Casting about for something to celebrate in May, I came upon a website called "Mental Floss." It cites May 13th as "Frog Jumping Day," and since I love frogs, I figured this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the little critters! The website defines "Frog Jumping Day" with this little piece:
"One of Mark Twain’s first short stories introduced the image of the “jumping frog” into the collective consciousness of America. How this ties to this specific date is unclear, but do you really need a clear reason to jump around like a frog?"
Tetiana Althoff, of Re/Max Preferred Choice in Aberdeen, holds wine and appetizer Open Houses for some of her high-end homes for sale. I am asked to create some delectable foods to sample at these open houses, and this is a little recap of some of the highlights from April.
Clockwise from top left, click on a link to find the recipes:
If you happen to have a dehydrator, and particularly if it is a large box type with shelves that can be removed, then my dehydrator jam may well be a new favorite as fresh fruits come in abundance over the summer. My dehydrator is an Excalibur with nine shelves. Making this "jam" is a snap, and it is optional how much sweetness to add to the fruit. I use some honey, and in essence, the fruit is dehydrated, without any excessive heat. Once enough liquid evaporates, it is of jam-like consistency, but retains its wonderful flavor. Find this and other recipes like it, here.
Stay Cool this Summer
Soups are generally served hot, but there are numerous places that serve cold or cool soups, particularly in the summer. Make one of these wonderfully refreshing cold soups as the temperatures start soaring. The recipes are best made in a Vita-Mix, as it leaves the soup absolutely smooth. If you prefer crunchy bits, puree part of it and chop some of the remainder of the vegetables. The soup pictured is called Cool Cucumber Soup, and also find a Vegetable Soup and Tomato Soup on the same page. These recipes are completely raw, so they are as healthy as they can get, and taste amazing, to boot. Read some recipes here.
Have you ever had Paella?
When I lived in Guatemala, many years ago, my best friend Elena and her sister Patty, made paella for my family. Oh my! They put all sorts of things into the dish: ham, pork, chicken, shrimp, fish, clams and various other things. I loved it.
Since those times, I have found I am slightly allergic to shellfish, so that part is out. And when I met my current husband (of nearly 30 years), he will not eat any fish or seafood, period. So i went on to develop a paella that uses only meats, and it is still wonderful. The basic ingredients of arborio rice, saffron and smoked paprika just make the flavor, and any vegetables and meats are just making a good thing that much better. Read more about my Paella dish here.
Black Sesame Seeds - Sesamum indicum nigrum
Black Sesame is not terribly unusual these days. It comes from the same plant as white sesame seeds, just a different variety. They make a lovely spot of color, whether sprinkled over or in cookies, muffins, cakes, or in savory applications like noodle dishes, where the color really pops. Try them in things like the Bonus Recipe (above), or in Black Sesame Matcha Cheesecakes, and Black Sesame Matcha Muffins.
Happy Frog Jumping Day 2017. I hope you will visit all my sites and try some new (or old) recipes, learn something new about an herb or spice or other subject, or maybe just daydream. However it is accomplished, I endeavor to provide articles of interest. Not everyone cooks these days, due to time constraints. I did cook meals for my family back when I had 4 youngsters and worked 2 jobs, so I know it can be done, though it requires some real attention to detail. Many of my recipes are created now that I am retired and have extra time on my hands, yet many are easy and quick.