Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eating Out and a Mixed Fruit Clafouti

We've been super busy lately- the Japanese exchange girls are only here for two weeks and we're trying to give them two weeks to remember, full of outings and food and life.  Last night we went to the Mariners game, and they won! I can't even describe how thrilled the girls were to see Ichiro in person- we got seats behind the right outfield so we'd be able to see him well :)  Normally the girls are pretty quiet and reserved (who wouldn't be, in a new country where communication is a challenge?) but last night they screamed and cheered and clapped and chattered in Japanese..and a little English.  My brother David who lives in Seattle met us at the game, which was nice because he speaks Japanese and could communicate very well :)

Besides Ichiro and the baseball, which I love, the real highlight of a trip to Safeco Field is the food!  I did a little research ahead of time and discovered that you can buy grass-fed beef hamburgers! I was so excited that the garlic fries plan went on the back burner.  I did actually eat quite a few of my dad's fries, but the burger was a homerun- ha. Ha. I got it with cheese and all the toppings.

Both girls got garlic fries, and said they liked them, but the garlic was "a little strong".  :)

Another small piece of food news- last weekend we went to my grandparents' summer house for a small weekend getaway with some other family and the dinner menu for Saturday night was homemade pizza, and so we opted to do the easy thing and pick up a few crusts at Haggen's.  Of course, there is a Krispy Kreme in the same parking lot...and since apparently there are no Krispy Kremes in Japan, we knew what we had to do.  

It's never easy for me to choose what kind of donut I want, but when I found out that they were making fresh apple fritters while we ordered I knew.  We watched the deep-frying and sugar-coating happening right there, and it was absolutely too much to resist! It was still warm when I got it, and then there was nothing better.  Fried foods are something I eat next to never, but I think part of healthy living (and having a healthy relationship with food) is making unhealthy choices sometimes.  Everything in moderation, and above all- enjoy your food.

It. Was. Heaven.

On to today...a few friends agreed to come play some tennis with me and the girls this evening, which was a ball! We hit for about thirty minutes and then went to one of the best spots in Everett for Mexican food- Tampico.  They each enjoyed an enchilada but agreed that they didn't like the beans.

This afternoon I was dying to make something (don't get me wrong, I love eating out! But I was ready for a little something homemade) and after trying a mediocre green bean recipe for lunch, I was ready to try my hand at a clafouti.  I'd never tried one before, but we had loads of fresh fruit lying around and a sweet puffy pancake studded with summer fruits sounded pretty darn good.

The recipe I found called for all plums, but I also used peaches, apricots, and cherries.  I thought it would make a nice dessert, and after playing Just Dance 2 for a while after dinner (oh my word, so much fun!!) the girls were ready for something sweet.  I was still stuffed from dinner, but when everyone else sat down and all I had was a glass of water, I decided to make some room.

This makes a fabulous dessert alone or with some whipped cream, and I imagine we'll enjoy it for breakfast too!

Mixed Fruit Clafouti

adapted from Rose's Recipes 

3 to 3 1/2 cups sliced fruit
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 10-inch round pan (or a skillet) with non-stick cooking spray and arrange sliced fruit on the bottom.  It will overlap and there will be more than a single layer.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.  In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Beat until combined, and gradually whisk into the flour mixture.  Smooth out lumps.

Sprinkle brown sugar over fruit.

Pour batter over fruit and bake 35-40 minutes (I went the whole 40).  If you want more of a cake-like texture bake a little longer, but the eggy-comsistency is really nice.


Tomorrow night is already the Sayonara Party, when we officially say goodbye to the students.  They don't leave until Saturday, but things are winding down.  Each family is asked to bring a main dish and a salad or dessert, and I put dibs on dessert.  I have a few ideas of what to do (both girls are enthusiastic about chocolate), so tomorrow I'll make something special for the party.

Until then, I think I'll tackle a little AP US History summer homework.  I'm reading Thunderstruck by Erik Larson as my book of choice, and it's pretty good so far.  We're also reading several chapters from A People's History of the United States.  Have you read either? What did you think?

Or, have you ever made a clafouti? :)

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