Archive for April, 2012

April 29, 2012

ginger chilli lime coconut rice

TO DIE FOR RICE! Seriously…

The wonderful inspiration for this dinner came from 101 cookbooks, this just posted spicy lemon coconut sauce recipe totally spoke to me! I served this sauce over jasmine rice and made just a wee couple tweaks to the recipe, served it with chilli ginger meatballs and ground peanuts! Mmm we all licked our plates clean tonight!

Those of you that are aware of my serious aversion for creamy white things are likely shocked by this post although it’s dairy free the colour and texture of white-y things are tough for me… but not today!  By the time I zipped up all the chilli, galic and herbs I was sold, and I love coconut milk, so this sauce is the perfect white sauce for me!

In my spin on this great coconut sauce I zipped it all up in the food processor like this…

Start by pulsing:

3 cloves of garlic

2″ of ginger

2 hot green peppers (stem and seeds removed)

a handful of fresh from the garden chives

then add 1 handful of cilantro

a drizzle of sesame oil (about 2 tsp)

pinch of sea salt

the juice of 1 lime

and 1 can of coconut milk

process until combined and keep in a jar in the fridge.

To make the best rice you have ever tasted pour 1/2 of this batch on 2 cups of hot cooked jasmine rice garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

April 23, 2012

finally AMAZING corn bread muffins

Everytime I make chilli or baked beans or bean soup I feel inclined to make corn bread… and in theory I like the stuff, but recipe after recipe has let me down. I have tried it a million ways, on the grill, in a skillet, in muffin tins, with buttermilk, with butter, with honey, with maple syrup and while some I like more than others I have had more ho-hum batches than I care to admit. BUT FINALLY I found a keeper recipe for my house, and I am really excited to share it with you all. (did you imagine I said yall’ with a drawl, just now?)

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April 20, 2012

roasted spring potatos and brussel sprouts with creamy mushroom gravy

A beast free roast dinner! All of the “stuff your belly” satisfaction of a Sunday roast dinner, but with half the work and zero beast. This all veggie all gluten free feast was layered with caramelized flavours and drenched in a creamy  shitaka gravy… what more could you ask of a hearty dinner?

This morning as I set to work in the garden I had on my shopping list: onions , potatoes and garlic (sadly all thing my home grown pantry is now out of), but the joy of spring time gardening is the surprises nature has in store… like for example the 100+ onion starts I all but gave up on last year happily bursting inches from the earth… yay!, along with 3 lbs of delicious tender potatoes I found forgotten in a lettuce bed from last year, and the dozen or so little butter lettuce volunteers forging there way through the sheet mulch! This excitement of growth has allowed me to dip into my last  of my frozen veggie stocks and ready myself for the coming abundance; asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries, nettles and fiddle heads for a start!

But back to the potatoes… I had to cook them TODAY, as they were my reward for hours of cleaning and weeding and hauling chicken poo to and fro.

What a fitting ends for those golden nuggets! I slowly roasted them with brussel sprouts, gralic and onions , drizzled with EVOO and sea salt, ground pepper and fresh from the herb spiral rosemary + thyme along with parlsey. Roasted for about 45 minutes at 400.

On to the mushroom gravy…

I started by soaking 10 shitaki mushrooms in 2 cups of boiling water for a number of hours, I sliced them thin and removed the stems, but retained the soaking stock.

In a medium sized pot warm:

a good glug of olive oil and begin frying:

1/2 of a large yellow onion chopped fine

4 cloves of garlic

Once transparent add in:

A handful of fresh chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary and parsley) + 2 bay leafs

Mushroom slices

And a pad of butter (becuase for some reason I always add a pad of butter when frying mushrooms)

Season with pepper and a pinch of sweet paprika

Fry the mushroom for about 3-5 minutes on medium heat before adding:

2 cups of the mushroom stock

1 cup of heavy cream farm fresh

1 cup of hot water mixed well with 2 tbsp ORGANIC corn starch or arrowroot powder

season sauce with:


seasoning salt (homemade if you got it)

a dash of  soy sauce

and garlic granules if you have them.

Slowly let the sauce thicken over a low heat and when your roast veggies are ready drown them in mushroom gravy and garnish with more fresh herbs and Ta-Da Roast Feast!

April 18, 2012

home grown ketchup

Today is the day… The burwell general store monthly recipe swap, and this months challenge was both obvious and easy for me to put a SOLE spin on. The Dilworth Hotel tomato pudding, was screaming cheese please! .. and so the  ketchup project was born. I have done a lot of canned tomato sauces and soups before but today and I decided to process up a batch ketchup with some of my summer harvest of whole frozen tomatoes, the stocks of which are now running low (good thing I have 18 tomato plants happily growing inside) and what better way to edge last years abundance into this seasons decadence! Gourmet home grown home made tomato ketchup. What a treat.

