Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dried Fruit, The Busy Mom's Back Up Fruit Plan

I try to do my due diligence and make sure the Princess Goat gets her daily servings of fruit.  Usually it's bananas and apples, though grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and mangoes get regularly served as well. 

But sometimes I just don't have any fresh fruit in the house - either because it was so hot this summer everything went to over-ripe in a nanosecond, because I didn't get a chance to get to the grocery store, or because fresh fruit wasn't quite convenient at the moment.

That's when I pull out my back up fruit plan - dried fruit.

Dried fruit has been incredibly helpful to keep around the house.  It keeps well, it's in conveniently sized pieces that don't require cutting, it's colorful, and it's generally well received.  Dried mango is the big favorite with the Princess Goat, but I also have dried strawberries (very yummy), dried pineapple, dried kiwi, dried blueberries, and raisins on hand. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Honeycrisp Apples, A Delicious Case of Mistaken Paternity

It's fall, which means it's apple season, when many, many more varieties of apples show up in the store.  I've come a long way since the days when the only varieties I knew about were Granny Smiths and Red Delicious.  I've tried many other varieties in the past few years.  And my current favorite by far for eating fresh is the Honeycrisps, which are wonderfully sweet and crunchy and tart.  The "crunchy" is the key, because the absolute worst is biting into an apple and getting a big mouthful of mushy.   First released in 1991, Honeycrisps have become increasingly popular. Growers everywhere are planting Honeycrisps to keep up with demand.  It's now the Minnesota state fruit.

Where did the Honeycrisp come from?  They were developed at the University of Minnesota (which has been breeding apples since the 1920s).  Based on their written records from the 1960s, the presumed parents of "Honeycrisp" were "Honeygold" and "Macoun".

But wait! Some noticed that Honeycrisp was dissimilar from its reported parents (Honeycrisp stays firm!  Honeygold and Macoun get soft!).  Suspicious!

So of course a genetic analysis for paternity was done.  OMG!  Neither Honeygold nor Macoun are the parents!  Instead, Keepsake looks like it is one of Honeycrisp's parents.  And the other ... still unknown!  We may never know - that particular apple strain may have been lost or discarded since then. 

I don't know about you, but having its origins shrouded in mystery kind of makes the Honeycrisp apple even more appealing. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

White Flower Cupcakes

When the Goatling was born, someone brought us a box of cupcakes from White Flower Cake Shoppe, and we've been addicted ever since. 

Cake isn't usually my favorite dessert, and it's because of the frosting.  Frosting is often too much, too sweet.  But the frosting on the White Flower cupcakes is sweet enough without being overwhelming.  The cakes are delicious.  And, they're pretty.  Really, they're gorgeous cakes.

The Princess Goat is partial to the white cake cupcake, and Foodgoat likes the chocolate, but I really, really love the red velvet cupcake, with the cream cheese frosting.  YUMMY. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011