Happy New Year!!

Hello everyone!

This is going to be a short post. I’ve thought about things for months now and have decided to close this blog down.

It was a hard decision to make as this was my first real blog. I’ve enjoyed it and I’ve enjoyed bringing you recipes and odd facts about food.

But, don’t you hate it when there’s a big ole but? But, I want to concentrate on my fiction writing. And I haven’t spent much time on this blog at all. At first I thought I could keep this one going, but I’ve been so busy lately with my other writing I just haven’t been able to turn my attention here.

So that is why I’ve made the decision to close this blog down for good on Friday, January 3.

If you are not following my other blog, the writing one, please join me over there, To Breathe is to Write

I would love to have you over there. As my writing takes me more and more places I find myself totally immersed in it. I have two books I’m currently working on, so it takes a lot of my time.

I want to thank everyone who has followed me, I do appreciate you. I’ll look for you on the other blog! We’ll have fun this coming new year, I promise!

An Apology and a Decision

Hello Dear Readers!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here and I apologize for that. I’ve been so busy with my other blog (To Breathe is to Write) and with writing that I have neglected things here to an unforgivable degree.

Next month will be a super busy one for me as I’ve committed myself to doing NaNoWriMo again this year.

For those of you who don’t know about NaNo, that’s where thousands of us crazy writers get together and write 50,000 words in the month of November. I did it last year and managed to do it. This year I’m hoping to finish it also.

So once again that means that this blog will be neglected some more. So I am trying to make the decision to either shut it down completely. Or do one or two posts a month.

I’m asking for your input. This was my first blog and I’ve enjoyed finding and posting all the recipes and trivia that you find on here. I’m just not sure I will have the time or energy to put into it anymore.

Once a month? Twice a month? Close it down? I just don’t know!

Would doing a post once a month work with all of you? Let me know what you think in the comments section. I appreciate your loyalty and help.

I’ll make my decision soon and let you all know. Thank you.

 

Decisions_clipart

 

Lets Sup on The Soup!

Ah soup. Comfort food at its best. I love soup, especially in the cold, crisp days of fall and winter. I enjoy the smell of a good soup simmering on the stove where it teases your nose with its flavorful aroma.

Then you have all those good for you vegetables and broth. Soup is not only a tasty treat for your taste buds it’s also really good for you!

So I decided to do a post just on soup. I’ve tried to pick out some of my favorites as well as a few that just sounded so good and a bit different.

Let me know what you think! Do you like soup too? What’s your favorite?

I’m going to start off with that ultimate feel good soup, Chicken Soup. I like this recipe because it adds a twist. Dumplings! Not just any dumplings, but spinach dumplings!

Chicken Soup with Spinach Dumplings

Use full-flavored, preferably homemade, chicken stock for these vivid emerald-green dumplings. They might seem a bit difficult to form, but don’t worry; even seemingly misshapen ones will swell and look fine after cooking.
For the Soup
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • olive oil (for sautéing)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley or celery leaves, chopped, for garnish

For the dumplings

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, sautéed and drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or half & half)
Instructions
  1. Season Chicken thighs with salt and pepper, brown both sides in a hot skillet.
  2. Remove from the skillet and cut into strips. Set aside.
  3. In a large stockpot, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the celery and carrots. Cook for 3 more minutes, then add the chicken broth, seasonings and salt and pepper. Place the bay leaves and whole allspice into a tea ball or cheese cloth and add them to the pot as well.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and allspice. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the broth to a low boil and drop your dough into the broth by heaping teaspoonfuls. Do this as quickly as possible so your dumplings will cook evenly. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 8 more minutes.
  5. When the dumplings are cooked (they will puff up and float to the top of your soup), remove the pot from the heat and add the sliced chicken. Mix and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. The soup will be VERY hot! Garnish and serve.

Loaded Potato Soup

Photo by: Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Photo by: Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-ounce) red potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup prechopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bacon slices, halved
  • 1.5 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/3 cup)
  • 4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions

Preparation

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.

2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk; add to pan with 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.

3. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.

4. Discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon.

Note:This recipe originally ran in Cooking Light October, 2010 and was updated for the November, 2012 25th anniversary issue.

