Chocolate Dipped Clementines With Sea Salt

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I don’t know a single person who does not like the combination of sweet and salty. I mean seriously, it’s both of America’s cravings wrapped in one! What could be better?

I do know some people who are not big fans of orange and chocolate, as well as people who have never tried this glorious pairing, and to those people, all I can say is WHUT?!

Every year growing up, “Santa” put a chocolate orange in my stocking. If you have not heard of chocolate oranges, they are my most favorite candy, and you are missing out. You can identify a chocolate orange as the baseball-sized pieces of chocolate.  The instructions say to whack the chocolate orange against the counter, which will cause the orange  to split into orange shaped chocolate segments for your bite-sized enjoyment. My mouth as watering as I think about it.

I have not had a chocolate orange in several years, so when I stumbled upon this recipe, blending three of my favorite flavors together (citrus, chocolate, and sea salt), I knew it was a must.

Prepare these chocolate dipped clementines for friends, car treats, a light dessert, a healthy snack, or for a dinner party. They are certain to be a crowd favorite.

Enjoy!

Love, a rented kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 7-8 medium clementines
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 oz. of milk chocolate or butterscotch chips, finely chopped
  • A few dashes of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Rinse, peel, and separate the clementines into segmented pieces.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, combine and melt the chocolate in increments of 20 seconds, stirring regularly.
  4. Dip the clementine segments into the chocolate, lay on the baking sheet, and immediately sprinkle with a dash of sea salt (you don’t want the chocolate to set without the salt!)
  5. Refrigerate the clementine segments for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden (OR, if you do not have room in your refrigerator, you can allow the chocolate to set on the counter, but be aware it is likely to take longer than 10 minutes).
  6. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: The Comfort of Cooking
  • I believe these treats are best the day of, however they can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • The most tedious part of this recipe is removing the flesh from the clementine. Give yourself a few minutes for each clementine to clean off the white flesh once the clementine is peeled.
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’! (Recipe links below!)

How To: Cut and Deseed a Pomegranate

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I do not know how, but it was not until two years ago that I tried my first pomegranate seed. I saw a friend of mine snacking on these little ruby-looking seeds, and was amazed at the beauty of this strange fruit! The seeds looked like little gems, and tasted just as good.

Pomegranate season in the United States usually lasts from around September to February, however they often show up in grocery stores for a brief month or so. Thus, for the last few years, whenever I have found pomegrante for sale, I have purchased at least one – both for cooking and for snacking purposes!

I hope you find this instructional helpful.  Here’s to delicious fruit, the beauty of nature, trying something new, and healthy eating!

Directions:

  1. Gather your pomegranate, a sharp knife, and a plastic cutting board. (The juice will stain a wooden cutting board). Rinse the pomegranate and remove any food stickers.

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2. Place the pomegranate flat on the cutting board, and cut the fruit directly in half. If the fruit is very wobbly, try shaving a thin layer of skin off of the bottom of the fruit to balance it, and then cut.

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3. Cut each of the halves in two, so that you have a total of four wedges. (Be careful here! The juice will stain you!)

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4. Hold each wedge over a bowl of water, and use your fingers to pull the seeds apart from the white membrane. The seeds can fall into the bowl of water, and will sink to the bottom, while any of the white membrane that falls into the bowl will float on the top.

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5. Drain the seeds of the water, and munch away!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • If you do use a wooden cutting board, and find that the juice has stained the board, you can use lemon juice or vinegar to remove the stain.
  • Can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Don’t forget to check out the other ‘How To’ article from A Rented Kitchen, such as How To: Cut a Butternut Squash, How To: Cut a Pineapple, and How To: Make Chocolate Curls!
  • Love pomegranate seeds? Never tried pomegranate seeds? Try these scrumptious recipes from A Rented Kitchen that use this delicious fruit! (Recipe links below):

Baked Grapefruit

Hello world! Happy Friday! It has been a while since I have posted a simple fruit recipe, so I thought I would share one of my favorite ways to eat grapefruit with you today.  I grew up in Florida, and have vivid memories of having grapefruit with my meals, dusting the tops with a little bit of white sugar, just as my parents did.  In the winter however, my mom would often chose to bake our grapefruit for a warm sweet treat. Her tradition was a simple brown sugar sprinkle on top of each grapefruit half, however after perusing so many recipe websites and books, I have seen several adaptations to this southern classic!

In this recipe I spiced up my family’s tradition by adding honey and cinnamon.  Another technique you can try is drizzling agave, maple syrup, or vanilla on top, or even adding a sprinkle of cardamom, or a cherry in the center! Whatever method you chose to use- this recipe is the perfect way to jazz up your dinner, or fulfill the role of an excellent and healthy dessert!

