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Archive for the ‘Breakfast / Brunch’ Category

Curried Kale Pancakes with Maple Glazed Onion topped Eggs!

Now I  know that all of the experts say that the key to a good food blog is enticing pictures of the dish that pull people in to read further and maybe even attempt your dish.

But I made something so delicious for brunch today, that I just had to tell you about it immediately.  I wasn’t even thinking that I would write about it because I had no idea it would be so good.   But then we gobbled it down and I never got a chance to take any pictures!

Hopefully just my description of the item will be enough to do the trick for you!

As anyone who has been following this blog for any length of time knows all too well,  I am a big fan of kale!  And that I like to use it in untraditional places.  Case and point in my kale pancakes.  But I have to say that this recipe is one of most looked at postings on this blog.  And in fact, if you Google kale pancakes, it is the first item listed!  On ALL of the interweb!!

So this morning I felt like making some eggs, but was out of bread for toast and it is a bit of a dreary winter Sunday so I didn’t feel like going out to get any.

What to make?  I didn’t really feel like anything too sweet………of course the kale pancakes!

So I whipped up a batch of the pancake batter, only I changed it up a bit and actually this version is completely Vegan.

Into the blender went:

  • 2 whole cloves fresh garlic
  • about 2 cups worth of ripped kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup plain almond milk
  • 1 cup ( or more till you achieve right consistency) chick pea flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder

Whiz that all up in the blender and then let sit a bit.

Meanwhile, heat up your skillet ( I used two at a time to move things along quicker).

Once they are ready, add a bit of butter or oil of your choice and make your pancakes as you normally would.

Keeping the cooked ones warm in a low oven.

Once your pancakes are all cooked, use one of the skillets to caramelize an onion.

When it is well caramelized, douce it with a generous glug of good maple syrup!

Meanwhile, in the other skilled, fry up as many eggs as needed.  I did them to a nice “over easy” so that when you put them on top of the pancake and cut into them, the nice creamy yoke will ooze all over.

When ready to assemble, place pancakes on the bottom, then over easy eggs and then top with the maple covered onion!

Oh MAN was that good!

And if you were so inclined, feel free to add a little bacon or sausage to the equation and some extra maple syrup on top and you will have an impressive brunch item indeed!

I really wish I had a picture for you, cause it was THAT good!

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A Special Holiday Breakfast

Well, it doesn’t have to be for a holiday specifically, but let’s just say, you might want to save it for special occasions!

This baby is SO rich that we even skip a year or two between partaking in it!

Let’s call it “Fancy Baked French Toast”.

You actually have to start it the night BEFORE you are going to eat it!  It’s THAT big of a deal!

So, the night before……….

You will need:

  • One large baking dish ( like for lasagna)
  • Fancy bread   **

**  I actually use Italian Panatone which is practically like cake already!  Or a nice challah bread works well too.  Or  push comes to shove, some raison bread would do.  But use something nice, not your run of the mill slice bread.

  • Heavy cream
  • eggs
  • vanilla

Now I haven’t given you amounts because it will depend on how much you are making.  But for this one I used:

1 panatone, six eggs, 1/2 pint cream and 1 tsp vanilla.

Slice the bread and lay slightly on top of each other in the dish.

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Mix the wet ingredients and lightly beat.

 

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Pour wet mixture all over the bread and then push and poke the bread down so it starts to suck up the liquid.

( the bread should NOT be swimming)

 

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Then cover with cling wrap and refrigerate over night.

In the morning, heat oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile make up about a half cups worth of:

  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • toasted walnuts

and squish them all together into a creamed paste.

Then shmear this paste over the top edges of the bread or pretty much where ever you like, but it looks nicer if it is in some sort of uniform direction.

 

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Then bake until golden brown!

 

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Meanwhile, as if all this isn’t bad enough…….

I serve it with cranberry glazed sausages.

Basically all you need to do here is cook your breakfast sausages as you would, then finish them by adding about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cranberry juice to the frying pan of sausage.  Keep cooking and stirring them until the juice reduces right down to a sweet goo.

Oh yeah.

And there you have one of the most decadent breakfasts going!

So seriously…….please use with caution!!

 

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PB & Js

Any body who knows me, knows I am a fiend for peanut butter!

So when I heard about THIS place, I had no choice but to visit!!

We were watching a new episode of “Eat Street” on the Food Network, the show about food trucks ( and stands),

all over the land and we saw the one about PB & Js or ( peanut butter and jam ( or jelly) in Portland Oregon.

