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Red Plum-Ginger-Jalapeño Chutney

Red-Plum-Ginger-Jalapeno-Chutney-Plums_Yes,-more-please!

My mouth waters with this recipe…Juicy and sweet red plums chunks, a hint of spice from the jalapeño, aromatic cinnamon, clove and fresh ginger to brighten up the flavor. The kitchen smelled like a sinful geisha wardrobe. This Chutney is very versatile. It pairs great with some grilled pork chops, purée a couple of tablespoons and use as glaze for baby pork ribs, serve along grilled or roasted chicken, Pan seared Mahi-mahi or any white flesh fish. Toss one or two spoon fools into a steamed bowl of quinoa, add a couple of pinches of salt and you will have a great side. As an appetizer will go wonderful with some triple cream brie, baked brie or goat cheese, some crackers or crostinis… sigh*

Of course on a simple toast with a little butter, to wake up with a kick in the morning a cup to tea or the ultimate pairing: On a melted ham and cheese sandwich…Oh! yes my friends, a sinful combination. Before your eyes something so simple can become so ridiculously good…

Have a great Memorial weekend, and enjoy the simple pleasures! Make this Red Plum-Ginger-Jalapeño Chutney, put it on your pocket, take a road trip, place it on your basket of goodies along with cheese and crackers, snack, rest, repeat…Enjoy!

Red-Plum-Ginger-Jalapeno-Chutney-sliced-and-pitted-plums-Yes,-more-please!

Red-Plum-Ginger-Jalapeno-Chutney-diced-jalapenos_Yes,-more-please!

Red Plum-Ginger-Jalapeño Chutney

Makes 2 cups

8-12 ripe Red plums pitted and cut in quarters and eights.
¼ cup turbinado sugar
6 tablespoons of honey (Adjust honey amount depending on the plum sweetness)
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1-2 small diced jalapeno
1-2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 stick of mexican cinnamon
A dash of ground clove.

Making the chutney:

Over medium high heat in a stainless steel pan place the plums, sugar, honey and cinnamon stick. Let the plums warm trough about 4-5 minutes. Once that the sugar and honey start looking bubbly, add the grated ginger, diced jalapeno, cider vinegar, olive oil and the dash of clove. Let simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the juices look translucent and some of the plums have started to get soft and you can smash them easily with a spoon. Turn off the heat and set aside. Keep on a glass jar, refrigerate after cooling down, it lasts for 1 week in the refrigerator… if you are lucky!

Red-Plum-Ginger-Jalapeno-Chutney_making-chutney_Yes,-more-please!

Red-Plum-Ginger-Jalapeno-Chutney_Yes,-more-please!

Red Plum-Ginger-Jalapeño Chutney

I know it might be a little early for plums, but this weekend you can find them the weekend

at the Farmers Markets here in Austin, Tx!

Music pairing: Electric Light Orchestra: Mr. Blue Sky

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Creamy Basil-Zucchini Noodle Soup

Creamy-Basil-Zucchini-Noodle-Soup_Yes,-more-please!

Welcome Spring! and its amazing crazy weather, hehehe… here in Austin, Tx it’s rainy, cloudy and around 60 degrees that feels like 50 degrees. So I think a vegetable noodle soup, with a bright green hue, light, creamy and bright will lift up any cloudy weather… If you live in a part of the world where the weather feels accordingly with the Spring season, hey! this Creamy Basil-Zucchini Noodle Soup it’s also for you since it can be served warm or cold.

Describing this soup is a dreamy pleasure, it is creamy, fragrant, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, green, calorie friendly and easy to make. The basil, ginger,  and coconut give this soup an aromatic spring flare. The raw zucchini noodles add bite and texture to the soup. For me, it always has been interesting to enhance one flavor by combining different cooking variations of it. Raw, steamed, roasted, sautéed, two or three variations in one dish with the same ingredient. I believe that by maximizing one subtle ingredient like zucchini you can achieve maximum dept of flavor, textures, temperatures and add lots of character to the dish by focusing on “the” one ingredient.

