Monday, March 24, 2014

His and Hers Chocolate Tapioca Pudding or "Muddy Water with Fish Eyes"

Tapioca pudding has sort of fallen out a favor in the last 30 plus years.  I remember my mother making Old Fashioned Tapioca pudding quite often.  The recipe she used called for eggs, cream and milk, but the one I made today uses unsweetened almond milk and no eggs.

The kids will love this pudding if you call it 

"Muddy Water with Fish Eyes"


Chocolate Tapioca Pudding

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1/2 cup medium pearl tapioca (not quick cooking)
4 cups unsweetened almond milk
 1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup good quality chocolate chips ( I used Ghirardelli bittersweet, but I also have used Carob chips )
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat add:
almond milk, tapioca, cocoa powder, and brown sugar.  Bring to a low boil, stirring often or it will burn.  Reduce the heat, put a lid on the pan at an angle to vent, and continue to cook for 30-45 minutes; stirring frequently until the tapioca is transparent.  A wooden spoon works the best for stirring and helps to keep the tapioca from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Now add the vanilla, chocolate chips and cinnamon if using, stir until combined.  Remove from the heat and pour into dessert dishes or mugs.  Serve at room temperature if you can't wait or refrigerate until cold.  This would be yummy served with a dollop of your favorite whipped topping too.

I used a teacup for the girls and macho mugs for the guys.

The guys could care less about garnish, I didn't even wipe off the pudding smudge!

Decorated with fresh mint and sage flowers from the herb garden for the ladies.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Swiss Chard Coleslaw with Colorful Bell Peppers, Olives and Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette

Swiss Chard Coleslaw with Colorful Bell Peppers, Olives and Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette

Meyer lemons are super sweet and are perfect for this refreshing coleslaw.  These lemons are thought to be crossed with a Eureka lemon and a Mandarin orange. They also make the very best lemonade since you won't need much, if any sugar.  They can be used in fruit salad, sliced and mixed in.  I leave the rind on too, just make sure you are using organically grown lemons.  Meyer lemons are grown all over California and are in many backyard family groves.  You will notice the rounder shape than that of a tart variety and they won't have the pointed knob on the end.

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Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette
  •  2 medium cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Juice from 1 Meyer Lemon, about ½ cup
  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoons fruity Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Oregano
  • Sea Salt and Pepper (add to salad after combined) 
In a large bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients, set aside.


In the bowl with the vinaigrette place:
  • 1 large bunch of garden fresh Swiss Chard; use the white stem variety.  Clean and slice into thin strips
  • 1 each of Red, Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers, sliced in julienne style
  • 1 cup Sweet Corn, I used frozen, rinsed, then drained well
  •   ½ cup Green Olives, drained and slice
I used double this amount of chard, about 8 cups
Toss the salad ingredients together with the vinaigrette, set aside in the refrigerator, covered, for about 30 minutes.  Remove from refrigerator and check to see if it needs the salt and pepper, since we have used olives you may not need the salt, but the pepper is a good addition.

**More uses for Meyer lemons:  Try grilling thick sliced Meyer lemons and add to a salad of arugula and Parmesan cheese.  Preserve them in salt like tart lemons and you will love using these in curry dishes. I often just slice the lemons and layer them with salt, not much just a sprinkle on each slice and pack them, stacked one on top of the other in pint canning jars, they will keep this way refrigerated for several months.  Preserved lemons are delicious used in Moroccan dishes, Curry dishes, Couscous, Tagine's and salads.