Nestled in the Nob Hill neighbourhood on the fashionable NW 23rd Street, is this unassuming little “stand” that sells these wonderful grilled peanut butter sandwiches with crazy and delicious fillings!

I marched up to the counter and said “I’ve come all the way from Canada for one of your sandwiches!”   They were thrilled to hear it!

I ordered the “Oregonian” which consisted of marion berry jam, Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese and Hazelnut butter.  While the Chef ordered the “Hot Hood” which was filled with Black Cherry Jam, roasted jalapeno, applewood bacon and peanut butter.

Then we ended up trading each other a half because we were worried the other person’s might be better!

Both were dee-lish although I may have liked the Chefs just a little better than mine.

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But when I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about the ones I didn’t get to try!  In particular the “spicy Thai” which is peanut butter, sriracha, fresh basil, curry and orange marmalade.

I thought about it so much that I decided I best just try and make one myself!

I mixed up all the ingredients together first ( except the fresh basil) and spread it on the bread, then added chiffonads of fresh basil.   Squeezed the sandwich together, slathered on some butter and on to the grill it went.

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Ironically I had just picked up some nice Sriracha sauce on the obligatory stop at Trader Joes.

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I did and it was SO delicious, I ate two of them!!   But don’t worry PB & Js, I won’t be selling them off my patio any time soon!

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First meal off the wagon

As promised, I didn’t run out and eat a steak!

Nor was I particularly interesting in one.

But I’ll admit that I did indulge in some animal product.

It was the Chef’s and I’s anniversary so we went out to celebrate with my favorite meal of the day!  Breakfast!

We went to a local swank hotel who’s restaurant windows look out over the ocean and the beautiful Olympic mountains.

Firstly, I had a wonderful cup of coffee with real cream, no soy lattes here!

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Then I ordered the smoked salmon “bennies” , with free range organic eggs and beautiful West coast salmon, which were of course delicious!

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The waitress asked the mandatory “Are you enjoying your breakfast?”

“More than you’ll ever know………” I replied which probably sounded just a little creepy, but it was an intense experience.

So how did I feel afterwards?

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Well to be honest, I felt a little woozy.

Was it because of the three cups of coffee?

Or my body freaking out from the super rich meal?

A little bit of guilt?  A little bit of fear?

But the overwhelming conclusion was that I have changed my attitude and that meals like this can be enjoyed as a treat and should not be taken for granted

Vegan Challenge – Week 3

This week was the hardest so far.

I think my biggest complaint about the Vegan diet is that it is a lot of WORK.

I realize that some Vegans are okay with Vegan “convenience food” but in my opinion, that kind of defeats the purpose of this experiment.  I am eating Vegan to see if it makes any health differences and therefore feel I need to eat “healthy”.  Cause let’s face it, French Fries ARE Vegan!!

So I just find that the preparation of meals seems to take a lot of “steps” and use and AWFUL lot of dishes!!

I don’t know how someone could possibly be a Vegan without a food processor??   I know I have used mine every day since the beginning of this experiment!!  There always seems to be something that needs whizzed up!!

I’m not really a big fan of the one taste / texture meal, like a big pot of stew for instance.  I would need to have stew, with something else and something else so that I can mix and match the flavours and textures on my plate.   There ARE exceptions of course, but as a general rule.

So that’s what I mean by Vegan preparations seem to make a lot of dishes.

Say a “quick” Mexican meal for instance.   There is a pot for the rice.  Then a another pan for say some cooked bean product.   Then if you are making salsa, chopping board, bowl, knife.  And then if you make your own tortillas, a mixing bowl, the tortilla flattener, the griddle.  And then some guacamole, yet another bowl……….you get the picture.

I also find that my energy has been low even though I have been sleeping better.  And I AM being very careful to do all of my combining to get enough protean but perhaps it is too much bread or gluten products?

I also have a skin condition that I was hoping eating clean would alleviate, but instead it has actually gotten worse than it has EVER been!

So what does that all mean?  I don’t know.

One week to go.  All I can think about is how NEXT Monday morning I will be having a BIG cup of real tea with cow milk!!

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I made some little Vegan pancakes this morning.

They turned out surprisingly well without any egg in them!  In fact, I’m of a mind to never use egg in my pancakes again after trying this!!

