SPINACH!

I love spinach!  To me, it’s my ice cream, cake, candy….a little butter, vinegar and a dash of salt on cooked fresh spinach is the ultimate night time snack.  I mean it.  This is the harvest from my garden, I just brought it in, washed it and it’s ready to go.  I love vegetables where the sun is still in them when they come to my kitchen.  Yes.  Live is good.

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White Asparagus…in the freezer!

White asparagus freezes exceptionally well.  As long as you don’t blanch it!  Just wash it, peel it, chop the ends off in small pieces (save those for soup), put them in a freezer bag, remove the air and deep freeze!  Cook your asparagus from frozen and it’s almost if not as good as when picked fresh!  I love having it handy for my favourite recipes and soup especially on those days where you just can’t decide what to have for supper.  The peeling is all done, so it’s easy and special at the same time.  Yum!

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I Cheated.

When someone gives you a gift, wrapped in a pretty box, sets it in front of you, tells you not to peek and leaves the room…do you peek?  I’m a peeker.  I admit it.  My potatoes in the garden are growing so well, but I worried that I was getting all growth on the top and nothing on the bottom.  I could not stand not knowing any longer…so I dug up one of the young plants…and there they were, in all their glory….the plant was loaded.  Pictured is the harvest from this one plant and there were numerous buds yet to come.  These potatoes are small, the size of a quarter to dime and oh so tender.  I am going to boil this tiny bounty, smother them in butter, salt and pepper….and……want….more.  LOL but I won’t.  I want to be eating my own potatoes from most of the winter and if I give in now, the cupboard will be bare when the snow flies.

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Get your meat face on!

Today the kids are coming for supper.  Hope the men in my life have their ‘meat face on’!  Going to do a butter rub after it reaches room temperature, then I’ll sear it in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes then shut it all down and let it ‘roast in it’s own juices’.  OH happy days! 

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Butter Curry Sauce

 

This was an experiment.  I wanted something different to go on our meatballs.  I know Peter loves a good curry sauce, so I came up with this.  It was excellent and I’m so happy with the results, Peter really enjoyed it as did Martin.  I have to put it to print before I forget what I did:

The sauce:

In a medium sauce pan, melt 1/2 cup of butter.

Whisk in 1 tbsp of powdered curry.

Slowly whisk in 1.5 tbsp of all purpose flour into the butter & curry, making a smooth paste.  Slowly whisk in 1.5 cups of milk.  Heat to almost boiling.  Whisk in another 1.5 tbsp of all purpose flour. Continue to heat and whisk until it starts to thicken.  Add 1 tsp of salt.  Whisk in another 1 cup of milk.  Add more flour if you find you like it thicker or less if you prefer thin.  Add more salt to taste or less if you prefer.  We had this on meatballs, but I think it would be wonderful on chicken as well.  Win, win.

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The Elusive French Bread.

Finally.  This is attempt #2 to create a nice, crispy French Bread.  My first attempt saw a yeast failure that was so discouraging that it has been several months since I tried it.  But, now as you can see the bread is lovely.  If anyone wants the recipe, let me know and I’ll happily post. 

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At work, experimenting with quinoa flour.

This is my first attempt at using quinoa flour in bread.  This is my whole wheat, flax bread.  I substituted one cup of regular whole wheat with 1 cup of quinoa.  As I had read, the quinoa does make a heavier bread and the yeast didn’t rise as it normally does.  The quinoa loaves are quite small.  The flavour is okay, not changed much from the regular bread.  All in all, it will be good to occasionally make this bread, using less ‘starch’ and ‘more protein’ that quinoa provides.  In the fist picture this is my work station, actually this is the white bread dough, I did the whole wheat with quinoa right after this one.  You can see in the second picture that the bread is moister, denser and the third picture shows how much small the loaf with quinoa is. 

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Okay, White Asparagus Ecstasy recipe in one post!

Okay, it’s painfully obvious that I don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing yet, but I am working on it when time permits.  I’ve posted a couple of pictures of my signature dish, ‘White Asparagus Ecstasy’ but somehow can’t get more than one picture to post at a time in one post and I ended up with too many ‘new’ posts for one topic.  Okay, here is the recipe in whole:

Peel & cook 24 nice thick white asparagus spears.  Cool on a dish.  Set aside.

The Sauce:

3 cups of freshly grated extra old white cheddar cheese
1.5 cups of whole milk, or to make it even richer go wild and use 1 cup of whole milk and .5 cups of heavy cream
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of butter
1 heaping tbsp of white flour
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all but the flour in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for two minutes, remove, whisk. Mix flour with a little milk until a smooth paste is made. Whisk into the cheese mix. Set aside.

Break off the leaves of 3 heads of Belgian Endive (we grow that too!) and line a 9X13 inch baking dish with leaves.

You need 8 nice big slices of black forest ham.  Roll three spears of prepared white asparagus in one slice of ham and fasten with a toothpick.  Continue until all the asparagus and ham are used up.  Line these up on the Belgian Endive leaves.

Pour sauce over the bundles of ham and asparagus.

Crumble 12 saltine crackers over top.

Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!