Archive for November, 2012

November 20, 2012

slow cooker curry vindaloo

I could call this meatball curry, but not because the curry has meatballs in it… but because it has our friends cow “meatball” in it, and oh boy is he tasty! I made a leek and potato soup today for lunch and at the same time I filled the slow cooker with my favorite Indian flavors and let the lot cook down for about 6 hours,  upon taking my first bite, I new I had to share this recipe with you all! This might be the best curry I have ever made, you gotta try this!

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November 12, 2012

apple sauce coffee cake

Ok so here is the reason I spend all this effort cooking and milling and canning apple sauce endlessly in the fall… So I can enjoy quick and easy apple sauce baking the rest of the year. This loaf is laced with walnut cinnamon strussel  and made with spelt flour and coconut with a pint jar of homemade apple sauce to add just the right amount of sweetness and moisture. This tastes like your grandma grew the apples and baked the loaf herself, I promise you’ll love this homey loaf.

Combine in a large bowl:

1  cup cane sugar

1 pint homemade applesauce

3/4 cup grapeseed oil

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

slowly add in:

2 1/4 cups sifted spelt flour

1 tsp bp

pinch of fine sea salt

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tsp blend of the following ground spices: nutmeg, allspice & cloves

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped coconut

In a small bowl make streusel:

1 tbsp cane sugar

1 tbsp walnut pieces

1 tsp cinnamom

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp coconut oil

pinch sea salt

combine into crumb


Into a prepared loaf pan pour 1/2 of the batter, then sprinkle 1/2 of the streusel crumble, and top with the rest of the batter, finish with the rest of the streusel and bake at 350 for about an hour and ten minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm with a hot ‘cuppa!

November 6, 2012

chocolate almond pretzel bark

Oh ya!

Bark is so stupid easy to make, and it tastes WAY WAY WAY better than some crappy candy bar filled with GMO corn syrup. This is the real deal: whole organic almonds, sea salt, organic pretzels, and Belgian Callebaut dark chocolate, all perfectly blanketed into bite size bits for the ideal after dinner sweet.

The only mystery about chocolate bark making, comes from tempering process, which is the way to heat and cool and seed chocolate so that your finished  product is set and shiny and without any white milky parts or spots. So here is my simple solution to perfect chocolate bark:

On a parchment lined pan combine:

2 cups of crushed organic pretzel bits with 1 cup of whole almonds and spread them over the pan evenly and sprinkle with 2 heavy pinches of course sea salt. Set aside.

In a double boiler melt:

2 tbsp coconut oil

Then add 4 cups of dark chocolate bits (uniform sized pieces are best)

Stir often and ensure the double boiler isn’t allowing steam to add moister to your chocolate bowl.

You need to gently heat the chocolate to melting point so as not to scotch it, it should reach a MAX temp of 110 F,

Once 90 % of the chocolate is melted remove from heat and continue stirring. This is the cooling and agitating step, that is so essential!

Add 1.25 cups of additional chocolate and stir it until it melts in. Once your mixture is shiny and consistent you have successfully “seeded” your chocolate. If you need it to be more fluid for working with you can warm it gently again.

Now your ready to pour your chocolate over the crunchy bits. Ensure you cover most of the pan with chocolate, then with a silicone spatula push and fold the bits so that your edges are evenly coated and the whole pan appears to be the same depth. Some pieces of nut and pretzel poking through will look nice so don’t fret about every bit.

Allow to set at ROOM TEMPERATURE for about 1 hour, you do not need to refrigerate and in fact you can add to much humidity to your chocolate by cooling it in a fridge.

Once set (and it should be shiny and lovely and snap when broken, not crumble) cut into triangle pieces using a sharp blade. Pack into an air tight jar, or use this easy peasy pleaser as gifts and wrap them up with a bow!

November 5, 2012

pow wow carrot cookie

Sweet Potato Pow.

That was my baking piece-de-resistance. About 11 years ago I was developing vegan and gluten free recipes for my new organic wholesale bakery when I created the most amazing vegan cookie ever!  People still talk about it and just for fun, I googled it, and found a number of bloggers trying to replicate this baby! It is truly a knock out cookie. I sold the company years ago, and signed all sorts of legal agreements swearing me to cookie secrecy, which as it turned out was unnecessary because I lost my book of test recipes, and sadly and have never been able to recreate the prefect batch of pows until now!

This months Burwell General Store recipe swap called for a carrot pie, that recipe read a whole lot like a sweet potato pie I used to make for holiday meals, and in fact that pie is how I ended up creating my famous sweet potato pow cookies… which got me thinking.. how about some sweet roasted carrot pows? Oh ya.

Just 1 attempt and it yielded the perfect ‘just like the old days batch of intensely deep roasted soft chocolatey nutty parcels of carrot heaven! The smell really took be back to days of baking in the BIG kitchen in high heals rushing off to some big sales gig! ‘Ha ha what a long way from that I am now, as I duck out in my wellies to feed the chooks!