Get your griddle warmed up and then add together in a bowl:

  • 1 cup whole wheat ( or whatever you like) flour
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar ( or sweetener of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp baking powder ( this seems to be the key to the puffiness!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • a handful of wheat germ ( optional )
  • 1 cup almond milk ( or milk of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp neutral tasting oil

Add in all of the dry ingredients first and give a quick stir with a whisk to combine everything, then add the oil, then lastly the milk and keep whisking.

You want a nice, smooth, wet batter.  So add a little more milk if it is too stiff.

Spoon or ladle on dollops of batter on to the griddle and you are in business!

I topped them with some toasted pecans and fresh raspberries.

And some real maple syrup…….it’s only from a tree…..so it’s cool for Vegans right?

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Cranberry Glazed Sausage

I usually reserve these ones for special occasions.

Or at the very least, near holidays where cranberries are more appropriate!

But hey, why not live a little!!

Cranberry glazed sausage

Cranberry glazed sausage

It is terribly simple really and it was quite by accident that I ever made them.  I think I found myself with some overly dry sausage one Christmas morning and wanted moisten them up a little and the idea made sense.

Fry up a batch of your favorite breakfast sausage and then when they are as good as done, give them a generous splash of cranberry juice, or even the “cranberry cocktail” type stuff.  But I would advise against the jelly in a can type stuff.

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Bring the liquid to a boil and just keep stirring everything around until the liquid is almost evaporated and you are left with a sticky, tasty goo on your sausages.

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Okay, maybe “goo” isn’t the best word, but it is a little thicker than regular glaze.

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Serve with your favorite breakfast food…….like French toast maybe.

But I realized as I wrote  this that I see no real good reason to limit the idea to only breakfast sausage.   In fact I think this might work really well on turkey sausage for instance!!

Because it is cranberry and a little bit tart, it has a really nice balance and isn’t too sweet so it can work with other sweet or savory items!

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I don’t think you will be sorry.

Fancy Focaccia

I made a little batch of this over the holidays and found it to be a great little “tide you over” type snack.  Cause God forbid you should go hungry for any reason!

But sometimes you just find yourself in between “feasts” and need a little something.

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Start with a fairly straightforward bread recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil ( 2 tbsp in dough, 2 later)

Topping:

  • seedless grapes cut in half
  • rosemary

Combine water, sugar and yeast and let sit about 5 -10 minutes until the yeast starts to froth up.

Then if you like, mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add the wet stuff gradually.

But I’m really not a fan of dirtying too many things so I just do it all in the mix master machine.

I’m also not much of a “kneady” girl, so again, I let the machine do it.

After the yeast has frothed, add the salt and the oil, then turn on the machine and put the flour in about a cup at a time, stopping to add more and scrape down the sides.

Then with the dough hook, let it go until it forms a nice ball.

OR   do it all the traditional way of flouring a board and kneading it.

Then oil a bowl and drop the dough ball in, turning it over in the oil a bit so it won’t stick.

Then cover with a damp tea towel and put somewhere warm and draft free ( I usually put it in the turned off oven) for about 2 1/2 hours till it doubles in size.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Then,

Once that has happened, brush a 9 x 13 size dish or pan with some more olive oil and drop the ball of dough in the middle.   With your fingers, poke and stretch the dough till it covers the bottom of the pan.

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Then,

Arrange the grape halves as you please, all over the top the dough and then sprinkle with rosemary.

I didn’t on this occasion, but you could also sprinkle with some coarse salt.

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Then bung it in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, till golden brown.

Cool on a rack and serve!

It tastes wonderful with some nice Boursin Cheese spread on it!!

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Taking a break

Well after two weeks straight of practically every meal containing, cheese, cream, butter or sausage in one form or another, we decided that our first meal of 2013 needed to be something healthy.  To take a break from the overindulgence.

What could be nicer than a comforting, friendly bowl of hot oatmeal?

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No one says it has to be the boring bland porridge of childhood!

I laid out a selection of toppings to go along with it:

  • fresh blueberries
  • dried cranberries
  • brown sugar
  • hemp seeds
  • milk

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It was wonderfully fortifying and a nice rest for the digestive system!

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You can do WHAT with Eggnog?

To me, Eggnog is one of those things like Christmas Fruit cake.

It is kind of hit or miss as to who actually likes it, or admits to liking it.

But inevitably someone always brings some along and there you are with a jug of it in the fridge with one glass worth missing.

