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|Saturday, July 16th, 2011|
rye sourdough muffins
Hello everybody, I'm new here and look forward to getting to know you.
Just now I'm feeling inventive about muffins. I have difficulty digesting normal bread and never found out whether it's the wheat, the yeast, or both. In the mornings especially I have to be careful. My breakfast carb options are oatcakes or 100% rye sourdough bread.
Then yesterday I learned that old-fashioned English muffins are cooked on the hob, not baked. Ears pricked up! because I live mostly without an accessible oven. So now I'm thinking: 100% rye sourdough muffins! This could work and it could be tasty. How exciting. Care to come with me?
I got a sourdough recipe from my Sainsbo's rye-flour packet. The starter, apparently, needs 3 overnight incubations before you can use it to make bread. So I've just done the first step:
Mix 1 cup of rye flour with 1 cup of water. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place overnight.
|Saturday, March 21st, 2009|
Dairy experiments: Make your own ricotta
I've been on a dairy experimentation binge this week, thanks to needing a couple of tablespoons of buttermilk for a recipe. Around here, you can't buy buttermilk in anything smaller than a quart. I don't drink the stuff (I don't drink milk in general), but I didn't want it to go to waste.
My friend klwalton
had recently posted about making homemade ricotta cheese, and it sounded so good - and easy - that I've been meaning to try it. And holy cow, is it easy. Since she hasn't posted it here, I will:Buttermilk ricotta
* Four parts whole milk. (Reduced fat milk won't produce enough curds to be worth the bother, although if you're trying to use up what's on hand, you could try adding cream. Just avoid the ultrapasteurized stuff - the heat it's subjected to in processing will keep it from forming curds.)
* One part cultured buttermilk
* Pinch of salt (if you want).
Have ready a large bowl and a strainer lined with dampened cheesecloth. (Have you tried to find cheesecloth in a supermarket lately? I couldn’t - so I used a Handiwipe ™ having run it through the washing machine to get rid of the fragrance the manufacturer insists on adding to the things. Worked like a charm.)
In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the milk begins to steam and curds start to form. Stop stirring, but continue heating until the mixture reaches 175F and has formed fine curds. Remove from heat and pour carefully into the cloth-lined strainer. Allow to drain until most of the whey is drained off, then gather up the curds in the cloth and hang it from the faucet, or from a spoon laid over a bowl, to continue draining until it’s as dry as you want it. Pack into a clean refrigerator container. Keeps as long as commercial ricotta, but tastes sooooo much better.
The amount this makes depends on a lot of variables - the fat content of the whole milk, the acidity of the buttermilk, and other factors that are hard to judge in advance. I used a pint of buttermilk to two quarts of whole milk, and got almost two cups of cheese - enough for the artichoke-and-pea lasagne I plan to make tomorrow night.
There are also recipes on the 'Net for using lemon juice as the curdling agent in homemade ricotta. The process is pretty much the same.
What about all that whey? I confess that I tossed it, but there’s still a good deal of food value there, and it can be used to enrich home-made soups, or to substitute for water in bread recipes.
More buttermilk fun in my foodblog, Cooking from the Market
(syndicated on LJ as kightpfoodblog
|Sunday, March 1st, 2009|
This is somewhat labor intenesive, but hugely easy from a cooking standpoint. I am often asked to make this dish. Quantities in the ingredient list are vague, but recipe is VERY forgiving.
3 whole chicken breasts (buy on-the-bone with skin, it's cheaper)
1 package of cream cheese (around 10 ounces?)
1 package of montery jack cheese (around 8 ounces?)
1 bunch of green onions
1 bunch of cilantro (or, if making it for cilantro-phobic people, use flat-leaf parsley)
1 package flour tortillas (10-12)
1 large can of green enchilada sauce (the 32 ounce or larger size)
1. Boil the chicken in a large pot of water til just done (15-20 minutes)
2. Grate the jack cheese, finely chop the green onions and cilantro, place in a large bowl, reserving one or two handfuls of cheese for topping.
