Wednesday, 23 Oct 2019

The first time I tried tamari roasted almonds I was hooked. What a simple but wonderful flavor combination. What I don’t like is the price for this tasty treat. Why pay for someone else to put 2 simple ingredients together when you can do it for yourself at a much lower cost? If you like tamari roasted almonds too then roast some up yourself and save some money in the process.

While I’ve definitely been showing the blueberry some love lately, I’ve actually been going through a phase with other fruits as well.  Strawberries, apples, grapes, bananas – I’ve been craving them all.  Years ago when my husband and I were on our honeymoon we had brunch at a small little cafe in downtown Waikiki.  I had the most amazing french toast but even better was a fruit salsa they served with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.  They used fresh, in season fruits from the island and it was so unbelievably delicious that I licked the bowl clean!  So what better way to indulge my fruit craving than with some homemade fruit salsa?

I’m sure almost everyone has had several different kinds of root vegetable chips. Potato, sweet potato, carrot, beet, parsnip are all standard chip material but have you ever had eggplant chips? Before making these crisps I never though of eggplant as chip material. When I think eggplant I think good… but soft and sometimes mushy. Cut in a nice thin slice eggplant can become as crispy as any other vegetable chip and since it can take on just about any flavor you want to give it you can season it with the spices of your choice for a custom design. Eggplant, it’s not just for Baba Ghanoush anymore.

It’s funny, not ha-ha funny but interesting funny, that I don’t care for cucumbers but I love pickles. There’s something about that briny sour flavor that changes them in a good way. Now I love green beans any which way so it’s only natural that pickled green beans would be a favorite of mine too. You won’t need any special equipment for these pickles and they are so easy to make you won’t get in a pickle making them, just eating them.

From the recipes I’ve been posting lately you would think that I have a meat obsession when nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve eaten a vegetarian diet for years and then a completely plant based diet for a year now and have never looked back. The thing is when adapting some old favorite recipes I sometimes would like the taste or texture that meat brings to a recipe. Bacon is one meat where it’s distinctive smokey/salty flavor is sometimes just what is needed to make the dish. These smoky almonds may not be bacon exactly but they do the trick in some of my favorite recipes and they make a pretty darn good (and addictive) snack all by themselves.

“Why are those people dipping chips in mushy carrots?”  This was the question my 5 year old daughter asked me this weekend while we were waiting for our movie to start (we saw the movie Brave – super cute!).  I explained that it wasn’t ‘mushy carrots’ but a nacho cheese sauce.  She asked if we can have  some and before I could reply, Caleb answers with  ”No!  But she’ll make us some at home.”  Gosh, they know me so well!

Castroville California is known as the artichoke capitol of the world. Did you know Marilyn Monroe was once crowned the Artichoke Queen in 1947? What does this bit of trivia have to do with this recipe? Nothing really but some good to know trivia about artichokes would be that the artichoke is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich vegetable that is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of folate and magnesium. Artichokes also are a natural source of antioxidants.