Note: we served these S'Mores with Loganberry Sorbetto (pureed loganberries, minimal sugar and meyer lemon juice) mixed with liquid nitrogen and used a blow torch to do the top of the marshmallows. It was fun to use both the torch and liquid nitrogen in one dessert, and the tart loganberry was a great contrast to the dark chocolate and marshmallow.
2.5 cups evaporated cane juice or turbinado or raw sugar (don't worry about the brown color, it will still come out white in the marshmallows)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
2 packages knox or similar gelatin
1 T vanilla
(9x9 pan greased and tossed with powdered sugar or cornstarch or mix of two so that inside has a fine coating of the powder mix on the sides -- if you are making the marshmallow for s'mores, you don't need this extra pan as you just put it on the chocolate / graham mix in a 9x9 pan).
Put water and gelatin into the bowl of mixer.. stir a little and let sit about 25 - 30 min.
Put the water, sugar and honey into a pan on stove.. bring to simmer but don't let boil over.. stay and stir constantly.. and use candy thermometer to bring to 244 deg. F. Took me about 5 minutes.
Once it's 244F -- carefully -- pour into the mixing bowl.. and scrape pan. Then turn on mixer slowly up to high.. and let run for 15 minutes. It will get big, white, fluffy..
you can slow it down for a sec during the process.. scrape sides of mixer bowl if you want, and then rev back to high. At the end.. add the vanilla. Pour into pan and let
sit. Use either cut up into squares to roast, and then sprinkle more powder on top and sides, or use on top of S'Mores.
1.5 wrapped packages of graham cracker (of 3 from a regular box) -- leave in wax wrapper and hit with rolling pin to break up
1 cube butter (yes.. the original recipe called for two.. I reduced.. it worked well with 1 cube)
3 T evap cane juice or raw sugar.
Melt Butter, put in food processor, with crumbled graham crackers and sugar, pulse until fine grain.
OR.. make your own graham cracker crust, gluten free:
1.5 c light to medium buckwheat flour
1 teasp baking soda
1/2 teasp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 c coconut butter
1/2 cup coconut or muscavado sugar
1/2 teasp vanilla extract
1/4 c water or almond milk
Pull coconut butter and sugar in food processor. Then add cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and water/milk. Pulse again. Then add sifted buckwheat and baking soda, pulse again.
Press either mixture into bottom of 9x9 pan that has been greased, bake at 350F for 10 min for first mix, 20 minutes for the buckwheat mix. Let cool.
2 Trader Joes 70% organic dark or semi-sweet chocolate or equivalent 7 oz of chocolate
1/2 cup creme
Melt choc in microwave at 30 sec intervals in glass bowl so as not to burn.. when 1/2 melted, whisk chocolate until the melted parts mix well and melt the not melted parts. Then whisk in creme. Let cool, then pour into the pan with graham cracker crust. Spread evenly to edges.
After chocolate has cooled and hardened some (it will still be soft at room temp) pour the marshmallow mix above directly into the pan on top of chocolate, gently spreading so as not to squish out the chocolate or crust.. let sit to firm up/ cool down for at least 30 minutes and until cool to touch. Then use a blow torch with food grade fuel (butane is usually what they use in restaurants and they sell little mini hand torches which we have for creme brulee) and toast the top.. or use broiler but don't shut door of oven.. keep your hand in a mit, moving the pan around to toast the top evenly and pull out quickly when done..
The nuttiness of the hazelnuts with the fresh cleanness of the zucchini and mint is really lovely. And the shallots give it a small bite. It's a great combo.
4 sm organic zucchini, chopped into small diced sized pieces
1 sm organic shallot finely minced
1 small bunch organic mint, washed and chopped to be about 1/2-3/4 cup loose pieces
1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, chopped well
1/2 meyer lemon juice
3 T organic olive oil
S&P to taste
Toss all ingredients lightly to coat with olive oil and lemon and evenly mix. Serve, or chill for a few hours and then serve. Keeps about 4 days in refrigerator.
4 side servings or 2 main servings.
Optional: if you want, you can add 1/2 c crumbled feta or goat cheese after the rest of it is mixed, lightly folding it into the mix. Also, a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half is also a nice addition.
About three weeks ago I had lunch at Goog.. and you know the rule when you eat at one of their restaurants: try a small bite of everything they make. It's organic deliciousness. I had a little of the meat ragu and potato gnocchi.. not something I eat a lot of generally .. but it was divine on a cold, wintery day. I mean.. i thought about it for two days after.. it was perfection.
So I decided to reverse engineer it.
I started with a recipe first, which I didn't like. Too tomato-y and not at all creamy, it just didn't have what the Google Ragu had. So then I made this recipe, from Caterina Schenardi who is Daniele Boldrini's mother, owner of Gradisca in Manhattan, where his mother makes the pasta behind glass at the front area. Then I modified it to be like what I remembered... and it came out just like the Google Ragu.
1.5 pounds ground shoulder or leg of lamb
1.5 pounds ground grass-fed beef chuck roast
(I purchased the roasts, organic, which were about $4 a pound, and had them grind them twice, which is normal for a lot of butchers and Whole Foods)
5-6 sprigs rosemary, rinsed
1 tablespoon mixed whole black, pink and white peppercorns
8 cloves organic garlic, peeled
4 cups Italian red wine (I used a barbaresco that is about 7 years old.. from trader joes)
3 tablespoons org. extra virgin olive oil
10oz brown mushrooms finely chopped
2 medium or 3 skinny organic carrots
3 medium organic celery stalks
1 huge organic yellow onion or 2 mediums
(puree these three together in a food processor or grinder)
1 cup canned organic diced tomatoes with liquid
1 6oz organic tomato paste
3 bay leaves
3 cups organic mushroom stock and beef stock (i used half and half "better than bouillon" concentrate to make the stock: 3c water, heated, mixed with 1.5 teasp each of beef and mushroom bouillons)
1.5 cups whole organic milk
Tagliatelle, paparadelle, gnocchi or other pasta, for serving
Mix the two meats together. Put 3 stems of rosemary in the bottom of a stainless or glass bowl, spread out, along with 4 garlic cloves and half the peppercorns. Add a little of the wine, and set in the meat, then shove the remaining garlic into the meat mix, lay the remaining rosemary and pepper corns on top. Then pour in wine to cover, probably about 2 cups of the bottle.. and place covered in the fridge overnight. I use plastic wrap and lay it into the wine atop the meat and rosemary, and then place a rubber band around the bowl at the top, which prevents spills and keeps it fresh.
