Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Our farmer’s market is in full force right now, and it’s one of my favorite times of the year to visit with my local farmers, especially Paula and Jerry. I normally bike there, first thing, on Saturday morning to see what everyone is offering. After bumping into Jerry at the local baker’s tent, I had asked him if garlic was at his stand yet, and low and behold, he said they just picked it. Their garlic was pretty darn awesome last year, and as I have yet to pull mine from my yard, I decided to get a couple of bulbs from him, along with some great looking rhubarb, among other things.

I had no idea what I was going to do with the rhubarb, and all I knew is that I had a pound of it, only to be created into something delicious. This is one of those delicious recipes. A rhubarb simple syrup.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup Recipe
Rhubarb Simple Syrup Recipe

To say the least, this stuff is pretty darn good, and my daughter and I have been squirting it in all sorts of things, from water, to cocktails, to lemonade. It’s sweet, and just slightly sour and that has us coming back for more.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ribs of rhubarb, cut into sections, and lightly smashed
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup water

Simple. Hence the name.

Add everything to a saucepan, and bring to a light boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and then set aside off the heat to let it cool.

Once cooled, go ahead and store it in the refrigerator.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Not only is the color awesome, but the flavor is really great, especially when added to cold drinks on a hot summer day. Hope you enjoy!

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Mango Lassi

I’ve told you that we have been falling in love with Indian food lately. Sometimes I cannot get enough of it. Maybe it’s that smoothness of the curry sauces, of the simplicity of the ingredients, or heck all of the spices that just make for a wonderful meal. I can tell you that my freezer is pretty much loaded with garlic naan right now as well, and my closet is full of a variety of dal. Yes, we are true fans.

There is however a wide variety of desserts and drinks that the Indian culture bring to the table, and one of those are lassi. Think of lassi as the Indian smoothie. The basic version is really yogurt, water, and spices, however there are also savory types, and sweet types of lassi. I’m a fan of the sweet type, and hence the mango lassi. This mango lassi is not only delicious, but it is super refreshing on a hot afternoon.

Mango Lassi Recipe
Mango Lassi

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 mango, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cardamom seed
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of ice

Add everything to a blender, and blend until smooth.

Mango Lassi Ingredients

The result is nothing short of amazing. It’s smooth, creamy, and slightly sweet. It’s perfect on any summer afternoon, and one that my daughter and I fell in love with. Hope you enjoy!

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Jeow – Laotian Dipping Sauce

I recently ventured out to one of our local Asian markets on the south side of Milwaukee, known as Pacific Produce. I’ve written about this place before, and as it is fairly new, the store always blows my mind as to what it has to offers. One of my favorite things about any Asian market, is what it has to offer in terms of produce, meat and fish, noodles, and well, all of the condiments. It’s one of those places where you can walk out with a few loaded bags for about 30.00. I like that, plus you get to experiment and try new things. One of those new things I was able to try and never have seen before was a fruit called jlum coc.

Jeow - Laotian Dipping Sauce with Sour Fruits

I had no idea what jlum coc was, so I quickly Googled it and came across a post from Serious Eats.

It appeared to be a type of fruit, typically grown in tropical areas, of which was a bit like a sour apple with some bitter notes to it. I was up for the challenge, and that’s when I recalled a dipping sauce known as Jeow came to mind. I recall hanging out with folks who would slice up sour fruit and make this jeow, a concoction of simple ingredients, and dip into it, hissing from the sour and the spice that blended itself so well together. It was good, really, really good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of good fish sauce (I like Fish Boat brand)
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp toasted rice powder
  • Sour fruit, sliced (such as granny smith apples, raw mango, or coc)

This is so easy to make, and is a perfect balance of sour, spicy, and a bit of sweet.

Mix everything but the sliced fruit into a small mixing bowl, ensuring that the toasted rice does not clump together.

How to make Jeow

Place in the refrigerator (if you want) for a couple of hours to let the flavors come together.

When you are ready to serve, add some sliced sour fruit to a plate and center the jeow. Dip your fruit into the jeow and take a bite. Trust me, it’s a perfect balance and an awesome dipping sauce to boot. Hope you enjoy!

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Pineapple Cream Popsicles

It wasn’t too long ago when an old colleague of mine, and friend had sent me a message on Facebook. Being from Philadelphia, but living in Hawaii now, and I being from Wisconsin, he decided to prompt a friendly bet for an upcoming football game. The Philadelphia Eagles were playing the Green Bay Packers, and the wager was if the Packers won, I would send him some Johnsonville brats, otherwise, he would be sending us fresh pineapples from Hawaii. I typically do not bet all that much, but this was a friendly one, so I agreed. ¬†Needless to say, the Packers crushed the Eagles 53-20, and I kind of felt bad for my friend across the ocean. Regardless to say, I actually forgot about the bet, but a few days later he had sent me a message and asked for my address. Days later, some wonderful looking pineapples arrived.

I’ve never seen pineapples that have looked so awesome. I’m not kidding. They were called Maui Gold, and they were probably, hands down, the best pineapples I have ever eaten. My wife agreed as well. So at first, I was thinking of baking a pineapple upside cake, or some twist on that, but then I decided to make some pineapple popsicles as I daughter loves those types of things.

Pineapple Cream Popsicles

These pineapple cream popsicles are super easy to make, and are really refreshing.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored and¬†cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup cream soda
  • popsicle molds

Start by adding the pineapple, milk, and cream soda to your food processor or blender. Process to your liking. I like to keep a bit of texture in mine, but you can go as smooth as you want. Once you are ready, pour into your popsicle molds, and insert the stick.

Place in the freezer for at least three hours.How to make pineapple cream popsicles

When you are ready to serve, run a mold under warm water for about 30 seconds, then gently pull out the popsicle.

The end result is this fantastic popsicle, that is slightly creamy from the milk and cream soda, but really the pineapple shines here. Sweet, with little bits of pineapple coming through really makes for a really great post workout delight.

Now I will have to remember to wage more bets with my friend moving forward! Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for the Packers win!

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