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Category Archives: Dessert

Spicy Peach Smoothie

I know this blog has been quiet for quite awhile. I think of it often, but haven’t gotten my butt in gear to write. But then I made this, and I knew I had to share it with the rest of you:

Spicy Peach Smoothie

Spicy Peach Smoothie

I recently started a fruit share from Blades Orchard and it’s peach season. This week, we got white peaches and regular (if by regular, you mean huge) peaches. They’re great to slice up and eat, but a coworker suggested that I make a peach smoothie.

Genius.

So I combed the interwebs for smoothie recipes. All called for either dairy or a non-dairy milk (meh). I then happened upon a couple of recipes that called for coconut milk (the real stuff, not that sweetened liquidy cereal-milk replacement).

And so I was inspired. Lately, I’ve been adding a lot of ginger and turmeric to stuff. The benefits of doing so are many (anti-inflammatory, tasty, etc.). This smoothie is no exception. The ginger really gives this smoothie some bite and the turmeric helps boost the yellow color.

I’m weird and don’t like to drink super cold stuff. You could make a cold smoothie by adding a few ice cubes to the following or freezing some of the fruit before blending it.

Spicy Peach Smoothie
Serves 2 (or 1, if you are me and not willing to share)

2 large peaches, pitted and sliced
1 banana
1/2 can coconut milk
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled
1 scant teaspoon ground turmeric
1 scant teaspoon honey

Blend it all until smooth and enjoy!

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Chemistry of a R̶o̶o̶t̶ Beer Float

100_4830 A few weeks ago, I tried Southern Tier’s Choklat stout at a beer tasting. It was a-mazing. Never before had a beer evoked memories of childhood* as its subtle hints of Hershey’s syrup did.

I knew what I had to do.

A beer ice cream float.

My friend Brian recommended trying mint-chocolate chip ice cream. That’s my favorite ice cream flavor, so that sounded perfect. I ended up blending my own mint ice cream using peppermint patties and vanilla ice cream (all the mint ice cream I found, even at the organic grocery store, had “natural flavors” or MSG in it).

100_4825The ice cream tasted awesome.

The beer tasted awesome.

The two together… not so much.

But I was undeterred. The following night (last night), I tried again, but with the plain ol’ vanilla ice cream.

Magic.

100_4834

Now, a word of caution. Adding sugar to beer causes a very bubbly reaction. If you try this at home (and I recommend that you do), leave plenty of room in the glass for the foam that will ensue (not unlike in a root beer float).

Bonus pic of chopped up mint patties:

100_4824*Well, except for some crappy beers that remind me of the mostly flat half-bottle of my dad’s Michelob that I drank when I was 5. (Obviously, I was too young to know any better. I mean, Michelob? Really?)

BBQ Chicken Wings, Plus Haul-Type Stuff

I’ve been buying rotisserie chickens a lot lately, but have grown tired of them. With today’s nice weather, I decided to buy chicken to cook myself on the grill. I settled on this recipe for barbecue chicken. I made the sauce per the recipe, but did everything else differently. I bought a bone-in chicken breast at the Amish market, which I had them split for me. I also bought 1.5 pounds of wings.

Maggie was very attentive during the whole grilling process.

Maggie was very attentive during the whole grilling process.

I sprinkled the meat with a seasoning mix from Penzey’s and grilled them per this recipe instead of the indirect heat suggested in the recipe above. I brushed half of the sauce over the meat towards the end of cooking it. I was glad I had bought the wings because they cooked much faster. I was able to enjoy them while I waited for the breasts to finish cooking. Those I’m saving for meals later this week.

Here’s a photo of the wings before I demolished them. I removed the skins before eating them.

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Recent Hauls

Earlier in the day, I visited the farmer’s market with Maggie. We bought:

  • Strawberries
  • Carrots
  • Potted basil plant
  • Bulk bison burger (I’m thinking of making chili tomorrow)
  • Bison short ribs
  • A gluten-free cinnamon bun and gluten-free lemon pound cake

The cinnamon bun was okay — it wasn’t everything I’d built up in my head. Wishing I had those calories back. The pound cake I had after dinner with a sauce I made out of frozen raspberries and fresh strawberries simmered together. I drizzled some chocolate vincotto (I keep forgetting I have this) over the whole shebang. That was really good.

Thursday night, I picked up a small box from Eating Out of the Box. It contained lettuce, kale and two types of Chinese cabbage.

Garden Update

Today, I used up the rest of my landscape fabric to cover the ground around my raspberry and blackberry canes, and under my Vegtrug. Fingers crossed this makes weed control in those areas easier this season. I’m not planning to mulch the entire area, though I may eventually mulch around the base of the berry bushes. I’m also hoping the barrier fabric really does allow moisture through, as promised. Otherwise, watering those berry plants is going to be a pain.

I also planted some seeds I bought last summer at Monticello. The flowers are meant to attract butterflies. I sprinkled them in a bed by my garage where I threw down wildflower seed bombs last year. Some of those seeds and plants have returned this year. Hopefully the new seeds take too. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to plant some of my remaining vegetable seeds. I also need to devise a trellis system for the berry bushes and amend my compost mixture. Oh yeah. And mow the lawn.

The Haul: Shopping-While-Hungry Edition

I broke one of the cardinal rules of food shopping today and left for the markets before breakfast. The result: I bought a ton of food!

