Lemon Turmeric Energy Balls

lemon-turmeric-energy-balls

I came across this recipe on Pinterest and am so excited to try it.

I have a tree bursting with Meyer Lemons in my backyard and just got a fresh delivery of Medjool Dates from Hadley Fruit Orchards in Cabazon, CA.  I can’t possibly ONLY drink date milkshakes (although I’d love to try), and I need to find a way to get more turmeric, with it’s anti-inflammatory gifts, into my diet, so this is a win-win.

I may even make a batch that substitutes blood orange for the lemon because I also have a tree full of ripe Blood Oranges. #CaliforniaGirlCitrusProblems

In the ginger family, turmeric is used to flavor both sweet and savory dishes in many different regions’ cuisines: South Asia, Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia), India, Eastern Asia, the Middle East, Iran, South Africa, and Thailand among others. In Medieval Europe it was known as Indian Saffron because it was used as an alternative to the more expensive and harder to get spice.

Lemon Turmeric Energy Balls

  • 12 dried Medjool dates
  • 1 cup old-fashioned gluten-free oats
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, for dusting
  1. Remove the pits from dates and soak them in hot water for several minutes. When the dates are softened, drain them and place in food processor. Save the water.
  2. Add the other ingredients to a food processor and blend until mixture turns into a dough-like consistency. Add 1 tablespoon of water from soaking the dates if the mixture is too dry.
  3. With the small spoon scoop the mixture and roll into balls. Roll the balls in shredded coconut and place on the baking sheet.
  4. Store energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator until serving.

    Notes: Energy balls can be kept frozen up to 3 months.

    You can find the original recipe at http://www.natalieshealth.com/

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Luscious Lemorancello

I am still up to my eyeballs in fresh citrus, so I found a new project from which I will be able to make some really fun desserts!

slicecake_w_lemons11Have you ever been to an Italian restaurant and seen Limoncello on the after dinner drink menu or seen some type of Limoncello Cake on the dessert menu?   Limoncello is a syrupy liqueur that is smooth and sweet with an intense lemon flavor.  It can be sipped on its own, mixed into sparkling water, or shaken into cocktails.

I had no idea that Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in Italy.  Considering that both my family and my husband’s have Northern Italian roots, I was amazed to realize neither of us had ever tried this particular yummy treat!  I think that counts as some kind of neglect or child abuse 😉

The process to make homemade Limoncello (or in this case, since I am combining blood orange and Meyer lemon peels:  Lemorancello) is quite easy and much less expensive than buying a smaller bottle of the commercially bottled version.

Lisa’s Luscious Lemorancello

  • 1 – 750 ml Bottle Vodka (80 Proof is fine, but 100 Proof is even better)
  • 5 – Medium Sized Meyer Lemons
  • 5 – Medium Sized Oranges (I have Blood Oranges, So I am using those)
  1. Remove the peels from the lemons and oranges.  Put the fruit in a zip bag to freeze for later use.  I peel them whole and then use a spoon to scrape away the pith, but you can also use a vegetable peeler.  It’s important to leave as little of the bitter white pith as possible.
  2. Once you have peeled the fruit and removed the pith from the skins, slice the peels into narrow strips and put the peel into a 32 oz container with a lid then pour the vodka over the peels.  I prefer glass so that any dormant odors don’t transfer from plastic into the vodka.
  3. Seal the container tightly and put aside in a cabinet – or at least on a counter out of direct sunlight.
  4. Infuse your blood orange & lemon peels in the vodka for at least 1 week to a month or longer. Most of the fruit flavor is extracted in the first few days, the longer you let it sit the bolder the flavor will be.  I’m going to let mine sit undisturbed for 6 weeks.

You don’t need to worry about mold or bacteria growing while it is infusing.  The alcohol prevents any mold or other bacteria from growing on the fruit.

When you decide that you just can’t wait to enjoy your treat any longer, it’s time to strain out the fruit peels and combine the infused vodka with simple syrup.

TIP:  You can use any amount 1 C Water to 1 C Sugar up to 4 Cups Water to 4 Cups Sugar.  More water will dilute the alcohol percentage and make the liqueur milder.

  1. Make your simple syrup:  In a saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar (I use superfine baker’s sugar) with 1 cup water and stir over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Add this to the infused vodka, taste, and add more simple syrup if you need it sweeter.

When you have reached your perfect ratio and your Lemorancello is ready to enjoy, you can store it in a cleaned 750 ml vodka bottle (there will be more than 1 bottle worth of liqueur) or in pretty oil/vinegar type bottles with hinged or screw sealed tops.

The liqueur can be kept in the freezer for at least a year, and likely much longer. Use your own common sense if it’s been more than a year and it tastes off or you see any mold growing in the bottle.  Then it’s more than likely time to toss it and make a fresh batch!  I have no intention of letting mine last that long.

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Fall Off the Bone Beef Ribs

My husband loves a meaty beef rib, but our grocery store rarely has them and, if they do, they have been previously frozen.  So, you can probably guess, I was pretty excited to find a single slab of freshly cut beef ribs while grabbing some last minute Easter dinner supplies this past Sunday.

