Tag Archives: dessert

Strawberry ginger sauce

I feel bad for ginger.

No not this one,

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she’s got quite the life.

This one.

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It’s kinda ugly with it nubs and wrinkled skin and people tend to ignore it because they don’t know what to do with it or think it’s too strong.

I’m not afraid to use ginger and I actually like it a lot but, I have to have a reason for buying it. It’s not something that I just happen to have on hand at all times. So, when I walked past it in the store yesterday and looked down into my hand basket to see the 2 lbs. of strawberries I was purchasing, it was an instant light bulb moment. I think I may have even let out a little “oh!” as in “oh!, I can use it in a sauce”.

Best idea ever.

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Fresh, in season, sweet strawberries + spicy ginger is a match made in sauce heaven.

Oh, and this doesn’t hurt either.

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I have a liquor cabinet full of obscure liquors that I needed 1 oz. for at one point in time for some recipe, usually a holiday cookie or cake, and then never use again. Anytime I can use these orange liqueurs & apricot brandies I get super excited, maybe by the time I’m 50 they’ll be gone.

I added orange juice, the orange liquor and the chopped up strawberries to a sauce pan and let them come to a boil.

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Then I added some brown sugar, a cinnamon stick and minced ginger and let it boil away for about 30 minutes until it reduced and thickened. I stirred it frequently to kind of break down the strawberries even further.

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The end product was somewhere between a sauce & jam consistency. Barely sweet, slightly spicy. And, totally delicious.

Want to know what torture looks like?

A near empty container of vanilla ice cream when you thought it was at least half full.

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I was nice, we shared. But for the record, I didn’t want to.

Over ice cream, it’s like a sundae topping gone gourmet.

Do it.

And if you need a back-up plan, there’s always lemon rosemary olive oil cookies for dunking.

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I dare you to try and have just one.

I haven’t decided on breakfast yet but, I can assure you whatever it is, it will be topped with this.

 

Strawberry Ginger Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 lb. strawberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • splash of orange liquor (optional)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 inch nub of ginger, minced

Directions:

Combine chopped strawberries, orange juice and liquor in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add remaining ingredients and boil on medium for about 30 minutes or until sauce thickens and reduces. Serve warm and then keep refrigerated.

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Filed under Recipes

Things that made me happy this weekend

Lazy mornings that allow for breakfasts like this. Homemade blackberry waffles with yogurt and fruit on top.

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Hot summer spring days that make a root beer float an acceptable treat. Smile

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3 consecutive days of running. More to come on the book behind the Garmin tomorrow.

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A dog that always makes me laugh. Her water bowl was about 20 feet away. I guess the fountain was more intriguing.

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A man and his lawn mower. Seriously how can this not make you laugh? Headphones that look like he should be on the tarmac doing ground control at JFK, rain boots in case the floods come, and a big goofy grin. Besides golf and his dogs, tending to the lawn may be his favorite pastime.

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Icy cold drink on a hot day.

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First cherries of the season.

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Grilled corn on the cob.

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This guy preparing said corn.

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Grilled eats. Side note: these chicken sausages from Sam’s Club are amazing!

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Bright flowers. Sometimes I feel like an old lady by how happy I can be just sitting on the deck looking at potted flowers.

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A good book. Picked this up after one of Jenna’s book reviews and am loving it so far.

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Back to the grind…

What’s something that made you happy this weekend?

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Filed under Around the house, Family, Meals

Ireland Day 4 & 5: Cork and Kinsale

We spent all of Monday getting the local’s tour of Cork by Liam, an uncle of a friend who lives in the city. We even met the mayor. The Lord Mayor actually. Doesn’t he just sound way more important with “Lord” in front of the title? Liam knew pretty much everyone in Cork as we walked through the city, the mayor included because we had an 11am appointment to meet him! We definitely weren’t expecting that and probably would’ve been dressed a little nicer or at least prepared with some sort of semi-intelligent thing to discuss but, instead we sat there talking about his recent trip to NY with mayor Bloomberg for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and the Queen’s visit a couple of days prior. He also had the biggest beer belly I’ve ever seen and actually rested his hands on top of it much like a pregnant woman would. I found myself staring more than once and had to force my eyes away. It was a quick visit as I’d hope he has more important things to do than meet with 4 young lads from the states but it was fun to say we met him nonetheless.

