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Tag Archives: Strawberries

Joy of Falafel

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Joy of Falafel is the subject line of an email I got from my best friend in August of 2008! It was an email containing the recipe for falafel from The Joy of Vegetarian Cooking. She highly recommended it and urged me to make it. It only took me two years to finally get around to doing that. I don’t know why.

While I was making this recipe (in my tiny 3 cup food processor), I was worried about the results. It was crumbly and wouldn’t stick together, so I g-chatted with Tessa (the friend mentioned above) who calmed me down and talked me through it, as she usually does. I’m so glad it came together! I even fried it all on my own – without Brent’s help! I think that’s a first.

Beautiful!! I slathered a sauce of tahini, water and lemon juice on top and Brent and I both really loved it. Brent had two servings. I also made some oven roasted okra (okra fries) that I’ve seen on a few blogs, but we were not so much a fan of that. The flavor was good, but I just don’t appreciate the slime. Bummer.

Before the falafel, I spent the day making freezer jam with my friend Taria. I’ve never really canned or anything, but Taria’s from the south and has experience with such things, so I showed up with some Ball jars and Sure-Jell and trusted her to do the rest. We just used the basic strawberry freezer jam recipe that came with the Sure-Jell. OMG! The amount of sugar called for was obscene! I got diabetes just making this stuff. Unfortunately the package was yelling: “DO NOT use a sugar substitute or lower the sugar!! Recipe will not set!!” So, I made the recipe as directed. I figured I should try the approved recipe at least once and get the hang of it before I went crazy making changes, plus that box sounded like it meant business.

The jam must sit at room temperature for 24 hours to set before it goes in the freezer. I have 12 jars of this stuff, so it better be amazing! I think it looks cloudy, like we didn’t dissolve all the sugar or something. Only time will tell I guess.

I’m heading to my parents house in the Chicago area next week to see family and friends, and I plan on bringing some jam as gifts – although I think I may taste test it first!

Must go clean tahini and chickpea crumbs off my counter-tops now. 🙂

We Picked Strawberries!

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The title pretty much sums it up. Brent had today off, so we wanted to find something fun to do outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather. When I got off work at 2, we headed over to Hilger’s Farm & Market for their U-pick strawberries. We both had a really good time and we picked about 5lbs. of strawberries for $4.50.


We took a wagon hitched to a tractor out to the fields.


IMG_0023It involved a ton of bending. Some people had been out there for hours!


IMG_0026Our hour’s worth of hard work paid off!



Brent and I dug in when we got them home and washed a few. They were so sweet and warm and delicious! Yum! We’ve definitely gotten our share of local produce lately. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Top O’ The Muffin To You

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I love strawberries, so I don’t know why it took me so long to bake with them. Well, probably because I just eat them plain. Today I branched out, and in the spirit of using things up, I decided to use leftover strawberries from our sangria, and some soy yogurt in the fridge. The result:


I wanted to make these for a friend recouping from gall-bladder surgery, so I knew I wanted them to be low fat and “healthy-ish,” but I also wanted them to taste delicious. I only used 2 tablespoons of oil in the recipe, and no margarine or butter. The moisture came from the yogurt. They were also made with half whole wheat pastry flour. (Recipe is posted to the right). Here are the strawberries macerating:

After these had gotten good and juicy I folded them into the batter and put them into muffin tins:

They rose beautifully and came out smelling wonderful.

Of course, I had to taste test them before giving any to my friend. I thought they were awesome (so I kept a few for myself too).

I highly recommend them!

Other miscellaneous stuff…

We made this for dinner last night and it was great. I had been wanting to have something pesto-y recently and this hit the spot.

Also, I just think my dogs are cute and I assumed everyone would want to see more photos of them.


  • 8oz fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy yogurt – I used plain but vanilla, or strawberry would be great too.
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon sliced almonds (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons sugar with sliced strawberries and set aside 15 minutes – until slightly juicy.
  • In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, oil, sugar and extract together.
  • Sift flours, baking soda and salt into the wet ingredients.
  • Mix together batter just a few stirs.
  • Add in juicy strawberries and fold until batter just holds together.
  • Divide into muffin tin ( I got 10 muffins, but you could probably get 12 if you make them slightly smaller than I did).
  • Sprinkle with almonds if using.
  • Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.