We eat pretty healthy during the week, so it’ll be a surprise tonight when he gets a weekday treat of a hearty meal of meat and potatoes.

Fall Off the Bone Beef Ribs

  • 2 Pounds Beef Ribs cut apart at the bones (6-8 Bones)
  • 3 Blood Oranges – 2 peeled/1 sliced (with skin on)
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/4 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cans Stoli Ginger Beer
  • 1/4 Cup Lower Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Cloves Garlic chopped
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil

Prepare the ribs

  • With the lid open, heat the pressure cooker to the Brown setting
  • Put the oil, garlic and chopped onion into the pressure cooker and cook until onion becomes translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the sliced apples, the 2 whole/peeled blood oranges, the sliced orange (with peel on), the soy sauce and the entire contents of both cans of ginger beer.
  • Cook until mixture comes just to a boil.
  • Place the sectioned ribs into the pan – they do not need to be completely submerged.
  • Close and lock the lid.
  • Set to cook on high pressure.  When pressure is reached, cook ribs for 50 minutes.
  • When the cycle is complete, unplug the pressure cooker and allow the unit to return to equal pressure for about 15 minutes, then manually release the remaining steam and open the lid.
  • Using tongs, remove the ribs (the meat should be barely holding on) to a 9 x 11 Pyrex baking dish.

ribs2ribs3ribs1Prepare the sauce for the ribs

  • Using a fat separator (see how to video here) with the stopper firmly pushed into the spout, pour the remaining juices from the pressure cooker pan through the strainer/lid.  If strainer becomes too full, take it off the cup portion and throw the contents of the strainer away – you don’t need them anymore.  Continue straining the juices until the pressure cooker is empty.  I strain mine twice (by pouring from separator back into the cooking pan then re-straining) to catch any chunks that might have been missed.
  • Pour contents of fat separator into a small saucepan.
  • Over medium high heat, bring juices to a low boil.
  • Add 1/2 tsp Dried Red Pepper Flakes.
  • Add 1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar.
  • Combine 3 TBLS Cornstarch with just enough Cold Water to make a smooth syrup.
  • Whisking constantly, slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the boiling juices.
  • Return to a full rolling boil (whisking constantly) and then allow to boil for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes then remove from heat.

Finish the ribs

  • Using a ladle, pour a generous amount of the sauce (but not all of it) over the ribs in the pan.
  • Cover the pan with foil and put ribs in the oven on low heat (250°F) until you are about 30 minutes from eating.
  • When you are about 30 minutes from eating, remove the pan from the oven, remove the foil and turn oven temperature up to 450°F.
  • Return the uncovered ribs to the oven and bake about 10 minutes to allow the sauce to adhere more solidly to the meat.

I’m serving the ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and carrot/pineapple slaw.  Heat the reserved sauce in the microwave until warm and bring to the table to serve with the ribs.

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Bloody Angry Baby Back Ribs

ribssweetpotatoEnticing name, don’t you think?  I’m not English and spouting a profanity, nor am I intending to butcher and cook ribs while they’re still bloody, I’m too big a wuss for that! 😉

What I did do though, is combine the flavors of the blood oranges ripening on my tree with BBQ sauce & hard cider and put it all into the pressure cooker to see what would happen!

What happened was a tender, tasty rib that absorbed the sweetness of the orange slices, the ginger-apple crispness of the cider before finishing with the smoky-spicy BBQ sauce!  I don’t usually enjoy pork ribs, but these I ate with gusto.  So much so that I only grudgingly encouraged my husband to eat the last slab on the serving plate.  I wanted the ribs to be the star of the show, so I served them beside baked sweet potatoes.

About an hour and 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat dinner:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and prick the skins of 2 medium sweet potatoes with a fork and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes then remove from the oven, place them in a bowl and tent with foil to keep them warm while you’re finishing the ribs.

Bloody Angry Baby Back Ribs

  • 2 Medium Ripe Blood Oranges
  • 1 – 12 oz Bottle Angry Orchard Apple Ginger Hard Cider
  • 2 Lbs Pork Loin Back Ribs
  • BBQ Sauce (whatever brand you prefer)
  1. Slice the oranges and place into the bottom of the pressure cooker pan.
  2. Cut your ribs apart into 3-4 pieces and stand them around the perimeter of the pan.
  3. Pour the bottle of Hard Cider into the middle of the ribs, over the top of the oranges.
  4. Immediately close and lock the lid and set the pressure cooker to Medium for 15 minutes and hit the start button.
  5. When the timer goes off, release the pressure and open the top.
  6. Remove the ribs from the pressure cooker pan and place them (bone side down) on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  7. Brush your favorite BBQ sauce on them as lightly or generously as you desire.
  8. Place the baking sheet back into the 400 degree oven you used for your sweet potatoes and cook the ribs another 15 – 20 minutes to bake the sauce in.

Serve with the baked sweet potatoes (with plenty of butter and brown sugar) and, if you’ve prepared some (or bought it) ahead of time, some crisp cold coleslaw.  If you don’t have a recipe for coleslaw, you might want to give my recipe from September 2015 a try: Lisa’s Kicked Up Memphis Coleslaw. Enjoy!

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood