Category Archives: fruit

Honey-drizzled figs stuffed with goat cheese

This dish was inspired by my time working in catering. They had these delicious goat-cheese stuffed figs (or dates? I can’t remember) that I thought were vegetarian. However, after working there for a few months and stuffing my face with more than a few leftovers, I found out they had prosciutto in them. Ahhhhh… Anyway, this vegetarian version is just as good.

Cook time: about 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Figs
  • Goat cheese
  • Pecan or walnut pieces (optional)
  • Honey (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
  3. Cut the stems off of the figs and then cut figs in half
  4. Put goat cheese on the open half of the figs . I recommend rolling the figs between your fingers to reduce the volume of the seeds inside the figs so the goat cheese can sink in a little more.
  5. Place figs, goat cheese side up, on a baking sheet and bake until the goat cheese is hot but not brown (about 10 minutes).
  6. Top each fig with a pecan or walnut piece.
  7. Plate the figs.
  8. Drizzle with honey if desired.

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Cran-apple oatmeal

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This picture looks just like what you’d find a cereal box. Enlarged to show texture, as they say.

I came back from a 3-day folk music and dance festival last night. It was really great, but dancing for 5-6 hours/day can really work up an appetite. During my return carpool, my fellow travelers and I started to talk about oatmeal. And this morning, surprise surprise, I was really craving a nice hot bowl. However, my fridge is missing several important items, like fresh/frozen berries and almond milk (my milk-like beverage of choice this month), that I usually use to make my oatmeal taste less like, well, just plain oats. So I scrounged a little and turned up a jar of applesauce and a bag of craisins (both items I try to keep in my pantry). I thought, well, if cran-apple juice is delicious, maybe cran-apple oatmeal won’t be so bad. I made a good decision, cran-apple oatmeal might be a new favorite.

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Tee-he-he, the craisins are on top of the apple sauce. Silly craisins.

Time to prepare (if oatmeal is already cooked): 5 minutes

Time to prepare if you have to cook the oatmeal: about 30 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (I prefer steal-cut oats because they have a firmer texture, but any type will probably work)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/8 cup craisins (dried cranberries)

Instructions:

  1. Put oatmeal in a bowl
  2. Add brown sugar. I find that adding the sugar before the other ingredients helps the sugar to spread more evenly over the oatmeal.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir mixture.
  5. Eat.
  6. Adjust cran/apple/sugar ratio to desired taste.

A note on oatmeal: Believe it or not, cooked steel-cut oatmeal reheats really nicely in the microwave. I like to make a big pot on the weekends (about 2 cups of uncooked oats) and then store the oatmeal in a Tupperware in the fridge. On a Wednesday morning when I’m already feeling pretty down about the day, I scoop some oatmeal into a microwave safe bowl, heat it for 2 minutes, add some milk-like beverage, sugar, and fruit, and voilà, instant satisfaction. You’ll (probably) never go back to instant.

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Marmaladin’ it

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So last week I bought a 5lb bag of clementines from Trader Joe’s. Normally, I love Trader Joe’s clementines, but this batch just wasn’t good. I can’t stand to waste food, but I didn’t want to eat these clementines raw, so I decided to make marmalade.

IMG_2528I found an absolutely excellent recipe online. I sterilized my motley crew of glass jars using the instructions on this website.

I made a few alterations to the recipe from Binny cooks. First, instead of using a tea bag for my lemon seeds, I put them in a coffee filter and tied the filter with a piece of thread.

Cute little packet of peptin rich lemon seeds.

Cute little packet of peptin rich lemon seeds.

I also didn’t have quite enough clementines (and they were the small ones from TJ’s), and they were too sweet for my taste, so I added about half a lemon extra.

Not enough clemies?

Not enough clemies?

I also didn’t have enough white sugar, so I used about 3/5 white sugar, 2/5 brown sugar. I don’t think it changed the taste much, but it gave the marmalade a dark caramel color.

Other than that, I just boiled the marmalade for about a million years, jarred it, and left it on the window sill to cool.

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Before

During

During

After

After

The only change I would make next time is I would chop up all of the peel and dump it in to add a little more bitterness.

Marmalading is pretty simple! And here I was thinking all these years that it was next to impossible.

Frozen Banana Men

Aren't they just so cute? His little smile just makes me so happy.

Isn’t he  just cute? His little smile makes me so happy.

Frozen banana men are perfect for satisfying an ice cream craving, and their small size great for portion control. This dessert was inspired by my friend E and by a gingerbread-men mold that I found on clearance at K-mart after the holidays. It’s rubbery so it is easy to pop the little men out and maintain their shapes. Note that the dish can be made just as well in an ice-cube tray. Did I mention it’s ridiculously easy?

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Ingredients:

  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp nutella
  • Note: this dish can be made vegan by using a vegan chocolate alternative for nutella, such as vegan chocolate chips. You can also substitute chocolate soy milk for plain, or omit the chocolate all together

Instructions

  • peel bananas into a bowl and mash them until they have a smooth and creamy texture and most of the lumps are gone.
  • Add soy milk.
  • Mix in nutella or vegan substitute. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more soy milk.
  • Pour mixture into mold or ice-cube tray, filling the compartments a little more than 3/4.
  • Freeze for 4+ hours

Told you it was easy.

To store the men more space-efficiently (or your ice-cube tray for something else), simply place men in a freezer proof Tupperware in layers, separating each layer with a piece of plastic wrap.

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