3. Once chicken is done, discard skin, pull meat off the bone and shred with two forks.
4. Add to bowl with cheese and cilantro/onion mix, cut cream cheese into chunks and add to bowl.
5. Remove your rings, and mix thoroughly with your hands.
6. To assemble enchiladas, I've found that the easiest way is to clear a table or counter-top, lay out all 10 or 12 tortillas and form assemby-line style. Take a medium-sized handful of filling, roll into a log, and place on the tortilla. Once they're all done, you can steal from larger logs to fill out smaller ones to distribute filling evenly.
7. Roll tortillas up and place in large baking dish. It's okay to squish them.
8. Pour sauce on top, opening up a space between the enchiladas with a spoon for sauce to seep through.
9. Sprinkle reserved cheese on top, bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbling.
|Thursday, February 26th, 2009|
Lemon Chicken and Rice
Last night's stuffed grape leaves plan fell apart when we couldn't find grape leaves anywhere. But when life gives you lemons, chicken, and rice -- well, you make a really good dinner.
2 large lemons
6-8 pieces of chicken, skin on, white or dark meat as you prefer
2 tbs olive oil
2 cups of uncooked rice
Chicken stock/broth (up to 4 cups, depending on how chicken-y you like your rice)
White wine (a good glug or three)
Dried Oregano (1-2 tablespoons)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your over to 375.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan until quite hot. Pat your chicken dry and add salt and pepper, rubbing it into the skin and flesh. Add the chicken, skin side down, to the hot oil and let it brown nicely before flipping to brown the other side. You may want to do this in batches. Once browned, move the chicken over to a casserole dish.
While the chicken is browning, zest two lemons. You'll want to juice these suckers, too. Once the chicken is in the casserole dish, lay on the zest and all but 2 tbs of the lemon juice. Then, take the white wine and deglaze your pan to get all the lovely chicken bits on the bottom and pour the resulting Liquid of the Gods over your chicken. Do not skip this step. Just don't. You'll make me cry.
Sprinkle the oregano over the chicken, and shove the whole thing into the oven. Bake for twenty minutes uncovered and then take it out to baste it with the aforementioned Liquid of the Gods, then continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes or until done. Feel free to baste more often as you like. Free-basting!
While the chicken is on it's second lap in the oven, prepare the rice by heating the chicken stock and remaining lemon juice to boiling in a medium sized pot. Add the rice, cover, and lower the heat and cook as the package directs or until done.
When everything is ready, pile some delicious rice on your plate, plop some chicken on top, and ladle the awesome sauce all over.
Do a little dance to celebrate (optional).
|Thursday, October 2nd, 2008|
I was creative today!
Today, I wanted Chicken Soup on the fly for lunch. Lucky me, I can't just open a can of Campbells whenever I want chicken noodle soup. Due to the Celiac's I've got to make it myself. I came up with this.
It took about 20 minutes from conception to feeding my face. I'm sure it could be multiplied, I just made enough for a couple of bowls for me.
Thai Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 small onion, small dice
Pinch of salt
2 small carrots, small dice
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 can chicken breast, water drained into soup, half of chicken smushed and dumped into soup
3-4 fresh ginger pennies (just cut off a couple of slices about a 1/4 of an inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon thai red curry paste
1 Tablespoon fish sauce.
Tea kettle of boiling water.
Small rice sticks in the amount you want to eat.
In soup pot put oil, onions and salt. When onions are soft and are just beginning to brown add carrots. When carrots begin to soften, add stock, water, canned chicken and water, ginger pennies, and curry paste. Gently boil until carrots are cooked as soft as you like
For rice sticks: (This can be done while waiting for onions to cook)
Get out your serving bowl. Put in how much/many noodles as you want to eat. Pour water from tea kettle over noodles. Let them sit in the hot water until you are ready to assemble.
Add the fish sauce to soup. Stir. Drain noodles, and put them back into your bowl. Ladle soup over noodles. Eat.
