50 Shades of Tomatoes {recipe}

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Curvaceous. Juicy. Bursting. Plump. Tempting. Exotic. Heavenly. Sinful. 50 Shades. No, this isn’t the sexy Hollywood movie. It’s 50 Shades of Tomatoes.

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My organic heirloom tomatoes are show stopping in spectacular shades, shapes and sizes with exotic names like: Black Tula, Principe Borghese, Large Barred Boar, Brandy Wine, Purple Russian, Big Pink and Green Zebra.

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 “Only two things that money can’t buy,  

that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.” Guy Clark


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“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”  – Lewis Grizzard


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 “Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.”


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 “The tomato offers its gift of fiery color and cool completeness.”

  -Pablo Neruda


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“A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.”

-Laurie Colwin


Nothing screams “Summer!!” like just-picked tomatoes, sun-kissed and dripping with juicy ripeness.  To highlight your mouth-watering garden gems, keep it simple. Start by adding fragrant basil…

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“A man taking basil from a woman will love her always.”

– Sir Thomas Moore 


Add soft, fresh mozzarella cheese…

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Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a thick, rich balsamic glaze.

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Now, how sexy is that?


Caprese Salad

(Shhhh. The secret is the glossy balsamic glaze.) For a more dramatic presentation, vary different shades, colors and shapes of tomatoes.

Serves 8 to 12

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

2 Cups balsamic vinegar

3 ripe heirloom tomatoes, preferably organic

12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thickly sliced

Fresh basil leaves

High-quality olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Make the glaze: Pour balsamic vinegar into saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat.

Cook for about 15 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the balsamic has reduced to a thick (but still pourable) glaze. Cool.

Assemble: Cut tomatoes into thick slices and arrange them on a platter. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Alternate tomato slices with mozzarella slices. Tuck whole basil leaves in between the tomato and cheese slices.

Drizzle olive oil in a thin stream over the top. Drizzle balsamic glaze.

Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper, to taste.

***

Buon Appetito!

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“Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes

What would life be without homegrown tomatoes?

Only two things that money can’t buy

That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.”

– John Denver/Guy Clark

(click on link to sing along to “Homegrown Tomatoes”)

***

Photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

Post shared with:  Fiesta Friday, Motivation Monday, Creative Mondays, Mix It Up Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Try A Bite Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Fridays, Thursday Favorite Things, Link Party Palooza

Do you grow tomatoes? What’s your favorite heirloom tomato?

Mangoritas! {recipe}

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“If life gives you limes, make margaritas.”-Jimmy Buffett

Calypso music. Breathtaking sunset. Sailing away. A Caribbean cruise with my BFF’s. Decked out in my floppy hat and movie star sunglasses, the only thing missing was a drink in my hand.

The bartender (impersonating Isaac from The Love Boat) tempted us with exotic cocktails, “Mango Tangos, ladies?” Of course we indulged, happily sipping the frozen concoction to the beat of the steel drums.

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Yuk! What promised to be a tropical tequila treat was nothing more than an overpriced sad slushie! I was left with a bad taste in my mouth and a worthless souvenir glass. Since that day I have longed for the perfect mango libation.

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It’s mango season in Miami, when neighborhood mango stands pop up on every street corner! Look at these gorgeous gems I brought home. (Check out my cool Mango Facts)

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With my ripe beauties on the kitchen counter, I brainstormed how to best use my magnificent mangoes to beat the sweltering South Florida heat.

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Then I recalled that disappointing cruise cocktail…

It was now blender time!

Mangorita22_seedylawyerMinutes later, (steel drum roll, please) ….Mangoritas!!

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Perhaps The Love Boat should hire me to bartend? My mouthwatering Mangoritas are silky smooth, tangy, not too-tequila-y, a bit sweet, refreshing, very creamy, exotic frozen goodness. Guaranteed to make you feel sexier than Tom Jones and dance like Mick Jagger. Whip up a boozy batch for your friends.

After all, it’s 5:00 O’clock somewhere.

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“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.” – George Carlin

Mangoritas

Note: I am lucky enough to live where fresh mangoes are available. If mangoes are not in season or not available where you live, check out the frozen fruit section of your grocery store for frozen mango.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 1/4 oz high quality tequila (You will thank me later!)

1 oz triple sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier

1 1/2 oz fresh lime or lemon juice (plus extra to squeeze on top)

2 oz simple syrup or sour mix

1 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks

1 cup ice

lime garnish

sugar or salt for rim of glasses (optional)

Preparation:

Place ingredients into blender in the order listed. Blend until desired consistency. Pour into margarita glasses. Top with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice. Garnish with lime slice and a paper umbrella. Cheers!

*** 

What’s your favorite cocktail?

Shared with Great Idea Thursday, Wordless Wednesday, Full Plate Thursdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fiesta Friday, Plant Based Potluck, Flashback Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Link Party Palooza, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, I’m Loving It Party, Creative Mondays, Motivation Monday, Busy Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Munching Mondays, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Try A Bite Tuesday, Simple Supper Tuesday

Photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer and Love Boat.  All rights reserved.

got pecans? Make Turtles!

how_to_make_caramel_turtles_seedylawyer

“All you need is love.

But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Charles M. Schulz

Spanish Moss dripping from Oak trees. Quaint Southern streets. Welcome to Georgia! This sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.

A roadside sign lures me in for local Georgia Pecans!

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So many pecans, so little time.

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Fresh, crunchy, decadent pecans.

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Loaded up with my stash, I spotted this sign. Got me thinking that I can make my own Pecan Candy!

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My love for Pecan Turtles dates back to when I was young. I rode my pink bike (with pink basket) throughout our neighborhood, selling chocolates as a fundraiser for my brothers JV football team. But, between the hot Miami sun and my girlish appetite, not many turtles survived. Sorry, dear brother.