Bon appétit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Grapefruits
  • 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons honey*
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a small baking pan (a loaf pan or 8 x 8 inch pan) with aluminum foil.
  2. Cut the grapefruit in half. Using a paring knife, cut along the inside of the rind, gently separating the fruit from the outside skin.
  3. Use your paring knife to separate each triangle segment of fruit from one another- this can be tedious if you’re doing many at one time, but makes the eating process much more enjoyable!
  4. Drizzle each grapefruit half with a teaspoon of honey.
  5. Sprinkle the tops of the grapefruits with 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar – you may not need a full Tablespoon, or you may wish for more! However, 1 Tablespoon is a good starting place.
  6. Lightly sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top of the honey and brown sugar.
  7. Place the grapefruit halves in the aluminum foil-lined pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until warm all the way through and the brown sugar is slightly caramelized.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes and Tips!:

  • If you are vegan and abstain from honey, simply replace the honey with agave! Although agave does not have the same thickness that honey does, so you may want to use slightly less- it will run more.
  • Looking for more healthy fruit recipes? Check out my chocolate-covered banana bites and Graham Cracker Crumb Fruit dip!

 

 

 

Fruit Salsa

Considering my father is a Presbyterian pastor born and raised in the south, I have been to my fair share of church meals and potlucks over the years. As a little kid my brother and I loved those events because everyone thought we were adorable simply for being the preacher’s kids, and our parents were always distracted visiting with people, giving us more room to wiggle and run around. When I got older, I loved those events because it was easy to see how every dish was prepared as a gift – a gift for the community. It was clear to see the labor of love people would put into preparing their favorite macaroni and cheese or their famous chocolate cake for the church potluck. This recipe is one of those labors of love my mom and I stumbled upon at a church dinner. Although simple in premise- a fruit variation of the classic tomato salsa- this recipe is rich and complex in flavor. The tangy sweet zest from the fruit paired with the cilantro and chopped jalapeños, is nothing shy of brilliant. Seriously. This is one dish I remembered over the years and begged my mom to find the recipe for. She did, because she’s the best, and we have made it every summer since. I am thrilled to share it with you and hope you love it as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny smith apples, leave skin on
  • 1 pink lady apple
  • 1 6 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 can pears, drained
  • 1 can peaches, drained
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup jalapeños, chopped*
  • ½ jar pineapple preserves
  • ½ cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1 pint blueberries- left whole.
  • 3 kiwi, chopped
  • Corn tostado chips

Directions:

  1. Rinse your apples, green onions, jalapeños, cilantro leaves, blueberries, and kiwis.
  2. Drain the juice from the canned fruits and rinse.
  3. Slice all the ingredients (except for the blueberries) into very small pieces. Leave the skin on the apple, but remove the skin from the kiwi.
  4. Combine the ingredients in a very large bowl and mix well, completely stirring in the pineapple preserves.
  5. Serve with chips to dip and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Notes and Tips!:

  • ¼ cup jalapeños is about 2 whole jalapeños. (To those of you who prefer mild salsa- don’t worry! The addition of  jalapeños will not turn this into a super spicy salsa. The seeds are what hold the heat in a jalapeño.)
  • I used 15 ounce cans for the canned fruit and had plenty of salsa- and that was for a crowd of hungry college kids! However, if you are making this for a large crowd or event and are trying to make more salsa, I suggest using 24 ounce cans.
  • Wear gloves when cutting the jalapeños or be very careful to not touch the seeds- they can burn skin. I suggest carefully cutting the jalapeños in half, then scraping the seeds out with a spoon thoroughly before chopping the jalapeños.
  • If you do not have pineapple preserves other jellies such as orange marmalade or peach marmalade will work just as well.
  • This recipe can be quite time consuming to make due to the amount of chopping and slicing required! Give yourself a few hours to make it.
  • To make gluten free- use gluten free chips! To make vegan- make sure you have a vegan jam or preserves. (Here’s a list to help you find one!) Also, make sure you use vegan chips. Tostidos makes several vegan chips, but read the ingredient list- some, such as the flour tortillas, contain buttermilk.

Fresh Fruit Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Hello fellow foodies! For those of you reading, I wanted to say a quick thank you. Monday was a big day for this humble little food blog, marking the passing of 1,000 views with viewings from 17 different countries around the world. Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I never thought I’d have so many people tuning in. I am honored that people want to share this journey with me as I learn to cook and have fun playing in the kitchen.

In celebration, I have another delicious recipe for you today that is both healthy and delicious. I love that combination! This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, and can act as an entrée for two, or as a side salad for 4. I used a combination of blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and cucumber in my salad, however you could easily replace one of these ingredients for your own favorite fruits, and I am confident it would be just as delicious. I hope this cool refreshing salad comes as good news for you on this first official day of summer. Happy cooking!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup cubed cucumbers
  • ½ Tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 10 Basil leaves, chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the quinoa and water to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover, and allow the quinoa to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Once quinoa is completely cooked, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. In the meantime, rinse the blueberries, strawberries, cucumber, and lemon.
  5. Cube the cucumber and slice the strawberries. Combine with blueberries and place in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  6. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. When ready to serve the salad, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and add the fresh fruit and cucumber.
  8. Add the finely chopped basil to the salad dressing, and pour half of the dressing over the quinoa mixture.
  9. Toss the salad gently to mix in the dressing and serve immediately, with the remaining half of the salad dressing on the side.

Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: about 2
  • If you add the basil to the salad dressing mix prior to serving, the liquid in the dressing can turn the basil leaves black, so wait until ready to serve the salad before combing.
  • This recipe was created by Sala, the author of “Veggie Belly.” In her original recipe she used mango. Check out her awesome vegetarian blog here: www.veggiebelly.com