Next day: finely mince the onion, carrot and celery in a food processor or grinder. Heat oil in a 5Q or larger heavy pot. When oil sizzles, toss in the onion mixture, and saute until the liquid is cooked out, stirring well. Add mushrooms and cook again until the liquid is out, stirring well.
NOTE: do not add salt or pepper, until later, to taste.
Remove and discard rosemary from meat, chop finely the garlic cloves, and pull out peppercorns if you don't like having them whole in the ragu. Add the meat, minced garlic (and peppercorns if you like that), and continue to saute on low heat, again stirring well, until all meat is browned. Continue to stir to keep it from burning until the juices and wine are cooked out. Spoon off any fat from the meat. I did this and had a little juice at the bottom of my fat container, which I added back in later. The meat fat was then discarded. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the rest of the wine in the bottle, and again, stir the meat well until the wine cooks out. Then add half the stock (the organic mushroom broth I use is salty, so I added no salt at all to this.. however, after adding the broth, taste and season with salt and pepper as needed).
Cook the ragu down to where there isn't much liquid in the meat. Add the other half of the broth and repeat until the liquid is cooked down again. This should take about an hour to saute and simmer through the steps. Then add the milk, simmer and fold the mixture for about 15 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper but if your broth is salted and you leave in the pepper corns, you won't need any at all.
You can then turn off the pot, let it cool, cover and put it in the fridge until you are near serving time. I like to leave the ragu a day before we eat it to let the flavors meld. Then reheat, prepare pasta or gnocchi and spoon over the pasta as desired. I also like adding shredded parma over the top of the hot ragu and gnocchi, but a little goes a long way. You don't need much.
I made gnocchi too, but that recipe will have to wait...
Two years ago, I bought the Cafe Gratitude cookbook, just so I could get the recipe for Warm Sushi Salad and the "I am accepting" almond and raw cacao milkshake (you just have to get over the names.. these two things are terrific.)
Anyway, the book neglected to have either of them. I rarely buy cookbooks, and make everything out of my head mostly, but this kind of food is different. It is helpful to know how to use "irish moss" or how to make nutmilks, so that was helpful for vegan tiramisu, which is great for Passover or whatever. So i figured out the milkshake (almond milk, almond milk "ice cream," almond butter, raw cacao, vanilla and agave syrup) but didn't start on the Warm Sushi salad until now.
After three tries, I think I'm relatively close.
Warm Sushi Salad
Make 1.5 cups of organic Bhutanese Red Rice according to directions
(Something like: bring 1.5 c rice, 2.25 cups water, dash of salt to a boil, cook for 20m, fluff and let sit until warm, makes 4.25 cups. Note that Gratitude does raw food and has some way to cook this rice with warm water, but given they didn't include the recipe in the book, i'm making it the way you do when you cook it on the stove.)
5 organic scallions or green onions, cleaned and chopped into 3mm slices all the way through the green
4 large or 7 small red kale leaves, well cleaned and with rib cut out and *very* thinly sliced
2 small organic persian cucumbers or 1 large english cuke, cut into slices and cut into small pieces
handfull of organic pea shoots
3 sheets of organic nori, sliced into 1" strips, then sliced thinly crosswise
2 organic avocados
3/4 cup organic sesame seeds, toasted, cooled, ground in a food processor
3 T dark organic sesame oil
2 T organic EV olive oil
Dash of soy sauce (Gratitude doesn't use soy.. but I liked it in there)
Fresh ground organic pepper
3-4 Inches organic ginger, skin sliced off, and cut into slices
1/4 c organic rice wine or 3 T organic rice wine vinegar
Zest from 1 organic meyer, lisbon or eureka lemon
Blend with Sesame seeds in food processor
Taste for seasoning.
Toss warm rice in kale and scallions. Let wilt. Once cooled, add nori, cucumber and dressing. Then when serving, put 1/4 of salad into bowl or plate, chop avocado half and arrange on top. Repeat for each other serving.
This recipe was adapted from Elise Bauer's site Simply Recipes from Garrett McCord's recipe.
Cherry season is short.. but when it comes.. it's in full force. Buy or pick all you can and then eat them like crazy, fresh, in Claflouti, with cereal, on yogurt, and definitely have pit spitting contests to see who can hurl them though the tongue the farthest.
* 4 cups of fresh sweet organic cherries, pitted
* 1 cup of ground organic almonds with or without skin
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup of organic cane juice sugar
* 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, sifted
* 1/8 teaspoon of salt
* 1.5 cups of whole organic milk
* 2 tablespoons Amaretto or good dark Rum -or- 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract
* 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
* Powdered sugar for dusting
* Optional: whipped cream whipped without sugar for serving on the side.
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9X13 baking dish. Toss cherries and ground almonds in a bowl. Then place in the baking dish.
2. Whisk the eggs, sugars, salt, and flour together until smooth.
3. Add the milk, Amaretto or Rum (or almond extract, if using), and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour over the cherry/almonds in the baking dish.
Bake for 45 minutes, test by pulling it out of the oven and gently pressing the middle with a finger.. if firm, it's done.
Cool some.. if you want, dust with powdered sugar, but serve a little warm with whipped creme.
Yummy! So good I'm getting a cherry pitter because i made this three times this cherry season and it appeared an axe murder had occurred on since the juice ran dark from my fingers to my elbows.
