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Mint Juleps September 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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32 comments

Although I’ve mentioned Mint Juleps in a number of posts, I’ve never shared the recipe ~ a fact I discovered when I offered to share it with Kate Shrewsday after her recent visit to Charleston.

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Mint Julep

1 jigger (more or less) Simple Syrup with Mint
1 jigger bourbon
crushed ice

Fill a tall glass or silver julep cup with crushed ice.  Add a jigger of Simple Syrup and a jigger of bourbon.  Stir.  Ice will melt and meld with the drink.

Garnish with 2-4 large sprigs of fresh mint.  Sip, don’t gulp.

Simple Syrup

Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over 1/2 cup sugar; stir until sugar dissolves.  Stir in 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves (or, in a pinch, 1/4 c. dried mint).

Chill at least 4 hours.  Strain. Store covered in the fridge.  Makes about 3/4 cup ~ enough for 3-6 Mint Juleps.

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Aah . . . that’s better! 

The Benjamin Franklin Diet September 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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36 comments

While scouting the library stacks for inspiration, I stumbled upon an interesting diet book . . .

I added it to the stack of books in my arms, ignoring the oft quoted adage and admonition . . . “neither a borrower nor a lender be.”

At home, I settled down to learn about Ben’s diet.

* At a young age, Ben swore off meat and quaffing pints of ale so as to have more money to spend on books.

* In so doing, he noted that he felt better and had greater mental clarity after meals consisting of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

* He also noticed that he felt better when he exercised for 15 minutes before each meal.  If the weather wasn’t being cooperative, he spent his 15 minutes leaping inside the house ~ forward and back or side to side.

In addition to the fascinating narrative of Ben’s life philosophy, the author, Kelly Wright, collected and shared a number of colonial recipes for grains, soups, stews, game, and sweet fare, including:  Hasty Pudding, Dauphiny Soup, Oatcakes, Classic Colonial Bread, Hoecakes, Tavern Bread, and Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese Spread.

Inspired, I whipped up a loaf of Mrs. Wright’s Beer Bread in minutes.

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Combine 3 cups whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup raw sugar, 1 Tbsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt.  Stir in a bottle (12 ounces) of beer or ale.

Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

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“Hunger never saw bad bread.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Delighted with the result, I followed Ben’s lead and leaped and leapt about.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

To learn more:  The Benjamin Franklin Diet (Book) * The Benjamin Franklin Diet (Website)

Jalapeno Cornbread September 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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33 comments

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Yes . . . we are continuing to carb load.

Man cannot live by bagels alone!

Jalapeno Cornbread

Heat over to 425 degrees.

Grease baking dish with butter or oil and place in oven to pre-heat. I use a round pottery baking dish but a 8-9″ square baking dish would work.

1 1/4 c. stoneground cornmeal
1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder (or 1 tsp. and 1 egg)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2-4 tsp. sugar (or brown sugar)

Sift together dry ingredients in large bowl.

1 1/2 c. almond milk
2 T. butter (or 1 T. oil)
5-6 roasted jalapenos (or 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes)

Whisk wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour into heated baking pan. Bake 25 minutes at 425.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Bagels September 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
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34 comments

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1 cup warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. oil

Mix and knead the dough (or let your bread maker do it for you).  Let it rise for 20 minutes.  Turn out onto a floured surface.

Divide the dough in 8-12 pieces.  [I made 12 the first time.  Too small.]

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Roll each piece into a rope and form into a circle, pressing ends together.

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Place on well-greased baking sheet, cover with a warm/damp towel and let rise for 15-20 minutes.

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Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Admire your Pillsbury Dough Boys . . .

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In a large non-aluminum pan, boil 3-4 inches of water.  Lower 3-4 bagels at a time into simmering water.  Cook 15-30 seconds each side.

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Remove bagels, drain excess water.

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Place bagels on a well-greased cookie sheet (or pre-heated pizza stone).

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Bake 8 minutes.  [For larger bagels, turn bagels over and bake another 4-6 minutes until lightly browned on both sides.]

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Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool.

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Yield: 12 small bagels (or 8 large bagels).

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Yes.  One of the dozen is M.I.A. ~ wherever did it go?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Festivals of India September 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Music & Dance.
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39 comments

On Saturday, we enjoyed Indian Dancing, Music, Costumes and Food in air-conditioned comfort at India Fest 2014.