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The Lord Mayor’s room across from his office.

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Liam taught us all about the old city and how it was surrounded by rivers and walls back in the day. We pretty much walked the entire city seeing the old walls, churches, the University and my absolute favorite, the English Market. It was kind of like a smaller scale La Boqueria for anyone that’s been to Barcelona. The best part of the tour was when he took us to where he was born and raised and showed us the river they used to swim in as kids. You could tell how emotional and nostalgic he was about his youth and even though all the buildings and history are interesting, I thought that was one of the more insightful things we learned all day.

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The food in the market looked so good from the fresh seafood, to the butcher shops, to the produce stands. I wish we had a kitchen to cook it all in!

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Adrian finally got his wish Monday night when we found a pretty legitimate Irish pub and drank our dinner. Smile 

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Dark, dingy and everything a pub should be.

Tuesday morning we knew we wanted to hit up the English market for breakfast. After some fresh juice, scones, and coffee we were on our way to Kinsale, about 30 minutes south of Cork for the day. Kinsale seemed like the Irish version of a Rhode Island shore town. Quaint, beautiful water views and expensive.

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We walked around the cute shops, tried on hats a la the Royal wedding and contemplated buying handmade woolen blankets, gloves and scarfs but eventually decided against them and their price tag (sorry Mom, it would’ve been for you).

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After the shops we went to check out Charles Fort. More amazing views.

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We ended the day at Café Paradiso back in Cork. Doreen and Adrian saw this show on Food Network a couple of weeks ago where Bobby Flay went to Ireland and highlighted a bunch of different restaurants throughout the country. We’ve basically been following in his footsteps since we got here. It started with fish and chips at Leo Burdocks, ice cream at Murphy’s, smoked fish at the English market, and finally dinner at Café Paradiso. It’s a vegetarian restaurant with a local sourcing flare that was insanely delicious.

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They had a pretty reasonably priced “theater menu” that included 3 courses for 30 Euros. The wafer looking chips were a sunflower seed brittle with sea salt. A nice deviation from the usual bread basket starter.

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First course starters of wild garlic gnocchi, mixed salad with green beans & fennel, and sweet potato curry spring rolls and brocolini.

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Main dishes of beet root risotto with arugula & cannellini beans in a lemon thyme oil, feta pistachio couscous cake with a coriander yogurt, spiced eggplant gratin with fennel in a citrus cream sauce (or as Doreen referred to it: “sunshine sauce”). Adrian was a rebel and ordered off the main menu with the caramelized mushroom gnocchi dish. It was hands down the best one of the four and they were all really good, this one was just mind blowing. I’ve never tasted mushrooms like that before. They almost tasted like a roasted sweet potato, but even better. I could be a vegetarian in a second if all my meals were from here.

Dessert:

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Vanilla ice cream with Italian cookies and a shot of espresso. Chocolate pecan brownie with white chocolate ice cream. There’s really nothing to say here, they were both as good, if not better than they look. Great, great dinner. It was actually the first “real” dinner we had on the trip and I’m glad we saved it for a place like this. It’s been a week now since I’ve run, my pants are getting tighter every day, and it’s been worth every single indulgence. Smile

Killarney, The Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, and Cliffs of Moher are up next!

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Filed under Dinner, Meals, Restaurants, Travel

A day of eats on the road

While I have no intentions of making this blog a food journal (I’m just not disciplined enough for that), I thought it would be fun to go through a day of eats when I’m on the road. There are so many good posts out there about how to eat healthy when traveling and I usually follow a lot of the basic advice but, I found this trip to be particularly challenging. I was traveling with 3 other co-workers, we had one car and there was no down time.

