This was better than I imagined. And Nora devoured it. . .and Paul's. I originally made this dish for a dessert for guests. But Nora got a fever, which called off dinner plans. We (Paul's sister and brother-in-law were here.) ate the sorbet, anyway, and got two meals out of it instead of one!
Recipe for Tropical Fruit Sorbet
2 cups Bananas, mashed and frozen
2 cups Pineapple, diced and frozen
1 cup mango, diced and frozen
4 Tablespoons Lime Juice
10 Mint Leaves
4 Tablespoons Water (or more based on your processor)
Note: The pineapple and mango should total about 24 oz.
Minus the water, combine ingredients in food processor and puree. Add water gradually to help "cream" the fruit, but not to make it too runny. Originally, the fruit will just looked chopped. It will eventually smooth out. Pour sorbet into freezer-safe pan, cover and freeze. Let sit out 5-10 minutes before serving.
This recipe can be done in batches in a mini-processor, which is what I have. But a warning, it works the motor hard. My processor is still going, but it certainly got warm and a little smelly by the end of my preparation.
I'm late getting this posted today, but I think I have a very good reason. These are photos of Nora's birthday "cupcakes" a month ago. We chose to make homemade cupcakes instead of buying such things. Many people have allergies, and store bought ones can be so expensive and have such high sugar.
This salad has pretty much been served at Christmas dinners all my life. I have no idea where the tradition came from, but it is my grandmother's favorite thing.
In truth, the concept is sweet and meaningful. There's a beautiful gold candle set up in a golden stand with fire gently flickering and wax dripping down the sides. Translated: a half of a banana inside the hole of a slice of pineapple. A marachino cherry mimics a flame and drips its juices like candle wax.
Recipe for Candle Salad
8 lettuce leaves (iceberg preferred)
4 bananas, halved
8 slices canned pineapple
8 marachino cherries
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheeese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
8 flat plates
Place one lettuce leaf in the center of the plate. Put one slice of pineapple on top of the leaf. Trim the cut side of the banana so it balances in the hole of the pineapple. Put a toothpick in the top of the banana with about 1/4 of an inch sticking up. Attach the cherry on top of the banana with the toothpick.
We dined out in Nashville at The Wild Cow, a vegetarian restaurant that came well recommended. Crazy name aside, this restaurant has a pretty good menu and a decent steady flow of patrons. We had quite a hard time choosing items from the two page menu. There's also a great kid's menu that I kind of wanted to order off of myself.
In food processor, puree ingredients until smooth. (I use a smaller food processor and make the sorbet in batches, adding four strawberries, 3 slices banana, and a dash of sugar at a time. Each batch is slightly different. When it's all blended, I stir all the batches together.) Pour into freezer-safe bowl, cover and freeze. Garnish with fresh mint.
Varieties: Use orange juice instead of water. Blend the mint right into the sorbet. Substitute lemon juice for banana. Take out any frozen bag of mixed fruit and blend away!
I love the fact that I was in the right place at the right time. I got a 4 32 oz. cartons of Stonyfield yogurt on sale with coupons and froze it. With the strawberry yogurt, I made myself a yummy smoothie with half a juice orange as my liquid, frozen strawberries, and a ripe banana. The fresh quality of the fruit adds all the sweetener I need, making this drink easy and healthy.
With the April weather making for lovely warm, but breezy afternoons, I am really enjoying these cold drinks that use the winter orange and the spring strawberry.
Recipe for Strawberry Smoothie
1/2 cup strawberry yogurt, preferably frozen
3-4 Whole flash frozen strawberries
1 medium-sized ripe banana
1/2 juice orange, like Tangelo, juiced
Whirl all ingredients in a blender until mixed and at desired consistency. Makes one serving.
I defrost my strawberries for a minute in the microwave because the banana often adds enough thickness on its own. Blend the raspberries first because they're smaller. Add the strawberries for some liquid, then spinach, banana, yogurt, and juice. Lighten up on the liquids if the smoothie is getting too thin or add an extra banana. The raspberries are the strongest flavor so those are what you need least extra of. If spinach is necessary in your diet, too, you can get away with adding more "green tops" without tasting the bitterness.
As with all smoothies, it's easy to be creative and explore. No two are alike. For my mid-morning drinks, I used just strawberries (defrost again) and peaches with the juice and spinach. I eliminated the yogurt because at work it takes me a while to sip my drink.
Miami is a tough place to survive in. You have to pay (often a lot) for parking. And generally in one way or another, you have to pay to use a restroom. Such situations put a pregnant woman in a predicament. For the latter reason, when we came across Portofino Gelato with a sign on the door that facilities were for patrons only, I wasn't sorry that Paul was happy to have a snack of gelato. I took snacked, too, but only after I used the facilities.
The following is a copy of an email I sent to our most devoted house guest, Garrett Nudd, for which our "Gachett Suite" is named. (Those not in the know may not know how much fun I get out of calling Garrett this name. It originally came from Paul and Garrett's barber who has a hard time saying Garrett because of the language barrier. However, she's great at cutting hair, and that's most important.) Paul was reading over my shoulder and said I wrote a complete blog post to Garrett and was leaving out important information other readers may glean, too.
This is a great snack or dessert option. On occasion, Paul and I will have a breakfast item for dinner, especially if we had rich lunches and were still a bit full from a late lunch. This night, we had small smoothies with peanut butter toast. Certainly, if I can get a concoction that I really like and can remember, I won't want to make so many trips to Planet Smoothie. This recipe makes 16 ounces of smoothie, which is perfect for us. Sometimes, if I make more than that, it goes to waste.
Recipe for Smoothie
8 frozen strawberries
1 cup plain yogurt
2-3 Tablespoons peanut butter
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
This is absolutely the easiest recipe ever. I used a recipe for regular pancakes. I chose to pass on the "Buttermilk Pancake" recipes because buttermilk is so expensive. After all, what will you do with the rest of the drink when you have made your pancakes? There might be a lot left. Moreover, I want to make pancakes when I want them and do not want to worry about whether or not I have all the ingredients. Naturally, I also like to be able to control the fat in my foods as well. So, I used a regular recipe that used regular milk and whole beat eggs. I like fast cooking adventures and don't have the patience for beating egg whites and folding them into the batter. Nevertheless, use the recipe you are happiest with when creating pancakes from the heart.
So, now the cat is out of the bag. We do like sweet foods. We just know how to eat them in moderation and with as little additives as possible. The muffin recipe came out of "Moosewood Cooks at Home". It's a good recipe because the base batter does not change. You simply add a choice of apple and nuts, bananas and nuts, or zucchini. I chose the apple because I had a couple apples that appeared too mealy to eat off the core. I used a regular cheese grater to grate the apple, peel included, and nearly shaved my finger a couple of times, too. The muffins came out very pretty and tasted really good. Blueberry muffins are always my favorite, but these are running a close second.