No Stress Sangrias

Instant sangria! Two ingredients plus citrus slices

(Becky, the Butter Lovin’ Mama)

For the past two weeks I’ve been keeping my 5 year old grandson. This has been humbling for a person with ADD who spends a crazy amount of time finding and losing her own purse/keys/phone/sunglasses.  Add to this routine, keeping up with a five year old’s needs: shoes, sunscreen, snacks, water bottles, favorite toys and books.  At one point, sleep deprived and on my 7th trip from car to house to retrieve a lost item, I tearfully told my husband, “A person who cannot keep up with her keys should not be trusted to care for a small child!”  But I somehow got my Temporary Mom Groove on, with a few routines and the help of my husband and family.

Last week my son Gabe invited me and my grandson over for lunch.  It was so nice not to have to cook or eat out of a box or bucket.  In addition to a yummy salad, roast potatoes and steak, Gabe served the most refreshing Sangrias to the adults.  They were perfectly balanced, not too sweet.

“How did you make this?” I asked. He told me that at the restaurant where he and his girlfriend wait tables, there is a man who always orders the same drink:  Merlot and Sprite over ice, with a lime.   An “instant sangria,” of sorts.  The wait staff finally tried it themselves, and loved it.

Gabe gave me the recipe along with some steak and roast potatoes to take home and share with Greg.  Greg found the steak and potatoes under my car seat today, six days old and beyond redemption.  Thankfully I had the ingredients on hand to make him a sangria to help soothe the loss.

No Stress Sangria

No Stress Sangria

Ingredients

1 part chilled lemon-lime or grapefruit soda

1 part chilled Merlot or Cabernet

Slices of citrus

Ice

Directions

In a glass or pitcher, mix equal parts soda and red wine.  Mix with ice and any  slices of citrus you like. That’s it!  Now find a nice place to sit and sip it, preferably to celebrate the kids having gone to bed! (Or off to college.)

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The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: No Stress Sangrias
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-qr


Worms & Apples with Mud Sauce (Fun Healthy Snack for Kids)

Grandson Georgie chowing down on Worms & Apples with Mud Sauce

(Becky, the Butter Lovin’ Mama)

Twenty-something years ago now, my youngest son Gabe was around three and a half years old.  One hot day I walked into the kitchen and downed a perfectly delicious glass of iced tea. Then I saw something wiggling among the ice cubes and almost gagged.  Gabe was watching me, smiling sweetly. “I gave you a present!” he said, grinning proudly.  “Aren’t they cute?”

My eyes still wide with surprise, Gabe walked to my side and pointed at his wiggly friends.  “See how much they love each other?” he asked.  “They are all just hugging and hugging!”

My son Gabe as little tyke. He LOVED any critters (worms, turtles, lizards) more than toys.

This story was told and retold in our family, until it eventually evolved into the title of a  book of humor for moms called Worms in My Tea, and a spin-off children’s book called The Worm Surprise.  I would eventually write  a series of four books in the “Gabe & Critters” series.

Today that worm-loving boy is a handsome young man with a college degree, a good job, a home,  and lovely girlfriend of six years.  (And he still loves nature and all God’s critters.)

Gabe, all grown up, with the love of his life, Aleks

However, Gabe no longer digs up worms in the backyard (though he has a very nice vegetable garden), nor does he drop them into the glasses belonging to unsuspecting relatives.

What I love, though, is that he has a whole room dedicated to boy toys: a foosball table,  a place for playing video games,  his home computer, and various other game tables.  My son has never lost his child-heart for play!  A vintage pinball machine sits in one corner, and to my delight, on display above it were two of the books I wrote based Gabe in the “Gabe and Critter” Series so many years ago.

I took my grandson George over to play at his Uncle Gabe’s house yesterday.

Georgie getting his game face on to play a video game with his Uncle Gabe

Possibly inspired by the Gabe & Critters books, when Georgie asked me for a snack later that afternoon, I had worms on the brain.

“Would you like Nonny to make you some worms and apples?” I asked.

George giggled and said, “You are teasing me, Nonny.”

