I am extremely excited to share a NEW PROJECT I’ve been working on: Luluesque Recipe DigiCards! You can save them right to your phone; no need to bookmark my recipe blog page or wait for glitchy internet to pull up this recipe post. One of the finished products is on this post — scroll all the way to the bottom for the recipe digicard. Simply save the recipe to your device in the “Luluesque” Folder…wait, what do you mean you don’t have a folder saved just for me??? 😉
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Lightly grease 9×13 baking dish with avocado oil
- 2 cups organic cornmeal (HEART HEALTH: supplement some with ground flaxseed)
- 1 cup organic all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 cup organic rolled oats
- 3/4 cups organic fine sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon seasalt
- 2 cups organic sour cream (HEART HEALTH: replace with non-fat plain Greek yogurt)
- 3/4 cup avocado oil
- 3 large organic eggs
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold in sour cream, oil, and eggs with a spatula until the batter is evenly mixed (do not overmix). Our goal is to get out the clumps of ingredients.
- Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Gently slide the dish from side to side on the counter, to even out the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted fork comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.
HOMEMADE FIG JAM
It’s summertime, which means all the fig trees in my area are full of ripening fruit! Figs are flowering shrubs that belong in the mulberry family. They do not bear flowers on branches; the fruit we see are actually inverted flowers! If you slice a fig open, you’ll see all the little “petals” on the inside. The flower matures and eventually forms little edible seeds, which gives figs its crunch when you bite into one.
According to Brittanica, there are approximaltey 900 species of figs and the “fig wasp” is responsible for pollinating most of the world’s figs! And often the female wasps don’t make it to the correct flower (male) to lay her eggs, thus dies inside the female fig. SO, yes, there is a possibility we are getting some insect protein as we consume figs. Want to learn more? Here’s an educational article and video about the relationship of figs and their pollinators: LINK.
- 2 pounds figs (purple or green) ~ stems removed and figs coarsely chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- In a large saucepan, toss the figs together with the sugar and allow to sit for about 15 minutes, until the figs become juicy and the sugar has mostly dissolved.
- Add the water and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Reduce heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes. The fruit should be soft and the jam should slide down the spoon in heavy drops.
- Allow the jam to cool to room temperature, then spoon them to mason jars and store in the refrigerator. These should last up to 3 months. They can also be frozen and thawed overnight in the refrigerator for later use.
Lemon-Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 8 T butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 2T lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp dried lavender buds. Ground
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- Mix cheese, butter and sugar in a food processor or mixer. Add other ingredients until smooth. Can be spread or piped onto cupcakes or cakes.
Lemon Lavender Greek Yogurt Pound Cake
A recipe for incredibly moist Greek yogurt pound cake with tart lemon and flowery lavender.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces, weight) 2% Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani)
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 Tbs. dried lavender
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease one 9×5 (or two 5.75×3 mini) loaf pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each until fully incorporated.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the Greek yogurt, to the creamed butter and sugar and mix just until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat on low just until blended. Gently stir in the lavender.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the loaf pans for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Lavender Honey Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp lavender honey
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 -1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 -1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp coarse Dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients in a jar. Cap, tighten the lid and shake well. Serve at room temperature.
Well? How did everyone do at guessing what the mystery edibles are from the May 17th post? Did you think they were edamame, pea pods, sea veggie, or some alien fruit? These edibles are radish pods, as in the the young, tender seed pods of the plants from those pretty little red-skinned, white-fleshed root veggies. They’re fun to add to any side dish or entrée.
These little fellas taste just like radishes of their variety. For instance, daikon radish pods will taste more piquant like the daikon radish. The ones I have are standard radishes.
Radishes are a cool-weather crop and will bolt (flower and go to seed) when the weather gets warmer. You may have to wait until autumn or early spring to plant your crop of radishes. I usually use an entire pack of seeds in the garden since they’re so easy to grow and mature quickly. I reserve about 12 plants purely for seeds and flowers. Each plant can produce 25-50 pods; I’m able to harvest about a handful each day. By the weekend I have enough to sauté or pickle.
- 2-3 cups fresh organic radish seed pods from your garden ~ washed and drained
- 2-3 medium organic purple shallots ~ washed, peeled, sliced thinly
- 1 large garlic clove ~ washed, peeled, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 4 teaspoons organic evaporated cane sugar
- whole peppercorns
- Wash and clean your pickling jars and lids in hot (preferably boiling) water. Let them dry.
- In a small pot, bring the filtered water to a quick boil. Remove it from the stove.
- Add the sugar and salt; stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the vinegar. Let the mixture cool down.
- Evenly divide the radish pods, shallots, garlic, and peppercorns among your jars. Pack them loosely into your jars. Reserve about 1-1.5 inches from the top.
- Pour the liquid into the jars.
- Screw on the lids and refrigerate.
- They should be mildly pickled after about five hours of pickling and refrigeration. Serve cold with salads, spring rolls, or with a cheese platter. VOILA. Enjoy! 🙂
FUN FACT: The leaves, stems, flowers, and seed pods of the radish plant are all edible. Seed pods can be eaten raw, cooked, steamed, or pickled.
(pen illustration • colored in Photoshop CS6)
Many moons ago a college friend and I were hanging out and she introduced me to these “no bake cookies.” I had never heard of such things; my mother baked cookies. I knew of rice crispy treats, which aren’t baked either, but they were never called “no bake rice crispy treats.” This intrigued me.
It’s been years now and this is probably the only 2nd time I’ve ever made these, but they’re still so delicious, like the very 1st time I tried them. This easy recipe is from Food Network. With a 2-step process and a 5-star rating, how could I resist? Enjoy! 🙂
- 1.5 cups organic evaporated cane sugar
- 4 tablespoons cocoa*
- 1 stick organic butter
- 1/2 cup organic whole milk
- 1 cup peanut butter**
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3 cups oatmeal
- waxed paper
- In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal.