I adapted this from my friend, Elise Bauer's recipe, though I altered it from memories of another friend Alex's mom's dish, who made this about 20 years ago in Santa Fe for a family get together. In Alex's family, her mom, all her aunties and great-aunties (her mom's aunts) would each cook one dish or addition for family events. They would always make it the same every time, as it was their specialty. I was lucky enough to be invited to a few of their family holidays, where there would be Chile Verde, Red Chile Chicken Enchiladas, pinto beans, corn tortillas, pesole, and various salads, all from scratch and very very fresh. So far, I've got the Enchiladas, pinto beans and Chile Verde figured out.
I make this with organic ingredients.. and "natural" pork and I think it tastes really good.
I really encourage you to support organic farmers in growing sustainable food that happens to taste much better because the nitrates and chemicals don't get in the way (ie blow up the food to be big adn tasteless), and many things have much higher vitamin and mineral contents. :)
* 2 to 3 pounds pork loin cubed or 3 to 4 pounds (also called pork butt), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes (i prefer the loin unless it's a special occasion.. it doesn't fall apart as easily as the shoulder but the loin is much less fat)
* Freshly ground black pepper
* Extra virgin olive oil
* 2 yellow onions
* 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
* 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
* 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (or pork bone stock if you have it)
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
* 12 large or 20 smaller pablano or Anaheim chilies chopped into chunks (rinse, roast under a broiler so they pop a little, then cool, peel off blackened skin, and toss the out stem, seeds and string.. chop chilies -- I tend to make these each August during the high chili season at the farmers market, -- read: bargain on buying a case, and then roast, peel and freeze them in a small amount of olive oil. You can defrost a 16oz container, squeeze the oil out of the chilies to use in cooking the onions and pork, and then chop the chilis for use as the verde).
Put oil in a large pan that has a good heavy lid. I use a griswold cast iron "chicken pan" which is about 10" across, and 3.5" deep, with a self basting lid.. you can find these on Ebay for about $30 (don't bother with a collector version of these pans.. as they go for hundreds.. Ebay search here) but lots of other pans will work well.. just make sure it's heavy and won't burn on the bottom as this cooks down over hours on the stove.
Heat the oil for just a few seconds on high until it's runny.. don't let it burn. Put in the cubed pork and brown lightly on all sides. Put in the chopped onion and continue folding the pork and onion until the onion is translucent and a bit browned. Add garlic, pepper and oregano, fold/stir in. Add the broth. Once that's incorporated, add the ground cloves, and stir in. It will smell at first like there is too much clove, but it's okay. Add cilantro and chopped chilis. Bring to a simmer, and you'll notice the cloves blending with the chili and other flavors. Add a very small amount of salt. Adding all the salt early will leach the moisture from the pork and it won't be as tender. So add the full salt at the end of cooking, when you can taste the blended flavors and get the right amount in the dish.
I usually simmer this, stirring about once every half hour, for about 4 hours. It's great rainy day weekend food. I usually let it cool and then reheat it hours later or the next day, for the best flavor.
Serve it a big ladle full of pork chile verde over two small Yukon gold baked potatoes split open, then add a few pieces of fresh avocado and a bit of chopped cilantro. If you really want to get fancy, spoon some sour cream on as well. The heat of the pork will be nice again the cooling potatoes, avocado and creme. If you want you can also serve this with fresh corn tortillas.
It should make about 8 medium servings (about 4-6 oz of pork each along with verde sauce).
* 3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (I toast these in the oven in cast iron frying pan, without anything else in the pan but the seeds, by holding the pan under the broiler and gently tossing the seeds around until they are a few shades darker, and then set to cool)
* 2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup good quality dark toasted sesame oil (Not plain sesame oil)
* 1/2 of Meyer lemon *or* 1 whole Bearss or other big juicy sweet lime - juiced
* 2 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar
* 1/4 cup water
* 5 small green scallion onions (white and green parts chopped into small sections)
* 3 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
* 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thirds
* 6 to 7 grounds of black/mixed pepper
* Salt to taste, after the mix is checked for salt levels
Grind the cooled seeds in a blender (or food processor, but I find this works better in a blender). Once the seeds are in a fine grind, then add oils, lemon juice and blend again. Add water and vinegar and blend into a smooth paste. Add chopped onion, soy sauce and pepper. Mix again, and taste. Add salt to taste.
This batch will make two of these Couscous salads, so you can use the other half of the dressing for something else, or freeze it for later use, or just refrigerate it covered for up to three weeks.
* 1 1/2 c whole wheat couscous (Trader Joe's brand of plane whole wheat couscous does really well for this recipe. Make it by the box directions, where they suggest adding a little salt and butter, but use 2c of broth instead of the 1.5 cups on the directions, and it's fluffy and works really well.)
* 2 c broth of choice (i use the broth made from a Moroccan chicken dish but you can also use veggie or chicken broth from a store bought box and the flavor will be great)
* 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed in a small strainer under water and drained
* 3 green scallion onions chopped into 1/4 inch sections (use all the whites and green parts but remove the ends)
* 1/2 c kalamata olives (or I used 1 cup of green castelvaltrano olives -- the latter are less salty and have a fresh bright taste - and whole foods sells them in their olive bar pre-pitted and chopped)
* 4 oz of crumbled lightly salted feta
* Half of the goddess dressing mix above
Cook the couscous to the directions on box (see my notes above about using the box from Trader Joes), or if using raw couscous, soak the couscous in water and drain. Rest for 20 minutes and then fluff with a fork or rake with your fingers. Heat broth in a pan, let come to a boil and turn off. Mix in the soaked and fluffed couscous for 20 minutes, covered. Fluff it again with a fork. Remove lid and when cooled, add all the ingredients to the bowl except the dressing, toss, and then gently fold in the fluffed couscous. Then fold in the dressing carefully, so that it's well blended and not caked into the couscous.