Breakfast

As a company, we’re Hilton loyal. I love Hilton Garden Inn’s because I think they have the best breakfast options. Part of that is of course because it’s free once you are high enough up the ranks of Hilton’s reward program. But anywhere there is oatmeal, there is potential!

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What looks like mush on the bottom right hand side of the picture is actually oatmeal. It definitely had a funky gray color to it and was starting to congeal on the top but I literally scrapped that off and took some from the bottom. Try not to think about how long it may have been sitting out there. It’s still a way better option than those biscuits or the bacon you can barely see in this picture. Smile 

I’ve noticed that if a hotel has oatmeal they usually tend to have some toppings too.

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(brown sugar, walnuts and raisins)

I wasn’t a huge fan of how “thick” the oatmeal was (probably from sitting there for a couple of hours) so I added some milk to thin it out.

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Then, the best parts.

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Hotels  always have some loose fruit options. Usually, bananas, apples and/or oranges. If you don’t see bananas…ASK! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just asked someone and they have them in the back but didn’t put them out for some reason.  Usually, I travel with peanut butter packets. Justin’s and Barney Butter are my favorites. I totally forgot this trip so I just used the Smucker’s the hotel had. Is it ideal? No. Will it kill me this one time? No again.

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Insert 2 cups of much needed coffee here. I also stole an apple for later thinking I’d use it as a morning snack or lunch add-on.

Lunch

We had absolutely no say in lunch. The college we were at provided the food. Boxed lunches. Unfortunately, I was one of the last people to grab mine and all that was left was the turkey option. I usually grab whatever the veggie option is since it’s most often the healthiest but, no luck this time.

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Pretty huh? That’s my apple stolen from breakfast. If I hadn’t grabbed that my lunch would’ve literally just been a slimy turkey sandwich and that lovely yellow, mayo laden potato salad. Oh, and don’t forget the 1 piece of lettuce and 2 slices of tomato! Needless to say, lunch left much to be desired. I ate about half the turkey sandwich as it was all I could stomach and the apple.

Snack

Surprisingly, the snacks provided actually included a pretty decent trail mix which I inhaled about 2 hours later after the pretty pathetic lunch. Half a sandwich just doesn’t cut it for me. Ever.

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Dinner

We had no time between the end of the day on campus and the airport because of our flight times so it was the Gainesville airport for dinner. I had a connection in Atlanta and would’ve much preferred to eat there as there are tons of options, but with a 47 minute layover I knew I’d be running to the next terminal/gate.

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This is seriously the only option in the Gainesville airport. It’s kind of comical. The one guy working there takes your order, rings you out, cooks your food, and then serves you. Customer service at it’s best! The menu was fried, fried, and more fried but, I found a garden burger or a turkey avocado wrap as 2 potential options. I went with the latter and picked off about half the wrap. It was actually halfway decent. At least better than I expected.

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I still wasn’t satisfied though so I got some snacks.

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This was seriously one of the best apples I’ve ever had. Apples are one of my least favorite fruits, especially red apples. I’m more of a Granny Smith gal. I didn’t have high hopes for this one wrapped in cellophane and sitting in the counter fruit basket for who knows how long but, it was tasty! I ate about half the bar. Wasn’t a huge fan.

Dessert

I knew I had to switch to terminal B for my connection which has a Freshens (is it sad I know which terminals have what food options in Atlanta?) so when we landed about 5 minutes early I booked it there to get this baby.

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Froyo just makes the world a better place. Smile

Sometimes traveling can be fun and a little like  “Up in the Air”. Other times, it can be like a slimy turkey sandwich boxed lunch. Looking forward to getting home and having a meal I actually cook and getting a run in! Even if I had the time this trip I’m not sure I would’ve been out in the 95 degree weather to pound the pavement. It.was.hot.

I’m thinking swordfish and stuffed tomatoes are on tap for tonight. If they turn out well maybe I’ll share Winking smile.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Meals, Travel, Work