Here is the original recipe challenge:

* I should disclose that although my statute of limitations has long since passed, this isn’t the exact recipe we used back at the factory… but for a from scratch off the top of my head after 5 years of not mixing a single batch of this dough, it’s damn close and just as wonderful as the original was! Now without further ado, here is your ticket to roasted carrot POW WOW vegan cookie perfection:

slow roast

4 large carrots at 350 until fork tender (try to keep them from blackening)

puree the carrots skin and all along with 2 tbsp of molasses

In a stand mixer combine:

3/4 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 tbsp homemade vanilla

once well mixed add 1 1/4 cup carrot puree

scrape down the sides of the bowl and incorporate:

2 cups of sifted spelt flour

1 tsp each bs+ bp

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp each: nutmeg, clove and all spice


1 cup of the best quality dark chocolate you can afford

1 cup pecan pieces

combine gently (don’t over mix)

Portion dough on to parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 300 for about 20, until the bottoms are just toasted and the tops no longer appear wet. Allow to cool completely before you start shoveling them into your mouth one of two cookies at a time. This is a big batch so be sure to share lots, make some new friends!


Make sure you take some time to enjoy all the other recipe swap challengers take on this carrot pie!

November 3, 2012

s is for seasonal

As the temperature cools down the kitchen calls for root veggies, squash, meat, mushrooms, dried herbs, the first of the early summer canning to be enjoyed, and as the tomatoes ripen and turn from green to red, they too called to be enjoyed as the last of the summers sweet jewels. Things want to be stewed and simmered slowly to help keep the cook cozy and warm these days. Breads want to be baked, and fruits sitting idle in the freezer are longing to be jammed and baked into tarts and muffins.

The other day I bought a plastic package of organic spring greens and it broke my heart. I love salad, but not like this! Not like this at all. I miss my lush bar of salad greens, which are now standing stiff and seedy, long since enjoyed. But this is not the season of fresh spring greens, it’s time for kale and cabbage salads with bits of locally crafted cheese.

Throughout the summer and spring I cook meat on occasion mainly to appease the family once in a while, but as the cold settles in my desire to braise and sear and roast some beast grows. After all our freezer is full of happy meat, lovingly raised by our friends and neighbors over the summer. I start to crave stews thick with hearty root crops, and chunky pasta sauce made with the mountains of tomatoes I ‘put up week after week this year.

On occasion a pineapple in the grocery store calls to me, or I succumb to the leafy greens in their shinny cello bags, but for the most part my meals come from the abundance of food sitting at my door step, literally! I still have pounds of Seckel pears waiting for a run through the dehydrator, and a million squash that need a winter home. I have a bucket of beets I dragged into the house today to finally pickle. The potatoes are also looking for a home, as are the sun chokes, and some lingering carrots. Most of the carrots are staying in the ground for the winter, except the ones I am transforming this week into the Burwell General Store recipe swap, watch for this on Monday, you’ll never believe what I am doing with them!

My garden beds are topped with compost and a thick layer of straw mulch waiting for a cozy snowy blanket, and the chickens are foraging and scratching up a huge additional section of garden right now depositing little nitrogen parcels all over the place, waiting for me to sculpt new growing beds next year.  Finally things are slowing down out there, and with that comes the slower, heartier food of the season.

So what I am saying is that it’s time to cozy into some seasonal warming meals. Expect more squash and potatoes, meats and other root veggies, along with the grains and beans I have hoarded away in mass. And watch for recipes that use up all the creative canned sauces, salsa’s, and chutneys I have squirreled away … ‘Oh the season of rest.

November 1, 2012

creamy dill and harvest root soup

This is kinda like doukhabor borscht only way way way less work, time and effort. It has all the same elements; cream, cabbage, potato, onions carrots and dill…. it’s just assembled in a lazy chilly fall day, kind of way. If you like borscht but not all the effort, give this quickie a try! You could totally add a small beet to the potatoes as they boil away to add that sweet pink that is often associated with borscht or you can leave it out and just enjoy this lovely soup straight up.

In a large pot start by browning the following in oil for about 8 minutes:

1-2 onions diced fine

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped

2-3 carrots finely chopped

1/2 head of cabbage shredded fine

Once the onion is transparent / golden add 6 cups of cubed potatoes along with 6 cups of boiling/hot water

season with S+P , a bay leaf, and 2 tbsp dill seed.

Let boil covered for about 20 minutes.

once the potatoes are cooked through add a dollop of butter and puree about 1/2 of the soup using an immersion blender, until you have a consistency you like… I enjoy some small bits in a smooth combined thickish stock.

add 1 cup heavy cream along

and 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill weed (I froze a whack of it down so I always have this pungent green on hand)

Serve and Enjoy!