Serves 6. I've served this with a Moroccan Chicken dish plus a veggie and a salad or at all vegetarian meals. And it's terrific left over. Just refrigerate it for later.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess (and translated to American measurements)
1.5 cubes unsalted butter
1.5 bars of 73% organic dark chocolate (trader joes or green & black worked well)
16 oz of good quality orange (or tangerine -- which I used) marmalade
1.5 cups of sugar (Nigella uses 2 cups - I used organic evaporated cane juice crystals)
1/2 T of salt
3 large eggs
1 2/3 cups of self-rising or pastry flour, well sifted before measurement
Melt butter slowly in a heavy-bottom saucepan. When it's almost melted, add chocolate pieces. Remove from heat. Stir with a wooden spoon, until chocolate has melted.
Add marmalade, sugar, salt and eggs. Stir thoroughly (it's okay to leave small visible chunks of marmalade in the batter).
Add sifted flour, stir and pour into a buttered / floured 10" springform cake tin.
Bake at 350˚F oven for 45-50 minutes, until the cake has set (test with a knife or wooden stick).
Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then slide onto a plate.
Dust with powered sugar through a sifter on the top.
Adapted from White Asparagus and Green Garlic Soup
Makes Eight 2-cup servings
Note: all ingredients used are organic, and the stock suggestion assumes this as I suggest you put in a whole onion, carrots and celery, skin ends and all.. if not using organic, do peel things to get the chemicals off. All items used were rinsed to remove organic pesticides. Also.. this can be an expensive dish, or inexpensive.. I'd suggest a visit to a farmer's market because these ingredients are in season now. This soup cost about $10 to make because all the growers arw selling organic spring veggies so inexpensively.
* 2 lbs green asparagus
* 4 medium sized green garlic stalks, washed thoroughly and roughly chopped out as far as is fresh on the stems
* 3 smaller or 1 giant leek, washed and thinly sliced, out through the fresh part of the green
* 4 ounces whole butter
* 2 T olive oil
* 1 cup white wine
* 6 cups clear chicken stock (i made my own with a whole chicken carcass, green garlic ends from several bunches, 1 whole onion cut up with skin and ends, 2 carrots, 2 ribs celery, pepper corns, bay leaves and 5 Q water.. then simmer for 4 hours, and pull out 6 cups for this soup, minus the fat which I skimmed off -- or your can just buy broth at the store, either chicken or veggie)
* 2 cups heavy cream
* Finely chopped chives, about a 1/4 cup
* Salt and pepper to taste
* Optional: lemon oil
Sautè green garlic in butter and oil. Add leeks and continue cooking, until translucent. Be careful not to brown ingredients. Season lightly with salt and pepper (and remember that adding stock later, if it has salt, means you should add less now). Chop asparagus into 1/2 inch lengths, reserving about 12 tips for garnish. Meanwhile, add white wine to the leeks and garlic and reduce liquid significantly. Then add asparagus and saute for a couple of minutes. Then add stock. Simmer until all ingredients are tender, about 30 minutes. Add heavy cream, simmer for 10 more minutes. Purée soup (in batches if necessary). Return to saucepan.
You can leave the soup at this point, for a while on the stove to sit before dinner or all day in the fridge if you want to make it ahead of time. When ready to serve, heat the soup back to a light simmer, stirring frequently, and add asparagus tips sliced in half the long way. Check seasoning, add salt if necessary. When asparagus tips are tender, pour soup into bowl and garnish with chopped chives and a few dots of lemon oil.
8-16 oz of cooled salmon (can be poached, grilled, or baked) without any toppings or skin or bones
1/2 cup of washed and finely chopped organic dill
3 shallots of 1 larger sweet onion, sauteed in 1 T olive oil, then cooled
ground rock salt and ground pepper to taste
6 oz of creme cheese or goat cheese or farmers cheese, softened to room temperature
Zest of 1 organic lemon, plus juice of half the lemon (if meyer, use the whole lemon, if more acidic lemon, try a half, and then if needed us the other half)
Using the tines of a fork, break up salmon, look for any wayward bones, and then add in the rest of the ingredients and gently mash/fold the ingredients together.. into a fluffy spread. Adjust salt and pepper and lemon juice.
Serve on crackers.
Note: we served this with a nice Parrano cheese melted onto a slice of baguette.
2 T EV olive oil
3 leeks, sliced, soaked to remove grit and drained
3 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh marjoram
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley chopped
2 medium kabocha squash, cut into quarters, roasted in oven on cookie sheet, cooled, peeled and chopped into chunks
1.5 quarts chicken or veggie broth
1/2 t pepper (white is better, but can use black)
Saute olive oil with leeks and celery until green color has turned. Add marjoram, parsley and bay leaves and stir a bit. Add squash chunks, broth and pepper. Simmer for 35 - 40 min. Cool and puree and return to the pot
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 1/4 t turmeric
3/4 cup heavy creme
1 T salt
2-3 pinches of saffron
Stir in the remaining ingredients and adjust salt and pepper to taste. When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer on the stove. You can garnish with creme fraiche or greek yoghurt, crisped leeks, chopped pecans, toasted seeds (squash or pumpkin), etc.
This pasta recipe was inspired and altered from this La Cucina Italiana recipe.
When I go to the farmer's market in the fall I look for zucchini blossoms and often they are 3 to 10 for a dollar. But at the end of the day, sellers are often still very stocked with them, and you can ask to make a deal. I made this dish with 100+ blossoms (which are pretty mild and the receipe was great with that number of them) because a seller sold me all her remaining stock for $3.
* Coarse sea salt
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
* 5 large shallots, thinly sliced
* 1 pound zucchini, thinly sliced crosswise
* sweet corn cut from 4 cobs
* nutmeg ground fresh to taste, about 1/2 a large pod or 3/4 tablespoon of preground nutmeg
* 10 tablespoons finely chopped fresh marjoram (it's mild when fresh and you can use a lot in this recipe)
* 50 - 100 large zucchini blossoms, stems and pistils removed
* 1 pound fresh pasta like an angel hair
* 16 ounces fresh ricotta cheese (2 cups)
* Freshly ground black pepper
* Asiago or hard cheese for grating
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Add zucchini, marjoram, corn and nutmeg; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 the zucchini blossoms and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and season with salt.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, drain pasta. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl. Add zucchini mixture and ricotta; stir to combine. Moisten with pasta cooking liquid, if desired.
