Good things to eat

Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

Blueberry “Glosettes”

I was just surprised to find out that “Glosette” is an exclusive Canadian brand of confectionary!  Who knew!  I thought that Cadbury made them, but apparently Hersey bought them in 1987 from Nabisco so I wasn’t even close!

Basically a glosette is bit of dried fruit or nut dipped in some glossy chocolate.

So over the holidays I had a young visitor who for health reasons is not supposed to eat much sugar.  I didn’t want him to feel left out while everyone else was pounding back the sugar cookies and shortbread, so I tried to make him some healthy items so he would feel like part of the gang.

One thing I came up with was to make my own blueberry glosettes.   It was a bit labour intensive, but worth it in the long run.

I also made up some of these :  CLICK HERE

But for the glosettes I had to first dry out the blueberries!

Out came the trusty Excalibur dehydrator which really hadn’t been getting it’s fair share of use lately.

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Start by thoroughly washing and picking over your blueberries, discarding any dodgy ones.   And then I put them into a clean tea towel and  try to dry them the best you can.

Then onto the dehydrator try and in they go.

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If you don’t have a dehydrator……..and I understand that many people don’t!  You can just put them on a parchment covered baking sheet and pop them in the oven on super low.  Like 200 degrees if you aren’t trying to make them “raw”.

Which ever method you use, leave them until they resemble raisins.

Once they are done, let them cool to room temperature.

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Meanwhile, in a double boiler, melt some good quality dark chocolate.  I used the 70% cacao bars.

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Melt the chocolate until it is just runny enough but still quite viscous.

Toss in your blueberry raisins , coating well, working quickly.

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Now I’m sure at the Hershey factory they have some sort of fancy conveyor belt thing that makes them come out perfectly round, but at home you have to make due.

I tried letting them harden on a fresh sheet of parchment but will admit they came out flat on one side.

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Or I tried putting them on a baking cooling rack with small squares, that seemed to work better, but it was a bit of work getting them off.

Perhaps you might have an even better idea of how to cool them and keep their shape??

Which ever the case, once they hardened they were a delicious, NOT so sugary treat!!

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The Gift Everyone Loves

I know that it might seem a bit cliche but the best gifts really do come from the heart!

They don’t have to cost a lot.

So making someone some holiday treats made with love, in my books is always a winner!

This year I was going to be seeing a number of people so I made a bunch of big batches of a bunch of stuff and then personalized a tin or a basket for each person.

I even made a big batch of  mini Energy Balls because no one really had to know that they were actually healthy and that the only sweetness in them was from dates!

I made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies ( any favorite recipe will do ) but added some orange zest and a teaspoon or two of fresh orange juice to jazz em up a little.

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I made sweet and spicy nuts which are also teetering on healthy.

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Then there was the peanut and chocolate “bark”.

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And finally the cranberry and egg nog mini muffins!

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But that’s just what I did.  Any combo of little treats stuffed in a decorative container will bring happiness to those who receive them!

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Happy Holidays!!

Energy balls or holiday treats?

My friend and I had been out on a full day of serious shopping but knew we had a very special dinner to look forward to, so didn’t want to fill up on pesky lunch!

We were at the health food store when she spied some “energy balls” in the display counter and insisted that we get some.

I’ll admit, they were some tasty energy balls and certainly did tide us over till dinner, but it always gets my goat when these places charge so much for something so simple to make.

So here I will reveal the secret to energy balls!

The key ingredient here is dates!  You must have dates and then everything else can just be whatever you have available.

Start with about 10 dried dates, cover them with boiling water and then let sit for about 10 minutes till they soften up, drain and then put into the food processor.

Grind those up first and alone, because those are what everything else will stick to.

Then, in no particular order, into the processor add:

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cut hazel nuts

etc etc etc

You could add pretty much any nut or seed, even hemp seeds, or dried cranberries whatever small dried thing of that nature that you might have.