Turtles get their name from their turtle-like shape.  Sweet, buttery caramel, and silky, smooth chocolate cover crunchy, toasted pecans. Irresistible. Yet so easy to make. You will never buy boxed chocolates again! (Even if a girl is selling them for her brother’s football team!)

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 “Try to be like the turtle – at ease in your own shell.”

Bill Copeland

CHOCOLATE PECAN CARAMEL TURTLES

Yields 60 turtles

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 pounds pecan halves (raw or lightly toasted)

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup (Karo)

1 (14oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

One package (24oz) Chocolate Almond Bark (or chocolate chips)

Half package (12 oz) White Chocolate Almond Bark (or white chocolate chips) (optional)

PREPARATION:

Arrange clusters of 4 or 5 pecans on greased cookie sheets. (I used parchment paper.)

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Melt butter, sugar and salt in a heavy pot. Stir until combined. Stir in corn syrup and mix well.

Gradually add condensed milk, stirring constantly.

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Cook to firm candy stage, about 12 to 15 minutes (240 degrees using a candy thermometer).

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Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Carefully spoon caramel sauce over arranged pecans, enough to cover pecans. Let cool.

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Melt almond bark/chocolate over double boiler.

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Spoon chocolate on top of cooled caramel. Let cool.

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Repeat with melted white chocolate, if desired.

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Allow turtles to cool and set completely (at room temperature or in the refrigerator) before removing and packaging.

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Store refrigerated in airtight container. Bring to room temperature before serving.

***

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Caramel, pecans and chocolate are “so happy together!”  Just like the song says, by, of course … The Turtles! Enjoy!

Happy 2015!!

What is your favorite homemade candy?

Shared with: Mix It Up Monday, Motivation Monday Gluten Free Fridays, Natural Family Friday  Simple Saturdays, Motivation Monday, Clever Chick’s Bloghop, Mix It Up Monday, Home and Garden Thursdays, Recipe Round Up, Great Ideas Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Fiesta Friday, Foodie Friday, Weekend Bites

Original photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

Farm to Fido: Sweet Potato Dog Treats

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 “What a dog I got, his favorite bone is my arm.”

– Rodney Dangerfield

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Homemade Organic Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries and applesauce… Oh My, It’s Thanksgiving! My grandma whips up her rutabagas and of course, sweet potatoes topped with melted (sometimes burnt) marshmallows. Dad is in charge of the turkey, while Mom and I love baking pies. It’s amazing how fast the food disappears when it took days to prepare.

Food coma sets in and you hit the couch to watch the football marathon. As you try to digest with your dog on your lap, you catch a glimpse of his huge sad eyes. While you were previously impersonating King Arthur gnawing on a turkey leg, did you forget your loyal companion?

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“Give the dog a bone!”

Don’t leave out Man’s Best Friend on this special holiday (or any day). You can whip up healthy dog treats as quickly as you can say, “Pass the cranberries.” You just need a few kitchen staples and a sweet potato (minus the marshmallows – Sorry, Granny!)

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How Sweet It Is! My homegrown organic sweet potatoes.

   “If there were only turnips and potatoes in the world, someone would complain that plants grow the wrong way.”

– Georg C. Lichtenberg

My rescue dogs literally watched over the organic sweet potatoes growing in my garden. It is only fitting to share this sweetness with them.

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My rescue Lab: The Garden Guard

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

– Josh Billings 

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Can you dig it?

How sweet it is!

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Harvest Time!

You don’t need to grow your own sweet potatoes to bake these tasty biscuits. Here’s how to make scrumptious Scooby Snacks guaranteed to keep tails wagging.

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Sweet Potato Dog Treats

An easy homemade dog treat recipe with healthy ingredients!

adapted from BrownEyedBaker

Yield: 20 small treats

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and diced (or canned sweet potato puree)

1¾ cups organic brown rice flour*

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 egg, lightly beaten

plus extra beaten egg for brushing treats (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the cut sweet potato in a small saucepan, cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Ensure that the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, then remove from heat, drain and allow to cool.

Puree the sweet potatoes in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.

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In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and flaxseed meal.

Add the sweet potato puree, applesauce and 1 beaten egg to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.

Dump out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and cut out with cookie cutters (bone, heart shapes).

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Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

*Note: You could replace the rice flour with whole wheat flour or other flour.

***

“Here, Fido! Come and get it!”

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LIVE LOVE BARK.

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On Thanksgiving, don’t fur-get to give the dog a bone. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

What special treats do you make for your pet?

This post was featured on:

Creative Mondays[1]

Shared with: Fiesta Friday, Real Food Fridays, Motivation Monday, LHITS DIY, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Busy Monday, Creative Mondays, Natural Family Friday, Foodie Friday, Old Fashioned Friday, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, Farm Hop, Weekend Bites, Flashback Friday, Tasty Tuesdays, Tuesdays With A Twist, Totally Talented Tuesday, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday, Backyard Farming Connection, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Home and Garden Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Great Ideas Thursdays

“Treats” photo courtesy of Sue O’Bryan. Original Photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

Brewing Booch {Homemade Kombucha}

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Tart. Sweet. Fermented. Fizzy. Tasty. Tangy. Fun to make and good for you, too. Hello, Kombucha!

My cool friend who shared her Lemongrass and Tumeric plants with me, also introduced me to Kombucha. I watched in disbelief as she brewed up a batch of “Booch.” Staring at the flying saucer (SCOBY)  floating in dark tea, I wondered if she was kidding.

I was hesitant to taste her science project. I suddenly had horrible flashbacks of my childhood days, ingesting cod liver oil and brussels sprouts. Yuk! Acting like the same little brat, I cringed, kicked and held my nose as I reluctantly choked down my first sip of this mysterious potion….

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Homemade Kombucha with SCOBY

Wowzie!! Love at first sip! It was like the moment that everything turned from black and white into color on The Wizard of Oz. No, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Welcome to the wonderful world of Kombucha!

