Friday, December 31, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
A month and a bit ago I inherited a lot of cookbooks from my father. I knew that he liked to cook and I think everyone who knew him knew that he loved food but I didn't realize that he had amassed a pile of cookbooks. Flipping through the Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook I found my dad's name and the date in his precise cursive on the title page, 1973, I think this particular cookbook is my favourite. Through his travels, his storytelling and his search for the new, Dad kept testaments to his past hidden on the bookshelf. What we know of ourselves and how we reveal it is in the titles on our bookshelves and standing in my father's quiet bedroom, this nearly 40 year old volume of recipes in my hands, these thoughts swirled in my mind. The cookbook, with its wide array of traditional recipes that border on the quintessentially wacky (Pink Snow Bars - which I want to make purely out of a sense of homage) are my father. The other cookbooks are too, but he held on to this one for 37 years, through all the changes, the moves within the city and out of the country, when he was no longer a teacher and once again a student, all of it; this little cookbook sat on the shelf.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
It's a funny thing about beef tongue - it really looks like tongue, complete with taste buds. It is also very large, again not terribly surprising but still a lot to wrap your head around. As Mr. said, "You know that a year ago we were vegetarians and now you have a beef tongue in the sink." Of course I used the innocent brown eyes tinged with a bit of indignation, of course I have a beef tongue in the sink! Of course I'm going to eat it! Of course it freaks me out because it kind of feels like pinching my own tongue in a very over-sized sort of way but I was determined to do it. As much as my hubby loves me and no matter how adventurous he may be, Mr. made himself a vegetarian taco that night.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
This past month has been a very long month, both physically and emotionally draining and in the midst of it all I could not even think of blogging. We did, however, eat and this warm and creamy carrot soup was one of the many dishes of comfort my family ate to feel a little more centred. There is a hint of spice, an underlying sweetness and the heartiness of carrots buoyed by red wine. Crumbles of chevre on top melt into the creaminess of the soup and add a great punch of tang against the subtle backdrop of the soup. This soup will warm you.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
What does it mean to eat healthy? We think it's important to offer our children and our selves healthy options, to fill our plates with whole grains, fresh vegetables and carefully selected portions of lean meat. You may visit the farmer's market or your local grocer and fill your cloth bag with a bounty of delicious fruits and vegetables. Your children can sniff those vegetables, smile shyly at the farmer and help you cook of all that into wondrous meals that you all eat and enjoy. Or so you think. It does not matter how healthy you strive to be or portend to be if there are little people (or even you) in your house who push the vegetables away to get to the noodles. It seems like a simple equation, doesn't it? Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes you will be told by a very apologetic doctor that your son, the one with pneumonia who has been sick for two weeks and barely eating that his iron is low and he will need a supplement. The doctor will be kind and gentle as he asks you questions about your sick child's diet and though he is satisfied that the problem is that the little guy's iron is low precisely because he's beens so sick; there will be nagging doubts that you didn't and have not been feeding your child properly. It just may send you into a tailspin of doubt about all that food you prepare. All those hours in farmer's markets and in the kitchen will seem as if for nothing.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
As the summer months recede and the weather cools I feel drawn to savoury, warm meals that help stave of the chill that will only grow stronger in the coming months. Nova Scotia has a funny habit of wholeheartedly embracing each new season, roasting us in the summer and the only inkling you'll have that autumn is on its way are the cool nights. September, with the beginning of school would always bring jackets that were fine as long as you weren't moving but just a bit of running on the playground caused you to heat up, aggravated by the jacket. This is the perfect meal for this transitional time, it takes little energy throughout the day because it is prepared in a slow cooker but it's hearty and warm enough to get you through the night.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
This was actually a dinner in the midst of summer but I really think it would translate well into a child's lunch, provided you included an ice pack. You do want your kids to have a lunch and not be the kid with the weird mom who gives stinky lunches, right? Unless your kid won't clean his or her room, then have at it mean mama (or daddy) and do as you will. Included on this dinner plate are fried green tomatoes which are delicious but I don't suppose they'd translate well to a school lunch.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
The hurricane was largely anti-climactic for us, the power flickered once and the neighbour's near dead tree stayed upright. In any case, I had the bathtub full of water and who knows how many jars filled with water tucked in the fridge.
