I just ran out of this lemonade. It is/was so delicious. It’s the second batch I’ve made this month. What you see there in the picture is what I just finished drinking. I posted about it on Facebook last time I had some;
“I have unlocked the secret to sweet lemonade. Nectar!” It’s true. I think this is my current favorite way to make lemonade. It’s smooth, and not too sweet and SO refreshing. Yep, this stuff is Nectar. And as long as I can get fresh Meyers, I’m going to keep squeezing. :::cue the band::: (push play)
The secret is, like many “secrets” in cooking is just a little planning and a little time. The fragrant Meyers keep everything on the sweet/tart side. There is something about this variety of lemon that keeps attracting me all season again and again. I did add a little bit of “regular” lemon and I couldn’t pass up the blood orange blushing so beautifully in the produce drawer. It seemed the right thing to do to add it too for some interest and depth to the tang. The other secret is to make the simple syrup ahead. Maybe even the day ahead. OH! Also, don’t juice the citrus until around 30 minutes before you are ready to mix everything up.
Not only is this Local Texas lemonade, this is seriously LOCAL Local lemonade. ”Local” like, right down the street. Yep, the Meyers are grown right here in the Houston Heights, procured from our own Revival Market AND the sugar is Imperial Sugar. Imperial is our neighbor in Sugarland, TX. Sugarland is SO close I have been known drive all the way out there (30 minutes one way) to get good Bikram yoga. I LOVE Sugarland. The Whole Foods Market out there is as big as a Wal-Mart!
So do it like we do in Texas. Get some good yoga, good sugar and good local produce. Add some nice filtered “local” water and “I’ll tell you what,” you’ll be drinking this till it’s gone too.
Texas Lemonade with Real, by God, Sugar
1.5 cups Meyer Lemon juice
.5 cup reg lemon juice
.5 cup blood orange juice
2.5 cups simple syrup
6 cups filtered water
Zest of Half Blood orange
Zest of one Meyer Lemon
Make the syrup: Mix equal parts LOCAL TEXAS sugar and water. Bring to a boil, let simmer about 15 minutes.
Cool and refrigerate.
When you are ready to assemble:
Zest orange and one Meyer Lemon. Set aside.
Juice the Meyer lemons and the blood orange.
Mix the juices with equal parts of simple syrup.
Add 6 cups of water-more or less to taste- whatever you like.
Add the zests.
Serve chilled or on ice with a wheel of lemon or orange.
I have found in the last year or so that I have focused mainly on the basics while cooking. And by the basics, I mean food that we are going to eat immediately. In other words it’s not food that I’m making because I have the desire to see “if I can make that.” So when I was looking around for some photographs to see what I could post here I came up with these dog treats.
I thought to myself oh boy, another dog treat recipe! My readers will be rolling their eyes and clicking right through to the next blog if I don’t find something else. And then I remembered the reason that I make dog treats. And that reason is… I love my dog! I love my dog like a member of the family just like many of you do I’m sure. So why wouldn’t I make different treats for him? His daily diet is a commercial kibble that I feel very confident in. But treats…? I don’t know, I don’t trust commercial treats right now. There’s been too many recalls and so many dogs made sick. I want George to have the best I can provide And anyway,dog treats are like making cookies for your dog! How fun is that!? I certainly don’t make the same flavor cookies for myself every time I make cookies, so why would I do that for my dog? Why would you? You wouldn’t! And if you love to cook as much as I do, you can even use your dog as an excuse to cook, or buy fun cooking gadgets. Such as cookie cutters.
We were completely out of dog treats, and I happened to have the new beautiful cookie-cutter shaped like a piece of bread that I wanted to play with. However, I should have known this dough would be really thick. It wasn’t really cookie-cutter appropriate. No big deal! I just used my fluted pasta wheel to cut the dough into various sized squares. I think the fluted edges of the rectangular treats are beautiful. George loved them!
Every time he hears the container in the refrigerator open he comes running!
Oatmeal Sunflower Seed Dog Treats
1 1/2 cups Organic oat flour
1 1/2 cups Organic brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups of Organic old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1/2 cup local honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pre-heat your oven to 350. Combine all your ingredients together until a dough forms. roll the dough out to about a half-inch thick and then place it onto a large sheet pan. Use your hands to try to make it a little thinner, and squish it down into the pan. Use a knife or a fluted pasta cutter to cut to the desired shapes. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Store the treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
**This recipe is Based on a recipe from the organic dog biscuit cookbook from the Bubba Rose biscuit company. I have mentioned it before, it’s a great book. If I don’t use the recipes from there outright, I certainly modify many of them, usually with the predicted results.
