Posts tagged ‘recipes’

Carrot and apple breakfast cookies

IMG_3373Here is my attempt at a healthy(ish) breakfast cookie. As much as I love a sit down breakfast, it’s just not possible some days. I usually gravitate toward muffins for a grab-and-go breakfast, but lately they have felt too heavy, too crumbly, and sadly, sometimes even two minutes of warming in the toaster oven is not realistic/desirable mixed in with all the morning things that need doing. There is also something about coffee and cookies that I can’t get enough of – a small indulgence to start the day.

These batter for these cookies will look a little gooey – the carrots and apple provide a lot of moisture. The result, though, is a lovely texture: a cross between a gingerbread cake and an oatmeal raisin cookie, which is exactly what I was hoping for when I started experimenting.

Try them on the run with a piece of fruit, or pack them for a mid-day treat. Or make them on a Saturday, like I did, and enjoy eating cookies for breakfast.

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Carrot and apple breakfast cookies
Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 apple, finely chopped (I left the peel on for texture and colour)
1 carrot, grated

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter/coconut oil, brown sugar, molasses, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and stir into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake them for 12 to 14 minutes, taking them out when the edges are “done looking” edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. It’s a little tricky to tell because of the dark molasses colour – if they smell great and look almost done take them out (always better to undercook rather than overcook). Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

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February 6, 2016 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Corn chowder

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A recipe for all the beautiful corn available right now. I have dill, chives and jalepeno peppers growing in my garden so I used those to flavour the chowder, and I couldn’t resist garnishing with the pretty flowers starting to form on my dill plants.

Corn chowder
Serves 6

4 cobs of corn, cooked and cut from the cob (save the water you boil the corn in to use as broth in the soup)
6-8 new potatoes (about golf ball sized)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 can coconut milk
1 red pepper, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

In separate pots, boil the potatoes and corn until cooked. The potatoes should be a bit overcooked (you want them nice and soft for blending in the soup). The corn should be a bit undercooked to make sure it keeps a fresh taste to it when you heat it up in the soup. Save the corn water for blending into the soup – like a corn-flavoured broth.

Saute the onion, celery and carrots (I used the big pot the corn was in to save on washing). Add potatoes and half the corn. Puree the potato mixture in a blender using the corn water until it’s the consistency of a very thick soup. Add back into the pot and stir in coconut milk, red pepper, shallots, jalepeno and the remaining corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat until the soup is warmed through – about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the dill and chives just before serving. We ate ours for lunch with a slice of quiche.

July 30, 2015 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

Tomato and olive gnocchi

As you might remember, I recently tackled what I long felt was a daunting recipe: homemade gnocchi. I’ve made it three times now and as long as you can summon your patience it is easy to make these beautiful potatoey pillows.

Cooking is a huge source of relaxation to me and this recipe really fits with that. There is lots of meditative prep work to do preparing the dough, an endless array of choices for dressing the gnocchi and the satisfaction of sitting down to something special and handmade.

We had this olive and tomato gnocchi last weekend. We weren’t doing anything special, but it was Saturday and there is more time for cooking. We spent the day painting the main floor of our house (a beautiful robin’s egg blue) and puttering around outside in the garden (finally a warm weekend!). There is a celebratory feeling about both of those things, so I thought it was a good night for a special dinner.

Olives are a wonderful match with a simple tomato sauce, giving it a good zing of salty, tangy flavour.

Tomato and olive gnocchi
Serves 4 (at least)

1 recipe of homemade gnocchi
1 jar homemade tomato sauce
1/2 cup of pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
Grated parmesan, chili flakes and chopped fresh herbs to garnish

Doesn’t that sound easy and delicious? It is! I made the gnocchi from dough I had frozen in the freezer since I made more than we could eat the last time. This works perfectly fine, just defrost the dough thoroughly and use extra flour when you are making the little gnocchis.

