Liquid Diet

No worries, Fruittart is not about to start on one of those wacky protein shake diets, drinking a chalk solution from a tin as a substitute for meals made of real food. Blech. And I hope the annual January weight loss frenzy hasn’t convinced you to do it, either. Even Thing 1 has been asking lately why is it that *every* single newspaper and magazine has some headline about weight loss?

During the summer, I like to make fruit and yogurt smoothies as a dessert for our family, but they also work for breakfast any time of the year.  This is the kind of liquid diet I can at least replace one meal with, although I doubt it serves for weight loss.  Especially since Thing 4 didn’t like it, so I helped her finish her glass too! Everyone else calls them ‘milkshakes’ and thinks they are really getting something decadent. Shhh! Don’t tell them how good it is for them!

I bought an excessive number of bananas last week and the family seems to have gone on a banana eating strike, so I had an excessive number of brown bananas. The family can only stand so many variations of banana muffins before they won’t eat any those either. Yesterday I made a gallon of fresh vanilla yogurt using my favorite yogurt as the starter. This morning I made smoothies. Oh, yum!

Banana Blueberry Smoothies:

2-3 overripe bananas
2-3 Tbsp. blueberry syrup
3-4 Tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate
2 c. yogurt
1/2 – 1 c. frozen blueberries

Blend until smooth.

Repeat as desired!

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A is for Apples and Alcohol

I think I’ve mentioned here at an earlier time that in grad school one of my guilty pleasures was a glass of Camas Winery Palouse Gold Mead and a sliced apple. It was a perfect dessert, so I completely understand why our wonderful host for Sugar High Friday, Andrew of Spittoon Extra, chose a theme of apples and alcohol. I was fairly certain, however, that I wasn’t going to get by with a simple fresh apple and mead pairing! 😉

A week or so ago I was making cider slushes for the kids — just drop some ice cubes in the blender with some apple cider and zap it until it’s thick and smooth. As I was serving the drinks, it occurred to me that a little cointreau added would make a tasty drink. Not for the 3 – 10 yr old crowd I was serving, of course, but something to make later for The Husband and I.

It does, in fact, make a tasty drink. I added 2 oz of Cointreau to ice and cider to make about 3 cups of drink. Of course, the alcohol doesn’t freeze like the rest so you taste Cointreau right away, but it’s a nice drink.

Still, I was fairly certain our host was looking more for something to be baked. Since I was out of town and without a car this weekend, I ended up making my concoction at the last minute but I’ve been planning it for some time.

I only wanted a small dessert, so I made it in a disposable 4″ pie shell.

Apple Mead Pie

pastry:
scant 1/2 c. flour
2 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 + Tbsp. half and half

Cut butter into flour. Add just enough half and half to form a ball. Divide into two slightly uneven balls. Roll out, using the larger one for the base.

filling:
1 Honeycrisp apple, sliced
1 scant Tbsp. flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. mead
1/2 t. brown sugar

Stir together apple, flour, cinnamon, and mead. Layer neatly in the pastry lined pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover with top layer of pastry.

Bake at 375 F about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

PS. Andrew has the roundup posted. The variety in desserts and alcohols is amazing! Go check it out.

It’s a ‘Shroomin’ Kind of Day

burger.jpg

We are without children for a couple of days — they get a vacation without parents but with the Grandparents. So we had ‘adult food’ tonight. The kind you make and know no one will turn up their nose and say “Eewwww, what is *this*?” It’s good to have a couple of those days in a year.

Since I am without an oven still, I grilled tonight. We had burgers, but not quite like the Husband’s favorites (which involve green chile). I mixed about 1/2 pound of ground beef with some chopped onion, a couple tablespoons of raspberry chipoltle salsa, a sprinkle of bread crumbs, and an egg and made those into patties. When they were nearly done, I topped them with cheese, a slice of deli turkey, a grilled portabella mushroom, and spread the bun with guacamole rather than the typical mayo/mustard/ketchup options. Mmmm. That’s a good burger! I served it with grilled crab stuffed mushrooms that are slightly different than that recipe — no ham, different cheeses, etc, and fruit salad. Later I made some Mango Dreams for us.

Recipe of the Day

Egana, Mrs. Potter and I had a good time tonight hanging out and chatting. It’s definitely something to repeat. The wine cooler was good too — worthy of repetition as well as space on this page. After my friends left I tried some of the fruit down at the bottom; the oranges were yummy but the peaches were significantly less so.

On Rieslings . . . I have my favorites which include the Chateaux St. Michelle (Patterson, WA) Johannesburg Riesling as well as the Schmitt Sohne (Smiling Sun — Blue bottle with yellow sun, from Germany) Riesling Spatlese — both have produced good riesling in the last few years. I did not enjoy a Moselland Riesling I had earlier this year. For tonight’s recipe I used a bottle of Jacob’s Creek Riesling, from Australia, which I have not tried before and did not taste on it’s own, only as part of this recipe. The added sugars and fruit juices would certainly affect the wine and I wonder if a ‘poor’ riesling might still yield a decent cooler?? Better living through chemistry! 😉
This recipe came from a Food Network show I watched when we were in Florida in the spring.

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1 orange

1 (750 ml) bottle chilled white wine, such as Riesling

1 (15-ounce) can sliced peaches in heavy syrup

1/2 cup orange flavored liqueur (recommended: Cointreau but I had Grand Marnier on hand so that’s what I used)

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup sugar

Slice orange and set aside. Add wine, peaches and their syrup, liqueur, orange juice, and sugar to a large pitcher (2 qt), and stir to combine. Add orange slices to pitcher. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour. Pour into 6 wine glasses and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Day

***Updated with photo 6/13/07

When we were in St. John, USVI for a week we stayed at a posh resort and had wonderful things to eat like coconut shrimp and mahi mahi and red snapper with mango salsa. Because it was quite a bit cheaper, we ate many of our meals at the large open-air bar which featured a menu with several kinds of salads (caesar, grilled shrimp, grilled tuna, etc.) and sandwiches and regular entrees. Of course, they also had a drink menu and my absolute favorite was called a ‘Mango Dream’ . . . oh, was it ever wonderful. I had several and they were dreamy.

When we got back to IL, I tried to stave off the Midwest Blues by getting some of the Lady Primrose Mango Melon body wash they provided daily (twice daily housekeeping — another dream!) and finding a recipe for the Mango Dream. I tried many. Then my friend R from Puerto Rico came to the rescue with a Mango Daiquiri recipe. That’s it!! It pretty much tastes like a mango smoothie and with the light rum you don’t get a strong alcohol taste.

mango-daiquiri.jpg

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Mango Daiquiri (aka Mango Dream)

1 1/2 oz light rum

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup chopped, ripe mango

1 tablespoon lime juice

Combine ingredients in blender with crushed ice and blend well. Pour into goblet. Repeat as desired.