Archive for July, 2013

July 31, 2013

raspberry tart with chickpea coconut crust

g;uten free tart : raspberry chickpea coconut

I have been really enjoying baking with chickpea flour over the past few weeks. It’s dense and almost nutty tasting and it blends nicely with all kinds of other flours. Yesterday we picked the last of the very deep dark ripe raspberries of the season and had to put them to work immediately so I set out to bake a gluten free dairy free tart made in the lazy crumble top fashion of old school date bars (love this 2 step technique) The dough is a blend of chickpea flour / brown rice flour / coconut / coconut oil / and cane sugar used on the bottom and again on the top with a thick layer of smooshed freshly picked berries and some coconut chips.

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July 25, 2013

raspberry ringer

raspberry ringer

This frozen dessert is so simple there is no way it should taste this fresh and lovely. Your just 3 ingredients away from something that screams summer and takes no time at all to prepare. We just just picked 2 huge baskets of raspberries and I planned to make a gluten free berry cake in this sweet little vintage cake pan, but the very thought of turning the oven on yesterday had me feeling faint… instead I threw a few things in the stand mixer, made a pink puddle and froze it in the spring form pan, viola… raspberry frozen dessert!

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July 22, 2013

feta avacado dip

feta avacado dip

Such a nice take on same old same old guacamole, this feta dip is fresh and bright and totally dunk-able! Best of all the feta came from my favorite milk maid curiosity of her lovely dairy goat aptly named “feta”. This is by no means mexican in flavor, and you could so easily make this the spread  on a BLT or any number of burgers. It is flavored with basil and lemon and garlic, it’s smooth and sharp and perfect for any manor of summer grilling menus. Best of all it’s so simple.

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July 20, 2013

squash and feta fritters

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In the event you are drowning in summer squash, this recipe is a great way to hide and and serve it to your family even after they have played the NO MORE ZUCCHINI CARD! Every one loves golden brown pockets of cheese + herb goodness, so much so no one will be the wiser if it is stuffed with squash! I harvested a couple more patty pan squash from the garden today along with an armful of fresh herbs, and together along with my favorite local goat feta, some eggs from the hens and some corn meal you have the makings of some lovely summer snacking!

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July 18, 2013

perfect thai style curry

easy thai yellow curry

Honestly this might be the easiest, tastiest and most authentic tasting Thai style yellow curry I have ever had let alone made! This perfectly punchy sauce was made in a wide mouth mason jar with my handy immersion blender using only a few simple ingredients. The veg can be what ever you have on hand and of course you could add meat or fish or tofu, served over steamed rice you’ll think you were on a beach in Thailand… trust me this is ridiculously good!

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July 16, 2013

rose petal jelly

rose petal jelly

Yet another day in paradise spent slaving over a hot stove canning! My daughter and I enjoyed a morning making this stunning fragrant rose petal jelly, which was a really similar process to my favorite dandelion jelly. We started last week by picking a few bags full of lovely rose petals from our friends garden (which of course are untreated & un-sprayed, which is ESSENTIAL when making any food or medicine with flowers or wild-crafted herbs). From there I sorted 8 cups of the prettiest pinkest fullest petals which I set in a glass bowl along with 9 cups of warm water, left to sit in the fridge for 3 days to simply and passively saturate their lovely flavors into the rose water.

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July 14, 2013

hot damn BACON jam!

hot damn bacon jam

Geez, now I totally get what all the hype is about! Bacon Jam, sound right up my ally right? What with our pig in the freezer and the homestead triple smoke bacon in abundance, and seeing as I am a jamming / canning machine, I thought “what the hell”, while processing some other preserves I decided to bust out a batch of bacon jam, and frankly I am almost sad I did, because life without this stuff is tasteless!

