An Open Letter to Dorie Greenspan and Food52 Re: Cherry Crumb Bars
Dear Ms. Greenspan,
Although I am not much of a baker, I am familiar with your work. And to say I am familiar with your work is to say I have heard your name before. It seems you can’t go to any food-related corner of the internet without hearing your name. There is no respectable food blogger who hasn’t at least heard your name. So, when I saw this recipe for a cherry crumb tart (which I have renamed to “cherry crumb bars”, for reasons that will soon become obvious) on Food52, my interest was doubly piqued when I saw your name in the author’s box. (Ed. Note: Ok, so I Googled you, turns out you have an even more impressive resume than I suspected. But it is late at night and I am angry and your impressive credentials will not deter me.)
You see, now that I live in Michigan, the un-official cherry capital of North America, cherry recipes always pique my interest. Growing up, I can’t remember ever eating a cherry, save for the maraschino version which is to a fresh cherry what Natural Light is to beer (although I suppose someone of your kitchen prowess is probably unfamiliar with “the official beer of keeping it real”, trust me, it’s not what most would consider “beer”). You see, I grew up in the kind of small Midwestern town where cherries don’t grow and mothers balked at paying $6/lb. anything, especially something as prone to spoiling as fresh cherries. Therefore, I did not experience the joy of fresh cherries until adulthood. I did, however, experience plenty of cherry-themed décor. It was the 1990s after all. Now, I am making up for lost time and cooking every cherry recipe I come across. At $1.88/lb, how could I afford not to? Read more
I am always on the hunt for a good Farmer’s Market Recipe! Mostly because I absolutely love the Farmer’s Market! Like, I am borderline obsessed. When my parents came to visit last fall, we went to two Famer’s Markets-in one day. Maybe not everyone’s idea of a good time but I was in heaven. As with anything in life that I love, I have a tendency to overdo it at the Farmer’s Market.. I tend to buy whatever looks good and then figure out what to do with it later. This has lead to over-purchasing on more than one occasion. Read more
Today I am featuring an oldie but a goodie, cheesecake popsicles without food dyes! These popsicles are packed full of great taste and fruit but completely free of artificial food dyes. Their festive colors come only from ingredients found in nature! Now, without further adieu, let’s take it back to 2015:
This week, General Mills announced that it will be removing all artificial flavors and colors from its cereals. To me, this is a big step in the right direction by a major food producer, but I am wondering what Trix is going to look like without artificial colors. Whether or not you believe artificial colors are harmful, my belief is that they are largely unnecessary. Why add artificial colors, why not eat food the color that it happens to be? Well, sometimes, like when a certain patriotic holiday is involved, you might want your food to match the occasion.
Remember Bomb Pops? What exactly were those made of? And how is “blue raspberry” a flavor? Are blue raspberries really a thing? They were definitely patriotic, but I never enjoyed the taste. In fact, I never really enjoyed popsicles of any kind. Why have frozen water/juice when I could have ice cream instead? Enter these patriotic “popsicles” without food dyes. Read more
Well, it’s official. It is summer here in Michigan. Even though I know it’s not officially summer until June 21, when I can find strawberries ripe enough to make strawberry shortcake, then it’s close enough to call it. Being in Michigan has its upsides and downsides. Downside-we are about 2-3 weeks behind in the fresh produce department. Upside-we have SO MANY options when it comes to fresh produce. Especially in the berry and cherry department. There are lots of berries, along with different types of cherries, that grow well in the not too hot Northern climates. As soon as those incredible, tiny (when compared with grocery store types), and super sweet strawberries appeared in my CSA basket, I couldn’t wait to make this classic pie crust strawberry shortcake.
Something else that is official? I think I am officially a Northerner. I have lived in Michigan for close to five years now. I own a home. I married a native Michigander. BUT, until now it hasn’t been official. Until now, I have never, not once, felt like it was TOO HOT. Northerners, or at least Michiganders, are babies when it comes to the heat. Taste Tester complains about the heat ALL THE TIME. To which I would say something along the lines of, “you don’t even know what hot is.” (sidenote:Have I become my father?). BUT, this year, whew, it’s been hot. And I have felt that, perhaps, it was indeed TOO hot. And it wasn’t really that hot when I said it was too hot. Which means, I am officially a baby about the HEAT. And it’s only June. But it has been a particularly dry and hot summer thus far. The upside of my northerner-ness is that I am now pretty tough when it comes to the cold. Just ask anyone who has been to my house in winter. So, upsides and downsides. Read more
2-3 jalapeno peppers, chopped and seeded (or leave the seeds, this is to taste)
1 red pepper, chopped
4 ears corn, removed from cob (or about 3-4 cups)
Milk, to taste (optional)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
8 corn tortillas
Toppings: cilantro, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.
In a cast iron skillet (or other large skillet), fry bacon to desired crispness.
Remove bacon from skillet and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet over medium-low heat.
Add the onion, followed by the peppers to the bacon grease and cook about 5 minutes, until soft but not brown. Reduce heat if needed.
Add the corn to the pan. Fry corn until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. If you want to make this step even faster, microwave the corn on the cob for 5 minutes. This will mostly cook the corn then it should fry much more quickly.
For a creamier-style corn, you can add a bit of milk at this time. I forgot about the milk so I did not try it this way.
