Chocolate Orange Mousse

IMG_3624With several people with gluten free diets visiting, I wanted to still make them a special, swoonable (something that can make one swoon) dessert.  We didn’t have any whipping cream in the house, but as usual, did have lots of fresh eggs.

Here’s my cream free version of a chocolate mousse, with the added headiness of Grand Marnier.  If you don’t have the liqueur, just use orange juice. Continue reading

Popovers

IMG_4066We’re not much of a family for pancakes.  Occasionally we make a batch of waffles, maybe twice a year.  However these little treats are a family favourite.  Easy to put together, then nothing to do but leave them to cook in the oven.

They have a steamy, custardy center, which is perfect with a spoonful of jam tucked inside.  The only oil used is that to grease the pan.  With berry season arriving soon, and a whole summer of “no-school” mornings ahead, take the time to bake these, then sit outside in the sunshine and munch through them all while fresh. Continue reading

Tomato Jam

IMG_3868Hot dogs and hamburgers seem to be a part of summer that never changes.  They may have tofu wieners and veggie patties, but they’re still what they are.  A bun cut in half, with a sizzling hot centerpiece smothered in the trimmings of one’s desire.

These trimmings usually define the dog or burger.  The better they are, the yummier the creation.  Our house usually does the ketchup, zesty relish, mustard & mayonnaise thing.  Switching it up with chipotle mayo, salsa & guacamole.  Pickles and caramelized onions are essential, along with crispy lettuce and slices of tomato.  I do not like ketchup.  That being said, I am very open to tomato chutneys, salsas etc.

So, with the summer abundance of tomatoes around the corner, try this very simple tomato jam.  If you want a smooth consistency, process it once it’s cooled a bit, remembering to remove the cinnamon! Continue reading

Quinoa Bites

IMG_3956This is a simple adjustment to the Quinoa Cakes recipe. I was catering a small memorial event, and was planning a vegetarian appetizer buffet.  The quinoa cakes are so yummy, and I thought that if I could get them to hold together in a small patty, that they would make a great appetizer.  Over the next couple of days, I got a few e-mails asking for the recipe.

Last night I offered them at a reunion party.  They presented so well, and made a good addition to the other items on the buffet.   Continue reading

Pea Spread with Meyer Lemon

IMG_3890My sister and I were walking the other day.  Several times a week we take our dogs, Lainie & Bonnie for a hike up over Burchell Hill and around back through the woods.  It takes about 1¼ hrs and gives us lots of time for conversation, when we’re not huffing and puffing!

We were discussing the foods we eat.  Most of the foods found in both our homes are whole foods.  Basically we start from scratch when making any meal.  Then we talked about how many processed foods we have in our homes.  We both have more than we would have guessed.  Our processed items are very similar: condiments, dairy products, crackers, granola bars, tortilla chips, peanut butter, jams, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, soft beverages, canned tomatoes & sauce, boxed cereals & Dr. Oetker pizzas (we both had at least one in our freezer).

That got me to thinking about what I had in my freezers.   I have two chest freezers, a top freezer on our extra fridge, and an upright small freezer in the kitchen.  One of our chest freezers is used solely for customers’ beef.  It gets turned on a few days before a delivery and is shut down when empty. The chest freezer in the house holds our own beef, any other meats I have purchased from other farms, and fish.  One side is filled with assorted berries, all measured before packaging & ready to use easily, and stocks.  The small top freezer holds any extra baked goods. My kitchen freezer is filled with at least one of each type of fruit I have on hand, a huge assortment of nuts & seeds, specialty flours, grains, coffee, a small selection of meats and frozen peas.  I routinely sort through the freezers, rotating stock, using up things I may have forgotten I had, and basically keeping them organized.  If they’re not tidy, food gets wasted.

Funny how the only vegetables I have in the pantry or the freezer are tomatoes and peas.  Tomatoes are such a go to vegetable for most of us for sauces, pasta etc.  The peas are one of the very few vegetables that can handle being frozen and still give you a good, fresh tasting product when cooked.  I use them in risotto, as a quick side dish when the crispers are getting low, tossed in a salad, and for this very fresh tasting spread.  A thin sliver of rustic bread with a smear of these peas is an amazing snack.  So, don’t be proud, keep a small bag of good quality frozen peas at hand and use them to their fullest potential! Continue reading