Serve drizzled with oil and sprinkled generously with pepper. Gently fold in the rest of the blossoms so that they are visible on top.. and sprinkle with asagio cheese as desired.
So, first, this is not made with Hachiya Persimmons but rather the ones that are more like apples, in that they are eaten when crunchy, usually fresh, and are squat in size.
I adapted this Apple Cake recipe from Razzle Dazzle Recipes for Fuyu Persimmons:
Persimmon Walnut Cake
5 cups organic Fuyu Persimmons peeled, chopped into small pieces
2 cups organic evaporated cane juice sugar
2 organic eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup organic olive oil
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
2 cups organic unbleached pastry or baking flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups organic walnuts chopped
In bowl stir together chopped persimmons and 1 cup sugar; let stand 5 minutes.
Mix on high beaters: 1 cup sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.
Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Fold gently into in egg mixture until all is incorporated and dry mixture is gone, but don't overmix to keep lighter.
Fold in apples mix and walnuts, mixing well.
Pour batter into greased and floured 13 x 9 baking pan.
Bake at 350ºF for 60 minutes or until done.
You could serve it with whipped creme and another with ice cream that had chocolate and orange. Both were delicious and the persimmon really stood up to the ice cream and in fact was a great combination.
First, I only really make this pie if I've picked blackberries somewhere. The reason? It's too expensive to buy this many blackberries from the store, and they don't taste nearly as good as when you pick them fresh. Or if in season, buy a flat at a great discount at the farmer's market.
Step one: rinse about 10 cups of blackberries very gently to test the dust off. Put in about 1 cup of sugar and juice from a big meyer lemon (about a 3/4 cup) or 1.5 eureka or lisbon lemons (about a 1/2 cup).
Step two: make a pate brisee crust.
1.5 cubes or 12 T butter
2.5 c sifted flour
1 T evaporated cane juice organic sugar
1 t salt
Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a metal bowl. Cut the butter into the flour, sugar, salt mixture a pastry cutter, working until the butter is in very small pieces, about 1/4" cubes or smaller and coated with the dry mixture. Be sure not to touch the mixture with your hands which will warm the butter and melt it. Just use a knife to scrape it from the pastry cutter, and work quickly to keep the mixture cold. Add 1/4 cup cold water and using a fork, blend the mixture into a dough. Carefully add a tablespoon at a time of additional cold water until the dough is crumbly but there is only a small amount of loose flour outside the main dough ball. Working quickly, take the dough and place it in the center of a large piece of plastic wrap. Then fold the wrap over teh top of the dough, press everything together and quickly and lightly form into a disc. Place the neatly wrapped disc into a ziplog bag. Put into the fridge for at least a half hour.
Step three: roll out the crust.
Place about a half cup of flour over a work surface at least 24" x 24" and then take half the dough from the plastic. Leave the other half back in the fridge. Put flour on a rolling pin, dust the top of the half disc, and carefully roll out the crust. Once it's about 1/8" thick uniformly by about 15" in diameter, lift the dough in a single piece into a 10" pie pan. Place the fruit into the pan with crust. Cut the edge of the crust leaving about a half inch around the outside edge of the pan. Set the fruit / crust in pan into the fridge.
Get out the other half of the dough rolling it out using the instruction above. Once the dough is approximately 15" in diameter, cut out a shape or two (star, moon, circle, etc). Pull the fruit / pan out of the fridge. Carefully lift the dough over the pan, and press the edges together either with fork tines, or with a three finger press to make ridges.
Mix well in a small bowl:
1 T water
Brush the egg mixture over the top of the pie crust.
Step four: bake it.
Bake the pie in a 350 deg F oven for 50 minutes (10 min more if at high altitude). Crust will be lightly browned and the berries will be bubbling inside the holes. Let cool and serve with creme fraiche, vanilla ice cream, whipped creme, or plain.
And here is the finished product:
Sugar syrup: heat in a pan, dissolve sugar, then cool and chill in fridge for a couple of hours.
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
Berries: clean fresh berries or thaw frozen until they are defrosted but still cold, keeping all juice
8 small baskets of very ripe cold fresh
1.5 lbs frozen unsweetened blackberries, thawed with juices
1/2 meyer lemon juice
Puree blackberries with juice and cold syrup in blender until smooth. Strain into large bowl; discard seeds. Mix in lemon juice.
Process berry mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer sorbetto to a container; seal and freeze until firm, about 6 hours. Keep frozen until ready to serve.
Note: we made this with Liquid Nitrogen. That means we wore gloves, masks, and purchased the Nitrogen in a Dewar from someplace like Airgas. Then at home, we carefully poured the nitrogen into a steel bowl with the sorbetto mixture, stiring it with a wooden spoon, fully decked like Dr. Horrible.
The Sorbetto was creamy, with no discernible ice crystals like what comes from a regular ice cream maker. It was so creamy, it was as if there was a little dairy in the mix, even though there was none. If you want an adveture, do a little research on using care with Liquid Nitrogen, and then try that method.
I made this tarte bout 10 days ago for Esme Vos' birthday.
1/4 cup evaporated cane juice or similar organic sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice (prefer meyer lemon but can use lisbon or eureka lemon)
2.5 cups ricotta cheese
(you can make your own, with 1/2 gal of 2% milk, plus 1 cup cream, brought to a simmer in a large pan, with juice of 1 large lemon. then let it cool, while it curdles. Strain it and discard the "milk" keeping the soft cheese.)
Grated nutmeg from about 3/4 of a nutmeg seed or 1 t nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1 T vanilla
1/4 t salt
4 cups hazelnuts
2 T cold unsalted butter
1/4 t salt
Make the crust first. Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Pulse in a food processor the hazelnuts. When they are finely ground and even, add the butter cut into a couple of pieces and the salt, and pulse until finely ground together in a light mix that will just look like nuts but have the butter and salt distributed.