If I had cilantro, I probably would have thrown in a couple of leaves and a squeeze of lemon or lime would be good too. It was divine and my daughters came over and ate some too. Current Mood: tired
|Sunday, September 28th, 2008|
This turned out rather well
I have made pasta sauce from almost-scratch (canned tomatoes, paste, sauce, etc), so it's not like I'm incapable. I'm just a little lazy and a little busy to do this on a regular basis.
So I cheat and use jarred sauces. Prego or Amy's are my current favorites.
Today for dinner, I browned about a pound of ground buffalo in a pan with some garlic olive oil (buffalo's really lean, it needed some fat added), drained it, and added some Prego garlic & herb, about 2/3 of a jar. Once that was stirred in, I added about 8 oz of red wine.
I let it cook down for an hour and tasted. It was garlicky, but it needed something. I added about a tablespoon of Sriacha, and some cayenne pepper, and let it cook down for another forty minutes.
Served over rotini pasta with parmesan. Not bad for a cheat.
(if this doesn't belong here because I used a jarred sauce, please let me know)
|Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008|
Getting mom's recipes typed out so I can start putting the book of her recipes together. Notes are hers. This is that really dense cheesecake that I grew up calling "New York Cheesecake". To be honest, I like a less dense version, but this is the one I had all growing up, and it is the one everyone fights over when mom makes it.
Foolproof Cheese Cake:
Cream 2/3 cup sugar and 2/3 cup butter or margarine. Mix in one egg and 1 3/4 cup flour. Using a spatula, coat the bottom and 3/4 up the sides of a springform pan. Bake 5 minutes at 425°.
Cream 3 (I use four because I like a solid cake) 8oz. packages of softened cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 3 eggs (one at a time). Mix in 2 Tbs milk and 2 Tbs flour.
Pour in baked crust and bake 10 minutes at 425°. Turn oven down to 250°, bake 30 minutes. Cool down, then cover with Comstock blueberry or cherry pie filling. Current Mood: Nostalgic
|Saturday, August 30th, 2008|
Joe Said I Needed to Share
So I will. Dinner tonight consisted of:
Brined and Butterflied Whole Chicken on the BBQ with Penzey's BBQ of the America's Rub on it
Garlicky, Lemon Green Beans
Basmati rice, dried currant, and almond salad with wilted greens
Here's the Recipes
For the green beans, lightly steam them in your favorite pot. While they are cooking, melt 1/2 stick butter (I nuked it in a cereal bowl), add 2 HUGE garlic cloves, minced, juice of a small lemon, salt, pepper, a handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley. When beans are done, drain, toss with butter mix. Really, REALLY good.
I got the Rice recipe from my CSA. Its not in the archive yet, so I'll throw it up here
Basmati rice, dried currant, and almond salad with wilted greens
modified from a Bon Appetit recipe, August 2005
[you could easily halve this recipe; watch cooking times, as they may be shorter with smaller quantities]
6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 C basmati rice
4 C chicken broth (you could also use your found veggie stock!)
4 C loosely packed fresh greens, such as arugula or spinach [you could also use chard or mustard greens here, I'm sure]
1/4 C fresh lemon juice (original recipe used red wine vinegar)
3/4 C sliced almonds (original recipe used whole, hickory-smoked almonds)
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice and stir 3 minutes. Add broth and currants; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
Place arugula in large bowl. Top with hot rice; toss to wilt arugula. Cool.
Whisk remaining 4 tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, and lemon juice in small bowl; pour over rice and greens, add almonds, and toss. Can be made 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Changes I made. Off the bat I only did a half recipe. I used brown rice instead of white, I exchanged the lemon juice for the original red wine vinegar, and instead of almonds (which I didn't have) I used raw pumpkin seeds. It was really good.
Dinner was so good, Joe offered me sexual favors. =)
Still couldn't get the kids to eat anything beyond the chicken. Current Mood: amused
|Wednesday, August 27th, 2008|
This is a variation on Spanish Rice, that I use to hide veggies, in which my children gobble up. And its really tasty for the adults too. The veggies are just listed as its a "use up what you've got lying around" sort of thing. I thought of this when I had a HUGE pile of sweet peppers from my CSA box and was wondering what in the world I would do with them
1/2-1 lb hamburger (I use a half for our family)
1-2 T Chili powder (depending on how big the batch is and what your taste is)
Tomatoes (lots or 2 cans of diced)
Leftover Rice (Lots!) (Or fresh if you want to make it. I usually make 1 1/2-2 cup of dry rice batch for this)
Veggies you can hide really well in this. Just chop really, really small.