 

Tortilla Meatball Soup

Photo: John Autry

Photo: John Autry

Ingredients

  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 ears corn on the cob
  • 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups (3/4-inch) cubed red potatoes
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices carrot
  • 3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut jalapeños and bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Arrange corn on baking sheet with peppers. Broil 4 to 6 minutes or until blackened, turning corn once. Place peppers in a paper bag; fold to seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel. Mince jalapeños, and coarsely chop bell pepper. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Set aside.

3. Place tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray. Broil for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning after 2 minutes. Set aside.

4. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 garlic clove, panko, and the next 3 ingredients (through chipotle chile) in a large bowl, and gently mix until just combined. With moist hands, shape the meat mixture into 24 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each).

5. Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs to pan; sauté for 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onion, potatoes, and carrot to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 5 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add peppers, broth, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Return meatballs to pan. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and corn; return to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes or until meatballs are done.

Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 4 teaspoons Monterey Jack cheese, 2 teaspoons cheddar cheese, and 4 teaspoons cilantro. Top evenly with tortilla strips.

** you can’t find fresh corn on the cob, substitute 2 cups frozen corn kernels, and broil them with peppers. After making this Tortilla Meatball Soup, you can use a few leftover chipotle chiles to spice up a pot of beans, rice, stews, or canola mayonnaise.

 

North Woods Bean Soup

Randy Mayor; Jan Gautro

Randy Mayor; Jan Gautro

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup baby carrots, halved
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 ounces turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (15.8-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach leaves

Preparation

Heat a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, and kielbasa; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes. Add the broth, Italian seasoning, pepper, and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Place 2 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to pan. Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Remove soup from heat. Add the spinach, stirring until spinach wilts.

 

Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Ham Hocks and Creme Fraiche

em0518_soup1_lg

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2006

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups small dice onion
3/4 cup small dice green bell pepper
1/2 cup small dice celery
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds ham hocks about, 2 ham hocks
1 pound black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through for stones
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Directions
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions, bell peppers and celery to the pan and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ham hocks and peas, and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bay leaves to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the ham hocks and peas are tender, about 3 hours. Remove the ham hocks from the soup and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the skin and bones. Discard skin and bones and return the meat to the pot, along with the seasonings, salt, and pepper. Return the soup to a boil, then serve, with each bowl of soup garnished with 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche and chopped chives.

Awesome Autumn Flavors

Autumn is just around the corner and coming in fast. So it’s time to start thinking about all those fruits and vegetables that will start showing up at your local market. Maybe you’ve even planted a garden and are now beginning to see those fall favorites ripen. Lucky you!

Some of you may even have apple or pear trees bearing fruit right now! Yummy! I am so envious. But enough of my jealousy.

You have all these wonderful fall fruits and vegetables and want to make something right now! Sure you can can and freeze them. I would if I had some.

But what about tonight? Or tomorrow’s lunch or dinner? Nothing like fresh produce to make the difference between pretty good and wonderful!

Depending on what part of the country you are from you have different things coming into season. I’m going to try to spread a lot of fresh love and show you some fantastic recipes to get your taste buds anticipating those fresh flavors!

Here are just some of the great Fall harvest that should be showing up.

Apples, cranberries, grapes, kiwi, oranges, pears, avocado, beets, broccoli, kale, cabbage, turnips, winter squash, spinach, garlic, parsnips, Brussels sprouts,

This list is not complete of course as there are dozens more stuff I probably forgot. But it gives a starting out point.

Now let’s get on to the recipes!

Let’s start out with a vegetable that seems to evoke a feeling of love or hate with most people. Yeah, you got it. Brussels sprouts. I used to hate them when I was younger, now I really enjoy them. They do have to be cooked different from the way my mom did it.

You know what I mean. My mom would have boiled the crap out them and served them with a bit of butter. Not me. They taste wonderful with bacon and olive oil with garlic. Let me show you what I mean.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Recipe via http://www.foodfit.com

.flickr.com

.flickr.com

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons diced pancetta or bacon
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinaigrette, or bottled vinaigrette

Cooking Instructions

1. Place the Brussels sprouts in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook until the sprouts are tender, about 5 minutes. Plunge the sprouts into ice water, drain and cut each sprout in half.

