Fourth of July Recap + The Cutest Cake

Happy Fifth of July!

I hope your Fourth was filled with some relaxation and good celebrations.

We were able to spend time with family, and watch the fireworks over Denver. It was a pretty wonderful day! The Fourth is probably one of my all time favorite holidays and I love the patriotism around Independence Day. We have so much to be grateful for in this country and amidst all the negative news lately, I think it’s good to sit back and appreciate the things that Freedom has given us.

I also wanted to share this fantastic cake my cousin and I made this weekend in preparation for the Fourth. This is such an easy cake to make and the results can’t be beat!

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How to Not Eat a Pomegranate

Let me begin by stating that some days I really am at a loss at how people can take such artsy pictures of food, or that they can calibrate such a complex meal in so simple of ways. I am in no way a food photographer, as much as I may wish to be (we’ll get there someday!!), and I’m hoping that maybe by documenting my meals and cooking I will help to keep myself accountable for my cooking and food escapades.

To begin…

I had this great ambition this weekend to eat a pomegranate. It had been a while since I had eaten one, and I figured I would mix up my daily fruit intake. And besides…pomegranates are so…pretty. (And a bit pricey, but that’s another story.)

So after purchasing said fruit and bringing it home, I sliced into this beautiful fruit without realizing how the heck to take the seeds out of the skin.

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For those of you who haven’t ever tried to eat a pomegranate, just a word to the wise, cut it open in half in an area that isn’t prone to splattering. The fruit part you want to eat is packed neatly and amazingly inside the hard interior shell of the fruit, making it difficult to extract. Each fruit seed is packed with red juice which is satisfyingly sweet, and when you cut in to it, the juice will go everywhere. (A word to the wise is to not wear a white or bright colored shirt, thankfully I was wearing grey, but still…)

So anyway, after opening up the pomegranate and trying to figure out a good way to eat it, let alone get the seeds out of the fruit (which provides a refreshingly fruity bite which surrounds the hard seeds), I had to send a few text messages to friends to figure out how to eat my new fruit.

And here’s what I discovered!

  1. Do NOT try to individually peel out each seed. Because there are so many, a fork only goes so far.
  2. Do NOT try to squeeze the seeds out over a cutting board. Use a bowl.
  3. And last but not least, do NOT try to break the pomegranate in half. The seeds will go flying all over the floor. Whoops.

Instead…

Soak each half of the pomegranate in water, and peel the seeds out with your fingers. The water will catch the pomegranate seeds and juice!CAM00426

This seemed to work incredibly well for me! The fruit ended up softening up and I was able to peel the seeds out from the layers.

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Kind of a strange process, but ended up being pretty cool.

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When I finally finished peeling all the glorious seeds out, I had a lovely container of pomegranate seeds which have been tasty to munch on.

I also have a greater appreciation for pre-peeled and plucked pomegranate seeds, which I have been told you can buy in a handy travel container at almost any grocery story.

But who knew??

Classic Recipes

Before my transition of my blog over to WordPress, I used a separate blog to write about some of my adventures and learning experiences in college. As I was recently going through this blog, I stumbled across some old, but tasty and simple recipes I engineered up with inspiration from Pinterest!

Crock-Pot Vegetable Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • A variety of vegetables (I used peas, green beans, carrots, and onions)
  • Stew Beef
  • Beef Stock
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parsley, other spices of choice

Directions:

  1. Simply put, fill up the crock pot half way with beef broth, and the veggies and seasonings
  2. Simmer on low for at least 7-9 hours

And now for dessert!!!

With my handy-dandy food processor, I created some tasty guilt-free ice cream.

Banana Ice Cream

This is a great alternative to dairy ice cream filled with sugar, and can be made in so many different ways.

Ingredients:

  • Bananas (Slice them up and freeze them for a few hours before using)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Milk (Optional)
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together in the food processor and serve cold!
  2. Can sprinkle with sugar  before serving

I love this recipe because you make it with so many different ingredients. Its healthy, filling, and tasty. So great!

 

Any old recipes you have that are goldmines from the “good ol’ days”? I’d love to hear them!!