Dehydrating Barrel Cactus Fruit

Josh and I have always been fascinated by the idea of eating the fruit of native desert plants, particularly cactus. So when we saw that we had quite a crop of barrel cactus with fruit growing in our yard, we looked up when we could pick them, how to pick them, and how to eat them.

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Sweet Cream Ice Cream

I have been wanting to make ice cream for awhile. However, I have not had the opportunity since moving, starting a new job, and moving into a new house took so much time. Then, once I had the time I discovered that half of my ice cream maker was in my in-laws’ garage in California. Finally, my ice cream maker and I were reunited, and I had the chance to make some ice cream.

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A Scone Redo: Ginger-Cardamom Scones with Cocoa Nib Chocolate

A few years ago, I came up with these ginger-cardamom scones with cacao nibs that my kids loved. Now, cocoa nibs are kind of expensive to buy already shelled from cocoa beans (though if I see a bag of cocoa nibs at Costco or Sam’s Club, I will probably buy them!) so instead of trying to shell cocoa beans myself, I buy chocolate bars with cocoa nibs in them and use those instead. All I have to do is chop up the chocolate bars and use the chunks. So it is almost like using cocoa nibs, right?

I also reworked the previous recipe a little bit: first, by doubling it, so that everyone in our family of 8 could have at least 2 scones, then by reducing the butter, so that I wouldn’t have to cut 2 tablespoons off a second stick of butter to make 16 scones. I’m trying to save a little money. Ok, maybe I’m really just trying to save myself a few seconds.

I also used salted butter in this recipe because it was all the butter I had left. I was out of unsalted butter and hadn’t had a chance to go buy more. Normally, unsalted butter is what I would use.

I currently use Godiva chocolate with cocoa nibs because we live right by an outlet mall with a Godiva outlet. And Josh was able to pick up a 10 pack of these chocolate bars for me from there for about $2.50 each. That’s about what I’d pay for good chocolate bars from the grocery store so I thought it was a good deal. I do use them sparingly though so I don’t go through all 10 bars too fast.

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