I picked a big bunch of rhubarb when I went to visit my mom on Mother’s Day. She has these two huge rhubarb plants that always yield way more than you could ever eat. You can eat rhubarb to your heart’s content and still have more. The funny thing is even as much as I took, it didn’t even begin to thin out the plants.
Anyway, I decided yesterday I was going to cook my rhubarb … I chopped it ALL up and put it in a BIG bowl, looked on the Internet for some ideas, and then I started playing … the first thing I made was Royal Rhubarb Crisp, my very favorite thing that Mom used to make for us when we were kids. Then I made this sauce with intent to turn it into a rhubarb slushie, but my experiments went a different direction. This is a really versatile sauce … You can eat it like applesauce or use it in baking or make a glaze for a cake with it … you can even put it in salad dressing! It’s not very sweet, though, so if you want it sweeter, add some sugar or honey or agave or whatever sweetness you use in your kitchen. I may try making a cocktail with it too … we’ll see if there’s any left for that!
Ginger Rhubarb Sauce
- 3 cups rhubarb
- 1 cup orange juice
- 5 thin slices fresh ginger root
- 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
Put all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender. Pull out the ginger slices. Puree the sauce in a blender (or just use it as is). I blended mine up till smooth.
I was scrounging for lunch again yesterday … my body was so hungry for something good, delicious, healthy. My organic salad greens in the fridge were almost gone. There wasn’t much to be had in the fridge except some cut fruit and a bit of cheese.
But I ALWAYS have plenty of food in the freezer. AND I have a yard full of edibles! I went out and collected some wild violet and dandelion leaves, a bit of fresh basil, some Johnny Jump Ups (as my mom calls them … they are also known as Violas), cooked up a frozen chicken patty, toasted some pecans from the freezer and voila! I had a beautiful salad definitely worth jumping up for.
Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta and Pecans
- Greens (I used wild violet and dandelion greens)
- Cooked chicken, cut into chunks (I used a breaded chicken patty, but grilled chicken or even rotisserie chicken would work too)
- Orange, peeled and cut into small chunks
- Toasted pecans
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Viola flowers (Johnny Jump Ups … preferably from a source that isn’t sprayed with herbicides or pesticides)
- Fresh basil leaves
Fill your bowl most of the way with greens. Tuck in the chicken, orange pieces, sprinkle with pecans and feta. Add the flowers and the basil and drizzle with a pleasing vinaigrette. I used my Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette, but I think the Tequila Lime Vinaigrette would be lovely on this salad too … I need to make some more of that beautiful dressing.
This recipe was shared at Cast Party Wednesdays, Fit & Fabulous Fridays, Fabulous Friday, Weekend Potluck, Mom’s Everyday Meals and Mealtime Monday and Delicious Dish Tuesday.
Juicy oranges, sweet chewy dates, and crunchy toasted almonds on a bed of lovely greens.
When I was in junior high school, I took Latin. Every year, my Latin teacher would have a “Latin dinner” night where everyone was supposed to bring some food that the Romans would have eaten back in the days of the Roman empire. Most people brought things like lasagna or garlic bread … my mom (the dietician) thought we should bring salad. This salad was mom’s idea … I don’t know where she got the inspiration, but even as a young pre-teen girl, I thought it was the tastiest salad ever.
For a dressing, we just drizzled it with olive oil. When I remade it yesterday, I tried topping it with my Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette. Either way, I think you are going to love this simple salad.
Now as I’m writing this, I’m wondering how it would taste with a few crumbles of goat cheese on there? I bet that would be delicious …
My Mom’s Orange, Date, & Almond Salad
- Mixed greens
- Oranges, peeled, sliced horizontally and cut into pieces
- Dates, chopped
- Almonds, toasted
- Olive oil or Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette
Fill your salad bowl with mixed greens. Tuck the oranges and dates in amongst the greens, sprinkle with a few toasted almonds. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil or the vinaigrette.
Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Mix everything except the olive oil together in a bowl till well mixed. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing in a small stream. Keep whisking until the olive oil is well mixed into the dressing. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container.
