Just in time for a holiday meal.
We had some old friends (Jackie & Ron) visit from Colorado recently and it was so much fun catching up with each other lives. Ron said he still remembers hushpuppies I made them years ago and I told him my hushpuppies were much better these days.
For dinner one night I made some stuffed dates (dates I brought back from Israel) and my Prosciutto and Gruyere Palmiers, Redfish Imperial, Fiery Angel Hair Pasta, Grilled Asparagus and for dessert was Julia’s Mixed Berry Clafoutis.
So, how did it turn out? Well my stuffed dates were probably cooked a little too long, I put too much of the crab topping on the redfish and forgot to give it extra time under the broiler and my clafoutis which was suppose to be part custard/cake really turned out a little more solid than I wanted because I left it to warm in the oven too long. But, good friends are forgiving and they enjoyed the dinner and I kicked myself all night because my dessert wasn’t just right.
Fruit made even better with this dip.
Seems like I’m posting a lot of dessert recipes lately but this dip is perfect for summer get-togethers and so easy to make.
What’s your favorite fruit? Mine is any kind of berry; strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. If it ends in “berry” I like it. Or, on the other hand, I love mandarin oranges (the canned ones) mixed with bananas. My least favorite fruits would be pears and apples or grapes that are as big as golf balls; I won’t buy grapes when they are huge and I haven’t seen a small grape in years; I guess they are all pumped up with hormones or something. My husband is the grape buyer because he knows I won’t buy them when they go over $3/lb. This recipe comes just in time for all those summer fruits you will be seeing at the market.
When we are at any of our kids houses their refrigerators are full or organic fruits like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries and of course they all eat bananas. My son, Paul would not touch fruit when he was a kid and my husband would try bribing him with money to get him to even try a strawberries.
You have never had a fruit dessert like this and a dip so easy; and never a recipe from me with only four ingredients.
Back in my catering days (and that seems a lifetime ago) I catered a party for this lady and she wanted a fruit tray but she had her own recipe for her favorite dip so she gave me the recipe and ask me to make it for her. I made the recipe and I loved it and the best part of it (other than the Eagle Brand milk taste) is the roasted pecans.
And it has wine jelly leaves.
I had to give you this recipe in time for Christmas. Maybe you want to do a light dessert during the holidays. Wouldn’t this be a beautiful Christmas dessert; I’d cut the wine jelly into little stars instead of leaves.
Isn’t it amazing how many food blogs are out there and I’m amazed at how many I follow. Recently I was looking for a dessert recipe for our Fall dinner and came across this poached pear recipe at allthatcooking.com. It had such a beautiful presentation that I knew I had to look no further. All That Cooking is a co-authored blog and this recipe belongs to Óli who is from Iceland but lives in Sweden and has been a professional chef for the last 30 years.
I never liked can pears as a kid and when my mother, for some reason, would use a can of fruit cocktail as a starter for her homemade fruit salad, I always picked out the pears and left them behind on the plate. Over the years, I learned to appreciate the juiciness of a fresh pear and started trying all the different varieties. I love the Asian pear but for this dish it doesn’t have the shape I wanted.
This recipe was followed as written except for the cutting of the jelly cubes. I have some tiny aspic cutters and a few fall leaf cutters we are trying. and the way his dessert is described –Firm pears, poached to a jewel toned crimson, surrounded by a just rich enough almond cream with flecks of butter toasted almonds is a dessert to please anyone’s palate — now doesn’t that make you want to try it.
Beautiful and unusual fruit.
How often do you go out of your comfort zone? I’m doing it more lately and on a recent trip to Central Market in Houston I was eyeing some of the fruits that were being sampled. I have to admit I had never tasted the Rambutan, Dragon fruit or Feijoa and I don’t think I have ever laid eyes on them either.
Typically my fruit salads start with bananas, strawberries, melon, kiwi and maybe apples. But today I’m going way out of my comfort zone and adding three new fruits to my repertoire of fruits.
When the man handing out samples of the rambutan, cut it open, my first thought was “hey, this looks like an eye ball” but it has a seed in the center. My first thought of the Feijoa when I opened it was that the center kind of looked like bone marrow. Now, those aren’t very appetizing descriptions of some new fruits I want you to try so I guess I should just be quite about what I thought the fruits looked like. When I opened the dragon fruit, I did think it was beautiful; white flesh full of hundreds of black tiny seeds. And, what can I say about a star fruit, it looks like a star. I once used the star fruit when I made a dragon sushi roll and I cut the star fruit in thin slices and put it in between the sushi pieces to look like scales, very pretty.
