The Goddess is Green

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember Green Goddess dressing. But the old-school version was very creamy and very caloric. It also was often made like mayonnaise, with a raw egg, which doesn’t hold up to everyone’s food safety standards these days.

This version’s a simple homage to the original: whisk together a white-wine style Dijon (about a tablespoon), and a similar amount of olive oil, and lime juice. Give it just a pinch of salt and some finely chopped herbs (we had some tarragon, greek oregano, and garlic chives). Gently stir in about a tablespoon of plain yogurt and 1/2 a cup of finely diced cucumber. Pour over whatever veg you’re serving, and others will be green with envy

I'm Feeling a Bit Crunchy!

Wow! It’s been ages since our last post. It’s because of work – too much of it all at once. But who can turn down exciting challenges and opportunities? Now there’s time to relax, but first I’ll have to get the kinks out – and eat some proper food.

When we’re feeling a little crunchy and out-of-sorts, we like to have a nice batch of fresh vegetables. These radishes and cukes were from the East Lynn Farmers Market. We dressed them with a little cider vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, and some black sesame seeds.

Feeling better already!

Walkable Poached Eggs

Sunday morning, feeling lazy. We had a meal plan but it was organized on a day when we weren’t overtired, and were feeling extra energetic. Sunday came, and we just wanted to chill. What to do?

We had some great organic whole wheat English muffins in the cupboard. We also had some delicious Green Valley eggs from Rowe Farms (we got them at Better Bulk). There was an end of some ash-coated cheese from Montforte Dairy.

So, we toasted the muffins. Sliced the cheese thin and put it on the hot muffins so it could wilt a little. Meanwhile, we poached the eggs. We sprinkled the whole thing with some French tarragon, which was growing in the urban farm. (We didn’t start it from seed – we bought it from Mimi’s convenience, around the corner).

That, and a hot cup of coffee will get you Sunday morning heaven. (Okay, that and church – which we had plenty of energy for, after a breakfast like this!)

Rhubarb Berry Crisp – Garden Heaven

A week or two ago I was lamenting the lack of local strawberries. Frankly it’s a bit early for most of the province but they could be found in a few places – there were apparently some for sale at the Brickworks market. But this past week East Lynn Farmer’s market had a few. And my grandmother’s rhubarb (transported far and wide across the country, into various family gardens) was ready for the pulling.

What to make? Pie or crisp? The guys made the decision. Much to my surprise, they chose the crisp! Mix the fruit in the pan and sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of sugar.

For the topping, about 1/2 cup (125 ml) butter. Relax, it’s crisp! Then a bit of brown sugar, some oats, and a little whole-wheat flour. Mix it together til it’s crumbly. Sprinkle over the top.

Bake at 350F for about half an hour. Check it. If it’s not golden, give it another 10 or 15 minutes.

You can serve it warm, by itself. Ice cream is nice. Or you can eat it the next morning as leftovers, with a little plain yogurt from your favourite organic dairy.

Pickerel your Favourite Friday Fish

So on Friday (last Friday) I planned to go to Hooked for some fish. But I was foiled. By being lazy and taking my car, the environmental angels punished me: no parking!

It worked out fine. On Saturday, I got this great pickerel. And some purple carrots. I cooked up the fish in a cornmeal crust and served with a carrot salad.

To make it, steam the carrots. Toss in a mixture of  one tablespoon each (15ml each) olive oil, Dijon mustard, wine vinegar, and about a teaspoon (5ml) maple syrup. Sprinkle with some green onions.

(Over on the side is some awesome Lundberg rice. You can get it at Better Bulk, on our blogroll).

Risotto Helps You Slow Down the Madness

Ah, Friday. I went down to Hooked to get some fish. But it was a complete madhouse. Yes, I admit it. I had worked four overtime type days and I wimped out and took the car (to be fair, I had more work waiting at home). Problem was, that was a stupid idea. I got down to Queen and there were no parking spots to be had.

What to do? Save Hooked for Saturday when I had more time, and make a nice barley and brown rice risotto. (I know, time consuming. But VERY therapeutic).

We opened a bottle of wine, and stirred away our stress. De-lish!

Chilly Grilling

When it turns unseasonably cold, you might have your heart set on a grilled dinner, but it’s too cold to eat outside, and salad just won’t cut it. That’s when we turn to the BBQ Potato Thing.

Pair it with a lovely striploin steak, or some lamb chops from the farmer’s market or Royal beef (check out the options in our blogroll!)

You’ll have the classic summer grilled dinner flavour, but it will still warm you against the summer storm.


Lettuce Begin!

The harvest has begun on the urban farm. (We’re also seeing some fabulous produce in the Farmer’s Markets at East Lynn and Coxwell). Most exciting, is when we can start clipping lettuce, right outside the back door.

When Grandma Made Burgers, She Said the Future was in Plastic

We had burgers and dogs yesterday – the classic barbecue dinner. Delicious dogs, and our own homemade burger mix, served on whole wheat buns.

For the burgers, we started with some lean ground beef (Royal’s is awesome, and when Christmas rolls around, we can’t wait to introduce you to their Tourtiere Mix).

Finely dice a shallot or some green onions (featured on the urban farm this week). Add a sprinkling of dry mustard, a few bread crumbs or a tablespoon or two of oat bran or rolled oats. Next, a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Then an egg and a splash of milk. Mix it all together and shape into patties. We love using an old-school Tupperware burger press to get a consistent shape, and if you put it on a kitchen scale, you can also make sure they’re all the same size for even cooking. (If you go to the link you’ll see the modern-day iteration, but ours has lasted forever!).

Serve the burgers and dogs with your favourite salad…summertime goodness!

A Mustard Collection

So the other day we were at Belanger Brothers in the farmer’s market (see our blogroll!) and we picked up this awesome rack of lamb. One delicious thing to do with lamb is to make a mustard coating – some olive oil, Dijon mustard, and chopped herbs. In our case we used rosemary and Greek oregano from the garden.

Then we thought, why not make a mustard theme. So we proceeded to modify a recipe from Rob and Gwen in Bicester. They make an awesom mustard roast potato. To adapt for the grill, we parboiled some peeled Yukon Gold potatoes. We tossed the hot potatoes with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, a splash of white wine vinegar, and a tablespoon of dry mustard. Then we put them on the grill to finish with the lamb.

Each dish had a little mustard, but none of the mustards tasted the same. On some, it was the feature. Others, it was the under-note. In every one of them, it was delicious!

Lastly, we made our usual salad dressing like the one we used in the Salad Huroncoise…also featuring delicious Dijon. Here’s what the finished plate looked like. Now I’m going to head inside and beat the mosquitoes!