This is nothing like heinz ketchup at all, what it is however is tomato-y and lovely, fresh and just a little spicy, with a nice acidic kick, a sauce perfect for dipping, dunking and slathering.

Here is the inspiration for today’s challenge:

And here is how I made 2 pints of ketchup:

In a deep bottomed oven safe pot warm:

1/3 cup of olive oil

2 medium onions chopped

4 cloves of garlic chopped

cook until transparent then add:

about 12 roma tomatoes

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 small tin of tomato paste (haven’t gotten around to making that myself yet it it was store bought)

1/2 cup of cane sugar

1 cup of vinegar (I used half apple cider 1/2 malt)

Add a cheese cloth spice bouquet containing:

2 bay leafs

6 whole all spice

6 whole cloves

1 tbsp chilli flakes

1 tsp cayanne

1 tsp coriander

2 tsp celery seeds

4 pieces of cinnamon stick

Tie bundle and let the works cook down covered over medium heat for about 30 minutes.

Remove bouquet and using an immersion blender zip up the sauce to desired consistency.

Allow sauce to cook in a 350° oven for 30-60 minutes which will allow the sauce to darken and thicken.

Pour hot contents into sterilized jars and keep refrigerated. These should keep for 6 months … but likely they will be long gone before that! I see french fries in your future.

grilled cheese + home grown ketchup = happy day

check out the rest of the recipe swap bloggers:

April 16, 2012

for the love of nutella

Seriously folks I would NOT recommend you make this if you are PMS’ing like me… because I could seriously sit down right now and eat the whole pint of home-made nutella accompanied of course by a bottle of red wine. HOME MADE NUTELLA… did you catch that?!  Inside 1 hour you could make 2 pint jars full of deep dark nutty, and way better for you that the store bought stuff, chocolate hazelnut spread.

Enough said right! everyone loves nutella so get cracking (literally)

Last fall our friend gave us a huge bag of local hazelnuts and I all but forgot about them until today. What a great stress reliever bashing open nuts with an old hammer is!

Start by toasting 1 1/2 cups of nuts in a cast iron pan in a 400° oven for 10-15 minutes, then toss nuts in a tea towel and rub vigourously to remove as much of the skin as possible. If your impatient like me… leave some of the skins on.

Put nuts in your processor and blend on high until a nut butter starts to form.

meanwhile in a large pot warm:

1 1/2 cups whole farm fresh milk

3/4 cup coconut milk powder

1 Tbsp. local honey

1 Tbsp real vanilla

a pinch sea salt

Once combined and just bubbling, add in 2 cups of chocolate chunks (I used a blend of dark and milk chocolate), reduce heat to low and stir continuously until the chocolate is melted in nicely, remove from heat.

Then pour warm chocolate mix into processor and combine with nut butter until silky smooth.

This yields just shy of 2 full pint jars of spread. Keep refrigerated and make sure your jars are sterilized.
And don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Oh and now that you are flush with nutella try my go to all time best ever no flour torta made with nutella

April 15, 2012

salmon and potato pie

Finely sliced thins of potato, onion and shitaki mushrooms layered with homemade smoked wild caught salmon, slowly simmered in a dill from the garden white sauce, oh my. I wish you could scratch and sniff this recipe. Divine.

We have a little pot luck-happy-snow-gone-back-road-party to attend tonight and I wanted to make something from my own pantry… so smoked  salmon, potatoes and dill it was, all brought together in a rich creamy white sauce using the first of the seasons goat milk from our friends up the valley!

To make this you’ll need to whip up a basic béchamel, I infused this with extra grainy mustard and some dill greens, I froze last summer.

Your best friend in this dish is your mandolin so bust it out…

Start with a well oiled parchment lined spring form pan

Slice up about 6 potatos and 1 large onion, very thin

I had some extra soaked dried shitaki mushroom (some of you may find this humorous if you read my post about compromise) so I threw those in too, but any mushrooms… or no mushrooms would do just fine. You’ll also need a pint jar of  smoked salmon.

Start with a lovely layer of potato, then onion and season lightly with S+P

Then add another layer of potato and a thin spread of béchamel topped by 1/2 of the smoked salmon, broken into small bits and sprinkled with more dill.

Add another row of potato then béchamel, again potato then mushrooms and onions and more béchamel.

