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Moscato Strawberries Two Ways

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Ah strawberry season…you are finally here! There is nothing I love more than to walk into a supermarket and be greeted by the sweet scent of strawberries. (OK, to be honest, I’d prefer to walk past the farm stand and smell the sweet scent of freshly picked strawberries).

I wait all year for sweet berry season, when the strawberries are so naturally sweet, they’re like nature’s summer candy. I never understand those people that dip their strawberries in sugar, I mean, aren’t they sweet enough?

While I may not agree with dipping my strawberries in sugar, I do love me some macerated strawberries. Macerated strawberries are strawberries that are sprinkled with sugar to draw out the liquids and create a sweet, syrupy sauce, without cooking. I like to add a hint of balsamic vinegar to balance out the sweetness, for a truly luscious summer dessert.

Besides for balsamic macerated strawberries, I also love to macerate strawberries in some light and sweet Moscato wine. The wine infuses the strawberries with it’s peachy goodness, while the strawberries infuse the wine with their juicy sweetness. Win-win, wouldn’t you say?

This stuff is delicious straight out of a glass, but you can also serve it over ice cream, pound cake or even yogurt.

Now if you’re a strawberry purist and think raw strawberries should only be eaten straight out of the carton (or dipped in sour cream), I totally get you. Macerated strawberries are not for everyone! Buttttt I want to shift your attention to another preparation – that of cooked strawberries, ala strawberry sauce! Of course you can simmer up some strawberries with lots of sweet sugar for a thick strawberry syrup that’s achingly sweet. Or…or you can do something a little more glam and little less cloying, and simmer your strawberries in some honey and moscato until you get a lovely sauce that’s just perfect over angel food cake or lovely on some goat cheese ice cream.

Speaking of goat cheese ice cream, I just may have the creamiest, most delicious, sweet yet mildy tangy cheesecake ice cream coming your way. Oh yes. You’re welcome.

Related Recipes:

Moscato, honey & vanilla bean poached apricots
cherries in red wine syrup
strawberry limonana
strawberry rhubarb soup

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Persimmon Guacamole

Monday, February 10th, 2014

It’s no secret that I’m kinda obsessed with persimmon. I gushed about it’s awesomeness here and here and even made some persimmon coconut ice cream here. But as long as persimmon are in season, I’m gonna keep eating them. And if I’m eating them, I’m blogging about them. So there.

When it comes to fuyu persimmon, you can eat them straight-up. No need to wait till their uber-ripe. That’s why they work so great in guacamole – it’s almost like using mango, except so much more delicious!

Guacamole is a great base for interesting add-ins. I love to make use of seasonal fruits and veggies and add them to creamy avocado dip. Pomegranates make an appearance in the fall, persimmon in the winter, and corn, of course, in the summer. The only classic ingredient not making it into my guacamole? cilantro. I’ve tried eating it, I really have. But it just tastes like soap over and over again.

No matter how you take your guacamole – make sure to add some persimmon, they’ll be gone before you know it!

1 year ago: smoked paprika popcorn cauliflower
2 years ago: my ultimate guilt-free breakfast
3 years ago: chicken pot pie from leftover chicken soup

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Roundup: The Seven Species

Monday, January 13th, 2014

This Thursday, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B’shvat, the New Year for the trees. Traditionally, we celebrate by eating The Sheva Minim, or, Seven Species. They include the following fruits and grains that are native to the land of Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

In honor of Tu B’shvat, I’ve put together a roundup of recipes for each of the Seven Species from all around the web. Enjoy!

