Summer CAKE

Refreshing Summer Cake….

Refreshing Summer Cake

Beautiful. Delicious. Refreshing.

and Healthy!

This beautiful tiered cake made of watermelon and decorated with fruits and a few veggies offers a delicious, refreshing and healthy dessert …. or is a fruit salad?

Thanksgiving with Julia & Friends

Thanksgiving with Julia Child…& Friends

– what could be more fun?

Thanksgiving with Julia

This cute illustration by Adriana Gallo along with the list of ‘greats’  caught my attention.  This suggestion hooked me right in:

 “IF – Julia Child, James Beard, and Mollie Katzen threw a potluck Thanksgiving, you’d want to go, right?”  

Of course I’d want to go!

Attempting to “honor the forefathers and mothers of American cooking” here is a menu full of favorite recipes from the Food52 community and staff, and blogosphere at large.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Julia

Among other ‘greats’ here are a few recipes to tempt you:

Julia Child’s Brussels Sprouts with Braised Chestnuts

James Beard’s  Rich Pumpkin Pie

Mollie Katzen’s Mushroom Yogurt Pie with Spinach Crust

Who are your favorite forefathers and mothers of American Cooking?

What are your favorite recipes?

 

 

Fun Football Food

Ready for the Big Game?

… here is some Fun FOOTBALL Food for any game time!

How fun is this?? A simple ‘football’ shaped meatloaf cleverly decorated with cheese is perfect for any  game day but especially Super Bowl!

Not a meat eater?  This great idea and simple presentation can even be adapted to yummy veggie-based loafs and burgers.

Fun Football Food

 

 

Get the Meatloaf recipe here

Get a non-meat loft recipe here

Easy & Fun Egg Muffins

Easy…& Fun…to Make   Easy…& Fun…to Eat

Healthy TOO!

 

EGG MUFFIINS

A Great Breakfast-by-the-Hand Recipe

Easy & Fun Egg Muffins

Delicious and healthy egg muffins are a great alternative to the usual breakfast-by-the-hand options that we often grab as we head out the door (think muffins, bagels, donuts, and other carb and sugar filled choices here) .  Great to throw in your bag to take to school or work or even headed out for fun excursion, Egg Muffins are a healthy and hearty snack for anytime and can be made in advance – ready to go!

The variations are endless.  Any combination of omelet, scramble or quiche fillings, meat, cheese and vegetables. I’m thinking Chili Rellenos s bake (green chilis & cheese), Spinach Ricotta Pie, (with a tasty salami added), Quiche Lorraine (Swiss Cheese & Bacon); Or the iconic Denver Omelet (ham, bell peppers, & cheese)

Easy Fun Egg Muffins

Ingredients

  • Green onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Cheese
  • Green chillies
  • Fresh cilantro
  • You can add chicken or other lean meats, spinach, ricotta cheese, bell peppers, and lots more as per your taste.
  • Eggs 6 beaten with 2 tbsp milk, black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 400ºF
  2. Grease your muffin tin
  3. Add vegetables of your choice along with cheese (if you choose), pour beaten egg mixture on it.
  4. Place muffin pan on the center rack of a preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are light brown, puffy, and the eggs are set.
  5. Let muffins cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan or cups. Loosen gently with knife if they seem to be sticking. Eat immediately or let cool completely and store in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer. The Egg Muffins can be reheated in the microwave.
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2014/12/13/easy-fun-egg-muffins/

Adapted from SignatureWeddings

Dragon Fruit

 

Bright pink “Dragon Fruit” is an intriguing produce that has started showing up in local grocery stores.Dragon Fruit

I saw Dragon Fruit for the first time last year.  Even at the $9.99 price per pound, which seemed outrageous to me, I was intrigued.

When I saw this fruit again – in abundance –  in the markets in San Francisco’s China Town (and for a much lower -more reasonable price)  I decided I needed to give it a try.Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit

This exotic fruit MIGHT be worth the price, right?! I chose a small specimen -partly to save money, but also because- I might not like it and it might not be worth the price.

Dragon Fruit

It is easy to work with – peeling, scooping or dicing; and a very pretty pink to add to a salad or over yogurt etc.

