It’s summertime… and coming out of a retreat where I have not eaten cooked foods for the last 6 days, I am still not ready to cook anything complicated again. Although, I would eat anything and everything being from the latest Vegetarian Times Magazine issue… no kidding.
I never have the time or energy to make a fruit salad just for me… I always mean to eat fruit salads for breakfast, yet I only get to really do this when I travel. I usually make do with making myself fruit smoothies. But yesterday, we raided Costco and got a variety of fresh fruits – peaches, strawberries, blueberries and green seedless grapes.
A nice fruit salad for breakfast was exactly what my stomach was craving. So I have to take a chance while the fruits are fresh and in season, no??
ACID FRUIT SALAD 2
A handful of blueberries
About 10 grapes
A squirt of agave nectar
- Clean well all the fruits and peel them if you prefer. I peeled the peach…
- Mix them all together in a nice pretty bowl and drizzle the agave nectar on top.
My favorite breakfasts include fruits… especially now that we’re starting summer and the berries are all in season.
Last week we spent a few days at my sister’s home and I love going to the farmer’s market to get a bunch of berries to serve at breakfast. But eating strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries on their own may seem to you a little boring. Why not mix them up with a little cheese??
Italians use ricotta cheese in both savory and sweet dishes… morning, noon and night. So taking a little inspiration from the land of the mammas, here’s my latest breakfast concoction.
RICOTTA AND BERRIES
Mix your favorite fresh berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, sometimes you could even add grape tomatoes. Hey, they’re berries too!!
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tbs agave nectar, plus more to drizzle on top
- Mix in a bowl the ricotta cheese and the agave nectar to give it some sweetness.
- Add your favorite mix of berries.
- Drizzle some additional agave nectar on top.
It’s creamy and tangy at the same time… you could also use honey if you prefer instead of the agave nectar.
Berries and Tomatoes... go well together!!!
I mentioned recently how I love the combination of fresh fruit, granola and yogurt for breakfast… so the other day I wanted to share it with my mom and friend. But I wanted to make it look pretty. That’s when I had the idea to layer it into a parfait. It would look far prettier than just mixing everything haphazardly in a bowl.
BREAKFAST GRANOLA PARFAIT
1 cup ricotta
1 cup vanilla yogurt
Squirt of honey
2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1 tbs brown sugar
2 cups granola
- In a bowl, mix the cut berries and mix in with the brown sugar to macerate. Allow the berries to release some of their own juice about 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, yogurt and honey. Mix together well.
- In parfait glasses, or just some old-fashioned glasses, layer all the components – First add some yogurt/ricotta, then some fruit and end with some granola. Repeat again, yogurt/ricotta, fruit and granola. End up it some additional fruit on top.
Serve immediately. Serves about 3 parfaits.
The flavors are spectacular and the presentation is really nice, especially if you are entertaining for breakfast or brunch when you have special company, don’t you think??
Sorry I have not been up to par lately… and I have not been able to post as frequently as I would like. I have been feeling “under the weather” lately and writing at the computer has been a bit challenging. I am still not 100%, but I’ll try to give it my all. I need to get back to my regular schedule PRONTO. And sharing stuff with you is certainly part of that.
I enjoy reading the food blog Serious Eats… and last week we were given a challenge to highlight or showcase a Golden Gadget – our most prized kitchen implement and the recipes that we use them for.
I debated about this… what do I use in my kitchen over and over again?? I love my microplane grater… which I use for grating cheeses and now I grate garlic cloves to I do not have to mince finely, which has always been a challenge, but I do not have a dish that revolves around my using the grater. I love my mandolin, which I use to make Scalloped Potatoes or to cut my Eggplant Milanese, but I do not use all that often.
But lately, I received a new “blender” as a Xmas gift, The Magic Bullet. I know, I know… we all scoff at the informercial. But my aunt gave it to me as a Xmas present, so I went with it. It took me about 3 weeks to get it out of the box. I mean it… It sat there because it came with so many gadgets that I did not know where to accommodate it all. But since the day I took it out of the box I have not been able to stop using it. I make all my morning breakfast smoothies in it – using the convenient party mugs included. I have made horchata, a cheese mix to make grill cheese sandwiches, sofrito, and most recently I made Strawberry Mousse. It could also be considered strawberry-flavored whipped cream, but hey… it was tasty and I enjoyed it.
I took the general idea from the Magic Bullet cookbook which had a “recipe” for Chocolate Mousse using the same technique. I do not have chocolate syrup in my house, but I did have some strawberry sauce left over from another night. The results were quite delicious… hope you like it too. The Magic Bullet is definitely my NEW FAVORITE gadget in the kitchen…
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup strawberry sauce or even strawberry jam or preserves I think would do too
A squirt of honey
- Add all the ingredients to the small container of The Magic Bullet. Screw on the Flat blade.
- Whip for about 30 seconds until the cream whips up. The Bullet sound will change when it’s done.
I guess you could also do this with a hand mixer if you do not have a Magic Bullet around.
This week summer started officially, according to the calendar, because in Puerto Rico summer started since April, during Holy Week/Easter. We have been feeling the heat for weeks…
To celebrate the “official” start of summer, our friends at Serious Eats encouraged us to share with them our favorite frozen treats in a feature Ice Cream Social. I am a social person… and I have been meaning to make a berry sorbet for the longest time, so what better excuse than to share it with all my Serious Eats friends.
The cool thing… it only has 4 ingredients if you count the water and you only need a food processor and a freezer to make this sorbet. I do not have an ice cream maker because my kitchen is so small I do not have the space for another gadget, so just like Alton Brown we need to multitask. And nothing beats this in the natural and refreshing department – it only has berries and agave nectar… Take that Häagen Dazs!!!!
VERY BERRY SORBET
8 frozen strawberries
24 frozen blackberries
¼ cup of water
1/3 cup of agave nectar
- Dissolve the agave nectar into the water.
- Place the frozen berries in a food processor. I cut the strawberries in quarters to make them more even in size with the blackberries.
- Pulse your food processor a few times to start mashing the berries. After a few pulses, let it process normally and pour the water and agave nectar mixture through the chute on the top. You’ll see how the berries will turn into a slushy.
- If you’re not fond of sorbet with seeds, pass the mixture thru a sieve to remove as much of the seeds as possible. If you don’t mind them, skip this step.
- Place in an airtight container and freeze for about 2-3 hours before serving.
This recipe made about 2 cups of sorbet and it is super easy and super refreshing… I use frozen berries I buy fresh and freeze them myself. It’s super convenient to make smoothies at home and certainly to make this frozen treat.