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The theme of the festival focused on eight major festivals in India:

Uttarayan ~ kite flying and rooftop picnics to celebrate winter’s end
Baisakhi ~ celebrated in different ways by Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists
Pongal ~ celebrants greet milk boiling over with shouts of “Pongalo Pongal”
Holi ~ marking the first full moon in Spring with clouds of colored powder
Ganesh Chaturthi ~ celebrating the birth day of Lord Ganesha
Onam ~ festival of rain, flowers, and rice harvest
Navratri ~ celebrated over nine nights around harvest time in October
Diwali ~ festival of lights illuminating the country with brilliance

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After a brief history of each festival, lithe and limber dancers in elaborate and elegant costumes performed traditional dances to traditional music.

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Each dance ended amid appreciative applause.

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After the dancing and music, all performers returned to the stage for the singing of India’s national anthem.

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A bejeweled Lord Ganesh watched over the festival.

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POLICE watched over Lord Ganesh and his jewels.

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After the music and dancing, attendees wandered the food stalls and the bazaar, stopping to gape at colorful plumage.

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We  sampled Spring Rolls, Samosas, and Bhel Puri (a favorite street food in Mumbai featuring puffed rice, peanuts, tomatoes, tamarind sauce, potatoes, mint, cilantro chutney, onions, cumin, chili powder, lemon juice, chaat masala, sel, papdis, etc.).

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Before leaving we stopped for a photo op with that gorgeous peacock we spied earlier ~> his plumage matched my skirt!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Picking A Prickly Pineapple August 25, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Humor.
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51 comments

In May, we noticed a pineapple growing in our courtyard:

By mid-July, it had quite a regal crown:

And then it stopped growing and started ripening.  So I picked it:

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To give you a bit of perspective, here’s my best Carmen Miranda imitation:

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Growing pineapples is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Taste of Pine Avenue ~ Garden Project July 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Sustainable Living.
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14 comments

For a different type of community garden, check out the Taste of Pine Avenue Garden Project, featuring nutritious food grown in raised bed gardens outside shops in Anna Maria’s quaint business district:

In the garden:  Okinawa Spinach, Edible Hibiscus, Katuk, Moringa, Ethiopian Kale, Roselle, Chinese Spinach, and Seminole Pumpkin.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For Recipes, like Peanut Butter & Jelly and Katuk or Moringa Muffins:

Perfect Island ~ Growing Edibles

For more information:

ECHOnet.org * Echo’s Guide to Summertime Garden Vegetables

Related posts: The Historic Green Village

It’s Curtains for Coffee July 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Special Events.
Tags: , , ,
32 comments

Last month, the South Florida Museum partnered up to present a play in the planetarium, preceded by dessert and coffee in the atrium, PLUS a sneak peak at its exhibit on Coffee.

I don’t have any photos from the play because they asked us to “Please Refrain from Photography.”

I don’t have any photos of the Blonde Banana Brownie because I ate it.

I do have a few snaps to share from the Coffee exhibit . . .

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Harvesting coffee is labor intensive because the beans are hand-picked . . .

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Beans must be processed the day of harvest to remove the hull . . .

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Goats get buzzed off coffee beans (no roasting required) . . .

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Coffee beans are shipped in burlap bags with unique artwork . . .

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Through the ages, we’ve developed many coffee accoutrements . . .

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Because we “heart” coffee . . .

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This sack seems to say “Rise and Shine” . . .

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But this one says it all . . .

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Aah . . . that’s better!

One of the Best Things I’ve Eaten This Year July 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Special Events, Vegetarian Recipes.
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62 comments

On our 30th Anniversary, we went out for lunch and ordered one of the best things I’ve eaten all year:

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Tempura Battered Asparagus with shaved Parmigiana Reggiano

On my umpteenth Birthday, we went out for Happy Hour and ordered another winner of an indulgence:

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Caramel Macademia Nut Cheesecake

Here’s the Birthday Girl before sharing 2 appetizers and a decadent dessert:

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And here’s the Birthday Girl after:

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Yup.  Still smiling.  Without a trace of guilt.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this year?

Hey, That Prickles! July 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
26 comments

In April, I shared Our Budding Pineapple Plantation with you . . .

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Since then, our lone pineapple has continued to grow . . .

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With a rather majestic looking crown . . .

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Care to share any good pineapple recipes?

Related post:  Pineapple Chutney

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