“No really,” I said. “You will love them.  Pull up a bar stool to the kitchen counter and we’ll make them together.”

Georgie reaching for Worms & Apples with Mud Sauce

Worms & Apples (With Mud Sauce)

I took string cheese and tore it into four strips, microwaving them for about 20 seconds just until they were wiggly, wormy, and melty.

Georgie testing the melty string cheese “worms” to see if they are squishy enough for wrapping around fruit yet. They are!

Then once they cooled to the touch, we wrapped the “cheese worms” around apple slices.

Wrapping cheese “worms” around apples

Just for fun, we squiggled some caramel sauce “mud” (caramel ice cream sauce) over the top.  (You could also let the kids dip them in small bowls of caramel.)

Obviously, this creation was a great success.  Georgie woke up asking for Apples and Worms for breakfast.

With kids home for the summer, begging for snacks, this is a treat you can feel good about giving them and it only takes a minute to make!  (Feel free to omit the caramel for a healthier version.)

Variations: For vegans try using strips of vegan-cheese.  Wrap cheese around peaches, strawberries, plums, or slices of cantaloupe! Use other kinds of cheese,  cutting in strips and melting until just pliable.  I must admit, that even as a grown up, I love these snacks for quick pick-me-up in the middle of the day.

Simple ingredients for Worms & Apples with Mud Sauce

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Worms & Apples with Mud Sauce
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-pZ
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Fresh Raspberry Rhubarb Sauce (over Rainbow of Sorbets)

Becky’s Fresh Raspberry Rhubarb Sauce Over a Rainbow of Sorbets

(Becky, the Butter-Lovin’ Mama)

Greg and I have so enjoyed having our five-year-old grandson Georgie visit us for two weeks.  He is all any grandparent could wish a grandson to be: kind, funny, empathetic, polite, snuggly, curious, and of course, full of puppy dog energy.  (Or, as Georgie calls it, “en-gerny.”)

Our grandson Georgie came for a two week visit! He is all smiles, giggles and noise on two legs. Just a boy should be.

The first week we had lots of fun of course, but I was a walking zombie from the combination of “Becky Brain” and “Temporary Mom Brain.”  I had forgotten what it was like to live a life of constant interruptions.  Having a preschooler in the house is like having someone turn on a blender in your head about every ten seconds.  You immediately lose the luxury of having two consecutive thoughts anymore.  Life in a mother’s head is just a series of random bits and pieces of Thoughts Begun, Interrupted and Lost Forever.

Needless to say, while I was getting in my Nonny Groove, trying to acclimate my thinking and sleeping schedule to that of a little boy’s,  my Cooking Groove took a backseat for most of the two weeks.  I am too embarrassed to confess how many Happy Meals we had this week, thanks to the lure of the playground and the cheap but highly coveted toy-in-a-box.

However,  when we had company over, I did find a few minutes to create this lucious tart-sweet summer dessert sauce made from raspberries and rhubarb.   It is a cinch make, even for Scrambled Mom-Brains,  and looked beautiful served over a variety of sorbets.  I just put the sorbets on a tray with scoops, let company serve themselves, and then passed the ruby red fruit sauce to allow for individual dolloping.   Easy, refreshing, pretty and divinely delicious.

Fresh Raspberry Rhubarb Sauce Over a Rainbow of Sorbets

Makes 1 1/2 cups sauce

Ingredients:

6 oz. raspberries (fresh or frozen)

6 oz. rhubarb (fresh or frozen)

1/2 c. water

1/2 c. organic sugar (you may want to add more or less sugar, according to your taste)

Dash sea salt

Variety of Sorbets

Variety of Sorbets: I chose pints of pomegranate, mango and lemon

Directions

Put raspberries and rhubarb in medium sauce pan with water, sugar and sea salt.  Heat until it bubbles and simmer for one full minute.

Simmer fruit with sugar, water and dash salt for one full minute

Carefully pour cooked fruit and juice into a blender or food processor.  (You will want to let it cool down a bit before blending.)  Blend until smooth.

