Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

The dip of the season September 27, 2011

Filed under: Biz Stuff,Recipes — rabbit @ 12:01 pm
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Like many kitchen dwellers, I don’t like to see food go to waste.  But when you do business with food, you can’t break even every time on what you spend and what you sell.  There’s almost always excess that did not make it to the consumers.  At my old job, it killed me to have to throw away day-old muffins, scones, bread, desserts, etc.  But that’s called quality control, and it’s a fact of life in the food industry.  At least we used to make bread pudding with the unsold croissants (and it was very awesome bread pudding).

So after the farmer’s market this past weekend, I have some leftover products, all of which are still perfectly good since they have a decent shelf life (by the way, if you’d like to try a chocolate chunk & espresso sea salt cookie, I have some left for $3 each).  One of the items is a sweet and spicy nut mix with smoked salt.  After having tasted the mix a bazillion times to make sure the seasoning was correct, I knew I couldn’t eat much of it myself (I like my cooking of course, but I tire easily of some things).  So I decided to try something with a couple other items I had in the fridge.

Once again, I turn to the food processor:

Mmmm, sweet and spicy coated goodness…

I also had some mashed up butternut squash that I roasted last week.  You know how much I like butternut squash…  And a bunch of naked limes that I zested for those Cowgirl in the Sand Cookies.  I ground up the nuts until they were mealy and started to stick together.  I squeezed in the juice of two limes.  And added the squash.  Pureeeeeeeeee.

And got this:

Now it may not look like much.  It may just look like some plain old hummus.  But.  I did not really anticipate how freakin’ yummy this stuff is.  It’s creamy, tangy, slightly sweet, lightly spiced… it kinda reminds me of that sweet pumpkin dip people like to serve with ginger snaps around the holidays.  Except this is better.  So much better.  No offense to that other pumpkin dip, but it’s a little overdone, and a little too sweet.  It belongs on a cake.  This stuff has a rightful place on the holiday party snack table.  The blend of spices, nuts and lime actually give it a subtle cheese-like flavor, a nice little burst of umami.  That, combined with the sweet squash, makes it a total comfort food.  I am sooo selling this at the farmer’s market this season.  I just gotta tinker the recipe for cost effectiveness.   I can’t believe October starts this Saturday.  Damn.

(By the way, I still also have a few packs of those spiced nuts.  $2.50 each.)

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Not too shabby… September 26, 2011

Filed under: Biz Stuff — rabbit @ 9:54 am
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My wallet is 50% heavier after the farmer’s market.  You like?  I like.  Definitely doing this again.

I sold about half my stuff, which, considering it’s still slow season and it was only my first time, is pretty inspiring.  I gave out samples and received some nice feedback.  Everyone pretty much liked everything!

…except for one kid who wasn’t a fan of the espresso salted chocolate chunk cookie…

I’ll kill him.

Of course, I never said they were classic kid treats.  They’re more of an adult taste.  I’ll still kill him.

What really made me happy though, was the response to the cornmeal shortbread, which I call the “Cowgirl in the Sand” Cookie, based on a Neil Young song (I dunno, it seemed an appropriate name for a cookie with cornmeal, lime and chipotle salt).  I though it might end up being the underdog of the pack, but it actually sold more than the chocolate chunk cookie.  Good for you, Cowgirl in the Sand Cookie (Neil Young rocks, bitches)!  Interestingly, the taste is actually similar to a Froot Loop at first, and then the slightly smokey salt comes in.  It’s too cool for school.  The nuts were also pretty popular.

I’m gonna have a nicer set-up next time.  The rain-dampened table cloth ruined the ingredient labels on the back!  >:{

We’re calling ourselves Salty & Sweety.  It’s cheesy, but cute and catchy.  And it makes sense– he sells salt, I sell sweets (primarily, anyway).  I’m planning to have some different items next time.  I think I’ll keep the Cowgirls in the Sand, but I want to experiment and see what the crowds prefer.  If you have any thoughts or deep desires for a sweet and salty treat, let me know.  I’ll keep you updated on where, when, and what.  You can also check out Sierra’s Sea Salts for such info.  And thanks to Allie and David for visiting!