Cabbage (a bit)
Cauliflower (moderate amount)
Corn (that just tastes good, and adds color)
Radishes (okay, so I was desperate to get rid of the large amount I have in my fridge from the box. It worked.)
Brown Hamburger, Peppers, and Onions (with any hidden veggies if any) together. Roughly chop tomatoes (or open cans), when hamburger is cooked add tomatoes and all juices. Add salt, pepper, chili powder. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or enough for tomatoes to soften and cook down a bit. It should be pretty soupy. Add rice and mix well. If rice was cold, cover, turn down heat and cook until hot. OR pour into a casarole dish big enough to fit and toss in oven at 350 until hot. (I usually just do the stove thing). Serve with cheese and sour cream
|Tuesday, August 26th, 2008|
I posted this on my own journal and mactavish
suggested it might go well here:
approx 1 cup of plain lowfat yogurt (Stonyfield Farms)
1 t red curry
1 t golden curry
1 t tumeric
let sit for an hour. While it was sitting, I sauteed a portabello mushroom and half a large vidalia onion in a little olive oil and added some hot madras curry. I also nuked a package of frozen peas.
I covered the chicken with the yogurt mixture and baked it in a convection oven at 375F for about forty minutes, which was when it looked done in the center
Next, I cooked a package of Near East Curry couscous, adding the shrooms, the onions and the peas.
For a salad, I kept it simple. Sliced English cucumber with plain yogurt, vinegar and a lot of black pepper.
The whole ensemble came out quite yummy, with leftover couscous for a lunch this week.
|Friday, August 15th, 2008|
Over in mactavish
's LJ, the subject of bagna cauda came up, and she suggested my recipe might fit right in with simple_gourmet
Bagna cauda (literally "hot bath") is a traditional dipping sauce from Italy's Piedmont region. If you're not Italian, or not a foodie, you may have first encountered the term via Babylon 5
, where a running gag was made of security chief Garibaldi's ongoing efforts to smuggle the ingredients on board the station. I can't recall if he ever actually described it; I have friends who assumed the ingredients must be rare and complex.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Bagna cauda
1 cup flavorful olive oil
1 cup butter
1 can anchovies
1 head garlic, separated into peeled cloves
Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring as the butter melts, then reduce the temperature and keep it just barely simmering for ... a good long while (half an hour? Possibly longer) until the garlic and anchovies disintegrate into a caramel-colored slurry in the bottom of the pan. Do not let the garlic scorch
. If necessary, use a wooden spoon to moosh up the garlic cloves, but not till they're falling-apart tender.
Serve warm, as a dip for vegetables, raw (strips of sweet pepper, jicama, celery, cauliflower, onions, etc.) or cooked (artichokes! crisp-tender asparagus! blanched green beans!!!), or bread. Be sure to dip down into the anchovy-garlic stuff at the bottom. The traditional way is to lay a nice, big slice of crusty bread on your plate to catch the drips from the communal bagno cauda pot - and then eat the flavor-soaked bread. Oh, yeah, baby.
Covered and refrigerated, this stuff keeps well for up to two weeks, just reheat to serve. It also makes the best garlic bread ever
. I've basted fish with it before grilling. I've licked it off my fingers - or someone else's fingers.
