It’s time….pie time! Here is a cute little info graphic all about pie. Have a wonderful holiday season!
How did I ever buy almond milk? Had I known how delicious, creamy and refreshing the homemade stuff was I would have never bought the other stuff. The real reason is probably because before I owned my Blendtec Blender I wouldn’t have thought the regular blender could hack it. A high powered blender really makes a difference when making the nut milks, plus I use it for tons of other things.
I have been making smoothies for my morning routine for about a year now and I love them. I use almond milk because cow milk is not my friend. I was buying a 4 cup box of the Silk Almond Milk since I am the only one using it, it tends to go bad before I finish it. I started buying the one serving packs but the amount of wasted packaging just made me feel like a bad person every morning. I’m starting my day with a healthy drink, I shouldn’t have to feel crappy about what I’m throwing away.
Solution, homemade almond milk, easy, fast, healthy and delicious!! Now my only waste is the occasional old wrinkled paper bag for transporting the almonds from the store to home. I have been collecting the pulp in the freezer for baking with but even if toss some in the compost I can feel good about that too. For really great Almond milk I recommend you soak the almonds overnight, soaked almonds are much easier to digest. We love to eat the soaked plump almonds, I add them to my daughter’s lunch often.
I do like to add two dates to my almond milk even though they have sugar they also have tons of calcium and potassium, and are not refined. Make sure you get a nut milk bag for straining the milk, it will make the process so much easier than using cheese cloth. Cheese cloth works but the milk will be so much smoother with a nut milk bag. Good luck!
Here is the kicker, my kid LOVES the almond milk with lots of cinnamon, it is so good for her and I couldn’t be happier. I didn’t think she would drink it but she helps herself to it, adds cinnamon and guzzles it down.
Silky Almond Milk
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup organic raw almonds*, soaked
3 1/2 cups of water, plus more for soaking
2 dates, pitted
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tbs vanilla extract
*I do not like Trader Joe’s Organic Raw Almonds, when they soak they give off a very brown dye I am not sure exactly why. I use Whole Foods Almonds in general.
- *Soak the almonds overnight or up to 2 days. Place 1 cup almonds in a jar or glass container with a lid, chill overnight or up to two days. Sometimes the almonds will give off a fuzzy looking stuff, it’s fine don’t worry about it.
- Set up your nut bag, I use a tall pitcher with a rubber band around the nut bag to hold it in place. If using cheese cloth line a colander in a bowl.
- Drain and rinse the almonds with cool water. THe almonds should be plump. Taste one, they are delicious.
- Combine the almonds and water in a blender. Add 3 1/2 cups of water to the blender with the almonds, pitted dates and vanilla.
- Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes. Blend until the milk is white and foamy.
- Pour the milk in to the prepared strainer.
- Let the almond milk sit to drain. Gather the nut bag or cheese cloth and squeeze the nut milk out with very clean hands until no more milk comes out. Either discard the pulp, dehydrate or freeze for future use.
- Refrigerate almond milk. Store the almond milk in sealed container in the fridge for up to four days.
”Noosa Finest Yoghurt would like to serve you an Aussie-style ‘brekkie in bed,’ hand delivered to your door on a morning of your choice.”
Um OK, who doesn’t like breakfast in bed? When Noosa decided they wanted to drive to Novato to serve us brekie we said heck yes-sir-ee!! We usually eat eggs but I made an exception for this morning. I set the alarm for 7:30 and on the dot at 8 the van rolled up. Out came the most bubbly delivery gal, the sun wasn’t out but it didn’t matter she was so sunny and cheerful.
Not only did we get yoghurt hand delivered we got, organic granola, fresh juice and fruit brought right to our door. She unpacked her cooler onto the breakfast table and then we went outside to take photos of the van. She drove back to San Francisco and we dug in. We opened all the flavors right away, tasting them and giving our opinions. The raspberry was a hit even though I didn’t think I would like it, I loved it. I really loved the honey flavor and so did Claire. The fruit purees are delicious too, not gummy or overly sweet. Noosa yoghurts stay away from artificial ingredients of any kind, including flavors, colors and preservatives, it just feels like good homemade food.
I had seen them at the store but I never picked one up but now I will, for sure, in fact when we were in Nantucket last week I grabbed a few at the market there. Noosa uses the best seasonal produce the market has to offer, and pack it in clear tubs so you can see for yourself the lusciousness of what you’re about to enjoy. And it was lush, I am used to lactose free yogurt so this to me was like the most creamy luscious treat. I had never had Aussie style yoghurt, it has a uniquely sweet/tart tang and thick, velvety texture, I’m hooked. Noosa is made in small batches, on-site at the family-owned Morning Fresh Dairy in Bellvue, Colorado, and infused with locally produced clover alfalfa honey.
We decided that we could get used to this breakfast delivery thing. I think this would be a great business for someone, I am lazy in the morning, just ask my husband! Once a week can someone can come over and bring breakfast to us, I would be so in to that?
Yoghurt has roots all over the world, India, Greece, Bulgaria, Switzerland, France and so on…..It’ s used in savory and sweet dishes you can read more here.
Lets clear up this spelling thing…yogurt or yoghurt?
The word is originally derived from Turkish, to be curdled or coagulated; to thicken. There are many variations of spelling but they are mostly all pronounced the same so spell it however you want. Just don’t forget to try Noosa!!
Sorry Noosa I don’t think I’ll be tasting the Vegemite anytime soon…I’m sure it’s delicious
Yes was the answer….when Tillamook wants to send you free ice cream you just say yes!
Before the Fourth of July a large box arrived on our porch, full of ice cream! I knew that I was going to give it away at the parade but we couldn’t resist getting in to it the very night it arrived.
We got, strawberry, marionberry pie (my fave), s’mores, chocolate peanut butter, mud slide (my other fave) and vanilla. Luckily I have two freezers or this large delivery would have been an issue!
Yes, the truth is that we chipped away at it for a few days, we just couldn’t help ourselves.
On the fourth, I set up outside our art gallery and started scooping, it as about 99 degrees out, I scooped fast. I yelled out “free ice cream” and it worked, I had a bit of a line but managed to give it all away. One man took what was left in the bottom of one of the gallons and added all the flavors right in to the container. It put a smile on everyone’s faces, ice cream just does that. You can’t help but love this happy food, especially when you can get all six flavors from some stranger in the street, for free.
I don’t really buy ice cream and wouldn’t have thought about Tillamook but I have to tell you, this stuff is really good. It’s creamy and not too dense, not to airy, just right. Some companies have more over run than others (that’s ice cream lingo for air added when mixing) this one got it right. I would buy this again for sure. Thanks ice cream fairy for delivering this to us and letting us put smiles on other people’s faces.
Tillamook has a contest going until July 16 th, get in on the action here!
THE KIDS are ALL Right
Photo Matthew Carden
Another share from Edible Marin Wine Country, I couldn’t pass up sharing this recipe!
When I sat down to write this issue’s Stone’s Soup Corner, I thought I had it all worked out. Melon soup was on the agenda. Perfect for summer— cool, refreshing and easy.
I usually clear my ideas with my 9-year-old daughter before I discuss them with my editor, but this time I never got around to asking her what she thought about this soup idea. Her reaction when she heard: “Mom, no kid is going to eat that!”
And she was right. I had lost sight of whom I was writing for. So, together, we brainstormed for a summer melon-y idea and came up with these creamy pops.
Food is at the center of so much of our lives and too often it becomes simply a chore. We shoo the kids away so we can get the cooking done, clean up and get on to the next task. But food should be fun, not stressful or humorless. That is why I like cooking for kids and silly grown-ups.
Sometimes on a hot day sharing a moment with a sloppy, drippy homemade pop is simply the right thing to do. Forget all the to-do lists and the dirty laundry, just for a moment. These Bull’s Eye Honeydew Pops highlight the ripest melons of the season. They are creamy, refreshing and dairy free!
Make an extra batch to keep in your freezer—it’s nice to have homemade pops ready for a playdate or family dessert on a hot summer night.
Bullseye Honeydew Pops
Yield: 6 regular-size pops or 24 ice-cube-size pops
3⁄4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1⁄2 cup sugar
6 large mint leaves (Mint grows wild, so go check your garden before
you buy it at the market.)
