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Monday, 28 January 2019

Small Pearl Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding is a wonderful and easy pudding-style treat that everyone enjoys around here.  I like to use a mixture of canned coconut milk, regular coconut milk and lactose-free whole milk, but I've made it with all sorts of varieties of milks.  It's great warm and chilled. Enjoy!
A serving of small pearl tapioca pudding - enjoyed in my house by ages 4 to 87! 

Small Pearl Tapioca Pudding

Set tapioca pearls to soak either overnight to make tapioca in the morning or in the morning to make your tapioca at night by doing the following:

In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine and soak 8-24 hours:
1/2 cup small pearl tapioca 
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cup water - to make 2 cups

In a saucepan mix together:
2 1/2 cups milk (using a combination of canned coconut milk and other milk varieties works great)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional - it will give it more of a rice pudding flavor if you use it)
soaked tapioca pearls, drained and rinsed thoroughly


Tapioca cooking over medium heat - make sure to mix regularly or you'll end up with tapioca sticking/burning on the bottom of your pan! 

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring regularly.  Once tapioca comes to a boil, let thicken for a minute.  Remove from heat and add:
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Serve warm or put in a bowl with plastic wrap tight to the surface to cool.  Refrigerate once tapioca isn't piping hot.  Tapioca will thicken more as it cools.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Citrus Shrimp Ceviche

This is a nice, light shrimp dish, packed with flavor.   For optimal flavor, I recommend using fresh lemons and limes for your citrus, as purchased lemon and lime juices tend to have a sharper flavor that can overpower the dish.  Enjoy!
Shrimp Ceviche
Freshly made Citrus Shrimp Ceviche!

Citrus Shrimp Ceviche
Based on a recipe by Chef Gary from Harmon's Grocery

Mix together in a bowl:
1 lb shrimp, cooked, peeled, de-veined, tails removed, and diced into bite-sized pieces.  
1/2 purple onion, finely diced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
2-4 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Add fresh squeezed juice from:
2 lemons
2-4 limes

Combine everything and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning (chili powder, salt, pepper), before serving.

Wonderful on crackers or homemade french-style gluten-free bread.  Also great all on it's own as a light accompaniment to a meal.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Hard Boiled Eggs

Most of my life, I've precariously made hard boiled eggs by bringing the pot to a hard, rolling boil and then covering and turning off the heat, letting sit for 14-15 minutes, until cooked thoroughly.  I found it to be a terribly imprecise method (at least for me).  So, my wonderful friend Rebekah, from the Isle of Jersey wayyyyy across the Atlantic taught me this method. I love it! Works every time!
Some hard-boiled eggs after using some natural dyes with the kids.  :) 

Hard Boiled Eggs

In a pot, place eggs to cover the bottom of the pan.  You can use a small or large pot, depending on how many eggs you want to cook.

Fill the pot with cold water, until it reaches 1" above the eggs.  Add a dash of salt to the water.

Bring eggs to a rolling boil over medium-high to high heat.  Once the water has reached a rolling boil (i.e. bubbling a lot), lower heat to medium-high and continue boiling eggs for 10 minutes.

Drain carefully and rinse repeatedly to cool the eggs.   Once the eggs are no longer really hot, I like to fill the pot with cold water and add ice to help the eggs cool down.

Drain, then cool eggs completely in the refrigerator.   They are perfect for egg salad, deviled eggs, eating plain, etc.!

You can also use this method to make 3 or 5 minute eggs, with looser yolks for scooping out for breakfasts.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Homemade Caramel Popcorn!

Homemade caramel popcorn can be a wonderful, special treat.  You can also make this popcorn using a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup for a nice alternative.  Baking the popcorn for closer to 45 minutes will result in a more caramel-like flavor and slightly stickier caramel popcorn.  Baking closer to 60 minutes will end up with a slightly more crispy popcorn.  You can drizzle chocolate over the top once cooled for a fancy treat! Happy New Year! Enjoy!
Yummy Caramel Popcorn, fresh from the oven!  

Homemade Caramel Popcorn!
Makes about 10 cups  (Yes, you can double this recipe for 2 trays of caramel corn!)

Bring to a boil over medium heat:
1 cup dark brown sugar OR 3/4 cup dark brown sugar + 1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup corn syrup
pinch salt
2 Tbsp butter

Boil until caramel reaches about 220-225 F.  (I find it tends to take 20-30 minutes to get to temperature).  Remove from heat and stir in:
1 tsp vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste
A double batch of caramel - luckily it didn't overflow!   Caramel does bubble up while cooking. 

Pop 1/2 cup popcorn kernels in an air popper.  Remove with hands and place in a new large bowl (this allows you to easily get rid of any unpopped kernels).

Pour caramel over the popcorn and stir gently, coating popcorn as best you can.  Spread popcorn on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet.
Caramel popcorn prior to baking.  It will be sticky.
Bake at 250 F for about 45-60 minutes, stirring/folding over popcorn every 10-15 minutes to allow popcorn to dry evenly.
Caramel Popcorn - ready to cool and eat!
Let cool and eat!   Store leftovers in a tightly covered container for up to 3 days for the freshest popcorn (if it can last that long).

For a special treat: drizzle melted chocolate over the top of cooled caramel corn.  Let cool (you can put it in the refrigerator to speed up the chocolate hardening).  Store in a tightly covered container.

Enjoy!