Dragon Fruit

Our local greengrocer carries these things on occasion.  I grabbed one the other day because I’ve never eaten one.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, I knew what they looked like but wasn’t sure how to eat one.Turns out that they are easier to eat than an apple.  I understand that there is a variety that has red pulp that is said to taste better than these white ones.  The pulp is slightly sweet and tastes good – not best thing ever! good, just OK.

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Variations On Shortbread: Coconut and Tahini

I was telling a friend I was going to make Tahini shortbread cookies to use up the tahini I had leftover from the Tahini Walnut Rolls (recipe here). She asked if it was dairy free, because she’d like to make shortbread, but was avoiding dairy.

The original recipe wasn’t, but I thought I’d give it a try with just tahini. And then because I Iove coconut, I thought I’d do the same thing with coconut oil. So both of these are dairy free.  Continue reading

Christmas Eve Party: Sesame Brittle

I was doing some recipe searching for a project I’ll post about later and sesame seeds were heavily featured. That put me in mind of Sesame Brittle. I thought it might be nice to have it to crumble over ice cream on the Sundae Bar on Christmas Eve.

Such a simple recipe. No candy thermometer needed. I always use oiled wax paper, but I’m wondering if oiled parchment would work better. The heat of candy on the wax paper melts it in places. Difficult to peel off.

Sesame Brittle

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • salt

saucepan, wax paper (or parchment) and baking sheet Continue reading

Apple Crisp for Breakfast, That’s a Thing, Right?

…asking for a friend. 🤔

A few weeks back, the city once again sent out an alert: the apples in the city apple orchard were ready to be picked. So for the love of all that is holy, come and relieve them of these apples. Branches break, people get zonked by falling apples, the ground gets covered, so they seriously encourage people to “come and get it.” They are as organic as they come – other than some pruning, the city does nothing to them.

Photo from City of Longmont

Roger’s Grove Nature Area consists of 54.9 acres adjacent to the St. Vrain Greenway and includes Fairgrounds Lake, trails, a shelter, outdoor amphitheater, restrooms, native landscaping, demonstration gardens and an apple grove with fruit free for your harvest! Design and construction of the nature area was primarily funded by the Roger and Roberta Jones Foundation. Roger Jones (1915-1995), enjoyed walking along the river with his wife Roberta (1913-1992). Both educators in the St. Vrain Valley School system, the Jones’ wanted to contribute an environment for children and adults to visit, learn and enjoy. Roger’s Grove was developed as a nature area, arboretum and outdoor learning center.

…there are about 50 apple trees, of eight varieties, planted at Roger’s Grove, and they have not been sprayed with pesticides.

With all my apples, I made my Perfect Apple Crisp, recipe here, with a bit of twist. I came away with quite a few apples, and while a few are good to eat, most are better for baking. They sat in my fruit drawer for a week, and I decided I needed to do something with them, especially since I didn’t know if any of them were buggy – I didn’t want the bugs to multiply.

So I dumped them all in the sink, washed them and then sliced them up. I put them in my Multi-Pot (Instant Pot twin) and threw in about 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a dash of salt and just enough water to keep it from burning before the apples let go their juice. I set it for three minutes, assuming much of the cooking would take place while it pressurized. It was a good call.

I did the fast-release method, and the apples were perfect. Still had some shape and I thought would be great for baking. I had planned to freeze some, but best-laid plans and all, I instead went on an apple crisp spree. I’ve baked three in the last two weeks. Mmm–mmmm.

Oh, and those chicken thighs – I’ll put that recipe up later. Until then…



 

Ice Cream Stuffed Donut

Now that I have your attention.

Sorry to be MIA for so long. I do have garden photos, animal updates and hey, even a couple of recipes lined up. But I’m not sure I’ll have time to post them this weekend.

I am in the last stages of editing a novel that (fingers-crossed) should be published in June. I’ll let you know more details as it gets closer.

Then on top of that I had a little minor oral surgery this week to remove a fractured tooth and repair a bit of bone damage. Not as scary as it sounds – just the remnants of an old car accident that needed to be addressed. But it did throw my week  a curve ball…my to-do list was a fractured as my jaw. LOL

Now about that donut…

I had seen a recipe for ice cream stuffed donuts and I thought, wow, that sounds awesome, so I set about recreating it. The recipe, of course, included making your own donuts – yeah, right, like I have time for that. I’m surprised it didn’t also say the ice cream had to be homemade, too.

So I purchased the best quality donuts I could find and my favorite vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell) and put it together. The idea is to take a warm donut and hard frozen ice cream and combine them. You slice the donut, warm it in the oven or microwave (warm, not hot), add ice cream to one half, top, drizzle a bit of chocolate syrup and top with fruit (I chose raspberries).

And let me tell you….it was AWFUL.

I know it sounds like it should be good, but the problem is the texture. Donuts are basically sugar and fat held together with a bit of flour. Ice cream is basically fat. So when you combine the two, you lose what makes each of them so very good. The creamy fat texture overwhelms any flavor. Instead of enhancing both the donut and the ice cream, it diminishes both. YMMV

I wouldn’t do it again. As a matter of fact, I had bought six donuts to practice with, and I ate the other five plain. Much better.

That’s it for now. I will be sending the book back to the editor by the end of the weekend and while she has it, maybe we can catch up. Until then…



 

Coconut Lemon Cake Revisited

I visited family for Easter and it seemed like a good time to make my Coconut Lemon Cake. It was a hit – though my niece would have preferred a less tangy lemon curd. I will admit, I made it super lemony because my brother and I both love lemon.

Here’s the original recipe.

I made a few changes.

For the cake, I substituted coconut oil for both the oil and butter. When I originally made the cake, I didn’t keep coconut oil in the house, now it’s a staple. This upped the coconut flavor in the cake itself.

For the lemon curd, I flipped the water/lemon juice amounts. Using 1 cup of lemon juice and only 1/2 cup water. This upped the tartness substantially, so be prepared!

For the layers – this time I cut down from 4 to 3, using pie pans for the cake pans. This made for a much sturdier cake without losing any of the flavor – especially with the super tart curd.

Nom-nom. I really could have eaten the entire cake myself.

I’m off to do more prep on the vegetable garden. I have a hoop and 6 wall of water, so I’m hoping to get a head start later this month.

Depending on how the harvest goes, I’m definitely going to get a vacuum sealer to make freezing veggies easier. I. Do. Not. Can.

Are you planning your garden, yet?