Strain into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer.   I used a large tea strainer and did this in small batches.  Occasionally scrape the strainer with a spatula to help facilitate draining,  and also tap it on the side of the bowl to keep the juice pouring out of the strainer.

Straining juice, occasionally scrape bottom of strainer with spatula, and tap it on the side of the bowl to help juices escape more quickly.

This will catch most of the raspberry seeds and create a silky smooth sauce.

Serve warm, room temp or cold over sorbet, ice cream, angel food or pound cake, or fresh fruit.

Fresh raspberry Rhubarb Sauce Over Rainbow of Sorbets

Variations:

You can skip the rhubarb and just double the  raspberries for a pure raspberry sauce.   You can replace the raspberries with strawberries.  Try other fruit and berry combinations.  If the fruit is seedless, you may not even have to strain it.

I like to double this recipe so there are plenty of leftovers. Freezes well and makes a great gift-in-a-jar.

This was printed from:

We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook

The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com

The Title: Rasberry Rhubarb Sauce

The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-pr

© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Creamy Vegan Fruit Salad Dressing

Creamy Vegan Fruit Salad Dressing

(Becky — The Butter Lovin’ Mama)

When my five year old grandson Georgie was about three and a half, my husband Greg (“Poppy” ) took him fishing with my son, Georgie’s Uncle Zeke.  The thing about Zeke is this:  he is the most optimistic person in the universe.  So he over-estimates the fun and “ease” of everything, while disregarding things like obstacles, mileage, gale force winds, the limits of the human body, gravity, and reality.

Zeke with his youngest son Titus, trying to “fish”

Zeke told Greg that there was a great fishing hole “just a little walk down the road” where they could let Georgie and Zeke’s two little boys (Nate and Titus)  wet a line. Knowing Zeke as he does, Greg should not have been surprised when Zeke’s definition of a “little walk” would turn out to be at least a mile long hike (each way). This,with three preschool boys in tow, not to mention poles and tackle boxes.

Georgie and his Poppy “fishing” — which means mostly throwing in the line and “untangling”

George and his cousin Nate (Zeke’s eldest) fishin’ on a mountain lake

In the end Greg carried Georgie the mile back home on his shoulders, and both of them arrived after their “evening of fishing with Uncle Zeke and cousins,” at our house, exhausted and famished.  Little Georgie disappeared into the kitchen pantry, then came out dragging an enormous warehouse-purchased bag of tortilla chips that was at least as tall as he was.  Tugging the bag over to his Poppy with his last ounce of strength, Georgie sighed and declared: “I want ALL of dem.”

I know how Georgie feels.

Last night for some reason, I was especially craving fruit salad.  On a lark, I whirled some dried cantaloupe I bought a local health food grocery store, with about a cup of creamy coconut milk in my Vitamix blender.  The result was more than I bargained for: it was perhaps the best fruit salad dressing I’ve ever tasted.  I poured this gorgeous pastel orange cream over a small bowl of berries and kiwi, and it was so good, I ate it all, and had another bowl. Then another.  Yes, I ate “ALL dem” berries and kiwi because the creamy dressing was just that scrumptious.

I bequeath this easy delicious two ingredient recipe to you.  If you are like me, this will be your new favorite topping for everyday and holiday fruit salads.  Though I am also an optimist at heart (Zeke’s outlook doesn’t fall very far from his Mom’s personality tree), I promise you I’m not exaggerating.   And if you want to get your kids to eat their fruit, this is a great way to get them  to eat “ALL of dem.”

Creamy Vegan Fruit Salad Dressing

Becky’s Creamy Vegan Fruit Salad Dressing

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk (not “lite”)

1/3 cup chopped dried fruit (cantaloupe, apricots, papayas, or mangoes recommended)

Dried cantaloupe  You can also use dried apricots, papayas, or mangoes in this recipe for similar results.

*If the fruit is particularly hard, or your blender not particularly powerful, try soaking the fruit in hot water for about 5 to 10 minutes, then draining water off before blending

Pinch salt

The two main ingredients for Creamy Vegan Fruit Salad Dressing

Directions:

Into powerful blender or food processor, put coconut milk and chopped dried fruit.  (If you can find the dried cantaloupe, I loved it in this recipe.  I found mine at Sunflower Market.) Start it on low and then move to most powerful setting and blend until the fruit is completely emulsified and the “dried fruit cream”  has no grainy pieces in it.  Add pinch salt (about 1/4 t. or less) and blend again.  It tends to thicken up in the fridge as the coconut milk gets cold.  I like it fresh from the blender and also from the fridge.  Delicious both ways.

Creamy Vegan Fruit Salad Dressing (Made from coconut milk and dried fruit)

Arrange fruit on pretty plates and drizzle on dressing.   A beautiful side dish, snack or summertime dessert. Coconut oil and milk has some impressive health benefits. Click here for peer reviewed research.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Creamy Vegan Fruit Salad Dressing
The URL:  http://wp.me/p1UwM9-mz
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


White Tea Fruit Slushies: My New Summer “Coffee”

Becky’s White Tea Fruit Slushy

Nobody loves the first sip of morning coffee like I do! In fact, I used to use this moment as an inspirational speech illustration on how to capture “Eden moments” in our lives.

Obviously we aren’t living in Eden anymore, but that does not mean we don’t get glimpses of Eden.   “The way we catch ‘Eden moments’,” I would say, “is the same way we acknowledge that first sip of good coffee in the morning.  Many of us audibly say, ‘Ahh, that’s good.’  The same way God paused and said, ‘It is good’ after every phase of creation. We live more meaningful lives by noticing small blessings and pausing, even a second, to say, ‘Ah, that’s good.’ String enough of these small moments of gratitude together and you will find yourself happier.”

I still believe this is true.  But this week,  I had my favorite illustration taken from me!  Due to a spike in blood pressure, I’m cutting out foods that may raise BP, and adding in foods that may lower it. One of the toughest things to give up was that sacred, holy, blessed… Cup o’ Morning Joe.

Since I, like most people, am more motivated by pleasure than I want to admit, I had to find a substitute morning beverage that would be worth getting out of bed for.   I’ve experimented with several alternatives. There was a canned non-caffeinated health/energy drink.  It tastes like chilled, diluted cough syrup.  No go.

I tried various mugs of green and white teas, hot, with honey. They were nice, but hardly exciting enough to compel me to crawl from under the sheets.

Not a fan of de-caf coffee.

Then it hit me.  Our cute local tea shop offers “tea slushies” during the summer months.  I love them but they are a bit too sweet, full of sugar.  I also need to add more berries and fruit in my diet, so I wondered about making a white tea berry slushy.  A little of this, and a pinch of that went into the blender and in no time, out came The Winner.  (Insert angel voices singing here.)   Meet my new morning beverage of choice.  So perfect for back porch sitting and sipping, that I often enjoy an afternoon tea slushy, too.

You’ll find me under the shade tree with my new icey-brew tomorrow, savoring a first sip and saying,   “Ahh.. that is good.”

P.S. I like both green and white teas, but have found white tea has a milder flavor and even more nutritional benefits.  White tea has been shown to fight cancer, help with weight loss, improve and protect the skin and the heart in a myriad of ways among many other benefits.  I often mix it with decaf black tea and sip on this all day.  Here’s an informative link: White Tea Information.

Becky's White Tea Fruit Slushy

Becky’s White Tea Fruit Slushy

Serves 2 large glasses, or 4 “wine” glasses

Ingredients

2 cups brewed white or green  tea, cooled  (made from 2 to 4 tea bags, depending on how strong you like it)

10 ounces (or a little over 1 cup) frozen berries, any kind

1/4 cup agave nectar or a tad of stevia or other sweetener of your choice

1/2 cup ice

Optional: citrus slices for garnish/flavor

Directions

Put all ingredients into a blender and whirl until slushy.  Serve immediately, garnishing with a slice of lime, lemon or orange if desired.

