Food

Pink Pearl Apples

Pink Pearl Apples 2
These tart, pink-on-the-inside apples are from See Canyon Fruit Ranch.

Pink Pearl Apples 3
We got them at Santa Monica’s Wednesday Farmers Market. They’re Pink Pearl Apples. They’re a little pinker in these photos than they were in real life, but they were still pretty dramatic. (I was having trouble with the color adjustments and this was the best color adjustment compromise I could come up with.) They were much darker pink than in this photo.

We sautéed them with butter and brown sugar and cinnamon, and ate them with vanilla ice cream.

Cantaloupe popsicles

Cantaloupe popsicle 1

If you like cantaloupe — especially if you like cantaloupe sorbet — you’ll love these popsicles. These are my favorite popsicles so far this summer.

This recipe is adapted from Fany Gerson’s Paletas de Melón recipe in her book Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas.

Cantaloupe popsicles

  • 4 cups chopped cantaloupe
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • pinch of salt

Stir the superfine sugar into the water until it is dissolved. (As I mentioned in my Strawberry lemonade popsicles post, it is worth getting your hands on superfine sugar, because it dissolves easily in room temperature water. If you can’t find it, you can always heat the water and the same amount of regular sugar together on the stovetop in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Then let the sugar water cool down before continuing.)

Blend sugar water, cantaloupe, lemon juice and salt thoroughly. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Strawberry lemonade popsicles

Strawberry lemonade popsicle

This is the popsicle I was looking for. This is a popsicle everyone in my house likes. It’s not like anything I can buy in a store, it’s easy, and it’s worth the time spent making it from scratch.

I started with Fany Gerson’s Strawberry Ice Pop recipe and experimented until suddenly what I was eating — and what everyone around me was wolfing down — was a definitely a strawberry lemonade popsicle.

Strawberry lemonade popsicles

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, washed and quartered
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • juice of one big, juicy lemon

Stir the superfine sugar into the water until it dissolves. (It is worth looking for superfine sugar, because it dissolves so easily. If you can’t find it, you can always heat the water and the same amount of regular sugar together on the stovetop in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Then let the sugar water cool down before continuing.)

Blend the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar water thoroughly. Taste the mixture. When it freezes it will taste less sweet. Now is the time to mix up more sugar water and add it if you think the mixture needs it.

When it tastes good to you, pour it into popsicle molds and freeze.

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Update (August 7, 2013): My favorite strawberries to use are sweet, in-season Chandlers. I just made this recipe with tart end-of-the-season berries and had to use 1 cup of water and 1-1/4 cups of superfine sugar.

Our favorite salad dressing

Salad dressing 3

If we serve you salad at our house, chances are good that this is the dressing that will be on it. It’s basically the dressing from this Endive and Apple Salad recipe on Epicurious.

Our favorite salad dressing

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Shake together in a mason jar. This amount of dressing lasts for at least four salads in our house. We store the extra in the refrigerator and, since olive oil solidifies in the fridge, we thaw it out each time in a bowl of warm water while assembling the salad.

Fish in foil and broiled tomatoes for dinner

Whole fish in foil 6
Whole fish in foil

  • Whole fish, butterflied with heads and tails on. We usually use trout, but I think this could work with any white meat whole fish you could wrap up in foil. This time we went with some sort of hybrid bass at Santa Monica Seafood that little one pointed at. (Maybe it was this one.) For trout, we usually make one per person. For bigger fish, you can just cook one and put it on a serving platter.
  • Rosemary
  • Organic lemon, sliced
  • Olive or other oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush the foil with oil. Lay the fish on the foil. Salt and pepper the inside of the fish, and lay a stalk of rosemary inside the fish. Close the fish. Put lemon slices and rosemary on top of the fish. Close the foil to make a sealed packet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the fish’s flesh flakes. (Twenty minutes seems to be a pretty consistant cooking time for us, regardless of the size of the fish.)

It’s especially nice to serve this with good bread for dipping in the sauce.

Broiled heirloom tomatoes 1

Tomatoes with Asiago Cheese and Fresh Herbs (click for the recipe)