Creamy-Basil-Zucchini-Noodle-Soup_ingredients

Six ingredients joining one pot, and the fun task of making zucchini noodles. By the way, have you made Zucchini noodles before? It is awesome. This little apparatus called the vegetable spiralizer it is the bomb!. As you know, I’m not very fond of unitaskers in the kitchen, the only uni-tasker gadget I owned and loved was the Julienne peeler, until now. (which by the way you can use if you do not own a spiralizer) This vegetable spiralizer belongs into the FUN category, it transforms any meaty root vegetable or fruit into the most beautiful curly noodles. I’ve used, zucchini, carrots, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cucumbers, rutabagas, green papaya, apples, pears, uff! you name it. It’s really easy to use and clean up. If you have heard of it, yes it is awesome! (No, I’m not getting paid to say this, what you are reading it is my honest opinion, in fact, I did not even buy this beautiful red spiralizer ha! It was a Christmas present from my friend Andrea…Thank you, Drea! I love it! Hehehe.)

So, dear friends, whether you are experiencing a warm or cold Spring; Begin by making this delicious soup and enjoy the Spring ride!

Creamy-Basil-Zucchini-Noodle-Soup_vegetable-spiralizer_zucchini-noodles

Let’s cook! for the recipe, you will need…

Creamy Basil-Zucchini Noodle Soup

Serves 4

2 lbs. zucchini.  I combined half dark green zucchini, half Mexican calabazita aka zucchini. Use what is best available.
1 -16 oz. can organic coconut cream unsweetened
1/2 small onion
2 garlic clove
6 large, fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1  teaspoon kosher salt
4-6 Cranks of fresh ground Black Pepper

Preparation:

1. Reserve ½ of a large green zucchini for the raw zucchini noodles. Cut the rest of the zucchini into cubes.
2. Make the zucchini curls following the directions of your spiralizer, or use a Julienne peeler. Set the curls aside.
3. In a medium-size pot, add the zucchini cubes and the rest of the ingredients. Cover and bring to a slow simmer, cook for 20 minutes until the zucchini is fork tender but not mushy.
4. With an immersion blender, a blender or food processor, puree until smooth. At this point add a bit of water, or vegetable stock to adjust the soup to your desired thickness. Keep soup warm, and serve a couple of ladles into each bowl, add a handful of the raw zucchini noodles on top. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and fresh black pepper. Enjoy!

Note: You can add little tofu squares, corn kernels, queso panela or mozzarella little squares if you want to make it into a complete lunch or dinner… This soup makes for a fabulous beginning of a meal, for lunch or if you dare for brunch…put an egg on it!

Creamy-Basil-Zucchini-Noodle-Soup_all-in-one-pot-soupCreamy-Basil-Zucchini-Noodle-Soup_all-in-one-pot-soup_immersion-blender

Creamy-Basil-Zucchini-Noodle-Soup_Sring-soup--Yes,-more-please!

Creamy-Basil-Zucchini-Noodle-Soup_Easy-Spring-soup-Yes,-more-please!

Creamy-Basil-Zucchini-Noodle-Soup-Yes,-more-please!_vegetable-spiralizer

Enjoy!

Music pairing:https://youtu.be/C-1mYXVP1Ok

Creamy Basil-Zucchini Noodle Soup

Serves 4
Course Soup
Cuisine FUSION
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. zucchini. I combined half dark green zucchini half Mexican calabazita. Use what is best seasonal available.
  • 1 -16 oz. Can Organic unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 4-6 Cranks of fresh ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preparation:
  2. Reserve ½ of a large green zucchini for the raw zucchini noodles. Cut the rest of the zucchini into cubes.
  3. Make the zucchini curls following the directions of your spiralizer, or use a Julienne peeler. Set the curls a side.
  4. In a medium-size pot, add the zucchini cubes and the rest of the ingredients. Cover and bring to a slow simmer, cook for 20 minutes until the zucchini is fork tender but not mushy.
  5. With an immersion blender, a blender or food processor, pure until smooth. At this point you can add a bit of water, or vegetable stock to adjust the soup to your desired thickness. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust to your taste if necessary. 

