My Yummy Local Life











{June 29, 2013}   Apricots- edible sunshine!

So earlier this week the lovely Lindsey invited me over to help harvest fruit off of their apricot tree. My reward was about half of the bounty:

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The above picture was after I had sorted them into “ripe today”, “ripe tomorrow” and “needs a few days” batches.

The ones that were ripe right away I halved and frozen on a sheet tray.

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After about 2 rounds of freezing I ended up with about a gallon of frozen apricots for use in smoothies and smoothie popsicles.

There were still A LOT of apricots left. I thought I might make some jam but since it is HOT here in AZ- with the high temperatures hovering around 110°F- I decided to see what was involved with drying fruit in the sun. As it turns out, as long as you dip them in lemon/citric acid water so that they won’t brown, that you basically have to remove the seeds and let the sun do all the work.

EASY AND 100% FREE!

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The first batch went from being 40 ounces to being about 8 oz once the fruit was dry enough. Surprisingly this only took about a day and a half. So afterward I did two more batches. And that is the end of my apricots (or the beginning depending on your perspective). I am storing them in mason jars and filled 3 quart jars and them a little overflow in some plastic baggies.

I am still shocked and amazed that this was a successful endeavor. Coming from Florida and then North Carolina you can even dry your hair in the summer time, let alone food!

Now I am definitely going to make some sun dried tomatoes…and maybe some other dried fruits…what would you dry in the excessive heat and next to no humidity of the Arizona sunshine?



I’m trying to make a different bread every week of the year. So far this is what I’ve got:

Week 1: Challah bread

Week 2: English Muffins

Week 3:Oatmeal Rolls

Week 4: Harvest Grape Bread (pull apart rolls)

Week 5: Potato Rosemary Bread

Week 6: Casatiello bread

Week 6 bonus: King Cake

Week 7: Focaccia Bread

Week 8: Italian Bread

Week 8 bonus: Plain soft pretzels/bites

Week 9: Pitas (x2)

Week 10: Pizza/Stromboli

Week 11: Irish soda bread

Week 12: Bread bowls

Week 13: Made with Love Bakery’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread

Week 13 bonus Bacon Epi(c) Bread

Week 14: Southern Biscuits

Week 15: Corn Bread with bacon

Week 16: Marbled Rye Bread

Week 17: Cilantro sesame rolls

Week 18: Garlic Scape, Pepper, cheddar bread

Week 19: Flour tortillas
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These were super easy and very tasty. A little finicky- we made the second batch way too crispy. I would make these all the time except there are some great locally made ones for sale at the stores here.

Week 20: Vienna Bread

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These rolls were really tasty! I will be making them again sometime. We used them for dinner rolls and sandwiches all week.

Week 21: Tuscan bread

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Not my favorite bread. On a positive note- it took 21 weeks to get to one I didn’t like. This bread has no salt in the recipe and it was sorely missed. It also molded very quickly 😦

Week 21 Bonuses: MORE pita bread and some carrot zucchini ginger bread for breakfasts

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Week 22: White bread variation 1

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I signed up to bring a couple of loaves of bread to the youth group for their week of service projects around town. I figured it was a perfect time to try out a white bread. I made a double batch and made some into hamburger/hotdog rolls too. Not so right on the shape for the hotdogs but pretty close on taste.

23. Bagels

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I wanted some easy go this for breakfast and lunch. As I had already made English muffins and I trying to avoid major repeats, I went with bagels. This was a good idea.

* Unless otherwise noted/linked up, all of my bread recipes come from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Book, which I would highly recommend.



So this is week one with no CSA box until summer crops start to come in. We were down in Scottsdale on Saturday (me to work and hubby to play) so I sent him over to the Scottsdale Old Town Farmer’s Market to see what we could find.

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He reports that there was an epic line around the big veggie booth and he didn’t want to wait, but he did get a bunch of fresh tomatoes and also some bratwurst and goat steaks.

This will be our first time trying goat, but we’ve got a friend who says if you like lamb, goat is better…he’s going to make it in some kind of curry.

Also on the menu this week will be brats and onions on the grill. While we have the grill going were going to prep some other veggies for the week (squash left from the last box and onions for pizza). We’re also going to grill the pizza dough for this week so we just have to melt cheese on our pizza the next day and have the oven it for much less time.

I’m going to get some raw milk tomorrow and try again with the mozzarella cheese making.

We’re having French onion soup sandwiches today for dinner. So yummy and so much easier to eat than the real thing.

For the rest of the week were going to lean on some of our favorite go to meals: swai with quinoa, eggs and taters (man food night), and veggie pasta.

Oh and these strawberry grilled cheeses are definitely on my lunch menu. Hubby’s loss for not wanting fruit on his savory food!

Next week were going to check out the verde valley farmers market, which just opened this past weekend and see what kind of local fare they have around.

Now I’m going to drool over the other people who still have boxes over at In Her Chucks. Check it out! And have a yummy week!



et cetera