3 cups very ripe Honeydew melon flesh (about 1⁄2 a melon 24 fresh or frozen cherries
Decorative straws (cut to size) or Popsicle sticks
Straws or wooden Popsicle sticks
Small pop molds (Note: pop molds look great, but an ice cube tray will work just fine.)
Add coconut milk, sugar and mint leaves to a small saucepan and warm slowly over medium heat, scraping the sides constantly with a rubber spatula. When the sugar is dissolved, remove pan from heat and cool mixture to room temperature.
Dice the melon flesh into small pieces and place in a blender. Drain the mint from the cooled syrup, then add syrup to the blender. Blend until smooth and frothy.
Place four cherries into each pop mold—or, if you are using ice cube trays to make your pops, place a stick or straw into each cherry and place 1 in each cube reservoir.
Pour the coconut-melon mixture around the cherries in each mold, then place a straw or Popsicle stick into the center. If you are using ice cube trays, carefully pour the mixture around each cherry in the tray.
Freeze for 4 hours or until firm.
edible marin & wine country summer 2013 | 53
Horchata with a Twist
Mix the rice and warm water together in a bowl, and let stand for about an hour. Drain the rice and reserve the water for later use. Place the rice in a blender, add the cinnamon and process until a paste forms. (you may want to add a bit of the reserved liquid if it too thick) Return the rice to the water and let stand at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally as the water turns milky white.
Strain the rice through a fine strainer into a bowl or pitcher. Using cheesecloth in a strainer will give you the best results. Stir in the milk, condensed milk, vanilla until evenly blended. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Before Serving toss in the blender or use a stick blender to froth.
Pour the chilled horchata over the ice, add even amounts of rum to glasses.
For the kids OMIT the RUM!!
If you are looking for some other rum drinks check this out.
I usually plan my posts! I’m a very image driven person, unless I have a good photo to work from I don’t want to write. I worry that if I don’t plan my posts they may be lackluster or too boring. BUT…. today I made this and snapped a shot very quickly while entertaining kids!
Anyway I think the 95 degree day is getting to me. It’s hot as hell here and I’ve got two girls in the back yard soaking each other. They are on the swing spraying each other with the hose. So for better or worse you get a quickie post today.
I’m running food and drink to them out back, keeping them in the shade and hydrated.
This is what I came up with to drink on the fly.
Strawberry Lemonade Cooler
Depending on your blender you may have to cut up the fruit. If you have a Vitamix or Blendtech don’t bother cutting the fruit.
1 pint very ripe organic strawberries
2 cups Limeade or lemonade
4 ice cubes
Mint from the garden if desired
Wash and trim strawberries. Add to the blender with lemonade and ice. Blend.
Serve with a strawberry and mint garnish.
No, it’s not warm out and we are not happily eating frozen treats. Unfortunately after a two-week school break we are home with Strep with a touch of Croup. I thought for sure after two weeks of hanging around the house, school would be a welcome relief, but no. Our Kidlet is under the covers with a horrible sore throat and terrible cough. She doesn’t want to eat, or sleep or do much of anything. (I thought I’d write something before I am totally stricken down with what she has, I am 50% there already) She isn’t eating, because the hot soup hurts and nothing else sounds tasty. The saving grace is our 5 dollar second-hand, unopened Hawaiian Ice Shaver. I picked it up one day at Goodwill, thinking to myself, “I really shouldn’t buy this.” It has turned out to be a life saver on hot days, and sick days! On hot days we make shave ice with flavorings and fresh frozen fruit. Sometimes we just shave fruit like frozen peaches, the kids love it!
Kidlet loves the cold ice on her sore throat and it is a terrific way to get liquids into her. She must be part polar bear because this kid can put away ice like nobody’s business! Usually when little ones are sick they just want Otter Pops or Popsicles but I hate all that sugar and over packaging. This easy two ingredient recipe is a low sugar, no preservative way to get them hydrated. If you don’t have a shave ice machine you can pick one up over here for 24.00$. Check you local second-hand shop, you never know what you will find. You can also serve it up the caveman style by adding fruit and ice to a zip top bag and hammering away (but not on your tile countertops.)
Bottom line, get them hydrated any way you can because they will get better faster and be back to school in no time.
P.S. I take no responsiblity for the blueberry stains on the kid or all over the house!
