This Food Face gave the model an ear-full of leftover falafel. We started with half a toasted pita and a drizzled line of homemade tzatziki. Nora is a condiment girl and would prefer to just lick off the dressing or ketchup, depending on the meal. So she doesn't get much condiment to start with. The ears are halved falafel. The eyes and mouth are fruit that had been sent home with us from the party where I brought the falafel. Fruit is popular in our house and was gone by the end of dinner.
Two years ago, we had some leftover pomegranates and served this salad dressing with that fruit substituting the strawberries at Christmas. The rich color and flavor was fabulous. I remembered that recipe contained basil. When planning Dinner Club two weeks ago, I knew it would highlight our prolific basil. The dressing appeared to go over well. Fely even added it to her pasta. (I hope that didn't mean the pasta was bad.)
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!
Last week was a surprising challenge due to the fact that I had a slight relapse and wasn't feeling up to playing around in the kitchen as much as I had desired. Paul had pity on me more than one night by eating bagels with carrot sticks or other veggies a couple nights and taking me out to eat one night. That being said, I have a much fancier menu planned this week just to pay him back for my slacking week and to allow my creativity to be uncanned for a while.
This is one of those times when I feel like my iPhone photo app doesn't do the product justice. Course, it could be that I was just in too big of a hurry to get the pic taken before it melted and I needed to go deal with a child who has an increasingly louder scream when it comes to sudden onset of hunger.
Recipe for Upgraded Frozen Yogurt
1 cup strawberry yogurt, preferably frozen
3-4 Whole flash frozen strawberries
1/2 juice orange, like Tangelo, juiced
Whirl all ingredients until strawberries are chopped. Makes one serving.
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.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put all filling ingredients into a 9 x 13 Pyrex. Mix and spread evenly. In separate bowl, mix together dry topping ingredients evenly. Pour melted butter over and mix together until clumps form. Pour topping evenly over apple and strawberry mixture. Bake in oven for 35 minutes or until crumble has browned and fruit bubbles. Serve warm, at room temp, or cold with vanilla ice cream.
Yesterday, we were invited to our friend Tim's birthday celebration at a park. I volunteered to bring a dessert to the potluck. The park was so beyond beautiful. It was a perfect spring day, which we were so lucky to have since it was the first day of spring! That being said, Paul's photo highlights the sunshine reflecting off of the plastic wrap instead of the beauty of the strawberry peaks.
So there was a bit of communication error and excitement last night when this meal was served that led to a photo only of the risotto and not of the salad. However, the salad is highly recommended, if you can be encouraged without a matching photo, make it while the strawberries are ripe. I'll be making it again myself and will be sure to include a photo next time.
Recipe for Strawberry Pecan Salad
1 head Living Lettuce
1/2 pound strawberries, halved
1 1/2 cups whole pecans
3/4 Tablespoon Agave Nectar
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
1/2 mini cucumber, sliced
Put agave nectar in small skillet and add pecans. Stir to coat. Toast nuts on medium heat, remove from heat and let cool. In large bowl add lettuce and arrange cucumbers and strawberries on top. Sprinkle with cooled pecans including any left over syrup. Top with cheese.
Use salad dressing link above, white balsamic vinegar, or skip the dressing completely!
What are your big plans for strawberry usage this spring?
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.
Odwalla drinks are popular and can be found at Starbucks, Einstein Bagels, and grocery stores. Costco used to carry large bottles of Odwalla Mango Tango that Paul and my dad were happy to enjoy. Recently, we came across the individual bottles in a variety pack-Strawberry, Mango Tango, and Superfood (a juice mixture with barley greens). The drinks have been very helpful in keeping my vitamin C up and can had a healthy dose of iron, which is important for my blood count right now.
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.
The idea for this refreshing "Last Rose of Summer" drink came as I was reading a Southern-style cookbook at Tuesday Morning. I had the ingredients and it seemed like a great way to stop and think back on the summer and look forward toward winter. I made enough for about 6 servings. It was just strong enough to leave room for adding sparkling water for that extra kick.