- On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.
*I used Rodelle’s ivory dutch dark cocoa. While you’re on here, you should check out the fun Cocoa 101!
**I used freshly-ground organic PB from Whole Foods, but it made the cookies a bit dry & crumbly. I suggest using Peter Pan creamy PB.
Every holiday season my sisters and I get together for some baking and holiday cheer. Flour dust, baking utensils, and our boisterous laughter fill the warm house. I love peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies, so decided to marry the two; life’s short, why not have both?? Serve these warm, with a tall glass of organic milk (or hot herbal tea), and soak in the love of family! CHEERS! 🙂
This cookie recipe is delightfully delicious and simple to make, thanks to Real Simple magazine. It’s also gluten free, as it contains absolutely no flour! Oh, one more thing, there is also NO butter.
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter (not the all-natural variety)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- semi-sweet chocolate chips ~ the more the merrier! (my addition to the recipe)
INSTRUCTIONS: (Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
- Using electric mixer, beat butter, peanut butter and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Beat in both sugars. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Stir half of dry ingredients into mixture. Add eggs 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix in remaining dry ingredients.
- For each cookie, roll 1 heaping tablespoonful of dough into 1 3/4-inch-diameter ball.
- Arrange dough balls 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using back of fork, flatten dough balls and form crosshatch design on tops.
- Bake cookies until dry on top and golden brown on bottom, about 14 minutes.
- Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using metal spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.
There is a season for everything and November is peak season for persimmons. There are many varieties of persimmons but generally there are three types:
- Astringent: This variety is unpleasantly astringent and bitter due to the high levels of soluble tannins; therefore, they must be left to ripen (becomes soft and mushy to the touch) before consumption. It’s best to cut them in half and scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon. Hachiya (longer, heart-shaped) is the most common.
- Non-Astringent: This squat, tomato-shaped variety is edible, sweet, and crunchy at any stage of orange. The fiber-rich skin can be eaten or peeled. Fuyu is the most common.
- Pollination-variant, Non-Astringent: This is an uncommon variety that once pollinated, the flesh turns brown or cinnamon in color. Tsurunoko (“Chocolate Persimmon”), Maru (“Cinnamon Persimmon”), and Hyakume (“Brown Sugar”) are the most common.
As luck would have it, my Mother’s friend has several trees of two varieties on their property: Fuyu (non-astringent) and Hachiya (astringent).
My mother specifically instructed me to essentially ignore the Hachiya fruits until they appear ripe to the point that they look bad. 🙂 So, I did and these felt like mush and extremely soft to the touch. I simply halved the ripe Hachiyas and scooped out all the soft pulp into a freezer-friendly glass container and used what I needed; the remaining pulp was frozen for later use.
Here is the cake recipe I used to make a delicious Persimmon Cake with Cream Cheese Icing, courtesy of Epicurious. It was such a hit with my friends and family that I will be making it again! 🙂
- 3/4 cup dried currants (I didn’t have any)
- 1/4 cup brandy or whiskey (I didn’t have any)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter ~ melted
- 1 1/2 cups persimmon purée (NOTE: This pulp freezes quite well)
- 3 large eggs ~ room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted and finely chopped (I used ground almonds, purchased from Whole Foods)
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon salted butter ~ room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar ~ sifted
- 4-5 teaspoons water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat a 10-cup (2.5-liter) Bundt cake or tube pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
- To make the cake, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the currants and brandy or whiskey to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let cool.
- Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in the granulated sugar. In a medium bowl, mix together the 3/4 cup (6 ounces/170 g) melted butter, persimmon purée, eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add the persimmon mixture, and gently stir. Fold in the currants, along with any unabsorbed liquid, and the nuts. Mix just until everything is moistened; don’t overmix.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once cool, invert the cake onto a serving plate.
- To make the icing, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and 1 tablespoon butter on high speed until smooth. Beat in the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and the lemon juice, then gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on high speed until smooth. Add the 4 teaspoons water; the icing should be pourable. If necessary, add 1 more teaspoon water.
- Spoon the icing around the top of the cake, then tap the plate on a folded kitchen towel on the countertop to encourage the icing to run down the sides of the cake.
If you love avocados (Fun Fact: it’s colloquially known as the “Alligator Pear”), you will love this simple and nutritious dessert or snack. If you are concerned about all the sugar in the sweetened condensed milk, you can use Splenda as a substitute. The avocado adds fiber and vitamin K, while the organic milk provides calcium and vitamin D.
- 1 large Haas avocado ~washed, peeled @ cut into chunks (save 1 thin slice as garnish)
- 8 ice cubes (mine are shaped like orange wedges)
- 4 TB sweetened condensed milk
- organic whole milk
- organic raspberries (optional)
- Put the avocado, condensed milk, and ice cubes in a 16-ounce magic bullet cup. Pour enough milk over these ingredients to cover them.
- Blend until smooth. Be sure to mix it up every so often, as the avocado tends to stick to the bottom or sides.
- Serve in a fancy glass & garnish with some raspberries (adds a nice tart flavor) and/or avocado slices.
Those Chocolate Heart Truffles I made were so astonishingly easy, I am now addicted to making truffles almost every week! I decided to branch out and try different flavors. One batch I made was chocolate-orange hearts and this one is with organic peanut butter fillings (think Reese’s Peanut Butter cups). They turned out quite nice! Sorry, there’s no picture of the finished product as they were all eaten before I could get the camera.
It is super easy to make these cups. All you do is scoop in some chocolate into the silicone cupcake molds, then add a dollop (add more if you like) into the center, then cover that peanut butter with some chocolate. Pop them in the refrigerator or freezer to set and VOILA!