Whiz those all up until it resembles a fine meal texture.

Then if you like, add chocolate chips or carob or something like that and then give the processor  a few more pulses till they are mixed in but not pulverized like everything else.

Then on to a parchment covered tray………

I always use gloves for this kind of thing because I really hate sticky on my fingers!

Carefully roll the mixture into a ball, the size is your discretion.   It you are going to use them as a serious energy ball for after work outs or that kind of thing, you could make them golf ball size.

If you want them as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea as I tend to use them you will want them smaller “meat ball” size.

And then if you want to use them as a holiday treat to trick your friends and family into eating something healthy……then just make them small homemade truffle type size.

Then once you choose your size……roll each ball and then either leave as is or you can then roll them in some additional delicious thing like dried coconut or like what I have done with these, sesame seeds or just plain coco powder.

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Place them on the tray and then put in the freezer for about half an hour before serving/eating.

Once they have set, you can put them in an airtight container and put them back in the freezer where they will last a good few weeks.  Just give them about 10 minutes out before eating.

Or put them in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy often.

Or pack them up in decorative tins and give them away!

They are a very versatile little thing…..oh and they DO actually give you a boost of energy!!

Enjoy.

Oh and PS depending on what you put in them, they are vegan and RAW.

Road side surprise

This past weekend the Chef and I headed “up island”  ( that’s what they call pretty much anywhere that isn’t Victoria, or more North than where ever you happened to live on the island!) to do a little family visiting.

We usually only make one stop on the way, to get gas at the place where it is always cheaper and to get a coffee at Tim Hortons  ( for my non Canadian friends, that is an essential part of Canadian culture!).   But due to timing and what have you, we found ourself needing to stop for a meal of some sort.

We didn’t want to venture too far off the highway and lose too much time, so we pulled over into a strip mall in the city of Nanaimo.  There were a few choices that seem to have sprouted up in most mall parking lots across the land, but we settled on a place called “Original Joe’s“.

I have seen one in a local mall parking lot, but it had never come up for us to have a chance to try it.

We were very pleasantly surprised.  We were expecting your typical parking lot style family restaurant or roadhouse type thing but it was much more inviting.

They had a simple, but nice menu and we both very much enjoyed our choices!

The Chef is very partial to a place called J & L Drive-IN in Port Alberni.  He loves it cause you can get a hot dog ON your hamburger!!

So imagine his delight when he found a similar product at Original Joe’s!!  Only this one came with a fancy sausage of some kind and two delicious sides, garlic roasted mash potato, topped with crispy onions and a tasty Caesar salad.

Big burger

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I got the fish tacos, a dish I have recently become quite fond of and these ones did NOT disappoint.  Full of fresh toppings and a nice side salad.  I was very pleased.

Fish tacos

And then the Chef ordered something called “chocolate therapy”.  It was an ooy gooy moulton chocolate cake type thing with chocolate and caramel sauce and whipped cream.  I tried to take a picture but it didn’t work so well….too  decedant for even the camera!!

“Chocolate Therapy”

So if you find yourself in need of a bite and you see an Original Joe’s, give it a try.

My Valentines

I know that many of you have expressed envy over the fact that I have a Chef around the house.

And although there are MANY perks to this, there are also a few hazards, like the high risk to your waistline and the fact that there ALWAYS seems to be a lot of dishes!

But on this past Valentines Day this year, I was once again treated to a lovely meal!

Actually it started with a very nice breakfast, simple but effective.

Eggs, cooked inside slices of red pepper that looked very much like heart shapes, on toast, with a bit of cheese.  I couldn’t have been happier!

Heart shaped eggs

Who knows what I had for lunch?  Probably nothing, knowing I would be coming home to a feast.  And a feast it was.

For weeks I have been nagging the Chef to try out something I saw on someone else’s blog.  The other blogger had taken goat cheese, rolled it into balls, breaded them and then deep fried them and then tossed them in hot sauce.  Exactly like you might do with chicken wings!