I made my own hybrid recipe after some internet research and what I yielded is a true celebration of Canadian flavors; smoked homestead bacon, maple syrup, dark beer, coffee… have I said enough? Are you drooling? How about caramelized onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar, molasses, homemade HP sauce, some chilies and black pepper for good measure? What about now? Are you convinced?

triple smoked homestead bacon

This stuff was so damn good I had to make a batch of homemade hamburgers and fire up the grill just to properly honor these flavors, with avocado cheese burgers. The process of making this divine jam is just like making chutney, only with the enticing aroma of smoked bacon lingering about. From start to finish the process was about 3 hours of effort, and netted a mere 5 x 250ml jars, one of which was devoured in all of 7 minutes. The guys were licking the bowl and spatulas clean.. even the counter top! It was suggested we can this Canadian Crack rather than bacon jam… but what ever you call it, whatever you slather it on, you are in for a delightfully carnivorous culinary treat!

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July 14, 2013

berry binge loaf cake

best berry bing loaf

Wow that is a crazy hot pink glaze! I made a batch of triple berry gratitude loafs and finished them with a quick saskatoon berry glaze that gave them this pink show stopping finish! We had a few folks to thank for some favors so I finally made time to do some batch baking and use my berry-berry-berry abundance! I also ran down to the local thrift shop in search of some semi disposable pans and came how with 8 small loaf pans which was the kicker in turning my berries into lovely loafs. The pans are great little commercial units and they baked these loafs perfectly!

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July 12, 2013

snap pea + strawberry salad

snowpea strawberry salad

Nothing screams English garden to me as much as green peas and strawberries! And they both are flushing in my yard right now. This bright and sweet salad is entirely from a mid day wonder around the yard (with the exception of a small walla walla onion), the dressing is made with that yummy saskatoon syrup I made last week, blended into a zippy balsamic vinegarette.

Combine leafy and bitter greens with fresh mint leaves, toss in handfuls of fresh strawberries and handfuls of fresh snow peas garnish with razor thin slices of yellow onion and then drizzle with this rich berry blissful dressing:

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July 7, 2013

quinoa cake + saskatoon berry syrup

chocolate quinoa cake with saskatoon syrup

My dear friend turned 50 this weekend, and I had to make a show stopping cake to help her celebrate in style. I decided on making that lovely chocolate quinoa cake I made a couple weeks back, and to go all out  I made two batches of cake and opted for a coconut milk chocolate mousse center finished with a stellar Saskatoon berry syrup. Then the whole cake got a coconut oil butter cream chocolate frosting and a final raw cacao nib crumble edge.

The whole cake was gluten free and flour free, and parts of it are vegan, other parts are powered with super foods… And although it is deeply indulgent, on the whole I would say it’s a pretty healthy option as far as chocolate cakes go.

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July 5, 2013

dolmades

fresh grape leave dolmades

OK this is crazy cool, We have crazy big grape vines here about 6 really hearty vines that produced well over 50lbs of grapes last year and are poised to do way better this year! Well it has only taken 4 years, but we finally harvested grape leaves and for the first time ever I made dolmades. So fun and lovely tasting. I am considering canning a good amount of leaves right now… but I might just steam and freeze them for future days.

I had some ground pork from our pig at the ready, along with some leftover rice and ample fresh herbs on hard, which all combined to make bright refreshing and delicious dolmades! The grape leaves were really easy to process and roll, and I am sad I have overlooked them for so long.

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July 5, 2013

shattered!

shattered ceramic cooktop

So this is why I haven’t posted in some time 😦

I dropped a tiny little vase on my new slide in kitchen aid convection oven that I have been enjoying and loving for a wee 6 months. TRAGEDY!

It just so happened to break the night before I served a meal for 12… no big deal right? Currently I am feeding 8 two time a day, with no stove.

I took one giant step back in my kitchen cook-ability, back to the fire pit.. which is ok I did that for months when we first arrived here, but still it’s heart breaking. Good thing we just got the cob oven fired up and are trying to figure out how to cook well in it. I have the old BBQ and my faithful Instapot, and one day soon and a zillion dollars later the cooktop will be replaced.

Is this crazy or what, the salesman told me when I was shopping for the perfect convection oven, that I would have no issues with the ceramic cooktop, and that even though I only cook with CAST IRON, a point I stressed!, I should have no fears about breaking the cooktop. Geez the vase I dropped weight about 100 grams… I think my cast iron wok weighs about 15 lbs!

😦