Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
1 C chopped onion.
1 C chopped orange or red peppers (or green, what the heck)
2 tsp of coconut oil
1 to 1 1/2 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken cut into strips
1 1/2 Tbsp of curry powder
2 tsp fresh ginger root
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 C chopped peeled mango
3/4 C coconut milk
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 small can of bamboo shoots
chopped cilantro for garnish
In large frying pan, saute onions and peppers in oil until crisp but tender. Add chicken and spices (curry, ginger, garlic, salt and cayenne). Cook and stir for five minutes. Stir in mango, coconut mild and tomato paste. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add drained bamboo shoots. Serve over fresh steamed rice and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
"Oh, I don't know," I replied. "Perhaps I'll make soup, or cook one up to make muffins, or if I feel really ambitious, ravioli."
"Pumpkin soup?" she questioned incredulously. She simply couldn't get beyond the pumpkin soup.
When she asked later about the pumpkin soup, I knew I had to make it. For those of you who have visited here often, you know full well that my cooking is more of an art than a science. Sure, if I bake, for the most part, I try to stick to the measurements, but cooking, it's all by feel. But the soup was so incredibly delicious, I'll try to remember what it was that I did.
Take 1/2 a sugar pumpkin, seeded and its innards cleaned and put it face down in a pan with just a little water. (Sugar pumpkins have the best flavour, so I wouldn't recommend making this with another type of pumpkin, but I am sure it would work equally well with an acorn or butternut squash.)
Bake at 400 degrees until its flesh is soft and mushy.
In the meantime, finely chop about 2 1/2 onions and saute on low heat with some butter.
Peal and core two apples (I used Spartans, but only because it was what I had in my house). Chop into chunks and add to onions.
When the pumpkin has finished baking, scoop the flesh away from the peel and put into the blender. Add chicken broth (or a full bodied vegetable broth if you prefer), the sauteed onion / apple mixture, 3/4 tsp of curry powder, salt and pepper to taste and blend. Transfer to a soup pan and add more chicken broth until the soup is at your preferred consistency. Heat until warmed through.
Garnish with grated Romano (or blue cheese if you'd like something with a little more flavour), chopped cilantro or parsley and some toasted pecans. Enjoy.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
I've always wanted to give gherkins a go, but was never certain whether or not I should risk it. I've tasted some great homemade pickles and then there were the others. But 7 lbs of free cukes had to be a sign that the planets were properly aligned for success in this endeavor.
Around these parts, there are many who make their pickles in the washing machine. Yes, you heard me right, the WASHING MACHINE! Not only was I intrigued, I had to try it. I admit, I felt a little odd throwing 7 lbs of pickling cukes into my washing machine and starting the gentle cycle. The feeling that this had the potential to go very wrong loomed heavy in the air. I twiddled my thumbs nervously while listening to the clunking of something akin to washing running shoes in the machine. Finally, the machine stopped. I held my breath as I opened the door. And there they were, 7 lbs of very clean, firm cukes. At this point, I knew that all would turn out well.
If you dare, this is approximately what I did:
- Put cucumbers in the washing machine and run through the gentle cycle.
- Put cucumbers in kitchen sink, cover with cold water and soak overnight.
- In the morning, drain the water.
- Sterilize mason jars (the amount you need will depend on how many cukes you have).
- Boil the required number of lids for a min. of 8-10 minutes to soften the rubber ring.
- Make brine: Approximately 4 cups of pickling vinegar, 12 cups of water, 3/4 cup of pickling salt, sugar to taste if you want a little bit of a sweeter pickle.
- Bring brine to a good boil.
- Fill jars one at a time. I stuff dill, mustard seed and chopped onion in the bottom of mine and then pack in the cucumbers. Pack the cucumbers tight. It's amazing how many can fit in one jar.
- Cover with simmering brine.
- Clean the rim of the jars to ensure there isn't any salt or other residue to prevent the jars from sealing. Put on lids and tighten rings.
- Process jars. If any don't seal, keep them in your fridge where they will keep for quite some time.
Monday, August 30, 2010
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I did save some of the fruit for smoothies as I am crazy about smoothies and have been freezing up fruit where possible to get me through the winter.
As you can see, I also made some spicy red pepper jelly. Now this is a treat that I will indulge in every now and again. It's a real hit around the holidays if you pair it with crackers and cream cheese. If you'd like the recipe, you can find it here.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Thursday, August 05, 2010
It's my version of a beefed up Greek salad minus the beef, and yes, completely satisfying. Now I'll try to give you the recipe, but if I'm not totally precise, forgive me, I usually cook by feel and taste.
1 C French Lentils (if you can't find French lentils, I am sure that regular green lentils will work, but these are my absolute favorite and the hold their shape well.
3 C Water
1 or 2 Tomatoes
1 Long English cucumber
1 Pepper (green or red...whatever you have on hand)
1/4 Red Onion
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Boil the lentils in the 3 cups of water for about 45 minutes or until they are tender but still hold their shape. Drain any excess water. Chop up the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and onion into medium chunks. Toss with the lentils. Make a dressing with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and juice of the lemon. Pour over top and toss. Crumble the feta cheese on top. Give it one last toss. Add a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Enjoy.
I'll probably be making this again in a day or two will try to be a little more precise on those dressing measurements. Of course if you have your favorite dressing that you make with Greek salad, you could easily substitute it. I am sure that it will taste just as good.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
4 egg whites (room temperature)
pinch of salt
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 C whipping cream
1/4 c sour cream
2 Tbsp sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh fruit of your choice: strawberries and kiwi; strawberries and blueberries, raspberries and peaches; whatever you have on hand and whatever you enjoy.
