I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but we love The Minimalist Baker! We were looking up cookies for a Christmas baking extravaganza, and came across this recipe for Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprints. We cooked them up, and they were so good, we ate them all before we were able to hand any out. I suppose we should make some more to share.
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup soft vegan butter (earth balance)
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal and 2.5 tbsp water)
- 10 tbsp jam of your choice (we used raspberry)
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare flax egg, set aside. Beat peanut butter and earth balance together until they are light and fluffy. Then add flax egg and brown sugar, stir. Add graham cracker crumbs and stir to combine, then add flour a little at a time until the dough is firm, not crumbly. Scoop dough into one tbsp amounts, and roll into balls. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Next, flatten the balls gently with the bottom of a glass and use your thumb to make an indentation in the middle. Bake for 8 minutes, remove from oven. The indentations should’ve puffed up, so press them back down a little and put back in the oven to brown a little more, about 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown. If they over bake, they will be too crunchy. Let them rest on the pans for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Once cooled, heat jam until warm and pourable in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Spoon small amounts of the jam into the middle of each cookie. Sprinkle with a few more graham cracker crumbs and serve!
Little things in life
Little Doors on Trees in Orlando where is 1- 13?
It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important. Arthur Conan Doyle
I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind. Leo Buscaglia
Little doors can be found by paying attention
My view is that life is too short. I’m not being melodramatic or anything, but when your mother dies in your arms – just you and her, and it’s one o’clock in the morning, and you’re waiting for her to exhale – you just think, life’s too bloody short to argue about the little things. Saffron Aldridge
I don’t have to take a trip around the world or be on a yacht in the Mediterranean to have happiness. I can find it in the little things, like looking out into my backyard and seeing deer in the fields. Queen LatifahI
Wooden Bear sculpture in a tree
I found that if you take a few minutes out of your day to look around and find a few special little things in life— it is amazing how quickly all the big problems you thought you had all of the sudden seem smaller. Nanette Gregory
We have been up to FarmDaddy in the Sanford area to learn more about this growing system and what makes it different from many of the other systems out there.
One of the most ingenious features of the FarmDaddy is the simplicity of how the garden container is watered. The unit requires NO electricity, attaches to a common garden hose (or rain barrel) and is self-regulating . The garden container provides each plant the precise amount of water it needs at the exact time it needs it. Each self watering container maintains optimal plant hydration 24/7 which maximizes plant growth potential. One box can be daisy chained to up to 600 boxes. Due to the bypass in each box, only the boxes that need water receive hydration. Other so called watering box systems still need the user to physically add water at regular intervals.
The FarmDaddy garden container provides accelerated growth and increased productivity for growing fresh organic food or flowers.
Here is a video for you to watch to learn more:
makes 4-6 servings
As Chef Mark knows, I am a huge fan of soup. All kinds of soup! So he whipped me up this beautiful concoction to teach me a thing or two. This is a fairly basic soup, and many of the ingredients can be swapped out more to your liking. Instead of broccoli, try cauliflower or mushrooms; or switch the potatoes out for rice or white beans. The seasonings can be switched too, try curry powder or saffron, or even chili seasonings for more spice. You can also add on vegan or dairy cheese (cream cheese works great!), or throw in some crackers for some crunch. However you like it, let us know your favorite combination!
- 8 cups broccoli, rough chop
- 2 russet or baking potatoes, large cubes
- 7 cups vegetable stock
- ½ white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- red pepper flakes, pinch
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- extra virgin olive oil
- baguette for croutons, if desired
Sweat onions in EVOO over medium heat. Add garlic cloves, salt, and pepper; then veg stock. Bring to a oil. Add red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender, then add broccoli. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Cook until broccoli is tender enough to puree, it should still be bright green. Let cool until safe enough to puree. Use either immersion blender, food mill, or regular blender until smooth. Add salt to taste, and a cream or cream substitute if desired to add texture. (We added some almond milk in ours!)
Traditional Croutons: chop baguette in small chunks. Cover bottom of a pan with EVOO, cook over medium heat. Cook croutons to desired color, flipping once. Add black pepper & salt to taste.
An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
Henry David Thoreau
Even though it is winter there is lots of beauty to see along the way on an early morning walk or anytime during the day.
Orlando has lots of greenery, along with wonderful flowering bushes and citrus.
Plus walking helps improve a mood, gives you time to think, helps keep your brain active, increases balance, cost next to nothing and much more.
A little orange in life
Being creative with stones
Orlando Flowering bushes some even bloom in the winter
This week blog post features another local Orlando business: Farm Boy Kombucha
Farm Boy Kombucha
Farm Boy Produce is a Orlando locally owned and operated company that was established in 2011. At Farm Boy, they strive to produce the highest quality Kombucha by using only the best organic ingredients. All the teas used in the brewing process are USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified. All the water used is treated with a four stage reverse osmosis system to remove all contaminants including chlorine and fluoride, to insure the healthiest Kombucha. In addition to this, all the tea used during brewing, and all other biodegradable ingrednts and materials are placed into productive compost bins and worm bins and recycled into productive soil, and generating hardly any waste in the process. These are some of key components on what makes Farm Boy different, and what makes Farm Boy a truly sustainable company.
Farm Boy Produce LLC
Local. Sustainable. Organic.
Farm Boy Kombucha can be found at Dandelion Communitea Cafe:
We came across some yummy looking tangerines and decided to make some sherbet! We adapted from this recipe here from vanillaandbean.com, which they adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe here to make it vegan. See, it’s all about making a recipe your own!
- 2 Cups Orange Juice, fresh-squeezed tangerines. This will require 2-3 lbs of oranges. Refrigerate the oranges overnight if possible.
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Cup Granulated Cane Sugar
- ⅛ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1¾ C, or 13.6 oz can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 2 Tbs Orange Zest, 2 small oranges
- The night before making the sherbet, place the oranges and coconut milk in the refrigerator. Place the ice cream maker’s freezer bowl in the freezer.
- In a high speed blender (or a food processor), blend the orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and coconut milk until the sugar is dissolved. Strain into a large bowl. Add the orange zest. Stir.
- Refrigerate until mixture is 40F or less (I refrigerated mine overnight to reach appropriate temperature).
- Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. When finished, the sherbet will be like soft-serve (mine took 25 minutes).
- While the sherbet is processing, line a storage container with parchment paper and place in the freezer.
- Spoon the sherbet into the storage container making sure to redistribute the zest evenly as it tends to get stuck and clump up on the mixer attachment.
- Place a piece of parchment paper directly on the surface of the Sherbet and freeze until desired consistency. I freeze mine overnight, but a softer serve consistency can be enjoyed in about three hours.
- Serve in a bowl or cone.
- Store for up to two weeks in the covered container in the freezer.