    Keep soup warm, serve a couple of ladles into each bowl, add a handful of the raw zucchini noodles on top. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note: You can add little tofu squares, corn kernels, queso panela or mozzarella little squares if you want to make it into a complete lunch or dinner… This soup makes for a fabulous beginning of a meal, for lunch or if you dare for brunch…put an egg on it!

 

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Whole Wheat Ginger Men Cookies

Whole-Wheat-Ginger-Men_forrest~-Yes,-more-please!

Here comes Santa! When you bake cookies expect anyone to come around them: kids, gnomes, reindeer, elves, gremlins, dogs, cats, ants, aunts grandpa’s, grandmas, fuzzy teenagers, obnoxious neighbors, you name it! Everybody loves cookies…And since its Christmas lets share some cookie love!
Here is my recipe for Ginger Men. Why whole wheat? I love the nutty flavor that this flour gives to the ginger cookie. Not a fan of whole wheat?… You can substitute white flour but you might have to adjust and add ½ to 1 cup more flour.

I love to make these cookies because the house smells so good and kicks up your Christmas Spirit.
I owe you the photo steps, Ian has had an overload of work and for me, it its a bit hard to shoot with floury hands, so I made some drawings to illustrate a couple of steps. If you have any questions please send me a comment I will guide you.
I’m certain that these cookies are so easy to prepare you’ll have no trouble at all!
Enjoy!Whole-Wheat-Ginger-Men-mousthacehe-2

Whole Wheat Ginger Men Cookies

Makes 2-3 dozen depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

4 cups whole wheat flour ( I used King Arthur 100% organic whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup Butter
¾ cup organic blackstrap molasses
¾ cup brown sugar

Spices:
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

3 large eggs

Preparation Method:

1. In a medium size bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
2. In a medium-sized pot, over medium heat, melt butter, molasses, brown sugar and all the spices until well combined. Set aside and let the mixture cool down.
3. Once this mixture has cooled down whisk in the eggs one at a time.
4. Add the flour mixture one cup at a time and incorporate with a spatula in folding movements until well combined do not over mix.
5. Divide the dough in two and place each half of the dough into a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten as much as you can and shape into a rectangle, and then place a second piece of parchment paper on top. Follow the next steps before chilling.

Now, in my opinion, the best technique to use is from Martha Stewart. No doubt, she is the queen of cookies right? What is this technique about?,basically you roll the dough before chilling, about 1/4”inch between two pieces of parchment paper. It helps using two wood dowels along the sides to ensure an even thickness of the dough slab.

This technique is great, because not only will speed up the process of chilling the dough to about 1 hour, it also leaves you with 2 or 3 cookie dough slabs ready to cut. I love this simple trick, because it saves you the step of having to deal with rolling a cold hard dough. Once you roll the dough in between the parchment papers, just transfer this sandwich into a cookie sheet.These simple step make it so much easy to transport back and forth from the refrigerator or the freezer to chill the dough.

After 1 hour, Remove from fridge and peel the top parchment paper and start pressing your cookie shapes. Remove the negative dough space. This will leave you with a tray ready to bake, no need to deal with misshaped cookies or trying to transfer them as you cut. Its so easy! check this lil drawings it might help…

Roll-out-_cookie_technique_Steps

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 7-10 minutes. Bigger cookies might need 10-12.
Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool on the sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Something to consider: When choosing a cookie cutter try to avoid intricate shapes or in the case of this Ginger man use a Ginger man with an evenly shaped figure so the cookies bake more evenly.

Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoon meringue powder or dry egg whites.

Mix the powdered sugar and meringue powder together.Add the lemon juice to this mixture and whisk well until slightly pasty. At this point you can divide the icing and add a little food coloring. I like to use natural colorings like this kind.

If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar, if it’s too thick add a drop of lemon juice.
Use a piping Bag, or squeeze bottles to decorate.

Whole-Wheat-Ginger-Men_in-box-forrest-and-men

~ Have fun! ~

Music pairing: Santa Claus is coming to town-Ella Fitzgerald

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