This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays, Everyday Mom’s Meals, Mealtime Mondays, Thursday’s Treasures and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.
on Wild Greens with a Honey Citrus Poppyseed Dressing
We made rainbow fruit kebabs for my daughter’s birthday party. Both of her parties, in fact (one for her school friends, one for her dance friends). The second party was smaller, so now my fridge is filled with fruit. Fruit in literally all the colors of the rainbow.
That just screams for a salad, doesn’t it?
Now, you could arrange all these pretty fruits over the greens in the shape of a rainbow I suppose. I just wanted a sprinkle of fruit amongst my greens, though. And a crunchy nut flavor with some salty, creamy cheese. The best part of this salad, I think, was each time I encountered a new fruit, the taste was a little different. But the greens, the dressing, the cheese and the walnuts held it all together so it was a constant symphony of taste with changing fruit highlights. Sort of like different singers singing the same melody, or different instruments playing the same tune. It felt a little like listening to a really good orchestra playing a beautiful piece of music … like being at the Symphony.
Rainbow Symphony Fruit Salad on Wild Greens
with Toasted Walnuts & Feta Cheese
- Greens of your choice (I used dandelion greens.)
- Fresh blueberries
- Honeydew melon
- Chopped fresh pineapple
- Fresh orange, peeled and cut into chunks
- Fresh strawberries
- Toasted walnuts
- Feta cheese
Fill your salad bowl most of the way with greens. Tuck the fruits in amongst the greens, sprinkle with a few toasted walnuts and a bit of crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle with Honey Citrus Poppyseed Dressing.
Honey Citrus Poppyseed Dressing
Okay this isn’t really a NEW salad dressing recipe … it’s a salad dressing transformation. I wanted that honey lemon, but I also wanted a bit of creaminess, a bit more sweet citrus taste, and some poppyseeds, so I just added them. I think you could get away with using the Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette as is. Or you could go a different direction and just add some honey to the orange juice, yogurt and poppyseeds.
Mix all ingredients and drizzle over the salad.
Enjoy the symphony.
This recipe was shared at Mealtime Mondays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, and Tastetastic Thursdays.
The other day I was cruising around the blogosphere when I saw some coconut ice cream … I’m not much of a fan of that dried shredded coconut, but I love the flavor of coconut … and I thought: wouldn’t coconut ice cream be dreamy? Or better yet, coconut RUM ice cream? Oh and then you could go a step further and make it pina colada ice cream.
I didn’t want all the fat and sugar from the recipe I saw so I made up my own. It’s fruity with that creamy coconut taste and an underlying hint of banana … because frozen bananas have a luscious creaminess to them that no other fruit can quite attain.
And just for good measure (and a little color!) I added some more fruit on top.
Banana Colada Ice Cream
- 2 cups fat free half and half
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1/2 of a can of light coconut juice
- 1/4 cup pineapple orange juice concentrate
- 3 Tablespoons of coconut rum
- In a medium saucepan, mix half & half & sugar. Heat, stirring frequently, until small bubbles form at the edge of the pan.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a whisk or mixer until frothy.
- Slowly drizzle a stream of the hot cream mixture (about 1 cup of it) into the egg, whisking or beating constantly.
- Gradually add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot cream mixture in the saucepan, whisking as you go.
- Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon–roughly 5 minutes.
- Pour the hot mixture into a blender with the vanilla, frozen bananas, pineapple orange juice concentrate and coconut rum. Blend until smooth.
- Put the mixture in the fridge until cool. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Serve topped with the honey spiced fruit compote
Honey Spiced Fruit Compote
This makes a small batch of fruit compote, just enough for about 2-3 servings, depending on how much fruit you pile on and how big your servings are. Mix up the fruits if you like — pineapple or mango would be wonderful too.
- 1 kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
- 5 – 7 strawberries, tops removed and chopped
- 1/2 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- A dash of each: nutmeg and ground ginger
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced
Mix all the ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes or so or until the fruits start juicing a bit. Pour over the frozen ice cream.
