I don’t like watermelon. I remember the longing I felt when I was young, watching the other kids digging into their giant slices of watermelon with reckless abandon while ...
When I was five or six years old, my mom took me and my brother on a trip to Catalina Island to visit my Uncle Danny. I have a handful of memories from that trip… falling asleep on my uncle’s tiny sailboat with my fingers dangling in the ocean (seriously guys? my hand could’ve been bitten clean off by a shark!), wild pigs all over the place, playing boardgames in our tent at the campground and eating my first fruit roll-up. The kind from a box with cartoon characters on it! The plastic-y kind of fruit roll-up that my mom had hidden from us for who knows how long! This was way back on the 80′s BEFORE fruit roll-ups came with temporary tattoos and tear-away shapes and whatever other new-fangled craziness happens with fruit snacks these days. There was a boy camping across the trail and he invited us over to play! When we tentatively ventured over, the little boy offered us the treats that he had smuggled out of his parents’ possession. Huddled under a tree, we ate them like tiny smack addicts until the box was empty. We smooshed them into balls, wrapped them around our fingers and ate them off until our fingers were pruned and sticky. Then I made bows for my hair out of the leftover cellophane, which is what any proper camper would do. I knew how to glamp before glamping was a thing. A glamping hipster if you will!
Every time I went to the grocery store after that trip, I would BEG my mom for the fruit roll-ups and sometimes she would indulge us by letting us have the kind you found in the produce section of the market.. You see, they were made with REAL FRUIT! Or, at least they tasted like they were. They had texture and substance and real-life seeds! Craziness is what that is. And you know what? I liked these ones better than the cartoon-y kind. My brother thought I was crazy, but there was something about them that just appealed to me. So, when I started brainstorming ideas for snacks to bring on our family’s summer road trip, I thought I’d try my hand at making something similar to those snacks I have such fond memories of. They would be easy to pack, delicious to eat and wouldn’t leave the kid twitching in the backseat from a sugar overload.
Admittedly, my fruit roll-ups turned out more like fruit leather, but guess what? They are freaking delicious! I can’t believe how great they turned out! They are SO good that I had to tell my permanent roommate to stop eating them so we’d have some left for the trip. If the fruit leather has to be hidden from a grown-ass man, you know you’ve struck gold! I found a few recipes online and adapted one of them to suit what I had around the house. I had Papa Joe’s Local Honey from last week’s recipe and a bunch of strawberries that I had purchased on sale that needed to get used STAT. The only thing I needed to buy was a lime. That’s right! The ingredients consist of fresh strawberries, honey and a lime! Three ingredients, thrown into a food processor and then spread onto a parchment lined cookie sheet to bake that come out tasting like a Strawberry Limeade! Here are the details…
Strawberry Honey Lime Fruit Leather
What You’ll Need…
- 3.5-4 cups of fresh strawberries, stems removed
- zest of one lime
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup of Papa Joe’s Local Honey
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped (optional but encouraged for an interesting twist!)
What You’ll Do…
- Preheat oven to 170
- Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. (If you are not a fan of seeds, strain the purée as best as you can.)
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour purée onto paper and spread thickly and evenly with a spatula.
- Bake 6 hours, or until no longer wet.
- With scissors, cut fruit leather into strips 2″x6″ strips (or whatever size suits your fancy) and store in an airtight container.
You may recognize this cute little jar from last week’s Watermelon and Chevre Salad post. Papa Joe’s Local Honey is taking center stage as one of three (yes, THREE) ingredients used in THIS week’s recipe. I bought the small, 4 oz jar of honey from the Loveland Farmers’ Market last Tuesday. Though I live in Old Town Fort Collins, I really enjoy making the small jaunt to Loveland with my son to visit the Loveland Market. It works well with my schedule and, many times, walking the loop of vendors helps the gears of recipe development begin to turn. As much as I’d like to be a plan ahead kind of gal, when it comes to cooking I tend to let inspiration take me by the nose and lead me where it may. In all other aspects of my life, I am an annoying over thinker, over planner and be prepared just incase-er. Do NOT tell my husband that I admitted to that.
With hives spanning over 160 acres throughout Loveland, Johnstown, and Wellington, Joe Mulholland grows honey without any chemicals in a biodynamic way. Papa Joe’s Local Honey offers local unprocessed honey and bee related products to the public at local farmers’ markets and their storefront at 4855 W. Eisenhower Blvd in Loveland, Colorado (near Devil’s Backbone). The woman working the stand at the Loveland Farmers’ Market let me sample the two varieties she had available and I went with the Devil’s Backbone variety because I loved the way it warmed my tongue and made me feel all sunshine-y and fuzzy inside. She told me it was an excellent choice and then explained that eating local honey helps ease seasonal allergies. I am no expert, but if this is true I am even more in love with honey NOW!
I am using Avalanche Cheese Company‘s Chevre in this week’s recipe. Where is Avalanche Cheese made? “I’ll tell you where. Someplace warm… A place where the beer flows like wine… where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called… Aspen.”
Ok, so that’s not true. But when I read the little placard next the Avalanche Cheese at Whole Foods, it said, “Aspen, CO” and I had this whole thing worked up in my head. In truth, Avalanche Cheese is made in the town of Basalt, CO which is about 18 miles outside of Aspen. A breathtaking mountain town in its own right, Basalt is a lovely place to enjoy the outdoors and is well known for its Gold Medal trout fishing. And, as I mentioned, it is the home to Avalanche Cheese Co which is what I’m here to tell you about today.
Avalanche Cheese Company creates handmade, artisan goat cheese and their products include pasteurized fresh cheeses and aged, raw milk cheeses. They were founded to supply the restaurants and shops of the Roaring Fork Valley with beautiful hand crafted goat cheeses.
Avalanche uses goat’s milk from their mixed herd of Saanen, Alpine and Nubian goats that live on the 130-acre Farm and Dairy in Paonia, Colorado. For those unfamiliar with Paonia, it is an oasis of orchards, family farms and small dairies nestled between McClure Pass and Delta, CO. It is their hope that by raising animals in a humane way, in a beautiful environment with the freedom to run and graze on Colorado pastures, they will provide delicious milk which we will then turn into delicious cheeses for customers. They do not use any pesticides or chemical fertilizers on their fields, and feed their animals nutritious grains and hay to supplement their pasture feedings. Certified Organic takes time and Avalanche is constantly working toward that goal, but in the meantime, you can feel confident that you are getting a hormone and chemical free cheese.
Avalanche Cheese can be found locally at Whole Foods Market Fort Collins (as well as other Whole Foods locations) and may be ordered upon request at The Welsh Rabbit in Old Town Fort Collins. You can also find it on the menu at Black Bottle Brewery! To find other locations where Avalanche Cheese Company can be purchased CLICK HERE.