Melon Mint Sorbet

It’s a sweltering summer, so here’s a drought friendly recipe that will cool you off and make your summer fruit last. I recently got a delicious green melon at the Hollywood farmer’s market (from T&D Farms) called an Ogen Melon, originally from Israel. This is part of what makes shopping at the farmers market so fun – being able to try new varieties of fruits and vegetables. If you can’t find an Ogen Melon, you can use Honeydew. Either way, you can go wrong with this sweet, refreshing treat.

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Melon Mint Sorbet

Yield: approximately 2 pints

 

1 3-pound ogen melon or honeydew, cut in half and seeded

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup organic corn syrup

40 medium mint leaves

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately 3 to 4 limes)

 

Scoop out melon and put in a blender. Puree and measure out 3 cups. (Drink any excess for a delicious cooling beverage!) Save the melon shell for optional service.

Add the 3 cups melon puree, sugar, organic corn syrup, mint leaves, salt and lime juice to the blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.

Transfer the blended mixture into an ice cream machine and process until firm. Alternatively, transfer to a container, cover with plastic film (pressing the film directly against the surface of the sorbet) and place into the freezer until firm.

My Upcoming Book Signings

Latte Lovers!

There is still time to grab your copies of Great Food Starts Fresh and…  get them personalized for the holidays!

I’ll be selling and signing my cookbook in the coming days at these times and locations:

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The Day

It’s my favorite day of the week.

Sundays mean Lattes (well, that’s everyday, I guess), the Hollywood Farmers Market (my favorite) and cooking all day with fresh produce. It’s also a day to sleep in and relax.

Today’s the day that I give the sweet corn ice cream I made this week to my farmer friend who asked me to make a batch using his delicious corn. It turned out pretty well, I think – sweet corn vanilla ice cream. Is it too early?

Today’s also exciting because last night I found out that I booked another cooking/speaking/book signing gig for the first weekend in October – details coming soon!

Playing With Your Food

This week, I’ll be attempting, for the second time, to make sweet corn ice cream.

This came as a request from one of the farmers that I see every week at the Hollywood Farmers Market.  He sells the most deliciously sweet corn and, as it happens, he has quite a sweet tooth.

When he asked me two weeks ago if I would make him some corn ice cream, I happily obliged. (With so much corn in abundance at the local farmers markets, it’s time to loosen the culinary belt and start thinking beyond grilled corn, corn soup and corn salad.)

Now, as I mentioned, this is attempt number two. The first attempt didn’t work out so well. Why? Well, uhhh, I waited a bit too long to make the ice cream and those poor ears of corn that I had most happily received from my farmer friend had, over the week, dehydrated, making the ice cream too starchy. Think licking a slice of raw potato, but sweet. Thus, that batch went straight from the ice cream maker to my mouth to the trash. Sorry, corn. It was me, not you.

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So, I’m back on it again and today is the day – just 2 days after buying the corn and 3 days after it was picked fresh from the field.

So here goes another round.

Sweet corn ice cream with a touch of cinnamon.

Now all I need is a homemade waffle cone and a double shot Latte.

 

L.A. Food & Wine 2012

Super-sous and I had a blast last night at the L.A. Food & Wine event in downtown L.A.

We made new friends, met up with old friends, and even met some of our musical heroes – like KCRW DJ Raul Campos, who was hanging out in the green room before my buddy and fellow Next Food Network Season 2 contestant, Guy Fieri, went on stage to do a rockin’ cooking demo.

With Latte in hands, we are headed to the Hollywood Farmers Market this morning and then we’re back at the event this afternoon for more fun and delicious food!

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Saturday and Sunday Fundays

It was a fabulous day yesterday at De Tierra Vineyards!

With a 5:00am wake up time and Latte’s in our hand, Super-sous and I flew up to Monterey in the morning, rode to the Vineyard and went straight to the kitchen to begin prepping for my cooking/speaking gig.

We prepared my Roast Eggplant Caponata on Crostini and Fresh Fruit Salad with Vanilla Sugar and Hand Torn Mint from my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh.

The backdrop for the speaking/cooking demo and book signing was picturesque – a little haven surrounded by vineyards and a group of wonderful people. It’s a little slice of paradise at the Vineyard.

And the fun didn’t stop there… another episode of my new show, Good Food America, was on last night. From Chicago to Texas to Wisconsin to Seattle… we’re taking you all over the US. If you like what you see – let me know. You can email me or post on my Facebook or Twitter!

 

 

And now, to start off this beautiful, sunny day… Super-sous and I are off to the delicious Hollywood Farmers Market.

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!

Simple Things

Last year, Super-sous and I enjoyed the best cantaloupe of our lives from our farmer buddy, Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms.

Needless to say, as melons are coming back in season here in California, we have been keeping our eye on Alex’s farm stand at the Hollywood Farmers Market each Sunday.

Today, with hope to re-create last year’s experience, we took home 3 different types of melons to try. With great anticipation we will break into one of these beauties later today after our afternoon hike.

Other than a double shot Latte, what more does one need than some fresh summer fruit and a dream?

 

 

 

Monsanto Hide And Seek?

Today, sweaty from the gym, I wasn’t quite in the mood to cook just yet, so after ordering a simple meal at my local Thai restaurant with my sous-chef, we began to wonder about where all of the vegetables came from. Not just what supplier or farmer, but where the seeds originate: from the rice to the veggies to the soy sauce.

Before we even finished our meal, we began doing some research on the topic, which included internet research as well as asking my master gardener and farmer friends, and (although we are still researching), our findings are quite unsettling.

Turns out, a company Seminis, (established in 1994 – a conglomeration of a number of Dutch seed companies) sells over 3,500 seed varietals and controls about 40% of the US vegetable market and 20% of the world market. In the US, they supply 55% of the lettuce, 75% of the tomatoes, and 85% of the peppers supplied in supermarkets. Basically, if you have ever eaten a salad, you are eating the produce from Seminis seeds.

The unsettling part? Monsanto bought this company for 1.4 billion dollars (cash!) in 2005. Now that’s a lot of Lattes…

I am a big supporter of small farms, family farms, organics, non-GMO’s. It has been easy for me to stay away from the Monsanto GMO crops like corn and wheat since I buy organic flours and corn and stay away from processed food which contains things like GMO canola oil and high fructose corn syrup. However, this new discovery made me realize that by the mere fact that Monsanto controls so many seeds (albeit non-GMO), that through the simple act of enjoying a meal (in fact most meals) – I have probably still been supporting Monsanto!

Are there ways to farm conventionally without using these seeds that have been bred and grafted for conventional farming? Do farmers really have options? Do consumers who garden have options? And, how will consumers ever really know what they are eating or not if GMO labeling is not mandated and varietals are not labelled?

For a list of Monsanto/Seminis varietals, you can look at their website. As I teach people, farmers markets are so great because you can ask your farmers all about their produce. I know I’ll be asking my farmer friends about varietals this Sunday when I visit the Hollywood Farmers Market.

I’m on the search to find out. With Monsanto buying up world seed companies… is Monsanto really avoidable?