Greetings, y’all – or, as the song says, “Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome”, Cupcake Community, to the “new and improved” It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake blog site! This has been something I’ve been anticipating for quite awhile and I am so thrilled to be here, thanks to the hard work and crazy creativity of my dear foodie blogger pal, Natalie from The Devil Wears Parsley. She is truly an amazing blogger and friend and has become my technical guru for whom I am most grateful. She has created this new site that is easier to navigate, to search for and print the recipes you like. (Go ahead, scroll down to the bottom and check it out! Ta da! You can now print recipes without all the copying and pasting you used to have to do.) You can also easily share the posts and recipes and tips you like with others. You can subscribe to my posts via e-mail and follow me on social media ~ and I hope that you will! I think you’re going to enjoy the new format and the better functionality. And gosh, I love the way it looks. I’m anxious to hear how you like it all!
You’ll notice that all the posts from It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake on Blogger are here, and I’ll be getting those recipes entered into Easy Recipe Plus so that you’ll be able to print those up too. And I’ve got some new pages that I’ll be adding tidbits to as we go along as well. Bear with me as I learn more about my fab site and its terrific capabilities – so fun!
By the way, speaking of fun, how much fun are these (how’s that segue, folks)? Do you know what they are? Neither did I…until they arrived in a goodie box from Melissa’s Produce (they are the most generous people!) and I pulled out my trusty Melissa’s Great Book of Produce to look them up.
They’re called Cape Gooseberries ~ you’ve probably guessed that the papery cover that looks like a Japanese Lantern is their “cape”. They are available here in the US from September-November (globally they are available year-round).
Remove the cape and you will find a bright orange berry that is fairly tart. I didn’t think they were unbearably so, but I like tart fruits. I decided to take the advice in my book to use them in a vinaigrette.
With an Autumn-inspired salad in mind that included gorgeous Starkrimson Pears from my Melissa’s box, I combined them in the blender with apple cider vinegar, maple agave nectar, brown sugar, olive oil, Kosher Salt and pepper.
The dressing is light and and flavorful, sweet but not too sweet ~ the vinegar and berries give it a slight tartness that is refreshing and cuts through the maple agave nectar for a very nice balance. There is only 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, so you really want to make sure you use a good one…I used a delicious organic EVOO from arianna trading company that was given at the “Cooking with Olive Oil” presentation I attended at Melissa’s Produce (that post and all its fabulousness is coming next week!). It’s fresh and clean flavor really added vibrance to the dressing without weighing it down.
I made an easy salad using a package of shaved Brussels Sprouts, Pea Shoots, Swiss and Gruyere Cheese, Starkrimson Pears, dried cranberries and chopped sweet-spicy pecans.Topped with the Maple Gooseberry Vinaigrette, you’ve got a light and healthy lunch or dinner with the flavors of Autumn throughout. With the weather hovering in the 90’s this past weekend, this salad was truly a lovely meal!
- 1 basket Cape Gooseberries, capes and stems removed, washed and dried
- Apple Cider Vinegar, approximately ½ cup
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- ¼ cup Maple Agave Nectar
- ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ tsp. each Kosher salt and pepper; add more to taste, if desired
- Place the Cape Gooseberries in a blender and puree. Pour into a measuring cup and add enough Apple Cider Vinegar to make ¾ cup. Pour back into the blender and add the brown sugar, Maple Agave Nectar, salt and pepper. Blend at high speed and, with the blender running, slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil and blend until smooth and emulsified. Taste the dressing and add more salt and/or pepper to your taste. Store in the refrigerator.
- Serve on salad - shaved Brussels Sprouts, dried cranberries, Swiss/Gruyere/Cheddar cheese, apples or pears, nuts/spiced nuts.
Don’t forget to follow me by e-mail so you won’t miss a post. I’ll be participating for the first time on Saturday in a Wine Pairing Weekend blog event. This month’s theme is Fall Fruits and Wine – you’ll want to check out all the great recipes and the wines they’re paired with – here’s a preview.
Welcome again to our new Cupcake Community blog site! A votre sante ~
*Many thanks to Melissa’s Produce, who generously provided the Cape Gooseberries, Starkrimson Pears and the Great Produce Cookbook for this post. I was not compensated in any other way, and all the opinions expressed here are mine.*