Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thieving Squirrels

This is a thieving squirrel.  He wasn't always bad.  Two years ago he lived across the street in an oak tree with his friends and relatives eating acorns.  Then, the oak tree died and my neighbors cut it down.  That's when this squirrel and his friends and relatives moved into my back yard to live in my oak tree.  That's when he discovered my almond tree.  That's when he decided he liked almonds better than acorns.  The thieving squirrel started to eat my almonds before they were ripe.  Apparently, he doesn't really like unripe almonds, so he threw them on the ground and tried another and another and another.  Isn't that the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results?  So, what I really have is an insane thieving squirrel.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Crackers

Our July 2012 Daring Bakers' Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers!  Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged us to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.

When I read this challenge, my mind went immediately to Ritz crackers and wheat thins, the classics.  As a kid, Ritz, my cat, and I used to hang out together after school.  My cat and I could eat a whole tube of those crackers watching television.  I believe that cat liked them just as much as I did.  Today I would never eat them.  Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil is not something anyone should be eating, not to mention all of the other GMO ingredients.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kale Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts Pesto

My daughter sent me a text the other day telling me about a new food truck in Union Square (NYC) that serves primarily raw organic food.  She raved about their quinoa kale salad that she described as "literally the best thing I've ever had".  Very high praise, so I offered to try and deconstruct it for her and come up with a recipe that she could make at home.  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Today's Harvest

The very warm weather we've been experiencing over the last week is wonderful for the berries.  This is what I harvested today along with a few blueberries.  The raspberries and blackberries are producing more than we can eat in a day so I may start freezing the excess.  Berries will be expensive this winter, if you can find them, and love knowing I will have fruit in my freezer for cobblers and tarts.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fresh Fruit Tartlets

I made these tasty little fresh fruit tartlets for our 4th of July BBQ dinner.  Fresh strawberries and blueberries on a shortbread crust with a cashew frangipane filling.  I would have used a more traditional almond filling if I was going to top them with peaches or apricots but because I used berries, I felt that cashews would be a better fit.

These are, of course, dairy, egg, and cholesterol free.  An almost guilt free dessert.  I didn't cook the fruit in the frangipane, which is more traditional.  The strawberries and blueberry were fresh from my garden and I just couldn't do it.  After the tartlets cooled, I filled them with fruit and dusted them, very lightly, with a little powdered sugar.  No cooked sugary glaze here.