Saturday, October 29, 2011

Not five, not four, not two, just six [ingredients]]]]]

Like Run DMC & the Beastie Boys, I have riffed on the rap countdown tradition in my title. Props to hollaing/hearkening back to those before oneself (even if not rap. And also props to satirizing pop rap). Now to linguists before me, who even have found the rare, wonderful base-twelve system in the Sora language, I give a shout-out to the marvels of the count.

Now onto something I doubt anyone has done before with these six ingredients I had kickin' around my shelf, all from the town co-op.

Mellow Mallow-Kiwiberri Sundae (gf & vegetarian, unless you find vegan marshmallows)

one carton kiwiberries (or another berry of any sort, or sliced fruit! approx 1 cup)
approx 1/3 cup chocolate chips
approx 1/2 marshmallows, diced   
one pinch cardamom
one pinch smoked paprika
one pinch pink or sea salt

Cut your kiwiberries in half (your knife running perpendicular to the line that would connect the two ends with stems), then, in a medium bowl gently mix the kiwiberries with the chocolate chips and diced marshmallows. Evenly sprinkle the mixture with the cardamom, paprika, and salt.

Alternatively, layer/arrange the ingredients in individual bowls to prevent berry juice from dying the marshmallows (though this could look cool, too. I arranged mine in the little bowl that's photographed).
Dish up and enjoy! The recipe can be edited to the amount of items you have on hand (such as using normal berries or other diced fruit) and multiplied/re-ratioed as much as you desire!

The "WHAT ON EARTH?!?" factor induced me
to purchase these. How much will these lil' beauties entice you?
Good to the last hemi/demi-kiwi-berri.

Eat not five, not four, not three, just two helpings (just kidding--indulge as much as you want!!!)!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rock the Kabocha, Rock the Kabocha

Classic punk rock? For me, it's The Clash of England (good book here).

Classic winter squash? For me, it's the kabocha of Japan.

Eating local in the fall? No problem! There are still some herbs growing, and there were fresh raspberries to be picked at the start of October. In keeping with the kabocha theme, I harvested herbs and berries in a kombucha bottle. I love G.T. Dave's original kombucha. It's fizzy and has potential medical benefits. It's my Starbucks latte, my superb splurge.
Trashed ornamental squash hiding, ashamed.

I used foil as my workspace & to wrap the squash to go!
One lesson I learned: Ornamental squash (that is not kabocha squash) can be bitter and tragically vile. So, though this beaut that has yellow stripes is photographed, it 'twas trashed.
One piece of advice: Buy a BIG OLE kabocha squash! They taste great, even chilled the next day (after a tweeny sleep-over in the fridge. I hear that okra and ginger root stay up all night and squirt whipped cream all over the faces of the sleepy celery stalks).

One consideration: Though the fresh herbs look way classy on the squash cradles, they are really, really strong. I would suggest chopping them up finely, or just sprinkling some dry herbs and possibly using the fresh herbs as garnish (though it is a quite colorful side-dish even without the fresh herbs!).
One recipe:

Rock the Kabocha Cradles (vega'n'glutenfree)

kabocha squash (size of your choice)
fresh raspberries (about a cup, but if you have a squash larger than a 2-cup pyrex measurer, I'd use 1.5--2 cups. Raspberry jam could also work well, with about 1.5 teaspoons per cradle/slice)
a plum (simply cut into as many slices as you have kabocha slices)
pink or sea salt (one pinch per slice)
macadamia nuts (1 or 2 per slice. I used raw ones, but roasted ones would work well too)
mint (a sprig per slice, or a pinch of dried per slice)
sage (a sprig per slice, or a pinch of dried per slice)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut your squash in half. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Using a cookie sheet (preferably more of a jellyroll pan that has sides in case the squash leaks), turn the squash upside down and place in the oven. It should take about 30-50 minutes (the larger the squash, the longer the baking time) for it to bake to a soft-enough-but-still-cradle-strong-consistency.
Pretty yellow & orange ornamental squash continues to feel shame. FOREVER ALONE
Okay, so your squash has cooled for about 10 minutes. Time to whip out the cleaver and slice those squash halves into cradle-like structures (as many as you please!). Once the cradles are resting with the flesh face-up, fill with raspberries, macadamia nuts, & a slice of plum. To finish, sprinkle/garnish with salt, mint, & sage.

