Category Archives: Fruit



This week brought us in the Northern Hemisphere the first day of Autumn.  It also brought Smedette her first day of school.

After being away from the world of academia for a decade, I have ventured back into its seemingly inviting embrace.

I’m looking to upgrade a current credential/degree and set myself on a path for even more education (and debt).  I’ve missed using my brain.

I admit, I feel overwhelmed right now.  I have forgotten how to be a student, how to appropriately manage my time, but maybe that is just seeing a stack of syllabi and realizing this is for real now.

So, I did what any reasonable adult would do and baked.  Sure, I probably should have been reading, but I really feel my nerves were but to better use by peeling and chopping fruit.

Mixed Fruit Crumble

  • In a mixing bowl, peel and chop enough fruit to fill the entire bottom and half the volume of baking dish of your choice.  Stick with pears, apples and stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, etc).
  • Sprinkle the chopped fruit with lemon juice (like from half a lemon, more if you want…as you can tell, this is going to be very free-form) and freshly grated ginger (how much?  I don’t know, use your nose.  You will know when it’s enough).  Drizzle a bunch of honey over everything, mix and pour into your baking dish.
  • In the same bowl, add some quick-cooking oats (for a 9×13 baking dish, I probably used two cups), healthy sprinkle of cinnamon, handful or so of chopped nuts; mix well.  Feel free to toss in any other spices: nutmeg, cloves, additional ginger, etc.  Add a few tablespoons of melted butter and mix.  There will be dry bits and wet clumps; this is fine.  Do not drown the thing in butter.  Pour over the fruit.
  • Bake at 375F until golden brown; this could be 30+ minutes.
  • Eat to avoid math homework.

Posted by on 24 September 2013 in Baking, Cooking, Food, Fruit, Recipes


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>The Vegetarian One-Hundred


As I am not one to turn away from a reasonable food challenge, I give you The Vegetarian One-Hundred.

I have been reading a lot about The Omnivore 100, a post by Andrew from Very Good Taste. This list is supposed to be the 100 foods every omnivore should at least try. I found a similar list by Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries catered to vegetarians. The rules state to cross out any foods you would absolutely not try and to highlight the others you have tried until the list is complete.

1. Real Macaroni & Cheese; made from scratch and baked.
2. Tabouleh.
3. Freshly baked bread, straight from the oven.
4. Fresh figs. Thanks to the coevolutional relationship between wasps and figs, I will never eat a fig, raw or otherwise. What’s the coevolutional relationship between wasps and figs you ask? Why it’s wasps laying eggs in figs! You’re welcome!
5. Fresh pomegranate.
6. Indian dal of any sort
7. Imam bayildi.
8. Pressed spiced Chinese tofu.
9. Freshly made hummus. Life is not worth living without hummus.
10. Tahini.
11. Kimchi.
12. Miso.
13. Falafel. Where can a girl get a decent falafel sandwich in the South?
14. Potato and pea samosas.
15. Homemade yogurt. Thanks, Martha!
16. Muhammara.
17. Brie en croute.
18. Spanikopita.
19. Fresh, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes.
20. Insalata caprese.
21. Stir-fried greens (gai lan, bok choi, pea shoots, kale, chard or collards).
22. Freshly made salsa.
23. Freshly made guacamole.
24. Crème brûlée. The one dessert I cannot pass up.
25. Fava beans.
26. Chinese cold sesame peanut noodles.
27. Fattoush.
28. New potatoes.
29. Coleslaw.
30. Ratatouille. A favorite comfort food.
31. Baba ganoush.
32. Winter squash.
33. Roasted beets.
34. Baked sweet potatoes.
35. Plantains.
36. Chocolate truffles.
37. Garlic mashed potatoes.
38. Fresh water chestnuts.
39. Steel cut oats.
40. Quinoa.
41. Grilled portabello mushrooms.
42. Chipotle en adobo.
43. Stone ground whole grain cornmeal.
44. Freshly made corn or wheat tortillas.
45. Frittata.
46. Basil pesto.
47. Roasted garlic.
48. Raita of any type.
49. Mango lassi.
50. Jasmine rice; white or brown.
51. Thai vegetarian coconut milk curry.
52. Pumpkin in any form other than pie.
53. Fresh apple pear or plum gallette.
54. Quince in any form.
55. Escarole, endive or arugula.
56. Sprouts other than mung bean.
57. Naturally brewed soy sauce.
58. Dried shiitake mushrooms.
59. Unusually colored vegetables; purple cauliflower, blue potatoes, chocolate bell peppers, etc.
60. Fresh peach ice cream.
61. Chevre.
62. Medjool dates.
63. Kheer.
64. Flourless chocolate cake.
65. Grilled corn on the cob.
66. Black bean (or any other bean) vegetarian chili.
67. Tempeh.
68. Seitan or wheat gluten.
69. Gorgonzola or any other blue veined cheese.
70. Sweet potato fries.
71. Homemade au gratin potatoes.
72. Cream of asparagus soup.
73. Artichoke-Parmesan dip.
74. Mushroom risotto.
75. Fermented black beans.
76. Garlic scapes.
77. Fresh new baby peas.
78. Kalamata olives.
79. Preserved lemons.
80. Fried green tomatoes.
81. Chinese scallion pancakes.
82. Cheese souffle.
83. Fried apples.
84. Homemade frijoles refritos.
85. Pasta fagiole.
86. Macadamia nuts in any form.
87. Paw paw in any form.
88. Grilled cheese sandwich of any kind.
89. Paneer cheese.
90. Ma Po Tofu.
91. Fresh pasta in any form.
92. Grilled leeks, scallions or ramps.
93. Green papaya salad.
94. Baked grain and vegetable stuffed tomatoes.
95. Pickled ginger.
96. Methi greens.
97. Aloo paratha.
98. Kedgeree.
99. Okra.
100. Roasted brussels sprouts. Never again! This is the one of the few veggies that absolutely disgust me!

