Tag Archives: raisins

Carrot Raisin Salad & Getaway to Laguna Beach

 

You thought I was gone, didn’t you?  Gone as in not writing here any longer.  Not posting recipes, or photos, or recording notes of what I’ve made.

I’m sure someone somewhere has deemed such negligence to be a blogging foul and most likely written a post about it listing the “Top Ten Things Not to Do”  in blogging.  But I’m here, not intentionally avoiding writing, but busy with other things and enjoying every minute of it.

It feels exactly like a vacation.

Chalk it up to amazing summer weather — weather that completely makes up for what we didn’t have last year.  Clear skies, warm days, almost no humidity.  Night breezes through open windows with a hint of salt in the air reminding me there’s an ocean not too far away.

Perfect.

I’ve not been lolling about, however.

My oldest niece asked me to make her wedding cake, and since I’ve not made one before, it’s been the excuse du jour to obsess over details — some important, and some not so much.

I’ve continued to behave like a DIY groupie on the patio project with my husband who has finally had time to help with the work.  He mixes cement and I set the stones on the planter tops, making progress more quickly than I’m able to by myself.  Bathroom towel bars have been replaced sans appropriate tools, dust has been wiped from my ancient sewing machine to make drapes for my office of fabric I purchased months and months ago, and boxes of things I saved for a reason I’ve forgotten have been sorted.  At this point, cooking would be far easier.

I have done some cooking, but mostly uninvolved salads or pasta wedged between wedding cake experimentation, forced by lemon cake that wasn’t lemony enough according to taste testers.

Not so perfect.

When I was tired of having my head in the cake world, we’d get sandwiches from our favorite deli on the way to or from the beach after a rare walk, or before watching a not so rare sunset.  We’ve sampled some of San Diego’s food trucks and taken a bit of a staycation, enjoying Southern California  like a tourist might instead of taking it for granted which is something I’ve done for years and years.

Sounds pretty summerish, doesn’t it?

All I need is a hammock, some shade, a beverage and perhaps a bit of this carrot raisin salad I put my own spin on.  It’s light, just slightly sweet, and full of fresh crunchiness.  Perfect for a picnic anywhere you want to relax.

Hope your summer is going well, too.

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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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Olive Oil Carrot Cake

 

I can’t remember the first time I had carrot cake, but I’m sure it wasn’t until I was well into my adult years.  It’s strange now that I think about it because my mother used to make a mean carrot salad.  The basic ingredients aren’t all that different except for the mayonnaise she’d dollop in the huge bowl of grated carrots and raisins before stirring in some sugar, and I’ll bet I can find more than one recipe for carrot cake that calls for mayo, too.  Mind you, this would be much to the complete horror of my husband who steers clear of anything that suggests mayo is an ingredient.

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Salad a la Bittman: No. 14

Bittman No. 14

 

I’ve always been someone who enjoys a great salad, so it should be no surprise that I’ve become quite comfortable working my way through Mark Bittman’s 101 Simple Salads for the Season.  The 12-page print out is showing signs of wear with jottings of ingredients I’ve added, dates I prepared each that I’ve made, and stars to denote the direction I may next take.  Oh, the possibilities.  Of course, that would depend on the condition of the veggies I purchased when my eyes were bigger than my ability to follow through in an organized manner.

Let’s face it —  mushrooms only last so long if one doesn’t push the idea that they prefer the open air to being wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge.  Or consider the Jerusalem artichokes that met an untimely demise because I  didn’t have one of the ingredients I needed to make Salad No. 5.  And then there was the jicama that had seen better days long before I cut into it, surprised that it’s possible to find jicama in San Diego in that condition.  Perhaps salad No. 9 wasn’t meant to be on that particular day.

Honestly, I’ve grown to enjoy “The List” as it promises so much as long as I’m prepared, and goodness knows when it comes to food, I’m usually prepared.  The salads are so easily made and adapted that reviewing a section prepares you for the shopping and if the ingredients are remotely connected to what Bittman suggests, then I say fair game and a salad is born.

This past Sunday, I enjoyed salads No. 14 and 26 respectively; one for lunch and the other shared for dinner with grilled beef.  Each was so different, yet delicious, and that is what has kept me interested.   You just never know when you may find the opportunity to pair fennel and prune plums again in your lifetime, right?

Bear with me as I continue this exploration of textures and flavors — baked goodies will always be on the horizon.

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Maple Oat Apple Crisp

Sliced Fujis with Maple Syrup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think one of the nicest aspects of the food blog world is meeting people and having someone take the time to say, “I like your blog.”  It’s not expected even though ultimately, that’s what most of us are working for, isn’t it?  Maybe it’s not what we began blogging for, but it seems that in the long run, it’s a lot of work if no one’s enjoying what we produce.

Keeping a non-digital scrap book would be far less time consuming, but oh, so quiet.  At this point, I could never give up the spirited noise that greets me each day that I sit down to work — whether it’s from twitter, or reading blogs, or responding to comments made on mine, the positive energy that greets me is invaluable!

Recently, I was tagged by Karen of Mignardise to share six random things about myself, and I’m grinning, because I like to have fun with these things.  But I’m thinking you may need the bribe of a nice bowl of some warm Maple Apple Crisp and a cup of coffee to go with my random nuggets of information. I have a tendency to blather on a bit.

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