And if you are like me and the guilt of the “poor staving children” tape is playing in your head, you have a hard time pouring it down the sink.  Even when you know very well that no one in your house will be drinking it.

To be honest, MY biggest problem with Eggnog?   Well, it that the literal translation from French is “Chicken Milk”.  I don’t know about you, but that just puts me off somehow.

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So, what ELSE can you do with Eggnog?

Well this year I seemed to acquire “that” jug of it early this year.   So I decided to incorporate it into my baking and made some lovely mini cranberry and eggnog muffins for my holiday treats.

But what I was really impressed with was my Eggnog French Toast!

It really adds a whole new depth of flavour and makes the toast really light because it doesn’t seem to soak into the bread as readily and slog it down.

Basically take your favorite French Toast recipe and replace the milk, cream etc with eggnog!  Simple as that!

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I was very pleasantly surprised.

For the most part, you can replace eggnog in any recipe that calls for milk.

But let’s face it, this will make any recipe very rich.

So I would keep it to special occasions.

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Luckily you can only get “chicken milk” a few months of the year!!

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Galette

Or sometimes known as “pastry with stuff in it”.

Now I know that I have been on a gluten-free kick lately and by no means have I abandon it.  But I haven’t actually been diagnosed with any sort of condition that prevents me from partaking in gluten, I just notice that I feel a lot better when I don’t eat it.

But once in a while, there are some things that I think just might taste better when using wheat flour.

And as a friend pointed out to me, the more you DON’T eat gluten ( assuming you don’t have a real condition that forbids it) the less trouble it will give you when you only eat it once in a while.

So I just felt like making something a little rich.   The weather hasn’t been so nice lately so eating something comforting always help.

I’m calling it “Leek and blue cheese galette”.

Start with a batch of your favorite pastry recipe.   Now IF you can make it gluten-free and taste good….then all the power to you!!  But my pastry was made with whole wheat flour.   Make a batch and put it in the fridge to chill for at least half hour.

Meanwhile, get your filling going.

Mine was super simple, cause that’s what I had.   And that is the beauty of a galette, you can fill it with just about anything, savory or sweet.

So I sautéed up:

  • 1/2 super thinly sliced leek ( I would have used more but that’s all I had)
  • 2 -3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt & pepper

But then I realized there really wasn’t quite enough there so I chopped up a couple of brocoli florets and tossed them in too.

Set aside and wait for pastry to be cooled.

Chop up some blue cheese or whatever cheese you have and would like to use.

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When the pastry is chilled, divide into as many portions as galettes you will make, and then on a floured surface, roll out a nice round disk, maybe 8″ diameter.

Place it on a parchment covered tray (easier to fill on tray than try and move it later) and then put a generous mound of filling in the center, then top with cheese and then squash it all down a bit.   I also added a bit of Asiago cheese at the last minute.

Then just start turning the pastry in towards the middle, sort of folding it over itself.  It is okay to have some of the filling under the pastry, but most of it will be exposed.

Continue until the whole round is folded in.

Repeat with as many as you will be making.

Now I just forgot, but it is a good idea to brush the pastry with something, like a beaten egg or milk, just to help give it that nice shiny pastry look.  But no big deal it you forget.

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Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and pastry looks baked.

Serve as desired.

You could also make smaller ones as party snacks or appetizers.

I paired them with a nice little arugula salad with shaved Asiago and oil and lemon  dressing.

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My crazy arugula is still growing away out on the deck!!  I keep hacking it down and it just grows back!!  Let’s see if it lasts through the winter!!

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Savory Bread Pudding

Here’s another little gem you might want to enjoy over the holidays……..

I call it a “savory bread pudding” but I’m sure you could come up with other names for it.

Savory Bread Pudding

This could be used as a nice alternative to stuffing (dressing) if you are still looking for a bready side dish without all the turkey bother.  It does have dairy and eggs, but no turkey juice, so the vegetarians can eat this.

Here is what you will need:

  • aprox 3 cups of cubed bread of some kind
  • 1 onion or shallot finely diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms of your choice, sliced
  • 1 -2 cups of chopped baby spinach ( depending on how much you chop it)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ( or poultry spice if you have that)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of 1/2 & 1/2 cream ( or whipping cream if you are inclined)
  • few dashes of hot sauce
  • some cheese ( I used some good white cheddar and a little bit of blue and parmesan cause I had it)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a pan with butter or olive oil.