Read more about Tu B’shvat

WHEAT:

wheat thins
whole wheat pretzel bread bowls
apricot wheat germ muffins
cream of wheat (farina) pancakes
farro salad with carrots, mushrooms and spinach
Tunisian roasted eggplant & wheat berries salad
kibbeh (ground meat & bulgur)
bulgur wheat patties with spicy tahini sauce
chocolate granola with walnuts & wheat germ
puffed wheat chocolate marshmallow bars

BARLEY:

barley ravioli
crockpot mushroom barley stoup
beer braised brisket with onion gravy
honey chili beer chicken
barley risotto
barley croquettes
lentil barley burgers
Moroccan chickpea barley salad
Tu B’shvat salad
barley scones with roasted plums

GRAPES:

mulled wine
balsamic roasted brussel sprouts & grapes
curried chicken salad with grapes
seared duck breast with grape sauce
yebra (Syrian stuffed grape leaves)
grape jelly cocktail meatballs
moscato poached apricots
red wine poached pears
black grape & plum compote
caramel apple pie grape poppers
concord grape cornmeal cake
sangria ice pops

FIGS:

honey roasted figs (fresh)
apple, fig & beet salad (fresh)
fig chutney (fresh)
grilled cheese with figs & honey (fresh)
fig and goat cheese pizza with balsamic glaze (fresh)
dried fruit brie bites (dried)
Tu B’shvat truffles (dried)
mustard roasted dried fruits (dried)
Tu B’shvat biscotti (dried)
fig, olive oil & sea salt challah (dried)
figgy BBQ sauce (dried)

POMEGRANATE:

pomegranate coleslaw
pomegranate rosemary cheddar cheese ball
roasted sweet potatoes with spiced pomegranate molasses
burnt eggplant with garlic, lemon & pomegranate
pomegranate glazed salmon
sticky chicken wings with pomegranate glaze
crockpot sweet & sour pomegranate short ribs
frozen greek yogurt pomegranate bites
no machine pomegranate ice cream
pomegranate chocolate mousse

OLIVES:

infused olive oils
warm marinated olives
sundried tomato olive tapenade
eggplant caponata
multi grain olive braid bread
chicken tagine with olives & prunes
flounder putanesca
cheese-stuffed fried olives
Colavita olive oil chocolate crinkle cookies
olive oil cake

DATES:

banana, dates, milk & honey smoothie
French roast with dried fruit sauce
silan (date honey) roasted figs
lamb and date tagine
chewy date granola bars
whole wheat date & almond muffins
date honey nut bread
sticky date pudding
almond stuffed dates
vegan berry pies with date crust

NOTE: All photos (besides the ones with the BIB watermark) are from 123RF Photo.

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Persimmon Coconut Ice Cream

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

If you’re one of those people that walks right past the mushy, overly ripe persimmon in the supermarket, boy are you missing out! The orange winter fruit is sweet and cinnamony with a bright, fresh flavor. And while they may look rotten on the shelf in the produce department, guess what? – that’s exactly how you’re supposed to eat them!

Why am I suggesting that you eat rotten fruit? Well if you’ve ever eaten a hachiya persimmon that wasn’t overly ripe, you’re mouth was probably covered in a pasty white film that made you want to scream. Ask me how I know.

Why yes, I did just say hachiya persimmon. Kind of sounds like some sort of karate pose, doesn’t it? Well, it turns out that there are actually two different types of persimmon – fuyu and hachiya.

Fuyu persimmon have a squatted flat shape, almost like a tomato, and can be eaten when firm. Hachiya, on the other hand, are very astringent and can only be eaten when fully ripe (read: rotten-looking).

With their silky smooth pulp, hachiya persimmon make a great base for ice cream. Paired with coconut milk and warm winter spices – this creamy dessert is perfect for winter!

Related Posts:

passion for persimmon: salad & sorbet
persimmon yogurt smoothie

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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt Bites

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

When it comes to summer, especially here in Brooklyn, I think most people are about eating light and healthy foods that keep them from feeling heavy. Fruits are especially welcome on a hot summer’s day, as long as they’re cold, or my favorite way – frozen.

If you’ve ever bit into a frozen grape, you know just how a little time in the freezer can turn a simple grape into a sweet and creamy frozen snack. Chocolate-dipped frozen banana’s are another popular guilt-free delicacy. And then there’s the fruit-filled ice cubes, and the all-fruit Popsicle blends. But have you ever tried a Greek-yogurt-covered-frozen-blueberry?