Dragon Fruit

Other than the bright pretty pink color, I am not impressed! The flavor is mild and nothing to sing about. The texture is something akin to a dense kiwi.  In my opinion, unless it proves to have super nutritious powers, it isn’t worth adding to anything – especially at the going rate. Perhaps if the price comes down –a lot! it might be fun. . .

 

 

 

But here is some interesting information on this strange -looking exotic “Dragon” fruit:

It is also known as Pitaya or Pitaha.  It is the fruit of several cactus species.  There are three varieties: a red-skinned with pink flesh; red-skinned with white  flesh  and  yellow-skin with white flesh.

Dragon Fruit Dragon Fruit

 

 

Let’s Eat Cake! – Watermelon Cake?

Let’s Eat Cake!

Watermelon Cake! 

Let's Eat Cake! - Watermelon Cake?

 Funny thing is. . . during our first conversations about this cake ‘challenge’ we had some discussion about who might want which cakes… pick and choose? or random drawings?

The conversation went something like this:

ap: “I haven’t looked at the list – I’ll wait until you divide them up.  You can just do it randomly, or all you others can chose the ones you want and I’ll take what’s left.   And what I get makes no difference to me (as long as they don’t have watermelon or licorice in them!)”

hj: ”I” get any with watermelon and licorice!!!  Dibs!  hahaha!   (ewwwww….)

 jm: “watermelon and licorice cakes – ewww – I agree = no thanks on my end !! UNLESS it is a watermelon shape/decorated cake! but no licorice”

And then. . . there it was!

ap: “Speaking of cakes…!!  — “No Bake Watermelon Cake Recipe”

The next ‘round’ of recipes went out with the ‘extra’ recipe for watermelon cake!

 jmThe Watermelon Cake * is up for grabs and would be a good ‘summer’ cake. If anyone decides to make it, please share your experience with us all!!

 hj: “I’ll volunteer to make the watermelon cake “sometime” this summer!”

And now. . . HERE IT IS!!

 “No Bake Watermelon Cake” Let's Eat Cake! - Watermelon Cake?

Simple ingredients:  1 Large Watermelon, Blueberries, Raspberries, Almonds, Whipped cream or Coconut Whipped cream.

Simple instructions:  Cut watermelon in a circle like a cake, ‘frost’ with whipped cream, add almonds to sides, decorate the top with berries.

It was really very easy and makes an attractive and impressive presentation.

One suggestion I have is to take courage and just CUT the circle out. I thought I needed to use as much of the watermelon as possible, so I more or less ‘peeled’ it and ended up with a ‘top hat’ shaped cake. It also didn’t need to be as big of a watermelon as I used (about 8 pounds – wish I had taken a photo of the un-cut melon).

Let's Eat Cake! - Watermelon Cake?

I also experimented with whipped coconut cream to avoid dairy and was pleased.  Use coconut cream (not milk), well chilled with any liquid drained off, sweeten with sugar like whipping cream.

Let's Eat Cake! - Watermelon Cake?

It was really juicy at first. The recipe suggests ‘patting it down” with a paper towel before frosting which I did. It was still juicy when cut, but the left-over stayed almost a week in the refrigerator… and was still very good – maybe even better than the first day!

Should this be categorized as Edible Food Art? Healthy Cake? Gluten Free? Vegan? No-bake or just ‘Cake’ ? It is definitely fun and delicious!

The perfect healthy “No Bake Watermelon Cake Recipe” is from Jennifer Garza. Visit Jennifer’s blog for more exciting information and recipes.

 

 

Tuesday Tidbits – Watermelon Slicing

Watermelon Slicing the right way?

Is there a wrong way?

Watermelon: Big wide wedges of red juicy slices at summertime picnics or as a refreshing treat on a hot afternoon – juice dripping down our arms and staining our faces from ear to ear. These are the images – or memories – most of us have of eating watermelon.

Tuesday Tidbit - Watermelon slicing

 

How to slice and serve the easy way:

With little people in my life, I have learned to cut smaller pieces of watermelon – easier for them to handle but here is a really practical way to slice and serve watermelon – easy to eat, still juicy but confined. It is almost like every slice is the delicious ‘heart’ of the melon.  Great for everyone!