2. Cook the diced pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the sprouts and season with salt and pepper.

4. Remove from heat, add the vinaigrette and serve.

 

Roast Pork Loin with Peppery Pear Butter

the-tasty-truth.com/

the-tasty-truth.com/

Recipe via foodfit.com

This recipe serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 1 hours 30 mins

Ingredients

  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced, fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary or tarragon)
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • For the peppery pear butter:
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled and cored pears, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • For the roast pork loin:
  • 1 boneless pork loin, about 1 3/4 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the pork loin in a roasting pan and sprinkle with the herbs, salt and pepper.

3. Pour the wine into the bottom of the pan and baste occasionally. Roast the pork for about 1 1/2 hours until a meat thermometer reads 160°F.

4. While the pork is roasting, place the pear chunks in a large, heavy-bottomed, stainless-steel pot. Add the rest of the ingredients for the peppery pear butter.

5. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the fruit becomes tender, about 20 minutes.

6. Puree in a food mill or blender.

7. Remove the pork loin from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with the peppery pear butter.

Tuscan Potato Sausage and Kale

Recipe via http://pleaseyourmaninthekitchen.blogspot.ca/2013/02/tuscan-potato-sausage-and-kale-soup.html

1 lb Spicy Italian sausage
2 large russet baking potatoes,
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups kale chopped
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1 cup heavy whipping cream 

Remove sausage casing and ground up meat with a spatula in a skillet over medium high heat. Add Bacon, onion and garlic.Cook until meat is cooked through, Drain.

Slice Potatoes in half, and then in half again and then in 1/4 inch slices.
Place potatoes, chicken broth, and water in a pot and cover, and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
Add sausage and bacon
Salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Turn to low heat.
Add kale and cream.

 

Squash and Spinach Lasagna

foodnetwork.com

foodnetwork.com

 

From Food Network Kitchens

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/squash-and-spinach-lasagna-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Low-fat milk thickened with cornstarch takes the place of a traditional Bechamel and ricotta filling and it still tastes incredibly creamy. Fresh, sweet squash also lends a nice richness and part-skim mozzarella gives you that gooey cheese goodness. Fresh baby spinach adds vitamins and minerals to this vegetarian main.

Ingredients
9 no-boil lasagna noodles (for gluten-free there are gf noodles out there to use if you wish)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups lowfat (1-percent) milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
Two 5-ounce packages baby spinach or use that fresh spinach out of your garden.
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped, plus more, for garnish
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Soak the lasagna noodles in warm water.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes. If the mixture becomes too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water.

Meanwhile, stir together 1/2 cup of the milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth. Heat the remaining 3 1/2 cups milk in a large saucepan until bubbling. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring, until the milk thickens to the consistency of a thin batter, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onion mixture, spinach, parsley and nutmeg, and cook until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

Drain the noodles. Spread 1 cup of the spinach mixture over the bottom of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over the spinach. Arrange half of the squash over the noodles, overlapping slightly, and sprinkle with one-third of the mozzarella. Spoon 1 cup spinach mixture over the cheese, and top with 3 noodles, the remaining squash and another third of the mozzarella. Top with 1 cup spinach mixture, followed by the last 3 noodles and the remaining 1 cup spinach mixture. Cover tightly with foil; reserve the remaining mozzarella.

Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the top. Bake until bubbling and the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

Notes
Cook’s Note: For freezing and reheating, allow the lasagna to cool completely. Divide into 8 even portions and store in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag or container. Transfer to a microwave-safe plate, loosely cover with plastic wrap and microwave until hot, 4 to 5 minutes.

 

Unusual Spices

I did a post last year on unusual spices. It was well received so I thought I would do another one.

Here’s some unusual spices and how to use them. I always add recipes also. I love using different spices and adding to my spice cabinet. How about you?

So let’s get going. I will be adding the url of where you can order the spice if you wanted to. It will be in the picture.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Grains of Paradise.

This is a pepper. It comes from Africa and is also called melegueta pepper. They are small reddish brown seeds and when ground it is white. The flavor is hot and peppery with a hint of fruit that softens the sharpness.

They can be ground and added at the end of cooking, or used in spice mixtures. Try using them in place of regular black pepper to give a unique twist to your food.

