Blueberries have been everywhere in the grocery store lately, and they’re delicious, so I infused some with lemon slices, honey from our bee hive, and thyme from our garden.
I tried it tonight, and it’s delicious. I made a light drink with Topo Chico, a squeeze of lemon, the vodka infusion and Creme de Cassis, garnished with a few raspberries. Yum!
I infused some Cruzan white rum with figs from our tree, lemon slices, and honey from our bee hive about 10 days ago. Tonight, I strained the mixture and made a drink.
The drink was the rum, Topo Chico, St. Germain, and a squeeze of lemon garnished with a lemon slice and some raspberries. Out of all the infusions I’ve made, this one may well be my favorite. Just in time for tiki week, too!
Made some banana blueberry “ice cream” by pureeing frozen banana slices and frozen fresh blueberries in my food processor. Added a bit of milk to help them combine. Let it set for a while in the freezer. A delicious, healthy frozen dessert!
I recently made quite the birthday meal for my husband, making two of our favorite recipes, and trying out two new ones. I made Food & Wine’s Roasted beets with pistachios, herbs, and orange, Smitten Kitchen’s Swiss chard and sweet potato gratin and Mushroom Bourguinon and this Ginger fig cake, adapted from Kitchen Konfidence. I made the recipe healthier and also added figs and we loved it, so here it is for others to love!
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I haven’t baked any sort of bread that requires yeast in quite a while. That all changed when I read the pretzel parker house rolls recipe on Smitten Kitchen recently. While I don’t have a clue what a parker house roll is (yes, I could look it up), I did know that the rolls sounded (and looked) delicious. Following her recipe, and using the baking soda wash instead of lye, I now have made two batches of these rolls and froze them for Thanksgiving. I’ve taste tested a roll from each batch and can tell you that not only are they easy to make, they are also delicious. I’m not really a fan of kneading dough by hand, so I used my KitchenAid to take care of that part.
The yeast comes alive:
The dough hook does the hard work:
The dough after kneading:
The dough after first rise – I used a pizza cutter to cut up the dough into 16 kinda equal slices, like a pie, as the recipe suggests:
The dough formed into rolls, prior to the second rise:
After second rise, before washing in baking soda / water and egg rinses:
The finished product – so good!
I recently came across a recipe for “detox taboulleh” from Oh She Glows which uses cauliflower rice instead of regular grains. I wanted to try something with cauliflower rice again and I decided to try this recipe. It was well worth it. We paired the salad with flatbread and hummus and it was delicious. Because the recipe was so healthy I made very few changes. I used a bit more tomatoes and onion, a bit less cilantro, and sesame seeds instead of hemp seeds. I also used the shredding blade on my food processor to grate the cauliflower and celery. I used:
- 1 large cauliflower, leaves removed
- 1.5 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cups fresh parsley, minced
- 1 & 1/4 cups finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
- 2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
- Optional sesame seeds to sprinkle on top
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- Use the grater blade attachment on a food processor and drop cauliflower florets into the machine to grate. Empty out the bowl and use the same blade to grate the celery.
- Stir the rest of the vegetables (tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, and green onion) into the bowl.
- Whisk together the dressing in a small glass or jar. Pour onto salad and toss to combine, adjusting salt to taste if desired. The flavors are best after the salad has been refrigerated for a while. Sprinkle sesame seeds on of the salad when you’re ready to eat.
The grated cauliflower:
Adding celery and tomatoes:
Dressing and salad prior to mixing:
Delicious salad with olive hummus topped crisp flatbread:
All recipes I’ve made from Oh She Glows have been great, I recommend you check her site out!
In an effort to use more figs during this never-ending fig season, I tried a new recipe. Since I love banana bread, I looked for bread recipes that use fresh figs. I found a fig bread recipe on Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
. It used almonds so I adapted it to remove the almonds, since I’m not a fan of nuts in baked goods. I also added lemon zest because in the fig crumble cake
I like to make, lemon zest makes it awesome.
