12 September 2016

Chicken and Potato Gnocchi Soup

I snipped and hung the bittersweet to dry this weekend.

06 September 2016

Jazzed Beans and Rice

I loved the light on those red kidney beans when I dumped them in with the jasmine rice. What can I say? Added spices and diced vegetables to the mix and we had us a big old bowl of spicy red beans and rice the other evening. Our neighbors made shrimp tacos, margaritas, and a hot cheesy salsa dip to start things out. And then? We whiled the evening away on their deck sipping drinks and Coronas and knoshing the best Tex-Mex meal ! There is NOTHING like having good neighbors ... just sayin'.

15 August 2016

Turkey and Corn Meatballs with a Roasted Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

These were so freakin' good, but they were work! Of course, I made them on the hottest day of the summer and refused to use the oven or a fry pan for anything more than frying the meatballs, so I had to stand over the grill on the terrace rather than heat the house more than necessary. I had to have these little bites, though. The recipe comes from a Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook - his first one.

You know how Ottolenghi has a million ingredients and a bunch of nit-picky steps? Yeah. You gotta follow them to get the little tweeks of flavour that YO is known for. If you don't want to step up to the plate, then tell some of your foodie friends and maybe they'll make these little guys for you. If, however, you buy into the idea fiddling with blackened corn and its smoky flavour, roasted red peppers, sliced and diced garlic and herbs, some chili spice in there and a nice roasty sauce of red peppers and herbs, then have at it!

12 August 2016

Asian Pickle

The cucumbers have arrived! SB brings three or four in every day and plunks them down on the counter ... a challenge is implied there. Can I stay ahead of them? Well, this year, yes! I donate some to the local food pantry as part of this little church challenge to spread the seasonal wealth to those who need good local food for free. The rest I use to make salads and these easy pickles.

10 August 2016

Corsican Chicken

I had to look at a map to really get a good understanding of exactly where Corsica is located after I read about the description of this chicken recipe. It comes from a slow-cooker cook book that I have called The French Slow Cooker. It turns out that Corsica is a pretty large island in the Mediterranean Sea that is southeast of Nice, France and west of the Italian coast (and Rome). It has a long history of conquest by everyone from the Romans to the Brits to the Germans, to the French. Nowadays, it is an official part of France ... and the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. So there.

21 June 2016

Apple Cake with Maple Frosting

Our berries have been stolen by chipmunks ... the little beggars have plucked any with even a bit of color and I am left with apples in my fridge. Instead of fresh biscuits and strawberries, I have been reduced to making an apple cake ... ah well. It's a pretty cake loaded with small diced apple bits and golden raisins soaked and puffed to perfection. The last of the maple syrup was added to butter and cream cheese to make a frothy bowl of frosting and voila! Another beautiful cake ...

Let those little thieves have the berries for the time being. We have apple cake with maple frosting !

This is a dense and very moist cake that is reminiscent of carrot cake. It has a big soft crumb and super moist chunks of fruit that are spread throughout the cake. It's a good keeper of a cake in that it stays terrific for a couple days ... sorry no photos of cut pieces, as it went to the little white church for fellowship time  ... it's a very good cake. Trust me.

Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Frosting
an Ottolenghi recipe

Cake Ingredients:

4 tbsp. water
1/2 c. golden raisins
2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c.olive oil
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, small dice (1/2 inch)
zest f one lemon
2 egg whites, whipped to soft peaks

Maple Frosting Ingredients:

7 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
a scant 1/2 c. Muscovado sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 

Making the Cake:

1. Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease an 8-inch spring form pan and line it with parchment paper.
2. Place the water and golden raisins in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and turn off the heat. Let the raisins soak until cool.
3. Sift together in a small bowl the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
4. Beat the olive oil, sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
5. Turn in the diced apples, raisins and any residual fluid, and lemon zest. Mix well.
6. Turn in the dry mix and stir to a thick batter.
7. Turn in the egg white meringue in two additions, gently turning in until incorporated.
8. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours. A cake tester should come clean.
9. Cool the cake for five minutes and then release the outer band of the spring form pan. Let the cake, then, cool completely.
10. Use a serrated knife to slice the cake into two even layers.
11. Whip the frosting ingredients in a deep bowl until perfectly smooth and frothy.
12. Place half the frosting on the bottom layer. Top with the second layer and frost the top of the second layer.
13. Chill the cake before serving to set the frosting.

18 June 2016

Chicken with Olives and Capers

Boneless chicken thighs with green and black olives, capers, tomato chunks, and a white wine and chicken broth sauce. Need I say more ?

06 June 2016

Green Herb Quiche and Cucumber Dill Salad

Tonight's supper is a fresh green affair!