If you're not a fan of anchovies - or of garlic - don't let that put you off. The slow simmering caramelizes everything and transforms it into another sort of flavor entirely: rich, a little salty, a little sweet and utterly delectable.
|Sunday, August 10th, 2008|
|Thursday, July 24th, 2008|
Kale with Chicken-Apple Sausage
Okay, this one is not my recipe. I pulled it out of the archives of Live Earth Farm
(the CSA I belong to
) and cooked it up tonight. It was good (not that the kids thought so) and I thought I'd share. 1 bunch kale, washed, greens stripped from stems and chopped (clinging water is okay)
1 smoked chicken-apple sausage (I like Aidell's, but any similar apple sausage'll do)*
1 apple, quartered, cored, and then cut into bite-sized pieces
half a small onion, chopped (optional)
small spoonful of honey
The smoked sausage is usually already cooked, so it is just a matter of heating it through. Slice or chop up the sausage. If using, sauté the onion in a little oil 'til it starts to get soft. Add a splash of water, and the cut up sausage and apple. Bring to a simmer. Simmer a bit, until the sausage starts to give off flavors to the juice and the apples start to soften. Stir in honey, sprinkle with salt and paprika. Dump in kale and cover to steam/wilt with the now-formed pan juices (add a splash more water if the pan is getting dry). Stir to incorporate, then turn off heat and keep warm until ready to serve. This goes really well with a side of winter squash (baked, steamed... whatever you like) and mashed potatoes, but would also go well over rice (brown or white). Be sure to pour on the flavorful juices!
Now I used 2 Granny Smith Apples, a whole onion, and the whole package of sausages (12 ounces total). It was very tasty, and made enough for the family (There are 5 of us) and a small bowl of leftovers. The best part? 20 minutes from first chop to serving it to the kids.
*Recipe Writers note. I used Trader Joe's Chicken-Apple Sausage, it was wonderful.
|Monday, July 21st, 2008|
preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F)
In a large bowl, sift together 2 cups of flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt. Cut 1/4 cup of chilled butter into little chunks and then cut it into the dry stuff using a pastry blender or a couple of forks. Work fast--don't let the butter get soft.
in your other bowl (assuming that you have two bowls), mix together 3/4 cup of whipping cream (the liquid kind--not the stuff you spray out of a can) and 1 egg. Sometimes it's easier to put the egg in first and attack it a little with a fork before you add the cream.
Now add the liquid to the dry stuff and mix just enough so that it all comes together. Don't overdo it.
Ok. Now add the zest of one orange, and about a cup of blueberries. Just fold it into the batter--don't overdo it. Sometimes I roll the blueberries in a little flour first--it's supposed to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the scones.
If you don't have blueberries, you can add almost anything else--dried cranberries, raisins, some other fruit. I keep a bag of dried cherries around just in case. Do you know how to zest an orange?
Once you have the fruit mixed in, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into something like a big hockey puck, about 3/4 inch high. Don't overwork it.
Dip your knife in flour and cut the dough into 8 equal wedges (like a pie), and put them on a baking sheet lined with with parchment paper, at least an inch apart. If you like your scones to be bite-sized, cut each wedge in half again.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until they start to get golden brown. Don't ever just bake something for a certain time without checking it periodically. But don't keep opening the oven, either. Use the little window.
When they're done, let them cool for a while, then eat them with the people you like best in the world.
|Saturday, July 19th, 2008|
Shrimp and mango salad
People are always impressed with this dish, but as you can see, it's so easy it's almost embarrassing. I recommend Mae Ploy brand Thai chili sauce; it's the stuff.
||Shrimp and mango salad
Marinate cooked, chilled shrimp in Thai sweet chili sauce for 15 minutes or as long as overnight. Add chopped scallions and serve on top of sliced mangos.
||Shrimp salad closeup
It's elegant and easy. Makes a great first course.
|Friday, July 18th, 2008|
Better Stuffed Mushrooms
My own recipe, though there are plenty like it out there--but most of them have bread crumbs in them, or are incredibly complicated. This one's simple.
I apologize in advance for the lack of precise quantities. That might really disqualify this recipe, but it's all variable--and I always have more than enough of everything, and just throw it together by eye. I'll do my best to guess, but if you think you have too much of something or not enough of something else, trust your instincts--and don't worry, these will come out amazing no matter what.
