Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Brunch: Poached Egg atop Quinoa Flat Bread and Sweet Potato Patties

Dear Jess,

Today feels like Saturday to me. Jason got a rain day (though it has not yet rained...) and has been tinkering around the house doing little things. As for me, Mary-Austin an I started the day out right: drank tea and coffee, armed ourselves with knitting and cross-stitching, and watched Anne of Green Gables part 2. We then moved upstairs to bake cookies, plan shopping lists, make soup, and make this masterpiece of a breakfast/lunch. Mmmmmmm. It's been a good day.

These Quinoa Patties are quite nice. They do taste like quinoa, so if you don't like the taste I would not recommend them. They are meant to be topped with something delicious, so eating them by themselves would be as bland as eating a regular flat bread by itself. All very important things to keep in mind before making them.

The Sweet Potato Patties don't form into a firm patty, but they do taste delicious. I am making the left over 'batter' into a nice salad. I highly recommend these.

Quinoa Flat Bread
from closetcooking.com

1 cup raw quinoa, pulsed in a grinder or food processor
1 cup whole wheat flour or brown rice flour
1 egg
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix the processed quinoa, flour, egg, water, salt and pepper and let it soak for an hour.

2. Heat a greased pan over medium heat

3. Pour* 1/4 cup of mixture into the center of the pan, cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 5 minutes. 

*The word 'pour' made me think they would pour out like pancake batter... they didn't for me. I had to plop it on the pan and flatten it with my flipper. I might add more water next time and see what happens... it would help get them thinner I think.

Sweet Potato Patties
adapted from lunchbox.com

2 baked sweet potatoes
1 (19oz) can Navy beans

You simply take a baked sweet potato, drained and rinsed Navy beans, add in a few accents (I used horseradish, fresh minced garlic, salt and pepper with a dash of dried thyme), mash, saute and serve. You could add in other whole food ingredients too like brown rice, finely chopped apple, hemp seeds - whatever! The sweet potato is such a nice binder - you can really get creative if you choose.

As I mentioned, they did not stay together for me - that does not mean they were not super tasty! Next time I will add brown rice or bulger wheat. I will let you know how that goes!

There is so much possibility with this. You can add herbs to the flat breads and/or sweet potato patties. You could top the whole thing with hot sauce, and even add lettuce between the flat bread and sweet potato. The options are endless!

I can't wait until next Friday! I am trying to find things to make while you guys are here!

So much love,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Slow Chicken Curry

Dear Jess,

Brrrrrr. It is so cold.

That being said... I am enjoying it more this year than any year. I think the warm winter last year gave me a break, and this year I realized that I missed it a little bit. Well... mainly I think I miss the effect that good food has on a frigid cold day.

This is one of those meals that sets a cold day right. I have made it twice, and I will be making it again. It's from the Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook. It's easy, basic, makes your house smell like heaven, and it tastes yummy. I have put it in my slow cooker on cleaning days, so as I'm working around the house, the smell wafts through the house and I feel like dinner is making itself!

Slow Chicken Curry
From Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook, page 88

2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
1 cup Homemade Chicken Broth (I used my homemade Veggie Broth)

1. In a small bowl, mix all of the dry spices together.

2. Place the chicken thighs in slow cooker and pour the spice mixture over the chicken thighs and toss together until all the thighs are coated with the spices.

3. Sprinkle on the minced garlic and add the onions, carrots, and celery.

4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and the chicken broth.

5. Pour the coconut milk and chicken broth mixture over the top of the chicken and vegetables and cook on high in the slow cooker for 4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.

The first time I did this I did it slowly on low for 6-7 hours. The second time I tried it on high for 4 hours. I didn't find any difference. Delicious either way!

I served it on brown and wild rice rice for Jason. For me I put it over some steamed broccoli with a salad. Mmmmm. Snuggle up with the icy wind howling at your windows, and enjoy the warmth and comfort from this meal. Success!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cheddar and Sweet Corn Scones


I miss you so much! I am so sorry to hear you were sick over the holidays. I was as well. And my brother. And my sister. And my brother-in-law. And on the day before he returned to work, my husband. That being said, it was a wonderful holiday! I have an amazing entry on the way about the Turducken we all chipped in the make. What an adventure!