Shave Ice for Sicky
If you don’t have a fancy shave ice machine but have a food processor, fit it with a thin slicer blade and throw in some frozen peaches or strawberries to get a yummy shaved fruit treat!
I think we are partial to blueberries because when they get shaved they look really cool!!
1/4 cup frozen organic blueberries or other fruit
about 6 ice cubes
Add everything to machine, shave away in to a large bowl.
Making cookies is always fun for kids but for us, these are especially exciting to make. The familiar shape of the triangular cookies shows itself every March, it is the official cookie of Purim, a Jewish holiday geared toward the kiddos. (You definantly don’t have to be Jewish to make these!) We first tried a recipe that seemed to have good reviews but they came out too cakey, I needed another try and I knew exactly where to look for the perfect recipe.
I went straight to Claire’s old Preschool, the ECE Preschool at the Marin Osher JCC A place where baking and kids is perfectly natural! They use tried and true recipes passed down from Bubi to Bubi and they really work. If 100 preschoolers can make Challah or Hamantashen taste good then I know the recipes work! When I visited, the Director handed me an adorable colorful printout of the Hamantashen recipe. Let’s back up a minute, I know you are wondering what’s up with that weird name and why is the cookie shaped like a triangle?
There are four good deeds that people try to carry out at Purim time.
1) To hear the reading of the Megillot Ester (Book of Esther) at a group gathering. This developed into a custom several hundred years after the real event took place.
2) To enjoy an atmosphere that encourages celebration with food and drink.
3) Helping out at least two people who are less fortunate than we are (charity) by giving them gifts on the 14th of Adar.
It has also become a tradition (Machatzit Hashekel) to give 3 half-dollar coins to charity to commemorate the half-shekel given by each Jew in the time of the Holy Temple. This good deed is usually done in the synagogue.
4) Giving gifts to a friend who is not necessarily poor. These ready-to-eat gifts might take the form of a fruit basket (Shalach Monot), pastry or beverage.
The best part of Purim is the dress up, the kids dress as Esther, Hamen or any royal. Purple is often used in decoration because it is the color connected to royalty. The celebration is kind of like Mardi Gras and Halloween all wrapped up in one, lots of sweets and lots of fun!
Now that the history part is out of the way we can get on to sweeter things..This recipe was great to use, a parent form the school made it, I have no clue who, but thanks because it is so handy!
The traditional filling of the Hamantashen is poppy-seed but we love strawberry or apricot preserves. I also sliced up fresh strawberries and added a slice to each one for a fresh taste. The method is much like making sugar cookies, you roll out the buttery dough and chill. The triangle starts with a circle, imagine that, stay in school kids, the wonders of math never cease! Use a cup or a round cookie cutter to cut circles, drop a bit of filling in and then from your triangle (recipe below)
There is a debate in the land of Hamantashen about the correct way to seal up the Hamantashen, to fold or to pinch. I was always a pincher but I recently tried a recipe from Cupcake Project, while her tashen looked and tasted good, her suggestion of folding was intregiung to me. Folding the dough can produce a beautiful cookie but we had problems. Our dough was cracking with each fold although our cookies came out pretty we were discouraged by the cracking.
When we used the recipe below we pinched, you may have to use some water on the dough to make it stick but the pinched ones came out perfectly! So I say, depending on the recipe, your oven and your skill level pinching may be the way to go. **Note- for gluten free see bottom of post.
Mix together in a large bowl
Filling: use jam, or mix 1⁄2 lb. Prunes with 1⁄4 c. strawberry jam in a food processor. Or try making your own poppy seed filling…
Mohn (Poppy seed filling)
2 c. poppy seed, finely ground
1/3 c. honey or sugar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1⁄4 c. chopped nuts
Wash the seeds well, them grind them in a food processor or place the seeds in a cloth and pound them with a mallet. Mix with the remaining ingredients. chill.
When we made these goodies with for our third grade class we needed a gluten free recipe. I tried a pie dough mix and it was terribly unsuccessful. As you can see it the photo they were like sand and not folded or pinched, we just dug out a space for the jam..
One of the moms made up a batch of GF cookie dough from Pure Pantry sugar cookie mix and it worked really well for the Hamantashen. I only have a photo of our ugly ones because the better ones got gobbled right up!