The Chef, not liking to be outdone, took it up a notch!

Instead of just goat cheese, he used shredded chicken and blue cheese!  So these balls were even closer to a chicken wing!   But then we just dipped ours in hot sauce instead of having them completely covered in them.   

Very tasty! 

Chicken & blue cheese balls

Then we moved on to the “Party Snack Sampler”.  I am a big fan of party snacks so to start with a few to whet my whistle, was very nice.

Tapenade topped goat cheese, hummus and pita. 

And my favorite little Spanakopita!

Spanikopita

Next was a simple salad of bundles of baby greens wrapped in finely sliced cucumber with a nice sun-dried tomato and balsamic dressing.

Then the main event.  asparagus filled ravioli on a mound of puree of sweet roasted butternut squash, topped with brown butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Asparagus ravioli with butternut squash and brown butter

Finally, for dessert, the triple header chocolate delight!!

Home made chocolate pudding, topped with grated chocolate infused whipped cream and a shard of Lindt 70% dark chocolate bar!  

Chocolate Triple Header

Doesn’t get much better than THAT!

I am a lucky girl.

New Years Eve in Seattle

We pulled into Seattle in late afternoon and went straight to the hotel.

We were staying at the Hyatt Olive 8, a shiny new state of the art eco-friendly “green” hotel in downtown Seattle.  We choose the Olive 8 not only for the whole green thing, but also because we would be having dinner in the restaurant downstairs.

Urbane

“The menus at Urbane change frequently to reflect the seasonality of local ingredients including fish and shellfish native to the Pacific Northwest. Says Chef Lopez, “Preparations are traditional and simple allowing ingredients to complement each other without compromising how the food was intended to taste.” Chef Lopez selects the finest fresh foods from celebrated local Seattle resources that include:

  • Beecher’s Cheeses
  • Uli’s Sausage from Pike Place Market
  • Produce from Willie Green Farms
  • Salumi Artesian Cured Meats from Pioneer Square.
A commitment to local, organic ingredients doesn’t limit Chef Lopez’s range of creativity in the culinary arts. True to our regional focus, the wine menu at Urbane exclusively showcases fine Pacific Northwest wines. Enjoy tantalizing regional specialties at our Seattle downtown restaurant, such as:
 
  • Walla Walla’s Thundering Hooves’ pasture-finished bone-in Rib-eye
  • Pan-seared wild Arctic Char served with Butternut Squash Hash
  • Tempting desserts include Toffee Pudding topped with ice cream infused with Mount Rainier honey”

We made sure our reservation was late enough because we wanted to be able to stay up for midnight!  We’re old now so it’s hard to last that long!!

After a quick run around of the big downtown department stores ( we live in Victoria so getting a chance to be in the big city is a real thrill for me!) before they shut down for the big holiday, we went back to the room to rest up a little before dinner.

Finally it was time to go downstairs for dinner.  There also happened to be a big New Years Eve party going on in the ballroom at our hotel, so the place was just teeming with people all dressed up…..with somewhere to go!

We were shown to our table that was perfectly located right next to the window so we could watch all the action outside while we ate.  And imagine our surprise, when at the very table next to us, was the former Mayor of Vancouver, BC, Sam Sullivan, there enjoying New Years Eve dinner with some people!

Originally we thought we were going to have to order off the set menu that they had shown for the evening on-line.  But much to our delight, we were allowed to choose off the fixed menu or the regular dinner menu.

We both started with a salad. 

The Chef got:

caesar | grilled romaine | bacon | croutons |

While I got:

roasted beets | quillisascut blue | pistachios | greens |

Both were very nice.  Then for our main courses…..

The Chef got:

lavender seared duck breast|  cherry sauce | apple fennel salad | lentils |

And I ordered:

steelhead salmon| spaetzle | kale | browned butter |

Mine was SO good.  I’m not a fan of duck so I didn’t try the Chef’s dinner but he was very pleased with his too.