Continue in this manor until you have used all the salmon, and onions and are nearing the top of your pan.

The top row should be potatos set atop béchamel, perfectly assembled then sprinkled lightly with an aged cheese, S+P and a sprinkle of dill.

Now bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a butter knife pierces all the layers easily.

I wish I could show you the inside of this stunning dish.. but alas off it went whole to the backroad party, where our hosts had their very first baby goats born that day! I got to bottle feed a sweet, hours old little billy goat boy.

April 11, 2012

hot and sour stir fry

Other wise known as COMPROMISE! If your married you will understand this one…

Remember a few months back when I posted a delicious vegan hot and sour soup recipe? Well my sweetie has quite literally been requesting I make it just about every other day. This is no joke. Frankly, as much as I really do love the soup I can’t eat anything week after week, let alone back to back UGH! I am at the point where I actually resent the soup and having ever made it all together. He has even taken to making it himself (following my blog recipe, which I will say is very ambitious and totally out of character for him, but, I will say that speaks to the level of desire he feels for this soup), although he hasn’t cranked out a perfect batch yet  he has begun now to soak the mushrooms in hopes that I will sweep in a whip him up a pot. This past week as he was harping on me to make it again, but Uh-Oh  I found we had no canned Chinese vegetables to go in it (these are things I am really not wanting to consume to much of anyway, so in all honesty I am slow to restock).

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April 10, 2012

beet and hemp kale salad

I really can’t get enough of kale salads… kale in general. You should see how many packs of kale seeds I have and plan to plant this year! I made this wonderful salad for my friend and brand new moma to help keep her out of the kitchen and her family nourished as they get used to the new little life in their lives. This is a take on a slalad my mother in law made while we were visiting her, and I think it’s simply perfect! kale, beets, grapefruit and hemp.. not much more to it than that!

In a large bowl combine:

1 bunch of kale finely shredded

1 large beet grated

1/3 cup hemp oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup grapefruit juice

hearty pinch of course sea salt

massage dressing into kale and beets by hand then add:

1 grapefruit cut into tiny sections

1 large handful of hemp seeds

serve with a smile

April 8, 2012

‘tweet easter to you

Just thought I would share the two easter-e treats we made for dinner tonight. Simple chickie eggs, and our family easter favourite bird nest with mini eggs! the nests were made using my moms oats delights recipe the only tweak I made was to sub coconut butter in for the butter, and I used real callebaut chocolate instead of cocoa and thus cut the sugar by half. These are a sweet and tasty tradition for us.

Hope you all have a happy weekend filled with good food and good friends! We are still crossing our finger for easter chicks this weekend… not sure exactly when the babies will hatch but this week for sure, until then moma hen is doing a great job keeping those eggies warm!

April 7, 2012

cauliflower potato and tofu curry

This curry is so lovely and easy to make. Super similar to this garden grown korma recipe…. just with more last days of winter veggies in it. A straight forward vegetarian curry with punchy traditional flavours sowly bubbled on the stovetop for about 45 minutes. Best served with rice and roti.

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April 6, 2012

red pepper black bean orzo soup

If you have a tetra pack of tomato or red pepper soup in the back of your pantry just waiting for some inspired idea other than grilled cheese, then this mexican spin might be just for you. This isn’t my usual approach to soup… that is tossing canned and tetra pack ingredients together and serving after only a quick boil.. but today it was just what was required. I had hungry chicken coop fencers to feed and only a few minutes to put something hearty on the table. While this soup didn’t have the slowly simmered away all day with love taste… it certainly had a great chili kick and enough fuel to keep us all going through the afternoon (and saw the completion of the chickens happy new home in the forest!)

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April 4, 2012

quick caraway kraut

This is the perfect side dish for an easter ham or you’ll find it just dreamy atop potato pancakes! This takes no time at all to prepare and while it’s not actual sauerkraut, it has the sour element we all love from the real fermented stuff and some nice flavour components from the toasted caraway and caramelized onion.

Start by shredding 1/2 large head of green cabbage finely, and 1 large yellow onion.

In a big ‘ol cast iron pan get some oil (or even bacon drippings) warming on medium heat.

Toast 2 tbsp of whole caraway seeds in the oil along with 2 tbsp ground peppercorns, until aromatic (about 3 minutes)

Add the sliced onion and cook until translucent before adding cabbage. Toss cabbage quickly  in the onion oil and seasoning and allow to cook down for about 10 minutes, stirring often. You may need to add additional oil to keep the cabbage from burning.

Add 1/2 cup of malt vinegar and a hearty sprinkle of nice sea salt.

serve and enjoy!