Monthly Archives: December 2011

New Year’s Eve Brunch!

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We had a small happy brunch today in celebration of NYE.

The menu was mixed greens salad with fresh clementines, walnuts, shredded cheddar and raspberry dressing

Rosemary focaccia bread with goat’s cheese, fresh parsley and tea smoked salmon

 

Vegetable stuffing egg bake (I’ve posted the recipe here before)

 

I made a light non alcoholic punch of orange juice, lime perrier, club soda and ginger ale

Happily we also opened some Christmas presents! Jeff got a very cool photo album from his Mom.

Muesli

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I ate this a lot when I went on the foodnetwork cruise in October. I got back and read some recipes but couldn’t find anything that was the perfect recipe. Now I know why; anything you put in it seems to work. Since then, I’ve made it quite a few times. The uncooked oatmeal softens overnight and it’s ready in the morning.  It’s much quicker than cooking oatmeal in the morning and can be heated or eaten cold. I love the taste and it can’t be beat for speed and convenience. It makes me want to get out of bed in the morning!

Ingredients- for 2 servings

1 cup regular oats, unprepared (you can use quick cooking but I prefer regular)

1.5 cups almond, soy, rice or dairy milk (I use vanilla almond milk and like it a bit splashy)

3 tbsp dried cranberries, blueberries, or cherries

1/2 tsp (or so) each cinnamon and vanilla

dollop raw honey or maple syrup

1 large ripe banana, cut into slices

All ingredients are to taste. Stir all together into a large container and put in fridge.

In the morning, stir again, dish into a bowl and top with diced apples, walnuts, almonds, seeds, chia, clementines or whatever floats your boat. Right now I’m topping with apples, clementines and walnuts. Dive in!

Vegan Curry

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I made this last night for our vegan friends who came over for lunch today. I love it so much, it has become a regular biweekly meal.

Ingredients

  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed (or new baby potatoes unpeeled)
  • 3tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoon garam masala
  •  (1.5 inch) pieces fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1.5 teaspoons himalayan salt
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (18oz) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 1-1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup water (optional- save from boiling potatoes so it’s starchy)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, garam masala, ginger, and salt; cook for 2-4 minutes more. Add more oil here if necessary. Don’t worry about having the spices stuck to the bottom. When ready, add the tomatoes and use them to deglaze the spices from the pot bottom. Add garbanzo beans, peas, and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and add 1 cup water if needed. Simmer 15-30 minutes covered, then add the coconut milk just before serving. This keeps the curry creamy and doesn’t break the coconut milk.
  • I serve this with basmati or jasmine rice prepared with vegetable stock.

Coq au Vin with Onion poached mashed potatoes

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I made this modified version of coq au vin yesterday to try it out before preparing it for my in-laws on Tuesday. I made a huge batch and ended up running half of it to my folks for their supper. I didn’t use a single recipe, instead I just googled a bunch of recipes and then prepped my own. Prep and cook time on this is more than 2 hours so it’s not a fast and easy meal. That said, when you put a forkful in you can tell it’s deliciously layered flavors were made with love. Sorry to get all flowery about it, it’s just that good.

Ingredients-

4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2 pcs

12- oz mushrooms, any type

whole cut up chicken(s) or I used 4 drumsticks, 4 thighs, 2 legs bones in (I did skin on but next time I’ll be taking the skin off first)

few handfuls 8 pearl onions (blanch in hot water then plunge in cold to make peeling easier, save blanching water to boil potatoes in or add to soup)

2 tsp chopped garlic

2 tbsp each butter and all-purpose flour

2 cups wine (I used white for a prettier stew) plus 1/4 cup brandy or cognac

1 can undiluted chicken broth (not low sodium)

2.5 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp ground sage

2 tsp dried thyme leaves

1 tsp kosher salt

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6 large russet potatoes

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper

Crisp bacon in a dutch oven or large pot, 5-7 minutes. Blanch pearl onions and peel at the same time. Once bacon is ready, toss in cleaned whole mushroom (or cut into bite size pcs if they are large) and brown, about 3 minutes. Remove bacon and mushrooms to large holding bowl. Brown chicken, approx 3 min per side, in batches as needed and adding oil if necessary. Remove to holding bowl with bacon as browned. In same pot, add butter and onions, saute 2 minutes then add garlic and saute 1 min. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes, making roux. Whisk in wine, brandy, mustard, sage, thyme, salt, broth and add the contents of the holding bowl (bacon, mushrooms, browned chicken and any juices). Simmer on low 60 minutes and serve with potatoes.

For potatoes, boil in onion blanching liquid and enough water to cover. Reserve a little boiling liquid on the side and mash gently with butter, cream, sour cream, s&p and any needed boiling liquid to desired texture.

Hastily snapped pic after assembly and before simmering.

No after pic because I was in a hurry to get it in my mouth!

Berry Clafoutis

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It’s been a while since I posted anything on my blog. I don’t have the time to dedicate to daily posts right now, but I wanted to record some recipes here while they are still fresh in my mind.

Things are going along well, I’m working on my yoga teacher training and have been doing a bit of travel here and there. This week will be filled with visiting friends and family and Christmas and then we’re going to Toronto to meet up with Lisa and Mike for a few days. I’m looking forward to spending time with friends and family over the holidays.

I’ve been making this simple clafoutis quite a bit lately. I first tried clafoutis when my aunt Annette prepared it for me years ago. It’s classically prepared with cherries and that’s how she made it. I liked it but I forgot about it and never prepared it myself. Until now!

Mixed Berry Clafoutis

2 c frozen mixed berries

2 eggs

1 c white sugar

1 c heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 c all-purpose flour

Directions:

Layer the berries in the bottom of a foil-lined square baking pan, 8×8. Take all remaining ingredients and either whisk by hand to combine or add all ingredients into a food processor, blender, or Vitamix and blend until incorporated (took 30-45 seconds in the Vita).  Pour mixture over the berries.  Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes or until top is golden brown, puffy, and has a firm center that is fully set and that bounces back when lightly pressed.  Let the clafoutis cool slightly before dusting with powdered sugar(if desired).  Can be eaten warm or cooled, I store this in the fridge. This makes a small batch and doesn’t last long anywhere I’ve taken it. I didn’t include photos because I’ve been slack in taking them lately.

Instead, here’s the sunset over the backyard a few days ago