So, I’m taking rambutan, feijoa, dragon fruit, kiwi, strawberries, star fruit, a little lime and honey and coconut white balsamic vinegar and making a fruit salad with some new acquaintances.
Dragon fruit — Dragon fruit is a member of the cactus family and is football shaped and has a beautiful pink/red thick skin. There are three varieties, red, white and yellow flesh with greenish petals sticking out here and there and they have hundreds if not millions of black seeds and this fruit tends to be enhanced in flavor when mixed with other fruits. This fruit is very common in Asia. And here’s an interesting bit of information. Dragon Fruits help to protect the environment because they absorb carbon dioxide at nighttime, and then release oxygen to purify the air. Dragon Fruit contain no cholesterol, saturated fat or trans fat. Cross between a kiwi and watermelon.
Who doesn’t love chips and salsa at a party? I think it is kind of un-American to turn up your nose at probably one of our first appetizers we ever learned to make whether it is guacamole, onion dip (even the packaged type) or anything you throw together with a sour cream or mayonnaise base. And this little fruit salsa just explodes in your mouth with taste; kind of like the best bite of fruit cobbler you put in your mouth and you don’t even need a recipe.
IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN; The time when I drag myself to the blueberry and blackberry patch with the possibility of snake bite, mosquito bites, sunburn, pricked fingers from the throned berries, heat stroke, and dehydration and force myself to pick berries so I can make some preserves and then put the remainder of the berries in the freezer (it better not go out again and spoil my fruit).
I was ready this year and decided to drag myself off the couch and quit complaining about my knees (by this time I should be two days into one new knee) and get out and do something. The first trip was to the blackberry patch. So, I took a tumbler of water (that dumped before I picked a half a pail of berries), hung my iPhone around my neck, put on earphones, set it to play my favorite soundtrack from the movie French Kiss, and donned my big floppy hat and set out down the patch with two buckets in hand. So the first hour I picked 10 lbs and went back for two more buckets which I filled in 45 minutes. $65 later, I have enough berries to last awhile.
My second trip was to the blueberry fields of Moorhead Blueberry Farm. They were the first blueberry farm in Texas according to their website. I did not beat everyone there the day I went even though I was there at 7:00 a.m. By the time I left, there were at least 100 berry picker’s cars along the road and more coming in. This was a fun morning. I was by myself and as I picked berries (there were gazillions) I could hear cries from all over the fields from parents who had taken their children — “watch out for the poison ivy”, “only pick the dark blue ones”, “don’t throw them in the bucket”, “WHERE ARE YOU”, and AWWWWWWW from the ones that were probably too little to take on this outing. I was glad to be in my own little world with my headphones and music.
Summer’s best peaches put to good use.
This is the third peach recipe I promised in last week’s posting. After buying a sack full of peaches at the market, I had three recipes in mind. These peaches were not only beautiful, they were very tangy and sweet. The other two dishes I made were Peach and Arugula Salad with Pancetta Chips and a Peachy Raspberry Ice Cream. This recipe has two of my favorite fruits — peaches and raspberries.
As a kid, I remember picking mulberries and dew berries but I don’t think I remember eating fresh raspberries until I was an adult. Raspberries, blackberries, figs and blue berries go great with cheese and nut trays and I have also thrown in some dried fruits which makes for a nice presentation.
Years ago I remember making my first Peach Melba. It was an ice cream dessert and had vanilla ice cream, and poached peach halves and a raspberry sauce. You poached the peaches, cooled and then made ice cream balls, topped with a peach half (upside down) and then drizzled the raspberry sauce over all. I remember the recipe saying it will be as bright as the Pope’s hat. It was, and I think this dessert is just as delicious and vivid in color.
The raspberries were bought earlier in the season when I picked them up for 99¢ and of course I bought about twenty cartons to put in the freezer. I tend to go overboard when buying berries when they get down to 99¢. Last year I had a freezer full of blueberries I lost during the power outage from the hurricane. You would think I would learn my lesson but I’m always looking for a bargain.