It was New Years Eve so we HAD to order some dessert.   This time we ordered off the special NYE menu and got:

 chocolate trio| frozen mousse | stout gingerbread | white chocolate cherry bar |

Ah what a meal, definitely worthy of a celebration like New Years!

Somewhere during our meal, from our window seat, we noticed a lot of sudden action outside.  Fire trucks and ambulances and a gaggle of police on bicycles all appeared and sped around the corner.  We didn’t think too much of it, not wanting to look like small towners, I mean we have both lived in big cities before……..

After our wonderful dinner we went back upstairs to rest for a few minutes before we got changed and bundled up to walk down to the Space Needle where there was a big midnight celebration and fireworks display.  We turned the TV news on for a few minutes, to see how celebrations were going around the world and imagine our surprise to see footage from outside our hotel!!   Seems there was shooting RIGHT outside our hotel, just around the corner!!!  Seems that’s what all the hubbub during dinner was!   How exciting!   How I miss the big city!

We got bundled up, although I have to admit it wasn’t actually that cold out and headed down in the elevator.  We stopped on a few floors and picked up many revellers who were already in quite “festive” states.  

You know girls….if you are gonna get that drunk…..you really should re-think the wardrobe choices before hand.  Perhaps some lower heels and dresses that don’t hike up dangerously when you fall over……just a suggestion.

So we walked over to the Space Needle with the thousands of other people just in time for midnight.

It was quite a spectacular display and it was really fun to be in the streets with all kinds of people that we don’t even know! 

A fine way to wrap up a very enjoyable trip!  Tomorrow we would head home!

Space Needle Seattle

New Years Eve celebration in Seattle

 
 
 

Fireworks over the Space Needle in Seattle

 
 
 
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Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Getting back to those people who have trouble eating certain things

I was “clicking around” and found this recipe for a raw, gluten-free, dairy free, egg free chocolate cake!

I happened to have a lot of the ingredients kickin around and wanted something different so I thought I’d give it a try.  I’ll admit that I didn’t have high expectations for this, I thought it would turn out like a lot of those other “healthy” things and taste like saw dust.  BOY was I wrong.  This stuff is awesome!

(Click here )  for original recipe that I started with.

The only changes I made was to add some raw almonds with the hazelnuts, only because I didn’t have enough hazelnuts and I used agave syrup instead of maple, again because I didn’t have enough maple.

The avocado “icing” is soooo creamy delicious!!  Even The Chef didn’t know it was good for him!!  He had three portions!!

I mean don’t fool yourself, it is NOT sugar free!  But at least you are getting your sugar from natural sources and nuts and avocado are full of “good fats”.

This was really great.

Raw hazelnut chocolate cake

Lamb curry

To eat or not to eat?  We can go off on a whole debate about whether or not it is appropriate to eat meat or more specifically lamb but we’re all grown ups and you are free to choose whatever it is your are comfortable doing.

My “holistic philosophy” is to try and put the best things for you into your body.  Be that from a nutritional, ethical, spiritual or otherwise point of view.

We are blessed with some very fine lamb in these parts, they lived on nice farms and were ethically cared for so I feel fine that they did this for me.

There, Sunday sermon over.

This recipe is based on a recipe I watched a nice lady on the Food Network make.   Her show is called “Spice Goddess” and her name is Bal Arneson.  Her show is about making Indian food look easy.  So I thought I’d give her recipe called “Once a Month Lamb Curry” a try.

Now as I am always trying to emphasize here, you “do the best you can with what you’ve got”!  You don’t always have to follow a recipe to the T for it to turn out great, especially with things like soups and stews and sometimes things can turn out even better than it was supposed to.

If you don’t happen to have the exact ingredient, then use something similar or something completely different!  It’s OKAY!

