27 February 2014

Lentil Stew with Roasted Tomatoes and Spiced Almonds

Another brilliant showing by my friend, Nigel Slater ... this, a perfect stew for a cold, raw day when all you want to do is curl on the couch and let the stove and a heavy pot do the trick. The tomatoes are actually a riff on Diana Henry's roasted tomatoes sans bread crumbs and with Nigel's cinnamon-spiced almonds.

SB was skeptical when I told him that his stew was being topped with these sweet red beauties and cinnamon ("Cinnamon ?!?") toasted nuts. He ended up cleaning them up and backing down on his Yankee cynicism.

25 February 2014

Yes Virginia, Your Tagine Can Make Chicken and Dumplings!

Chicken and dumplings! My Mom used to make huge pans of this age-old country fave when I was a kid.
It was cheap, filling, and so damn full of country flavour that it's practically obscene. Mom was feeding a raft of kids.  SB and I are on our own these days. This recipe is dramatically downsized and the dumplings were jazzed up a bit.

The dumplings I made last evening were chock full of green herbs and grated cheese.  Boneless chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots (lots of carrots), onions, celery, and thick, goopy gravy! A convenient step up from Mom's in that there were no chicken bones to pick around, but just as cheap, just as good, and the skeleton of Mom's recipe is intact. Thanks Mom!

22 February 2014

Saturday Night Supper Courtesy of Nigel Slater

Tonight, it's all about the eggs and sausage ... I could have gone all fancy on you and made more meringues or lemon curd, or some other such fancy Brit sweet treat, but it's Saturday night and I've been busy all day. All I want is a warm, stick-to-my-ribs supper and I remembered a segment from Slater's webpage that he did on breakfast hash.

You can watch him at the link below or trust my version of the recipe as seen further on.

19 February 2014

Sunshine In A Cookie - Oatmeal Spelt Cookies with Pineapple, Coconut, and Cashews

Coconut, cashews, dried pineapple chunks ...all folded into an oatmeal cookie dough that is made with spelt flour. This, my latest effort to see if what I'm having problems with is highly processed all purpose flours. This, after having had a similar cookie at a vegetarian restaurant over the weekend made with spelt flour (with no reaction on my part after knoshing). Hmmm ... I plan to push the envelope on this one a bit and test the theory. That means I'll have more than one cookie ( read three)  in a serving and see if I have a reaction.

14 February 2014

Five Spice Chicken ...

This is a chicken for an easy dinner with an Asian feel ... splatchcocked with the skin loosened so that one can spoon an incredibly spicy marinade in between the breast, thigh, and leg meat and the skin. The chicken marinates for the afternoon (or four to six hours) and is then roasted on a bed of onions and garlic. This is a switch up on a Donna Hay recipe; she has one keep the salt and five spice powder aside from the marinade and have it as a sprinkling spice once the bird is roasted. I opted for the spices to be added to the marinade to really heighten the spiciness.

13 February 2014

Random Recipe and We Should Cocoa - Chocolate Rugelach

Soft and lighter than air with a dark chocolate crumbly filling, and a shiny sugar glaze  ... mmmmm!

SB needed a special something to take to a potluck dinner that he is attending this evening for his tree-hugger group. Wendy, the director of the home office requested something with chocolate. How fortuitous! Dom has told us that this month's Random Recipes is having a sweet collision with Choclette of We Should Cocoa. Sometimes the stars align.

12 February 2014

A Riff on Heidi's Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni ... Gluten Free and Good

Dang! This wintery cold makes me yearn for fresh garden greens and sunny days, but all we have these days is snow banks in the yard, the Olympic Games on TV, and comfort food in our bellies. The only bright green is the parsley topping this bowl of homemade 'hamburger helper' cheeseburger macaroni.

08 February 2014


When I was a young kid, I loved poking around the kitchen when my Mom was cooking. She had a real routine and a corner of the kitchen counter that was her work space, so I would often grab a chair and drag it over in front of the sink, climb up and watch her do her thing. Pie crusts were always one thing that intrigued me and sometimes Mom would sing a little ditty called 'Billy Boy'.

That song and the bit about making a cherry pie I credit with my urge to perfect pie crust technique. Of course, I've gone far beyond cherry pies over the years. In fact, next week, I will mark thirty-four years with my charming Billy, otherwise known as Silent Bob. So, in honor of tying the knot, I made us a lovely little Tortière for our dinner this evening.

07 February 2014

Mango Curry Dip and Vegetables

Ridiculously easy, lightened up with low-fat sour cream and olive oil based mayonnaise, gluten free snacking.

Can we all say amen?

This is a curried dip with a sweet touch. How fortunate did I feel that I happened to make small batch mango chutney last summer? Scored on this recipe ... but you have to be able to deal with a sweet curry. I took this batch to a Super Bowl party and some in the crowd just couldn't get past the sweet thing that goes on here.

05 February 2014

The Virtual Supper Club - A Romantic Movie Themed Dinner

One of my all-time favorite movie scenes goes way back to my childhood. Remember when Lady has her spaghetti dinner with Tramp after their day of dashing around town in Disney's animated classic called Lady and The Tramp ? That spaghetti kiss introduced me to romance when I was all of five years old. Ahhh!

03 February 2014

Dinner With The Recipe Club

A little light reading with cookies included ...

02 February 2014

Cooking With Nigel ...

February is here! Spring may still seem way' out there' for many of us, but the hope and dreaming that comes around at this time of year can always be counted on when the daylight hours begin to lengthen and the sun's warmth begins to increase just a bit in intensity.  I begin to think of Easter time and rebirth ... and fresh eggs for coloring and making into cheesecakes or omelettes or soft Easter cakes. Yup ... eggs!

So this month, I'm going to use some of Nigel Slater's egg recipes to inspire a departure from root vegetables and heavy stews and all that other winter time comfort food. If you'd like to join me, grab the Nigel badge (picture above), research some of his egg-based recipes and make one of them your own, post to your blog, and send me a quick comment here ... I'll collect your posts and do an end of the month round-up ...

I'm off to make a bit of a change up on Nigel's Hot Cross Bun Bread Pudding ... with an apple cherry cake that wouldn't come out of the Bundt pan and became chunk o' cake. Hopefully, the next incarnation will be as tasty as I think it should be ... does that make sense? I'm supposed to bring dessert to a Super Bowl Party this evening ... Apple and Cherry Cake Pudding with Whipped Cream coming right up! You can make Nigel's bread pudding into your own original with whatever leftover bread or cake you have floating around the house!

Check out Nigel's other egg recipes too!