Apple Butter

September 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

I never really fully appreciated apples until I lived on the east coast. You can definitely grow good apples in California, but they aren’t our very best fruit offering. When I moved to the east coast after college, my eyes were opened to all that apples could be. There were apple-picking excursions in upstate new york, and new apple varieties that were crisper than anything I’d had on the west coast. I remember when I first discovered what is now my all-time favorite apple, Mutsu. It literally blew my mind. I would sit on my couch marveling that an apple could be so crisp and tart and sweet all at once. I once texted a friend to brag about my apple. And for a while, I literally wanted Mutsus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was out of control.

Even though I’m back in California now, my eyes are open to all that apples can be. And I’ve noticed that over the past few years, local markets and stores have begun to carry a wider range of apples, including  Honey Crisp, Pink Pearl, and (finally!) my beloved Mutsu. As the days begin feeling more like fall, I’ve found myself craving apples once again, so I thought I’d start the season off on the right note with this simple and healthy apple butter. And, I suppose you should know that I actually made this apple butter with a future (considerably less healthy) recipe in mind. So get ready, apple butter will be making another appearance shortly! « Read the rest of this entry »

Garden Transitions

September 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

With my last two posts about watermelon, I finally feel like I’ve taken full advantage of summer and am ready for all of the incredible produce that comes with fall. To be honest, as much as I love the stone fruits, tomatoes and berries of summer, if we were talking favorite seasons, I’d probably have to go with autumn. There is something so crisp and lovely about the season.

My garden offers a particularly good illustration of seasonal transitions this year. Back in January, when it was time to get my seedlings going, I had surgery. This meant a late start on seedlings. Then, when it was time to transplant my seedlings into the garden in April, I was still on crutches (yes, I was on crutches for over 3 months). So I had to wait until late May! Given how late I was, it is really no surprise that I grew only one successful melon, that my tomatoes didn’t hit their full swing until mid-September, or my zucchini plants have just now stopped producing. I also have yet to see if any of my peppers or eggplants will ripen before the winter cold sets in, and today’s harvest included both a perfectly ripe melon and a deep orange winter squash!

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Watermelon Agua Fresca

September 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

Remember that gigantic, 25 lb watermelon I mentioned? Well, I’m still working on it! So here is my newest creation. It is simple and refreshing, and it will almost make you forget that summer is quickly fading into fall.

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Watermelon Tomato Salad

September 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m going to brag for just a second. This week, I’ve had in my possession a 25.2 lb watermelon (yes, I weighed it). And it gets better. Not only is the watermelon massive, it is also organic and it cost only $5! For anyone familiar with the Bay Area farmers’ markets, you know what a steal that is! Finally, and most importantly, it is delicious. Like, really, one of the best watermelons I have ever had. Great texture, great sweetness, and perfectly juicy.

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Passion Fruit Dressing

September 5, 2012 § 4 Comments

Don’t hate me… but for the past week I’ve been in Hawaii! For me, the three best things about Hawaii are the beach, the ocean, and the tropical fruits, not necessarily in that order. This week, I really went all out in the fruit department. I ate pineapple, mango, papaya, passion fruit, and – a first for me – dragon fruit. To be honest, I didn’t hate the dragon fruit, but I didn’t love it either. It is certainly visually stunning, but it just didn’t blow me away. I decided to spice it up with this passion fruit dressing, and the dressing ended up being the main attraction for me.

Whatever your feelings about dragon fruit, I think you will love this dressing over fruit salad. « Read the rest of this entry »

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