Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grilled Grapefruit - Warm & Comforting Winter Eats

Every winter, November through March our home is filled with fresh citrus, full boxes of grapefruit & oranges each month that we purchase from our church fundraisers. We all enjoy and look forward to this tradition and winter would not be the same without it. Eating citrus with breakfast, as snacks, and so on is not only a hit with our taste buds, but is a huge immune system booster, which is a great perk!

Despite the fact that we all usually just eat the fruit "as is" and grapefruit w/o any added sugar, we do look for a few creative recipes to use the fruit in as well. Our all time favorite is the infamous Orange Cake with Chocolate Ganache that uses entire steamed oranges (skin and all) in the recipe.

Recently we discovered a new idea for our grapefruit that has been added to our "repeat recipe" archive, and it adds an extra special touch to Sabbath morning breakfasts... Grilled Grapefruit. Below are some variations on the recipe to get your creative juices flowing... this is really a yummy way to eat them that all ages can enjoy. Ruby even loves it (and she's a picky eater)! Another perk... the kitchen smells heavenly....

Grilled Ginger Grapefruit

1 whole grapefruit
1 Tbs. unrefined sugar (or sucant, or brown sugar)
1 tsp. peeled & minced fresh ginger

Cut grapefruit in half. In small dish mix together the sugar & ginger and sprinkle over the grapefruit. Place on a baking sheet & put it under an oven broiler or in a toaster oven. Broil for 6 minutes, until the sugar & ginger start to bubble & caramelize.

Cinnamon-Honey Grilled Grapefruit

Ingredients Serves two

* 1 grapefruit, either pink or orange
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


* Set oven to broil.
* Cut the grapefruit in half. Using a grapefruit knife separate the flesh from the rind. Then, cut along the segments toward the middle of the grapefruit; you're trying to make it easier to eat.
* Spread one tablespoon of honey over each half of the grapefruit. Then, sprinkle each half with about 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.
* Place grapefruit onto a shallow baking dish and put under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes.

Maple Grilled Grapefruit

Makes 4 servings

2 grapefruit cut in half
½ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. melted butter (optional)
dash cinnamon
handful golden raisins

Combine syrup, butter, and cinnamon, and spread over the cut half of each grapefruit (You may want to cut each section free before broiling). Sprinkle raisins on top. Place on broiler pan about 4" below flame and broil 2-4 minutes. Serve hot.

Baked then Broiled Grapefruit (from Susan Powter)

One Serving (double, triple the recipe depending on the amount of people)

1 large juicy fresh grapefruit
1 tsp soy butter (optional)
Organic Maple Syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cut grapefruit in half. Using a sharp knife cut the sections and loosen fruit from shell. Dot each half with a tiny bit of soy butter. Drizzle maple syrup over the top of each and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon over that.

Place in a baking pan and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, then broil until top is bubbly. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Ginger Grilled Sliced Grapefruit

4 servings

2 large Ruby Red grapefruit
2 teaspoons light sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
4 tablespoons orange blossom honey
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Remove the skin and pith from the grapefruits and cut the flesh into 1-inch-thick wheels. Remove the seeds and arrange the slices on a broiler tray. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, ginger, salt, pepper and brown sugar. Brush the grapefruit with the seasoned oil.

Preheat the broiler or grill until very hot. Grill the grapefruit slices on one side for approximately 2 minutes, until the sugar begins to caramelize. Remove from the heat.

To serve, arrange the fruit on a warm platter. Drizzle with the honey and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

Laundry... the Battle Continues

Remember "My Daily Battle" post ? If not check it out to refresh your memory on my war with laundry, then read on.

Well thanks to a problem with water backing up in our basement repeatedly over the past few months (now finally fixed) I have been forced to stay on top of the laundry (no, not sitting on top of the pile for you wise guys reading this)...

Yet, now that there is so little to deal with I notice that some things "just don't belong here", as the old Sesame Street song goes. My sleuthing led me to discover why I likely had such excess to begin with! It's summed up in this lovely little cartoon...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pumpkin Pop-sicles - Cooking Class with the Kids

This recipe is so easy anybody can make it!

Today we are enjoying one of the cooking class projects done by the kids and we all highly recommend the recipe to our friends of ALL ages!

Pumpkin Pie-sicles anyone? They are not only an incredibly healthy dessert/snack but they are delicious too! YUMMY.

We followed the recipe from Family Fun Magazine, except we substituted coconut milk for the cream. Also, be sure to get the mixture nice and creamy in your blender, food processor, or vitamix machine before putting in your molds or dixie cups.

Mike came home from work for lunch so he could sample one and gave it 2 thumbs up!