Variations: Try other teas. (A visit to a nice tea shop is like a visit to a cool wine bar these days!) Substitute other frozen fruits such as peaches, cherries, mangos or kiwis.   Even veggies like celery and cucumber would be refreshing.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: White Tea Fruit Slushies
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Kiwi-Strawberry Key Lime “Flower” Tarts (Vegan)

Becky’s Kiwi-Strawberry Key Lime “Flower” Tarts

Those of you who know me, or have been reading this blog, have probably discovered that although Rachel and I share a love of cooking and laughter, she’s definitely “Felix” and I am “Oscar” in this Mother-Daughter Odd Couple.

When she and her husband Jared were visiting us this year,Jared was hungry and so I told him,”Jared, just scrounge in the fridge! You never know what you’ll find in there.” To which Rachel instantly deadpanned,”Or what might jump out at you.” It wasn’t long before she offered to give me a hand cleaning out my fridge. At one point she held up a lime that was, okay, a little brownish-black, but I figured the juice might be salvageable.

“What’s this?” she asked, dubiously eying the shriveled citrus.

“It’s a lime,” I offered, hopefully.

She shook her head.  “Not a lime.”

“Not a lime?” I echoed.

“Not a lime.  Mom, face it. This thing died weeks ago, you just couldn’t bring yourself to bury it.  Grieve the lime and Let. It. Go.”

I sighed and let her toss it in the trashcan.

This week I sent Rachel the following picture of a lime that I found in the recesses of my kitchen.

“Not a lime.” Sigh.

To which she offered this advice. “Mom, when limes start looking like kiwis, they are no longer limes. Toss it out.”

But (and this is the way my ADD mind works), when she said “kiwi” and “lime” together in the same sentence, I started thinking how great those two flavors would taste together.  That rabbit trail led to others and finally to the creation of the following yummy, easy, tart, fresh and pretty dessert featuring kiwis and limes.

But do not worry: No dying limes were harmed in this recipe. In fact, it features a store-made lime product from Kroger’s. This “Preferred Selection” brand of jarred key lime pie filling is truly scrumptious:  tart and just-right-sweet, loaded with real key lime juice.  It also happens to be vegan.  You can make the shortbread cookie crumbs from scratch (see recipe) or if you are in a hurry, just put a few of your favorite store-purchased shortbread cookies in the food processor to make fine crumbs.

I served this to six women on my back porch today.  So pretty and refreshing–the kiwis look like the center of a flower, the strawberries make perfect “petals.”   And the women just nearly licked their sherbet bowls clean!

Kiwi-Strawberry Key Lime “Flower” Tarts

Kiwi-Strawberry Key Lime “Flower” Tarts

Ingredients

Shortbread Cookie Crumbs (See recipe below or purchase your favorite cookies and whirl in the blender to make 1 1/2 cups fine cookie crumbs. Add 1/4 c. melted butter and whirl again.)

Kroger’s Key Lime Pie Filling (or your favorite brand)

My favorite Key Lime Pie Filling in a Jar. Loaded with key lime juice! (Kroger’s brand, located near pie fillings on baking aisle.)

8 strawberries, sliced into “petals”

2 kiwis, peeled and sliced into rounds for centers of the flowers

To Assemble:

Put 3 T. of cookie crumbs in each of six small dessert bowls  (I used my old-fashioned sherbet bowls.) Using the back of a spoon press the crumbs around the bottom and sides to create a miniature tart shell.

Pressing crumbs into small dessert bowls with back of spoon

Spoon 2 to 3 Tablespoons of key lime pie filling over each shell, smoothing the top gently.

Arrange kiwi and strawberry slices into “flowers” as shown in the pictures.

I filled the bowls with the cookie crumbs (pressed against the sides) ahead of time, and then at the  very last minute — filled them with the filling and topped them with the fruit. (A volunteer to help you assemble is nice, and a fun way to chat in the kitchen while doing something creative together.)

