Banana Strawberry Ice

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This ice is so easy and creamy tasting, without the cream. You might need a little sweetner if you like it sweeter, but it is just right for me.

It’s a great way to use up some garden strawberries too. We are about strawberry jammed out around here.

Banana Strawberry Ice

1 frozen medium banana
1/2 cup fresh strawberries
3 heaping tablespoon light whipped topping,  frozen

Freeze your banana and whipped topping.  Place all ingredient in a food processor and process until mixed.

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Serve immediately.  2 servings at 80 calories each.

Trash or Something to be Desired

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I am a sucker for any repurposing.  I am not vegan so I can’t use that as an excuse.

Anyway I kept seeing chickpea liquid being whipped into meringue instead of fodder for the waste bin.

I wanted to try it with cocoa and see if it tasted like a pudding. I added 3 teaspoon of cocoa and 1/4 cup powdered sugar with a little Cream of Tatar. Armed with my trusty hand mixer I was about to give up. After about 15 minutes this is what I had.

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I slung that stuff into some martini glasses. Ha!

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After about an hour in the refrigerator it had deflated a little bit.

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I have to admit it didn’t taste like pudding. More like a chocolate meringue with a touch of heartburn.  Yes, I got heartburn from the stuff. Pudding would never do that to me.

Trash or something to be desired?
I guess it depends on individual preferences.

Lemon Balm Meringue Bars

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If you are trying to watch your sugar intake you might want to turn your head. You have been warned.

Lemon Balm is a pretty invasive herb. Like mint, it will crowd a herb patch in every way possible.

I have problems keeping it at bay but I never want to be without it.

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After harvesting, washing and spinning lemon balm dry in my salad spinner, I keep it in a Tupperware container upside down in the refrigerator.

Place paper towels on top before you snap on the lid and then turn it over. Any wetness that might be left after a good spin should absorb into the towels. If you spin well there may not be a lot of residue.

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You can make wonderful vinaigrette, cakes, breads and these bars.

Lemon Balm Meringue Bars

Preheat to 350 degrees.

Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup butter

Stir flour and sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press evenly into an 8 inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile put together the topping.

Topping
1 1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole lemon balm leaves
2 T all purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
3 T lemon juice
4 eggs (one separated
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a food processor process sugar and lemon balm leaves until leaves are ground fine. The sugar will be pretty green colored. Hold back 1/8 of this sugar for the meringue.  Transfer the remaining cup of sugar to a bowl and whisk in flour and baking powder. Add lemon juice and 3 eggs and one yolk, reserving the one white for the meringue in a separate bowl, blend well.

As soon as the crust is baked, pour this topping over the crust and return to the oven. Bake an additional 20 minutes until the top feels barely firm.

Meanwhile with an electric mixer whip the reserved egg white with 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tarter.
Gradually add the reserved lemon balm sugar as you whip into stiff peaks.

Pull the bars from the oven and ice with the meringue. At this time turn the oven to broil. Broil the meringue to light brown, watching closely as it only takes a few minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and then cut into bars. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

I am sharing this with Home Matters Linky Party # 33
and Mix it up Monday

Yum

Flourless Funfetti Cookie Dough Truffles

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I had some white beans leftover from a pot made 2 days ago.

Wondering what I could repurpose them into, I ran into a truffle recipe. It was chocolate and used black beans.

That got me to thinking, since my beans were white, why not Funfetti?  I couldn’t find a flourless Funfetti truffle recipe so I threw this one together.

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I wanted to use oats,  so I processed a cup of oat flour and took it from there.

You could make your own sprinkles. While I didn’t do that I did include a link where you can get that info.

I got 14 truffles at 147 calories each…but that depends on how large you roll them.

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Flourless Funfetti Cookie Dough Truffles

1 cup oats ( gluten free )
1/2 cup Great Northern Beans (cooked, drained and rinsed )
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons rainbow colored cake sprinkles (here is a link to make your own)
For coating
6 ounces white chocolate chips or almond bark
1 teaspoon butter or shortening
More cake sprinkles for tops

Process your oats in a food processor until it resembles a flour like substance. Add the beans, sugar, sprinkles and extract
Process until you have a dough substance. Roll the dough into balls and refrigerate while you melt the chocolate.

Melt your chocolate and butter or shortening in a double boiler or the microwave, whichever you prefer.

Dip the chilled balls into the chocolate and let dry on parchment paper or aluminium foil. Sprinkles on top before they dry complete.

Keep the truffles stored in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container.
I am sharing this with Real Food Fridays and Inspire Me Mondays

Baked Eggs in Avacodo

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Hubby was gone for the day and he hates Avacodo.  I love them and had one getting a bit soft.

I also have some cilantro in my herb bed making an appearance.  I don’t know why it is coming back after such a cold winter. Not from seed either because it is in a row. When it comes back from seed it usually comes up in patches.

Anyway on with the eggs.

I saw this idea on another blog and hate to say I don’t remember which one. It seemed so easy I didn’t think to bookmark.

It really wasn’t all that easy.

You need to remember to use very small eggs. You also should scoop a bit of the Avacodo out to make your hole a bit bigger. Don’t forget your salt and pepper.