Today's entry came from a BBC Good Food email that I received. The subject read 'Homemade Soup Recipes for Cozy Nights In.' I had to open it and check it out. I didn't find a soup, but I found these scones, and let me tell you... so yummy. I would serve this with a chili or soup any day!

Cheddar and Sweet Corn Scones
adapted from bbcgoodfood.com
1 1/2 - 2 cups yellow corn
1 cup all purpose whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose white flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp ground cayenne or paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp dried thyme (fresh would be yummy if you have any)
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup skimmed milk, plus extra for brushing
juice of 1/2 a lemon

1. Heat oven to 450F. Mix the flour, baking powder, mustard, cayenne, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp thyme leaves in a large bowl, then rub int he butter until the mix lookes like fine crumbs. Tip in most of the cheese and all of the corn. Mix the milk with the lemon juice, them stir into the bowl to make a slightly sticky dough. Don't over-work the dough.

2. Tip the dough onto a floured work surface, knead 2-3 times to smooth a little, then divide into 10 balls. Shape each roughly with your hands and put onto a floured baking sheet. Brush each with a little milk, then scatter with a little cheese, cayenne and a few thyme leaves. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the scones are risen, golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

I was able to use the corn that we froze this fall, so they had a lovely 'fresh corn' flavour!

I can't wait to see you again. We need to schedule a date! We are heading out west pretty soon for a week or so. Maybe after we get back?

Lots of Love,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Holiday Bark

Dear Sally,

       Merry Christmas! I suppose it is more appropriate to say Happy New Year! It has been an amazing holiday and I feel more rested and like myself than I have in a very long time. I had originally planned this amazing week of baking and cooking before Jesse and I went up to a cottage. This never happened. My sniffles started on the last day of school and the developing cold knocked me out for a good week and a half. The silver lining was my discovery of ALL of the Anne books. I dove into the world of Green Gables while resting in bed and I have not been able to put it down. I am only on the second book but I have already fallen in love with the stories. I feel a trip out east coming on.
        Once returned to a normal state of mind I madly tried to get things together for Christmas gifts. I fell back on some of my mom's classic Christmas treat recipes. I attempted some traditional shortbread bookies. I rolled and cut them and then crawled back to bed. My saint of a husband cooked them for me and bless his heart they all went flat on him! The poor man didn't want to cook the rest he felt so bad. It was amusing to hear his recollections in the morning. One thing that DID turn out a success was the candy cane almond bark. I used my mom's traditional recipes and added a twist of my own. This recipe is so simple anyone can do it and Jesse took extreme pleasure in crushing the candy canes himself with our meat tenderizer.

       I cannot tell you how much I would have loved to share a kitchen, a bottle of wine and some amazing Christmas recipes with you this year. I think we will have to make that a staple for the years to come. My place or yours I don't care.

      My mind still has a hard time adjusting to the new year. I wish you and Jason many blessings and much love for the new year. I miss you!

Candy Cane Almond Bark

Approx.  2 cups white Merkins chips
Approx.  2 cups milk chocolate Merkins chips
2 cups almonds
1 1/2 cups candy cane or mint candy
Almond or mint extract


1. Turn on oven to 350-375. Roast the almonds on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crackly. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. Open all the candies or candy canes and place them in a thick Ziploc freezer bag. Using a rolling pin or meat mallet crush the candies into small pieces. Do not make it a powder.

3.  Choose one type  of bark to make at a time. I did my white chocolate chips first. Place chips in a large microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Check the chips and stir to make sure everything is melted.

4. When the chocolate is melted add the crushed candy cane and the almonds. Stir until everything is mixed well and then add mint or almond extract. The traditional recipe calls for only almonds and almond extract. Feel free to combine the flavours as you would like.

5. Pour the mixture out onto a sheet of waxed paper that is laying on a cooking sheet. Place the warm chocolate in the fridge to cool.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 using milk chocolate instead of white. When the bark has cooled remove it from the fridge and gently drop it onto the table. This will break the bark into bite sized pieces. If all else fails I sometimes break the bark apart with my clean hands.