Noms with class right there.

One thing to remember: I will rap for food (if only Cee Lo still rapped rapidly, more like Twista. . .), so if you make some, email me at my *new*, **official** blog address(!!!):!!!!) or comment on the blog(!!!!!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Arecipe Development

In honor of the return of the Bluth family to the small (and their premier on the big) screen, I propose a toast (well, more of a snack-dessert). If you're not a fan yet, I'd suggest that a good belly-laugh does a body good, and an episode of Arrested Development will arrest the oh-no-DST's-done-therefore-less-sunlight blues that shall commence in 3.333333338792-ish weeks from today.

Laughter is good for you. It's science:
“The magnitude of change we saw in the endothelium is similar to the benefit we might see with aerobic activity, but without the aches, pains and muscle tension associated with exercise,” says Dr. Miller. “We don’t recommend that you laugh and not exercise, but we do recommend that you try to laugh on a regular basis. Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system.”

Let us relish the sunlight of today. Let us celebrate the wiles and whims of the weirdly wonderful ones with a Bluth banana that's tasteful, healthy, and easy!

Banana StandSnackShack (gf-n-vegan)
You can multiply this ratio however many times you like. Also, this is for a fairly dark chocolate taste, so an added touch of honey or riper banana may be what your taste buds need and politely suggest to you.
1 banana
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghiradelli's is my favorite.) 
1 Tablespoon cocoa nibs or chocolate chips (chips mayn't be vegan.)

also, for topping:
toasted coconut (I make a tin foil boat and watch them toast in a front-door-opens-broiler toaster oven. See above)
raw walnut pieces

Place cocoa powder & chocolate chunks/chips/nibs in a bowl. Slice the banana into the bowl. Either coat banana with the chocolate by gently stirring, or mash banana into the chocolate and stir well. And I like eating with chopsticks, so those are depicted.

So you end up with cocoa-coated truffle-like banana slices, or a choconanapudpudding! And, Bluth family, return from whence you came! (a.k.a. PLEASE COME BACK TO TV!)


Sunday, October 02, 2011

Dial 1-800-(TRAIL)MIX-ALOT

I have some good news and some bad news.

Bad news first:
1-800-649-2568 is "out of my calling area" (according to a condescending "know-it-all" female voice). Apparently Sir Mix-a-lot won't show up if dialed from Minnesota, but maybe if I were in California he'd bust through my door on the spot.

Unwarranted interlude that could pass as news:
You can play "Funky Town" like Towlie on your keypad; you just press 55452 25875. Contrary to popular attribution, "Baby Got Book" is not the work of Weird Al.

Good news (!):
Mixing food together can taste good. It's kinda like code-switching for your tastebuds when the ingredients stay separate: Whoa! Pumpkin seed--wait, wait, don't tell me, chocolate--hey there, cocoa nib, nice crunch you got--pecan, so good too--coconut, is that you? But you're chocolatey. I thought we were eating chocolate . . . HOLD THE PHONE WHAT IS THIS AMAZING TASTE

. . . okay, I know you're kinda busy, so we'll move onto the joys of bulk bins!

HOLD THE PHONE Trail Mix (vegan & gf)

You can use equal parts of these ingredients instead of the quantity I made to make a larger batch. My measurements below are approximations.

1/4 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup cocoa nibs

1/8 cup large-cut coconut flakes 
1/8 cup chocolate chips 
1/8 cup freeze-dried or dried strawberries (Trader Joe's sells freeze-dried. Really, any dried fruit would taste good as a substitute for the strawberries.)

Either mix in a bowl or shake up in a jar

Baby, you just gotta dial back (or web-surf back here) for the number of a simply delicious snack!

P.S. Happy Autumn!
(This red leaf just happened to be in the path of some accidental paint tracks.)