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    Entries in summer (10)

    Monday
    Apr092018

    Pineapple Sweet Tea

    I’m pretending like it’s summer! It’s still pretty cold and rainy here in Salt Lake, but I’m moving onto warmer weather, with or without Mother Nature. The truth is, Whole Foods had pineapples on sale the other day so I bought one. I’ve used the cores to make pineapple water in the past, but somehow, this time, I had the brilliant idea to try putting it in sweet tea. It did not disappoint!

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • The core of a fresh pineapple 
    • 3 quart size tea bags (sometimes called family size)
    • 3 cups water
    • 3 cups ice
    • ⅓ cup sugar

    This recipe ended up being all 3s which makes it really easy to remember. First, bring your water just to a boil. I just do it in the microwave, but you could do it in a kettle or on the stovetop. Add your teabags and allow them to steep for 3 minutes. (see what I mean about the 3s?)

    While that’s doing its thing, put 3 cups of ice in a pitcher. After 3 minutes, the tea should be nice and dark. I should probably say, I like my tea quite strong. Not bitter, (that’s actually caused by steeping too long) just lots of tea flavor. If you like yours a bit less strong, go ahead and just use 2 teabags.

    To squeeze the water out of the teabags, I like to just place them on a spoon and then wrap the string around and squeeze. I usually do this twice on each one.

    Now, go ahead and pour in the sugar.

    Stir until it’s completely dissolved, then pour that hot tea over the waiting ice.

    Stir briskly until all of the ice has melted.

    Now for the pineapple. I like to use pineapple cores for stuff like this. That way they get some use before going in the trash. I’m sure fresh pineapple or even frozen would work just fine if you don’t want to process a whole pineapple. Although, it’s actually quite simple to do. I’ll show how to do it the next time I buy one.

    Whatever you decide to use, go ahead and just drop it into the tea. Into the fridge for 24 hours. Yeah, unfortunately this is not an immediate gratification kind of recipe, but you’ll be so happy it’s there tomorrow anyway.

    Remove the pineapple and now it can go in the trash.

    Pour the finished tea over a nice tall glass of ice.

    My usual go to for sweet tea is fresh squeezed lime, but I gotta be honest, I may never go back. This pineapple version is nothing short of amazing!

    In the winter, I like my tea hot and black with vanilla sugar, and sometimes cinnamon and milk, but in the summer, it’s cold, fruity and sweet. How do you like your tea?

     

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    Monday
    Sep122016

    Zucchini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Well, here in Utah, Zucchini season is starting to wind down, but if you grow zucchini, you will have already had sautéed zucchini, breaded zucchini, baked zucchini, fried zucchini, zucchini pasta, zucchini casserole, zucchini bread, and, of course, the oh so fad-tastic zoodles. *shudder* That word is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Anyway, my point is, we can all use more zucchini recipes. Options are a good thing. These cookies are cake like, in texture, with a bit of chew from the oats, warm spices, and plenty of chocolate.

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • ½ cup butter (1 stick) – softened
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup grated zucchini
    • 1 cup flour
    • ½ cup whole wheat flour
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon spice mix
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup oats
    • 2 cups chocolate chips 

    Preheat your oven to 350°. Then go ahead and grate your zucchini. I like to just use a box grater. Even though I still make a mess, it’s much easier to clean up than the 87 parts of the food processor.

    There we go. This looks like a lot, but I was doubling the recipe, so just ignore that.

    Now, in your mixing bowl, beat the butter for about a minute, until it’s nice and soft. Add the sugar and mix on medium speed for about two minutes, scraping everything down a time or two in the middle.

    Add the egg.

    Mix until it’s thoroughly incorporated, scraping everything down again, and then add the vanilla.

    When that’s mixed in, add the zucchini. Just a quick note, the zucchini should be room temperature when you grate it, so if you’ve had it in the fridge, make sure you pull it out ahead of time.

    Once the zucchini is incorporated, step away from that for a minute to deal with the dry ingredients.

    Let’s talk spices for a minute. Along with the cinnamon, I used Penzey’s Pie Spice. It’s just a mix of spices. Cinnamon (China, Korintje, Ceylon, Vietnamese), vanilla sugar (sugar, vanilla bean), mace, ginger, nutmeg, anise seed and clove, to be exact. I also added an extra bit of mace, because I just love the stuff. You can really use whatever mix of spices you like, though. Put them into a bowl along with both flours, soda, powder, and salt.

    Give that a good whisk to get rid of any lumps and get everything evenly distributed.

    Now, when you go back to your zucchini mixture, it’s going to look like a swampy mess, but don’t panic. The zucchini just needed to give off some water. 

    Give it a quick stir and then add the dry ingredients. See, everything is fine. 

    Add the oats. I like to use a combination of old fashioned and quick oats, but if you only have one or the other, it will be just fine either way.

    Stir them in. This is going to be unlike a typical cookie dough. It will be more like a thick cake batter in its consistency.

    Add the chocolate chips. I have a couple opinions when it comes to chocolate chips. Firstly, as long as they’re good quality (I like Ghirardelli, but Guittard is also a good brand.) you can never have too many of them. And secondly, in baked goods, a combination of types of chocolate (milk, semisweet, dark, etc.) is always better than using just one. I used milk, dark, semisweet, and mini semisweet. Use whatever combination you like.

    And, one last stir. I like to just use a silicone spatula for this one, and just sort of fold everything together. 

    Scoop the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan. I would definitely use parchment for these cookies, because they tend to be a bit sticky. My scoop is about 1 ½ Tablespoons, which I think is the perfect size for these cookies.

    Into a 350° oven for 14-15 minutes. When they’re done, they’ll be dry on top and just starting to brown around the edges. And look how lovely they are with their bits of green and loads of chocolate chips.

    Allow them to cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

    Here’s a look at that wonderful cakey texture I told you about. They’re soft, chewy, and simply fabulous. I have a feeling even picky eaters will love these. Hubby (who is probably the pickiest eater I know) said they are the best cookies he's ever tasted. 

    Are you sad to see summer coming to an end, or just glad to finally get a break from the heat?

     

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