Archive for June, 2013

June 28, 2013

vegan creamy cashew califlower gratin

cashew califlower gratin

My vegan friends, this is a divine sauce straight up I promise you will love this creamy “cheesey” goodness. I opted to celebrate our favorite lactose intolerant intern being away for dinner and added a good amount of sharp cheddar and some smoked bacon to this dish to throw it over the top. But totally unnecessary unless you are living in forced cheese lock down, and need to break out once in a while. This sauce would be a great vegan fondue substitute, and would certainly make killer mac and cheese. Inspiration for dinner tonight came from PPK’s chipotle Brussels sprouts. Soaking and pureeing cashews are the secret behind this rich sauce.  A trick I have never tried before and am so happy to have in my kitchen tool box now.

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June 20, 2013

pickled garlic scapes

pickled scapes

Today was a garlic scape extravaganza!

My friend and gardening guru Tony so kindly shipped me off a GIANT case of all his garlic scapes for some loving processing. And today I used about half of the big ‘ol box to make 25 jars of pickled scapes! Luckily my Mom is visiting and her and her friend were stationed at the table chopping and separating curly scape stocks, by size and shape!

We also harvested our own 300 garlic scapes the day before and zipped them up along with my first ever abundant basil harvest from our new greenhouse, to freeze up a grand batch of hemp garlic pesto (similar to this recipe but with basil instead of parsley). Now I sit with about 10 more lbs of scape to process and a well advised plan to dehydrate a good lot of them to be ground into garlic powder, and the rest will be blanched and frozen down for future stir fry dishes.

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June 17, 2013

qunioa chocolate cake

quinoa chocolate cake

Wheat free, flour free, gluten free, dairy free cake that is divine and deeply chocolatey, it must be too good to be true, right? WRONG, and the kicker is I finally cracked the perfect vegan frosting dilemma! So my intolerant friends, rejoice you can have your cake and eat it too!

I have been carrying this magazine page in my cookbook for about 3 years, and never had the time or energy to make this quinoa chocolate cake made with whole grain cooked quinoa not quinoa flour… well finally the day arrived and I just so happened to have need of 1 delicious chocolate birthday cake and as it happened I had on hand about 2 cups of left over un-seasoned cooked quinoa… PERFECT.

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June 15, 2013

vietnamese pork vermicelli

vietnamese pork vermicelli

All this time living in the country I have been missing Vietnamese food so much, and finally tonight I decided to crack into my lovely stash of our very own piggie and char up some sweet marinated chops and serve them atop vermicelli noodles with farm fresh lettuce, some homemade chili pickled carrots and green onions, all drenched in a kickin’ fish sauce. Wow! better than lots of crappy Vietnamese meals I have had in my life! All this dish was missing was some veggie spring rolls. The troops LOVED this meal, and it will defiantly hit the table again soon!

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June 14, 2013

independence challenge here on the homestead

honey bee

I was inspired again by Independence Days by Sharon Astyk A great book I read and loved a few years back, and then I just discovered this great web ring and decided to ramble off this list and participatein the five little homesteaders Independence Challenge, so here is what we have been doing at the homestead in the last couple days to continue our food resilience efforts:

Plant Something:

Although the garden is fully planted we keep adding bits and bobs…  yesterday Isis planted: yarrow (for medicine and food) and chives both in our newest fruit tree guilds, marigold for dye and pest control, and lovage because it’s tasty and lovely.

Harvest Something:

We have been wild harvesting chick-weed for salads, wild pineapple camomile for tea, yarrow flowers for tea and medicine, red clover for tea, mint from our bog for everything, horsetail for stir fry, volunteer mustard greens which are everywhere in the garden along with, orach spinach, swiss chard and kale are all making their way into most every meal.

In fact we are challenging ourselves (and me the cook) to eat wild foraged food each day!

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June 13, 2013

mojito coconut bars

mint limr mojito jelly and bars

These gluten Free lime and mint jelly bars with coconut flour and chick pea flour make for a truly guilt free tropical escape. These bars started with an adventure in mint mojito jelly making, and ended with a truly special gluten free cookie bar.

Lets start with the canning adventure: My intention in the canning process was to make a small run of mint jelly to be used for roast dinners (along with 2 other jelly batches I had been waiting for sunny day and some free time to set out on), One of my interns Dave who I tough how to make jam a little while back, jumped in to learn the jelly making process, and I think at the end of it all, he and I had a refresher on what NOT to do!

Here is the abridged version of events:

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June 11, 2013

smoked trout potato skins

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I just dug a vacusealed bag of smoked candy trout out of the freezer yesterday from and old fishing and candy trout making adventure I guess I must have forgotten just how delicious this fish was, or it never would have lasted this long in my freezer!  I wanted to make a gingery Asian inspired take on the much loved potato skin or double stuffed potato. This dairy free recipe was so great; hearty and fresh with nice garlic ginger & maple flavors. It was perfect with a garden foraged salad slathered in glory bowl dressing.

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June 10, 2013

spruce tip jelly

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I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen yesterday  running 3 batches of wild herbal jelly. Mint, Dandelion, and Spruce Tip. What excited me the most was processing some freshly collected spruce tips into jelly. A few weeks back I was sharing some of my dandelion jelly with our friends and they spoke of a traditional dutch jelly made with spruce tips, which had me intrigued. Then a few days ago our local master herbalist was teaching some medicine making techniques and she too mentioned spruce tip jelly, luckily my wild-crafting partner in crime here at the homestead was setting off to Alberta on a harvesting adventure and she keenly returned home with a batch of fresh tender spruce tips ready for canning.  Yeah.

So the plan was to thaw out the dandelion juice I made a few weeks back and put off canning because the weather turned grey and cloudy, make a fresh batch of spruce tip jelly, and finally give some mint jelly a go… I love mint jelly on roast lamb or beef, and I thought a mint jelly would be a nice starting point for some mint sauce. I opted however to make mojito jelly by adding some fresh lime juice to the batch, the next roast beast dinner might call for some rum!

Here is the story of and recipe for spruce tip jelly making …

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