The reason I think these belong here is that they seem like the sort of stuffed mushrooms you'd get at a really fancy restaurant, they taste amazing, and at the same time they're very easy to make and almost impossible to ruin. Really.( Baked Stuffed Mushrooms with Basil and FetaCollapse )
Pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlic and mozzarella
I have been eagerly waiting for my tomatoes to ripen so that I can make this again:
-1 box pasta of your choice
-fresh tomatoes -- four or five--coarsely chopped
-extra virgin olive oil
-three or four cloves finely chopped fresh garlic
-fresh basil - about 4 or 5 leaves, or to taste - shredded
-half a lemon
-fresh mozzarella bocconcini (the little white balls) or coarsely chopped fresh mozzarella (the big white ball)
Combine tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, and basil in large bowl. Toss with enough olive oil to thinly coat mixture. Allow to sit for awhile, maybe a half hour or so, at room temperature while you have a glass of wine, read the mail, have another glass of wine, throw the cat in the washing machine, feed the laundry.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook unless you need library paste.
Drain pasta and return to still-hot pasta pot. Throw cheese into the pot. Stir so that cheese gets all melty. Throw tomato mixture into the pot. Stir again. Taste. Add salt and pepper to taste, and olive oil if you think it needs it.
Give first serving to the cat, who is pissed as hell about the washing machine experience. Pour another glass of wine. Enjoy.
"Simple gourmet" pretty much describes my summer, with an emphasis on the "simple" part. It's often too hot to cook, and the onrush of seasonal produce in the local farmers' markets is just so darned good
that it begs for simple preparation.
Here in Western Oregon we're in the throes of a really good cherry season, and while I mostly find myself eating them plain, by the handful, this quick and unusual salsa is a nice change. Cherry salsa
1 pound fresh cherries, pitted. I used mild-flavored Queen Annes, but it would also be great with a more assertively cherry-flavored variety, sweet or sour.
2 Tbsp fresh basil or cilantro*, chopped
1/2 small, mild onion, or 1 large shallot, chopped
1 or more hot peppers (jalapeño or your choice), seeded and minced.**
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Black pepper and salt to taste
Throw everything but the salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse just until the cherries are coarsely chopped and all the ingredients are blended. Turn out into a non-reactive dish, taste and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate; served chilled as a side dish to meat, fish or poultry, or as a dip for blue-corn chips.
Makes about two cups of salsa. Prep time: 20 minutes (most of which is spent pitting the cherries. A cheap cherry-pitter
and an easily-amused child would speed that up.).
*I'm not a big cilantro lover, and my basil is at the point where it needs frequent pinching to keep from bolting. The flavorful Thai basil from my garden tasted wonderful with the cherries.
** I used three tiny red peppers of unknown lineage, given to by a gardening friend last year and ensconced in my freezer ever since; the result was sweet and spicy but not pain-inducing. Adjust according to your own heat preferences and fresh chile availability. Heck, you could probably use bottled hot sauce in a pinch.
Shameless self-promotion: Since the devolution of some of my old favorite LJ communities, I've taken up foodblogging, and this recipe first appeared in my blog, http://marketcook.wordpress.com
- which is also syndicated on lj as kightpfoodblog
, if anyone's interested. In the future, I'll try to post different recipes here to keep from boring those of you who choose to read both. (-:
This is actually my own recipe, though I'm sure other people out there have made similar.
Makes dinner for 3, w/ possible leftovers. Reheats well.
(I am teaching a friend to cook, and he made this last night with no help, just instruction as he went. He guarantees he could cook it again by himself, and declared it delicious.) Current Mood: cheerful
This jelly is dead easy. The hardest part is juicing the fruit, and there are tools to make that easier.
The recipe's at this link
, but I'll copy it under the cut in case that link ever goes bad.
We made this lovely color by using blood oranges instead of regular ones. We also used Meyer lemons from stonebender
's trees. We made another batch with normal-colored fruit, and that turned out really well, too, but I forgot to take pictures.
( Recipe, with my notes in [brackets]Collapse )
||Blood orange jelly
Love the dramatic color!
||Blood orange jelly closeup
It tasted as bright and cheerful as it looked.