This recipe was shared on Newlyweds Recipe Linky, Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Full Plate Thursdays, A Crafty Cook’s April Link Party, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.
Janet is here for Thanksgiving this year and she wanted to make citrus salsa. She even brought a can of mandarin oranges just for the occasion. So Janet and I made citrus salsa with some of Mom’s tomatoes and Dad’s jalapenos. The japs are super hot this year!
If you want to tone down the heat of the salsa, just use bell pepper or a smaller amount of jalapeno.
Janet’s Citrus Salsa
- 3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 15-oz. can of mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained and chopped, or 2 oranges, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
- 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons of lime juice
- About 3 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let rest for an hour or so to let the flavors blend. Serve with tortilla chips or on nachos, fish, chicken, pork, whatever!
My sister thought this salsa would be good with black beans in it. It certainly went well with the black bean turkey nachos she made.
This recipe was shared at Fit and Fabulous Fridays, Recipe of the Week: Mexican Cuisine, Katherine Martinelli’s Pepper Blog Hop and Recipe of the Week: Hot & Spicy Recipes and Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.
I remember those awful jellied cans of cranberry sauce would find their way to our Thanksgiving table sometimes in my childhood, and I remember loving the sweet tart taste of the cranberries, but the jellied stuff was just so ugly and weird. I think we all eventually decided we just don’t like cranberry sauce because we don’t usually have cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving anymore.
But this year will be different. I remembered this cranberry sauce that Michael, an old boyfriend of mine, made one year when I lived far from my family. We were having Thanksgiving dinner in his apartment with his roommate. Michael worked at a French restaurant and was a total foodie. I told him I didn’t like cranberry sauce, but he said you will like THIS cranberry sauce. And I loved it.
So this year, I am making Michael’s maple cranberry sauce. He didn’t give me his recipe, but I think this is pretty close. I think my family will like THIS cranberry sauce.
Actually I hope they don’t like it TOO much because I saw a gorgeous and super simple appetizer idea made with cranberry sauce that I want to try: Just take a block of (light) cream cheese, put it on a fancy dish, and pour cranberry sauce over it. Serve with crackers. I have decided I will stir in a few chopped jalapenos into the sauce before I pour it over the cream cheese to give it a little kick. I have big plans for this cranberry sauce.
Michael’s Maple Cranberry Sauce with Toasted Walnuts
Adapted from About.com
- 1 (12 ounces) package fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup red Zinfandel or other dry red wine (I used some of my dad’s California Trinity Red wine.)
- 2 teaspoons ginger sugar (the reserved sugar from making candied ginger) or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped
- Place cranberries, maple syrup, juice, wine, and ginger sugar in a heavy saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, until cranberries begin to pop.
- Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
- Remove from heat and gently smash a bit to open the cranberries, but do not mash.
- Toast the walnuts by spreading them in a single layer on a baking sheet and baking for about 5 minutes at 300 F. or until they are just lightly browned and you can smell the scent of the walnuts.
- Stir in walnuts and vanilla. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Look at that gorgeous color! (And yes, in case you were wondering, that IS snow on the table. We had our first snow last night.)
This recipe was shared at Melt in your Mouth Mondays.
an almost wordless Wednesday post …
Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea Bread
I named this bread pumpkin pie chai tea bread because it has a very moist, dense texture almost like pumpkin pie, with the spices of chai tea and a hint of orange. A cup of Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte would be just perfect with this tasty bread.
Adapted from Health Magazine
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup 1% reduced fat milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
For the top:
- 2 tablespoons chopped cinnamon roasted almonds
- 1 tablespoon raw (turbinado) sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Combine all dry ingredients (through allspice) in a large bowl.
- Whisk eggs, egg white, milk, juice, oil, and pumpkin in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just blended. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle almonds and raw sugar on top.
- Bake the bread until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (60 to 65 minutes). Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting, then take out of the pan and allow to cool further on a baking rack.