Category Archives: Fruit

a berry nice girl

It’s been a while since I graced this blog or coworkers’ bellies with yummy treats.  I know I’ve said it before, but baking is so therapeutic.  It’s precise, like culinary chemistry, and the payoff is usually something delectable.

This past week, my team had an intern whose last day was Friday.  I told him he could pick his favorite flavor and I’d come up with a cupcake for him and the team.  Strawberry shortcake he said — so strawberry it was!

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of chopped strawberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, around 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time until combined.  Then add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Mix until just combined.  Add chopped strawberries, folding to avoid mushing the fruit.
  4. Fill lined cupcake pans 3/4 of the way with batter.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Frosting Ingredients

  • Frozen strawberries, pureed with sugar (to your taste depending on how sweet the strawberries are)
  • 2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups of confectioner sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer.  Beat in 1/3 cup of the strawberry puree and vanilla extract.  Add the confectioner sugar one cup at a time beating until well combined.  Frost the cupcakes and garnish with fresh strawberries.

The frosting is nothing short of amazing.  It literally tasted like ice cream… and I would know!  I licked the spoon the night I made it.  Did I feel guilty?  NO I DID NOT.  Make these cupcakes, you will run right down to Boston to give me a big hug and kiss.

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bloody salad!

Yeah so… salad.  New year, same resolution — eat healthier and work out more.  It’s been 17 days and I’m running at a 75% success rate.  I went to the doctor today, had my annual weigh in and I didn’t hate it.  Motivation, yes.  In fact, my fingers and typing at with astronomical dexterity and speed, as I still need to get my nightly workout in.

Tonight’s dinner featured blood oranges, which beckoned me while I was perusing the produce section of the supermarket.

What you’ll need —

  • Baby spinach
  • Blood orange
  • Red onion
  • Salted pistachios, shelled
  • Feta or goat cheese
  • S&P to taste
  • Dressing (minced garlic, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, S&P, and extra virgin olive oil)

Combine all ingredients and toss.  Eat, feel healthy, and go to the gym.

Goodnight and goodbye.

Interesting Eats: Dragon Fruit

The dragon fruit originated in Middle Earth where man would cultivate the fruit of dragon trees in order to sacrifice them during the summer solstice in order to be spared by dragon attacks during mating season. Hence the name dragon fruit (elvish for don’t get munched on by a dragon).

Better Get Your Hands on Some… Come Dragon Season

It’s really ironic considering the dragon fruit looks more like it’s from another planet rather than looking like a reptile with wings that may or may not breathe fire. Inside the red skin, there is a cream/off white colored flesh with tons of little black seeds. It’s almost as bizarre as the kiwi (the fuzzy brown skin still makes me suspicious)!

Help! My Fruit is an Alian.

In order to get to the flesh, just cut the top and bottom of the fruit off with a knife and then make a slight slit down the peel so that it just touches the flesh. Carefully peel away the skin and you should be able to remove it all in one piece. Be careful to not drop the fruit as it will be slippery. Cut into slices or bite size pieces and enjoy.

Peel Away and Eat Up

This was my first time eating dragon fruit and although it wasn’t a home run, I would definitely eat this in the future. The fruit was mildly sweet and juicy. The little black seeds gave the fruit texture much like a kiwi. A few sites I checked out indicated that the fruit is pretty low on calories, which is a plus since I pretty much consumed the entire fruit for a late night snack.

When I finally grow a pair, the durian better watch out.

Sowa Open Market

On Sunday, I went to the Sowa Open Market for the first time to check out the food trucks and farmers market. After arriving around 10:30am, I took a stroll to see what was available and created a shopping list in my head. Corn, tomatoes, peaches and plums came to mind, yet I also left with string beans, cherry tomatoes and blueberries. Typical. This wasn’t like haymarket where food goes bad in 24-48 hours. I still have them going strong in my fridge and have been enjoying them all week. I spent a total of $21 for 3 ears of corn, 3 tomatoes, 2 peaches, a pint of blueberries, plums, cherry tomatoes, and about a half pounds of string beans.

Best Produce of the Summer So Far.

Lush, Full Herbs… Ways to Inaccurately Describe My Herb Garden…

When Pigs Fly Bread.

For people not in the Boston area, food truck business has been booming and they’ve been popping up all over town as permits and license restrictions have become more lenient. However, having food trucks gathered at a single location is a huge draw and they are at Sowa every Sunday. For lunch, I got a lamb skewer from Silk Road BBQ (which is actually a food stand), but was left disappointed since it cost $8 and was essentially 5 large chunks of lamb and left me hungry. It tasted decent, but wasn’t worth the price and was regretting passing up the chance to try M&M Ribs. However, the guy was friendly and also offered me a sample of pulled pork.