I slightly adapted the recipe for pizza dough from "The Art of Sicilian Cooking" by Anna Muffoletto.
A note: The recipe is written for mixing the dough by hand and while that would have been the case, my mom gave Mr. and I a stand mixer for our anniversary (yay!).
1 envelope active dry yeast (I used 1 tbsp.)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm water
1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 less)
Preheat oven to 450.
1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Let stand 5 minutes to bloom. The temperature of the water is very important, too hot or cold and it kills the yeast. Fingertip warm.
2. Pour 1 cup lukewarm water into bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and the salt. Mix until it forms a ball. At this point Anna directs to add remaining flour, I did not.
3. Allow to rise, the recipe allots 1 hour but I had a hurricane on the horizon. Perhaps 20 minutes, it was sufficient.
Top with whatever you like and bake for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Holy smokes! I'm back! The kiddies and I flew out to visit family and it was an incredible trip. The sun feels a bit closer to the Earth in the most southern part of Canada. I don't know if I can properly express how much I miss the way the morning mist swirls across fields to wrap up the trunks of solitary trees dotting the corners of bean, corn and wheat fields. I don't always catch this mist because by a decent time in the morning it has begun to burn up, only to work itself around the stems of flowers and trees and blanket the crickets as dusk settles.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
It is difficult to properly introduce through written word a perfect gluten-free cookie. So often they are too crumbly or a weird, moist texture that is runny and spreads to create one giant cookie sheet shaped cookie. These cookies are not of that persuasion. These chocolate chip cookies are soft with enough firmness to hold up against an ice cold glass of milk and the flavour of the flours melds beautifully with the chips so that there is no after taste or even initial taste of the flours. I think this is my least favourite aspect of gluten-free baking: The flavour of the flours. I have found that an extra egg here, double the vanilla (always use real!) there and you are on your way to having this whole gluten-free baking thing figured out.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
So, this is my creamy, decadent and perfectly crumbly and moist Tiramisu, courtesy of Miss N. and Babs.
* if it weren't obvious already that I have been protecting my loved ones' identities, I am.
How opportune to find these on my birthday and I was kind enough to share with Mr. (more than a courtesy share, too! We shared every one). The crunch of the outer shell collapsed into a tangy lemon cream and drew a blissful sigh and hip shake out of me. Even as I write these sentences I desperately want to dash out and weasel my way into that closed grocer and snatch up every macaron.
My day of decadence began with this mug. It is not any mug, this one will steep your loose leaf and it is pretty all at the same time.
A quick note: I am trying to figure out my new phone (another part of the super spoiling of me day) and I am writing the post on the phone. I don't know how to format yet ... I'll get it, promise!
Monday, July 5, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Firstly, allow me to apologize for my absence these past few weeks. Mr. has been engaged in an incredibly exciting professional course (it's exciting because we won't be poor students raising children) that has sucked up every last moment of our time; at the end of the day once the kitchen is cleanish and the little people are sleeping I could just about muster the energy to watch Law & Order re-runs. The weather has been beautiful, the sunlight a perfectly muted gold that warms your arms and cheeks but pulls back before it cooks you. That type of weather begs to have children run around in it, happy and free of a cold Nova Scotia winter.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Today was the first day of our first CSA (that's a mouth full) and I'm not sure we could be any more excited. Mr. and I have been patrons of our farmer's market for years but we have never been able to sign up for a CSA because we have been students forever and it usually takes a rather sizeable chunk of money for a share. We lucked out because the Hutten Family Farm has established a CSA that is affordable and generally fantastic because it's a bin filled with beautiful greens, carrots, apples and the sweetest peas that I had to force myself to leave because I would have eaten the whole bag in one sitting.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
As a way of breaking out of this baking slump I took the advice of Chef Dennis and wandered back into the kitchen. I poked around in the cupboards, watched an episode of Triple D, snooped in the kitchen and went online. It was while I was monitoring Twitter for any suspicious behaviour, such as recipes I had not yet seen, I discovered Jenna from Eat • Drink • Pretty and her Red Velvet Cupcakes. Obviously I would not be able to follow her recipe exactly but I was able to make this gluten free and I was really proud of the delicate texture and flavour of these cupcakes.