Tag Archives: honey

Raspberry Lime Fizz

I’m in Portland, Oregon right now, on a vacation my husband decided he wanted to take relatively late.  This wasn’t supposed to be the year for the big vacation because we enjoyed a Foodie’s Road Trip through New England last Fall which we loved, and are planning to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary late next spring.  Nevertheless, we are on vacation.

Once upon a time while talking in the wee hours of the night, I asked what one thing was not negotiable as we eased into the empty nest years of our lives together, and he responded, “Travel.”  And so that’s what we do whenever we can.  We certainly aren’t trailblazers, and that’s perfectly fine because we’re not out to impress anyone with our ventures.  We like to see what it’s like to venture somewhere we’ve never been — somewhere that isn’t too wild, or requires roughing it to any great degree.  Places where we can see how others live, go about an average day, and eat, of course.

We spent a few days in our beloved San Francisco ready to roll up our sleeves and find an apartment for our youngest who has spent the last two years in dorms and is now ready for something different.  Perhaps it was the seagull whose rather perfectly aimed droppings landed squarely on my head that gave us luck, but we were accepted for the first apartment we found.  Lease signed.  End of story, vacation begins.

Which leads me to Portland.  Why Portland?  Recently, I attended a food blogger’s conference in Seattle and was told by a food writer of some experience that the food is much better here.  I thought the comment interesting and decided that an impromptu vacation could include a place we’d never been — especially if the food is great.

We’ve enjoyed very clear, warm days since our arrival, and although I’ll discuss Portland more at another time, I’d say this Raspberry Lime Fizz is perfect for a warm day anywhere.  And if you’re one who is inclined to imbibe, I think it just may be perfect for a shot of your favorite liquor.

Straw, or even an umbrella optional.

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Oatmeal Cookie Honey Vanilla Ice Cream Manwiches


"oatmeal ice cream sandwich"


You’ve had one of those classic ice cream sandwiches.

The rectangular shaped, paper wrapped treats of vanilla ice cream encased in a pair of soft, pock marked chocolate cookies?  The damp wrapper is slowly pulled away, leaving bits of cookie and ice cream stuck to it and you can decide whether you want to lick those away before rewrapping a portion of it to keep the cookie from sticking to your fingers as you eat it.  But I never did that.  It interfered with being able to enjoy the quickly softening ice cream first, running my tongue up one side and down the other before taking my first bite.  Sticky finger clean-up followed.

Every day during my first summer after high school, I had one of those soggy frozen treats straight from the vending machine outside a Cultural Geography class my then boyfriend cajoled me into taking so I’d get three units out of the way before beginning my freshman year in college.  The ice cream sandwiches were his idea as was the everyday habit.  He was thin by nature, and I because I never seemed to eat anything in those days, so eating vending machine junk food at 10 am during our daily break seemed just fine.  That was then.

I’ve had ice cream sandwiches since then, but sadly, they’re more soggy than I remember, much smaller, and the bits and pieces clinging to my fingers not so charming.  So what’s an ice cream sandwich lover to do?

Make her own.

No sogginess. Creamy ice cream to lick along the sides.  No sticky fingers to clean up.

The oatmeal and raisins keeps them from being junk food, right?

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Apricot Honey Almond Tart

The photos of ingredients I’ve purchased for recipes I’ve tried recently grow in my photo library seemingly overnight even though I delete nearly as many as I decide to edit, mentally processing the quality of the recipe as I process my shots of it.  Recipes are sampled and the leftovers tucked away — or wedged considering the condition my fridge is currently suffering from — and the cycle repeats sans the writing that should factor in there somewhere.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are positioned on the kitchen counter tops in a sort of line up lest I forget they’re ready to be used. At some point, inspiration has to inspire, doesn’t it?  So that would be the problem.

And a lack of inspiration is not a small problem.

So while I prod, poke, and try to revive it, I’ve been cleaning up a few favorite old posts.  There’s nothing quite like restoring broken links, uploading photos from an old server onto a new one, and reformatting posts to keep one busy enough to justify a lack of creativity and avoidance of housework.

I also moved my photography station from the dining room to my office upstairs a few days ago, surprising myself with something I hadn’t given much thought to before it happened. It’s not a bad idea, but I’d just gotten organized in the office and spruced things up a bit — including the purchase of fabric to make curtains.  Nice curtains, too.  At this point, if I’m going to use the light from the window, then why put curtains up? Not an Earth-shattering dilemma, but still.

As much as I will enjoy not having lights and props lined up on the dining room table, I’ll miss the convenience of everything being right next to the kitchen.  I can still use the space when the light is perfect but won’t have to tolerate the things sitting around like a mess when I’m downstairs  I’ve already figured out a tray is in order to carry food upstairs, and a tote to carry props back and forth from the garage.  Perhaps one of those calorie counting gizmos is in order to make me feel even better about my decision since I’ll have to

Time will tell.  It always does.

In the meantime, I was lulled by the beauty of two kinds of apricots in the market a few days ago, and so they became my first experiment shooting with the light from my office window.  Leftover tart dough rescued from my freezer helped not only with the photography experiment, but a tart experiment as well.

This tart is perfect if you’ve got fresh apricots and want a tart that isn’t fussy to make.  The filling is is quickly mixed and poured over the apricots before baking.  A lovely recipe to end any meal.

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Caramelly Honey Nut Squares

Today is all about nuts.  Lots and lots of nuts — which is perfect for me about now as I listen to the painters downstairs finally, finally ripping the paper off the floor which has been taped on for more than a week.  I thought yesterday they’d be done, but they’re putting finishing touches here and there.  Clearly, they’re very thorough, which I’m grateful for.  I’m so ready to roll up my sleeves and rearrange my things again.

Dust.  Vacuum.  Hang pictures.  Tackle the pile in the garage to unbury my books.  Gather things for one last big donation of the year…

…then decorate for Christmas.

Like I said — NUTS!  Or in this case, Biscotti Quadrati al Miele e alle NociHoney Nut Squares, Gourmet’s Favorite Cookie from 2003.  These are a delightful bite of flaky cookie crust, creamy honey caramel and three kinds of nuts.  You can’t get much easier for something pleasant, crunchy, and surprisingly, not too sweet.

That makes eleven cookies with one left to go.  Here’s nuts to you! 

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Honey Mustard Grilled Pork Chops

Remember that song “It Never Rains in California?”  Well, of course we know it rains, but not as frequently here as it does even north of L.A.  In fact, this year we’ve had almost none — except for last Saturday evening when we’d decided to grill some pork chops.

Make that me.  I decided that we should.

In fact, it rained just enough to make the grilling interesting.  It didn’t help that I didn’t quite get dinner on the ball until it was dark, either.  But it was worth it.

We’d been out to eat the night before and were less than
thrilled with our main courses which were on the pricey side —
always annoying.  So we were both in the mood to taste something very flavorful.  No sooner had I sat down with my plate than the resident grill master let me know, “Oh.  This is good — really good.  Now this is what I’m talking about — when you take a bite, you’re completely satisfied with the flavor…” mmming between bites.

Need I say more?  And that’s coming from someone who had spent his Saturday morning at the office, the rest of the day at the Air Show and came home with his face burned to a crisp.  Nothing like a good plate of food to soothe the savage beast, right?

My husband cordially extends his thanks to Peter of Kalofagas whose recipe for “Grilled Pork Chops with Mustard, Honey & Sage” caught my attention as soon as I saw it.

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