The pan I baked them in is a mess from egg overflowing.

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I baked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

They must have been good because I devoured both halves.

I am sharing this with  Whats Cooking Wednesday at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2015/04/01/whats-cookin-wednesday-111/

Which is a great link party with wonderful ideas like these cute little pretzel chicks at http://simpleethrifty.com/pretzel-chicks-recipe-easter-treat-idea/

Salad Spinner

Oh my gosh…Before I leave for a while I had to show what a beautiful salad I harvested from my mesclun mix this morning.

It has been raining a couple of days so I look this morning and it had taken off growing like crazy! I have always grown black seeded simpson but this is my first year growing a mixture.

I also got to use my new salad spinner.

I love to just take the basket out and fill it straight from the garden, then come in, wash and spin away. I don’t know how I did without it all these years. If you don’t have one it is a great gadget to have and invest in.

So much for my show off, I am so excited!

SUCCESS!

A shot of my sunflowers blooming before I go into a monolog
of sourdough.

My sourdough adventure has taken me through highs and lows.

I decided I needed more coaching than I received at the first
bread site I used.

Their motto seemed to be, take a cup of flour and a cup
of warm water…. Go forth and multiply.

Maybe I exaggerate a bit.

After the Lurch failure I figured there had to be more to it.

After finding Wild Yeast Blog raising a starter link ,I realized failure was due to-

1- using water that was too warm plus
2- using a kitchen that was too cool

I fixed the water by using my insta-read and the cool kitchen
by shutting off a bedroom from the air conditioning and started Lurch II.

I had to lug the stuff up and down the stairs. To the kitchen to feed,
to the bedroom to grow. I felt a bit silly but my efforts paid off
along with the wonderful coaching at Wild Yeast Blog.

I didn’t have rye flour but Wild Yeast said they also had success
with wheat flour so that is what I used. I placed tape at the top
of each feed so I could see the progress.

After day one all was well

After day two all was well

After day three, just like coached, the cultured seemed dead.

It picked back up after day four and then on day five I started
feeding white flour only and left out the wheat.

This was when things slowly seemed to die again. There were bubbles
and foam but no growth for about 7 days.

I decided to experiment with the leftover feed and added the wheat back
into a separate container but left the original untainted after about
5 days.

The experiment not only doubled but tripled in 12 hours while the original
only grew to half its size, but I knew something must be up.

On the eighth day I was about to give up. The stuff was growing about
half its size each 12 hours. Suddenly after the 8th day AM feed I
checked and cheered SUCCESS! It had doubled in 4 hours!

I did begin to feel guilty about throwing out all that flour through
the process, but eventually found I could refrigerate it and use in tortillas,
waffles and even flavor regular baked bread and biscuits.

Now off I go into the field of real sourdough baking!

yeah

Covered Up and Freezing

Freezing.

I am not talking about freezing weather but freezing fresh produce.

We are covered up right now in corn, tomatoes, and peppers. Some of my hot peppers are being frozen today because my bells and sweets are maturing a little slower (good thing for me or I might not get it all done!)

My favorite way to fix corn is to grill it while brushing melted butter mixed with fresh parsley or oregano, but I also have to freeze some corn to keep it from getting away from us.


tomatoes and corn

Freezing corn is simple. Just scald the cleaned ears in a covered pot of near to boiling water a few minutes. The corn will turn a bright orangey-yellow. Then transfer the hot ears to a cold bath of water before drying and bagging to freeze.

Peppers are even easier to freeze. Just gut them and wash and dry. Use gloves for hot peppers. Then bag to freeze.
Remember frozen peppers are only to used in cooking, because once they thaw they loose their crisp.


hot banana peppers and a few jalapeno

I have thrown some hot frozen peppers into salsa, because the texture of salsa sort of covers the softness, as long as you have some crisp onion to go in too.

Then the tomatoes are best roasted in my opinion( I am roasting some as I type), but you can freeze by dropping them into boiling water a couple of minutes then transferring to cold water. The skin will slip right off and you can bag them up to freeze.

With all this freezing going on today time was limited at lunch.


todays limited lunch

My Cup Runneth Over


My cup runneth over with cappuccino.

I recently got my machine out. I usually pack it away for the summer.

While cappuccino is good any season, I prefer it through
fall and winter.

My machine is a Mr. Coffee.

I’m not familiar with other brands but
here are a few pointers about mine, which I am familiar with.

1- You can get burned like the dickens if you don’t follow the
manufactured instructions.

2- Never try and clean out the little steamer hole with a toothpick.
It can break off in the hole and stop up the steam and you’ll
never get it out. You will have to take it back and get
a refund, acting like you don’t know why it won’t steam properly. (exaggerated)
Use a needle instead.

3- A good cup is said to be 1/3 cream, 1/3 coffee, 1/3 foam. I have
achieved that a time or two.

4- Don’t try and pour your coffee from the carafe with the lid on.
The lid will fall off into your cup and you will loose all that great
tasting foam on your counter, like I did here. I have done this
a zillion times (exaggerated again), and still try to preform this
impossible feat.

5- If you do loose your foam just top it off with more coffee.
It still tastes pretty good despite the fact that it isn’t perfection
in a cup.

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