Recipe for Alton Brown’s Lentil Soup

Alton Brown's Lentil Soup

Alton Brown’s Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion (chopped finely)
  • 1/2 cup carrot (chopped finely)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped finely)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 lb lentils (culled & rinsed)
  • 1 cup tomato (peeled & cubed)
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grains of paradise (ground)

Directions

  1. with salt, sweat the onion, carrot, and celery in hot olive oil.
  2. add the broth, tomatoes, lentils and seasonings.
  3. bring to a boil.
  4. reduce heat and cover, cooking about 35-45 minutes.
  5. blend if desired (I do not blend).

 

Pasilla Negro

With a name that means “little raisin” in Spanish (despite being 5 to 6 inches long) this chile does indeed have a grapish, winey character and relatively moderate heat. One of the “holy trinity” used in moles, Pasilla Negro can also be incorporated into salsas, soups and stews.

Pumpkin Kale Enchiladas

pumpkin-kale-ench

 

Pumpkin Kale Enchiladas

Ingredients

Enchilada Sauce:
3 Ancho Pods
3 Guajillo Pods
2 Mulato Chiles
2 Pasilla Negros
1 Pasilla Oaxaca
2 cloves garlic
1 bottle of beer (or can substitute 3/4 cup of pinot grigio)
1 12-14 oz. can tomato sauce (we like 365 Organics & Muir Glen)
1 Tbl Vegetable Bouillon (we like ‘Dadi’ brand, an Italian import)
Water
Roasted Pumpkin
2 cups cubed raw pumpkin (or winter squash)
2 Tbl Cumin, ground
2 Tbl Utah Basin Salt
canola (or other neutral oil) to coat
For the Filling:
1 bunch Kale (we like curly or Dinosaur kale)
1 can of drained, rinsed, whole black beans
1 tablespoon whole toasted cumin seeds
To Assemble:
12-16 soft corn tortillas
3 cups shredded cheese, Monterey Jack or other

Instructions

  1. To make the sauce, remove stems from chiles, and add to a 2 quart saucepan with beer, garlic and bouillon. Cover with water, and allow to simmer for about one hour, then allow to cool. (This step can be done the night before – just transfer the mixture to an uncovered bowl in the refrigerator.)
  2. When cool, remove chiles and garlic from poaching liquid and puree in batches with the tomato sauce, adding back enough of the poaching liquid to form a thin sauce (about the consistency of teriyaki sauce). You should end up with about seven cups of sauce.
  3. To roast the pumpkin, Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put an empty sheet pan in the oven to heat up. Toss the cubed raw pumpkin with the spices and enough neutral oil (canola, corn, safflower, peanut) to coat. Pour spiced pumpkin on to the hot sheet pan in an even, single layer. (Be careful to avoid over-crowding or you won’t get good caramelization.) Roast until tender but still ‘al dente.’
  4. To make the filling, Wash, stem and chop the kale, then combine with the cooled, roasted pumpkin, beans, and cumin seeds.
  5. To assemble and bake the enchiladas, Heat up enchilada sauce until it simmers, and place enough sauce in a 9×13 casserole dish to thinly coat the bottom.
  6. Dip tortillas in to heated sauce, coating both sides.
  7. Add a bit of cheese, and a generous handful of the pumpkin/kale/bean mix to the sauced tortilla, and roll it up. Plan to use about 2/3 of the cheese inside the enchiladas, and reserving 1/3 for the top.
  8. Place rolled enchilada in the prepared pan, and repeat until filled. For best results, pack them in tightly. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the rolled enchiladas, and top with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees until bubbly and cheese has browned on top, about forty minutes.

 

http://www.silkroaddiary.com/pumpkin-kale-enchiladas/

 

Wattleseed (Waddle seed)

Harvested by the Australian Aborigines 6,000 years ago, seeds from the wattle plant were sought out as a versatile and nutritious addition to their diet. Though the plant is a member of the traditionally poisonous Acacia species, the Aborigines discovered over forty different edible varieties. The green pods were eaten raw or dried and milled into flour for baking.

Today, the seeds are dried, roasted, and crushed to create extracts and grounds used in cooking and espresso. The flavor, reminiscent of hazelnuts and chocolate with hints of coffee, makes wattleseed an ideal seasoning for ice creams, nut butters, sauces and coffee beverages. With a low glycemic index and high protein content, wattleseed is also an excellent candidate for low fat, healthy cuisine.

