Banana-Loquat Smoothy: Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Banana-Loquat Smoothie

So last month I posted a coconut-lemon whip recipe which I made from meyer lemons from my daughter’s back yard tree. She also had, loquats, ripening. A loquat is a cross between a plum and a cumquat. Sweet, yellow, small (1 – 2 inch) oval shaped fruit with anywhere from 1 to 4 fair-sized seeds inside, depending on how big the loquat is.

The loquats are delicious, sweet and succulent. Unfortunately, they don’t travel or keep well so not a commercial fruit as far as I can tell. I was very fortunate, then, to get about a pint of them.

Rather than eat them one by one, I cut them in half, de-seeded them, cut in quarters, and dropped into my blender. This time of year I prefer smoothies for breakfast to juice as with a smoothie you get all of the fiber. Also, I don’t, yet, have a juicer.

Banana-Loquat Smoothie


Cutting Board



Cup and straw



1 pint Loquats, cut in half, seeded, then cut into quarters

1 ripe banana, chunks

1 cup Almond Milk (more or less as desired thickness)



Put the cut loquats, the banana, and the almond milk in the blender. Blend on puree until smooth. Add ice if you want it very cold. (Lessen the amount of almond milk if you do.) Pour into your glass.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite smoothie to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at


Peach Shortcake


Mid-Summer in my neck of the woods means peaches. My peach tree tends to ripen late July, depending on the weather. It held off to the 1st week in August when all the peaches ripened just about at once. Nothing like an avalanche of peaches to make you put on your thinking cap. After giving away a LOT! I decided peach shortcake would be just the thing. Now it’s not complicated, but after all those peaches, I didn’t have too much brain power left. And it’s hot! So why not peach shortcake for supper. Or breakfast!


Medium Bowl

Cutting Board


Individual serving bowls



Bowl full of peaches, washed

½ to 1 cup sugar (your choice)

Can of Whipped Cream



Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit, chop up and put in the bowl. Continue until all of the peaches are chopped up. I didn’t peel them, just chopped them into bite-sized chunks.


Pour sugar over the fruit. I know. Peaches are already sweet, especially ones ripened on the tree. But the sugar makes a syrup that you really need to have to pour over the short cake. Let stand in the refrigerator all day or all night to develop the syrup.


In an individual bowl. Place your short cake/pound cake/muffin (I used a gluten free muffin, hubby used a generous slice of Sara Lee Pound Cake).


Scoop generous portions of fruit over the cake.


Spray your whipped cream over all. I’m pretty generous as you can see from the photo. If I hadn’t been lazy that day I’d have made home-made whipped cream. It’s just better, but, you know. Summer, lazy, heat. It was delicious.

Left over fruit can be used in yogurt, cereal, crepes, the sky is the limit.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. What do you do with your peachy abundance? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at

Swiss Chard and Basil Pesto

Swiss Chard, Basil, Pesto

Swiss Chard and Basil Pesto

Last month I talked about all of the fantastic fresh vegetables you can get at the Farmer’s Market. That’s still the case in July but also in July your home gardens should be producing like crazy. That’s when you want some recipes to use all of that wonderful fresh, organic bounty.

Pesto is just such a recipe. Traditional pesto calls for all basil as the green along with pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan cheese. I have found, however, that all that basil can be a little overpowering. So, the best way to tone it down is to mix it with another green. You can use spinach, arugula, beet greens, anything you have on hand. The best thing about a pesto spaghetti dinner is that it’s nearly no cook. The pesto is a raw sauce, just add hot pasta and you have a lovely meal.

In this case I had an abundance of parsley and just enough basil and chives in my garden, all I had to do was buy some Swiss Chard at the Farmer’s Market to make a delicious meal. I know, I did a Swiss Chard recipe last month. But it’s so good and if you have it growing in your garden, you want to use it, right? So, here’s how you do it.

Ingredients, Swiss Chard, Basil, Pesto, Connie Cockrell

Ingredients for Swiss Chard, Basil Pesto by Connie Cockrell


1/2 pound of Swiss Chard, chopped, leaves and stems

1 small bunch basil,

1 handful chives

1 Cup parsley, picked from stem

1 4oz pkg pine nuts (or walnuts if you prefer)

Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes to taste

1 1/2 lb Gluten Free Pasta

1/2 Cup olive oil


Heat the water for the pasta while you’re chopping the vegetables.

Gluten Free, Pasta

Gluten Free Pasta

Drop the pasta in the boiling water and follow the package directions for al dente pasta. NOTE: I used this Hodgson Mill’s pasta because I really wanted an angel hair type pasta. I was disappointed to see that once I started mixing it into the pesto, the strands broke down into 1/2 – 1/4 inch bits. Not spaghetti at all. It tasted fine, just wasn’t spaghetti. Use your favorite pasta.

Bring a small skillet to medium high heat.

Toasting, Pine Nuts

Toasting Pine Nuts

Drop in the pine nuts to toast. DO NOT walk away. As soon as you can smell the nuts, it’s too late. Watch that pan, toss around to brown evenly. As soon as they brown, take them off the heat to cool.

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard, Chopped

Swiss Chard, Chopped

Trim the stem ends of the Swiss Chard and chop.







Basil, Connie Cockrell

Basil by Connie Cockrell

Strip the basil from the stems, same with the parsley. Have the chives on hand, ready to go into the food processor.

