Food | Mango, orange & coconut bread

Click on the slides to begin and to see the ingredients and steps.

Homemade fruit bread is easily made and provides a quick grab-and-go snack for morning or afternoon coffee or tea. Try having a homemade slice of this hearty bread instead of a snack bar.

This version uses mango, orange and shredded coconut, but A variety of fruit, flour, oil and dairy combinations can be substituted for this recipe.

I  make it weekly with seasonal fruit: strawberry & lime; lemon & coconut; cinnamon & applesauce; cranberry & orange compote; blueberry & lemon; blood orange & olive oil; lavender, honey & poppyseed; banana & walnut; peach & pecan; apricot & pistachio…

It’s fun to experiment with combinations and it’s a good way to use the over ripe fruit at the end of the week.

I adapted this recipe from a lemon bread recipe from the King Arthur Flour site:
Lemon Bread Recipe from King Arthur Flour

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Food | Bolognese sauce with variations

This is a quick version of a red meat sauce, ragù alla Bolognese, that is easy to make from scratch. It can be used with different types of pasta, lasagna, eggplant or chicken parmesan. There are variations to try and it can be made ahead of time and frozen for later, especially if you have a lot of fresh tomatoes to use.

Click the slides to view ingredients and steps.

Variations:

Try making meatballs instead of using the meat in the sauce. Form meatballs using the ground beef, Italian sausage meat (casings removed), 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, 1 beaten egg, & salt & pepper to taste. Lightly brown in a pan with a bit of oil, then drain on a paper towel. Make the rest of the sauce without the meat, then add the meatballs after the tomatoes & carrots are softened and the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste has been added. Cook the meatballs in the sauce for 10-15 minutes longer than the regular recipe.

Try a Puttanesca-esque version: When cooking the garlic and onions, use more garlic and olive oil and add a small can of anchovies. Sauté until the anchovies have completely dissolved. When adding the tomato sauce and seasonings, also add 4 tablespoons of small bottled/canned capers, 2 tablespoons of caper juice, 2 tablespoons of olive tapenade (or 3 tablespoons of chopped green, Kalamata or pitted black olives), & 1/2 teaspoon dry, crushed red pepper seasoning.

Try adding 1/4 cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes and sliced and cooked/lightly browned Italian sausage for a sweeter version.

Try adding  1/2 cup sautéd/browned bits of pancetta or bacon.

Try adding 4 tablespoons of pesto sauce or garlic paste for a kick in flavor.

Try adding 1 cup of sautéd fresh mushrooms or sautéd fresh spinach.

Try adding 3/4 cup of Alfredo sauce, 3/4 cup of béchamel or 1/2 cup of heavy cream plus additional cheese for a rosé, creamy tomato sauce.

Food | Chicken salad

Easy chicken salad that can either be made from leftover roast chicken or grilled chicken breast.

Makes approximately 4-5 servings

2 cups of chopped or diced chicken meat

1 medium sized apple diced into very small cubes (granny smith, honey crisp or fuji)

1/3 cup sliced grapes (red seedless, green or champagne)

3/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios or pecans)

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, apricots or currants)

1 tablespoon mustard (dijon, spicy brown, grainy or yellow)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise (to taste)

salt & pepper (to taste)

optional spices added to taste (dry Italian seasoning, tarragon, parsley or curry)

*Experiment with cubed or chopped textures, fruit, nuts and spices for different variations.