I must note the most amusing points of the day.  1) People kept asking if I was Sierra of Sierra’s Sea Salts.  Actually, it’s Stuart’s (Salty’s) dog…

I’ll get a better picture next time.  She’s pretty. ^_^

And 2) we saw an old guy whose pants were, no exaggeration, about to fall down.  But then he held them up.

I love farmer’s markets.

 

For your latest news feed… September 25, 2011

Filed under: Random — rabbit @ 6:35 am

Come to Pinecrest Farmer’s Market, fools!

11000 Red Rd, Pinecrest FL (at Pinecrest Gardens)

 

Your Attention, Pleeeaaase September 24, 2011

Filed under: Random — rabbit @ 2:57 pm

Like I said, I’ve been busy this week, and for a delicious reason, of course.  Tomorrow, Sunday the 25th, I will be at Pinecrest Farmer’s Market in Miami.  I’ll be at the Sierra’s Sea Salt booth with my buddy, selling some treats made with his fantastical salts!

Here’s a preview:

Clockwise from top left: a dark chocolate chunk cookie with espresso sea salt; cornmeal-lime shortbread with chipotle sea salt, sweet and salty mixed nuts with Cyprus flake sea salt; and sweet and spicy mixed nuts with smoked sea salt.

The market is open from 9-2pm.  Hope to see some of yous guys there!

 

Eat your heart out, Food Network September 22, 2011

Filed under: Random — rabbit @ 10:20 am
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My favorite part is when the shrimp purr.

 

Some variation September 20, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 9:22 am
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As fall approaches things are changing up a bit for me.  How appropriate.  I’m gonna be busy this week working on something special, which you will soon know about.  In the meantime, here’s a somewhat simpler version of the stuffed mushrooms that I made a few weeks ago.  This recipe is equally yummy and I suggest you get your arses in gear and make it.  NOW.

Goat Cheese & Almond Stuffed Mushrooms

Since I was experimenting I only used twelve mushrooms.  Multiply as you like.

Ingredients:

12 baby portobello mushrooms

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 cloves of garlic

1-2 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup goat cheese

1/2 cup almond meal (store bought, or just process some raw almonds til finely ground)

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp sea salt (I used a Sierra’s Merlot Sea Salt from my buddy because I’m cool.  You can get some here, or use whatever you got.)

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Remove the stems from the mushrooms and set aside.  Place the caps face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush them with balsamic vinegar and bake for 10 minutes, or until their liquid seeps out.  Once they’re out, set them aside and drain the pan.  Leave the oven on.

2) In a food processor, finely chop the mushroom stems and garlic.  Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the stems and garlic.  Saute until the mixture is reduced by about half, and remove from heat.

3) In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together the goat cheese, stems and garlic, almond meal, basil, and sea salt.  Taste and adjust the basil and salt if needed.  Oh, and add some black pepper if you’re all about that.

4) Stuff the mushroom caps and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until they’re heated through and the tops of the filling starts to brown lightly.  Bing!  Ready to serve.

I garnished mine with roasted almonds because it’s nice.  And an extra schtickle of Merlot Sea Salt (see how pretty and purple it is?).  They looked kinda funny.  Do what you like, just enjoy them.

 

 

Stuffed Avocados: you want them. September 17, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 11:37 am
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Would you like something yummy and healthy?  Something that feels kinda indulgent yet nourishing?

Okay, that’s not really a question, that’s a statement.  You would like something yummy and healthy.  You would like something indulgent and nourishing.  Duh.

Get an avocado, and slice it in half.  Scoop out some of the pulp, like so:

Like a little bowl.  It’s cute.

Set the scooped out pulp aside in a small bowl, and using a fork, mash and mix in: about 1/2 teaspoon of agave nectar, and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.  Then dice one small tomato, and a couple of fresh figs, or three to four dried figs.  Mix those guys, along with about 1/4 cup of garbanzo beans, and a few pinches of sea salt into the mashed up balsamic avocado pulp.  Be gentle.  Sing to it.

Spoon the filling into the avocado bowls, and sprinkle with some extra sea salt and black pepper.

Looks funky.  Tastes awesome.  Makes you feel nice.  I need a better camera.