Grated, Parmesan, Cheese, Connie Cockrell

Grated Parmesan Cheese by Connie Cockrell

Using a grating blade in your food processor, grate the Parmesan cheese. I just grated a whole brick of it. You won’t need all of it but it’ll be ready for your next pasta meal. Empty the cheese into a bowl. No need to clean out the food processor.

Pine Nuts, Food Processor, Connie Cockrell

Pine Nuts in Food Processor by Connie Cockrell

In the food processor, change out the grating blade for the regular blade. Add the pine nuts and whirl until nearly pasty.

Process, Swiss Chard, Connie Cockrell

Process Swiss Chard by Connie Cockrell

Add the Swiss Chard a batch at a time. Process until reduced then add more.

Parsley, Connie Cockrell

Parsley by Connie Cockrell

Add the parsley and process.

Scrape down, bowl, food processor, Connie Cockrell

Scrape down the bowl of the food processor by Connie Cockrell

Scrape down the sides a little to get the nuts to mix with the greens.

Add, Basil, Chives, Connie Cockrell

Add Basil and Chives by Connie Cockrell

Add the basil and chives. Whirl some more, drizzling in 1/2 of the olive oil to loosen the sauce.

Add, Parmesan Cheese, Red Pepper Flakes, Connie Cockrell

Add Parmesan Cheese and Red Pepper Flakes by Connie Cockrell

Add the cheese and the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Process again adding more olive oil to loosen.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and do a quick rinse. In a large bowl, drop the pesto onto the spaghetti and toss. Add some of the pasta water, it just helps loosen the sauce. Stir to combine. Top with more basil and some grated Parmesan cheese.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your Farmer’s Market or favorite pasta recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at


Kale, Kale, the gang’s all here…

But first…

YUMMY Burnt Hot Dogs

YUMMY Burnt Hot Dogs

Dear Self:
When cooking hot dogs, it would be a good idea to keep your eye on the pan instead of talking to your neighbor about your upcoming release.



Announcing Kale Week!

Eait it up!

Eait it up!

Next week the Chicklets are all going to cook kale in some way shape or form.  Will it be kale chips?  Soup?  Sauteed and stuffed into hamburgers?  Or a boycott of All Things Kale?

Tune in next week to find out.  And there might even be a cookbook in it for you if you comment.

It’s turnip time

No, really. Don’t click away.

I’m just trying to get everyone ready for the fun we have in store next week by focusing on a much-maligned veggie. You’ll lean why soon enough.

I’m taking a stay-cation this week, which gives me both more time to write and to spend in the kitchen. The net result of all this free time? I’m finally rescuing some of the aging root veggies from my crisper drawer. Continue reading

Roasted or Broiled?

Okay, I need some help here. The local produce market advertised asparagus, and recently I saw a TV show where it said asparagus is good for the libido. I was intrigued. If only that nice young man from “The Doctors” would like to share some with me…?  🙂

Anyway, I picked up a bunch of asparagus from the store yesterday and I think what I did with it was considered broiling, though I didn’t use the broiler; I baked it at 350 for about 30 minutes, drizzled with olive oil, garlic salt, minced onion and parmesan cheese. It didn’t turn out half bad, but I think there’s a better way to do it.

I’m looking for suggestions. (Polite ones, please.) How do you cook fresh asparagus?

For the record, I didn’t end up with any “woodies”, as we used to call them; those hard ends of the asparagus that you couldn’t chew through without rodent teeth. For that reason alone, I consider last night’s dinner a win.

Resolutions – Salad Days

As I was saying, I hate making resolutions. It’s too much pressure. As the saying goes, “Man plans; God laughs.” Proof: after I said that, my therapist and the leader of my critique group both said, “State your goals for 2013.” Gah. (Waves hi to QV!)

Well, okay. Fill in the usual blanks. Lose weight. Work out more. Meet a hottie at my gym that looks like Thor. Make him fall madly in love with me. Live happily ever after. Tra la la la la la…

Back to reality. I do want to lose weight, and I know I need to eat better. Lately I’ve developed a pasta addiction. It fits the bill in terms of my vegetarian requirements, but my jeans? Not so much. One of these days I’m going to stop a guy with a basketball-sized pot belly and ask him what he eats more of, veggies or carbs. Wanna take a bet he’s all about the bread, pasta, potatoes and beer? Continue reading

A big, green surprise

You can call me weird (Abigail already has), but I prefer cold oats to warm ones any day — even on chilly winter mornings.

The basic mix is 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats and 1 cup milk. (I use almond milk.) Then you add nuts, dried fruit, nut butter, chocolate chips … pretty much any mix-ins you’d like. (One delicious trick is to make your oats in an almost-empty nut butter jar.)

I like the simplicity: You prep the bowl the night before, and it’s ready to eat when you get up. And the flavor is fantastic, especially when you make them in that nut butter jar I mentioned. Continue reading

Weathering the Storm

Hugs to all of you who came through Hurricane Sandy last week. The worst that happened here was a busted furnace, which is on the road to replacement.

Meanwhile the house is kind of cold, but there are ways around that. My favorite alternative is to keep the oven active, thus accomplishing two goals: the kitchen stays warm, and the whole house smells good. Monday as the storm fired up, I made a gigantic pot of tortellini soup.

Here’s how I did it: Continue reading

Pasta Salad, Today & Tomorrow–Gluten-Free Style

Hi Chicklets! Today I’m going to talk about pasta salad. Whether you’re in Florida battening down for Debby or in the Outer Banks on vacation or in Canada battling a heat wave, this pasta salad is right for you. And it’s SO EASY to make. Continue reading