I admit, this is not the most interesting list, but I think it’s a good way to experiment a bit with cooking techniques. Currently seeking a list of raw/whole foods to try – any suggestions gladly welcomed.

What’s on your list?

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Posted by on 31 August 2009 in Eating, Fruit, To-Do List, Veggie Dishes


>Tuesdays With Dorie: Dimply Plum Cake

> I was quite excited about this week’s recipe, Dimply Plum Cake. The last few have been heavy on calories and chocolate; this was a nice change.

The batter came together quick and easy and the smell coming from the oven was divine. A highlight for me was getting to use my new stainless steel measuring cups and spoons that I just received as a wedding gift (thanks, Kathy!). It’s the little things that get us through the day, right? Not only was I due for new measuring devices, these weigh about 500 lbs and I was able to work in some arm curls while scooping up flour. These are my new weapon against intruders (who needs a frying pan?).

A big thanks to Michelle of Bake-en for selecting this recipe. Please visit her blog for the recipe.

My notes:
→ I tossed in some wheat germ, and it probably could have used some more (I only used a small amount – about 1/2 cup). I love the heartiness of it and have been trying to incorporate more of it in my baking, but find myself a bit scared – keep thinking it’s going to dry out the batter.
→ I chopped up some crystallized ginger that had been sitting in my cupboard for eons. The spicy bite from the ginger was wonderful!
→ Walnuts were also added to the batter (seems I’m making up for my chunkless Chocolate Chunkers last week).
→ Don’t think my plums were ripe enough; were a bit tough, but still delicious.
→ I’m considering making this again with peaches and more ginger.

Please forgive the quality of the photographs as they were taken with my cellular telephone (my camera has been sent out for repairs).

To see how the other baker did, click here. For information on how to join Tuesdays with Dories, please click here.

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Posted by on 23 September 2008 in Baking, Cake, Fruit, Tuesdays With Dorie


>Tuesdays With Dorie: Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

>The recipe of the week was selected by Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity.

I am realizing what a lame blog title I have.

It used to be called Lingua Franca, but that was back when I was living in the Czech Republic trying to pimp myself out as an English teacher. I seemed to be one of the few Latin speaking nerds that understood “lingua franca”, but there was another that pointed out the literal translation is now irrelevant and the fact I was calling American English “lingua franca” was “selfish and arrogant” and “written proof of the inflated American ego”. The anonymous linguistic magistrate went on to suggest I change the title to “In Search of Lingua Franca”. My only response was:

“Have we met?”

I am currently living in a hotel room in downtown uptown Charlotte. Referring to the center of the city as “uptown” versus “downtown” is just a small vernacular change, but I keep screwing it up. The movers will meet us at our new apartment this Friday, where I will be able to unpack my Tuesdays With Dorie book. Even if I did have it, there is no way I could complete it while at the hotel, so this was really just an excuse to buy a Good Humor bar in the lobby.

There is a wide range of results, which I think is great. To read about the wonderful combination of blueberries and sour cream, click here and look in the left column. For information on joining Tuesdays With Dorie, click here.

PS – Birthday wishes to my little brother, Mark. Hope your own move is going well.


>Tuesdays With Dorie: Summer Fruit Galette

>This recipe was completed on July 22nd and post-dated as Matt and I will be in Corporate Housing (read: hotel room) July 26th through August 1st. Unsure of what baking facilities would be available, I thought it best to complete in my own kitchen where I can swear loudly at my own discretion.

Galette, Galette, Galette! Everywhere I look, there is that word. Martha Stewart was baking one on her television show, they are pictured in every outdoor scene in magazines and there was discussion of Galette on America’s Test Kitchen.

So, what is a Galette? And why do I keep calling it Gillette? Not the best words to interchange.

It’s my understanding that Galette is a kind of rustic pie.


Upon reading through the recipe I learned it is part pie and part custard. Why has it taken me so long to realize such a thing exists? For showing me the light, I would like to extend a personal and sincere “Thank You!” to Michelle of Michelle in Colorado Springs for this weeks recipe selection.

The ingredients are broken into two groups: the Galette and the custard.

