Category Archives: Fruit

Cool Off With Pineapple, Thyme, and Coconut Water Whip

Hot weather was made for icy, fruity drinks like this one.
Hot weather was made for icy, fruity drinks like this one.

When temperatures soar, you definitely want to “Eat Cool: Good Food for Hot Days: 100 Easy, Satisfying, and Refreshing Recipes that Won’t Heat Up Your Kitchen.”

That’s the apropos title of this cookbook (Rizzoli), of which I received a review copy, that couldn’t have debuted at a more opportune time, given that the first day of summer starts this Sunday, and we’re already in a full-blown heatwave.

The book is by Maine-based Vanessa Seder, former associate food editor for Ladies Home Journal and a culinary instructor at Stonewall Kitchen.

It includes 100 recipes to beat the heat. They’re designed to nourish and refresh without requiring hours at a hot stove. Among them are “Chilled Corn and Lobster Soup,” “Pan-Seared Pork Sandwich With Spicy Papaya Slaw and Spicy Pepper Jelly on Sourdough,” “Coconut Milk, Turmeric, Ginger, and Black Pepper-Poached Cod With Israeli Couscous,” and “Red Grapefruit-Rose Sorbet.”

I couldn’t resist trying my hand — and blender — at “Pineapple, Thyme, and Coconut Water Whip.”

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Kid-Friendly Dino Bars

Dino Bar's mango, pear, and banana snack bar that's coated with edible paper for neatness.
Dino Bar’s mango, pear, and banana snack bar that’s coated with edible paper for neatness.

When Jessica and Ian Saultz realized their son Liam couldn’t tolerate refined sugar, they set out to do something about that.

The result was Dino Bars, a kid-friendly, convenient snack bar that’s made with USDA-certified organic ingredients, and free of nuts, gluten, soy, and dairy. They’re also wrapped in edible paper made of potato starch, so kiddos won’t get their hands sticky, either.

Launched last year in Charleston, SC, Dino Bars are made with pear juice, banana flakes, oats, coconut oil, hemp hearts and organic fruit powders.

They come in three flavors: Strawberry, Blueberry, and Mango. Special limited-edition flavors get released periodically, too.

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Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce

Pistachios and prunes make up the filling and the sauce for this simple pork tenderloin roll.
Pistachios and prunes make up the filling and the sauce for this simple pork tenderloin roll.

This is one of those dishes that looks like you slaved over yet is really as simple as it gets.

“Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce” may have only seven ingredients, but it delivers on flavor and presence so much that it’s definitely worthy of being served to company.

This recipe is from the new “Tuscan Women Cook: Nonnas. Memories. Recipes.” (self-published), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Coleen Kirnan with Rhonda Vilardo, who run the aforementioned Tuscan Women Cook, a culinary immersion program in Italy, in which students learn authentic, time-honored dishes during hands-on, week-long classes.

The recipes in the book are inspired by the family recipes and culture of the Val d’Orsia region of Tuscany, just south of Siena.

Recipes such as “Zuppa di Stracci” (“Stracciatella Soup”), “Ravioli di Ricotta ed Erbe Aromatiche” (“Ravioli with Ricotta and Herbs”), and “Melanzane alla Parmigiana” (a lighter version of “Eggplant Parmesan” that forgoes breading and frying) are sure to appeal to any Italian food lover.

“Filetto di Maiale con Prugne e Pistachio” or “Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce” makes use of a mix of pistachios and prunes (yes, dried plums) in two ways.

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Summer Was Made For Cherry Snacking Cake

An easy one-pan cake made with fresh cherries and swirls of cherry curd.
An easy one-pan cake made with fresh cherries and swirls of cherry curd.

I fell for this recipe hook, line, and sinker.

With emphasis on the “sinker.”

Allow me to explain: If you were to look up this fabulous Bon Appetit recipe that published in its April 2021 issue, you’d find the original one titled, “Strawberry Snacking Cake.” The accompanying photos would show a golden cake baked in a rectangular pan, with its top adorned so prettily with slices of strawberries arranged just so.

I decided to riff on that by swapping out strawberries for first-of-the-season cherries from G.L. Alfeiri Farm that arrived in my Farm Box delivery. Only, cherry halves are obviously heavier, as they sunk to the bottom of the cake. So, instead of cute little cherry halves dotting the top like polka dots, there are ripples of cherry curd brightening it here and there instead. It’s not quite the same effect, but it makes for a striking appearance, nevertheless.

I had enough fresh cherries to snack on out of hand plus bake into this wonderful golden cake.
I had enough fresh cherries to snack on out of hand plus bake into this wonderful golden cake.

The taste definitely remains on point, too. “Cherry Snacking Cake” is wonderfully moist, fluffy, and lush from olive oil and sour cream (I actually used yogurt instead) in the batter. There’s a toasty, sweet corn-like grainy crunch from cornmeal. Jam or fruit curd gets dolloped on top, then swirled into the batter before the cut fresh fruit goes overtop.

With an abundance of fruit flavor, it’s like cherry pie in cake form.

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Discover The Unsweetened Tooth

Would you believe these decadent peanut butter mousse brownies have no sugar added to them?
Would you believe these decadent peanut butter mousse brownies have no sugar added to them?

Those peanut butter mousse brownies above are everything you expect — decadently rich, deeply fudgy, and loaded with irresistible sweet-salty, smooth peanut-butter goodness.

But they also lack something surprising — added sugar.

They are the creation of a unique Seattle bakery, The Unsweetened Tooth. As the name implies, this bake-to-order shop makes treats with no added sugar. Yet, they taste every bit as satisfying as their conventional counterparts — and minus the unpleasant aftertaste of so many sugar substitutes such as Stevia.

The bakery was started by Jude Sharp, who worked as an engineer in the tech industry in Silicon Valley with her fellow engineer husband, for years. But a health scare put her on a different path. After learning that she might become diabetic and lose her sight if she didn’t drastically change her dietary habits, she decided to give up sugar, and lost 100 pounds in the process.

Using her engineering know-how and love for tinkering, she built a commercial kitchen, and started coming up with no-sugar recipes after the couple moved to Washington state. In 2016, she launched The Unsweetened Tooth there.

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