Thursday, September 23, 2010

D.I.Y. Almond Milk

This was so rewarding, I think I may call it the best milk ever poured in the TTK (Turquoise Tile Kitchen)! And not to mention it gets a DELICIOUS on the hubby-factor rating system (which I am just introducing). I have always wanted to try making my own almond milk and after doing it, I can't believe I waited this long! Soooo easy and economical!

Actually, that's not true, I have tried making it before.....I had a soymilk maker in China and attempted a shot at making almond milk in it once. I think the almonds weren't as good and it kind of flopped....but that could also be due to the fact that I didn't know what I was doing since I couldn't read the Chinese directions! The JOYOUNG soymilk maker was pretty cool though! Hubby bought it for me as an anniversary gift when we arrived in Beijing. A year prior he had actually visited their factory for work and saw them being made on the assembly line. I have yet to get an electric converter to use it here in the U.S. I am kind of off of my soymilk kick anyways, but just read that I can make my own coconut milk with it. hmmmmmmmm.......

As for the almond are pictures and the instructions below. It was amazing with coffee because it gets really foamy when you blend it. I recommend making it in the morning on a weekend so you can enjoy fresh almond milk lattes immediately! ;)

D.I.Y. Almond Milk

1 C Raw Almonds, soaked in water overnight
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
3-4 C H2O

Drain soaked almonds, rinse and place in blender. Add water, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt and bleeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnd away.

Pour into your container through a fine mesh seive, pressing down well on the pulp with a spoon to extract all of the milk. Be sure to save your pulp for another use**. Can be added to muffins, bread, smoothies, or even feed it to the dog! Your fresh almond milk will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Natural separation will occur so don't freak out if it looks funny the next day. Just shake it up, keep calm, and carry on.

**TTK Note** I have a fig tart in the oven as I type, which I used my leftover almond pulp to make my own variation of marzipan. I snapped some photos and noted all of my adjustments to the original recipe. If it turns out to be yummy and gets a high hubby-factor rating, I will post it! I got the recipe idea from KK Holiday (my new favorite name for BF Katie) who loves Food Network Chef, Giada de Laurentiis and saw this recipe on one of her shows. She forwarded it to me knowing of my abundance of figs these days and is on stand-by to hear how it turns out!

Oh what the are a few photos of it now. I just took it out of the oven and it smells way to yummy not to share!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Golden Beet & Heirloom Tomato Salad

While I have been a total slacker and haven't been blogging lately, I HAVE been enjoying this golden beet salad a lot! I finally got it together and sat down for a post this evening.

Lately...I have also been enjoying more fig picking .... Sauteed Zucchini Ribbons ..... Truffle Seared Scallops ...... Miso Glazed Cod ........... AND more fig picking! I figure if I disclose all of this, I am committed to posting all of these recipes very soon. Keeping myself in check, people!

So back to my salad: Golden beets are the blonde cinderella in the story, having a sweeter, more mild flavor than their evil red-staining step-sisters; and pair beautifully with heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers for a refreshing salad on a hot day! I use the leftover beet greens in my smoothies or saute them with a shallot and a bit of red wine vinegar or brandy. For this salad, I used a quick & simple salad dressing made with figs from our tree (yes, I picked them, did I mention that?).

Golden Beet & Heirloom Tomato Salad
2-3 golden beets
2 lemon cucumbers, cut into chunks
1 large heirloom tomato, chopped into large chunks (yellow, red or varigated)
1 large shallot, finely chopped or sweet onion, thinly sliced
Parsley, chopped

Trim stems from beets, scrub and boil immersed in water for 45 minutes or until soft. Drain and allow to cool enough to handle, then skins peel off easily when rubbed with your hands. Slice into half moons, and combine in a bowl with cucumbers, tomato, and shallot (or onion). Dress with Balsalmic Fig Dressing (or simply red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper), garnish with parsley and and allow to marinate in fridge for 1-2 hours. Also delicious the next day!

Balsalmic Fig Dressing
5 fresh figs
2 T white balsalmic vinegar
3 T balsalmic vinegar
1 1/2 T honey
4-5 T olive oil
Sprig of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems
salt and pepper to taste

Place everything in blender except for olive oil and blend well. With blender running, add olive oil slowly to finish. Keep in the fridge and pour all over everything! (pairs well w/ goat cheese & apple slices on toasts)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fig pikkin

As more figs came our way on a beautiful sunny weekend (while I was slacking on blogging yet savoring scrumptious bites in the Turquoise Tile Kitchen), I set out to pick them before the birds had their pick. My husband snuck out and caught a shot on the cam so I thought I'd share.

I then posed with my basket of figs for him and later roasted some in raspberry balsamic vinegar to go on my salad which I also topped with fresh local scallops seared in truffle oil, carmelized onions, and the cutest little avocados from the farmers market. It was heavenly!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dragon Day to kick off the weekend

We almost left town this weekend, but I am secretly glad we didn't because I got my box today from Dragon Organics! Already planning to make a raw zucchini hummus, watermelon salsa, and perhaps some green beans on the grill.....

More great news....I am going to the farm on Tuesday for a little tour, and am meeting the founder and farm manager and am hoping to start doing some work for them. Yippee!

So as you can see I received.....
1 gorgeous watermelon
5 'big bertha' bell peppers
3 heirloom tomatoes
3 yellow squash
3 zucchini
green and yellow wax beans

Happy Labor day weekend.