Dorie’s Good for Almost Everything Pie Crust (single) – the recipe can be found on page 442 of the book.
Graham cracker crumbs
Summer Fruit: nectarines, peaches, plums or stalks rhubarb, all peeled and sliced
Decorating sugar

Unsalted butter, melted
Large egg
Vanilla extract

* Roll out pie crust to a 13 inch circle
* Lightly trace 9 inch circle in the pie crust
* Place crust on parchment lined baking sheet
* Spread jam/marmalade within the 9 inch circle
* Sprinkle crumbs on jam/marmalade
* Layer fruit over crumbs
* Fold excess crust over fruit (pleats will form)
* Brush with water and sprinkle with sugar
* Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes

* Whisk all custard ingredients well
* Slowly pour custard mix in the middle of Galette (may not use all of it)
* Return to oven and bake an additional 12-15 minutes

My notes:
→ I was a bit confused about the amount of fruit to use. The way it was written, it sounds like you can have a heap of stone fruit or just 2 stalks of rhubarb, which doesn’t make a great deal of sense.
→ My Galette contained nectarines and peaches and my jam was marionberry (a crazy Oregon blackberry hybrid, not the crack-smoking Mayor of Washington, DC) and tossed in a few cherries
→ Cardamom and cinnamon was added to the custard mix

→ Speaking of the custard, somehow it leaked through the pie crust and collected around the Galette, burning a little. It was easily cut away (picture at the top). I did roll out one part of the crust pretty vigorously and I’m thinking it was thin and tore.
→ I gave the crust an egg wash rather than water – I think the egg makes it a bit shinier.
→ This was delicious and would make any Renaissance Faire geek proud enough to dance a jig.
→ The next time I will check the crust for leaks to hopefully retain more custard.

To check on the other bakers and/or for information about joining Tuesdays with Dorie, click here.

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Posted by on 28 July 2008 in Baking, Fruit, Pie, Tuesdays With Dorie


>Tuesdays With Dorie: Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

The recipe was chosen by Amanda of Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake and my feelings have been mixed about the selection. The cherry is a fruit that I have always been on the fence about; I’ve had great cherry-based desserts and others that I literally could not swallow. Rhubarb has remained an oddity in my book and I think it stems from trips to the grocery store as a child when my rudimentary thought process was:

1. I do not like celery.
2. Rhubarb looks like celery.
3. Therefore, I do not like rhubarb.

I am reminded of a fabulous story that was recently aired on NPR’s This American Life, entitled “A Little Bit of Knowledge“. The stories within this episode were about speaking like an expert on topics we know little of, including misconceptions and irrational reasoning that manifests in our childhoods and take with us as adults.

Rhubarb is a perfect example.

1. I still do not like celery.
2. Rhubarb still looks like celery.
3. Therefore, I still do not like rhubarb.

It has come the point where someone mentions rhubarb and all I picture is celery. Which is why I made the face I did when reading “Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler” (voice in Jessica’s head: “Cherry Celery Cobbler? Who the hell would eat that?”).

But, enough about my contribution to “Jackass Monthly” (reference will make more sense when you listen to the NPR story), onto the kitchen.

The Filling:
1 lb sweet cherries, pitted and halved
4 long rhubarb stalks, trimmed, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground ginger

The Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup whole milk

* Mix cherries and rhubarb together in bowl
* Sprinkle sugar, cornstarch and ginger over fruit and toss well, set aside
* Give a few tosses while making the topping

* Pulse flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and ginger in food processor a few times
* Scatter pieces of butter over dry ingredients and pulse until course
* Add milk while pulsing
* Pulse until moist clumps are formed
* Turn onto a lightly floured surface and form 20 balls

* Pour the fruit and liquid into greased 8×8 glass baking dish
* Top with dough balls
* Bake at 375°F for 35-45 minutes

My notes:
→ A revelation: rhubarb does not taste like celery
→ However, I found rhubarb to be a tad bitter; unsure if this is normal rhubarb flavor or if I just need a lesson in how to select rhubarb
→ I had two Granny Smith’s lying around, so they got chopped up and added to the cobbler. Not sure if this was such a great idea since I found the rhubarb to be bitter.
→ Another revelation: a cherry pitter is a valuable time saver. Wish I owned one. (Well, wouldn’t you know it! It’s on my wedding registry!)
→ I thought the wheat flour was wonderful in the topping.
→ I do not own a food processor, but everything turned out just fine mixing by hand. (Amazing! A food processor is also on the registry!)
→ Hoped for a stronger ginger taste. Next time I think I will add more or omit the ginger all together and do something citrus: adding lemon juice to the filling and the rind to the topping. May work ok with orange juice and rind, too.
→ Call me lazy, but I didn’t feel like rolling the dough into 20 little balls. I rolled the dough into one large ball and dropped hunks of it all over the top of the cobbler
→ Cobblers are a great introductory baking dish and extremely versatile; I encourage everyone to give it a try. I know I will be using the wheat flour topping recipe in future cobblers.

Please check on the other members here and if you are interested in joining Tuesdays With Dorie, click here.

Look carefully and you can see the steam – I couldn’t even wait for Matt to come home before I dug in!


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