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Some Things I've Been Learning...

One of the things I love most about cooking, is that there's always something new to learn.  I'm a learner at heart; I'm always looking for information and trying to discover new, better ways to do things.  This week is a montage of things I've been learning recently...

Meat, topped with fresh herbs, topped with prosciutto is both an avenue to meal-time bliss and an excellent stress reliever.  Don't I look like I'm about to have a lot of fun? ;-)  Also, the sage should be tucked up underneath the prosciutto, not on top like the recipe said!

Kohlrabi: Looks like a living alien about to crawl off of my desk, tastes awesome when roasted (peeled, cut into large wedges, and roasted at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes)

Making your own herbal tea can be a cinch!  Just make sure the herbs haven't been sprayed with pesticides or other nasty chemicals.  I just left these mint leaves out on my counter on a paper towel for about a week until they were all dried up.  Then, because I don't own a mortar and pestle, I crumbled the leaves into a large ramekin and then ground them down a bit with a smaller ramekin.  You don't want to pulverize the leaves, just crush them a bit.  Then add hot water and enjoy!

Nut butters are SO RIDICULOUSLY EASY to make at home!  These are just some unsalted roasted almonds (organic would be nice, but not necessary if you trust your source...Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are both my friends).  Throw them into a food processor or sturdy blender - my Ninja is nut butter hoss - and pour in about a teaspoon of walnut oil.  Or you can use canola, but I like the walnut.  Then let 'er rip!  You might have to add more oil if it's not coming together, but that's your choice.  It'll take a few minutes, but less time than a trip to the store, and you can just make a little (adjust the oil as necessary  if you don't want to make a big batch.

Figs stuffed with anything are my life!  These have just been cut into quarters not quite all the way down.  Then, I blended some cream cheese (about half a package) with some walnuts I had leftover, put the mixture into a plastic sandwich bag, cut off the tip and went to town.  How are you supposed to eat them, you ask?  By stuffing a whole fig into your mouth, of course.  Go ahead; judge me.  Do you think I care when I'm eating these delicious stuff figs?  Nope.

*A friend of mine and Heather's, Evan, mentioned that you could add bacon to these.  Yes!  Yes, you could!  And that would be magical!

If you're going to make cherries jubilee to show off to your friends, make sure you test your matches first...or get one of those fancy-schmancy kitchen lighters.

Dana Fraedrich is the author of Skateboards, Magic, and Shamrocks.  If you like her writing, check out her book on Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Smashwords (all $0.99), or check out her website.

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