Wattle Seed Cheesecake

wattle_see_m1580487

Ingredients

Filling
3 eggs (separate yolk and whites)
250g sugar
3 egg yolks
250g cottage cheese
375g smooth ricotta cheese
250ml Buttermilk
3 dessert spoon semolina
4 dessert spoon ground wattleseed
2 dessert spoons lime or lemon rind

Base
1 packet Granada biscuits
250g butter

Method

Place the 3 egg whites into a mixer and place on high until you get a meringue.

While the meringue is being mixed crush a packet of Granada biscuits in a bowl and mix in 250 grams of butter that it is at room temperature.

Once the base is mixed through pat into a 8-9 inch cake base.
Place meringue aside
Place the 250 grams sugar and the 3 egg yolks mix on hi for 3-4 minutes until creamy.
Add into the mixture the cottage cheese, ricotta, buttermilk, semolina, and wattleseed.
Turn on hi speed for 2-3 minutes until mixed through. Scrape from side once mixed and fold through slowly the meringue. Add 2 dessert spoons of lemon rind and fold through.
Spoon mixture into base.
Place into a preheated oven of 180 degrees and bake for 40 minutes.
Sauce

    • ½ jar marmalade
    • 4 dessert spoon sugar
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1 dessert spoon lemon rind
  • Nip of Midori

Mix all ingredients into a pot. Place on stove until it dissolves for 2-3 minutes. Make sure you watch the sauce and keep stirring, you don’t want it to stick to the pan. Take it off the stove when it becomes a consistent syrup.

Place sauce in a jug and place in fridge to cool.

http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/stories/s2216422.htm

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Cracking with Eggs!

Ah eggs. I love eggs. Hard boiled, fried, scrambled, you name it, I just love eggs.

Back in the 60’s the egg got a bad rap. People said it was bad for you. The truth is anything is bad for you if you eat enough of it.

I believe in moderation. Now it’s been proven eggs are actually good for you and their reputation is coming back to being ‘good eggs’.

Plenty of doctors are now saying eggs are good for you. New studies say eggs are good for you. I’ve always figured eggs are good for you. So go ahead and eat your eggs with a clear conscience.

According to http://aneggadayisok.ca, eggs are low in saturated fat (the fat that’s bad for you). They contain 70 calories per egg and have no trans fat (another fat that’s bad for you).

Eggs actually are jam-packed with protein and other good for you stuff.

Most people know how to boil an egg, fry an egg, or devil an egg. I’m going to try to show you how versatile an egg can be. Have fun with your eggs! Let’s get cracking! ;-)

Grilled Eggs in Portobello Mushrooms

Recipe from eggs.ca

Courtesy of eggs.ca

Courtesy of eggs.ca

A Portobello mushroom with a deep cavity and high edge is a natural shape to hold an egg. The grilled duo can be topped with a sprinkle of grated cheese, pepper and/or chopped fresh herbs.

    • Ingredients

    • 4 large (about 4 inches/10 cm in diameter) Portobello mushrooms
    • Olive oil
    • 4 eggs
    • Pepper
    • 4 tbsp (60 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Instructions

  • STEP 1 Preheat the grill to medium heat (about 350°F/180°C).
  • STEP 2 Wipe mushroom caps with dry paper towel. Remove stems. With a spoon, scrape out black gills, taking care not to break the edges of mushrooms.
  • STEP 3 Brush mushroom caps with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, cap side down. Crack an egg into each mushroom. Close the lid. Grill until eggs are cooked as desired and mushroom is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • STEP 4 Remove from the grill; sprinkle pepper and 1 tbsp (15 ml) cheese over top of each egg.
  • Tips:• Choose Portobello mushrooms with good “shoulders” to keep the eggs contained as they cook.

    • To fill the mushrooms easily, crack each egg into a small cup first, then pour into the mushroom.

    • If your barbecue slopes slightly, use a small piece of crumpled foil to prop up mushroom so egg doesn’t slide off.

    Variations:

    • Top eggs with shredded cheese of your choice.

    • Sprinkle fresh herbs (e.g. Chopped thyme, chives or parsley) over tops of eggs once cooked.

    • Line inside of mushrooms with thin slices of ham before adding eggs.

    • Serve with fruit or a salad, or tucked into grilled burger buns.

Egg and Veggie Salad Rolls with Sweet Heat Dipping Sauce

recipe from eggs.ca

Courtesy of eggs.ca

Courtesy of eggs.ca

Salad rolls are a popular starter at Vietnamese restaurants and, when assembled using hard-cooked eggs, make a handy and healthy lunch.