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So long, sugar-packed bottled juice. See ya later, crappy soda. Buh-bye, boring tea.  There’s a new drink in town. It’s Booch, baby, and I’m hooked!

Kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) is a sparkling sensation packed with probiotics, live enzymes, B vitamins, polyphenols (fights free radicals), glucuronic acid (a powerful detoxifier), and tons of other purported health benefits.  Simply put, Kombucha is good for your gut, builds immunity and helps to detoxify.

“Booch” is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a pancake-like “SCOBY” (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). SCOOBY DOO?!

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Not this Scooby….

 

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This SCOBY!

Basically, the SCOBY gobbles up the sugar and magically transforms the tea into a low calorie, low-sugar (low alcohol) fermented fizzy goodness.

If you have never tried Kombucha, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle at the health food store. It comes in all flavors. I will even bet you a Scooby Snack that you will be instantly hooked. And once you’re hooked, you too will brew!  Why pay up to 5 bucks at the store when you can make your own for just pennies?  Here’s how:

Homemade Kombucha

yields 3 quarts

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ quarts filtered/distilled water
  • 9 black tea bags
  • 1 cup sugar, preferably organic
  • 1 SCOBY (from a friend or purchase online here)
  • 2 cups starter kombucha (use either the liquid that comes with your SCOBY or store-bought raw/unpasteurized/unflavored kombucha)
  • large wide-mouth one-gallon glass jar (not plastic)
  • tea towel or paper towels
  • large rubber band
  • a bit of patience

Preparation:

In a large stockpot, heat the water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the tea bags. Reduce heat. Steep for about 5-10 minutes and remove the bags. (Do not use metal utensils).

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Remove tea bags with non-metal utensil.

Remove from heat. Allow tea to cool completely. Pour the cooled, sweetened tea into the clean glass jar. (Rinse jar first with white vinegar, not dish soap which kills the SCOBY.) Add 2 cups of starter kombucha.

With clean/sterile hands (rinse hands in white vinegar), carefully place the SCOBY into the jar (SCOBY should float on top, but it’s OK if SCOBY sinks to bottom or goes sideways).

Place a tea towel or double layer of paper towels on top of jar and secure tightly with a rubber band. You want it to breathe, but you also need to keep bugs and dust away.

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Place jar in a warm, dark place where it will not be disturbed. Mark date. Keep out of direct sunlight.

Let the mixture sit for 7 to 10 days. To test the Kombucha, simply slip a straw into the liquid (underneath the clear film/SCOBY on top) and put your finger over the top of straw so you can taste it. DO NOT PLACE USED STRAW INTO KOMBUCHA AGAIN.

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Brew, baby, brew!

NOTE: It’s normal for brown strings to float below the SCOBY. You may also see sediment collecting at the bottom of the jar and bubbles collecting around the SCOBY.  These are all signs of healthy fermentation

The Kombucha should taste slightly sour, tangy, sweet and be a little fizzy. If the Kombucha is too sweet, let it sit a little longer. It could take up to 14 days depending on fermenting conditions. (If it tastes off at all, start over.)

Once the taste is to your liking, with clean hands carefully remove the SCOBY and reserve two cups of the kombucha. Set these aside and use to start another batch.

(The Kombucha will have produced a second SCOBY. Use this for other batches, store it as a backup SCOBY or share with a friend.)

Pour Kombucha into a glass (not plastic) jar or pitcher with a tight fitting plastic (not metal) lid. Store in your refrigerator. (You can strain Kombucha before bottling using a non-metal strainer.)

If your SCOBY develops holes, bumps, dried patches, darker brown patches, or clear jelly-like patches, it is still fine to use.  However, any sign of mold or a foul smell, discard and start over. (Remember, it should be FIZZY, not FUZZY!)

***

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You can drink your Kombucha plain or add flavors. The possibilities are endless!  My favorite combo is Ginger, Raspberry and Rosemary, straight from my garden. Simply pour the Kombucha in a jar (I used a quart mason) and infuse with your favorite fruit, fruit juice, herbs and spices.  Cover with a paper towel/cheesecloth and let sit for 24 to 48 hours.  Strain, then refrigerate.

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Raspberry Ginger Kombucha

So, will you be hooked after only one sip of this fizzy, fun drink? You bet your sweet Boocha!

Sharing my delicious Kombucha with Natural Living Monday, Busy Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Motivation Monday, Home and Garden Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Green Thumb Thursdays, Share Your Cup Thursday, Fiesta Friday, HomeAcre Hop, Real Food Fridays, GlutenFree Fridays, Great Idea Thursdays, Simple Saturday Blog Hop, Simply Natural Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Farm Girl Friday, Link Party Palooza, LHITS DIY Linky, Weekend Bites, Creative Style Linkup, Old Fashioned Friday, Healthy Vegan Friday, Creative Mondays, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tuesdays With a Twist, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Tuesday Garden Party, Wellness Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Plant Based Potluck

This post was featured on:

CreativeWithStyleButton[1]         Creative Mondays[1]FEATURED-PLANTBASED-POTLUCK250bordered-300a[1]

Photo of Scooby Doo courtesy of Yumingsu.com

Original photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER: Information on SEEDYLAWYER.COM is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be a substitute for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk.  (After all, I’m just a Lawyer, not a Doctor.) As always, it is recommended to seek advice from your healthcare professional.

Bravo, Avocado! {raw recipe}

Homegrown Florida Avocados

My avocado-loving Dad always wanted his own tree. So a few years ago he hired a landscaper to plant a big, bad avocado tree in his South Florida yard. Like an impatient kid, my Dad waited for his new budding, guacamole-producing tree. He was soon to be the envy of all the neighbors!

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My Dad loves avocados!

