As the Olympic Games open in London today, a day before we make our own 100-meter dash (to the boarding gates for our annual pilgrimage to London), I reflect on the gargantuan task I’ve been tackling all week – of emptying a near-full fridge. Ugh. (more…)
I am in luck, with Cara Cara oranges being available freely at Costco (8 pound bag for under $6, is that a bargain or what?). They are going in everything these days, side salads, fruit salads, smoothies, muesli, cakes, muffins, and next week, I’m scooping the flesh out of halves of Cara Cara and setting jelly in them (aka Jell-O) for my younger son’s birthday.
We have fruit salads for dessert on week nights and it’s often challenging coming up with something new and interesting. For this one, which serves two, combine slices of banana, two large handfuls of blueberries, one Cara Cara orange and small chunks of crystallized ginger. Here’s another salad I made a few weeks ago with these lovely oranges, which are less acidic than regular oranges, and have a reddish flesh.
Have you been buyings lots of oranges this winter? Where are they ending up? Do tell!
- China is the world’s biggest apple producer, spouting out 25 million of the fruit in 2005, with the US a distant second at 4 million
- Apples could indeed keep the doctor away, with studies indicating they could reduce the risk of various cancers
- Apples have vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds, as well as fiber
- The Big Apple is a moniker for New York City
- The term was first made popular in the 1920s by John J Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph, in a reference to horse racing
- The nickname is said to have its roots in African-American culture
- And, not least, the Big Apple is where we’re headed next. Woo hoo!
Perhaps it’s time I reminded myself of the existence of the other, lesser berries, but what can I say? ‘Tis the season for blueberries. Not only do they cost half as much as they did six weeks ago – which explains why I keep grabbing pints of them, but the warm, spring sunshine has plumped them up to twice their size in May and bursting with ever-so-blue flavour!
Do click on the title for a peek at the ingredients. The muffins take minutes to make and they will disappear as quickly 😉
I simply can’t bring myself to make plain old white-flour pancakes and fear I have become a bit of a nutritition nazi since having kids. In case you’re wondering why blueberries are featured again, click on the title and you will see 🙂 These are delicious with just a dollop of butter and some pure maple syrup.
- wholewheat flour, 1 1/2 cups
- oats, 1 cup
- fresh blueberries, 1 cup
- salt, 1/2 tsp
- milk, 2 cups
- eggs, 2
- baking soda, 1 tsp
- Beat the eggs by hand
- Add milk and salt
- Add flour and beat thoroughly, add oats
- Stir in blueberries, add baking soda
- Add ladleful onto preheated pancake pan
- Continue till done. Pancakes can be kept warm in a 70C oven to allow the chef to join the family at breakfast 😀
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup wholemeal flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
Sieve flour and other dry ingredients together into a large bowl.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup yoghurt
- 1/2 cup milk (buttermilk would be perfect)
- 1/2 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp cold butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Beat eggs, with the butter, yoghurt and milk.
- Add vanilla essence.
- Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients until it just comes together.
- Fold in blueberries.
- Scoop muffin mixture with ice cream scoop into oiled muffin pan.
- Sprinkle good heap of streusel topping over the top
- Bake in preheated 190C oven for 18-20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Delumptious!
Every Passover, we really do look forward to munching on the symbolic matzah. Plain, with chopped liver, with hummus, egg and onion, or, at breakfast, with butter, jam or a fruit compote or dipped in eggs with a dash of cinnamon and transformed into matzo brei, like french toast – deelish! Unfortunately, the novelty can wear thin as well, so here’s an alternative for breakfast.
I experimented with some muffins made out nut flours, combined with rice or tapioca flour, and came up with this one. It turned out pretty tasty, contains protein from the soy flour and almonds, and fibre from the fruit and almonds, and was wonderful eaten warm, split in half with a dollop of creamy, melty butter 🙂
Apricot and Banana Muffins
- 1 cup soy flour
- 3/4 cup – mix of tapioca or potato flour and ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup canola
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup apricots
- 1 cup banana, squished (about 2 medium)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Mix the dry ingredients together
- Combine wet ingredients separately
- Add wet to dry, mix gently till just combined
- Add nuts, banana, apricots – gently fold in
- Use ice cream scoop to spoon into Pam-ed muffin pan
- Bake in pre-heated 175C oven for 20-25 mins
- Turn out and cool on rack when done
- Dust with sugar and eat immediately!
These dark, sweet, velvety berries are the most delicious little things, what luck that they are categorized as a ‘superfood’ — doctors and nutritionists recommend that you chomp on half a cup of these each day.
The indigo superheroes, which hail from a shrub that produces bell-shaped flowers, pack a profound nutritious punch, frozen or fresh. They are rich in vitamin C, potassium (needed for the nervous system and muscle function), antioxidants (which may protect cells from free-radical damage) and phytoflavinoids (cancer fighters). They are also said to damp inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup yoghurt, low fat is fine
1/2 tsp sugar or sweetener
1/2 a sliced banana
1 cup pineapple chunks
Water or orange juice for thinning
Adjust the liquid levels to achieve maximum yumminess.
Whiz in blender till silky. Voila, a royal smoothie!
With Halloween approaching, weblike, skeletal adornments are creeping up the neighbourhood homes, while plump pumpkins preen at the grocer’s.. haven’t decided if the latter should adorn our porch because the only appreciation they got last year was from them darned squirrels. Even before they were carved, the scoundrels had bitten massive chunks out of them and there was indisputable evidence of a game of rodent rugby. The giant fruit, formerly seated majestically on the porch, lay in ruins, their orange glory in miserable shreds splattered gleefully over the front yard.
That’s worked me up an appetite. Here’s a salad recipe which well suits the fall. Why delay the inevitable mention of food (ignoring pumpkins and squirrels)?
Pear and Nut Salad
- Big bowl of assorted green stuff – spinach, lettuce, radicchio (ok red too)
- One ripe Bartlett pear, slivered evenly and in length
- Cherry tomatoes, handful (optional)
- Caramelised walnuts, a few
- Toasted, salted pumpkin seeds, sprinkle of
Layer the salad in the order above. Drizzle salad dressing over (see below).
Scrummy balsamic vinaigrette dressing:
- 3/4 tbsp seeded mustard
- generous pour of olive oil, whip both till creamy
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey. Whip it good.
Turn it into a meal with a fillet of breaded cod or tilapia or smoked salmon.