19-4: Exotic Fruits II

A month ago or so, I promised you the sequel to 19-3: Exotic Fruits I, and now I present to you that sequel, 19-4: Exotic Fruits II.

Here’s my standard blurb about Cooking School, and how the back of the book features spotlights on basic recipes, ingredients, and techniques as part of a “cooking school”.

Due to the way Simply Delicious writes these, I’ll cover these ingredients the same way I did in Part I after the jump, along with the ingredients on the back of this card. I’ll warn you now–I don’t have a lot of recipes for these so far, so instead, I’ll suggest some recipes where you could maybe use these ingredients as replacements or additions.


Read more

19-3: Exotic Fruits I

19-3: Exotic Fruits I

In today’s edition of “The Way Things Used To Be”, we’re going to see yet another example of how globalization over the last 30ish years has changed everything, including the availability of produce. 19-3: Exotic Fruits I (and its soon-to-be-sequel, 19-4: Exotic Fruits II) highlights three fruits that seemed “exotic” back in the late 1980s-early 1990s: kiwi, carambola (“star fruit”), and mango.

Out of the three, I’d maybe consider carambola as the most “exotic”–kiwi and mango were already pretty popular by the 1990s (the heyday of brands like Nantucket Nectars and Snapple). Plus, which of the three do you think you’d have the hardest time locating in a grocery store these days? I mean, you’d find all of them, but you might have to go to like, two stores? When this was written, it’d have been much harder (especially based on where you lived).


Read more

16-32: Glazed Fresh Fruit Cake

16-32: Glazed Fresh Fruit Cake

I grew up in Southern California, and lived there up until about 10 years ago. At one of my last jobs before I left, I was often gifted with a Porto’s Bakery fruit tart, which was (and I’m sure still is) delectable. 16-32: Glazed Fresh Fruit Cake reminds me of those fruit tarts, and makes me excited for warmer weather days ahead (check with me again about that when we’re in the middle of summer).

Glazed fruit tarts aren’t unique to just Porto’s or Simply Delicious, and there’s even different options for glazing your fruit tarts, depending on what you’re going for.


Read more

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

Since there’s about to be quite a few salad recipes coming up, I thought I’d put 2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing out there as well. I tried to think of more salad dressing variations than what they list here, but honestly? Most “traditional” salad dressings do fall into one of the three categories they establish: vinaigrette, cream/mayo-based, and low-calorie. Go ahead–can you think of one that doesn’t?

PS: I spy that sneaky tarragon vinegar in their picture below. If you want to learn to make your own, check out 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs.

At the restaurant I worked at a few years ago, we made our own dressings from scratch. And by “we”, I mean “me”–I made all the dressings for the whole restaurant every week and kept everything stocked up, since it was my station (garde manger, or pantry chef) that made the salads. We made a blue cheese, ranch, Caesar, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and another lighter, more traditional vinaigrette.

One of the first times I made the blue cheese dressing (which required a giant immersion blender and a 22-quart Cambro–it’s kind of like mixing concrete in a bucket), a customer liked it so much they asked to buy some to take home. I guess that makes me qualified to write about salad dressings now.

Hey–I have to find something to do while we’re all staying at home for a while. And so do you (probably), so why not read this?


Read more

15-17: Summery Cantaloupe

15-17: Summery Cantaloupe

Obviously, the name of this recipe is 15-17: Summery Cantaloupe, and if you’ve seen any of the pictures of the recipe (like above, as a header image), you’ve put it together that the melon pictured is in fact, not a cantaloupe.

The CSA box that week provided a very nice watermelon, and so that’s what I went with for part of my Mother’s Day 2019 brunch (MD2019). Yes, I’m also behind on writing these up.

I’ve made Simply Delicious fruit salads for Mother’s Day before–if you’re looking for similar ideas, check out 15-19: Layered Fruit Salad and 15-30: Champagne Sundaes from 2017‘s brunch. If you’re up for the challenge of carving a cantaloupe (or in my case, watermelon), continue on.


Read more

15-30: Champagne Sundaes

15-30: Champagne Sundaes

The final dish of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017) was the second half of my dessert options (in addition to 17-23: Mocha Éclairs): 15-30: Champagne Sundaes. My mom loves mimosas (which we had in abundance already), and since we already had fruit from 15-19: Layered Fruit Salad, I decided this would be an easy dish to make as well. Plus, it’s nice to have something light to finish with–it balances out the other rich dishes I made for this meal.

I decided to update this recipe concept for the 2010s: I served them in mason jar glasses instead of stemmed glasses. This could totally be a dish at current-day hipster bottomless-mimosa brunches everywhere.?


Read more

15-19: Layered Fruit Salad

15-19: Layered Fruit Salad

It’s a few weeks after Mother’s Day at this point, but better late than never. This year for Mother’s Day, I took a few Simply Delicious recipes and decided to make a brunch menu out of them for my mom. We usually do lox and bagels at home for our holiday brunch celebrations, but this year I wanted the full Mother’s Day buffet experience–but still at home. It’s not brunch without fruit salad, so the first entry for this grand event (MD2017) is 15-19: Layered Fruit Salad.

But wait a minute, you say! This is from the Cold Desserts category? How can it be for brunch?

It’s fancy fruit salad–I think it’ll be okay either as a dessert or a brunch side dish. Plus, I need to burn off some of these dessert recipes–so many of them require fresh fruit and summer is the best time for that.


Read more