The garden guy brought a huge back hoe (fancy, huh? – yeah, so was his bill!).  He and his crew dug a hole in my Pop’s yard big enough to land a Lear Jet. Oh, just the thought of endless avocados

The time came for the unveiling of the terrific tree. Filled with bursting anticipation, Dad skipped into his backyard. There it was… All three feet of it. The Charlie Brown Christmas Avocado Tree: A sad, lifeless, twig with one brown leaf. Heartbroken, my poor Dad hung his head in disbelief. Good Grief, Charlie Brown Dad. Sadly, at 80 years old, my father knew he would never pick his own avocados.

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Oh, but Darling Mother Nature must have had a crush on my adorable Dad. Just a few guacamole-less football seasons later, things began to change…

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Bloom, baby, bloom!

Voila! May I present my father’s tree featuring ginormous avocados! Ta-da! 

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Pop is so proud of his green goodies! If the Miami Dolphins ever run out of footballs, maybe they can use one of these! Oh, yeah, baby!

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Known to my Miami friends as La Avocado Abogada*, I quickly got my hands on some of Dad’s treasures!

(*Translation: The Avocado Attorney)

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One of Dad’s avocados (Persea americana) even had a huge root wrapped around the pit. I planted it and now my tree is bigger than Dad’s original tree! Ha!

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Avocado Tree I grew from Dad’s Avocado pit!

I love raw food recipes. Years ago, I bought Carol Alt’s Raw Food book. A recipe for a raw Chocolate Banana Shake made with avocado seemed too good to be true. A delicious (milkless) milkshake that’s actually good for you? Get out! No way! So I had to try it for myself…

OMG!! Move over Haagen-Dazs! This shake is:

Thick

Rich

Oh so Creamy

Chocolatey

Mouth-watering

A bit Banana-y

Frozen goodness

A blenderful of bliss

This fake shake is so darn good that I tricked all my friends and family into thinking it’s the calorie-packed, sinful, get-your-butt-to-the-gym, ice-cream shop real deal. I challenge you to do the same!

The results will make you yell,Bravo, Avocado!”

 

Raw Chocolate Banana Shake

Adapted from The Raw 50 by Carol Alt

Ingredients:

¼ cup raw cashews, soaked for about 2 hours, drained

¼ to ½ ripe pitted and peeled avocado

2 ripe bananas, sliced (preferably frozen)

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt

1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or raw honey

2 tablespoons raw cacao

½ cup non-dairy milk (I used chocolate almond milk; can use regular almond milk, flax milk, etc)

2 cup crushed ice

Preparation:

Blend first 7 ingredients in blender for 60 seconds.  Add ice and blend until reaching a thick milkshake-like consistency.  Add enough milk to reach desired consistency.  Blend.  Pour into glass and enjoy!

***

 

A nutrient-packed raw milkshake without the guilt! Cheers!

What is your favorite Avocado recipe?

I am sharing my ripe avocados with:  Green Idea Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Green Thumb Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Home and Garden Thursday, Fiesta Friday, Home Acre Blog Hop, Real Food Fridays, Farm Girl Friday, Simple Meals Friday, Gluten Free Fridays, Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Savoring Saturdays, Strut Your Stuff, The Party Brunch, Link Party Palooza, Little House Friday DIY Linky, Weekend Bites, Creative Style, Motivation Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Busy Monday

Charlie Brown Photo by Charles Schultz Courtesy of  Anthony Peoples

Original photos by The Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

White Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

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White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream!

 “Never trust a skinny ice cream man.” Ben Cohen

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Homegrown Organic Raspberries

So you drop a small fortune on a tiny basket of raspberries at the store only to find the berries are smashed, rotten or moldy! Eww! I gave up on buying raspberries a long time ago. No more playing a fool for bad berries.

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Red, red raspberries!

But, then I found an organic red raspberry plant at the Farmer’s Market. I quickly learned that growing your own raspberries is easy!

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The Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is originally from Asia and is a member of the Rose Family. The most popular are red and black, but there are also purple and golden raspberries. Wow, delicious and beautiful colors, too. Take a look at my red beauties!

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Ohh-La-La!  Look what I grew!

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Tart, sweet and tasty, this delicate fruit is great in smoothies, jam and many baked goods. I made a mouth-watering puree to swirl into my homemade vanilla bean, white chocolate ice cream. Are you drooling yet?

The best part of this dessert is there are no calories! Okay, maybe just a few. But believe me, this sinful ice cream is worth every minute at the gym! Heck, I chomped on a cone while walking on the treadmill!

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“Life is like an ice-cream cone,

you have to lick it one day at a time.”

Charles M. Schulz 

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“Swirl, baby, swirl!”

 

White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream

A very rich, decadent ice cream made with a custard base and swirled with raspberry puree.

Adapted from allrecipes.com

Serves 12

Ingredients:

For Raspberry Puree:

2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)

¼ cup sugar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

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Making Raspberry Puree

For Custard:

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup white sugar

1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise, seeds scraped

1 pinch salt

5 large egg yolks

1 (8 ounce) package white chocolate chips

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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Custard

 Preparation:

  1. Heat raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat until raspberries begin to fall apart, 7 to 10 minutes. Press raspberries through a sieve over a bowl to remove the seeds; discard seeds. (Do not skip straining; it’s well worth the time.) Chill.
  2. Heat milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk egg yolks and about 1 cup warm milk mixture in a bowl; stir egg mixture into saucepan. Continue to cook and stir until custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove vanilla bean (I strained custard into a bowl and returned to saucepan to remove all bits of vanilla bean.)
  4. Stir white chocolate chips into custard until melted. Pour custard into a large bowl and stir in heavy cream and vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  5. Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions until it reaches “soft-serve” consistency.
  6. Gently swirl raspberries into the soft ice cream creating ribbons of raspberries. Transfer ice cream to a one- or two-quart lidded plastic container; cover surface with plastic wrap and seal. For best results, ice cream should ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight.
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Swirl raspberry puree into custard.