Shortbread Cookie Crumbs (Vegan)

Heat oven to 350 degrees

1 c. flour (can be mixture of whole wheat and white)

1/2 cup Earth Balance Butter (you can use regular butter if you aren’t vegan and prefer it)

1/4 cup powdered sugar (or brown sugar for a darker more caramelized crust)

1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions:

Pulse the first 3 ingredients in the food processor (or use your hands to blend). Add nuts.  Pat or roll the dough onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Dough can be any shape or form, just make the giant free from “cookie” about 1/3 inch thick. Bake  10 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.  Let cool completely.   Break up the shortbread and pop it back in the food processor to make fine crumbs.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Kiwi-Strawberry Key Lime “Flower” Tarts (Vegan)
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-iN


Quicky Sticky Jasmine Rice & Mango

Becky's Quicky Sticky Jasmine Rice & Mango

Yesterday was my birthday, which means I’m only two years away from being able to answer the question, “Do you qualify for the senior discount?” in the affirmative.

The first time I say, “Yes, I’m officially old” to the kid behind the counter, you can be sure there will be salty tears stirred into my 20% Off Cup o’ Joe. (I know, the fact that I refer to coffee as “Joe” already dates me somewhere pre-WW2. But I thought I’d start practicing speaking Old People Talk. I want to get a leg up on fitting in with the AARP’s version of high school seniors as we gather in packs at the mall — before it opens, wearing sensible shoes and fanny packs, to walk around it ten times.)

But before I hit the ol’ double nickel birthday, I’d like to give anti-aging my very best shot. I am friends with and have worked with brain doc and Public Television guru, Dr. Daniel Amen. His latest book, Use Your Brain to Change Your Age, is packed full of research, stories and tips to stay young. If I were forced to sum up the entire book in two points, it would be:

1) Eat nutrition-packed, brain-healthy food. (Colorful fruits and veggies are our best friends in the anti-aging/anti-disease corner.)

2) Exercise. (Walking 30 minutes a day five times a week wards off dementia like a miracle drug.)

In August, I started a regular exercise routine, and though I am no where near svelte, I like the endorphin rush from moving in the morning, know I’m getting blood flow to my brain, and feel my endurance improving. Thanks to my Darling Daughter the Vegan, I’m discovering all sorts of yummy, creative ways to put more antioxidant-rich plant-based foods into my day. Yesterday, I decided to start my new birthday year off by becoming an EOD Vegan: Every Other Day Vegan. Periodically, I’ll report in and let you know if I’m aging backwards or losing any of my ample backside.

Thai food is one of my favorite vegan-friendly sources and last week I enjoyed a lunch of two amazing hot-spicy curries with my friend Lucille. When the waitress asked if we’d like to try Sticky Rice and Mango, since the mangoes are in season and “oh so sweet!” – we were game. And boy, am I glad we were. Fresh sliced mango with a side of almost translucent slightly sweet “sticky rice,” with a warm creamy coconut sauce over all, was delicious.

Making Thai sticky rice involves more time and contraptions than I’m willing to give or buy, but we adore Jasmine rice that I make in my $13.00 rice maker purchased at Wal-mart.

My cheap little beloved rice maker

(Commercial here: rice makers are awesome! You just pour in the rice and water, flip a switch and no burned rice, just perfect little fluffy grains, and all in about 15 minutes.) So I invented the following “Quicky Sticky Jasmine Rice & Mango” recipe – which I liked just as well as the original Thai dish. It makes a light, sweet ending to a Spring or Summertime meal.

Quicky Sticky Jasmine Rice & Mango

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked Jasmine rice (Jasmine rice imparts an amazing aroma and taste.)
1 ¼ cup water
1 can coconut milk, full fat (will be divided)
2 T. organic sugar
4 small mangos
Optional: 2 T. shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, divided.
¾ t. salt, divided
About 8 mint leaves for garnish

Directions:

Into rice cooker (or pan, if you are cooking the rice on the stove top), put jasmine rice, ½ t. salt, water and ½ cup coconut milk and 1 T. coconut if you like. (Use mostly the liquid portion of the coconut milk to go into the rice, saving the majority of rich cream that rises to the top of the can, for the sauce.)

