. Refrigerate for at least three hours, or overnight.

Mango purée and foam
If you don’t have a whipper, or prefer not to use a foam, you can use just the mango purée on its own to decorate the panna cottas. For that matter, you can skip the mango altogether and use whatever fruits or embellishments that you prefer. I chose mango because I love the flavor and because the color reminded me of spring tulips and daffodils.

  • 250 milliliters of mango purée (see instructions below)
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (or 1 leaf of gelatin)
  1. Make a mango purée by cubing two ripe mangos (you can also use two cups of frozen, cubed mango), and blending the cubed mango with 1 teaspoon of lime juice, three teaspoons of sugar, and 1/3 cup water. Strain the purée through a fine-mesh sieve. You want to make sure there are no lumps that could clog the whipper.
  2. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over three teaspoons of water to soften the gelatin (if you’re using a gelatin leaf, follow the package’s instructions to soak the leaf).
  3. In a small saucepan, gently warm the purée (do not boil!), then add the softened gelatin to the warmed purée until it is thoroughly combined.
  4. Remove the purée from the heat and strain it one more time through a fine-mesh sieve to be sure there are no lumps of gelatin.
  5. Let the purée cool completely to room temperature.
  6. When the purée is cool, put it in the whipper, screw the whipper lid on, and charge with two gas chargers. Then SHAKE the whipper vigorously for a minute or so.
  7. Refrigerate the whipper for an hour, then shake vigorously again. You can use the foam now, or can return it to the refrigerator to use later. (Shake it again before using it.)

When the panna cottas are set and you’re ready to serve them, decorate them with the foam or the purées, fruits and sauces you choose.

To serve an unmolded panna cotta, heat a pan of water, dip the bottom of the ramekin in the warm water, run a sharp knife around the edge of the ramekin, put a plate over the ramekin, and flip the ramekin and plate over at the same time to unmold the panna cotta.