Grab a (big) spoon and dive in!

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 ***

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“I scream, you scream, we all scream for

White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream!

The Raspberry has been known to be a symbol for kindness. So be kind and share this ice cream with your friends! I am sharing my swirled deliciousness with my friends at Fiesta Friday #36.

Also shared on Green Thumb ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, Home and Garden Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, HomeAcre Hop, Real Food Fridays, Motivational Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Natural Living Monday, Homestead Barn Hop

In a “Berry” mood? Check out my posts on Wild Blueberries and Blackberries. Berry good!

Looking for an exotic ice cream? Why not try Lisa’s Lemongrass Ice Cream? Yum!

Original photos by Seedy Lawyer. All rights reserved.

 

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Hot Mulled Cider! [recipe]

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“Give me juicy autumnal fruit,

ripe and red from the orchard.”

Walt Whitman, The Complete Poems

A gentle breeze blew my hair as I picked the summer’s last tomato. Ahhhhh-tumn! It’s that time! A comfy jacket in the morning. A warm scarf in the eve.  Ahhhh, yes, it’s Fall.

Soon the leaves will showcase a brilliant yellow, burnt orange and fire red. They shall dance with the wind just before painting the ground. Before long, my dogs will be leaping into the piles of fallen gold.

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“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

 Albert Camus

So long, summer tomatoes. Welcome, Fall apples! Cozy up with a steaming mug of Hot Mulled Cider.

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 “Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than any other seasons.”

Jim Bishop

Breathe in the bouquet of exotic spices with each magical sip of Hot Mulled CiderCheers to Autumn! 

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Hot Mulled Cider

Serves 10

Adapted from cooks.com

Ingredients:

2 quarts apple cider or pure apple juice

3 cinnamon sticks, plus extra for garnish

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

Ginger root (approx. 2 inch section), peeled and cut into 6 pieces

1/3 cup brown sugar

fresh grated nutmeg (to  serve)

Preparation:

In a saucepan combine apple cider, cinnamon sticks and ginger pieces. Wrap allspice and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth, and add to pot. Stir in brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain into mugs. Top with fresh grated nutmeg. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.  Serve hot.

***

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Let’s celebrate National Hot Mulled Cider Day on September 30th. But I plan on sipping this cup of love every day of the season! Yum!

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 “Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

William Cullen Bryant

What’s your favorite Cider recipe? How do you plan on celebrating Autumn?

I’m bringing my warm mug of Cider over to the party at Fiesta Friday #35, Melt in Your Mouth Monday Blog Hop #185, Natural Living Monday, Tuesdays With a Twist,  Fresh Foods Wednesday and  Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 172.  Join us!

Photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

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Spice, Spice Baby!

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“But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity,

I shall remain till I collect as much as possible,

and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them.”

– Christopher Columbus

Centuries ago spices were rare, exotic and extremely expensive. Luckily, today you don’t have to travel the world like Columbus in search of spices. A wide variety awaits you at farmer’s markets and grocery stores. You can even grow your own! Spices are economical, too. A little goes a long way.

And the good news is that you don’t have to be a Food Show Host or an amazing chef to “wow” your company with flavorful food.  You can spice up any dish.

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Cinnamon

“I really don’t think I need buns of steel.

I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.”

– Ellen Degeneres

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) Cinnamon is the dried bark derived from either the cassia cinnamon plant, or the Ceylon cinnamon plant. Full of health benefits, it may also “decrease insulin resistance and improve blood sugar metabolism.” Cinnamon can even keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Sprinkle this fragrant spice on toast or oatmeal. Stir some into coffee, tea and hot cocoa. I add a pinch to my chili and stews for deeper flavor. Mix Cinnamon into cookies, pies and cakes. Sugar and Spice makes everything nice!


Ginger_SeedyLawyer

Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Ginger can be used fresh, powdered or dried. It is used as a spice and also for its therapeutic qualities. Ginger aids digestion, helps with nausea and is “nature’s anti-inflammatory.”

I love ginger ale and ginger tea, and even brew my own ginger beer!  I add raw ginger when juicing. It’s a great little kick to my smoothies. (Hint: keep pieces of fresh ginger in the freezer).  Add a dash of powdered ginger to your pie recipes.

I grow my own ginger. You can easily grow ginger in a container or your garden using a start from the grocery store. (Growing Ginger at Home)


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Tumeric

Turmeric  (Curcuma longa) A cousin of ginger, tumeric adds a vibrant yellow color and spice to many dishes including curries. I add turmeric to my vegetable stir fry.

Tumeric is known as one of the most powerful healers! It supports the digestive system and has many other important health benefits. “Turmeric is a liver cleanser and blood purifier, helping control cholesterol, as well as anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen, and anti-bacterial”.

I also grow turmeric at home. (How to easily grow turmeric.)


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Pepper

Pepper (Piper nigrum)  Today, pepper is one of the most common ingredients in recipes. It’s hard to believe that pepper was once so valuable that it was used as currency.  Packed with capsaicin, pepper has tons of  health benefits.

Fennel, cumin, hot pepper and turmeric can help keep you cool during the hot summer months. For an extra zip, add cracked pepper to marinades and grilled meats. Pep it up!


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Nutmeg

Nutmeg (Myristica) Actually a seed from a tree, Nutmeg is related to mace. Once thought to ward off the plague, Nutmeg was highly valuable. A bloody war was even waged by the Dutch in the 1600’s to control Nutmeg production!

Nutmeg is used in both sweet and savory dishes. It adds a great accent to spinach and greens. Autumn is fast approaching and my mulled cider, mulled wine and eggnog recipes all call for fresh nutmeg. I keep whole nutmeg in the freezer and grate it when needed.  I love fresh nutmeg!


