Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Prevent Berries From Molding

I received this email from a friend today and couldn't wait to share this great piece of helpful information. Thank you Alice!

Berries are delicious, but they're also kind of delicate. Raspberries in particular seem like they can mold before you even get them home from the market. There's nothing more tragic than paying $4 for a pint of local raspberries, only to look in the fridge the next day and find that fuzzy mold growing on their insides.
Well, with fresh berries just starting to hit farmers markets, we can tell you that how to keep them fresh! Here’s a tip I’m sharing on how to prevent them from getting there in the first place:
Wash them with vinegar.
When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water. Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can't taste the vinegar,) and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila! Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. So go forth and stock up on those pricey little gems, knowing they'll stay fresh as long as it takes you to eat them.
You're so berry velcome!
PS...it also removes pesticides!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lemon Bars

My neighbor "Griff" who cooks as a hobby and "duty" shared these delicious bars with us last week. Prolific lemon trees in the neighborhood make the fruit so plentiful for everyone. You won't be disappointed with this recipe from a 1999 edition of the annual collection of Southern Living recipes.
Lemon Bars
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
confectioners sugar
Combine 2 cups flour with 1/2 cup sugar. Cut in 3/4 cup butter till crumbly. Press firmly and even with fingers in 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until evenly browned.
Combine 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, set aside. Combine eggs, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice. Stir in flour mixture. Pour over prepared crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Cool on wire rack. Dust lightly with powdered sugar, cut into bars. Yield 2 dozen.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Spiked Blueberry Lemonade

A beverage suitable for your fourth of July gatherings.
2 cups blueberries
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups water (for a fizzy twist, add sparkling water)
Alcohol (optional): some to try include vodka, gin or fruit-based liquers Yields: 1 quart
Taste one of the blueberries to determine its sweetness. In a blender or food processor, combine the blueberries and the sugar (either 1/2 or 3/4 cup depending on your taste-test). Puree fruit with the sugar. Strain the puree into a medium bowl, stirring and pushing on the puree to maximize the juice. Pour into a 32-ounce container, then add the lemon juice and the water. Stir to combine. Check for sweetness adding superfine-sugar if needed. Serve in ice-filled glasses.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Spinach Risotto With Roquefort


  • 1/2 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 1 cup arborio or other short- or medium-grain white rice
  • to 4 cups hot spinach broth
  • 1 tablespoon Roquefort or other blue cheese
  • Sea or kosher salt
  • Fresh-ground pepper
  • Finely shredded lemon peel (optional)


  1. 1. In a 2- to 3-quart nonstick pan over medium-high heat, mix onion, garlic, and olive oil. Add rice and stir until onion is barely limp, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. 2. Stir in 1 cup spinach broth and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to maintain simmer and stir until liquid is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 more cups broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender but still has a slight bite, 20 to 25 minutes total. If rice isn't quite done, add more broth and stir until risotto is creamy.
  3. 3. Crumble cheese into risotto and stir until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with lemon peel.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Breakfast Bruschetta

Breakfast Bruschetta Makes 24 servings
1 loaf french bread
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh fruit
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut one-inch slides of French bread and butter both sides. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered bread. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until cool. To make the sauce, combine sour cream, honey, lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. Mix well. Place whatever type of fruit you would like on each slice of bread, such as cantaloupe, pineapple, banana, strawberries or blueberries. Drizzle sauce over the bread and fruit.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Savory Lamb Chops With Mint

1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup chopped mint
4 large garlic cloves
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
8 (1 to 1 1/2 inch thick) Lamb Loin Chops

Place olive oil, chopped mint, garlic cloves, salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, and finely ground black pepper in a small bowl and mix well.  Spread mixture over both sides of lamb chops to broiler pan.  Let stand for 10 minutes.
Preheat broiler.  Broil chops until brown and crusty, about 4 minutes each side for medium rare.  Arrange chops on a platter, garnish with fresh mint sprigs and serve.