Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (2)

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (1)

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (4)

Farro refers to the grains of three wheat species, which is sold dried, and cooked in water until soft. Fun fact, it’s also the oldest grain known to man.

Farro can be eaten plain, or used as an ingredient in salads, soups, and other dishes.

The Italian word farro derives from the presumed Latin word farrum, a kind of wheat (as in farina (food)). Farri us vertsatile and can be replaced in most recipes with spelt berries, wheat berries, and Kamut berries. If you want a gluten-free substitute, sorghum, brown rice, or oat groasts will all make good replacements in most recipes.

Today I’m putting a spin on what’s used most commonly in savory recipes and making it a sweet treat. This is my Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios.



Farro (2)

Pineapple chunks

Cranberries And Pistachios

Agave Nectar, Honey, and Granulated Sugar





Sweet Basil (2)


Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (4)

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (1)

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (2)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepan, mesh sieve, chef’s knife, large mixing bowl

1 1/2 cups of Farro, rinsed and drained
4 cups of water
1/2 cup of *Agave nectar light amber (liquid measure)
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 cup of pineapple tidbits, drained (Dole pineapple tidbits in 100% pineapple juice)
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves, julienned

Note: The cooking liquid and Farro will turn red in color (not dipicted in the above pictures of the Farro cooking process) from the reconstitution of the dried cranberries.

Place 1 1/2 cups of Farro in a mesh sieve, rinse and drain. In a saucepot on medium-high heat add in the 4 cups of water, Kosher salt, dried cranberries, and *Agave nectar. Give that a good stir before adding in the rinsed and drained Farro. Stirring occasionally to prevent and Farro from sticking together, bring the Farro up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low heat, cover, cooking for 25 to 30 minutes. Pour the cooked Farro through a mesh sieve again draining off any remaining liquid.

Next, transfer the Farro into a large bowl. Add the pineapple chunks, roughly chopped pistachios and fresh basil, toss to combine.

Ladle a good helping of my Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios into a porcelain serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Agave nectar: Agave is a natural sweetener that comes in dark or light amber.

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Homemade Chocolate Bark LolliPops


Some years back, at a craft show, I bought this wooden tree lollipop holder. It’s the perfect seasonal table centerpiece to showcase my Homemade Chocolate Bark Lollipops.

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Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes making the lollipops and decorating)
Cook Time: 5 minutes (melting the chocolate)
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 24 lollipops, 12 white, and 12 chocolate
Equipment: 4 rimmed baking sheet pans, parchment paper, 1 (24-ct) package of lollypop sticks (with the wrapper and ribbons included), 2 large mixing bowls, 2 medium-sized mixing bowls, 8 small ramekins or small dishes for toppings

1 (24-ounce) package of white almond bark
1 (24-ounce) package of chocolate almond bark
1/4 cup peppermint candies, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup caramels
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup mini M&M’s
1/4 cup of dark chocolate covered espresso beans
1/4 cup of candied pineapple, roughly chopped
Coarse Kosher salt
2 tablespoons of ground Chipotle spice (more if you like it spicier)

To start, roughly chop both types of chocolate and place them into large bowls with smaller ones next to them. Chopping the chocolate ensures that you’ll have evenly melted chocolate and will prevent the chocolate from burning. Undercook the chocolate slightly because the heat will melt the rest of the chocolate as you stir it.

Follow the instructions on the package for melting the almond chocolate bark in the microwave. This process is usually done by placing the roughly chopped chocolate into a glass mixing bowl, microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir with a spatula. Repeat in 30-second increments, stirring then repeating the process until chocolate is just melted.

The larger bowls are for melting the chocolate that will be used in making the actual pops. The smaller bowls are for 1/4 cup of each flavor of melted chocolate for drizzling over the opposite flavor of chocolate lollipops.

To the white almond bark add ground Chipotle powder for a little heat, stir to combine. I love to see the red specks of ground Chipotle running through the white chocolate.

I’ve lined four baking sheets with parchment paper to make for easy removal later. After both almond chocolate almond barks are melted, use a tablespoon as a way to keep the lollipops all the same size. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper, spreading the chocolate out (not too thin) into a (2 1/2-inches in diameter) round disk. Take the lollypop stick and swirl into the bottom of the circle. The melted chocolate will cover the stick as it’s placed into the chocolate. Quickly before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle on the coarse Kosher salt and the toppings you choose to each one. I like to mix and match different toppings.

After the chocolate lollipops have hardened, dip a fork into the opposite flavor of chocolate, on a few or all, shake the fork over the lollipop making the opposite flavor of chocolate into a rustic splattered design.

The lollipop sticks (available at any craft store) will come with clear plastic wrappers and ribbons. I placed my Homemade Chocolate Bark Lollipops into my wooden lollipop tree and used it for a table centerpiece.

Any leftover chocolate I’ll make into shards of chocolate bark with and set out in a candy dish for family and friends.

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