Paprika_SeedyLawyer

Paprika (Capsicum annum) Made from ground dried roots of the chili pepper, Paprika adds a smoked, earthy flavor to dishes. Paprika releases its flavor and color when heated, adding a deep red to stews and rice.


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Vanilla

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) One of the world’s most fragrant and sought after spices, vanilla is harvested in pods from exotic orchids.  Vanilla has an interesting history.

Add paste from vanilla beans to homemade ice cream or a splash of vanilla extract to whipped cream. I always add vanilla when making French toast for Sunday brunch. (Make sure to use real vanilla not the imitation stuff!) Make your own vanilla extract with vanilla beans!


”This is my advice to people: Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun.”

Julia Child

Julia was right! Spice is Nice: Try experimenting with common and exotic spices. Be a bit daring in your choices. Have fun! Remember, variety is the spice of life!

I am bringing my spice cabinet over to the party at Fiesta Friday #34!

Check out my recent post on: Healthy Herbs!

What is your favorite spice?  Do you grow any spices?

Photos courtesy of MommyKnows, Wiccked, Peddhapati and Roberta

Other photos by Seedy Lawyer. All rights reserved.

Blackberry Bourbon Blast [cocktail recipe]

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Blackberry Bourbon Blast

Like Little Red Riding Hood, I skipped along the NC mountains. Carrying my little white pail, I searched for the juiciest blackberries. The only problem was that my big brothers were in search of ME! You see, my mom sent us out every summer day to harvest the wild berries. When we returned home, we had time to play.

So of course my brothers quickly figured out a short cut: Steal their little sister’s blackberries! Oblivious to the Big Brother Bad Wolves, my pigtails and I would bounce down the mountain, happily plucking berries for Mom’s jam.

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Picking Blackberries in NC with my brother.

But once I filled my bucket, I would be pounced on, trampled and left in a puddle of mountain mud. No, it wasn’t a black bear. Worse, it was my Brat Brothers! Defeated, I would stomp back home covered in red clay, with thorns sticking out of my pigtails. I itched all over from being tossed into Poison Ivy. Every day!

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I may have been little, but Boy, was I tough! Never a quitter, I tried outsmarting my Stealing Siblings. I took off every morning just after the rooster’s first crow. I carved out secret mountain paths and hid behind huge trees. But they would ALWAYS find me AND my blackberries! I couldn’t escape the Blackberry Thieves. So I vowed to one day grow my own blackberries!

(Fast forward a few decades) Upon my return to NC, I bought a blackberry plant at the Farmer’s Market.  I held onto my new plant like a mother cradles her newborn.

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Me and my Blackberry Plant at The Farmers Market.

Planting my baby blackberry bush in my garden, I smiled, and waited…

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 And waited….

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Wait for it..

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Almost there…

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Alas!

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My very first blackberry!

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Harvest time! With my hair in a braid (I outgrew pigtails a few years ago), and equipped with my little white pail, I carefully picked my juicy gems. If only my brothers could see me now! Ha!

It was the perfect Summer day, cooled by the mountain breeze with the sun spot-lighting my blackberries.  In slow motion, berry-by-perfect-berry, I proudly filled my small bucket. My lips turned purple from kissing each sweet, succulent berry.

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Then suddenly I heard footsteps! Fast, galloping footsteps, coming closer and closer! No way! Not again! Impossible that my Berry-thief Brothers found me! My heart stopped, I dropped my bucket and frantically turned around…

It was only my rescue Lab chasing a butterfly behind me.  Phew! I exhaled, chuckled, and celebrated MY beautiful blackberries with a well-deserved drink:

BLACKBERRY BOURBON BLAST!

My cocktail is:

Remarkably Refreshing

Tastes like Summer!

Sangria-like (You get to eat all the fruit afterwards!)

A tad spicy

Sexier than a Chris Isaak music video

Crisp and sparkling

Tickles your throat

Full of health benefits!

Earthy with bits of fresh basil

Subtly sweet from mountain honey and the sugared rim

Smooooothh!

A drink I will not be sharing with my brothers! LOL

Worthy of George Thorogood

Berri-licious! 

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Blackberry Bourbon Blast

Blackberry Bourbon Blast

Serves 1

Adapted from Self Magazine

Ginger Beer adds a spicy kick. Dark honey sweetens tart blackberries. Basil adds a floral and earthy flavor and texture. And the bourbon, well… Bam!

Ingredients:

6 fresh basil leaves, plus a sprig for garnish

12 fresh blackberries, divided

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon dark honey or pure maple syrup

¼ cup ginger beer, chilled (non-alcoholic, available in supermarkets or health food stores)

2 Tablespoons Bourbon (optional – yeah, right!)

Raw sugar for rim

Ice

Preparation:

Lightly wet the rim of a rocks glass and dip into raw sugar to coat rim. In glass, gentle muddle basil and 9 blackberries with lemon juice and honey.  Fill glass with ice.  Add bourbon, stir. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with basil and remaining blackberries. Serve immediately. Cheers!

***

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One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” – George Thorogood (Click on link for song)

I am bringing my concoction over to the party at Fiesta Friday #33.

Do you have Summer vacation memories? What’s your favorite Blackberry recipe?

All original Photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

“I Found My Thrill on Blueberry Hill” [recipe]

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Wild Blueberry Bread

My friend and I really ripped up Western North Carolina. We could have written our own tour book!  We hooted and hollered at the County Fair. (See: Hoedown at Haywood County Fair.)  We pretended to be culinary experts at the Asheville Wine and Food Festival and Rhubarb’s Sunday Supper. We hit the local Farmer’s Market and chomped down NC Apples at Barber’s Orchard. Then we hiked (okay, walked slowly) on The Blue Ridge Parkway….

