Weather reports say that tomorrow we’ll be running around in the snow. So we felt that today we should remind ourselves of summer, just a little. We’re starting the day with Hewitt’s skim milk plain yogurt, some delicious strawberries from the East Lynn Farmer’s market, frozen fresh on the day, sprinkled with cinnamon and a few pistachios. Today, we’re grateful for all the folks at DECA and other organizations who made that summer market possible.
Last night’s dinner, Chicken Paprikash. It’s fast and easy to prepare, but most of all, it’s a comforting food. It’s been an adjustment learning to see all over again but with this dinner, no recipe-reading was required.
Stay tuned for today’s special, pancakes!
There’s so much to be grateful for on a sunny Sunday like this one. The garden is full of little birds, and we’re warm from eating banana raisin pecan cinnamon oatmeal. Although we are big fans of food cooked slowly, I have to admit that the day I learned to make old-fashioned oats in the microwave was a happy day. No more instant mush. And no more standing and stirring a pot to keep it from sticking. I’ve been warned that my recovery from eye surgery will be a slow one, but it is punctuated by moments of brilliance, when suddenly I can see in a whole new way. Tomorrow…back to the gym!
Yesterday when we were at Hooked we also discovered this tasty smoked mackerel. It seemed like the perfect breakfast…even fit for Toronto’s Archbishop,Thomas Collins, who became a Cardinal today in Rome.
Thanks for to the Archdiocesan Blog for this photo…which really says it all about this “ordinary guy who turned into a Prince”.
What a week! I had eye surgery on Thursday so I am now experiencing the world in a whole new way…without glasses. Even the food looks different. To clarify, I still need a little tune-up in the reading department, but I am gratefully having a chance to re-learn the gift of sight. On Friday after my Day One checkup, we swung by the Purple Purl to pick up some needles, then Hooked for the fish (halibut fillets). Oven-baked fish and chips made good use of some multicoloured potatoes we had on hand. They’re so easy to make…highly recommended!
Lent is nearly here. As usual, that means that just as we need to be taking stock, counting our blessings, and engaging in some introspection, the world of work is starting to get spring fever. Of course our personal commitments are also on the upswing. Projects are underway, and to-do lists are multiplying. One way to slow down the hamster wheel is to simplify wherever we can. Like Friday’s fish dinner…the perfect way to put the brakes on a hectic week.
Simply prepared, the meal includes black cod, cooked in a little olive oil and butter, and dressed with a squeeze of lime juice. On the side, a salad of local greenhouse veg (lettuce, tomato, cukes, green onion) topped with a couple of spears of visiting asparagus. For the dressing:
1T/15ml olive oil
1T/15ml Maille Dijon with hazelnuts and nutmeg (or add some nutmeg and ground nuts to your own mustard
1T/15ml sherry vinegar
I feel calmer just remembering it…
We heard that the top Superbowl food was chicken wings. We also know those who flavour chili. But we decided Lamb and Chickpea Tagine was called for. We started with a recipe from www.cookinglight.com, then made some adaptations: deglazing with some beer after the browning stage, lemongrass pounded and tossed in with the garlic instead of cilantro at the end, baking slowly in the oven instead of stovetop, adding yogurt, and substituting parsley and pecans for cilantro and pistachios. (OK, we still used the lamb and the chickpeas).
Now all that’s left is the cheering and the crying.
Sunday morning…full of surprises! We were sitting at the table reading our (virtual) newspapers and having coffee, when the tiny birds departed the feeder en masse. We thought it was a cat at the heart of the matter, but on top of the fence sat a falcon. Not your everyday city breakfast visitor. Then he spied us, and made a hasty departure.
We retired to the stove and made ourselves some whole wheat French toast…with strawberries from our frozen cache, and just a little bit of Canadian maple syrup.
La Chandeleur is crepe day in France, at its origins a celebration of the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of Baby Jesus. If you’re a devoted Francophile, it’s a great excuse to make crepes, whether you’re religious or secular. These were time-consuming but not at all difficult to make.
The recipe serves four as a meal, or 8 as a brunch or dessert…
250 ml fat-free cottage cheese
120g light cream cheese
60 ml sugar
5 ml vanilla
250 ml white, whole wheat, or spelt flour
375ml 1% milk
15ml vegetable oil
5 ml vanilla
3 large eggs
500 ml raspberries
15ml icing sugar
Blend or process cheeses, first sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Place in bowl and chill about an hour.
Whisk together milk, oil, flour, next vanilla, and eggs, until nearly smooth. Cover and an hour.
Heat a nonstick skillet to medium-high, brush with oil. Add about 60ml batter. Tilt quickly to spread in a thin layer. Cook until the top doesn’t look wet any more.
When crepe loosens from its pan on its own, flip and cook about 30 seconds.
Place finished crepes on tea towel and fill them with cheese, rolling or folding, one at a time. Heat nonstick skillet at medium, and put crepes in to reheat. Serve warm with powdered sugar and berries.
The weather in Ontario this week hardly constitutes the kind of weather for “cold weather food”. But it’s a small sacrifice for something so delicious. We had two lovely local lamb shanks in the freezer. While those were browning in a Dutch oven on top of the stove, we chopped a carrot, a hot pepper, a leek, and a stalk of celery. When the shanks were browned we turned the oven to 350F. Then we added the veg and sautéed until they were softened a bit. After deglazing with a little beer, we added a stalk of thyme (the leaves will fall off and the stem can be fished out before serving). Other flavours included a few raisins, 3 chopped dried apricots, 6 pitted, chopped black olives, some oregano, chili powder, and ground cloves.
We poured over a pint of diced tomatoes (or half a large can), covered it, and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Then we turned the shanks, let it go for another 20 minutes. For the last 10 minutes we took the lid off, and in the meantime, made mashed potatoes. The lamb was fall-off-the-bone delicious. Happy Groundhog Day!