So, my original intention for this smoothie was to be kiwi and star fruit, but my usual grocery store didn’t have any star fruit. I scoured another local grocery store for star fruit and came up empty, but I needed some other fruit to go with the kiwis. Then I spotted the prickly pears. I’d eaten prickly pears once before a long time ago and had vague memories of liking them, so I decided to give it a try. Prickly pears are the fruit of a cactus. Out in nature they have spikes on them like the rest of the cactus. But when you buy them in stores the spikes have been removed so there’s no danger of stabbing. They do however still have a bunch of annoying seeds inside. Experimenting with new fruits is always a little tricky, but the kiwi and prickly pear flavors went well together so it was worth it in the end.
You hear a lot about antioxidants but you don’t hear very often what they actually are. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent the oxidation of other molecules. This is important because oxidation can produce free radicals, and too many free radicals can set off a chain reaction that may damage cells. How good antioxidants are for you is in debate (as is almost every health related thing it seems) but keeping the oxidative state in your body balanced is important, if nothing else. The body likes homeostasis. I decided to call this smoothie the Antioxidant Power Smoothie because blueberries, pomegranates and cocoa are all fairly high in antioxidants. Surprisingly this was my first time adding chocolate to a smoothie, probably because I generally don’t like having chocolate for breakfast. But this smoothie turned out really yummy and wasn’t overpoweringly chocolate-y. Scientists can argue about how good this smoothie may or may not be for you, but your taste buds will all agree that it’s delicious!
Ice cream is a staple summer dessert. Technically you can eat ice cream year round, but summer is when it really shines. They even send trucks out to practically deliver ice cream to your house! While that familiar jingle is a welcome sound of summer, you have to admit, in the dark evenings of winter it’d sound kinda creepy. You’re also much more likely to want to eat a freezing cold treat when it’s hot out than when it’s freezing outside too. Since August is the last full month of summer we wanted to make this month’s pizza lab nice and summer-y. It was also time for a dessert pizza. So as you may infer from the previous sentences, summer + dessert = ice cream!
That’s right. We made an ice cream pizza. It seems impossible at first, since pizza is baked and ice cream is frozen. But as I’m sure many of us are aware, cold/room temperature pizza is a delicacy of its own, and so the step up to frozen isn’t actually that far of a leap. Ice cream cake is a beloved party dessert (unless you’re Erik), so why not ice cream pizza?
It seems that this year instead of the “Do Us A Flavor” contest Lays is doing the “Passport to Flavor” contest, with four new limited edition global flavored potato chips. I guess they got tired of having to sort through entries like toenail fungus and unicorn meat and decided to send people away. I’m not really all that interested in the contest itself, but some of the global inspired flavors have caught my attention. First I want to take a minute to ask: where is our royalty check for the Greek Tzatziki flavor? We suggested practically the same exact flavor (a potato chip where the main flavor is tzatziki sauce) in the Do Us A Flavor competition two years ago. We didn’t even make it to the finals, and now here it is as a flavor. Hmmm. Anyway. The other flavors are Chinese Szechuan Chicken, Indian Tikka Masala, and Brazilian Picanha. The one that really caught my attention was the Indian Tikka Masala. A treat that Erik and I both enjoy when we go to the Indian buffet is dipping the vegetable (including potato) pakora in the tikka masala sauce. It’s really yummy. So I was intrigued. I had the feeling that this could be a good chip. Erik was much more skeptical however, that they could really capture the essence of tikka in a potato chip.
Pulled pork is delicious, and definitely worth the wait of it cooking in the slow cooker, but unless you’re cooking for a crowd, you’ll probably have leftover. I’ve already made a burrito to use up leftover pulled pork. But one way of using up leftovers is not enough! Thus, pulled pork grilled cheese was born. Now as I believe I’ve mentioned before, I normally don’t include meat in my grilled cheese sandwiches. If you start loading it up with too much stuff it loses its distinction as grilled cheese and becomes just a sandwich. I made an exception this time for two reasons. One, there was pretty much just the perfect amount of the pork left for a grilled cheese sized sandwich and two, there’s still twice as much cheese as pork. Also I was kind of inspired by a pulled pork sandwich I had in a restaurant recently that was topped with a cheese sauce.