Zucchini Season

People who grow zucchini feel like its growing out of their ears. But me, I’m thrilled. I’m so glad zucchini season is here, because of these lovely delicious zucchini fritters. Yum! Add a sunny side egg and you have a meal:

Prepare to buy more zucchini to make more fritters. Rinse and repeat

 

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Mother’s Day deliciousness

(Yes, these are petit fours. No, I didn’t make them. But they were so ridiculously cute, so Mom got them for breakfast. Ok, we split them. I think a petit four per person is plenty. I didn’t have time to make a big breakfast anyway since we went to an Indian dance performance on Sunday morning. I will make my own petit fours one of these days, I promise).

Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to be in town so you can actually prepare a meal for your mom for Mothers Day. I already mentioned the salad that I made, but I also made a cake. Yum. I have a huuuuuge sweet tooth. I love cake, especially homemade cakes. You know that someone put in a time and effort to create something that you think and hope the recipient will like.

We have a few standards around here – nothing wrong with that, but sometimes you feel like branching out. And sometimes a recipe lands in your inbox that you just HAVE to make. That was the case this time around. I got an email from Sassy Radish with the recipe for an awesome cannoli cake. Cannoli. Cake. And Crepes. (I love the alliteration). Just repeat these words. You it has to be good. Add orange puree and you have a homerun.

And yet – I just had to tinker around with the recipe. No great modifications, but something to suit my tastes, and the ingredients I had handy. For example, I had a few overripe mangoes that were just too mushy to use in a salad. Ergo – mango puree mixed with the orange puree. I modified the crepe recipe to get thinner crepes. I used orange and lime zest. I used less sugar – most recipes can stand a reduction of sugar, and still taste just as great.

This was my first time to make my own ricotta. It turned out beautifully and I think I’ll try to use as much homemade ricotta as possible. I couldn’t find any cheesecloth for the life of me so I just used an organic baby diaper cloth made of muslin. With that fabric it took 6 hours til I got the right consistency of ricotta. I got about 2 1/2 cups of ricotta out of the recipe. The 2 cups of ricotta filling weren’t enough for me, so I stretched the filling by using that last 1/2 cup with lime zest, and approximately 1 1/2 powdered sugar. I also used less powdered sugar in that first batch of ricotta filling.

The crepes: The first crepe was thicker which was perfect for the bottom layer. But I didn’t like that thickness for the remaining crepes, plus I would only end up with a few layers. I stretched the crepe batter by adding a bit of milk and some water – probably 1/4 cup of milk, and 1/2 cup of water. I used less than a 1/4 scoop of batter – however much I needed to just coat the bottom of the pan, resulting in perfect thin crepes. They also didn’t cook as long, max 1 minute on the first side and about 20 seconds on the other side. I had an awesome non-stick pan where I barely needed any butter to cook the crepes.

And the orange puree. I had 3 mangoes which were going to into that puree. I had one orange – and no zest. My zest had been used up in the ricotta filling, and smarty pants that I am, I didn’t read the recipe closely enough and realize that I’d need two oranges. So, no orange zest, and no simple syrup. The mangoes were sweet enough to make any added sugar unnecessary. The resulting sauce is still ridiculously delicious – I had it for breakfast, for example on my porridge. Mmmm.

The finished cake. Don’t you want to try some, too?

Since I had so much orange-mango puree I used about 1 1/2 tbsp fruit puree between the layers. And since I wanted the finished cake to look extra pretty, I added a final layer of fruit puree on top. It almost looked like a fruit glaze. So good. I refrigerated the cake before serving it made it easier to cut lovely wedges that wouldn’t slide apart during serving. I served the cake with extra fruit puree and a slight dusting of powdered sugar. I let the photos speak for themselves:

I’m not Cap’n Crunch

Hello all you people who visit looking for the food part of this blog. I know, I’ve neglected you for the last few weeks. So, since I haven’t put up a post for you guys in a while, I thought I’d share one of my current favorites –  broccoli slaw. Yum. Crunchy broccoli, sharp onions (ok, they’re shallots), toasty almonds and sweet cranberries. And buttermilk dressing. What more could be better? I think this is my favorite way to eat broccoli, closely followed by steamed broccoli with lemon and garlic. Only disadvantage is that your breath will be rather oniony afterwards. In the interest being considerate to your fellow humans, you should brush your teeth or ate least suck on a cough drop. Btw, I’m not a fan of mayonnaisy dressings. I think they end up making a dressing so heavy, plus mayonnaise spoils so quickly if you make your own or buy the organic kind. I generally substitute yoghurt for mayonnaise, especially in dressings. Apart from that, iI you want to make any other substitutions, I think you could use pickled spring onions instead, and you could use pomegranate arils, both fresh or dried instead of the cranberries. And you could obviously easily substitute cauliflower for broccoli. But I like it just the way it is.