Now obviously if you have important dinner guests that you need to impress trying some crazy new thing might not be the best approach, but when you are just trying to please yourself and have a creative time…….do as you will!!

So let’s start the curry, it takes a couple of hours to cook so if I keep talkin it won’t get done!

You will need the trusty Dutch oven.  Get it on the stove and get it heated up.

Ingredients called for:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder ( I didn’t have shoulder so I used de-boned leg)
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil ( I used olive)
  • 1 red onion chopped ( I only had “plain old yellow”)
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh garlic ( I used five cloves chopped)
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger ( I used about a 2 inch hunk chopped)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds ( I only had ground cumin)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala  ( I had that!)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste ( I used a whole of one of those small cans)
  • 1 green chile finely minced ( I used one of those thin red ones, but chili flakes would do too)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (WHAT??  Hey whatever, it’s chocolate, I’m cool with that!)
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes ( I used four Roma tomatoes)
  • 1 red pepper seeded and chopped ( I had a small orange one kickin around too so I had both)
  • 1 cup red wine ( Okay.  I feel bad wasting wine in food but sometimes you gotta sacrifice!)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Extra water as needed

 

 

So it’s a bit of a shopping list of stuff to do but on a Sunday morning I find it therapeutic to chop things.

May I suggest you do all of your chopping first before you get started.  I didn’t and felt quite rushed as things were called for!

Start by mixing the flour, coriander, salt and pepper in a bowl.  

Then chop lamb into bite size cubes ( leave a little fat on but not too much) and then toss into the flour mixture and toss till coated.

Add oil to Dutch oven and when heated add lamb bits a few at a time so they aren’t crowded and give them a tap over the flour bowl before they go to the pot to get off excess flour.

Brown on all sides ( don’t crowd as they say) and then transfer to a different dish while the rest gets browned.  Keep doing this till they are all browned.

Meanwhile back in the pot……

Add the onion, garlic and ginger and stir till they get a nice colour on them.  Then add cumin, garam masala, tomato paste, chile and chocolate chips stir well.  Then into the pot goes chopped tomato, red pepper, browned meat and red wine.

Stir all that in with another pinch of S&P and if you need to add a little water, now is a good time.

Put the lid on and turn down to a medium low heat, like #3 on my stove, and let the magic do it’s thing for about 2 hours.

So that’s where I am with it.  

I will let you know how it turns out!

Peanut butter chocolate banana bread

Sometimes you just gotta take things up a notch!

I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and was looking for a treat.  I had some bananas on their last legs and was just gonna make some plain ol banana bread but then things got a little out of hand.

I started with a regular recipe ( click above or use your favorite recipe) but then when the batter is complete,  I added about three heaping table spoons of peanut butter.  I used the natural kind by any will do.  Mix it in thoroughly.

Then at the VERY end I tossed in some chocolate.  Large chocolate chips would work best but I only had one of those heirloom blocks of chocolate from the freezer.  Doesn’t everyone have one of those?  It was bought on special or for some Christmas baking that never happened?

We always had one in the freezer that I think my Grandmother won on a trip to the Hershey factory one year.  We had it for years!

But oddly, all you have to do is take it out and get a big knife and hack some of it off and then chop it up!

Toss it in the batter but only give it a quick little mix so it will keep it’s shape.

Bake as usual.

Peanut butter chocolate banana bread

Let it cool and slice it up and try it with a little regular cream cheese instead of butter.  This will definitely pick up your mood.  Or make a great weekend breakfast with a nice cup of tea.

Peanut butter chocolate banana bread with cream cheese

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Skinny milkshake

What with summer upon us, who doesn’t like a good milkshake from time to time?  But there is a hefty calorie price tag attached with all the fat and sugar.

Well here’s a version that will save you a bundle!

You have to plan ahead a little.

Start by peeling a few bananas and put them into an air tight container and toss them in the freezer till they are good and frozen.  ( results may vary by freezer!)

