Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cooking: Garlic Scape Pizza

How to make a simple, delicious, pizza, without leaving your house:

 Roll out your favourite pizza dough as thin as you can. 
 (Sometimes I have my own dough in the fridge. Sometimes, like today, I have a thawed batch from Calabria Bakery down the street. Sometimes I use a pizza stone, but sometimes, I just oil a sheet pan, and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Sometimes, I do a lot of things. Sometimes, I read a book all day and eat popcorn. But I digress...)

 Spread the dough with Garlic Scape Pesto, which you found in a little jar in your freezer, where you stashed a few last June when your garlic patch came to life. 

 Tear some whole, home-canned tomatoes into shreds with your hands and sprinkle them on top of the pesto. 

 Top with mozzarella from your fridge (especially yummy when homemade, which this was not) and a light grating of parmesan. Feta is also delish. 

 Tear up some thinly sliced back bacon from Sloping Hill Farm, and add it to half of the pizza, so you can offer your children a slice when they get home from school. You will be loved. 

 Drizzle a bit of olive oil, and a fine pinch of sea salt flakes. 

 450 degrees for 10 minutes, or until it is as crisp as you like it. Please bake on the bottom rack of your oven for the best crust results! 

 Dig in.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Baking: Pumpkin Waffles

These are a family favourite.

I always stock up on sugar pumpkins in the Fall and keep them in my cold room. Then I periodically roast a couple of them up, puree, and freeze in recipe-sized batches. Mainly in 3/4 cup amounts for this particular recipe! 

 If we have any in the house, we add a dollop of whipped cream on top of these waffles. That, along with dark grade maple syrup, makes these ultra-decadent. I can only ever eat one waffle. My kids eat 2, usually. Jay eats 3 or 4, sometimes more. It makes my stomach hurt, watching it! But oh, he is in heaven as he enjoys these! I think he confuses them with a stack of pancakes... 

 If he doesn't polish off the whole batch, they keep well, and I send them along as a school snack, cut in half diagonally and with a little container of maple syrup for dipping. I get extra love from the kids on those days.


Pumpkin Waffles

1 3/4 cups milk (I've also used almond with success)
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup lightly-packed brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then stir together. I usually whisk the whole thing smooth, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes while I preheat my pride and joy (my All-Clad waffle iron). 
Oil or spray your iron to prevent sticking.

Serve with real maple syrup (dark is delicious!) and, if you really want to kick it up a notch, a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.

makes approx. 12 waffles, depending on the size of your waffle iron.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celebrating: Valentine Simplicity

We're having dinner in the dining room tonight, ooh lala...

I tried to think of something "sexy" to do while with our children on Valentine's Day...it came to me suddenly...eat Greek, of course! 

 Greek food is sexy to me. 
(Maybe because lamb that is braised for hours, then served with lemon roasted potatoes and homemade tzatziki just makes us all moan with love and happiness?)

Enjoy this Happy Heart Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cooking: An Empty Recycling Box

On Sunday, we had the family over for dinner to celebrate Faire's Birthday. I made two huge pots of soup to keep it simple. The next morning, as I emptied the dishwasher, the top rack was full of clean mason jars. I added them to the top of the fridge, which is where I gather them until I take a bunch down to the cold room/canning supply storage area. 
What a difference. Years ago, a big pot of soup, or tomato sauce, or other one-pot meal would leave my recycling box overflowing with empty tin cans. Now it's empty, and the top of my fridge is cluttered with sparkling glass. I was able to feed 15 people with the contents of my cold room, along with some frozen beef from the farmer's market, the produce drawers in the bottom of my fridge, and the Mason jars in the cupboard, full of dried beans and lentils.

So very satisfying.

And that is one of the many reasons why you will find me in the kitchen, over a canning pot, many of the days in August, September and October.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Celebrating: A Decade!

A Party happened here.

It involved a disco ball.

And many giggling girls.

Faire turned TEN. This time, I really tried to Let Go. I went with the detailed list she started a month ago, with all the ideas she had for the party. I left my Martha-Stewart/Earthy-Mama meddling out of it. I bit my lip, and did as she asked, and...

It totally worked. 

Hmm, my ten year old seems to have a good idea what other girls her age would like to do...go figure.

We had a dance party in the evening, so there was no involved food prep, just a few snacks she asked for that were fairly easy to put together (and fairly healthy to boot!), and she didn't want cake, only ice cream sundaes, so once I snuck in some organic, homemade topping choices (made the day before), I was happy and she was happy.

Perhaps I should try to remember this next year.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Loving: What's Great About Today

Clear and sunny skies, making the mountain view from my front window just beautiful, even with power lines and not-so-lovely houses blocking the view.

Time with my nieces, one who is about to turn 13 (!!) and the other a wee 15 months old. Playing with toys my kids have long ago set aside for her.

Knitting projects galore to choose from, just have to make a decision...luckily I always have more than one on the go!

A hot cup of tea and the first module to absorb, from The Whole Kitchen Workshop.
So incredibly excited to start this journey.

Knitting: Ruche Beret and Brier Toque

I'm knitting my way through Weekend Hats. Not officially, but there are just so many patterns I love in it, I know this is going to get a lot of use.

I needed a red hat so I whipped up the Ruche Beret for myself out of Blue Sky Suri Merino. Love. A bit big for Isla, my hat model, but I don't like self-portraits of myself in hats. You get the idea.

The Brier Toque, which I had to knit, mainly because I love the name. Used a ball of MiniMochi, so awesome! Love the colours! Wasn't sure who this was for (I like to hoard hats for myself) but alas, Shea tried it on, and it looks so good on him, that I have bestowed it upon him. He couldn't care less about hats, unfortunately, but I'm the one who has to look at him, so I am happy in this case! Faire also wore it two days straight when feeling under the weather, and it looked great on her too.

Hmm, which pattern next? This book will be a great stash-buster!

Thursday, February 2, 2012