Archive | June, 2009

Plum Marzipan Pie

26 Jun

Hello there!

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Earlier this week I bought some plums. They looked good, and I had eaten some the week before which were good, so I cast all doubt aside – it does seem a bit early in the year for plums, no? – and took them home. They were a disappointment! No goody juicy plum flavor at all, just very boring and kind of stale. Soooooo I started thinking about what to do with them, because I am opposed to wasting food, and also because I had been looking forward to eating them. I find that tasteless fruit develops flavor when baked or cooked, don’t you? And sooooo I decided to make a pie, despite the heat outside. Marzipan goes well with plums, flavor-wise, and it also bakes well. Since it is not Christmas, I only added a hint, a tiny hint of cinnamon. The outcome of the whole endeavor: a beautiful little pie in which the refreshing, slightly sour flavor of the plums is combined with the almondy sweetness of the marzipan. Here we go:

Ingredients:
makes a small pie, i.e. is half of a regular recipe

1 1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 stick butter, very cold, cut into pieces
1/8 cup ice water

10 plums
1 cup marzipan (approx. 7 oz.)
2 tbsps. brown sugar
cinnamon to taste

Directions:

In a bowl, mix flour and salt. Add the butter; knead a little, then add half of the water and knead some more. Keep kneading and adding teaspoons of water until you have a smooth ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and put into your fridge for approx. 30 mins.

In the meantime, wash, pit and quarter the plums. Cut the marzipan into pieces (about the same size as the plum quarters). Combine plums and marzipan with sugar and cinnamon; mix gently.

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Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Cut the dough ball in half. Roll out one half and transfer into your pie pan. Add the filling. Roll out the remaining dough; cut some small vents, i.e. using a cookie cutter. Put on top of the filling, and connect the two dough layers by pressing the rims together and tucking the bottom rim under the top rim (heck, this is hard to describe! I hope you get what I’m trying to say). If you want to brush the crust with water, egg white, or something else, now is the time (I tend to not do that).

Bake for about 50 mins., until the crust is light brown and the filling is throwing bubbles.
Let cool a little before eating. Enjoy!

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I did not add much sugar, since marzipan is sweet enough for my taste. I could, however, well imagine this pie with additional chocolate chunks or more cinnamon or nuts in the filling. Maybe at Christmas.

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Cherry Cherry Lady

19 Jun

Hello!

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Here’s a recipe for some wonderful cherry coconut muffins – easy, fast, delicious! I made these an hour ago, and already ate three.

Ingredients:
makes 12

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2 cups cherries, halved and pitted

3/4 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk (which is not, for whatever reason, in the picture)

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup flour
3/4 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

Directions:

In a bowl, mix butter, eggs, milk, and sugar. Whisk strongly until the sugar has dissolved and you have a homogeneous batter.
Fold salt, baking powder, coconut flakes, and flour into the egg mix. Lastly, add the cherries, and mix gently.

Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Scoop out the batter into your muffin pan (lined with paper).

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Bake for 20-22 mins. (until… wait for it… tooth pick comes out clean)

Let cool, and decorate to your liking.

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I went with these little flags. They create a nautical flair, no?
Here’s the whole armada (minus one, which sailed right into my stomach):

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xoxo, F.

One More Garland

17 Jun

Apparently I am obsessed with making garlands. Here comes one more. I apologize for the terrible pictures. Seems like I should become obsessed with how my camera works for a change.

A closeup:

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It hangs above the window in our living room. Makes me think of garden parties and cupcakes and lemonade and flower beds. I miss gardening.

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Chickpea Salad with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil

17 Jun

Hello there, good evening!

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After spending the afternoon at the pool, I came home sunburnt (when will I ever learn?), tired, and hungry. This salad was the perfect dinner, because it took about 10 seconds to throw together, and also turned out to be nice, light summer food. There really isn’t much to it, but it tasted so good! I used canned chickpeas, because I actually like them better than the soaked, ‘homemade’ ones, but that’s up to you, of course. I debated the basil for a while (in my head. with myself), because I wasn’t sure whether it would work with the chickpeas – in the end, I told to myself to take a chance, dance like nobody is watching, etc., and just threw some in. It worked, I liked it. In any case, I am sure that parsley instead would also taste very good, as would a different type of lettuce.