Press the mixture into a 8x10" pan, with 2 inch sides. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly toasted on edges.
Make the filling by mixing well all filling ingredients. When the crust is cooled, carefully pour into the crust, and spread evenly without pulling the crust away from the sides.
It should be lower than the top of the crust.
Then prep apricots by slicing them in half. Pour sugar and juice over them and gently fold the apricots in order to coat them with bits of sugar and the juice.
Then take the apricots and put them into a row face up, so that they are neatly spread across the top in a 4 x 6 grid.
Bake at 325 deg F for about 40 minutes, or until some of the ricotta has browned slightly and the filling is lightly firm.
Cool and serve.
This is something my mom made occasionally on weekends for breakfast. We loved it! She got a recipe from a friend visiting California from Bulgaria. And we usually served it with cut up fresh peaches or strawberries.
Honey Puff Pancake for 4
1 c milk
1 c flour
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T. honey
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 oz cream cheese
3 T. butter
* Lemon cut up into quarters
* powdered sugar
* strawberries, peaches or other fruit, dusted with a tiny bit of powered sugar to bring out the juices
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Put milk, eggs, lemon zest, honey, salt, flour, cream cheese and baking powder into a blender.
3. Blend at high for about 2 minutes.
4. Scrape sides and blend again for another minute.
5. Put 8 or 9" cast iron skillet into oven until hot, then add butter to melt.
6. Pull out the pan, swish the butter around.
7. Pour the batter from the blender into the pan.
8. Bake 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.
9. While the pancake is baking, pull together the toppings in little bowls:
lemon wedges, powered sugar and in a larger bowl, cut up fruit.
Pancake is like a souffle and will fall some after being removed from the oven, but don't worry. Set the table. Get everything ready, including having a hot pad on the table, so you can immediately serve it. Slice the pancake into about 8 slices and serve with the toppings. I like to poke (with a fork) a few times into the middle of the the slice of pancake. Then squeeze lemon, then dust with powered sugar, then put the fruit on top.
That friend I mentioned who taught me to make Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic (Karen Bryant) also used to make this. I remember a lot of wonderful family dinners of roast beef or leg of lamb, with this relish on the side. It's the best. So even though it's not pepper season in California, it is in Mexico. And the Berkeley Bowl had Organic Red Bells on sale Friday, so I bought 20 of them and made this.
Sweet Red Bell Pepper Relish
Cut the peppers in half, core and remove seeds, and mince using a mandoline, or a food processor (be careful not to pulverize.. you want little chunks) or chop them into tiny little squares of pepper.
I used about 20 in this dish to make the relish.
Use a large collander, and drain them for about 6 hours.
Take drained chopped peppers (save the liquid, which you can use for stock or a soup or just drink.. it's amazing stuff.. or poach salmon in it with a few herbs, and on and on) and place in a large sauce pan.
Add two cups organic raw sugar and 2 cups organic apple cider vinegar. Also add a pinch of salt.
Bring to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, until soft, with a relish taste.
Cool, and serve. Also, you can can it, but either without canning or once opened, you do need to refrigerate it.
Makes about 1.5 quarts.
I made this last night for dinner. Sukiyaki is usually made with beef or just vegetables, but we had coho salmon, wanted some of Japanese flavor, and had four colors of cauliflower.
So.. I modified a recipe I found here for a Beef Sukiyaki. It's kind of bastardized by Japanese cooking standards but it tasted great, was low in fat and took about 20 minutes to make once i chopped up the veggies and sliced the salmon. I also substituted vermouth for the Mirin, which we ran out of and haven't replaced.
Salmon, Garnet Yam, multi-colored cauliflower and Mushroom Sukiyaki
* 1 1/2 cups low salt soy sauce
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 3 cups soup stock
* 3/4 cup mirin (rice wine) or dry vermouth
* 1 pound salmon fillet, skin and bones removed and thinly sliced
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 3 green garlic stalks, sliced
* 10 crimini (brown) mushrooms sliced thinly
* 1 garnet yam , peeled and thinly sliced
* 1 cup sliced bamboo shoots
* 2 stalks celery, sliced
* 1 cup soaked, rinsed and sliced shiitakes
* 1 lb fresh thin Asian-style egg noodles
* 2 tablespoons oil
* 1/4 quarter each of four colors of cauliflower (orange, green, white and purple), or 1 whole small cauliflower cut into very small pieces
Mix soy sauce, sugar, stock, and mirin or vermouth together in a bowl. Arrange meat and vegetables on a large platter, in piles.
Add oil to the skillet and heat. Brown salmon in the oil. Move the meat to a plate, put half of the broth mixture in the skillet and add sliced yam. Cook until tender but still al dente, and with slotted spoon, remove to plate, keeping each ingredient in their own separate piles but placing large lid over the plate to keep it warm. Add green garlic, onion and mushrooms, cook until soft, and remove to plate. Add cauliflower, simmer until al dente. In the meantime, cook noodles in 2-3 quarts of water, without any salt, for just a minute, until al dente. Drain and put back into pan. Add the other half of soy mixture and cover. Prepare bowls, placing a serving of noodles into bowl, then little piles of each of the other types of ingredients, followed by a ladle of the hot broth from the cooking pan.
Last night I needed to make dinner for someone who'd just had their wisdom teeth out. They were doing fine, and were hungry, but needed very soft food (no chewing) for a couple of days. This is what I made. I didn't want to make traditional Cannelloni because that usually comes with a Béchamel sauce which is very fattening (lots of cream and butter). This dish is very low in fat, and still full of vegetables and good flavor.
Additionally everything in the dish below was made with organic ingredients (except the salt). I can do this at a reasonable cost because I shop at farmer's markets and the Berkeley Bowl, and Whole Foods. Whole Foods, surprisingly, has things in season from local farms at great prices. So I don't buy that much there, but what I can't buy at the Bowl, I will sometimes buy there.
