Catching Up

Catch me if you can.

Or should I say, catch up to me if you can?

Getting a new job at Burning Kiln Winery, moving into a new house, my computer breaking and the gorgeous summer weather, all combined, has left me neglecting the old blog.  Well, this may end up being the theme of the summer.  In the meantime, here’s sum summa pics, just for you dear readers.

If any of you are still out there….

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Bam.

Bam.

…Bye.

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Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt

It’s time for Tasty Tuesday!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a foody blog so I decided I better step up my game.

This is a fast and easy dish that can work as a Vegetarian main course or as a side dish to go with Sunday dinner.

This recipe is adapted from my new favourite vegetarian cookbook, Plenty.

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You will need:

– 4 medium sized carrots, diced (the smaller the better)

– 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

– extra virgin olive oil

– juice of 1/2 a leamon

– 1 can of chickpeas

– 2 tbsp mint

– 2 tbsp cillantro

– sea salt & coarse black pepper

– 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

– 1 bunch of broccoli rabe/swiss chard/spinach/or any leafy greens you have will work

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Mix together the greek yogurt and a few tbsps of oil;

Stir together with salt & pepper to taste.

Set aside.

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Boil a pot full of water and blanch the broccoli rabe.

(NOTE:  I didn’t do it this time, but you may also want to blanch the carrots at this point,

otherwise they will be pretty crunchy – if you crave the crunch, don’t blanch, obvi.)

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Strain and shock with cold water.

(If you are using spinach you can skip the blanching entirely). 

Try and get as much excess liquid off as possible and chop into bite-size friendly pieces.

Set aside.

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Meanwhile, heat some more oil in a frying pan.

When the oil is nice and hot add the carrots and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes.

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Next add the chickpeas and greens, sauté for another 5 – 7 minutes.

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Add herbs and stir for another 2 minutes to combine.

Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Place on a platter or individual plates with a dollop of the greek yogurt mixture.

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Drizzle with your best extra virgin olive oil,

let your mouth water for no longer than another minute,

and then: eat!

This dish is also great the next day as a cold salad or you can re-heat for a hot lunch!

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Tay-sté!

Chicken Marinated in Balsamic Vinegar

I am always on the lookout for new chicken recipes. This one is adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks, Fiama by Michael White. Italian cooking at its finest.

If you love to dip your bread in oil and vinegar – which is an almost nightly ritual at my house – you will la-la-la-looove this recipe!

You will need:

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 springs fresh thyme

Whole chicken, skin on

1 onion

Sea salt and pepper

½ cup chicken stock

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

In Advance:

Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and garlic.

Combine with thyme and chicken in a large plastic bag.

Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

(I cheated once before and marinated for only 1 hour because I only used two chicken breasts, still turned out great – but it really is worth the wait if you can find the time.)

To Begin:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Remove chicken from the marinade bag and pat dry with paper towels.

Chop one small onion into quarters and stuff into the chicken’s butt.

Fun times.

Season again with salt and pepper and place chicken, skin side up, in a heavy baking dish just large enough to hold it. Place thyme from marinade bag on the bottom and top with a little olive oil.

Roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 1 hour.

Transfer to a serving platter and let rest.

On top of the stove, place baking dish over medium-high heat.

Stir the chicken stock into the pan drippings, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom with a wooden spoon, and bring to a boil.

Spoon the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley.

Serve with your favourite roasted veggies and big glass of red wine.

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Now that’s good eatin’ food right thurr.  Yes siree-bob.

Leek, Thyme & Potato Soup

Soothing, calming & delicious… Leek, Thyme & Potato Soup.

This recipe is so simple and so filling, it’s perfect for the person on a budget, and the person who just wants to warm up on a chilly winter’s night.

Not that it’s winter yet, but in the evening it sure it starting to feel that way…

You will need:

 —

2 lbs leeks

1 lb potatoes

2-3 sprigs of thyme

1/2 cup butter

1 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

water

salt & pepper

Yes, that’s it!

Begin by chopping and cleaning leeks and potatoes.

Melt butter in a large pot.

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Add leeks, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook until soft, about 5 – 10 minutes.

Always remember, there’s no such thing as too much butter!

So go ahead, add a little more…

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Add potatoes, and a little more S & P.

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Add just enough water to cover ingredients.  Cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Add milk, cream, and salt & pepper to taste.  Cover again for 30 minutes.

The potatoes will begin to fall apart, thickening the soup.

Pull out the thyme stems, the leaves will have fallen off by now.

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Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Depending how you like it, you could puree the entire soup at this point.

I kept it rustic.

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Creamy and filling: a true winter warming soup.

Depending on how big your bowls are, makes 4-8 servings.

I am excited to eat mine – again!

Can’t wait for lunch time 🙂

Feast on Roast Beast

I know some people will be greatly offended by this statement… but: fall has arrived, ladies and gentlemen.

While I don’t enjoy the so-far rainy weather , I am actually quite happy because fall is my favourite season.  Not to mention the cooler weather means I can actually start using my oven again!

(This is also a useful strategy for heating our poorly insulated house.)

So to get your own homes feeling cozy and smelling wonderful, below is my own recipe for an almost perfect roast dinner.

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This recipe is easy to prep for and depending on the size of your beef, only takes about 1 hr – 1 1/2 hours in the oven.  And, the dishes you will have to wash will be minimal: 1 roasting pan, 1 chopping knife, 2 plates, 2 forks, 2 knives, 1 spoon, 1 cuting board. (This is also very important info when you don’t own a dishwasher.)

To chop:

1 red onion

2 parsnips

2 potatoes

2 carrots

1-2 cloves garlic

(You can use any combo of root veggies you happen to have in your pantry, and as much or as little as your pan will fit, in order to supply as many people as you need to feed.  For me, that is 2 people and enough left-overs for roast beef sandwhiches for lunch.)

You will also need:

Beef, for roasting

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Lots of olive oil

A titch of balsamic vinegar

Horseraddish (if you like… I love!)

S & P

To begin:

Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees.

Bring out the beast…ahem, I mean, beef.

Take your rosemary sprigs and tie with cooking twine to top of beef. Gently stab beef in random spots and place garlic peices inside. Also add onion wedges where possible.

Place the beef in your roasting pan, along with remaining onion, and all chopped veggies.

Douce with as much olive oil as you see fit… I reccommend lots.  Add a couple teaspoons of balsamic vinigar, and stir around the goodness.  Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

It may look something like this:

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Place roast in oven, uncovered, for 1 hr – 1 1/2 hours, depending on size and how rare or well done you like your meat. Proper chefs probably use a meat thermometer to assist at this point… I generally use my nose and the opinion of anyone else near by the kitchen.

Once done, it may look something like this:

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Let the poor beast rest to keep in all the yummy juices.

After 5 – 10 mins, slice.

Serve with horseraddish and red wine.

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Merry feasting, my friends.