Once corn is cooked, stir in black beans until heated through.
Cut bacon into small pieces and add to pan or use as a topping for the tacos.
Ahhh August. Is there anyone who doesn’t love this time of the year? I mean, sure, it’s hot, but all the best things are in season. Tomatoes. Peaches. Corn. This is the time of the year to figure out how to use these fresh ingredients in as many ways as possible. Like turning corn into corn tacos. With bacon. Do I even need to say more?
3 more weeks of summer means 3 more weeks of corn! (That’s right southerners-it’s still summer up north, no school until after Labor Day!) I have been buying it by the dozen and freezing it for winter. This weekend I got 5 ears/$1. Can you beat that? This year, the Taste Tester, who previously was not a big fan of corn, has come around to liking it. Partially because I have been grilling instead of boiling and partially because it’s so cheap! I was nervous about this recipe since he is not a big fan of corn, but he really liked it* and we ended up enjoying the leftovers** for dinner the following night. (Leftovers from meals the Taste Tester doesn’t care for end up as my lunch!)
Hello! Quick post today for those of you heading out to your local farmers’ markets this weekend.
I just love stocking up on all the fresh produce this time of the year. It is so easy to eat healthy when everything is at its peak! This time of the year, I could live on corn, zucchini, and tomatoes. It just screams summer to me. Read more
If you have been following this blog from the beginning, you may have noticed some changes around here. Foodiocentric is undergoing a bit of a re-vamp as I try to narrow the focus of the blog. As you may have noticed, it is a bit all over the place in terms of content and recipes. Going forward, this blog is going to be centered around two things: ice cream and how to incorporate more of it into our lives. While I reserve the right to post the occasional off-topic post, this blog will now feature mostly ice cream or frozen dessert recipes and healthy recipes that leave you with plenty of room for more ice cream! Read more
A few days ago, I shared my love of fresh, in season peaches. I love them so much that I bought a whole bushel! As much as I love them, it proved difficult for two people to finish a few dozen peaches before they spoiled. So, I talked to the peach farmer and found out these tips for keeping your peaches fresh and preserving them for later.
First, if you are going to buy a large quantity of peaches at once, it is a good idea to try to buy them in various stages of ripeness. Ideally you want a few that can be eaten immediately and many more that aren’t quite fully ripened. It may be your instinct to pop these right into the fridge. However, I learned that is not the best way to keep your peaches. Instead, do this:
Sort your peaches. Pick out the fully ripe ones and devour them immediately. If you have too many to eat right away, go ahead and put the ripened peaches into the fridge. Then, when you are ready to eat, set your peaches on the counter and let them come to room temperature before enjoying.
Now you should be left with the under-ripe peaches. Leave these on the counter in the kitchen and cover with a dish towel or cloth. The towel should ward off fruit flies. Don’t put these near other fruits or veggies as the proximity to decaying fruit can hasten spoilage and attract bugs.
Check on your peaches every day. As they ripen, move them to the fridge. Storing them in the fridge will keep them fresher longer.
Freezing peaches is actually quite simple. The key is a little something well-known by seasoned preservers known as Fruit Fresh. It is made by Ball (of the canning empire) and can be a little tricky to find in your grocery store. After wandering around aimlessly for a bit, I actually found a canning isle where Mason jars, lids, and other canning supplies are stored. So if you are shopping at Meijer, look for the canning isle which can be found near the kitchen supplies area. Also, your average grocery store employee is not likely to be familiar with Fruit Fresh, so try asking where the canning and preserving supplies are kept. Or, if you want to avoid the trip all together, you can find it on Amazon (of course).
After tracking down Fruit Fresh, peel, halve, and pit your peaches. Sprinkle both sides with Fruit Fresh. Pack into a freezer bag and make sure the freezer bag lays flat. Place the freezer bag on a cookie sheet to ensure it stays flat until the peaches freeze completely. Keeping it flat will prevent the peaches from freezing into one big mass. Once frozen, you can move the bags or sit them upright.
I realize this blog is relatively new, so it might be hard to get a feel for the overall “theme.” Right now the title could be “stuff that I have eaten recently.” But, if you take a look at the last few posts, a pattern definitely starts to emerge. Most recently it was Greek salad, then a low calorie dip, red beans & rice, grilled chicken, and a soup I invented specifically to jump start a healthy eating plan. What do all these recipes and posts have in common? They are all healthy and/or low in calories and there is not a single dessert in the mix.
While I absolutely, vehemently do not believe in dieting in the traditional sense of the word (I plan to do a whole post about this eventually), there are periods of time where I do restrict what I eat more severely than others. Spring is one of those times. Read more
You guys probably aren’t aware of this, because up to this point they have been unmentioned, but I, like most people, live life according to a certain set of rules or principles, if you will. Some are pre-determined by a higher power (Thou shalt not steal), or the government (speed limits, grrr) and some I impose upon myself. One of the rules that I have created for myself is that I never, EVER buy tomatoes at the grocery store. I LOVE tomatoes, like seriously, all caps, L-O-V-E! But, the so-called “tomatoes” sold out of season at the grocery store are nothing close to a vine-ripened tomato pulled from your own backyard in late July. It’s not even the same food. And a tomato that’s been kept in the fridge? Bleck! So, grocery store tomatoes=waste of money. Read more