One reason I like organic is because I want to support sustainable agriculture. And because the ingredients taste so much better. But more recently, studies are showing how much better organic foods are for you, because they have dramatically more vitamins and minerals, and dramatically less carbs.
Spinach Mushroom Cannelloni
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9x13 oven safe dish on hand.
.5 lb brown crimini mushrooms
1 med purple onion
2 garlic cloves
3 T EV olive oil
1/2 cup dry cooking sherry
salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop mushrooms, onion and mince the garlic. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for about 3 minutes or until starts to be clear. Add mushrooms. saute until all mushrooms turn color and begin to have a bit of liquid. Add sherry, saute the mixture, stirring occasionally until all liquid is gone and then salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl add the mushroom mixture to:
16 oz. ricotta (prefer low fat, but you can use whole or non as desired)
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg - that's about half a small nutmeg pod grated (or pregrated from jar if you don't have fresh)
3/4 cup fresh flat leaf Italian parsley finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil finely chopped
1 lb baby spinach (steamed, well drained and pressed of spinach water -- reserve that water for the sauce, and then finely chop)
Mix well, add a bit more pepper to taste, and check salt. Ricotta has salt already and I don't usually need to add any to this mixture.
You can use dry cannelloni shells, by preparing by package directions: boil them, drain and separate or use non-precook types. You'll probably need about 18
3 sheets of 9x13" fresh pasta, cut in half at 9" side, and equal thirds at 13" side to make 4.5 x 4.5 squares (approximately) - these sheets can be purchased at places like the Berkeley Bowl, Whole Foods, or other specialty or pasta shops
2 - 15 oz cans of fire roasted chopped tomatoes (Muir Glen sells these)
10 large basil leaves, washed and torn in half
Any leftover spinach water from the chopped spinach above.
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend in blender until pureed, add salt and pepper to taste, blend again. It will look frothy and pink red. This is good.
Fresh pasta method:
Take 18 pasta squares of fresh pasta, lay out on clean counter, and divide filling equally in a straight line down the center of each square. Then pour 1/3 of tomato sauce into the bottom of dish, and gently shake dish sideways to evenly spread over the entire bottom of pan. Take the first square of pasta, with filling evenly through center, and wrap the shell around the pasta with a little overlap. Place it seam down into the sauce on the bottom of the pan, starting on one side. Follow by placing 9 in one row, and 9 in the other row across the pan (so that you have 9 on the top row length wise, and 9 on the bottom row). Pour the remaining 2/3 sauce evenly over the top so all pasta tubes are covered in sauce.
If desired sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan loosely over the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until there is a little bubbling at the edges and between the tubes.
Dry pasta method:
Scoop all the filling into a large ziplock bag or similar bag. Press all the filling to one corner, and then cut the corner making about a 3/4" hole out of your new piping device, and fill tubes. Put 1/3 the sauce on the bottom of the dish, spreading evenly. Place the filled tubes evenly across the bottom of the pan. Then pour the other 2/3 sauce across the top.
If desired sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan loosely over the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until there is a little bubbling at the edges and between the tubes.
Makes 6 entree servings or about 3 tubes per serving.
Note: I would suggest serving this with a salad, but for the person who couldn't chew, we just served these. There's certainly lots of spinach in them.
Last night I decided to make Crab Bisque, something I haven't made in years. Doing a quick search on Google produced a gazillion recipes for things made with cans of things blended to make something that to me didn't bode well for all the fresh crab we had in stock.
I did find this fabulous recipe from Yankee Magazine, which I modified by removing about 1/3 of the fat, and adding crab stock instead of using chicken stock and using a bit more of it. I also added a bit more vegetables and used fresh ginger and lemon peel. It turned out absolutely beautifully.
I started by cracking and pulling out all the crab meat, after which I made a stock with the crab shells and an onion, a few pepper corns and a couple of fresh parley stocks (leaves removed for another dish). Then, follow the directions below.
Creamy Crab Bisque
Makes 6 side or 3 main servings
* 1 pound fresh crabmeat
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 scant teaspoon shredded ginger
* 2 celery stocks finely minced
* 1/2 cup finely minced green onion
* 2 carrots finely minced
* 1-1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
* 1/4 cup flour
* 2 cups light stock (suggest taking an onion with crab bones .. simmering 30 minutes, for stock, or use chicken)
* 1-1/4 cups 1% milk (or 2% or whole)
* 2 pinches cayenne pepper
* 2 pinches ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* pinch of white pepper
* 1 lemon's worth of finely grated peel
* 3/4 cups light cream
* 1/4 cup dry sherry
Pick over the crabmeat for cartilage and return to the refrigerator. Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan. Add the ginger, celery, green onion, carrot and garlic. Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Make sure ginger and garlic have mellowed before proceeding. Whisk in the flour. Gradually add the broth and milk, bringing the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Add the cayenne, nutmeg, salt, white pepper, lemon peel, cream, and sherry. Heat thoroughly. Stir in the crabmeat and cook until it is heated through. Do not boil. Serve immediately.
I felt like having Chai today, and these were the ingredients I had, verse say, what came in the recipes I saw online. Instead, I made up my own which I liked more than any Chai I've had in any shop or even homemade by others. None did the orange zest, and most had very limited ideas of Chai, like the one with just cinnamon and ginger.
Step 1: Boil 5 minutes, then steep for 10 minutes:
1 Tbsp fennel seed
1 Tbsp cardamom seeds
2 or 3 pieces star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1/2" ginger root, sliced thin
1/2 tsp black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
1 orange or tangerine worth of zest
4 Cups water
Step 2: Add, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes, then strain and save tea:
I was asked to do a recipe for a garlic contest at KTEH. Here is the recipe passed on to me when I was in the 6th Grade, by a very dear friend, Karen Bryant. She was one of the mom's in the neighborhood. She died when I was just out of college, but when I make this I think of her.