  • Ingredients (Salad Rolls)

  • 8 eggs, hard-cooked
  • 8 round rice paper sheets*
  • 4 leave leaf lettuce, cut in half
  • 1 cup (250 mL)cooked rice vermicelli noodles
  • ¼ English cucumber, cut into julienne strips
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
  • 16 basil and/or mint leaves
  • Ingredients (Dipping Sauce)

  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL)sugar
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • Dash hot sauce, such as Sambal Oelek or Sriracha
  • Instructions

  • STEP 1 Peel the eggs and cut them into quarters. Have all of the ingredients ready before assembling. Lay out a clean tea towel onto your work surface and pour very hot tap water into a flat dish, such as a pie plate.
  • STEP 2 Dip a rice paper sheet into the hot water to soften it and lay it on the tea towel. Place half of a lettuce leaf in the center of the rice paper and top with a little vermicelli noodle, cucumber, red pepper and 2 basil and/or mint leaves. Arrange 4 quarters of egg on top in a line (they may overlap slightly). Roll up the rice paper tightly over the filling, tucking in the edges. TIP: If the roll seems loose, you can roll it in a second softened rice paper sheet. Repeat with the remaining rice paper sheets.
  • STEP 3 Dipping Sauce: Stir the hot water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the rice vinegar and hot sauce, to taste.
  • STEP 4 To serve, slice each salad roll in half and plate with the dipping sauce on the side.
  • STEP 5 Wrap the assembled rolls in damp paper towels and refrigerate in a resealable bag or covered container for up to one day.

Ingredients

  • 3 russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces raclette or Gruyère cheese, sliced
  • 4 large eggs
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover, and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the tip of a paring knife slides easily about 1/2-inch into potatoes, 8-10 minutes. Drain potatoes and let cool. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 300°. Peel potatoes. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate potatoes. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch oven proof skillet over medium-low heat. Add potatoes. Season with salt and pepper; press gently to compact. Cook, occasionally shaking pan to loosen, until bottom is golden brown and crisp, 15-20 minutes.
  • Slide rösti onto a plate. Carefully invert skillet over the plate and flip to return rösti to pan, browned side up. Dot 1 tablespoon butter around edge, allowing it to melt around and under rösti. Season with salt and pepper and cook until second side is golden brown and center is tender, 10-15 minutes longer.
  • Top rösti with cheese and bake until cheese melts, 5-8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Crack eggs into skillet and cook until whites are just set, about 4 minutes.
  • Cut rösti into quarters, top with eggs, and garnish with parsley.

Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2013/02/rosti-with-fried-eggs#ixzz2aSqBBeLy

You like tomato and I like tomahto

Ah yes, that summertime vegetable that is really a fruit, tomatoes! Have you ever heard the song “Let’s call the whole thing off”? It has that famous line in it. “You like tomato and I like tomahto”. I’ve always enjoyed that line.

If you want to see the clip please go here.

So let’s get on with it all ready! Tomatoes, ah yes, those lovely juicy, good for you tomatoes. The tomato originated in Mexico and spread throughout the world. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes and it’s so good for you!

The tomato can be eaten raw or cooked. It is very versatile! The fruit is rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects.

Tomatoes are best kept at room temperature. Putting them in the refrigerator may reduce the taste. Keep them on the counter out of direct sunlight and they are at their best. If they are not ripe a good trick is to put them in a paper bag till they ripen.

My dad and I both used to wrap unripe tomatoes in newspaper, does the same thing as a paper bag. This works well if you have a lot of unripe tomatoes, wrap them up and set them in a box in a cool place and check them in a day or two. After they start to ripen, check every day, and soon they all will be ripe.

I’m sure we all have recipes that use tomatoes in some way. Be it spaghetti, or just a plain old tomato sandwich.  Unless you hate tomatoes we have all eaten them at some point.

I can’t imagine a world without tomatoes. I love pizza and spaghetti and lasagna and the list goes on and on.

Speaking of food, let’s get on with the recipes!