The fig bread came out delicious, so I’m sharing the recipe of course.
To make 2 loaves, I used:
- 3 cups all purpose flour + 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1.5 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 cups coarsely chopped brown turkey figs from my tree
- Zest of 1 small lemon (next time, I will increase this to 1 small lemon per loaf)
- 2 additional figs cut into 4 vertical slices to place on top of each loaf before baking, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare 2 loaf pans with your favorite method. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour through salt). Beat together eggs, applesauce, oil, vanilla, sour cream, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients in approximately 3 parts and mix just until combined, don’t over mix. Fold in the figs and lemon zest by hand. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans, and place four fig slices on each loaf. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Figs and zest:
Ready to bake:
Deliciously full of figs:
I recently made a recipe from a relatively new (to me) vegan cookbook Crazy Sexy Kitchen. I bought this cookbook after attending a Whole Foods Culinary class featuring Chef Chad Sarno, one of the authors. It was a good way to use up some of the chard growing in the garden and a handful of our fresh herbs. I added peppers and okra from our garden to the recipe, to use them up before they went bad. I used the beluga (black) lentils called for in the recipe, the first time I’d ever had them. Beluga lentils are smaller and denser than other lentils. It was a very healthy and flavorful meal that my husband and I enjoyed all week.
The recipe started by sautéing shallot and garlic in oil.
Next, deglaze the pan with sherry and add beluga (black) lentils. I had peppers from the garden so I threw those in to add some spice. Garden fresh okra also went into the pan.
Add vegetable stock and simmer until the lentils are tender.
After the lentils were tender, add the chard, frozen peas, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, parsley, thyme and salt and cook on low for a few more minutes.
At the end, stir in a bit of butter (vegan if that’s what you prefer) and cracked pepper. Yum!
It’s getting to be towards the end of summer growing season in Austin. Our two basil plants are still crazy large, as in, overflowing our garden by a lot. We haven’t used it nearly as much as we should so I decided to preserve some to use throughout the winter. I’ve read about a number of ways to preserve basil, but for today I decided to make my own version of pesto and then freeze it. Maybe I’ll use another method next week.
First I brought in a huge sinkful of basil.
Next I washed it and separated the good leaves from the stems.
After running the leaves through the salad spinner (I had 3 bowls!) I put them in batches into my food processor.
I added olive oil, white miso paste, water, salt, pepper, pine nuts and feta cheese in batches with the basil until the pesto tasted the way I wanted it to.
To freeze the basil, I spooned it into an ice cube tray. I use a tray that has a lid so that I can easily stack things on top of it if I need to. I also had enough pesto to fill up a separate round container. The idea is to thaw individual cubes as needed for a single meal. After the pesto froze, I removed it from the tray and put the cubes in a freezer bag.
On a recent trip back to Ohio, I was reminded how much I love fruit salad. At one party, there were five different kinds of fruit salad!! Talk about yum. One even came in a fancy watermelon rind bowl. That led me to make my own fruit salad for a party we attended. I really don’t understand why I never encounter fruit salad in Texas. Well, cutting up all that fruit is time consuming I suppose.
I went to the store and picked out the most delicious looking fruit they had that day. I came home with red and black plums, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pears and apples. Most fruit salads I’ve had in Ohio are just cut up fruit, but after looking around at some recipes I decided to make a light syrup for my salad.
Colorful fruit salad!
After cubing the apple and pear, I mixed in the juice from half a lemon to keep them from turning brown. I then cut up the remaining fruit and tossed it with some mint from the garden.
I made a simple syrup by combining a 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, zest from one lemon and the juice from 1 and 1/2 lemons in a sauce pan. I simmered the mixture for a while to thicken it just a bit.
Right before heading to the party I poured the cooled syrup on the fruit and mixed it up. I think I’ll make this again.
Plums, pears, apples, cantaloupes, oh my.
The pioneer woman’s fruit salad was definitely inspiration.