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Summer on The Blue Ridge Parkway

And we hiked…..(a little bit slower)

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Top Of Devil’s Courthouse, Blue Ridge Parkway

Boy, did we hike!! (crawled)

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Highest Elevation, Blue Ridge Parkway

Besides burning some calories (thank goodness!!), we hit the jackpot on our winding trails:  Wild Blueberries! 

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Blueberries as far as the eye can see!  Armed with our gallon ziplocks (the allowable limit) we picked…

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“I found my thrill on blueberry hill!

And we picked…

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Boy, did we pick!

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What to do with these gorgeous plump, juicy gems? (Well, with those beautiful berries that didn’t accidentally fall into our mouths!) Something simple, yet special…Aha! Fresh-baked Wild Blueberry Bread!

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This treat is jam-packed with two cups of fresh blueberries. Lemon and Blueberries go great together! I added both vanilla and lemon extracts to really accent the flavor of the blueberries.

My Wild Blueberry Bread is:

One Giant Blueberry Muffin!

BURSTING with blueberries!

Cake-like

Light and fluffy

Very moist

Tart AND sweet

A little lemony

Slices beautifully; not crumbly (or crummy!)

Crunchy crust yet soft inside

Smells amazing!

Berry, berry good!

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BLUEberry RIDGE PARKWAY BREAD

Adapted from PBS.org

Yield: Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour, plus one teaspoon

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 teaspoons lemon zest

½ cup plain yogurt, regular or lowfat (I used vanilla flavored yogurt)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon lemon extract

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place blueberries in a small baggie with 1Tablespoon of flour. Toss well to coat berries.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt. Add the blueberries and lemon zest and gently toss to combine being careful not to crush the blueberries.
  4. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yogurt then the dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated, again, being careful not to crush the blueberries.
  5. Scoop batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until golden brown. (*Check with toothpick if done after one hour. My loaf was perfect after an hour.)
  6. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting gently onto a plate.

“If you want to add an extra sweet addition to this bread, you can make a simple lemon glaze for the top using a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice with enough powdered sugar to make a runny glaze. Pour the glaze over top when the bread comes out of the oven and voila!

Store the bread at room temperature covered with plastic wrap.

***

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I’m bringing a fresh-baked loaf to the party at Fiesta Friday #32.

Do you experiment with wild berries? What’s your favorite blueberry recipe?

Original photos by Seedy Lawyer. All rights reserved.

Just Peachy! [Pie Recipe]

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“An apple is an excellent thing – until you have tried a peach.”

George du Maurier (1834-1896)

I’ve always wanted to have a big ole peach tree. Yet it’s too hot to grow peaches in Florida. In North Carolina, it’s too cold. But in South Carolina, it’s Peachy Keen!

Recently, I was driving down the Interstate in South Carolina, and signs were everywhere:  Fresh Peaches!  There were more Peach signs than Speed Limit signs!  I got a whiplash checking them all out. Drooling, I had to stop!

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Ripe, sweet, juicy peaches are sure to put a Big Smile on your face.

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Summer is peach season. Supermarket peaches (flavorless hard baseballs) don’t hold a candle to just-picked-from-the-tree peaches, like these beauties from Ragan Orchards in Inman, SC.

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The girl at the Ragan Orchard stand was a real peach and even set up my own taste test!  August Prince peaches (larger, yellow skin, melting yellow flesh with an acidic tang) versus O’Henry peaches (bright red and orange skin with a sweet and juicy flesh). Of course I bought both types!

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My first bite: As sweet as the perfect summer day.

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I even got to check out the peach trees at the orchard!  Really cool!

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“I really love your peaches, I want to shake your tree.”

I was hooked! I loaded up my car with peaches like Santa packs his sleigh with presents. Like a human Pac Man, I chomped on my just-plucked gems all the way back to North Carolina. Amazingly, some peaches survived for my homemade Peach Pie. Mmmmm!

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The addition of fresh rosemary adds a touch of savory, almost buttery taste to this sweet treat. For a more intense flavor, I replaced some of the sugar with pure local honey (from the orchard). Tapioca thickens the pie and cooks up clear. Tradition holds that peach pie is lattice-topped, which adds beauty and allows some moisture to escape during baking. This summer treat is Just Peachy!

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Savory Peaches and Cream Pie

Adapted from Ready, Set, Dough! By Melanie Barnard

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

½ cup sugar

¼ cup pure honey

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

3 Tablespoons heavy or light cream

One 15-ounce package refrigerated folded Piecrusts

6 cups fresh peaches, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick slices

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove and reserve 2 teaspoons of the sugar. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the remaining sugar, honey, tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, rosemary and lemon zest. Stir in the peaches and any peach juice.  Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes to soften the tapioca.

Keeping one crust refrigerated, unfold the other crust and ease it into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Spoon the peach mixture into the crust, spreading evenly. Dribble with 2 tablespoons of the cream.

Unfold the remaining pie crust and place onto a floured surface. Use a small, sharp knife or pizza wheel cutter to cut the crust into ½ to ¾ inch wide strips to create a lattice topping.

Brush the lattice with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cream and sprinkle with remaining reserved 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Bake the pie on the lower rack for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Carefully remove the pie from the oven, place a 14-inch square of foil on the middle rack, and move the pie to the center of the oven. Place the pie on the foil and bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

Cool the pie on a rack.  Then serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Tips:

*If available, use a variety of two peaches for a more complex flavor.

**To peel peaches, place peaches in a pan of boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds. Remove with thongs and run under cold water.  Use a small knife to loosen the skin, then slip the peel from the peaches.

***If the edges of the pie begin to darken during baking, lightly cover edges with foil to prevent burning.

***

How sweet it is! Homemade Peach Pie! Want a slice? (or two…)

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I’m bringing a slice of my pie over to the party at Fiesta Friday #31.