Tomato Marmalade

courtesy of seriouseats.com

courtesy of seriouseats.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 thick-skinned seedless oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 5 cups sugar (you can use sweetener if you are diabetic)

Directions:

  1. Prepare your tomatoes by peeling, seeding and chopping and put the pulp in a colander to drain. Set the pulp aside.
  2. Peel the oranges and lemons and cut the peels into Julienne strips.
  3. Trim off the pits and chop the orange and lemon fruits, discarding the seeds.
  4. Tie the cinnamon sticks and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth and put the bag in an enamel pan with the tomato pulp, the fruit meats and the peels.
  5. Add the sugar and cook over low heat, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan, until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Skim off the froth as it accumulates.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for thirty minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 222F.

Discard the spice bag, skim off the froth and let the mixture cool for ten minutes before pouring into sterilized Mason-style jars. This recipe makes about five cups.

 

Fresh Garden Salsa

garden-salsa

You usually don’t think to make your own salsa, but it’s remarkably easy and quick to make. You’re going to need:

- 5 fresh garden tomatoes

- 1/2 cup chopped red onion

- 1/2 chopped fennel

- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

- 1 tbsp chopped basil

- 1 tbsp chopped seeded jalapeno pepper

- 1 tbsp of orange juice

- 1 tbsp olive oil

- Salt and pepper to taste

I don’t need to write preparation instructions for this – just chop and mix everything, then mix again. Serve with your favorite chips.

Tomato Wine

Courtesy of .tomatocasual.com

Courtesy of .tomatocasual.com

This recipe is not for a diabetic or anyone having to watch their sugars, unless you use artificial sweetener. But I had to include it as it’s a very unusual recipe.

Ingredients


  • 6 lbs Very Ripe tomatoes
  • 5 lbs White sugar
  • 1 tbsp (pkg) dry yeast
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup White Raisins
  • 1 gallon boiling water

How to make it


  • Chop tomatoes into 1 inch chunks or smaller. Include all juice seeds from chopping board place tomatoes in a large stock pot, glass or plastic bowl.
  • Thinly slice Orange over the tomatoes making sure to capture all the juices from the orange as well as the slices.
  • Distribute the sugar evenly over the oranges and tomatoes; sprinkle raisins on top of sugar. Pour boiling water over all and let cool to lukewarm.
  • Stir in yeast. Place a sheet of waxed paper over the top of the bowl but do not fasten it to the container. Let stand in a warm place for 15 days, stirring once each day. Strain through a double layer of cheesecloth to remove solids.
  • Bottle and cork

 

Grilled Tomato Boats with Arugula and Parmesan

 

Courtesy of dailyunadventuresincooking.com

Courtesy of dailyunadventuresincooking.com

4 Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped arugula
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
A sprinkling of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

 

Remove the top, stem end of each tomato and discard. Slice lengthwise. Using a paring knife hollow out the core of each tomato onto a cutting board. Finely dice the tomato innards and place in a small bowl. Finely chop the arugula if you haven’t already and add it to the bowl. Toss with the olive oil and balsamic and add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture into the boats and divide evenly. Grate Parmesan cheese over top. Place on a grill tray and cover with foil. Grill over low heat for 10 minutes, remove the foil and grill for 3 minutes on medium heat. Serve hot.

 

Pickled Tomato Recipe

Courtesy of prudentbaby.com/

Courtesy of prudentbaby.com/

Prep the Tomatoes
Wash your tomatoes and remove the stems.
Poke 2-3 holes through your tomatoes with a skewer. This allows the brine to seep in. You could also peel the tomatoes, but they tend to turn to mush and peeling cherry tomatoes is a pain.
Place the tomatoes in a sterilized jar (simply boil the jar or run through the dishwasher with no soap).
Add some fresh dill on top. You could also add some pearl onions or peppers or whatever you like.

Prepare Your Brine
In a small pot combine the following (adjust seasonings to your taste if you like)
1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
1.5 cups filtered water
2 tbls salt
2 tbls sugar
4-8 garlic cloves, sliced
Pinch coriander
4-6 peppercorns

Bring the mixture to a boil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature.

Pour the brine into your jars over the tomatoes. It’s enough for about 3, maybe 4 pints depending on how much evaporated and how many tomatoes are stuffed into your jar.

Cover the jar with a sterilized lid and screw your ring on. Put them in the refrigerator and let them sit for at least 24 hours to soak up the goodness. They will last a long time refrigerated, a few months.

 

 

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