Local French Toast with Homemade Blueberry Syrup and Whipped Cream

Local French Toast - cobornsblog.com/jayne

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Hi Everybody! February is half over and I can just feel spring in the air since we have had such a mild Minnesota weather. Speaking of Minnesota, I just have to talk to you all about “local”. I just love local and I love talking about local. So I thought I would show you some great recipes using some of our great local products right here in the Midwest.

Today I thought I would talk about French Toast with homemade blueberry syrup and homemade whipped cream. This is a ‘yummy” no matter which way you look at it. Continue reading “Local French Toast with Homemade Blueberry Syrup and Whipped Cream”

How to make a Watermelon Boat

How to make a watermelon boat. Simple step by step instructions. www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Practical Party Planning with Holly

Summer is upon us and for many of us that means summer picnics and potlucks. One of my favorite things to bring to a potluck is fresh fruit – basically because it is healthy, everyone loves it and you really can’t mess it up – but sometimes I want to impress the party host, usually my in-laws, so I have to step up my game with the watermelon boat. There are many creative ways to make a watermelon boat. I am going to show you a fun and easy way to make a nice one. Please leave your comments below and tell me how you would dress up yours.

Choosing your fruits

The first thing you need to do is pick out your fruits. You can pick whatever you like, but try to get a variety of different colors. Here are the fruits I will be using: watermelon, cantaloupe, green grapes, red grapes, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and star fruit. There, that takes care of the entire rainbow.

How to make a watermelon boat. Simple step by step instructions. www.cobornsblog.comWhen choosing a watermelon I like to find one that has a nice clean rind. Bonus if you can find one with a nice flat spot so the boat doesn’t rock, you don’t want to rock the boat baby! However, you can always shave off a little of the rind to make a flat spot for the boat to sit.

Clean before you cut

When you get your fruits home make sure to clean them all, even the cantaloupe and watermelon. You need to do this so that when you cut through the fruit, the dirt and bacteria from the outside of the fruit does not transfer through when you cut into it.

Making your boat

Find the spot on your watermelon that you want to be the bottom and set it on your platter. With a large chef’s knife begin cutting a “lid” off of the watermelon, about 1/5 of the way down. You can always keep cutting to make a bigger opening in your boat, it is really up to you how far down you want to go, but start small. Set the lid aside. Now it is time to get the meat out of the melon. You can do this with a melon baller or I like to cut in between the rind and the meat and start cutting a grid pattern in the meat and pulling out the pieces of watermelon with a fork. Set the watermelon aside to add to your fruit mixture later. Continue doing this until all you have left is the rind.

Now begin making a zig-zag pattern along the top edge of the watermelon. At this point you should cut all of your fruit and fill your boat; after that is complete it is time to decorate! Please note that I did not do this when I was taking photos for this blog and it was tricky getting the fruit in after and not ruining my garnish so take it from me and add the fruit first. Here is the list of supplies I am using: toothpick umbrellas, one lemon, fruit from my mixture and regular round toothpicks. Start by making kabobs with your small pieces of fruit, making sure to cover one pointed end of the round toothpick so no one gets hurt and keeping about an inch on the other side of the toothpick to stick into the watermelon. Make cute lemon swirls by slicing the lemon into thin slices, cutting a slit from the edge to the middle and picking up the slice and folding it to make a swirl, stick the lemon swirl on a toothpick to hold its shape. Once you have added your kabobs around the boat you can add your toothpick umbrellas to complete the look.

Tip for preparing early

When you are preparing your watermelon boat in advance I would recommend that you do everything except garnish. Wrap everything in plastic wrap and bring to your destination. You will want to wait until just before or a couple hours before serving to garnish. This it the easiest part of making the boat so it should not take long, about 10 – 15 minutes.

A long blog, but it is actually pretty simple to make! Happy Summer!


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Recipes for Fresh Produce

Braised Green Beans with Summer Vegetables

So many wonderful fruits and vegetables are in season this time of year. Whether you’re buying your fresh produce from Coborn’s or plucking items straight from your garden, what is one to do with such a robust harvest? Here are some flavorful and appetizing recipes you can whip up with the latest crops.

Summer corn is so delicious! If you have too much on hand, try these recipes: corn and goat cheese grits, Chef Emeril Lagasse’s corn pudding, or fresh corn and basil cornbread. You can also freeze cobs until winter and get a taste of summer at your holiday feast!

Green beans run rampant this time of year. Transform these legumes into Alton Brown’s best ever green bean casserole, cold green bean salads, or braised green beans with summer vegetables. Still more green beans to be had? Why not create some baby food for yourself or a friend or test some pickled green beans out on the family?

If you have picked some fresh fruit lately, then you’re in need of a pastry recipe or two! Got blueberries? Bake some fresh blueberry muffins with streusel topping or mini blueberry crisps, or drink up a blueberry blast smoothie. Keep in mind that blueberries freeze well and make excellent jams and jellies! Desserts lend themselves well to strawberries and raspberries. How about light crepes with strawberry compote or a raspberry tart?

Raspberry Tart

Don’t let your extra summer produce go to waste. Enjoy all of the bold tastes of summer with these recipes, and experiment in your kitchen the rest of the season!

Keep Your Brain Sharp – Eat Some Chocolate!

I’m not ashamed to admit it: my brain is in dire need of help.  Between juggling errands, preschool schedules, play dates, and dance class, my brain gets boggled.  It seems that my synapses are not firing adequately, or perhaps at all!  What can I do to help my stumbling, bumbling mind?  I decided to do some digging and pinpoint some simple, effective ways in which we can all help our brains stay clear and focused.

Eat Good Brain Food

  • Blueberries: Mmmmm, sweet, juicy blueberries—they’re not only delicious but also beneficial, thanks to the antioxidants and inflammatory characteristics that can help your brain.  Researchers discovered that eating blueberries reduces the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  Older lab rats with a diet high in blueberries were found to be as mentally astute as much younger rats.
  • Nuts and Chocolate: Adding walnuts to your oatmeal or salad can help your brain.  They’re high in omega-3s, which help keep your brain healthy.  Nuts and seeds contain vitamin E, which is linked to less cognitive decline in older people.  If you need a good excuse to eat chocolate, look no more.  Dark chocolate not only contains antioxidants but also has natural stimulants, including caffeine, which will help you concentrate and focus.