Tuesday, November 29, 2011

miami's fruit and spice park!

A little while ago, when we were in South Florida for my dad's conference, we decided to head down south of Miami to the Fruit and Spice Park.  We didn't know what to expect but we ended up having a great day, touring and walking around.  

The park is a 37-acre subtropical botanical paradise nestled in the heart of the historic Redland community about 35 miles south of Miami.  It boasts more than 500 varieties of rare fruits, herbs, spices and nuts from around the world including 80 varieties of bananas, 70 varieties of bamboo, 40 varieties of grapes, 50 varieties of mangoes, 15 varieties of jackfruit trees and numerous other exotic edibles.  The park has an herb and vegetable garden, banana groves, and an amazing African Baobab tree orchard. Visitors are allowed to sample fallen fruit and the Welcome Center's tasting table has a great selection of seasonal harvest.  They even let us take clippings and seedlings to plant! 

We had a great day and I hope you enjoy our trip, through the pictures :)

the ylang ylang blossom...what they make Chanel No. 5 out of!

a gorgeous citrus tree

persimmon tree

....can't eat the persimmons until you have a frost! 

bamboo grove

horseradish tree...wasn't spicy but packed full of protein.  they plant these in impoverished countries like haiti!

horseradish tree pods and seeds....we got to take some home to plant!

garlic tree....strong!

giant taro grove

the three toed sloth only eats this kind of fruit!  

the huge African baobob trees...they can get so big that 50 people can circle it!

the seeds are used for carving

the largest fruit on earth!  the jackfruit and tree 


wild pineapple


some variety of mango

tiny bananas :)

the tasting table

ginger fruit....you rub your hands on it and it deodorizes your hands :)

tastes like pineapple!


A delicious tour!  If you are ever in the area, you should definitely check it out!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

pumpkin pie

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Pumpkin Pie
Serves 8-10
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 stick melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pie shell, baked off, home-made or store-bought
Whipped cream, for topping

Preheat your oven to 350*.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer.

Beat in the pumpkin.

Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined.


Mix in the egg and yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter.


Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger.


Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set.


Cool to room temperature and serve with cinnamon whipped cream. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

white bean mushroom wild rice soup

The essence of Autumn.
And root veggies.
And wild rice.
And rosemary.
Doesn't that sound warm and toasty and perfect?

No recipe here, let's just go!

White Bean, Mushroom, and Wild Rice Soup
Serves 4ish.

Take some sliced baby bella mushrooms and toss them in some butter in a large Dutch oven.
(2-3 cups shrooms + 3-4 tablespoons butter)

(5-7 minutes)
Add some carrots.
(1 cup, sliced)

(3-5 more minutes)
Add some red pepper flakes, white beans, and cooked wild rice.
(1 teaspoon + 1 can, drained and rinsed + 1ish cup)

Add some chicken stock and rosemary.
(4 cups + 1 sprig)

(10ish minutes)
Take some liquid out and puree with some more beans.
(1 cup + 1 can, drained and rinsed)

Add back in.
(5ish more minutes or until you are ready to eat)
Serve and enjoy!

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