Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lemonade, Regular and Pink

In the throes of the Russia investigation, my fellow old-timers will understand why I'm hesitant to post about anything pink. Nevertheless, I hereby step onto the wild side.



It's nearly summer here in the Midwestern USA, and thoughts turn to refreshing drinks. The Harrison County Fair is about to start, and that means lemonade.

Image courtesy of SweetClipArt
My mother asked me what makes pink lemonade pink, and I didn't know, so I found out. 

First, although I always associate lemonade with the turn of the 18/19th centuries, it's an ancient drink. Lemons, which originated in the Mediterranean area, were squeezed, diluted with water, sugared and cooled for the upper class, who could afford to bring ice down from the mountains. 

By the 17th century, lemonade had made its way to Europe, where it was a popular street vendor product. 

Lemonade came to the USA with European settlers. Where lemons couldn't be had, lemonade could be made with lemon syrup, which could be imported. The temperance movement, during the Victorian era, made lemonade the genteel drink of choice, and it was featured at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. 

In 1872 or 1873, a 15-year-old boy who had run away from home to join the circus, Henry E. Allott, dropped some cinnamon candies into the lemonade he was mixing. The pink lemonade outsold the regular, and has been a staple of the circus concession stand ever since. Red fruit juice is sometimes added by home cooks to get the color, but cinnamon drops originally made the yellow drink pink.

So now we all know.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Blackberry Lime Cream Puffs

This Blackberry Lime Cream Puffs recipe is from CountryLiving. Click the link to learn more about the recipe's contributor, see the finished product, and more.


Ingredients

6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lime zest, plus more for serving
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
2 1/2 c. fresh blackberries, divided
1 c. heavy cream
24 (2-inch) store-bought profiterole shells
confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Directions

Whisk cream cheese, sugar, lime zest, vanilla, salt, and 3/4 cup berries on medium speed with a mixer until creamy and berries are broken down, 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high, add cream, and beat until whipped, about 1 minute. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized pastry tip or zip-top bag. Chill 2 hours or up to 1 day.

Snip a hole in the corner of the zip-top bag, if using. Split profiteroles and pipe blackberry filling on bottom halves, dividing evenly. Top with remaining 1 3/4 cups blackberries and lime zest. Sandwich with profiterole tops. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another #Vegan Stir-Fry

Today's grocery day, so we cleaned out the refrigerator. That usually means 1) soup or 2) stir fry or 3) smorgasbord. This time, it was stir-fry.
That's onion, garlic cloves, the last bits of raw broccoli and carrot from a crudités plate, a couple of dry-ish mushrooms, a small, sad zucchini we got at the farmer's market because we felt sorry for it, and leftover rice. Fried it in sesame oil and sprinkled it with Five Spice Powder and soy sauce. I topped mine with Pad Thai sauce, but Charlie didn't.

After I put it on the table, I thought, "Oh! I should have put some cashews in!" So we sprinkled cashews on top and that was great.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, June 9, 2017

Glazed Wings With Butter Lettuce Salad

This Glazed Wings With Butter Lettuce Salad recipe is from RealSimple. Click the link for nutritional information, tips, reviews, and yield.


INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
kosher salt
3 1/2 pounds chicken wings (about 25)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 head butter lettuce, torn into pieces


DIRECTIONS

Heat grill to medium-low. In a large bowl, combine the preserves, vinegar, ginger, cayenne, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Set aside ¼ cup of the mixture.

Add the chicken wings to the bowl and toss to coat.
Grill chicken, covered, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes, basting with reserved mixture in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, pesto, and lemon juice.
Divide the lettuce among plates and drizzle with the pesto vinaigrette. Serve with the chicken wings.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rescuing Leftover Blah #trayf

I made a dish for a cookout, which was a disappointment. The dish, not the cookout. It was potatoes and flat-leaf kale, boiled together and seasoned with salt and vegan margarine. Okay, all you non-vegan/vegetarians, I don't wanna hear it. Most vegan/vegetarian food is goo-ood, but this was kind of blah.

Part of it is that flat-leaf kale doesn't have any body to it, and seems (to me) to be milder in flavor than curly kale. I think pepper would have helped, or replacing the salt with some zesty Mrs. Dash, but Charlie doesn't like pepper and spice, so that was out.

ANYWAY, I had some left.

Since Charlie and I aren't vegetarian, we have some bacon, and I chopped some of that and fried it. When that was nearly done, I added the potatoes and kale and browned them. Meanwhile, I beat a few eggs with milk, salt, and marjoram. Poured that over the potatoes/kale/bacon. I covered it until it was set, then flipped it to brown the other side.
It worked! It was actually delicious!

From now on, though, I'm sticking with the curly kale.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, June 2, 2017

So Simple Cowboy Caviar

The So Simple Cowboy Caviar recipe comes from Food.com. Visit the page for information about the contributor and for reviews, photos, nutrition facts, and tips.


INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar ( flavor of your choice)
1 (16 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7 ounce) cans white shoepeg corn, rinsed and drained
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced

DIRECTIONS

In small saucepan, combine oil, sugar and vinegar.
Heat and boil 1 minute and then cool completely.
In large bowl, combine beans, peas, corn, peppers and onions.
Pour vinegar mixture over bean/pepper mixture and mix to thoroughly coat.
Cover and marinate overnight.
Drain for 2-3 hours before serving.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Ate Three Eggplants In One Sitting and Lived to Tell the Tale

True story.

Okay, first, yeah, the eggplants were tiny. Like teeny tiny. They were literally the size of duck eggs, if they were even that big.

I saw them in the grocery, and I was like, "Oh! Look at those adowaboo li'l eggplants! I gotta get 'em!" #4 daughter was coming to dinner, so I got three. I said to my husband, "I know you don't care for eggplant, but these are so wee, you'll hardly know you're eating one, right?" He's like, "Whatever."

An additional attraction was the stickers they had on them.
Hard to see the name, but the sticker has a dragon on it, and the brand is Asian Pride. Asian Pride Indian Eggplant, product of Mexico. I ask you: Could I resist them? And Echo answers: No.

I cut each eggplant in half, smeared them with olive oil and Jane's Crazy Mixed-Up Salt, and put them in the George Foreman-style Rip-off Grill until they were blackened outside and creamy inside.

This is a wee li'l saucer. I should have put a dime in there,to show scale, but I di'n'.

And -- joy of joys! -- nobody else wanted theirs! Well, Charlie ate half of his, the dear man, but #4 Daughter, although a fan of Indian food, informed me that eggplant isn't a taste she cares for.

MORE FOR ME!

Today is the next-to-last day of Story A Day May. Feel free to hop over to my blog and read today's story and, indeed, all the many free stories posted there. You also have my permission to buy as many of my books and story collections you fancy. You're welcome. ;)

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes