Sugar-Free Grapefruit and Lemon Granitas

You’ll hear it everywhere and from everyone: granita is so easy to make. And it’s true. You don’t need an ice cream maker, you don’t need eggs or dairy to make it (a bonus for those that have to be dairy-free), and the only (possible) fuss you’ll have to make is scraping at the ice with a fork to break it up, which is what makes it granita and not a block of flavoured liquid.

In parts of Italy, granita is the breakfast of choice, served with brioche and coffee.

If you’re thinking up ways to get your kids in the kitchen or they already are in the kitchen and want to help make a frozen treat, granita is an ideal starter, as are popsicles and, if you’re into the one-ingredient banana ice cream, this fruit-based instant “ice cream”.

I made lemon granita over the BC (British Columbia) Day long weekend and it disappeared quickly; most of it was eaten by my brothers and as they started to ponder other flavours. The very next day we made a grapefruit granita, with a recipe from the Food Network that I found on What Katie Ate (and I absolutely love Katie and her blog!).

After you’ve made granita, you’ll quickly learn that it’s really a cinch and it’s one of those things that a recipe isn’t really required. You can make it suited to your tastes and according to the level of sweetness from the fruit, keeping in mind you may have to add some sweetener depending on how much it’s watered down; ratios differ, some using more water than juice and vise vera. Some use a fruit puree instead of or as well as fruit juice. I think it largely depends on the kind you’re making – granita can also be made with coffee or chocolate – for example this recipe from Cooking for Engineers uses three cups of orange juice with one cup of water, the latter of which is used to make a simple syrup, whereas the lemon granita I’m sharing (recipe after the jump) only uses a cup of lemon juice and four cups of water.

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Bewitched Egg Cakes (Cakes Baked in Eggshells)

For almost a solid two weeks I’ve been thinking about what to make for Diane’s Harry Potter-themed Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free! party. Coincidentally I recently started to reread Harry Potter, starting properly at book 1 and working my way up steadily; often knocking down a book or two in a day. As I read, I took note of all the food mentioned – and sometimes finding myself wishing J.K. Rowling had described some of them a little more, but I suppose that was left for the reader’s imagination to fill – and thought of what I could make. As it is, I’ve ended up not making anything directly inspired by the books but I thought that these cakes baked in eggshells, an idea I saw on Cupcake Project via Pinterest, would qualify as a magical food, perhaps something used as a lesson in Professor McGonagall’s transfiguration class or invented by the Weasley twins.

Harry Potter is a point of nostalgia for me, as I’m more than sure it is for many people. I remember unwrapping the first book for Christmas when I was a little girl and my Mum would read it to me as a bedtime story; it wasn’t until the third book, the Prisoner of Azkaban, that I started to read them myself. Later on, I went with my Mum and sister for the midnight launching party upon the release of the fourth book, the Goblet of Fire, and it was the scariest book I remember reading at the time, particularly towards the end when Harry faces Lord Voldemort – actually, at that age I was always on the edge of my seat when Harry faced Voldemort at the end but the fourth was especially frightening to me.

I have all the books except for the seventh: after the killing off a very important and integral character – won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it and doesn’t want spoilers – and the furious, sudden charge of hormones in the Half-Blood Prince (sixth book),  Harry Potter was kind of ruined for me, although I wasn’t too happy either when another important and integral character was killed off in the Order of the Phoenix (fifth book) – again, not saying just in case – and that, I suppose, was the start. If you’ve read the books, you probably know who I’m referring two in both instances.

I’ve kind of held out reading the last book. When it was released, I honestly didn’t want to read it or even cared and it stayed that way as time passed on, yet I started to wonder when I was simply not interested, that I’d get to it when I’d get to it, or if I was simply holding out. (That doesn’t explain, though, why I read the plot summary on Wikipedia and gave a marvelous, rapid-fire recap to my parents at the time.) As the years went by, I began to feel in me a growing curiosity – the same kind of curiosity that one feels when after having distinctly told oneself that he’s not interested in something, which tends to quickly become an annoyance if it isn’t acknowledged and indulged. One might feel compelled to quickly criticize them at every turn to friends and family but privately adore them – or, if it’s in my case with Harry Potter, it happens as I just told it and wanting, eventually, to read it after four years and the movies are over. Yet despite having not read the last book I was fairly able to piece together the plot of the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

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Cucumber Water, The Other Guys, Plus Travel Pictures

“The cucumber accents the water in such a way that–“

– Allen Gamble, The Other Guys

I will say first off, I’m not really into flavoured water. But I had to make cucumber water for the sake of The Other Guys, a movie that all my family loves and we’ve watched it more than once. It’s that funny! I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I saw it and thought it would be a great idea.

Before we commence further in this post, please watch the video. You have to.

Shortly after watching The Other Guys, I Googled the cucumber water scene and the search results even included a link to a men’s bodybuilding forum in which a guy asked if anyone had tried cucumber water and that he had to try it after watching The Other Guys and that he was addicted. I laughed so hard, though, when someone replied that that’s what his mother drinks when she goes to the spa.

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