Why yes, that is a Brezel in the background. Brezel and broccoli slaw, what more could you want?

I’m also still looking for a great cabbage slaw with fresh apples and without carrots. And one that’s not made on a mayonnaise basis. In my opinion is makes the slaw soggy, and who wants a soggy slaw? That defeats the whole purpose of slaw. If you have a recipe you’d like to share let me know!

Btw, there were rumors that Cap’n Crunch is retired? I never ate it, but it’s almost like a childhood institution being retired, like Lucky Charms or Snap, Crackle and Pop, or even worse, Tony the Tiger. (Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I occasionally crave – and eat – a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Yay for childhood).

I’m not a fan of bell peppers, but….

I blogged the other day about this amazing summer salad I had. Meet this delicious Mediterranean summer salad – perfect for a warm summer day. It also keeps nicely til the next day (I’m sure it would keep longer, except that it’s so delicious that it might not last that long). I love sour things, but I never really thought about including pickled ingredients in my salad – I can’t imagine sour gurkens in my salad. But this, this was so delicious that I’m going to have to try out more recipes like that. Even my Dad, who isn’t a big fan of salad, said that the salad was yummy and that he’d like to eat it again soon. (And yes, I need to improve the lighting on my pictures).

summer salad

mediterranean summer salad on cress

We ate the salad with homemade flatbreads – another Smitten Kitchen recipe. So good! You might think that the mixture of honey, thyme and salt is weird, but it comes together nicely, with the finished object being more than it’s components. I’ll be making this one again, soon.

flatbreads

flatbreads with freshly crushed sea salt

I know what I ate last Friday

OMG. I think Friday’s dinner was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. So delicious. We ate every last bit. No leftovers.

I mentioned the other day that I love Smitten Kitchen – so much so that I’m subscribed to the email updates. The other day I stumbled upon a recipe for these delicious corn, buttermilk and chive popovers. I’ve been itching to try it out, and figured the popovers would work well with salad. I love salad, especially non-classic iceburg lettuce and a dressing salad.  (How boring). I like to mix up my salad with different textures and tastes – something smooth, something crunchy, and something tangy. I love fruit or fruit juice or lemon in my dressing.

popovers

I get hungry just looking at them!

My sister had told me about a delicious Cauliflower and Broccoli salad, with strawberries and a poppyseed dressing, so I figured I’d try out the salad myself. Well, no poppyseeds in the household means no poppyseed dressing. So I searched Smitten Kitchen, and found a yummy Broccoli slaw recipe, with a buttermilk dressing. I was very tempted to make the slaw, but I figure there’s another day to try out that recipe. Anyway, buttermilk dressing on the salad and some sliced almonds took care of the salad. Add hot popovers, with a pat of butter. Yum yum yum. Judge for yourself.

yum, salad

pre-application of dressing

(Rhu)babarella

To say that I love rhubarb would be an understatement. I don’t think there’s a preparation of rhubarb that I don’t enjoy. In fact, I love rhubarb so much that finding a skein of yarn named Rhabarber is what set me off to discover what dyer had named yarn after my favorite rhubarb which has led to my love of Wollmeise. I mean, see for yourself:

Wollmeise yarn

Wollmeise Fluffy in Rhabarber

Since it’s rhubarb season right, now, I’ve been busy preserving rhubarb for the non-rhubarb season. I’ve made rhubarb-strawberry compote, rhubarb-apple jam, rhubarb-strawberry jam, rhubarb-berry jam and rhubarb syrup.

rhubarb jam, compote, syrup

rhubarb heaven: jam, compote and syrup

The rhubarb syrup is in the middle bottle. You can see how the rhubarb makes for a lovely pink toned syrup. It is especially delicious when you add it to your glass of water – really refreshing.

I’d already posted about this dessert: vanilla yoghurt with rhubarb-strawberry compote – yum (not my best photography job, sorry)!

dessert

rhubarb-strawberry compote with vanilla yoghurt