Chicken Soup with Chickpeas & Za’atar

It’s October, while we still haven’t turned on the furnace, there’s definitely a chill in the air, and it feels great to wear a sweater.  My sister came over to play cards last night, actually we needed to practice as we’re having a card night with friends later this week, and we haven’t played since the spring.  We played Kings Corners, which is fun, strategic, and frustrating, which for me is the perfect card game.  For supper I decided to make soup in celebration of autumn, along with a simple cheese & veggie flatbread.

I wanted to make Posole, because of a dream I’d had recently.  After explaining to anyone who wanted to hear (in my dream) that a bowl of heated dirt was not, in fact, true Posole, I awoke wanting to make the real thing.  But living on an island, we can’t always go out and buy things like Hominy & the right Chilies. Staring into my pantry, I spotted jars of Za’atar and Sumac, and my brain clicked into place, so I grabbed them as well as smoked paprika and a tin of chickpeas.  With a great chicken stock ready, and a chicken breast in the freezer, I knew that they would come together to make a hearty soup.

The meal started with a small dish of Baba Ghanoush and some sweet potato crackers, along with a yummy Sangiovese. Next up was the soup with the flatbread.  The soup had so much flavour, with a deep broth, full of chickpeas, carrots, and pulled chicken.  Not a huge meal, but an absolutely perfect Card Night supper.

Enjoy making this soup, as it is fragrant and warming, and follows all the methods for a delicious braised meal. Note that the mix I use for Za’atar follows.   Continue reading

Smashed Potatoes ~ 3 ways

IMG_1543With the early darkness of winter nights, comfort foods are appreciated far more than in the light of summer. To brighten some of these meals, we look for ways to switch it up, while sticking with the tried and true basics. Here are three ways to enjoy red potatoes as sides. Super simple, but each one gives us a bit of a twist, to complement the main course. The third option is for pancakes, which are so easy to do from leftovers from an earlier meal. Just store the leftovers, covered, in the fridge for up to a week. Ready when you are. Continue reading

Mexican Skillet Chicken

IMG_1185Sometimes a recipe is born simply from a suggestion. While being told about a chicken dish that was enjoyed on a recent trip to Vegas, my mind was clicking away, trying to think about how to prepare a similar dish, having never seen the original, with the description more about how good it was, not really about how it was made. Our conversation wandered along several paths, never returning to the chicken dish. Several nights later I played the “what if” game while cooking what turned out to be the first draft of this very fresh, spicy dish of chicken with a light topping of melted cheese, and topped with fresh tomatoes, avocados, tomatillos, & green onion. Theoretically it should feed four. So far, it has only ever fed two, with no leftovers. Continue reading

Eggplant & Yam Stew with Miso

IMG_9185There are two things that I go to for energy revival when travelling, miso & beer. Lovely fermented liquids that give me a bit of a kick start. All I need is a bowl of miso, to sip and feel like my gut is revitalized. Beer does exactly the same thing, but I need to be aware of what I’m doing after drenching my innards with a long tall cool one. Usually it is my go to after a long travel.

Miso is an amazing food. Not only does it give you a boost, but it has so much umami that it easily transforms many a vegetarian dish into something so rich and fulfilling, that you won’t miss the meat.

The original recipe for this stew came in BBC Good Food’s cleansing edition last January. We’ve made it many times always enjoying its robust flavours.
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Snickerdoodles GF

IMG_0515A longtime family favourite for many, the simple Snickerdoodle still pleases. In this version I’ve used a cup-for-cup Gluten Free flour to accommodate the group I was baking for. The dough is slightly different from one made with wheat flour, but is absolutely acceptable. Perfect with a cup of tea on a day when summer seems to be changing to fall. Regular Wheat Flour option follows, as well as a Cappuccino version. Continue reading