What inspires you? Where do you get your best post ideas? Is there a special place you like to go to create? Does it come to you in dreams?
I get inspired at farmers' markets, the supermarket, restaurants, magazines and of course, by my fellow bloggers. Many of my best ideas for posts come to me while I'm out and about, especially while I'm driving around in my car. This can be a problem, as it is difficult, not to mention dangerous, to write and drive at the same time! Sometimes, I'd call my home phone from my cell and leave voice messages for myself, so I wouldn't forget my ideas. That is, until I picked up this new, fun toy.
Isn't it cute? It's a Sony digital voice recorder. I've been using it like an old-fashioned dictaphone. When I'm out somewhere and I get an idea that I want to remember, I just tell it to this little guy he saves it for me. I also use it a lot while I am cooking, to remember what I've done when it comes time to write out a recipe. I can't tell you how helpful it has been! This model also has a lot of nifty features, including allowing you to playback MP3 files and record using the MP3 file format. It also has a USB Direct Connection, so that you can plug it directly into a USB port on your computer and download files right into your laptop or PC. And, it comes in RED!
As I was strolling up and down the aisles in the produce section of the supermarket a few weeks ago, something rather unusual caught my eye. It was a bin full of vibrant magenta, oval-shaped orbs with big neon green scales, resembling flames, jutting out from them. I had never seen anything like them before and I was intrigued! The sign on the bin where they lay said "dragonfruit". Hmmm. Dragonfruit, eh? I had no idea what a dragonfruit was or how to use one, but they were just so damned pretty, that I had to grab a few. I figured that even if they tasted like crap, they'd at least make for some gorgeous pictures.
The fruit itself is sweet, juicy, and crisp and tastes like a cross between a pear, kiwi and watermelon. There are numerous varieties of dragonfruit and the color of their flesh varies as well, from deep red, to pink, to white. They all have tiny black seeds inside, kind of like a kiwi. The fruit is commonly eaten chilled and cut in half so the flesh may be scooped out. The red-fleshed fruits are said to be high in lycopene which is a natural antioxidant that is known to fight cancer and heart disease.
When I finally did cut my fruits in half, I saw that the flesh was white. I was slightly disappointed not to see pink or red, as I read that they tend to be sweeter, but I was still excited about making my sorbet. I had a container full of fresh, sweet watermelon chunks sitting in the fridge, so I decided to add it to my sorbet as well.
David Lebovitz has a recipe for Watermelon Sorbetto in his fantastic frozen dessert bible, The Perfect Scoop. To make my sorbet, I took elements of both David's and Rachel's recipes and combined them. The result was a gorgeous, pink-hued, fruity, frozen and very delicious treat! I served the sorbet in the empty fruit shells and got lots of "oohs" and "aahs" from my
I'm so glad that I took a chance and bought those dragonfruit when I saw them. So many times, people are hesitant to try new and unfamiliar foods. I've never understood that. I have been inspired more times than I can count by picking up something at the market that I've never seen before. Sometimes, it turns out great and sometimes, not. But, you never know what gastronomical delights you might be missing if you don't experiment. Lucky for me, this one was a winner!
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
juice of 1/2 of a lime
2 tablespoons vodka