Toast is the perfect food. I love toast. It’s so simple, so satisfying and SO adaptable. I love garlic toast, dry toast, cheese toast, but my sweetest fondest toast memories are of French toast, and third grade. My mother never made French toast. It was a very special (to me) dish that my neighbor’s dad made for his kids before he took us all to school. Yep, french toast and off to school! We had just moved from the hills of Tennessee to the big city of Houston. My mom worked once we moved here- I was lucky to catch a ride to school most days with the neighbors. I usually walked over to their place and waited for them to finish getting ready- or eat breakfast. Usually they invited me to eat breakfast with them if I was there on time. The first time he served “French” Toast was the craziest notion I had ever heard. Honestly, having been raised on biscuits and gravy for my first 8 years, I didn’t quite understand the concept. Even when the syrup and powdered sugar came into the picture, I only “got it” once I “had it.”
It was heaven.
My friend Lana also loves toast. Also French toast most especially. I gifted this awesome soft sculpture of French Toast to her a few years ago after a wine soaked evening of food discussions and proclamation of toast’s perfection. I thought this was the cutest dang thing I’d ever seen on Etsy. For the life of me I can’t remember the artist’s name,but she made him nice and big for me. Again, a special piece of French Toast. She (the artist) explained to me he holds a microphone because he is ready to “make a toast” and the beret he wears- a sign of his obvious Frenchdom. Truly perfect French Toast. Lana loves him.
I made french toast for myself the other day. It was amazing. I saw Mr.Darla looking wanting-ly at it, but he had just returned from an early breakfast meeting and could not justify having any. I was okay with that. It was delicious. I looked up a few formulas and I did a “mash-up” Alton Brown’s and Emril Legasse’s recipes with the spirit of that nice man making breakfast for me.
I used local bakery “Slow-Dough” ‘s incredible brioche, I added my own dairy ”twisty- twist” by using local dairy Mill-King’s whole milk and heavy cream (uh yummmm!), I used local yard eggs, all from the awesome Revival Market in the Houston Heights. I also poured from my own extracted vanilla bottle, used local honey and came up with a darn fine recipe for amazing french toast! Here it is:
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds (thanks Alton for the tip)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
8 (or less) slices day-old or stale Texas toast or my favorite, thick brioche
4 tablespoons ghee (or butter)
Powdered Sugar for dusting
In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, vanilla and salt. Pour eggy mixture into a square glass pan and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. put another sheet pan with another rack on it in the oven. Dip the bread into egg mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan on the counter, and allow to drip for a couple of minutes.
Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of ghee in a 10-inch nonstick pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on your warmed rack in oven for 5 minutes while you cook others. Repeat as needed. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.
Those of you who know me IRL, or are friends with me on the twitters, you have heard. Last month, actually January, we had to end Frank’s suffering and make the heart wrenching decision to release him to spirit. It was a beautiful sunny crisp day. He was in a good mood, but steroids do that. The cancer had completely surrounded his 11th rib, and was working toward the spine and the front of his torso. Spinal fracture was a constant risk. He was on 3-4 pain meds every 3 hours along with the steroids and eventually valium. He was such a brave spirit. He wanted to be strong, and hunted cats until the end.
Everyone loved Frank, he was a friendly smart dog. He liked everyone if you had business with us, but if you didn’t, or were delivering anything, he preferred you just move along. He did yoga on command, would shake your hand and truly loved people. He loved me the most though. I was lucky.
He loved flowers, birds and chasing varmints. He inspired many yogis, he was raised in the yoga studio befriending all the seekers. He was said to be “the best part of yoga at Darla’s.”
Friends, I am okay with that. I miss him. He WAS the best part of me. He inspired me, brought me peace and protected me fiercely. There will never be another like him, I pray to meet his spirit again. I know I will.
Rest in Peace my dear friend. Thank you for letting me be part of your life again.
I adore pear cake. Okay, I adore
all most cake. I especially adore cakes that impersonate healthy foods. This is one of those. It has PEARS! Everyone knows pears are super healthy, full of fiber and of course, delicious. This is a delicious moist wonderful cake/bread. I found the recipe here. I added a cup or so of toasted pecans to the cake batter. I also added a half of a vanilla bean’s caviar to the glaze. Lori Lange (the recipe girl herself) implores us in the recipe not to skip making and using the glaze. I completely agree. While the cake is amazing alone- the glaze adds a certain deliciousness that you should not live your life without. I will suggest that you make the glaze thinner than you think you need it to be, DON’T use your whisk to try to drizzle (fail), and absolutely lick the bowl. To make this recipe healthier you could slice and eat an extra whole pear while you are making prepping. That’s what I did… because I’m all into healthy recipes. ;-) Happy Thanksgiving y’all!