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Category Archives: Snack

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!

The Bison Jerky Experiment

2013-02-03 00.32.00 I finally hauled out the huge cut of bison I bought during the final farmers market of the season and sliced off some slivers to make jerky in my dehydrator. I wanted to make jerky completely free of preservatives and found advice on the Internets (thank you, Pinterest). I learned how to trim the meat here and gained inspiration for the marinade recipe by perusing Google.

The whole process was really easy. One of the best tips was to slice the meat while it was still partially frozen. This made it easier to get really, really thin slices.

2013-02-03 00.32.33

The marinade contained:

  • Chesapeake Old-Style Sauce (I probably could have gotten away with just using this)
  • Chili powder
  • Chinese mustard powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Tabasco
  • Honey

I eyeballed all of the measurements for the marinade and let the strips of meat marinate in the fridge overnight. I was surprised that most of the recipes said the meat would be dried after only a few hours in the dehydrator. When I dry fruit, it can take 10 hours or more. I guess it makes sense — there’s so much water content in fruit. Sure enough, after only about 2.5 hours in the dehydrator, we had jerky! Nice and spicy too.

Since this recipe has no preservatives, I have to keep the dried jerky in the fridge. I read that mason jars are preferable because they are less likely to trap moisture (as opposed to plastic bags), which could cause the meat to spoil faster. Bison is very lean meat so the lack of fat also will help it keep longer.

The rest of the cut of bison (I can’t remember exactly which cut this was) is now in my crock pot with some wine, stock and veggies. I will be feasting later today and the rest of this week!

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The Haul: Black Saturday Edition, Plus Adventures in Dehydration

I’ve been traveling the past two weekends and didn’t make it to the Easton farmer’s markets. Yesterday, I did hit one of the farmer’s markets in Richmond with relatives and it was fantastic! Here’s what I picked up:

  • Cinnamon molasses cashew butter
  • Kettle corn
  • Fresh ginger
  • Oyster and porcini mushrooms
  • Gluten-free, egg-free pasta (made from corn flour!)
  • 2 phenomenal food truck fish tacos (gosh, were those good!)

I also ventured to the Penzey’s spice store in Richmond and picked up two sausage seasoning mixes, some poppy seeds, Chinese mustard powder and a Greek seasoning mix. I can’t wait to try the seasoning mixes.

For lunch today, I made some of the pasta with the oyster mushrooms. A pasta purist may have sneered at the texture of the pasta, but it suited me just fine. It’s been almost 6 months since I’ve eaten anything pasta-like.

Lunch.

Adventures in Dehydration

Dried apple and pear slices cooling off before jarring them.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a dehydrator, which I mentioned in my last blog post. I’ve been experimenting with it a bit. Last week, I dried sliced apple and pear slices and they came out splendidly. Normally, I can’t eat raw tree-borne fruit, but once it’s cooked, I can. Drying the fruit produces the same result. The taste of dried fruit is closer to that of fresh, so I am ecstatic that I can eat the fruit slices.

I have more pear slices drying right now. I tried some of both dipped in the cashew butter I bought yesterday — so good! I’m pondering using some of the dried apple pieces in a future batch of breakfast sausage.

Last night, I dried the porcini mushrooms that I bought at the farmer’s market. This way, I can take my time figuring out how to use them in a recipe — I just need to pop them in some broth or hot water to rehydrate┬á before cooking with them.

Dried porcini ‘shrooms.

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.

Elimination Round

Scrambled eggs with arugula and Old Bay.

This blog’s going to be taking a bit of a different tack over the next few weeks. I’ve been advised to try an elimination diet to rule out any food allergies that may be causing me problems. I am already aware of several allergies that I have to some tree nuts and fruits. I’m going to start out this diet eating only meat, veggies and a little fruit (no grains, no caffeine, no alcohol). I’ll have to stick to it for a few weeks before I can gradually start adding things back in.

Earlier this weekend, I lived it up, eating pizza, drinking beer and sangria. I gradually weaned myself off of my daily green tea and so far, so good. I haven’t had a headache yet today. I did allow myself two glasses of decaf iced tea.

Herbed grilled chicken.

Breakfast was three scrambled eggs with arugula and chives and a sprinkling of Old Bay (above). Lunch was an Italian tuna salad salad from Piazza Italian Market. I picked up some raw pumpkin seeds and roasted them for an afternoon snack. Dinner was herbed grilled chicken and grilled veggies. I nursed a lemonade throughout the day (yep, I’m counting that as fruit).

Herbed grilled veggies.

All told, it was pretty easy to follow the diet today. I’m concerned about sticking with it at work. I cooked enough chicken and veggies to take some with me for lunch tomorrow. I hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, which I’ll have with some strawberries on the side. I picked up some green grapes and carrots to snack on, along with the pumpkin seeds. Here’s hoping I can resist the temptation of all the processed foods at the downstairs cafe of my building.

Garden Update

My squash plants are gigantic and there’s already several buds on both. The zucchini plants are doing much better. Three of my tomato plants are thriving. The fourth is the runt of the litter, but I hope it will still do well. I scored a pumpkin plant from friends over the weekend, though I’m not sure it’s going to make it. The large leaves wilted on the drive home. I planted it and watered it right away, but only the baby leaves appear to be surviving. Fingers crossed. It would be so cool to grow pumpkins. I planted it in front of my tomato planter, dislodging several spring bulbs in the process. Ah well…

The Haul: Sweet and Sour Edition

I didn’t make it to the markets this weekend because I was visiting friends, but they happened to have a sour cherry tree that was ripe for picking in their backyard. I scored enough cherries to make a pie or crisp at a later date. It was a lot of fun picking the cherries with their fam (pitting them, a little less so). We probably picked enough cherries for 10 pies and the tree was still laden.

The Haul: In Two Parts Edition

I walked to the open-air farmer’s market this morning and had my hands quite full on the way back with:

  • 2 quarts strawberries
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • white onions
  • scallions
  • a white lavender plant
  • 2 pints honey yogurt
  • spinach
  • caramel rolls (for breakfast tomorrow)

After putting all of that away, I headed back out to the Amish market and got:

  • milk
  • lemonade
  • kettle corn (for a friend, I still can’t eat this anymore, after overdosing on it last year)
  • snack mix
  • more halloumi cheese
  • goat cheese
  • oatmeal
  • apple cider vinegar

Stay tuned for another post on how I used some of these goodies!

Savory Snack: Fried Halloumi and Spinach Bruschetta


I have some halloumi cheese and spinach leftover, so I went searching for recipes. I didn’t want to grill the cheese again because it was so hard to clean the pan. I found this recipe for Fried Halloumi Cheese Toast. Sold!

I fried the cheese slices for a few minutes on each side until they were golden. Then, I placed the cheese on piles of spinach, which I put back in the hot pan, to wilt the spinach a bit. Once that was done, I placed each pile onto a slice of baguette I thawed in the toaster oven.

So good! I could eat fried halloumi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.