Frozen blueberries are good enough on their own, but dipped in vanilla Greek yogurt, they’re simply outstanding. The yogurt freezes to form a creamy coating over the blueberries, making it the perfect snack on a hot summer day. Once you give these delicious frozen treats a try, you’ll be dipping everything from apricots to raspberries in your favorite Greek yogurt flavor. So have fun, get creative and enjoy the best that summer has to offer!


1 year ago: loaded baked potato omelette
2 years ago: strawberry rhubarb soup

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Sangria Sunday

Sunday, February 13th, 2011


In the spirit of Chodesh Adar, I decided to throw a Sunday Fun Day Party here, with a recipe for delicious light and fruity sangria, and some kick-off-your-shoes music! First things first…the sangria!  Sangria is a chilled Spanish drink, typically made using red wine, sugar, juice and seltzer. It is sometimes laced with brandy and/or liquor. It can be made with a range of fruits to soak up all the delicious flavors. I wanted to make something for the ladies out there so I played around with measurements, and this one isn’t too heavy or too sweet, it’s just right!

Now for the music! Where oh where do I start. It’s Adar and I’m sure you’re all familiar with the phrase “Mishenichnas Adar Marbim B’simcha.” I’m not sure how literal I’ve taken that in the past few years (or since I’ve been a teenager). Adar nowadays has me scurrying about for Shalach Manos for family and friends, gifts for teachers, costumes and shalach manos for the kids. When do I ever take a minute to breath and just, I dont know…dance?! Yeah, that’s right, dance! And I’m the type who barely dances at weddings. Someone has to pull me by the hand and drag me into the middle of the circle for that awkward moment when you dance with the kallah, and you have nothing in the world to say to her (you ALL know what I mean!). I’m the one standing outside the circle, trying to look busy, or out searching for a bottle of wine! So, you know what? Being as I’m such a horrible dancer (I once took “wedding dance classes” and when everyone was following the instructor to the right, I was going to the left), the one place I can let loose is at home, where no one over the age of four can see me (and yes, even my four year old dances better than me!).

Now what can get me, the ultimate bad dancer to kick off my shoes and move to the beat? Some unbelievably good music. And that’s what I got! My amazing sister-in-law, Chanie, just bought me the new EIG8TH DAY CD, CHASING PROPHECY. I’m a huge fan of Eighth Day and their eclectic music. It’s bluesy and chassidic all at the same time. And their poetic lyrics are so full of soul! Chasing Prophecy is by far their best CD yet. I love EVERY SINGLE song. I have been listening to it over and over and over again, and I just love it more and more with each time. And yes! It made me kick off my shoes and dance! Like a little girl, I swirled around, and grabbed my kids by the hands. They looked at me like I fell off the moon. Because for once, just once, I let all my inhibitions go, and I danced like a free bird with not a care in the world. And you know what? it felt SO GOOD! As for my kids, they giggled and giggled and are wishing on their lucky Adar stars that these happy months of candy, costumes and dancing mommies never come to an end. And so too, am I. Happy Dancing!

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Dried Fruit Chutney

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Today marks the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shvat, Tu B’shvat, which is the New Year for the trees. Traditionally, this day is celebrated by eating fruit, especially those that are known as the Seven Species (seven types of fruits and grains enumerated in the Bible as being special products of the Land of Israel). They include: Wheat, Barley, Grapes, Figs, Pomegranates, Olives and Dates. The following is a delicious recipe for mustard roasted fruits from The Low GI Diet Cookbook (a diet which I fully endorse, but that’s for another day!). If you add in some dates, and spread it atop some whole grain bread (made from wheat and barley), you’ll have covered 4 of the seven species with just the appetizer!

I absolutely love the sweetness and chewiness of dried fruits. Oven roasting them brings out their flavor, and adds a delicious carmelization that is excellent when paired with smoked meats or cheeses.


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