March 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm 2 comments

Gnocchi with chanterelle mushroom sauce


We hosted a dinner party on New Year’s Eve and with that I decided to tackle a long held goal: to make homemade gnocchi. I consulted several recipe books for different variations on how to make the actual gnocchi pasta and landed on Mario Batali’s version, along with a sauce inspired by my affection for chanterelle mushrooms.

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January 2, 2012 at 11:34 pm 5 comments

Summer picnic


This is just past Charleson Park, along the seawall between the Cambie Bridge and Granville Island. It’s an easy 20 minute walk from our house, downhill on the way there, and uphill on the way back. We spent a good part of this past Sunday lounging there with egg salad sandwiches and lemonade and local cherries, happily folded into a summertime cliche. We walked through the docks, found a section of seawall beside this big, bright bed of cosmos, and spent an hour or so looking out into the bay watching the ducks, kayaks and sailboats cruise by and thinking why don’t we do this ALL THE TIME!?

Egg salad sandwiches
Makes 2 sandwiches

4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (here is how to make them)
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Arugula or lettuce leaves
4 slices of bread

Mix together eggs, celery, red pepper, chives, dill, paprika, mustard and mayo. Season with salt and pepper. Layer arugula or lettuce on the bread and top with egg salad. Don’t forget the lemonade!

August 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm 1 comment

Sour Cherries on Maynard Lane


I’ve just arrived home from a relaxing 10-day holiday on Prince Edward Island and it was so refreshing to be in such a simple place. My parents have a cottage near an area of PEI called Tyne Valley, a tiny place filled with small town charm. In their yard are several sour cherry trees that were ripe with berries when we arrived. You’ll see a lovely tractor in the photo above: it was there along with several others to help repair their bank, which was damaged in the winter storms. Not the most tranquil thing to have at the cottage, but it was helpful for cherry picking in the treetops.

I spent about an hour picking these cherries and my mom and I put in at least another hour pitting them (drinks in hand, of course). I made a sour cherry sauce that we enjoyed on my mom’s famous no-bake cheesecake and on ice cream. More cherries were picked when my uncles visited and they were transformed into an amazing sour cherry crisp. I think it is safe to say that sour cherry eating, in all its delicious forms, will become a new cottage tradition.

Sour cherry sauce
8 cups of pitted sour cherries (I’m sure cherries of any variety would also be good)
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Put cherries in a saucepan along with sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over low-medium heat for about 15 minutes until cherries come to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until cherries are tender and the juice is beginning to thicken. Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 2 tablespoons of water and stir into cherry mixture. Let simmer for 5 minutes until sauce thickens to desired consistency. If you find it to thin still, add mix another teaspoon of cornstarch with water and add to the sauce; if it is too thick, add a touch more water. Squeeze in the lemon juice at the end and store sauce in a jar until you’re ready to slather it on cheesecake, ice cream, biscuits, etc.

August 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm 2 comments

Roasted tomato and basil pesto pasta

Oven-roasted tomatoes are something I see all the time in cookbooks and on food blogs and I’ve been meaning to try them for awhile now. I think this dish would be amazing with the abundant, ripe tomatoes that are harvested garden-fresh in late summer and early fall, but for now this is a good way to use up those poor grocery store tomatoes that have been lingering too long in the fruit bowl.

Roasted tomato and basil pesto pasta
Makes 2 servings (double or triple for a bigger crowd)

3 cups of dried pasta
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons basil pesto*
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Fresh ground pepper and grated parmesan cheese

Combine tomatoes, pesto and garlic in a glass pie plate or other oven-safe dish. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 400F. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water. Drain the pasta and pull the tomatoes out of the oven. Stir the drained pasta into the tomato mixture and serve on plates. Sprinkle with fresh pepper and parmesan cheese and enjoy with a salad and red wine.

*I used store-bought pesto but should really try to make it myself someday. As a substitute for pesto, you can also try 3 tablespoons of olive oil plus a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped fresh herbs.

February 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm 4 comments

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