Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
- Parboil the carrots for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat, drain, cool and then grate coarsely.
- Combine grated carrots, sugar and lemon zest in a pan and cook, stirring frequently for 20 minutes
- Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add vanilla and half the coconut. Mix well.
- Let cool completely and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Shape into 1 inch balls and roll each in the remaining coconut. (If they don't hold together well, add more coconut)
- Put the truffles in candy cases and store in air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
A final note about carrots: I recently came across some yellow and purple carrots at the Snohomish farmer's market- I am always intrigued by unique veggies, so I had to buy. I learned later that these funky colors are not so unique, but more representative of ancient carrots. Today these are mostly engineered to enhance nutrient values and flavor (I guess most veggies fall in that catagory that aren't heirloom). I am not sure how I feel about having scientists messing about with my veggies. Today's popular orange carrots are a true product of scientist intervention. I read that the beta carotene content in today's carrots in 25% greater than 20 years ago.
Surprisingly someone has devoted a whole website to the subject of carrots, if you are interested in learning more about carrot history, check it out here: www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history.html
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I really believe that wine preference is an individual thing- decide for yourself what you like and what is good. Don't be concerned about price. The cheaper wines, in many cases (punny!) are just as good as the more expensive ones. We will commence with all wine snobbery here!
I picked up the Layer Cake Shiraz on a recent trip to Trader Joe's. I confess that I had never heard of this wine before, but was taken in by it's fabulous name and, well, I also fell prey to the label. (It was like it was expertly marketed just for someone like me!)
Important fact: A "shiraz" grape is the same as a "syrah" grape. For some reason, when it comes from Austrailia they just call it Shiraz...(mate).
For me, "layer cake" conjurs up images of tiers of chocolate cake goodness- not billowy coconut or lemon poppyseed cake layered with jam - just chocolate. And I think the makers of this Shiraz definately share my vision. According to the Wine Bible (which you will hear me quote often), Shiraz tends to have a chocolate or mocha tone to them.
Although I am no expert on wine, I have watched experts and I know that they will first hold a glass up to the light to look at the color. I do not know why they do this, but as far as wines go, this one is a brilliant color of ruby red and I think it would make a great nail polish color actually. (I promise to investigate in future blogs what the color checking thing is all about.)
The next thing that I do with wine is swirl it in the glass which is done to release the essence of the wine. One then points one's nose into the glass and inhales. I play a game here, whereby, I attempt to determine what fruits, spices, barrels etc which have influenced the particular wine. With Layer Cake, I immediately smell a berry of some description, and coffee. The bottle gives only a description of "layers of flavors".
Tasting a wine also involves a special technique. A small sip, followed by a larger sip to basically coat the mouth, followed by a normal sip- and supposedly after this sip you should have a good idea what the wine tastes like and because you look very savvy at wine tasting your credibility is immediately increased. However, I often have to try several sips before I can clearly determine the wine's unique characteristics.
Immediately upon drinking the third sip of Layer Cake Shiraz, I tasted dark chocolate. I am not sure that this is one of my favorite wine flavors, so I am afraid I cannot be completely impartial on this one. I love chocolate and coffee, and I even like chocolates with wine, but this wine starts fruity and ends a bit too bitter for my tastes (although I confess that did not stop me from drinking over half the bottle).
A neat little hint that I read not too long ago in Martha Stewart Living about pairing wines (don't ask me what issue- I may have been reading one of my old ones!) When you determine what is in a wine (and many times it is written right on the label), it makes it easy to pair with the right foods. For the Layer Cake shiraz, I would just look for a dish that could mingle with chocolate...this could be chili, or peanut satay.
If you chance to give this wine a try, or know this wine already, let me know what you think (or thought) of it.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
So here is the recipe: Please, if you have other ideas for simple apricot bites that you would like to share (keep the ingredients below 4 items), feel free to add it to the comments.
Slice the apricots in half and remove the pit.
Fill the apricot with a spoonful of greek yogurt
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
For the life of me, I would never have guessed that this recipe would be so popular with the blog set!
It got me thinking: IF I had a dollar for every tuna and potato chip casserole seeking visitor I have had since posting that fateful recipe..well...certainly I might be able to make a small difference in the world, right?
If you came here for the very famous tuna and potato chip casserole recipe, I am happy to share, and I think we can both do a little bit of good in the process....
For the rest of this year I am raising money for the American Lung Association and I am asking for your help.
Here is how to get the recipe:
Perform a web search using the search box at the top of this page that says "search for a cure". When you search, you will automatically be taken to the post with the tuna casserole recipe! (You will also see results from your search.) When you visit the sponsor's "google ads" resulting from your search results,they pay me for sending you to them (Please note this important step- you must visit the sponsors website!). I will, in turn, pay the American Lung Association the proceeds. (Your search can be for anything you wish!)
You can also visit the ad sense ad on the right of the page and roam around a bit (that is the brown box to the right of the page). Although no recipe will appear, a donation will be made just the same.
Why am I doing this?
Two reasons: My aunt Sally (who first introduced me to tuna fish and potato chip casserole) and my late father in law, Robert Cook. Both passed away from this terrible type of cancer. August will be the one year anniversary of Robert's death and I want to do something positive to remember him on this anniversary .
I will provide a monthly tally of your generous contributions and at the end of this year I will submit a check to the ALA. Tell your friends too!
Thank you in advance for your participation and enjoy the casserole!