It isn't easy eating green (in winter)

…I was going to end that title with “in the frozen northland”, but in fact, relatively speaking, we are in the south of our country. However it is most decidedly winter, and that can make local a challenge. Fortunately there is nearly always a hydroponic/greenhouse grower of greens – or a friendly windowsill.

Top a big batch of greens with a simple vinaigrette of mustard, olive oil, maple syrup and cider vinegar. Sprinkle with sliced apples, walnuts, raisins, feta, and…eat up!

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Sweet Start to a Rainy Sunday

Cherry Apple Crisp

Before our recent holiday, we packaged up any fruit we couldn’t finish, and threw it in the freezer. These sweet dark cherries and apple slices came in handy when we wanted a warming breakfast for a gray, drizzly spring day. Brown sugar, rolled oats and butter formed the crisp topping, spiced up with a shake of cinnamon. The addition of some tangy, fat-free yogurt made it just right.

For two:

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a heatproof glass dish, put 3 cups of fruit. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix 2c/500ml large-flake oats, 3T/45ml brown sugar, and 1/4c/6oml melted butter with a shake of cinnamon. Pour this on top of the fruit and bake – 30 minutes if you use fresh fruit, or 45 if you use frozen, as we did.

Top each serving with 1/4c or 60ml of yogurt.

Shank You for a Delicious Meal!

We made a lovely road trip with the parents on Saturday, including a visit to Grammy, now aged 100. Side stopovers included Oulton’s meats, where we watched the talented team of butchers make short work of preparing a variety of delicious meats. In our case, we bought half a lamb, which included these two tasty shanks. We expect to be featuring all sorts of fall lamb recipes over the next weeks.

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We wanted to take advantage of local produce as well, including the delicious apples we picked up on our last trip to the Valley, and some potatoes we grew in our own plot. Here’s how we did it, for 2:

2 (12-ounce) lamb shanks, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/8 cup alcoholic sparkling cider
2 large diced apples
A good handful of fresh basil, thyme and oregano, minced
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley for topping

1. Heat oven to 300F. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle lamb with freshly ground black pepper. Add lamb to pan, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan. Add garlic to pan; sauté 15 seconds. Add cider; cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in apples and herbs; cook 2 minutes. Return lamb to pan. Cover with apples, cover pan and bake 1 hour. Turn lamb over; cook 1 hour more or until meat is done and very tender. Remove lid and cook until thickened if necessary. Serve sprinkled w parsley, and mashed potatoes on the side.

Flakes of Goodness

20111121-193433.jpg. It is the season when flakes start to fall…but these flakes are flakes of delicious pastry!

8 sheets phyllo pastry
1/8 c butter, melted
3 apples, peeled and sliced
2 T sliced almonds
2 T raisins
2 T flour
3 T brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a bowl, mix the apple with the flour, sugar, raisins, nuts and cinnamon. Take a sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Top with another and brush again. Put 1/4 of the apple mixture 4″ in from short edge. Fold edge in, then each long edge. Roll up like a jelly roll. Place roll, seam side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining three rolls.

Beat egg and brush tops of rolls. Bake for 25 minutes until golden. Cool slightly (filling will be hot) and serve.

Fabulous Tummy-Warming Oatmeal

20111109-110823.jpg. Oatmeal used to be a real challenge to make; hence the instant kind. But in just 10 minutes, you can make this amazing breakfast using real, large-flake rolled oats. No additives or preservatives. This serves two people a good-sized bowl.

Dice an apple into a microwave-safe casserole. Add 3/4 cup (180 ml) rolled oats, 2 T (30 ml) chopped walnuts and a good sprinkling of cinnamon. Then the water – about 1-1/4 c (300 ml). No need to stir yet. Our microwave has an oatmeal setting, but otherwise, about 5 minutes on high, followed by 3 minutes on medium power should do it. when it’s thick and bubbly, give it a stir. Serve with a little brown sugar and some milk. It’ll get your day of to a good, warm start.