All Posts By: NANCY DeLUCIA REAL

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Create an Edible Ghoul!

In Fun Foods, Holidays On October 14, 2020 0 Comments

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Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Decorates: 1 to 2 individual pastries

How about transforming a premade, individual cake, cookie  or donut into a Halloween ghoul? Have fun!

Ingredients (for 1 to 2 decorations):
3 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
Cocoa Rice Crispies (for hair decoration)
One 4.25 oz. tube Dec A Cake Green Decorating Icing
One 4.25 oz. tube Dec A Cake Blue Decorating Icing
One .75 oz. Dec A Cake Black Writing Gel
One .75 oz. Dec A Cake Red Writing Gel

Directions:
1. In a 4-cup bowl, mix the powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon water.

2. If needed, add a little more water until a thick glaze has formed.

3. Place the pastry on a dinner plate covered with waxed paper.

4. Pour enough glaze over the pastry so that it’s surface is completely covered.

5. Immediately transfer dinner plate with glazed item to freezer.

6. Chill 5 minutes until almost firmly set.

7. Transfer the plate with pastry to a work surface & sprinkle the Cocoa Rice Crispies on the ghoul to create “hair”.

8. Fit the Dec A Cake Green Decorating Icing tube with a pointed tip.

9. Looking at photograph herein, be inspired to decorate the pastry by create outer green eye circles, eyebrows & nose.

10. Next, fit the Dec A Cake Blue Decorating Icing tube with a separate pointed tip.

11. Create inner blue pupils inside green outline for eyes.

12.  Draw black pupil in center of pupils in eyes.

13. Draw black line for the mouth.

14. Add red fangs to the mouth line.

15. Decorate a second pastry, if desired. Transfer decorated Halloween ghouls to a serving platter & devour them!
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

Truly Organic Fig Jam

In Fruit and Jams, Fun Foods On August 31, 2020 0 Comments

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Prep time: 30 minutes
Makes: 3 to 4 cups
Storage: in three 2-cup Mason jars, refrigerated for up to 1 month

With luscious figs in season right now, if you’re blessed with a tree, make this “truly organic fig jam”. If you don’t have a tree, try to find extremely ripe figs at a farmers’ market.

Serve the fig jam on crusty Italian or French bread alongside walnuts and/or cheese. Yummo!

Ingredients:
3 pounds organic fresh figs, rinsed & drained
1-3/4 cups organic, unbleached, granulated sugar
1/2 cold water or a little more

Directions:
1. Cut figs in half and place them in a 4 to 6-quart saucepot.

2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar; stir until evenly combined.

3. On medium-high heat, bring the figs to a boil.

4. When figs are boiling, add 1/2 cup water and stir mixture so that sugar will not burn at bottom of saucepot.

5. Cook figs on low (simmering boil) for about 30 minutes.

6. Occasionally stir the fig jam as it reduces and thickens or it will burn at bottom of saucepot.

7. After 30 minutes, the jam will have thickened and turned brown.

8. Remove saucepot from heat and set aside on a cold burner, covered.

9. When fig jam has cooled, transfer it to three 2-cup mason jars. Cover and tightly seal jars; store in refrigerator.

Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Toasted Sesame Hummus

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods On July 28, 2020 0 Comments

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: 3 cups
Serves: 6 to 8 (leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week)

Tired of the same old hummus? This recipe is made with toasted sesame oil.

Watch everyone’s expression as they take their first bite!

Ingredients:

One 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons Tahini paste
3 tablespoons plain, Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Serrano chile, stem discarded
2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lime
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh sprigs of your favorite herbs (for garnish)

Directions:
1. Place garbanzo beans, Tahini paste, yogurt, garlic, chile, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and olive oil in a food processor.

2. Process the ingredients until they are uniform.

3. Add the lime juice and salt; process and taste.

4. If needed, adjust seasonings and add 1 more tablespoon sesame oil. Process once more.

5. Transfer the hummus to a bowl and garnish with herbs.

6. Serve hummus with corn tostadas, corn chips or your favorite crackers, toasted bread slices, etc.

Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

Summer Cactus Salad – Truly Vegan (no processed ingredients added)

In Salads, Sides On July 2, 2020 0 Comments

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In Mexico, cactus leaves (nopales) are usually combined with ingredients such as tomatoes, chiles & onions. This results in refreshing salads that act as a side dish to meat, poultry and fish.

Nopales (cactus) leaves can be purchased in Latin American supermarkets or grocery stores. Here is our exquisite take on this traditional dish –  Summer Cactus Salad.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
3 cactus (nopales) leaves (found in Latin American grocery stores or supermarkets)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 of a Serrano Chile, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped, fresh mint leaves
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime

Directions:
1. Working on a cutting board, chop the cactus (nopales) leaves into 1/2-inch pieces.

2. Transfer the chopped cactus to a colander set over a bowl; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, combine the chopped red onion, red bell pepper, Serrano chile and mint in a mixing bowl.

4. Rinse the chopped cactus under cold water and drain.

5. Working in batches, transfer about 1/4 of the chopped cactus to double paper towels set on cutting board.

6. Take paper towels and pat dry (cactus will stick to the paper towels).

7. Release the dried cactus  from paper towels and add it to other ingredients in bowl. Repeat with remaining cactus.

8. Add olive oil and lime to salad ingredients and toss. Taste and adjust salt level, if needed.

9. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 hours ahead.

Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

Zucchini Chips

In Fun Foods, Vegetables On June 1, 2020 0 Comments

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These zucchini chips are fun to make and fun to snack on! Just slice them and air dry overnight. Broil them in oven and you’re done. They’ll disappear in seconds!

Prep time: 5 minutes for cutting & overnight drying
Broil time: 6 to 7 minutes per side
Makes: 30 to 40 chips

Ingredients:
One 18 X 12-inch baking sheet (you can use a larger one for more zucchini)
parchment paper (to line baking sheet)
3 to 4 zucchini
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt, for lightly sprinkling zucchini

Directions:
1. Line an 18 X 12-inch (or larger) baking sheet

2. On a cutting board, cut and discard zucchini tips.

3. Cut remaining zucchini into 1/4-inch thick slices.

4. Place the zucchini rings on parchment-lined baking sheet, lightly sprinkle with salt & let air dry 8 hours or overnight.

5. Line another 18 X 12-inch (or larger) baking sheet and “lightly” oil it with a basting brush.

6. Transfer the zucchini rings (salt side up) to second baking sheet.

7. Turn on the oven “broiler” – this is the overhead element that turns red for broiling or grilling in oven.

8. Transfer the baking sheet with zucchini rings to oven rack positioned 6 inches away from oven broiler element.

9. Broil zucchini rings 6 to 7 minutes per side or until they turn golden brown and crisp but not charred.

10. Transfer the zucchini chips to a platter and serve as a snack or as a side dish.

Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real