JOYFUL BERRIES GALORE!! ##BLUEBERRIES

I’m in blueberry heaven! Finally, the price of blueberries is at a reasonable low (well, could be lower), but, I’ll take it and run. You see, a few months ago, these super, tiny blue/black specimens were more than double the present price. They are available year round; however, thanks to the seemingly glut on the market here in South Florida, prices are competitive. Reports are that there’s a bumper crop this year.

I was ‘over the moon’ with my fine. It was a “BOGO”(buy one, get one) free in my neck of the woods. For $4.00, I was able to get two containers. Generally, I would have to dole out more dollars for a similar container.

In the scientific community, blueberries are considered part of the ‘super’ foods category due to the presence of flavonoids. As a result, they are said to have anticancer properties and will protect again free-radical damage within the body. I’m no scientist, but, I can attest that these berries are beneficial to my digestive system due to the high fiber content.

Therefore, while the going is good, I like to take advantage of their goodness by buying extra. I make sure to freeze and reserve for ‘rainy’ days when they are not in abundance and prices sky-rocket.

In my culinary mind, I see:

  • refreshing smoothies consisting of the sweet purple flesh of blueberries and the pairing of ripe bananas and other berries
  • baked goods like pies, muffins, breads, and tarts
  • fluffy crepes and pancakes with blueberry syrup slathered all over
  • a cool and healthy snack

I’m super-happy!

 

 

QUENCH THAT SUMMER THIRST #SKEWERED WATERMELON

Guys, we first eat with our eyes. And, now that summer is here full throttle, what better way to quench that summer thirst than with refreshing watermelon. They are plenty on the market and are quite inexpensive. Nothing is wrong in playing with your food. Make it convenient and easy to pick up by cutting in shapes and placing them on skewers.

I did; and they made me coming back for more. You and your loved ones will do the same. One great way to make your skewers more refreshing is to squeeze a little fresh lemon or lime on same. Better yet, if you wish to be ‘frisky’ and ‘over the moon’, you could soak them in any of your favorite alcohol like vodka, rum or tequila and have your liquor on a stick. Now, don’t over do it. All you need is a hint. Cheers!

P.S. Make sure to wash the skin on the melon before cutting. Happy summer!!

I’LL BE HAVING MY WAY WITH THESE MANGOES IN THE NEAR FUTURE ##MANGO SALSA

One of the beauties of spring is that it brings us the blossoming trees. And one of them is the mango tree. It seems like yesterday I observed this specimen laden with breath-taking blossoms frolicking in the breezes. Now, these blossoms have given way to  firm, green immature fruits hanging from the branches.

Just beholding them takes me back to my roots as a girl running wild and barefoot on the outskirts in my domain, Jamaica. Our family had a couple of mango trees in our back yard. We called them ‘blackie’ and ‘hairy’ mangoes. These mangoes were very sweet and juicy to the taste buds. My dear mom was a great lover of mangoes. She could consume a considerable amount at any sitting. The bruised and the firm ones were devoured equally.

Early in the morning, we would be awakened by the weakened stems of these delicious fruits. You see, a few of the branches hanged over our roof. Subsequently, when they fell they would produce a raucous on the roof. Me and my siblings had a ball. We would scamper to fetch them before the birds had their way with them.

Oddly, I’m not a big lover of mangoes in their natural form unless they are reconstituted with other ingredients. For instance, I love a refreshing fruit drink with an a hint of mango. Or, I love to incorporate mangoes and make a spicy salsa. With the addition of jalapeno, bell peppers,tomatoes, cilantro and of course avocado, I know I’ll be taken over the moon.

So guys, feast your eyes on these beautiful specimens, in a few months, I’ll be having my way with them. Hmmm, without a doubt, I’ll be brought back to my island home. Yeah mon!

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!! ##CORNS ON THE COB

One of the wholesome and beautiful corps of spring is the corn on the cob. And, the different marketplaces are loaded with a bountiful supply of same. Got mine at my neighborhood Publix supermarket here in So. Florida, USA. The great thing about purchasing foods of a particular season is that the prices are relatively reasonable. Thus, I got six corns at $2.00. I was happy.

I’ll be steaming and then slathering on a little herb compound butter on a few and watch it melt in the nooks and crannies. In addition, I will grill some and then remove the kernels and incorporate with delicious succotash or corn bread. I see a great side dish for my jerk wings. I’m salivating; I can’t wait. Corn is in the house!

PERFECT VALENTINE TREATS FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES ##STRAWBERRIES/MELTED DARK CHOCOLATE

Sometimes, it’s the small things that say a lot. Make perfect valentine treats for you and your loved one/s by visiting your refrigerator. They will certainly thank you for same. Skewer sweet and juicy strawberries cut in heart shape ((as in pic) or whole. Bring it to another notch by melting semi-sweet chocolate.

Warm a splash of milk or cream. If you wish, add a pinch of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla for added flavors. Pour warm milk on chocolate and stir to a smooth and shiny consistency. Cool and smother berries in the dark goodness and enjoy.

Guys, Happy Valentine Day!!

I DID IT MY WAY…..##EGGPLANT PARMESAN

Many territories around the globe, winter is in its peak. However, today, in my neck of the woods, it feels like summer. Guys, the temperatures are flirting in the early eighties and the humidity is above average. Now, what the heck is going on? I’ve my so-called Floridian winter gears. Well, sweaters and jackets are on hold nearby. I guess, I’ve to abandon same.

Anyway guys, lately dear Georgie (George Foreman grill)has been my friend. Thought it was the perfect and opportune time to put it to use. Decided on an eggplant parmesan. But first, I made my home-made tomato sauce with a few plump and sweet tomatoes I had on my counter. Along with three cloves of garlic,bell pepper, diced onion, and dried seasoning below, I simmered this ‘bad boy’ to a great consistency.

HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE SIMMERING ON STOVETOP
HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE SIMMERING ON STOVE TOP

Ingredients:

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT PARMESAN
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT PARMESAN
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Onion
  • Salt/pepper
  • Bell pepper

Method:

  1. After I made tomato sauce, I set aside.
  2. Rinsed and sliced eggplant. Then, I seasoned with salt and set slices for a few minutes so as to pull out the bitter taste and to flavor.
  3. Eggplant slices were brushed with garlic flavored olive oil and placed on hot and grill that was previously sprayed with Pam oil.
    EGGPLANT SLICES READY FOR GRILL
    EGGPLANT SLICES READY FOR GRILL

    4. Eggplant slices were grilled for approximately 10 minutes.

    GRILLED EGGPLANT SLICES
    GRILLED EGGPLANT SLICES

    5. After grilling of eggplant slices, these were topped with homemade tomato sauce and sliced parmesan cheese. Then, these were placed under the broiler for approximately five minutes for cheese to melt.

    GRILLED EGGPLANT SLICES TOPPED WITH HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE/MOZZARELLA CHEESE READY FOR MELTING UNDER BROILER
    GRILLED EGGPLANT SLICES TOPPED WITH HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE/MOZZARELLA CHEESE READY FOR MELTING UNDER BROILER

    6. After cheese was melted, I garnished my eggplant parmesan with parsley (Ran out of basil).

    EGGPLANT PARMESAN
    EGGPLANT PARMESAN