Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Recipe of the week: Persimmon Pudding

This is one of my favorite desserts, its too bad persimmons are only ripe during the holidays.  It's one of the first things I learned to make when I really started cooking in high school.  You need really ripe persimmons for this, I bought mine and let them sit for a week.  You only use the pulp, I peeled mine and sorta smashed it with a fork.  I used pecans this time but you can use walnuts if you like them better.  Some people put raisins in theirs but I don't really like cooked raisins unless they're in oatmeal cookies.  If you try it let me know what you think.  A Votre Sante!

2 cups of persimmon pulp
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 nutmeg
1/2 cup melted butter
2 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl add the eggs to the persimmon pulp, whisk in the sugar.  Add baking powder, soda, salt and spices.  Pour in melted butter, stir and add the evaporated milk.  The mixture will be sort of soupy, whisk in flour, fold in chopped nuts.  Pour into a greased 9 X 13 pan.  Bake for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean.  Serve with whipped cream.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Easy Gift Idea

The past few years my sister and I have been making homemade marshmallows.  We use this recipe.  (Try making fudge with the homemade marshmallows....hands down the BEST fudge you will ever have!)  So this year this is what I did with the marshmallows. I cut them into stars and put them on chocolate dipped spoons, added a cocoa packet in a cute mug and voila' you've got a great gift.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Recipe of the week: Chicken with artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes.

This past weekend a friend of my dad's sent me home with homemade dehydrated apples and sundried tomatoes.  Heaven!  If you're lucky enough to have some of these tomatoes on hand use them otherwise you'll have to make do with store bought.  I served mine with a salad, you could add rice, pasta or potatoes if you like.  Let me know what you think.  A Votre Sante!

1.5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 lemons juiced
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
a dash of basil
a dash of mint
a dash of red pepper

I can of artichoke hearts drained
1/2 cup-1 cup of sundried tomatoes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all of the spices with the lemon juice and olive oil...pour over chicken breasts.  Marinate in a dish or a large plastic zipper bag.  Marinate for at least an hour, the longer the better.  Bake in covered pan at  375 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Add artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes and cook uncovered for another 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Great workout when you can't get to the gym...

I've started doing this on days when I can't get to the gym (or when I was out of town this past weekend).  It's easy, fast, you don't need any equipment and you don't need a lot of space to do it.  Try once and repeat as long as you have time for, I think the other day I did it 4 times in a row.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Life's Little Instructions...

I love stuff like's important to remember that it's the little things in life that make the most difference.

Until next time, Ciao.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Things I love about December

So here we are, already December 2nd.  There's lots of things I love about this time of year, so I thought I'd share a few with you.  These are in no particular order.

  1. I love how most everyone is friendly
  2. Hearing Christmas songs like O Holy Night in the grocery store, what other time of year would you hear a worship song at Vons!
  3. Reading Luke 2 and drinking homemade hot cocoa on Christmas Eve
  4. Getting to say Merry Christmas or Happy New Year instead of just 'Hello', it's so much more fun.
  5. Going to look at Christmas lights
  6. Making cookies and marshmallows with my kids, sister, niece and nephews
  7. Baking some of my favorite bread and cookie recipes and taking them to friends
  8. My mom's English toffee, it's the only time of year she makes it
  9. Getting together with friends and family just because
  10. Dressing up, just to be festive
What are your favorite things about the Holidays?