1. Preheat oven to 225
2. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper.
3. Whip the egg whites and salt until frothy.
4. Add the sugar a little at a time and keep beating until egg whites form stiff peaks. Fold in cornstarch and lemon juice.
5. Spread the meringue onto the cookie sheets, shaping them like little nests using the back of a spoon.
6. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Check them after 20-25 minutes and turn the oven down if they are turning brown. They would be dry and crisp when done.
7. Remove from wax paper and cool on a rack.
8. Whip cream and when thick, add in the sour cream sugar and vanilla.
9. Pile the cream and then fruit on top of the meringues.
Monday, August 02, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
*Thanks for being such a good sport, fella. You're pretty yummy. Don't worry...if they don't catch on, we'll post the real pictures later.*
1C Sour Cream
1C Whipping Cream
1 1/2 tsp unflavoured Gelatin
2 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Milk
1/4 C Brown Sugar (firmly packed)
1/8 tsp Salt
6 oz of Chocolate Morsels (of course you can estimate...I personally like using a rich dark chocolate)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Egg Whites
- In large bowl, combine sour cream and whipping cream. Refrigerate.
- Soften gelatin in water by heating.
- Heat milk with half the brown sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves.
- Add chocolate morsels and continue heating until melted (be careful to not overheat...you may want to melt your chocolate first and then add to your milk/sugar mixture).
- Beat egg whites. Gradually add remaining sugar. Beat until stiff.
- Stir 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture until blended.
- Fold in remaining egg whites.
- Whip cream mixture until stiff.
- Add chocolate mixture and fold until well blended.
- Spoon into dishes and chill until set.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
(a kind of love poem by John Agard)
hold this gold
ripe with love
from the tropics
she woulda tell me
trust you to be
so I just say
taste this mango
and I watch she hold
the smooth cheeks
of the mango
and a glow
rush to she own cheeks
and she ask me
what do I know
just bite into it?
and I was tempted
to tell she
why not be a devil
and eat the skin
of the original sin
but she woulda tell me
trust you to be
so I would just say
it's up to you
if you want to peel it
and I watch she feels it
as something precious
then she smile and say
and I tell she
don't waste sweet words
in your hand
just bite it man
peel it with the teeth
that God gave you
or better yet
do like me mother
used to do
till the flesh
nibble a hole
then suck the gold
in child mouth
squeeze and tease out
every drop of spice
me friend tell me
and I remind she that ain't
so don't forget
suck that too
the sweetest part
the juice does run
down to you heart
man if you see
the English rose
she face was bliss
down to the pink
of she toes
and when she finish
and turn to me
lend me your hanky
my fingers are all sticky
with mango juice
and I had to tell she
you talking about
you don't know
when you eat mango
is you tongue
man just lick
you call that
lick your finger
you call that
unless you prefer
to call it
Monday, June 28, 2010
1 ripe mango pitted, peeled and diced (if you're unfamiliar on the best way to attack a mango, you might want to check out the following link: How to Cut a Mango)
3 or 4 green onions chopped (or sweet Spanish onion would be good if in season)
2/3 C of cucumber peeled and diced
1/2 C red pepper diced
a little lime zest
3 Tbsp of fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp or 2 of Gin or Tequila (optional)
2 or 3 Tbsp of fresh cilantro leaves chopped
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Spice with either 1 minced Jalapeno pepper, Louisiana hot sauce, or a bit of Chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce, and a bit of chilli powder and salt & pepper to taste.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Monday, February 08, 2010
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I distinctly remember Rosa feeding me. My indignant three year old self was quite annoyed as I was allowed to feed myself at home. To add further insult to injury, she allowed her youngest (same age as me) to feed herself. I couldn't quite understand why she felt the need to personally feed me when her youngest went unassisted. Perhaps it was because I was the guest, but more likely than not, it probably had something to do with me being the scrawny neighbour kid with the long skinny legs. I am sure she felt my scrawniness was some fault of my parents, rather than a combination of genetics and spending hours running around outdoors like a wild banshee.
So there I sat as she spoon fed me saying "mangi, mangi" or something of the like. The trouble was I have always been a slow eater. Rosa continued shoveling one spoonful into my mouth after another. I simply could not chew and swallow fast enough and eventually had such a full mouth that I had to spit it out or risk choking to death...so out it all came much to Rosa's chagrin and dissatisfaction. The irony, even at three, did not allude me. Had she simply let me feed myself, as I was quite capable (at least in my mind) of doing, none of that would have happened. But despite that minor blip, I did love Rosa's cooking, especially her pasta. She usually made spaghettini which not only tasted delicious, but each mouthful felt incredibly luscious and deeply satisfying as it made it's way down my throat and into my stomach.
Lately I've been having a craving for homemade pasta, so yesterday was the day. I'd forgotten how easy it is to make and how much better fresh pasta tastes than the stuff bought at the grocery store. The recipe below is for a small batch. I'd recommend doubling it depending how many you're hoping to feed.
1 C durum semolina
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water (if and as needed)
Put all ingredients in a food processor. For this batch, I added some fresh cilantro (just because I had some in my fridge that needed to be used), some basil and some fresh ground pepper. Be creative, add what you wish. Basil is my favorite, but you can add a variety of other herbs and spices or even vegetables to flavour the pasta as you wish: oregano, nutmeg, spinach, grated lemon peel, poppy seeds.
Once the dough is well mixed, put it through your pasta maker. I just have a little hand crank one, but it works well for small batches. You could also roll it out thin with a rolling pin and slice with a knife. I've known many to make noodles this way and then hang to dry if not using right away. Of course nothing beats them fresh.