Meanwhile, you need to get your hands on something called “Chia”. (click here to read about Chia)  Yes chia just like a chia pet that you see on TV.  It is a funky little seed that is FULL of goodness that looks like of like poppy seeds, small and black.   But what’s great is the way it reacts when you get it wet.  When you soak it for a little bit in liquid, it goops right up.  Stand by to see why that’s a good thing.

So get yourself some chia.  You can buy it in any health food store and now even in most reputable bulk stores.  Buy it in bulk first, if you can, to try it out.  Then if you like it, you can buy a real bag worth of it.

So back to our skinny milkshake.

Get out your blender.

Put in about 2 tbsp of chia and about two cups of the “milk” of your choice.

Here is where it can get “skinny”.  You can use anything from skim milk to whole OR the non dairy milk of your choice, like almond, hemp, rice etc.  OR if you make the “milk” yourself, like live almond milk, this whole drink can become a “raw” item.

At this point you are gonna want to let the milk and the chia sit quietly for about 10 minutes to let the chia goop up.  Now this is a great thing, because instead of the full fat ice cream which usually gives a milk shake that thick deliciousness, the chia will do this for you.  Only instead of unwanted saturated fat, you are getting protein and omega 3’s!!

Next, you can add your flavouring.  If you don’t mind or are okay with sugar you can add chocolate syrup.  But if sugar is your enemy ( and let’s face it sugar is NOT our friend) then you can add plain ol coco powder.

Or you can add a combo of coco powder and the “healthier” sweetener of your choice like agave or stevia.  Or you could use something like strawberries or blueberries if you prefer a fruitier drink.

Whiz this stuff up for a bit.

Then last but not least add in your frozen bananas which will add both sweetness and substitute the coldness of ice cream.

Whiz it all up until it is well mixed and enjoy!!

Beet Brownies!

WHAT?

I know that’s what you’re thinking.  But please, let me explain.

I had just got home, it was raining, I hadn’t done groceries for a bit and frankly didn’t feel like going out again.  Trouble was, I was jonesin for some kind of afternoon, chocolatey treat.  What to do?

I didn’t have any butter, or milk and I only had one egg.   But I did have some flour and chocolate, it was a dilemma.

But then I saw some golden beets sitting on the table that I was going to juice but……..

So here’s what happened.

First I peeled and grated up three mediumish golden beets.

Then I popped them into the mixmaster with the paddle attachment.  Then added:

  • 1 egg
  • Juice of 1/2 of a sweet orange

Start beater and mix these ingredients thoroughly.  Then add:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp coco powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Keep mixing.

I would have used chocolate chips here but all I had was a big ol block of baking chocolate that was in the freezer, so in desperation, I took it out and shaved off about 1/4 cup worth with a big knife.

Keep mixing.

And then last but not least about 1/2 cup of flour.   Maybe a little more depending on how juicy the beets are.

Mix it all till you have a nice gooey batter.

Grease ( I didn’t have any butter so I used olive oil but butter would be better!) a baking dish and pour in the batter.

Bake in a 350 oven until it looks nice and firm and the old tooth pick coming out of the centre trick works.

You are gonna be SO surprised!!

I mean…..people make carrot cake and love it don’t they??  So why not beet brownies??

Lunch at the Point

The Menu

Luckily the lunch menu is short and sweet so we got down to it.    I ordered the “Crispy confit of Cowichan Valley chicken leg with almond and kale potato pave with mixed greens and apricot cider vinaigrette  quite a mouthful indeed.  Cowichan Valley is a location on the East side of the island well know for growing wonderful chicken, among other delicacies.

My dining partner got the “ Marinated grilled breast of chicken sandwich with house buttermilk ranch dressing and Swiss cheese on a home-baked bun”.   I have to admit that mine sounded a lot more entertaining but no need to show off.

The service was prompt and pleasant even though the place was jam-packed!

But at least you had the view while you waited.  Every table even has binoculars so you can look for whales and eagles and the like.