This recipe is a winner folks - try it for yourself! What a great way to sneak those orange veggies in on the kids :-)

PS Oh, we had some leftover after we filled the molds last night, so we warmed it and had it with supper - it was awesome!

Pumpkin Pie-sicles

These butternut squash ice pops taste just like the classic Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

2 1/2 lbs. butternut squash
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2/3 cup light cream (we used coconut milk)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Step 1
To make a batch, cut a butternut squash into quarters and scoop out the seeds.

Step 2
Boil, bake, or microwave the squash until it's soft. Let the squash cool a bit before scooping its flesh into a medium-size bowl.

Step 3
Add pure maple syrup, light cream, and pumpkin pie spice to the bowl. Use a potato masher to mush the squash and blend all of the ingredients.

Step 4
Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds (we were able to fill 10), add sticks, and freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Tracking New Year's Goals with Smiley Joe

Okay... you may be asking WHAT is with the big ol' smiley face today (interestingly following the big ol' Grinch post)?

Well... I'm just happy today I guess. Now you of course ask, "why?". Well, I'm feelin' good today because I had taken some time in the last few month of 2008 to contemplate my life over the past year and decide on some changes I want to make in 2009. So, some simple, but important goals were set for myself to attain during 2009... some may term this process as making New Year's Resolutions.. call it what you wish.

In a nutshell, my 2009 mission statement could read, "To take the time needed for myself to strengthen me spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically in 2009". Self is a thing that I have neglected in recent years, my cup is empty when it should be runneth over - therefore... this year I'll be requiring a refill.

My smiley little friend is my new icon that will be my reminder and my tracking device via a fabulous free online goal tracker program I found at Joe's I highly recommend this helpful tool for anyone of any age to track daily goals/habits (good or bad), and it also includes an optional log to add any details you want to remember. I may just get my kids using this to track their goals as well.... it's super easy, quick to do and fun. You'll even get an email from "Joe" after a few days if you have not recorded your progress - a helpful reminder to keep you on track and be accountable to.

Anyway... so far so good here with goal keeping, but I have a long year ahead to keep myself on task - I'm relying on my "Smiley Joe" to keep me in check!

**You can see my progress too by simply checking the chart on the right margin of my blog. If you see me having difficulty, please feel free to send a note of encouragement - I probably need it!

Monday, January 05, 2009

December Disaster

A few weeks into the month of December, something completely unexpected, unplanned, and unwanted occurred in my life... it was basically a haze of last minute activities and events that left me in a state somewhere between Eboneezer Scrooge and the Grinch. My friend who has always deemed me a "Christmas elf" was in shocked confusion all month, as was my husband, family and admittedly myself. Although many of the activities were "fun" for the kids, they really were not for me since I somehow ended up being at the forefront of planning and organizing most of them, I'm still not sure how I got this job over & over again - various parties for the kids in groups they belong to and so on. But the one that took the cake, or that you might say was the straw that broke the elf's back was the last minute request to put together a children's Christmas program for church - one that would take up the entire church service (by last minute I mean a week and a half before the date it was to be performed). Did I say "yes" to this insane request... YES!!! what was I thinking??? - but never again. All in all everything went well with the program and all the other events, but I had nothing left to give at home... the Christmas elf was no more this year... resulting in few decorations, even fewer gifts, next to nothing of our usual family holiday traditions... sad I know. The kids did fine though, but thought mom was a bit "off" this year. Christopher's wise words to me were to" just say 'no' more mom..." I added that to my resolution list for 2009.

Christmas eve & day were very nice though - surprisingly quiet. ALL the company we expected cancelled. We were alone and it was lovely. Christmas eve we attended a lovely service at our church that brought me back to where I had wanted to be all month - focused on Christ with peace in my heart. Late that night we even watched my favorite holiday film It's A Wonderful Life - something we had not been able to do on Christmas eve for a number of years and I had missed it. We ended up having a very relaxing Christmas Day and holiday vacation due to repeat weather situations causing cancellations, poor travel and so on.

New Years was a blast though... we travelled to Fargo to see a few families who are dear to us and bring in the New Year in style with lots of yummy food, fun music and great conversation. It was a pretty happening party made up of: 6 adults, 2 teens, 1 preteen, 4 kids, & 2 dogs.... Ya, if you do the math, the big people were really outnumbered!

Now we are in January and life resumed it's normal state today with homeschool, activities and schedules... but at least we had some down time to end the year :-)
I have made some very firm decisions about how we spend our time next December and plan to stick by them no matter what, after all I have 11 months to practice saying "NO!". I should have it down by then huh?

Next year, I'm confident I'll be back to my normal self in December.... ???? Let's hope anyway :-)