Bake on Saturday, Loaf Around Sunday

After a quick trip to the T-Dot to visit the kids and the in-laws, life is getting back to normal, food wise, at least. Yesterday I baked an updated version of English muffin loaf, with multigrain flour instead of white. It’s a fast mix, no kneading, and you can ignore it and do other chores during the rising. Here’s the recipe:

2c plus 1 T/265 ml  multigrain flour (make your own or try a mix including bran, rye, oat, spelt, kamut, or cracked wheat, and flax or sesame seeds if you like)

1T/15 ml or 1 packet active dry yeast

2t/10ml brown sugar (or honey or maple syrup)

1c/250ml lukewarm 1% milk (any milk will work, including nut milk)

1/4t/2 ml baking soda

Mix dry ingredients (except soda) in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to make a thick batter, then for 15-20 seconds more until it looks stretchy. 

Cover with a tea towel in a warm place and let rise for about 45 minutes til double.

Dissolve soda in 1T/15ml water and stir vigorously into batter, continuing just until it looks stretchy again. 

Grease or spray an 8″ loaf pan. Scrape batter in, cover with towel and allow to rise again about 40 minutes.

Bake in a 375 oven 45-55 minutes until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from pan right away.

Tastes best when toasted.

We had ours with a pepper and mushroom omelette. The sun is finally doing its work and the snow is beginning to recede. Thankfully, we just might see spring after all.

Black Forest Smoothie is like dessert for breakfast.

 

The reward for today’s workout? Black Forest smoothie. All the flavours of the famous cake, in liquid form. Combine plain fat free yogurt, dark sweet cherries, fresh or frozen, and some milk in a blender with a heaping spoonful of hot chocolate mix. We used the sugar-free kind. Cocoa and honey would work as well. Blend until smooth and start your day with something sweet.

Hashtag #leftovercornedbeef



The second best thing about St. Patrick’s Day is the day after. Assuming you paced yourself with the boiled dinner, there’s enough left for hash the next day. Cook it all up in a nonstick pan and top with an egg. If you’re worried about the calories, don’t forget: move more. Fortunately with yet another blizzard assaulting the city, we know exactly how we will be doing that.

Spring IS coming. Really!



Saturday we visited the Seaport Market and I was especially excited to discover at Noggins Corner, the first tiny tomatoes of the season from Den Haan’s. They made a fantastic breakfast treat to reward ourselves for the gym, next to a celery and mushroom poached egg. Tasty!

Tomme, Can You Hear Me?

We are so fortunate to have a French charcuterie in downtown Halifax. Thanks to Frederic and his team at Ratinaud, we are able to get many of our favourite cheeses and tasty treats. Today’s lunch is a traditional tuna melt with a twist – homemade rye bread on the bottom, and Tomme on top. We’ll take that over a plastic cheese slice any day!

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Necessity is the Mother of the…Bulgurito?

Number one child arrived home yesterday, and we had great plans to make bean burritos for dinner. Somehow in the midst of all the harvesting, pickling, canning, and freezing, though, our food inventory-keeping went awry. We were okay with substituting chickpeas and Jacob’s cattle beans for the black beans. But no tortillas, either? That was problematic. So we hit on a plan. Bulgur would play the part of the tortilla, in a manner of speaking. For three:

Boil 1 cup (250ml) water. Add 1/2 cup (125ml) bulgur and 1 tsp (5ml) olive oil, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook 3 cloves of garlic and 1 tsp (5ml) chipotle powder in 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil. Add a drained can of beans or about 2 cups (500ml) beans and 1/2 cup (125ml) broth. (Go crazy – black beans, chickpeas, whatever strikes your fancy…we are improvising now). Simmer until bulgur is cooked.

Line 3 bowls with greens – we still have mizuna in the garden, so that’s what we used. Stir the bulgur into the bean mix and spoon over the greens. Top with chopped tomato, diced avocado, fat free yogurt, salsa, and grated cheese. (Did I mention we were also out of salsa?) Spicy chioggia relish to the rescue!

All this is to say, in a cost-conscious kitchen, it isn’t always necessary to run to the store when you’re short on ingredients for a recipe. Use a little imagination and you might invent a whole new kind of delicious.

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Climbing into the Decompression Chamber

What a couple of weeks! Our part of the world seems to still be very much driven by the seasons, even in the urban parts. We’ve just wrapped up one of our big projects and turned our attention to another. I’ve started a new business…and of course it’s harvest time! Much roasting, canning and preserving has ensued.

But last night I realized it was time for a little decompression today. Sure, I have new customers coming to visit this afternoon, and a batch of sourdough bread in my future, but we are starting the morning with a leisurely, local breakfast. We could have gone to our friend Denis’ for the Full Monty breakfast, but we opted for the complete pj experience here at home. Martock Glen applewood smoked bacon, a large sunny side up egg, and whole grain toast. Delicious.

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Gardens Gone Wild: Harvest Niçoise

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We’ve been traveling, attending a couple of family weddings and doing a little business along the way. It didn’t seem realistic to ask them to postpone their special events on account of our vegetable patch, so the consequences when we got home were, well, interesting…

First, beans were just nicely coming into bloom when we left. Which means Jack’s beanstalk had nothing on us when we arrived back. Beets are still growing, and we’ve already harvested potatoes. A few tomatoes were spared the post tropical storm blight that has attacked local crops.

All in all, we had the makings of a lovely salad (and roasted veg are in our future). The eggs, olives, and tuna are not our own, but the rest is absolutely home grown.

For two:

Cook 2 small red potatoes and 1 large golden beet (reserve the greens for the salad). Throw the beans in to blanch, just at the end of cooking.
Hard boil 2 eggs.
Chill all of this (we cooked ours at breakfast time).

Arrange the chopped greens on a plate. Top with the cooked, cooled veggies, some sliced tomato, olives, and good quality water packed tuna.

For the dressing, mix 1T/15ml each of Dijon, olive oil, and vinegar (your choice).

Enjoy!

We do eat more than breakfast. Really!

Looking over recent posts was very revealing. So much breakfast! Perhaps it is because that is when there is time to write. Who knows? So today, once again, a report on the start of the day.

The chill is in the air, a harbinger of fall. Heather and thistles bloom in the garden. I don’t want to face autumn, but it will come, regardless. So we might as well do it with a full tummy. This morning’s egg features mushrooms, some chopped chard and tarragon from our garden, and a little cheddar cheese. The jam on the toast is local, too…made here at home.

This isn’t our only meal of the day, though. Tonight we’ll be joining our friends at Ratinaud for Les Saucisses en Folie. Real local charcuterie…you can’t get much better. Perhaps a reason to love the end of summer, after all. Unfortunately tickets are sold out. But you can taste their delicious wares at the Kitchen Table on some Friday or Saturday soon, and we are sure they will be worth the wait.

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Incredible Grill-Roasted Veggies

These veggies are as fresh as can be – harvested in our own garden and roasted within minutes of being picked.

Choose your own mix of veg and herbs. Chop into bite-sized pieces, toss with a little olive oil and wrap in a double layer of foil. Put this on your grill while it’s heating, turning occasionally. It’ll be done when your steak or pork chop is cooked. Not grilling meat? About 10 minutes (plus the preheating time) should do the trick.

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