Then in a frying pan with a bit of butter or olive oil, saute the onion and mushrooms, then add the thyme or PS and the S&P.

Meanwhile, cube your bread into 1/4 or 1/2 inch cubes and add them to your greased pan.  Then add in your cooked onions and mushrooms and toss them all together.

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Then lay on a layer of spinach and a good handful or two of the cheddar cheese and then stir those into all the other stuff till everything is thoroughly mixed.

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Then is a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the cream and the hot sauce.

Then pour the eggs and cream all over the bread then kind of swirl it around to make sure everyone is getting a little of the creamy love!

Even squeeze the bread down into the cream a bit to make sure it is all getting a bit soaked.

Then finish with a few sprinkles of the other cheeses like some blue cheese and parmesan.

Pop into the hot oven for at least 1/2 hour and then have a look at it.  Giggle it a bit, if it is still too wabbly, put it back in for a few minutes.

Then you might want to put it under the broiler for a few minutes just to brown off the top.

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To be honest, I probably could have just eaten a big bowl of the stuff by itself.   But instead I used it as a side dish with a spicy sausage stuffed Portobello mushroom.

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But I definitely feel it is worthy of a holiday side dish!

Pumpkin Scones

I thought what with Thanksgiving rapidly approaching ( this weekend here in Canada but next month in the US) that I would re-run a favorite seasonal treat that I tried last year.

Pumpkin Scones

I see a version of these in my local grocery store every year and it always bothers me how expensive they are!   And they REALLY aren’t as good as these!

Givem a try and impress your people!

Pumpkin scones

 

Veggie Pie

Well here’s an easy one for you, a quick mid-week supper or a Sunday lunch!

As you may know, I’m a big fan of “clean out the fridge” dishes and this one is a perfect example of that.

You can pretty much use most vegetables that you would cook on this one.

Now when I say “cheated” with ready-made puff pastry……..I’m not really being that outrageous.  I mean I live with a professional Chef and even HE never makes puff pastry from scratch!!

So start with some store-bought puff pastry and roll it out as per manufacturers instructions.

Then cut it into manageable sizes.  Squares or like I have here, sort of round mini pizza sizes.

Roll up the edges slightly because you want to make the inside deep enough so stuff doesn’t run out.

Put on a baking sheet and bake in the oven ( see temp on pastry package)  for about 15 minutes.

Top with your vegetables of choice.

We happened to have some left over roasted squash, already sweet and smokie and perfect for this.

And some carmalized onions and some fresh asparagus.  Arrange them evenly all over the dough.

Then you are going to add:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt & pepper

Whipped up together and poured evenly over the vegetables, kind of like if you were making a very thin Quiche.

Finish with your favorite cheese.

Here we have a few knobs of my favorite goat cheese.

Bung them in the oven ( see pastry package for temp).

And bake until the pastry puffs up, the egg and cream set and  the cheese gets melty!

Serve with a side salad and you are in business!

Veggie pie

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Very Berry Cakes

I found myself with and abundance of berries.

I use them in smoothies and freeze them and all that but I feel that blackberries in particular kind of annoy me in a smoothie.  I find that the  seeds get caught in your teeth.

I was going to make some muffins but I didn’t have any baking cup liners and didn’t feel like greasing and cleaning and all that nonsense, so I just opted for some pancakes instead.

I always make my batters in the blender because then you can pour it easily into the frying pan.

So start with your favorite pancake recipe.  I use a lot of “groovy” stuff in mine to make them more nutritious, like oatmeal and chia and all that, but any batter will do.

Then add about 1/2 cup or more of black berries, or the berries of your choice.

The black berries make the cakes super purple, which in some circles is kinda cool.

While they are cooking on the first side, I gently add a few blue berries to each cake, that way they stay in one piece and don’t make the cakes double purple!

Keep the cooked ones warm until you are ready to serve.

I didn’t feel like the usual maple syrup so I added a dollop or two of my favorite lemon goat cheese and a few drizzles of honey.

Very Berry Cakes

Very nice way to start the day!

Blueberry Crumble Cake

The other day one of my fellow blogger friends at Frugal Feeding, posted this very enticing cake recipe.

What with blueberry season just around the corner, I thought why not try it out and be prepared!  Blueberries ARE a superfood after all!!

So I started with his original recipe  ( click here to check it out ).