Do you stop at roadside farm stands? What is your favorite Peach recipe?

All original photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

 

Oh Honey!

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“For bees, the flower is the fountain of life;

For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.”

Kahlil Gibran

Sugar, Ahh Honey Honey!” (Remember that song? Am I showing my age?) Simply put, I love honey!  I’m the human version of Winnie the Pooh! Seriously, I should have been a bear! I’m not talking about that supermarket fake honey crap sold in clear plastic animals. (Wonder why it’s so cheap?) I’m talking about sweet, pure, sticky, gooey, just-harvested-from-the-local-bees honey. You know, the real liquid gold. Have you ever tasted honey that delectable?  If not, put it on your bucket list. (Just make sure it’s ahead of skydiving!)

I love tasting honey from all over the country (and the world). This golden goodness varies according to season and location because of the different plants and flowers. I visit farmer’s markets just to stalk meet the beekeepers (and of course to sample their delicious honey).  You must try some for yourself. Meet me at the beekeeper’s booth. I will be the one with my hand in the honey jar!

Of course, I am thrilled to celebrate National Honey Bee Day on August 16th and National Honey Month during September. But I honor honey bees everyday. Albert Einstein explained that, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” Bees pollinate most of our food, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. And of course, busy honey bees make sweet, golden honey. (Oh yeah, baby!)

Honey is truly a magical food. Filled with healing and nutritional properties, its culinary possibilities are endless.  This sweet nectar is also one of the world’s oldest ingredients.


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“The secret of my health is applying honey inside and oil outside.”

Democritus 

(A contemporary of Hippocrates, who lived to the ripe age of 109)

The history of honey is incredible. Spanish cave paintings dating back to 8000BC show the earliest records of beekeeping. European Kings and Queens made (Mead) wine from fermented honey. (Did someone say wine AND honey?! Hello!) Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans offered the “liquid gold” as a gift to the gods.  This food that has been around forever also lasts forever if stored properly. (It doesn’t last long at my house!)  With all its rich history, it is no wonder that honey is so healthful.

With many health benefits, this sweet food is also a natural antimicrobial – effective against viruses and bacteria. Such a powerful healer, the Romans even used honey to heal battle wounds! Honey soothes sore throats and is a natural cough remedy. Choose more nutritious darker honey like buckwheat, avocado, and wildflower, which also adds intensity to food.


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 “The only reason for being a bee that I know of is to make honey…

And the only reason for making honey, is so as I can eat it.”

Winnie the Pooh

My idol, Pooh Bear, couldn’t have said it better! Honey is found in kitchens worldwide. What’s more delicious than golden honey dripping from hot toast? Try drizzling it onto cheese. (Check out my post on gourmet cheese.) Use this gooey treat as a syrup.  You can even bake with it, replacing sugar.  Honey also adds flavor to my sauces, dressings and marinades. This sticky, thick liquid has so many unique and different flavors.  

(Song break! Click on link: Wild Mountain Honey– The Steve Miller Band)

Speaking of Wild Mountain Honey, Busy Bee Farms in Brevard, NC says that, People are missing something if they think sourwood honey is the only honey … They’re missing the dark honey that comes during the early spring, showing almost the same color as molasses. It’s often called tulip-poplar or wildflower honey.” Yum! (Sold at Transylvania Farmer’s Market.)

Rhubarb restaurant in Asheville, NC only uses Busy Bee Tulip Poplar Honey. Can you blame them? Chef de Cuisine Dean Neff explains, “The fragrance is so unmistakable intensely floral. It is one of my favorite single ingredients at Rhubard.”  So, no matter which honey you choose, make sure you use only high quality honey which is both local and pure.


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Get the buzz about bees and honey. Beekeeper at Haywood Historic Farmer’s Market.

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” 

― Henry David Thoreau

Bee-ware. Sadly, not all honey sold is pure.  Surprise, surprise! Recently, a shocking survey by Food Safety News found that “more than 75% of the honey sold in American supermarkets and drug stores wasn’t honey at all but was instead a watered down, reconstituted mish-mash mixed with other cheaper ingredients.” Look for local raw, unfiltered, all-natural honey .

If you want pure honey then find the beekeeper. I learn so much from beekeepers about the survival and hardships of their hard-working honey bees.  It makes each spoonful of honey that much more special. Here is some delicious honey found in my travels:

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Beth Queen of Queen’s Bee Honey loves her bees.

Beekeeper Beth Queen of Queen’s Bee Honey in Pisgah, NC has a great affection for bees. “We love bees and really take good care of them at our farm. Bees need the farm with its natural habitat to survive. It’s important that you buy pure 100 percent honey, free of pesticides.” Queen’s Bee Honey is sold at Historic Haywood Farmer’s Market in Waynesville, NC.

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Rebecca’s Bees: Local to Pinellas County, Florida,  Rebecca’s Bees says, “The honey our bees produce is as contaminate-free as possible, raw and unfiltered. We keep small cell bees which are able to pollinate different flowers than larger, more commonly kept bees.” Sold at Williams Park Farmer’s Market, St. Pete Beach, FL

EdensNector_LisaLesperance

Eden’s Nectar is locally harvested by season.  Each season has a distinctively different taste due to the bees’ pollination cycle. Sample the Flavors of Citrus, Primrose, and Clover.  Sold at Williams Park Farmer’s Market.


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 “Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”

Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

I invite you to celebrate honey bees with me and enjoy honey, Nature’s Golden Miracle. You will bee happy you did. You may just find yourself singing along with The Archies: Click here for song 

Bringing my passion for sweet honey over to my friends at Fiesta Friday #29!  Remember, “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”Winnie the Pooh

Where do you buy your honey?  What’s your favorite way to use honey in recipes?

Photos courtesy of:  AussiegallChris BeckettPurple Sherbert Photography,  Laura FerreiraThe Archies

Other Original photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.