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Archive for June 13, 2011

COOKING VIDEO: Jasmine Tea Shaved Ice

 

Who doesn’t want to cool off in the hot weather—with a refreshing cup or bowl of shaved ice?

It couldn’t be easier to make this recipe for Jasmine Tea Shaved Ice. For us, the toughest part was moving things around in the freezer to make space for the bowl.

  • Make some tonight with the video recipe. Then experiment with different flavors on your own—mint tea and lemongrass tea, for example.
  • Find more of our favorite recipes for ice cream and ice.
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    RECIPE: Fruit Salsa

    Peach salsa is one of the best-selling salsa flavors.

    You can make your own salsa with almost any seasonal fruit, including other stone fruits such as nectarines and plumcots, or your favorite berries. The fruit takes the place of the tomato, although you can also add a tomato in season.

    Enjoy the result with chips or on meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu and all of the “usuals”—even vanilla or fruit ice cream/frozen yogurt and sorbet. Or, make easy cinnamon tortilla chips to go with it.

    FRUIT SALSA RECIPE
    This salsa recipe was shared by Melissas.com, using their now-in-season Flavorosa Plumcots.

    Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or substitute
  • 1 pound plumcots, diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red jalapeño chile
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
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    Make salsa from your favorite fruit.
    Plumcot photo salsa courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    Preparation
    1. In small bowl, combine lime juice and sugar until sugar dissolves, making marinade.
    2. In large bowl, combine all other ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Stir marinade into large bowl, blend and chill prior to serving.

    Here’s another fruit salsa recipe: Strawberry Kiwi Cucumber Salsa With Easy Cinnamon Tortilla Chips.

    What’s The Difference Between A Plumcot & A Pluot?
    They’re all hybrids, meant to present the best qualities of both fruits—for the consumer, more sweetness and juiciness; for the seller, easier to grow, harvest, and ship. The names are trademarked by their respective breeders.

  • A plumcot is 50% plum/50% apricot. Developed by Luther Burbank in the 1920s, it is sweeter than either parent.
  • The pluot, also known as a “dinosaur egg” because of its speckled skin, was created by a California fruit breeder who wanted to improve on the plumcot. A pluot, sweeter than a plumcot, is primarily plum, with a range from 60% plum/40% apricot to 75% plum/25% apricot spanning more than 25 varieties. They have a higher sugar content and a more complex flavor profile than either a plum or an apricot. Because of the percentage of genes, it has the flavor of a plum but the mouthfeel of the apricot.
  • An aprium is the reverse of the pluot: a mix of 70% apricot/30% plum, though it can vary, as long as it is 60% apricot or more. It looks like an apricot, but is sweeter than either an apricot or a plum.
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    All three, like their parents, are low in fat and calories, but all that sweetness raises the carb content. The fruits are full of vitamin A and C and high in calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium.

      

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    FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA: Brownies

    A stack of round brownies from
    Sugardaddy’s. Photo by Melody Lan |
    THE NIBBLE.

     

    Some people bake brownies as Father’s Day gifts. Others look for the best artisan brownies, and send them.

    Here are two of our favorite brownies that are sure to be a hit on Father’s Day:

  • Geoff & Drew’s Brownies, in Chocolate Candy (think M&Ms), Chocolate Chip, Mint (with a large chocolate peppermint pattie) and Toffee. These fudgy brownies are deep in chocolate flavor and extremely moist. Each brownie is individually boxed, so you can also use them for party favors.
  • Geoff & Drew’s Brownie & Cookie Assortment. The brownie flavors above, plus large cookie flavors in Chocolate Chunk, Double Fudge and White Chocolate Cranberry.
  • Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties. Six delicious brownies, in your choice of 15 flavors of brownies, blondies, and spicy brownies. In addition to being delicious, these round brownies are charmers.
  • Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties. Ten of the same wonderful brownies.
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    Today is the last day to order for Father’s Day delivery with ground shipping! Order by 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Avoid E.Coli In Your Food

    In the U.S. in 2006, a fierce strain of E. coli in spinach and lettuce caused some 200 cases of illness and three deaths.

    Today, the E. coli outbreak in Germany is dominating headlines: thousands of Europeans taken ill, hundreds in intensive care units and worse, 35 dead as of this writing—from eating raw bean sprouts.

    Most strains of E. coli are benign. According to an article in The New York Times, our produce supply is very safe. Professor Gad Frankel, of Imperial College London, notes that the chance of getting E. coli poisoning from raw vegetables is about the same as winning the lottery. Yet, says Dr. Frankel, some people do win the lottery and some people do get sick from E. coli.

    If you cook your food, E. coli isn’t a problem: Heating kills the bacteria, which sit on the surface of the food. That’s why the USDA recommends that hamburgers be cooked to medium. Hamburger and other ground meats are more susceptible to contamination since there are so many internal surfaces that aren’t directly exposed to the heat.

     

    Photo by Tamago915 | Wikimedia.

     

    Similarly, cooking vegetables also kills the bacteria. But rinsing them prior to eating them raw does not. Salads, for example, can potentially harbor E. coli.

    Don’t use this as an excuse to avoid eating salad. If you are concerned and still want to eat raw vegetables, here’s a tip:

  • Soak the produce in diluted dish soap or in a bowl of water with a few drops of bleach for 20 minutes, before rinsing and eating. It may sound a bit oddball, but just as with washing dishes, you won’t taste the soap after rinsing.
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    There are expensive industrial testing kits, but even for the wealthy, the soap solution is faster.

      

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