Ingredients:
serves 2

1 small can chickpeas (about 2 cups, I’d say)
1 ball mozzarella
6 grape tomatoes
2 big handfuls green salad leaves, e.g. romaine
1 handful of fresh basil, chopped

5 tbsps. olive oil
2 tbsps. white balsamico vinegar
salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar to taste

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Directions:

Wash and drain the chickpeas in a sieve.
Cut the mozzarella, the tomatoes, and the lettuce into bitesized chunks.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Season generously, mix gently, and serve with bread. Enjoy!

Easy, no? I wonder how feta cheese would taste in this. Must try…
xoxo, F.

Rice Salad with Grilled Peppers and Avocado

16 Jun

Good evening,

yes, another salad! I know that there are a couple of rice-and-avocado-salads out there on the interwebs, people call them ‘deconstructed sushi rolls’ or something, which is funny. My idea here was to push that into more of a mediterranean direction, hence the grilled peppers, balsamico vinegar, and fresh basil.
I have to admit that preparing those peppers took some time, so if you are in a hurry, I’d suggest simply dicing them raw and then fry them for a couple of minutes, i.e. not bother with the peeling process. About peeling peppers I’m not so sure anyways. I mean I get the idea, but on the other hand, the peel really doesn’t bother me. I don’t peel tomatoes, either. So, as often in life, this totally depends on one’s personal taste, and by all means feel free to do it or not. Aaaaaaanyhoodle, here comes the recipe.

Ingredients:
serves 4

3 bell peppers
1 ripe avocado
1 cup rice

1 handful of fresh basil
3 tbsps. olive oil
1 tbsp. white balsamico vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

In a pot, cover the rice with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, add a pinch of salt (or vegetable stock powder), and let cook on medium heat until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir, and let sit.

In the meantime, wash the peppers, and cut into stripes. Place the stripes, skin down, in a hot grill pan. Let sit until the skin turns black and blisters.

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Take them out, put them into a bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for a couple of minutes.

In the meantime, dice the avocado. I always cut it in half, take out the stone, cut the flesh into little cubes, and then kind of turn the avocado half inside out. That way, nice little avocado pieces fall right into my salad bowl.

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Next, take the pepper slices out of the bowl, and start the laborious process of peeling them. Cut into pieces.

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In a bowl, combine rice, peppers, and avocado. Add vinegar and oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lastly, chop the basil, and add. Mix gently. Serve with bread.

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When we ate our salad, it was still a little warm, which I liked. But naturally, you can also let this salad prepare ahead of time and serve it cold. I think that some leafy greens would also work well in this, maybe baby spinach leaves?

For tomorrow I’m planning a chickpea-mozzarella-tomato-salad. We’ll see how that turns out!
Until then,
xoxo, F.

Look At This

16 Jun

Hello people,

I just found this on LittleMiss, and I love it:

goodcooking

Also, please read Alicia’s post on healthy (in so many ways) grocery shopping on Bread & Honey. These are true, true words.

Goodbye for now, I’ll post a rice salad recipe later.
xoxo, F.

Handicraft Endeavors

14 Jun

Hello there!

Here comes some stuff I have been making. I am usually tinkering with a project, as I am sure many of you guys are. It’s one of my favorite things ever: to listen to the radio while sewing, knitting, glueing, cutting, whatever. Here we go:

blanketproject

This is a very close closeup picture of my blanket project. The idea is to knit scarves, one after the other, and sew them together into one blanket. I will only use yarns for this which are left over from other projects. Looks like it’s going to take forever? Yeah, maybe, but I kind of like the idea of working on this for a long time, adding bits as time goes by.

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A little monster head I made from felt. Scary, right? Well, no, I know.

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Remember the garland from a couple of days ago? This is a picture of one of the elements. It consists of a small paper doilies, and cupcake and praline paper cups. The small brown ones are from small Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

A similar garland:

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And, lastly, a shell house. I totally stole this idea from Pamela Garrison (whose house looks ten thousand times more amazing than mine, anyways).

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I am unable to make my computer rotate this picture, so tilt your heads, please. Thank you!

Well, that’s it! Time to make dinner. Goodbye for now,
xoxo, F.