Sunday, January 30, 2011

Veggie-Friendly Dinner

Creamless Cream of Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Cauliflower Fritters

This was a completely unintentional veggie meal. I haven't made this soup in a few years and I finally had a bunch of broccoli to use up. I saw the fritters recipe a while ago and have wanted to make them. I happened to have a head of broccoli and a head of cauliflower in the was fate. They were a perfect match.

The broccoli soup is so easy. Just simmer the stems of the broccoli in some stalk (I used Chicken) with some onions, garlic and a few grated potatoes. Once everything has softened add any desired seasonings (I use nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper) and puree with an immersion blender. When its time to eat just heat it up and add some sharp cheddar cheese and the reserved broccoli florets. The potatoes give it a really creamy texture without the added fat of milk or cream.

The cauliflower fritters were awesome but ALOT heavier than we were expecting. I served up 3 each but we could only eat 2. I had a bunch of batter left over and made a few more for lunch.

All in all this was a totally successful meal, which is good because we have lots leftover.

Drum Roll Please....

After two long months my Christmas present from Clutterbuck has finally arrived. We picked it up on Saturday morning and I immediately put it to work!

Please allow me to introduce to you my brand new boysenberry KitchenAid Mixer.

I asked Clutterbuck what he'd like as the first item mixed with the new mixer. He decided on Carrot Cake. This is yet another thing I wouldn't have touched with a ten foot pole up until recently. The title is such an oxymoron. Carrot = healthy = gross....Cake = not healthy = yummy. I've since been able to revise that equation in my head. Carrot Cake = yummy sweet goodness!

I did do my best to "health" it up as best I could. I cut the sugar in half, used whole wheat flour and subbed in unsweetened apple sauce in place of the oil. The cream cheese icing on the other hand...not much I can do about butter, cream cheese and 3 cups of icing sugar.

It was DE-licious!!! So moist and flavourful and ridiculously easy to execute with the help of the mixer.

I also used silicone cake pans to bake it. I was a little hesitant because my oven is so temperamental, a new type of pan just adds to the variables that impact success, but they worked beautifully. I've also learned to put whatever I'm cooking on the rack above the center rack, put a small baking sheet on the bottom rack to deflect some of the heat and if I'm cooking something that I really don't want to dry out I put a small oven safe dish with water on the baking pan (I didn't need to do that for this cake). Ugh....what I would give for a gas convection oven...just sayin'

Friday, January 14, 2011

Have another look...

at the picture of my homemade marshmallows....see the ears? You'll giggle when you see them. I did!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Banana Lemon Muffins

I made these on the weekend in mini muffin tins. I had 4 over-ripe banana sitting on the counter and couldn't bring myself to throw them away (or eat them). Considering the fact that I'm not too keen on muffins or banana bread these were actually quite good.

Also, only 3 points which is a bonus.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pasta with Wild Mushrooms and Baby Spinach

This was FANTASTIC! I will definitely be making this again and SOON.

I bought some dried porcini mushrooms and re-hydrated them in some chicken stock. While they were soaking I sauteed some finely chopped onions, garlic, fresh button mushrooms and cherry tomatoes in some garlic oil. I chopped up the now re-hydrated porcinis and threw them into the mix.

Once it was all heated through I added the porcini/chicken liquid and a little cornstarch to the pan and let it simmer until thickened.

I served it over some fresh fettuccine and baby spinach. The fresh pasta soaked up the sauce beautifully and the heat of it all wilted the spinach just enough.

This dish reminds me so much of something I have ordered (more than once) in a restaurant, but for the life of me, I can't think of where.

I will for sure be making this again.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I had nothing to do with this...

We were invited over to a friends house for one final holiday celebration and the food was so fantastic it had to be documented and shared.

We were all prepared for a late night so we planned a multi-course meal that lasted all night. We had so much food we actually ended up passing on the main course (Chicken Mole). The menu was as follows:

Antipasto Platter

Brown Sugar Smokies & Roast Tomato Tart (both made by yours truly)

Onion Bisque - No was so good I forgot to snap a pic.

Winter Greek Salad

Cheese and Port

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Great Times!!!

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

Need I say more?