Into a small sauce pan, pour the rest of the coconut milk/cream from the can. Add 2 T. sugar, and if desired, 1 T. of shredded coconut, and ¼ t. salt. Stir and heat until creamy hot and sugar is dissolved. Set aside to let warm slightly.

Peel and slice mangoes, arranging them on pretty plates. You can cut them any way you like, but as you see in the picture, I cut them near to the seed, in two halves, then sliced the halves but keeping the shape intact. The dish in this pictures is enough to serve two, so I used one small mango for two people.

When the rice is done, ladle about ½ cup of the sweetened warm coconut milk over it, and stir. This will help make it “sticky.”

Pack the rice, about 1/3 cup or so, into a small cup (I used a Japanese tea cup that I first sprayed with vegetable oil), carefully turning upside down onto the plate next to the sliced mango.

Rice packed into small cup, ready to turn upside down on plate

Ladle some of the coconut milk over the rice and drizzle on mango as well. Serve any leftover coconut sauce on the table to let the guests serve themselves more if they like. Garnish with sprigs of mint.

Variations: Try with other tropical fruit like pineapple or banana. Berries would also be yummy.  Makes a delicious light breakfast as well. Try with brown Jasmine rice.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Quicky Sticky Jasmine Rice & Mango
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/04/18/quicky-sticky-jasmine-rice-mango

Strawberries Romanoff

When my daughter Rachel was about three or four,  I jotted down some of the adorable phrases and words that I loved to hear her say.  “Tears” were called “cwy dwips” (cry drips), and a “suitcase” was a “cuse box.”  Her  word for “strawberries” was “STA-biddies” which I still remember her saying, her whispy blond hair blowing around her as she bit into the ripe fruit, grinning while sweet red juices rolled down her chin.

Well, “sta-biddies” are in abundance now, and on sale today!

When I saw them overflowing the grocery display, my mind drifted to  Strawberries Romanoff, a delectable concoction of strawberries served under a creamy fluff of brown-sugar cream, spiked with brandy, rum or bourbon.   I first tasted this summer dream treat at La Madeleines, a wonderful French cafe, popular in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.  Whenever I visit Rachel in Texas,  we do our best to go to lunch at La Madeleines and I always order Strawberries Romanoff for dessert.

Last summer,  when my mom was visiting Denver,  I tweaked and combined a few recipes I found online and produced this version of Romanoff cream  which we like even better than the dish from La Madeleines!  Mom and I sat around the kitchen counter and licked the bowl completely clean!

It only takes about five minutes to make the sauce, making this an easy, refreshing and beautiful dessert for these long Spring and Summer evenings.  It looks oh so elegant, too.

Becky’s Strawberries Romanoff

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 c. whipping cream

6 T.  powdered sugar

1 c. Greek Yogurt, plain (may also use sour cream)

6 T. brown  sugar (Plus a T. more for garnish)

2 T. bourbon (or scotch, rum, brandy or your favorite liquor; or 1 T. vanilla or rum extract if you prefer non-alcoholic)

2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and rinsed (You may keep them whole, or slice them, your preference. If they are tart, you may want to sprinkle a bit of sugar on them as well to sweeten them up some.)

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, whip cream into soft peaks, slowly adding powdered sugar to the whipped mixture.

In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together Greek Yogurt, 1/3 c. brown sugar and bourbon.

Add yogurt mixture to whipped cream and fold in until well combined.

To serve, spoon strawberries into martini glasses, about 2/3 full, place generous dollop (about 1/3 c.)  of Romanoff sauce over top of each.   Sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar over the sauce for garnish.  

Variations:   You can also layer the strawberries and sauce in parfait like fashion.   Big wine glasses, or pretty bowls can also work in place of martini glasses.  The powdered sugar helps  the cream hold its shape so that it will keep for a couple of days in a sealed container.  One of the reasons I always used powdered sugar instead of granulated when I make whipped cream.

Veganize This: Try coconut milk “whipped cream” and any of the many varieties of plain non-dairy yogurt.

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The Title: Stawberries Romanoff
The URL:https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/23/strawberries-romanoff/
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