I started at the open-air market. I had already resolved to buy a bunch of tomatoes for freezing. I also bought:

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 pints blackberries!!!
  • 1 1/2 pint raspberries* (part of breakfast)
  • a bunch of sweet potatoes
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 2 cucumbers
  • figs!
  • bison skirt steak

And I wasn’t done yet. I needed to go to the Amish market for sausage meat. Last week, I made this pork sausage recipe and it was really, really good, but I passed by the pork this week because the line was really long and got mixed ground turkey again. But, this weekend there’s a pig roast out in the parking lot! So, I also got suckered into buying:

  • 1 pint peach ice cream
  • homemade Amish potato chips (many of which became part of breakfast)

I also had resolved to buy fish to cook this week so I crossed the street and bought at Captain’s Ketch:

  • 1 bag of onions
  • 1 pound of wild-caught Coho salmon
  • 1 1/2 pint of their amazing shrimp salad (also part of breakfast)

What’s more, I haven’t even touched the watermelon and butternut squash that I bought last week. Also, the plums I bought last week were far from ripe and so those have been hanging out until they soften up a bit. I still have some of the peaches that I grilled to eat too.

Oh, and after purchasing everything that I did today, I forgot to buy greens like I’d planned.

*It didn’t occur to me, until there were only a few left, that maybe instead of eating the entire half-pint of raspberries in one sitting, I could have frozen them for baking or something later. This is the second time this week I’ve downed that many at one time. The farmer’s market at UMD had them this week too. In my defense, the ones I bought at work were so ripe, they wouldn’t have survived until I got home and I did share some with my coworkers.

Amish hand-made potato chips (a.k.a., breakfast).

Allergy Update

It appears that wheat, and also probably gluten, are among my allergies. I’m still trying to figure out the gluten thing though. I can drink beer, but not wheat beer. I was able to eat non-wheat flour bread last weekend, but presumably it still had gluten in it? I did, happily, find flourless, eggless cookies at the UMD farmer’s market this past week. Definitely going to stock up on those!

Garden Non-Update

Not much to report from the garden. I still haven’t planted what I said I would. I had hoped to do some planting today, but now it’s raining. Hopefully, tomorrow.

Grilled Onion, Halloumi and Wilted Spinach Salad

There’s probably room for improvement here, but if you haven’t tried grilling onions or haloumi cheese yet, I encourage you to try it. I started out with red onions I bought today at the farmer’s market. Aren’t they gorgeous? Never thought I’d say that about an onion.

I heated my grill pan to hot and, after brushing the onions with olive oil, started grilling them cut side down. It smelled so good. After about five minutes, I flipped them. They didn’t start to smoke until I turned them over. I just turned on the exhaust fan and that kept things under control. After about 10 minutes, during which I flipped them one more time, I moved them to a plate.

Meanwhile, I was sauteing some spinach leaves in olive oil in another pan. I added salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar (eyeballing all amounts).

After the spinach was done (I left it in the pan after turning off the heat), I started grilling the cheese, which I’d cut into 1/3″ slices. I don’t think cast iron is the best method for grilling this kind of cheese. It stuck to the pan and was hard to clean off later (my stiff-bristle brush didn’t touch it — had to use my fingernails).

But the end result was worth that bother. The cheese kind of tastes like string cheese, except saltier, and it squeaks in your mouth. If this doesn’t appeal to you, this salad would have been good with grilled portobello mushrooms instead. Or grilled chicken. I also can imagine a variation with feta and orange slices. Mmm… Maybe even grilled orange slices. I’m turning into a grilling fiend.

The below wasn’t my dessert, it was my mid-afternoon snack: toasted slices of baguette (saved from a Panera meal a few days ago), smothered in Nutella and then topped with fresh sliced strawberries. Heaven!

Out with the Old, In with the New

Honey Peach & Blackberry Cobbler

I made Honey Peach & Blackberry Cobbler to take to a dinner with friends last night. It turned out pretty well, considering I messed up in halving the recipe (too much sugar) and I didn’t have fresh lemon juice for the fruit. Luckily, I was using frozen peaches that I’d stored in a mixture of lemon juice and simple syrup, so they didn’t brown too much. I also used frozen blackberries from last summer.

This was all part of my attempt to continue clearing out my freezer. I’m going to need to defrost it soon, before I start filling it up again from the (hopeful) bounty from my garden and what I buy at the farmer’s market.

Speaking of the farmer’s market, here’s a fun video done by the Easton Star-Democrat about yesterday’s opening.

This morning, I had fresh berries on my oatmeal for the first time since the last of the blackberries were available last summer. You really appreciate things like fresh berries a lot more when you only eat them in-season. I love this time of year!

I like a little oatmeal with my strawberries.

The Haul: And… We’re Back Edition

I don’t need to tell you how excited I was for the beginning of this year’s Easton farmer’s market. Sure, we had a mild winter. And, yes, with Easton Market Square being open year-round, there’s more options for fresh, local produce during the colder months. But there’s just something about the atmosphere and getting to see everyone (and all the dogs people bring), that you miss during the off-season. I don’t know half the vendors’ names, but we all talk every week and it was fun to catch up after not seeing them since December.

So, here’s what I bought today. From the open-air market:

  • Local wildflower honey
  • 1 lb. ground bison
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Organic arugula
  • Organic carrots
  • Vanilla yogurt
  • Belgian sugar waffle (breakfast, a part of which is pictured below)

Remnants of the Belgian waffle that somehow survived until I got home.

From the Amish market:

  • Lemonade
  • Organic milk
  • Strawberries! (local, from a greenhouse)
  • Wheat sandwich rolls
  • Whoopie pie (I simply can’t resist these sometimes)

Update from the kitchen: I made a Honey Peach and Blackberry Cobbler to bring to a dinner tonight. Will write a more detailed post if it turned out well…

Update from the garden: Most of my tomato seeds have sprouted and there was a parsnip plant peeking out this morning. Also, two over-achieving lavender seeds have sprouted. Everyone’s hanging out in the sun on the front porch this weekend since it’s supposed to be nice and sunny and warm. Hope the runty plants take advantage of it! I’ll start some echinacea seeds tomorrow.