Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

A is for Apple Sundaes

Monday, March 4th, 2013

It’s the third month of the year — how’s everyone doing on your food resolutions? I confess, I’m not a big resolution maker — I’m more likely to start something new as spring approaches than in the depths of winter. But one thing I’ve been working on, since the holidays ended (well, except for Valentine’s Day) is pushing back on my son’s nightly candy/sweets habit. (You know, since Halloween. Sigh.) The boy is old enough now to understand the game rules: the one-bite rule has grown to at-least-three-bites of nearly everything, always something green, and he’s even eating salad without complaint most of the time. Still, I keep trying to rein back the treats, as I don’t believe kids need dessert every single night. So exasperated one night last week, when we’d already gone out for frozen yogurt after school, I told him his sugar-quota had already been reached and he could have fruit for dessert. And before he was two words into the predictable “but fruit is not a dessert” whine, inspiration struck: “How about if I cut up some fruit and you can make your own fruit sundaes?”

make-your-own apple sundaes

Honestly I was a little surprised that he stopped mid-whine and agreed to the suggestion. So I arranged some cut apples, bananas, blueberries and blackberries on a plate, gave them little glass bowls and let them mix their own creations. And they loved it! In the words of my six- year-old, “It’s a healthy dessert that tastes good and everyone can make it!” Score one for healthy alternatives.

apple sundaes

Now if you wanted to gussy these up a little more, for a special occasion like, you know, random Thursdays off from school (seriously, why aren’t three-day weekends enough?) you could offer one or more of these additions:

  • plain, Greek-style yogurt or unsweetened, vanilla-flavored whipped cream
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • a touch of honey or maple syrup
  • pomegranate seed “sprinkles”

For bonus points, let kids help you chop the fruit with kid-safe knives. Bananas make an easy starter fruit for teaching toddlers safe knife practices.

What new food habits has your family adopted this year? How are they going?

Local Potluck Tuesday June 29

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

It’s not unusual for “spring” in the DC area to go from frosty cool to hot and steamy within days. But this year’s extremely hot temperatures started early and haven’t let up, resulting in summer produce flying through the markets. It’s not yet July and I’m hearing this may be the last week for cherries. We’ve already gotten blackberries and apricots, and I hear peaches, corn and tomatoes are here this week. It makes me wonder if we’ll have anything left to eat in August?!

What are the highlights at your local markets this week? Are you doing anything to preserve summer’s fleeting fruits? I’m freezing berries as fast as I can. I made a yummy whole grain cherry crumb cake that I’ll share with you later this week. And I still have a (last?) pint of gooseberries awaiting its fate.

What local eats are you cooking up?

Please join in and share what local foods you’ve enjoyed this past week!

Local Potluck Tuesdaya few guidelines:
1. Share a relevant post — a recipe, menu or pictures of a meal featuring local foods, from the farmers market, CSA, farm stand or your own garden — using the MckLinky widget below. In the link title field, enter both your post title and your name &/or blog name, e.g., “Lemon Cucumber Salad — Colleen @ FoodieTots.”
2. Bonus points if you included your kids in picking, growing, purchasing or cooking the ingredients for the meal! (And by bonus points, I mean increased likelihood of seeing your post featured in a future post.)
3. In your post, please link back to this post here at FoodieTots, so your readers can find the potluck and be encouraged to join in as well.

Of course if you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to share in the comments.

That’s it! I hope you’ll join in and share what you’re cooking up that’s fresh & local to you!

Clementines for the Holidays

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

It’s no secret that citrus is one of the reasons I could never live on a 100% local diet — at least not without moving back to California first. As soon as the weather dips near freezing, I start stocking up on grapefruit, oranges, Meyer lemons or, my favorite, clementines. As much as possible I buy organic citrus from Florida, but for clementines it’s the real thing, all the way from Spain. (I actually spotted those newfangled California “Cuties” at Whole Foods the other day, but stuck with the Old World variety.) When I was a kid, we always got a clementine in our stocking, and devoured it while waiting for Christmas breakfast to be ready. I’ve planned to do the same for the boy, but considering how many clementines we eat in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’m not sure it’s quite as special a treat.

Today I had a meeting near one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Jaleo, so I stopped in for lunch. Imagine my delight to see the “Clementina Festival!” sign in the window. I couldn’t resist and enjoyed a three-course clementine lunch. First up, seared clementines with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and microgreens. Simple yet bursting with flavor. For the main course, seared squid with artichokes and clementines, the citrus contrasting perfectly with the silky squid. And then dessert. Clementine ice cream atop clementine curd, with some almond/graham cracker crumbs and fresh clementine slices — drizzled with olive oil. Perfection. It was like being transported to sunny Spain for an hour, and left me inspired to do more than just eat our way through the box of clementines straight up. The clementine curd in particular has me pondering a clementine tart … stay tuned.

Do you cook with clementines? What’s your favorite way to use them?


If you’re in DC, the Clementina Festival continues at Jaleo through December 20.

At Market: Watermelon Radish, Red Pear and Cashel Blue Salad

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

This Sunday the toddler and I donned our rain coats and braved the winter monsoon to visit the Dupont Circle Market. I’m like a kid loose in the candy store whenever I get to Dupont, even at the end of November, and this week was no exception. In the market basket: Cibola Farms buffalo stew meat, Brussels sprouts (on the stalk), red Anjou and seckel pears, quince, Stayman apples, watermelon radish, baby carrots, sunchokes, leek, Maitake mushrooms, Keswick ricotta, Atwater’s peasant wheat bread and a drinkable pumpkin yogurt (which the toddler chugged 2/3 of on the drive home!).

Market Menus: Sunday evening we had buffalo chili and Farmer John’s cornbread, along with parmesan Brussels sprouts. (Toddler tasted but rejected the sprouts, while the chili was dubbed, “Touchdown! chili” and devoured two nights in a row.) I’m planning to make a soup with the sunchokes and leek. And this salad was just for me, as the toddler deemed the radish too spicy and I’m the only blue cheese lover in the family (so far). You can omit the radish for a sweeter variation, but more adventurous taste buds will appreciate the balance of tangy and sweet flavors that play off the Irish blue cheese.

Recipe: Watermelon Radish, Red Pear and Cashel Blue Salad

Watermelon radishes are white on the outside, slightly larger than your typical radish but otherwise unsurprising, until you slice into them and get a peak at their deep fuschia interior. Sliced, they look like watermelon slices, hence the name. They have a sharp bite, which plays nicely off the sweet pears and touch of honey in this vinaigrette.


  • 1 red Anjou pear
  • 1 watermelon radish
  • 2 ounces Cashel Irish blue cheese


  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

Instructions: Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside. Peel the radish and thinly slice both the radish and the pear. (Optional, serve over arugula or mesclun greens.) Serves 2. Enjoy!

P.S. Have I mentioned my cheese project? Read my review of Cashel Irish Blue, and if you’re on twitter, be sure to follow @100cheeses for updates and the latest in curd news and cheese recipes.

Preserving Summer: Plum Honey Vanilla Jam

Friday, September 12th, 2008

After conquering my fear of canning, the next item on my kitchen project list was making jam. I had recently stumbled across this lovely Green Gage Plum & Vanilla Jam recipe at Chez Pim which sounded simple enough. I had some green Shiro plums and Italian prune plums to work with. I really wanted to use honey, but I’ve read that you can only substitute honey for half of the sugar in a recipe, and didn’t want to stray too far from the original recipe since this was my first jam-making experience. I also had fewer plums than originally purchased, thanks to a toddler who was downing up to 6 a day…

So, my recipe quantities were: 1 lb plums, scant 1 c sugar, 1 T lemon juice, 1 T honey, 1 vanilla bean. I followed the original instructions and got a nice, thick jam, but I wasn’t sure what to do about the peels. I suspect that Pim’s green gage plum skins were thinner and perhaps dissolved? The prune plum skins had not, and were tough when I tried one. I strained the cooked jam then to remove the peels, which thinned my jam a bit so I was pleased to see when I opened a jar that it was a nice, jelly-like consistency. It is quite tasty, sweet and the vanilla adds such a lovely fragrance.

Now, Pim’s recipe is for a small batch to begin with, so guess what happens when you halve that? A meager two mini jam pots…

It probably wasn’t worth processing them since one went straight into the fridge to be eaten soon, but oh well. It was part of the learning experience. I will definitely keep practicing – and reading up on jam techniques over the winter. In the meantime, head over to Lelo in Nopo and check out the yummy jams she’s been making!

Oh, and the little bit left over? Excellent topping for peach ice cream!