Today a beautiful thing happened.
I had a free moment to reorganize some of my kitchen cupboards. Like I said, it’s a beautiful thing.
But before I talk about that I’m going to share with you a recipe for a fruit dip that I made in the spirit of Valentine’s day. Well, it was intended to be a dip, but it turned out runnier than I wanted–and today I discovered the perfect use for it: a dressing for a quick and beautiful fruit salad. It definitely wasn’t what I expected, but I took what I had and looked for the best in it–and it turned out better than my original idea. Kind of like a relationship, right? And to think, I learned all that without marriage counseling.
My idea was to make a yogurt dip to be used in lieu of chocolate fondue for a healthier (and pinker) V-tine’s day treat. This could still be accomplished beautifully with a little recipe-tweaking. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know what to do.
Valentine’s Day Fruit Dressing
- 1 C plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 C milk (I may have used a bit less)
- 1 t vanilla
- 1-2 T brown sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
- 3 strawberries, hulls removed
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. I suggest adding the milk at the end, and slowly, so you can decide the consistency you like. If you want to stick with the fruit dip idea, ditch the milk entirely. You can also add some red food coloring if you want it to be pinker.
This truly tastes amazing. The vanilla and brown sugar are the perfect complement to any fruit, without overpowering the natural flavors. And the tanginess of the yogurt! Don’t even get me started. I made an impromptu fruit salad today of apple, banana, and strawberry, and drizzled this over in a sudden stroke of genius. It was so delicious that it didn’t even occur to me to take a picture before I inhaled the entire bowl. Perfect for the Valentine’s day sweet tooth without ruining my eating for the day.
So onto the cabinets! They looked so nice and organized (and might I say crammed with ingredients) that I took pictures–and then I thought I’d share. You know…just in case you’re interested.
This is our processed-food-and-non-perishable-cooking-ingredients cabinet. Top shelf are mostly breakfast foods and snacks–two things in there that don’t belong there anymore are the Carnation Instant Breakfasts (I’m a big-breakfast girl now) and Bisquick (which should be in the fridge…oops). However, I refuse to throw away food and I’ll use the breakfast shakes in smoothies or try to hide them in Fritz’s dinner somehow. The middle shelf is all the canned stuff/pasta/rice noodles/pectin (in case I have a sudden urge to make jelly)/and spring roll wrappers that are just waiting for our Valentine’s day dinner-making date. And of course, Grape Nuts courtesy of my dad. I’m obsessed with eating 1/4 C in my plain Greek yogurt with a banana for breakfast. The bottom shelf is my favorite–fun grains, rices, beans, and other exciting things to cook with. New on this shelf is some fun Chinese black rice Mom found in a specialty store that I’ll need to do some experimenting with.
Impressively packed, right? This has been organized like this since we moved in, and it actually stays really nice for the most part. Once in a while I need to shuffle some spices around so I don’t lose the little guys in the back. On top of the cabinet are a few of the teas that I drink most often, for easy access. The top shelf is beverage stuff on the left and dry baking ingredients on the right. Middle is all my spices–which clearly I love. I use all of them, but ranked among my most frequent are definitely cumin, thyme, and red pepper. Spices are free taste–no calories! The bottom shelf is flours and sugars on the left, and all the wet ingredients I use–honey, PB, vinegar, jam, etc. I’m most proud of the fact that I made a couple of the objects in the shelf–the mint jelly, vanilla extract, and a few of the spices were grown and/or prepared by yours truly.
Makes me feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder.