Tag Archives: fruit

Melon Ice Cubes

This is undoubtedly my favorite use for left over fruit!  It’s so simple and is impressive when served to flavor water or cocktails.  Here’s all you have to do.  Take your left over melon and puree in a food processor.  Pour into ice cube molds and let freeze.  Then serve in lemonade or margaritas or whatever makes your heart content!

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Week of Watermelon!

Here goes… This week is all about watermelon.  Since they’re at the just coming into the peek of their ripeness in our area, I thought it would be fun to ponder different recipes, tips and tricks for this iconic summertime treat.  Stay tuned each day this week as I share another one of my findings…

How do you know if it’s ripe?

Obviously, without cutting a melon and taking a bite, it’s never a guarantee that you’re getting the perfect melon, but with just a few tips, you’ll be picking the best ones, more often than not.  Here’s what I do… First, look for a melon that is symmetrical in shape and heavy for its size.  Next, look for the couche – that’s the stop where it rested on the ground while it was growing.  This part is important.  If you don’t see the couche, it means the melon wasn’t ripened on the vine, and you’re not going to get that sweet flavor you’re after.  Finally, you should have a clean indentation where the melon was removed from the vine.  If there’s any bit of vine left on there, it was picked before peek ripeness.  Happy seed spitting!

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Chicago Tribune All About Ribs “In barbecue season, the butcher’s case is bulging with pork ribs. Baby back ribs, spareribs, country ribs, rib tips, St. Louis cut ribs, riblets, rib chops, rib roasts, baby spareribs, button ribs, Danish ribs and loin ribs (across the street, there are McRibs). The prices range from $2 to $8 a pound. Here’s what you need to know about the most popular cuts before you fire up the grill.”

4. – The Boston Globe Pickle Craft “I’m still obsessed with pickles. I am not alone. There is a pickle of the month club. A Facebook page for pickles has 6,110 fans (some of whom make comments not suitable for work). If you Google “obsessed with pickles,’’ a) you are obsessed with pickles yourself, and b) you will find you are in good company. Not that you need Google to tell you this if you’ve eaten in a restaurant in the past few years.”

3. – The LA Times Fruit Pies Perfected “It came still warm, its sugar-dusted crust glittering in the sunlight through the front window, the light, flaky exterior quietly shattering under the fork with each bite. Underneath, the rich berry filling oozed slightly — the thick, sweet glaze cradling tender, slightly tart berries that seemed to pop with every mouthful. It was magical.”

2. – The NY Times Gelatin Makes Wine Go Wobbly “Nature makes some good products, but when you are 10, what the food companies do is awesome. Nothing in the plant or animal kingdoms can rival the wonder of Tang, the astronaut’s orange juice. It has little in common with fruit juice. If it tasted more natural, there would be no point in pouring it into the palm of your hand and licking it. The rush of sugar and citric acid was intense enough to blot out all other sensations for a moment, and for that trip to sensory bliss I would now like to thank my mother, the space program and the entire era of American food history from the 1950s through the 1970s.”

1. – The Washington Post A Sundown Supper on the Grill “I knew the heat had gotten to me when the mere sight of my partner putting the kettle on for Saturday morning coffee sent me into hyperspace. Apparently he hadn’t received the No Stove, No Oven, No Way! memo.”

Photo from The Chicago Tribune

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Ice Pops

I’m a sucker for all things frozen fruit during the summer, especially when the mercury rises to 100, like today, yesterday and tomorrow…  Appropriately, Bakerella did a little tutorial on homemade freezy pops to cool you off.  Read it here

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A Summer Delight

These cakes are one of my absolute favorite things to make once the weather turns warm and the berries are ready for picking.  I first had them years ago at the St. Jude Gourmet Gala… The then pastry chef at 1789 had made them for the party and I was in LOVE.  I raced home, told my then darling boyfriend (now darling husband) about them and waited impatiently for the perfect summer fruit to make them.

I pulled out the recipe earlier this week to give to a friend and knew I had to re-share them with you.  Most of the vendors at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market this past weekend said the strawberries are at their end, so race out and get some and whip up this delight!

For the cake
1 2/3 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla Continue reading

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The Daring Bakers: Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding

frangipane

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

Bakewell tarts…er…puddings combine a number of dessert elements but still let you show off your area’s seasonal fruits.

Like many regional dishes there’s no “one way” to make a Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding, but most of today’s versions fall within one of two types. The first is the “pudding” where a layer of jam is covered by an almondy pastry cream and baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.

The version we’re daring you to make is a combination of the two: a sweet almond-flavored shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

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Treats from Paris

Erin came back to the office last with a plethora of treats from Paris and I can’t help but to show how beautiful the food goodies are…

These are Pates de Fruits from The Galleries Lafayette gourmet grocery store in the basement level of their Galleries Homme (men’s store) in the Opera district of Paris.  Erin had first stopped at a shop that only made Pates de Fruits only to discover they were selling them for $60 a pound!  These are quite possibly my favorite indulgence when it comes to candy.  I love the concentrated flavor and the smooth texture.

I’ve made Passion Fruit Gelees on a couple of occasions and find this is the best recipe to use without making a special trip to a baker’s supply store…

jellies

The only request I made when finding out Erin was going to Paris was the Pates de Fruits, but she surprised me with a beautiful little box full of macarons from Laduree Patisserie that were to die for!   If you’re interested in making homemade macarons, this is by far the best method/recipe I’ve seen…

macaron2


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Blackberry Panna Cotta

For the Emeril Green viewing last night, I used up the last of the blackberries we picked on Labor Day for a Blackberry Panna Cotta.  If you’ve never made one, you must… It’s simple to make and always wows guests.

Blackberry Panna Cotta with Lemon Drizzle
for the panna cotta
2 cups blackberries
1 cup heavy cream (divided use)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp gelatin

for the sauce:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon

Continue reading

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The Gooseberries taste like… Gooseberries!

Fruity and floral, the scent of gooseberries simmering is one of the quintessential aromas of summer and they aren’t around for long, so if you see them at the market this week, snag them up!

So what are these silly little slightly furry berries and what can be made of them? Well, for starters, there are two periods during their growing season that the are delightful for eating. When they are green like the berries in the bottom of the above picture and when they are more translucent and almost purple like the ones on the top.

The green berries are for cooking and need a little sugar. They are fairly tart and quite firm to the touch. Plan on using 1 tbsp of sugar to every 1/2 cup of fruit. Remove the stems and tops with kitchen shears then cook the two down in a saucepan until the berries have softened then use as an accompanying fruit sauce for fish or chicken or put them in your dessert crisp. I love the combination of elderberries and gooseberries.

The real treat (and you are lucky if you find these!) are the “dessert” berries like the ones in the top of the photo. They have ripened to be sweet and are great in all sorts of preparations including the simple fruit salad.

Now hurry out and find some at your local farmer’s market!

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Fabulous Find: Meduri World Delights

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Meduri World Delights “makes” the best dried fruit I have ever tasted. I don’t know that there is much more to say than that… I tried the mixed berries, apricots, granny smith apples and peaches and each and every bite was delightful!

The raspberries have the consistency of the perfect “gummy” with perfect “organic” flavors and the consistency of the apples is incredible! At first bite, you’ll be blown away by the intense explosion of flavor that comes from the dehydrated fruit. Then comes the addiction… I ate my way through a whole bag of the berries in just a day!

Check them out here – they are the perfect treat for your health-nut sweetie!

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