The sage noodles came later, when I was experimenting with some fresh pasta, wanting to jazz it up. The cool think about it is you don't really have to make the pasta, though it's great if you do. You just need a pasta roller, fresh pasta, and cleaned fresh herbs, rolled between two sheets of the pasta. It turns out like Japanese paper and is gorgeous with a delicate flavor to put behind the chicken and garlic mixture.
Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic with Sage Noodles
4 small or 3 large whole heads garlic, about 40+ cloves, broken into cloves
2 chicken breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs, about 2.5 pounds -- preferably air chilled for better flavor, with bones and skin but trimmed of fat
(recommend you get a whole organic air chilled chicken, have it cut up by the butcher, and then take the neck and back to make broth for another use)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3 tablespoons Cognac
1 1/2 to 2 cups dry white wine
4-5 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh sage well chopped
4-5 bay leaves (dried or fresh)
1 lb Fresh pasta if you have it, or 12 oz dry pasta if you don't
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the butter and oil in a large pot (with a lid that can go in the oven) or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Boil water in a 3-4 quart pot. Separate cloves of garlic and once the water is boiling, drop them into water for 60 seconds. Drain and cool the garlic. Then peel. Set aside.
Dry the chicken with paper towels if wet (air chilled doesn't require this). Pat each piece on both sides with salt and pepper. This is the only time you'll add Salt and Pepper, so its okay to add a fair amount.
In batches, saute the chicken in the butter and oil until nicely browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula so as not to pierce with a fork. If the oil/butter is burning, reduce heat to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate. Once pan is empty except for the oil/butter, add the garlic cloves to the pan. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned but not at all dark (which will cause the garlic to get bitter). Add the Cognac and the wine. Scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme, sage and add the bay leaves leaves. Cover and put into a 350 degree F oven. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Chicken should be slightly loose from the skin.
In the meantime, boil either fresh pasta for 1.5 minutes or dry pasta according to directions. Drain and arrange on a platter. Place the finished piece of chicken on top, and spoon liquid and garlic cloves, herbs and bay leaves. Serves 4-6 depending on appetite.
If you wish to make it fresh, make according to your favorite recipe. Then roll out two thin sheets (#5 on pasta machine hand roller). Place the first sheet down on flat surface, place sage with stems removed on layer, and then place the top layer. Stems will tear it, so you should cut these out. You can also use any other herbs. Then, using a hand crank pasta machine, carefully roll out the two layers, starting back at #3, and moving to #6 setting. The herbs will spread out through the pasta a bit like Japanese paper. Then, take a pizza wheel and cut sideways into 1.5 inch strips. Dust with flour and reserve until ready to cook.
When you want to have a nice breakfast on a weekend, these are light (half whipped egg whites!) and very special. We keep blueberries (purchased from the farmer's market during the height of summer season) along with organic low fat ricotta, purchased at the occasional sale, in the freezer. Then in the winter on a weekend, when you have time to hang around and enjoy them, you're ready to go and it's easy.
Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes (via my mom)
3 organic eggs, separated
1 tsp. baking powder
zest from one lemon (prefer meyer, but you need a fine plane zester to avoid the pith, but it tastes deliciou)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 lb. organic lowfat Ricotta cheese
2/3 c. organic milk
1/2 c. organic flour
reserve for cooking:
1 cup organic blueberries
Separate eggs and beat whites until stiff. In another bowl, mix other ingredients well. Fold in egg whites. Cook on hot griddle as for any pancake turning when bubbles. Place about 6 - 8 blueberries around each pancake. Cover top with a tiny bit more batter. Turn and cook until center is light but firm.
Serve hot with real maple syrup or cinnamon sugar hot off the griddle. These don't keep, even for 5 minutes. These are very light pancakes! Recipe may be doubled.
So.. I know what you're thinking. Granola, like Hippie Do Berkeley 60's tie-died granola? No.. this is a bit more hip, gourmet, delicious and yet you can still have it for breakfast and not really need lunch until say, 2 or 3pm.
I like it because it's got all the goodies but costs the same to make as that overly sweet, overly fatted but not very interesting organic granola from Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.
4 cups thick whole rolled oats
1 cup flax seeds (golden or brown or mix)
1 cup wheatgerm or coconut flour (optional)
1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds (or some kind of seed, could be sunflower seeds)
8 oz slivered almonds (Trader Joe's sells an 8oz pkg)
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 Ts Nutmeg
1 teasp. salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup EV olive oil (I use one that is pressed with oranges when the press the olives.. gives an added orange oil flavor)
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or lightly oil a 22" x 15" x 1" cookie sheet or pan large enough to hold about 10 cups of granola by the end of it.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Bring wet ingredients to a low simmer in a pan, then pour over the dry ingredients, mix well. Spread the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Turn the mixture carefully. Add (up to) about 5 cups of some mix of extras evenly across the cookie sheet and turn the whole mixture again. Bake for 15 more minutes. Cool. Makes about 8 cups granola.
2 cups walnuts or pecans or cashews or hazelnuts or brazilnuts or almonds -- chopped or broken up
2 cups cacao nibs (I get these at Whole Foods .. organic at $6.99 a 1/2 lb)
2 cups dried fruits: cherries, golden raisins, cranberries, plums, peaches, apricots, pears, white figs, dates, prunes -- chop up larger things like dried figs or apricots or plums into quarters
1 cup dried or fresh coconut meat (large shreds are sold at the Berkeley Bowl as well)
Good flavor ideas (I buy all this stuff organic at either the Berkeley Bowl or Whole Foods or Trader Joe's:
Sour Cherries - Chocolate (cacao nibs) - Pecan or Walnut
Figs - Chocolate (cacao nibs) - Walnut
Plums - Coconut - Cashew or Almond
Golden Raisins - Apricot - Pecans or Hazelnuts
Fig - Coconut - Brazilnuts or Almond
Cranberries - Chocolate (cacao nibs) - Pecans
Note: the mix in the picture is Sour Cherries, Cacao Nibs and Pecans.