Now I have to confess, that even though we use the metric system in Canada, I have no idea how much any of these measurements are.  Nor did I have the patience to look up the conversions so I just kind of “winged it”.

If you cook / bake a lot you will have a general idea of ratios of things and can get away with it.  But if you are serving it to other people and NEED it to be right……I suggest you look up the conversions if you don’t know them.

I followed everything as instructed.  The only differences and they are barely note worthy is that I added a bit of cinnamon and flax seeds to the “crumble” mixture        ( mostly cause I didn’t have quite enough oats).  And then instead of adding the blueberries to the “crumble” mixture, I added a layer of them to the top of the “cake” portion and then covered them with the “crumble” mixture.  And then tossed a few random berries on top for show.  This was mostly because I had a lot of blueberries to use up.

It turned out VERY tasty!  We nearly ate the whole thing!!

I am hoping there will be some left when I get home to enjoy with a lovely cup of tea!!

Thank you Frugal Feeding!!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Those of you who visit regularly or have been following along, know that I am a big fan of the savory pancake!

I just think that it makes such a more interesting side dish than plain ol rice or potato.  And I find them so particularly good when accompanied by a “saucy” dish because they suck up the juice and are so comforting.

The first ones were the KALE pancakes.   A particular favorite because I like to hide greens!

Then there were the Roasted Tomato pancakes, where was pretty much the kale pancakes with the addition of sweet roasted grape tomatoes.  Also a hit around here.

And then of course there was the Spinach Crepes stuffed with Mascarpone cheese which were just simply decadent.

This time I’ve made sweet potato pancakes.

Now I don’t want to argue with anyone, because there is much debate about which is which and this argument is perpetuated by restaurants who call “yam fries”  sweet potato fries!!

Just so we are straight:

  • YAM – big gnarly tuber with brown skin and dark orange flesh
  • Sweet Potato – looks very much like a yam only it has light ( almost yellow) skin and flesh

So I peeled, diced and boiled one large sweet potato.  Then drained it and mashed it like you would regular potatoes.  Only don’t add any of the butter and milk and what have you.

Although, if on the off chance, you ARE the kind of person who has left over mashed sweet potato in the fringe WITH all the butter and milk then those are perfectly fine to use.  I just didn’t want you to go to all the trouble.

In a blender add:

  • 2 cloves of garlic and or 2 green onions ( rough chopped)
  • mashed sweet potato once they have cooled.

Blend those together then add:

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (or whole wheat, spelt etc whatever you are into)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg (optional if eggs aren’t your thing)  just add 3 tsp of baking powder instead
  • 1 1/2 c. milk  ( I use almond but any milk will do)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Also feel free to add a little bit of  say ground cumin or chili flakes to zing it up a bit.

Then in a non-stick skillet or whatever your favorite pancake pan is, pour in dollops of batter, wait for the bubbles to appear then turn them over!

Keep the cooked ones warm in the oven until you are ready to serve.

We had them for our Sunday dinner with some roast and veg.

Yum-ee.

Something Simple

Do you ever crave something just so simple it seems silly??

I had just that craving for my lunch.

How simple was it?  Well let me tell you.

I took a slice of my favorite Dimpilmeier rye bread and lightly toasted it.

Then added a generous layer of Boursin garlic flavoured cheese, then a few slices of beautifully ripened tomato.

A few turns of the pepper mill, a little sprinkle of sea salt and I was in heaven!

Tomato and Boursin on rye

Easy Sunday moring breakfast

Sunday morning breakfast doesn’t always have to be elaborate.     It usually is at our house…….

But yesterday I decided on something simple, but So fulfilling.

Last Saturday afternoon I put on a batch of “Pot Bread to fester so it would be ready to bake Sunday morning.

This particular batch I made with orange zest, chopped almonds and cranberries.

Then when I got up I turned up the oven to 450 degrees, when it got up to temp I popped in my cast iron Dutch oven and let it heat for 30 minutes.

Then I put the dough into the pot and put it back in the over for about another 30 minutes or till it gets golden brown.

cranberry, lemon zest and almond bread

While the bread was baking I set out some toppings.

I started some lovely Salt Spring Island Goat cheese topped with lemon.  And then some plain un-salted sweet butter and some assorted jam.

And then just added a few extras and there you have it, one of the most delicious relaxed breakfasts you could have.

 

Green Drink

After watching that documentary  Hungry For Change I felt very motivated to get back on the health wagon.