Binoculars on every table

I have been to this place before, years ago, for afternoon high tea and as we sat there the sun began to set and the view was just stunning, truly magical.  But I don’t think they do the afternoon tea anymore because they close for the afternoon at 3:30 PM.

Then came the food.

Marinated grilled chicken sandwich

A very fresh looking dish and by all reports, nice and tastey……….but still……just a sandwich.

And my dish.

Crispy chicken confit with potato pave

So what exactly IS a pave you ask?  Well, seems it is sort of like scalloped potatoes.  Very thinly sliced potatoes layered with some other item, in this case kale, alternately like lasagna, then stock is added and then topped with a heavy item like a baking sheet or pan with a brick in it to squish it all down, so when it cooks it is very compacted.  Then removed from the oven and cut into portions.  So that is the pale square thing on the plate.  It was delicious and creamy tasting, even though there was no cream in sight!

My resident Chef tells me that paves can and are often actuallydessert items.  The French translation of pave is “paving stone”.  So basicly a pave is a layered item in the shape of a square.

As for the confit, I was expecting something different.  I didn’t think it would come still on the bone, I thought it would be more of a shredded chicken item on top of the greens.  This  was good too, but I’m not a fan of picking around chicken legs.  I’d rather not know about unsavory bits in the middle.

My general comment is that it was very tasty and satisfying and a perfect size for lunch.  But still with a little room for dessert.

The view

We laboured over the dessert menu.  There weren’t that many items but we both wanted the same thing, which seems so boring but if it’s good……what are you supposed to do?  You don’t want to be the person getting the second choice item.  I’m not really a dessert person and tried to suggest a “sharing” scenario, but often I can’t be trusted and end up having more than my promised “two bites”.

So we went for it.

Chocolate torte

This baby is a “Chocolate torte with banana bread icing and brown butter ice cream“!

It’s so beautiful I’ll give you the top view too.

Chocolate torte top view

Well let’s just say, it’s lucky we each got our own because there would have been hurt feelings trying to split this puppy!

With our bellies full and our spirits soaring from the spectacular view we left content and headed out for a “digestive” walk on the beach!

Walking off lunch

A day well spent

Wednesday Pick Me Up

Middle of the week.  Feeling a little blah, looking for a treat?  Well I’ve got one for you!

Chocolate chocolate chip cookies!!

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Get yourself some quality chocolate, about 1/2 cup,  my favorite is Lindt 70% coco or some good baking chocolate and chop it up into fairly small pieces so it will melt quickly and evenly.

Make yourself a double boiler by placing a bowl over a pot of water that is on a very slow boil, add the chocolate and let it melt down.

Melting Chocolate

Once the chocolate has melted to a velvety cream, take it off the heat.

Meanwhile, in the mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together:

  • 1 stick ( or 1/4 of a pound) of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup regular white sugar

Cream butter with sugar

When those are mostly mixed add in:

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • melted chocolate

In a separate bowl whisk together:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp coco powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Then add dry mixture to the creamy ingredients and mix well.

Cookie dough

Once it is well mixed, add 1/2 cup of good quality chocolate chips and stir in with spoon, don’t use the mixer.

Next get your favorite ice cream scooper and you’re ready to make your cookies.

Cookie dough in ice cream scoop

Place the scoops onto the tray. 

At this point you can either put them in the oven OR put them in the freezer, where you can freeze them, then bag them up to bake at a later time…….for emergencies!

Cookie dough ready to bake or freeze

Bake for about 10 minutes, keeping a close eye so they don’t burn.  Even though because they are such a dark chocolatey colour you can get away with them being  just a little over done…..but they taste much better when they aren’t!

Baked cookies

 

This recipe makes 12 serious cookies.  But you could use a smaller scoop or just a spoon and make more reasonable cookies that will go further…….but why bother really?

Chocolate chocolate chip cookies!

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