Tuesday Tidbits: Watermelon Slicing

Instead of slicing the melon into wide wedges that inevitably get juice all over your face and chin, cut the fruit (or any other melon) in half, then slice it in a grid. That will give you evenly sized slices that each have a bit of rind at the bottom to act as a convenient handle

Watch this video if you need specific instructions!

 

Anyway you slice it, Watermelon is delicious and refreshing

 

 

Top image: VisualPhotos.com

Adapted from News & Views  Photo: Courtesy Dave Hax

Food Art – Apple Swans “How To”

Food Art is easy!

 Learn to make these graceful Swans! This easy to follow “How To” video shows step by step.

Food Art - Apple Swans "How To"

Ever wonder how these attractive works of art are created?

There are clever and very capable chefs who whip these lovely carved creations out in no time!

A l-o-n-g  time ago, I was given some small slender knives and a booklet of instructions for similar creations and I though SOME day – maybe – I will give this a try!

This video makes it look easy!

Now- as soon as I get some apples  – I WILL give it a try!

Here are a few of the steps:

Food Art - Apple Swan "How To"

Food Art - Apple Swan "How To"

Food Art - Apple Swan "How To"

Food Art - Apple Swan "How To"

 Food Art - Apple Swan "How To"

Food Art - Apple Swan "How To"

Watch this video and give it a try!

 

Mmmm. . . . CHOCOLATE

 

Chocolate Lovers – Rejoice!

Time to celebrate and have a BIG SALAD!!

Mmmmm...Chocolate

Original ChopShop Co

The Original ChopShop CoOriginal ChopShop Co is a delightful ‘off-campus’ eatery near Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.   Sandwiched between a couple of other little eateries, the Tempe ChopShop takes residence in a cute little bungalow on University Avenue across from the campus. The Original ChopShop Co 

 

Offering a pleasant and peaceful (almost cozy) atmosphere,  this delightful restaurant feels like an escape, a place to relax and enjoy fresh -and delicious! – food anytime of the day.

The Original ChopShop CoDine al’ fresco at tables under the trees or umbrella’s for shade from the warm desert sun.  The Original ChopShop CoSit by the fireplace among the casual collection of cushioned sofas while sipping one of the healthy pressed juices, popular gourmet coffee or teas, or the refreshing lemonades.  The Original ChopShop CoCheer on a fun game of life-sized chess or stay inside and enjoy the bright cheery dining area.

During the week during the school year, the Original ChopShop Co is a busy place with students taking advantage of the proximity to campus and enjoying the healthy choices and relaxing atmosphere.

We were there for an early lunch on a Saturday (few students). With a promise of spring in the air, the late winter sun was warm enough to enjoy sitting outside. The Original ChopShop Co

We chose to share a veggie sandwich with hummus spread on the house bread (low carb whole wheat) and a small side salad of quinoa and asparagus.  It was a wise decision – the portions are generous! The Original ChopShop Co

 Believing that it IS possible to eat fresh, healthy, delicious – and affordable – food in today’s ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle, the ChopShop has a menu that invites you back for more!  

The Original ChopShop Co Starting with breakfast items (yogurt-granola parfaits, eggs with veggies, meat, hash in bowls, wraps or sandwiches) and going into lunch and light dinner meals with salads (in a bowl or wrapped) and sandwiches (also available wrapped or on low carb whole wheat bread), and protein plates and shakes, the menu fills out with small sides, and an extensive beverage selection. The Original ChopShop Co

According to  Original ChopShop Co, the chef selects “the freshest seasonal ingredients for our innovative chop salads, reinterpreted sandwiches, and grilled protein plates.” and pairs “inventive cuisine with familiar dishes unexpectedly twisted into new combinations. ”

Try it – you’ll like it!! (Our granddaughter craves the PB&J!) And you will definitely want to go back to sample more of the menu! 

Lucky us – Original ChopShop has another location, (Old Town Scottsdale)  and plans for a third in Chandler!

 

 

Image Credits:

Great Food Fun Places

Fireplace – Rachael H

Chess Game: Bruce M