Not that I had jumped completely off by any means…..but from time to time I drag my feet off the back of the wagon…..just a little.

So since watching that movie I have been hardcore back to juicing and the like.

One thing that keeps coming up and of which I have tried many times over the years but just haven’t been able to consistently choke down, is Spirulina!  ( click on each of the highlights to get a different bit of information )

Now PLEASE be assured, that Spirulina is in fact a SUPER FOOD!!   Just punch it into your search engine and you will see more than enough proof of the wonders if posesses!

The problem is, it smells bad.  It brings to mind the smell of old grass clippings, by the side of the road, that have been rained on, or worse.   The taste isn’t too much better, but I think that’s because you can smell it.  

Now in my reading about Spirulina most of the serious nutrition people say that it must be consumed straight.   As in just added to some water, stirred and drank.    But even though they say that the best way to consume Spirulina is in a glass of water, it doesn’t actually blend very well with the water at all and is gloppy and unappealing.  The Chef refers to it as “fish snot”.

While others say you can use it as part of a smoothie ( as in  HIDE IT!!! ) but there is evidence that it doesn’t work as well.

So what to do?  Use it infrequently because you can’t stand it or hide it in stuff but then not receive the full benefit??

It also comes in tablet form but I haven’t read up enough on that yet to decide what I think.

Click here  to watch one brave soul trying to convince us that it isn’t so bad!

So on this occasion I needed to make more of a smoothie type drink in order to get my daily fill.

Spirulina

Quite simple, in the Magic Bullet add:

  • 1 heaping tsp of Spriulina
  • 1 banana
  • enough almond milk to cover

Whiz it up.

Drink immediatly otherwise it will start to seperate.

I’m not gonna lie.  You can still kinda smell it in there, but the banana really helps.

I would welcome ANY suggestions on how to change my attitude about how to enjoy this product!

Chicken and Broccoli bake

I had a roommate long ago who used to make something like this.  It was very comforting and I often try to recreate it, but haven’t quite figured it out.

This version does the trick though.

I started with some frozen chicken breasts.   But don’t fret, we can use that to our advantage!

I popped them into a sauce pan with about 4 cups of water, give or take, with a shot of olive oil and about a table-spoon of “poultry seasoning” and a pinch of salt and then put them on to boil.

Meanwhile, I chopped up a nice size onion and browned it up in a bit of oil in a large skillet with a clove or two of chopped garlic.

When they were brown enough, I poured them into a good size casserole dish and spread them evenly on the bottom.

Then I fished the chicken breasts out of the boiling water ( which is now very much like chicken broth!) and popped them into the skillet with the onion flavours still lingering!

Brown the chicken breasts to give them a little colour and a lot more flavour.

While those are browning, wash and chop up a head of broccoli, in hind sight, I would have chopped it smaller than I did, but if you like bigger bits of brocoli feel free to chop them to  the size you like.  Spread them into the casserole over the onion.

I then added a few handfuls of fresh chopped parsley to help give it some colour.

Meanwhile back at the chicken……

As they browned up, I fished them out of the skillet one by one and sliced them into 2-3 bite size morsels then tossed them back in the skillet and repeated till all were cut.  Then I added about 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to zing it up a bit.

Meanwhile, add two cups of short grain brown rice to the casserole dish and toss everything together making sure everything, especially rice, is coated with any juices or flavours going on in there.

Then arrange  the chicken bits in the casserole in some sort of evenly distributed pattern.

Then get about four cups of the left over “chicken water”  ( thought we were just gonna waste it didn’t you??) and pour it all over everything, making sure that most of the stuff, at least all the rice anyway, is submerged.

I think my roommate used to use a can of “cream of something” type soup in hers and that’s what made it so much more creamy or saucyer than mine.  Feel free to experiment, but just make sure you have double the liquid to whatever the rice amount is.

Then cover tightly with tin foil and place into a 375 oven for at least 45 minutes.

After that time take it out and test the rice to see if it’s done.   If it is, sprinkle the top of everything with a good few handfuls of your favorite grated cheese.   I used smokey cheddar and then replace in the over UNCOVERED under the broiler and turn it up to 500 degrees and watch it closely.   It should only take about 5 minutes or less to melt and brown the cheese.

Your done!

Serve at will!

What’s good about this stuff is, it works well the next day as a work lunch, either re-heated ( but I don’t use micro waves) or at room temperature  it is just as good!

Chicken and Broccoli Bake

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