Waffle + syrup... obviously

Lavender Chocolate Poppy Sour Cream Waffles with Dark Berry Syrup!

Hiya!

I love messing around with typical breakfast carbs: muffins, pancakes, crepes, waffles, scones.. you get the picture.

Sometimes having a plain-Jane recipe is just what you want… simple and delightful. But sometimes making the same ole same ole over and over again gets boring for the home cook and you wanna mix it up a bit. I myself am not a huge breakfast-carb person (other than hash browns. I could personally eat the world’s hashbrown supply happily with Srirachup) … but kids love them!

Plus feeding kids is tricky business! Soooooo if you say there are rainbow sprinkles and chocolate chips for breakfast they are gonna eat it aren’t they! It’s a little bit of benevolent manipulation which on occasion is okay I think! Plus kids gotta be kids right? Rainbow sprinkles are kind of a right of passage.

Only you know that you put it in such small amounts that they will literally get like 3 chocolate chips and a 5 sprinkles total… It’s an illusion that pleases all.

Meanwhile you are using spelt flour and blending a bunch of berries into the syrup so as to lower the over all sugar in the recipe. You are adding in an extra yolk for more protein and tossing in seeds and whatever you feel like to boost the nutritional value. Crushed blanched almond slices are easy to hide too and taste great!

Anyway you can basically take any basic carb recipe and twist and turn it into something special and yes a little weird based on how you feel that morning.

I drank a large strawberry cream black tea with honey and milk while whipping this up and it was looooovely.

Oh  yeah… I took this recipe: Original Inspiration and reworked it!

I halved the amounts ’cause it was just for myself and two lil dudes.

Made three waffles.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup 3.5% milk (or almond milk would suffice)
  • 1/2 cup  FULL FAT (14%) sour cream 
  • 1 tsp vinegar (optional – something light like rice vinegar) ** makes it more buttermilky
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • 1 1/2-2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (optional)

Mix wet stuff together in a bowl. Cool. 

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 + t tbsp cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch himalayan salt
  • 1tsp ground dried lavender (use spice grinder or mortal & pestle)
  • Dash rainbow pearls (optional – or rainbow sprinkles)
  • Dash poppy seeds 
  • Small handful of dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • Other hidden goodies you can add in little dashes: crushed almond slices, hemp hearts, chia, ground flax… whatever you have kicking around in the tree of pan.

    To Cook:

    Dollop approx 1/2 cup batter into heated waffle iron and cook to desired doneness. My current iron doesn’t have different heat options so I did mine for 4 minutes which turned out pretty well.

Berry Syrup:

  • Approx 1 cup frozen berries of choice (I had a mixed bag of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries) – I think blueberries and blackberries would be best for this but whatever you got will work!
  • Approx 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • Dab butter 

Cook berries with a little butter til softened. Add a drizzle of syrup. Cook to bubbling til fruit breaks down. Cool a bit and blend til smooth. Be careful this stuff is hot! If it splashes the burn wouldn’t be pleasant. Keep small children out of the kitchen as it can splatter!!! 

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    To Serve:

Top waffles with syrup! You could add fresh berries, crushed toasted nuts, a sprig of lavender to make it fancy, some whipped cream… what have you – go nuts! 

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    Dry ingredients

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    Berries, butter, syrup….

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    Dry mixed with wet, whisked til only just combined!

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    Pureed berry syrup cooling… dang it’s hot!

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    Waffle + syrup… obviously

EAT ME!!!

Singapore Noodles with Prawns & BBQ Pork!!!! (Can make VEG with TOFU)

Long time no post!

Anyway I am back for a little bit….before I delve back into trying new recipes and figuring out some new awesomeness.

I have been trying to perfect Singapore Noodles for a long time. I think I have made it about half a dozen times and never been happy with it. TIL NOW!!
What made all the difference. Finding a great recipe as a jumping off point + finding the right curry powder!!!! (THE ONE by Flying Swallow contains: clove, fennel, cinnamon, turmeric and is bright yellow)

Also having patience and cooking all the elements individually instead of trying to do a one pot stop dealio. It simply won’t work for this dish. I mean, you CAN use one pot….er WOK….(or very large/deep sauce pan), but you have to cook this meal in steps and then combine at the end.

I adapted the following recipe to my own preferences. You can see my changes marked with (*). As well I rearranged the order of ingredients because I found the original to be very confusing. So it makes more sense to me as per my instructions. But feel free to follow the original. I also doubled up on the sauce and added more bell peppers and took out the snow peas. I found in previous versions that they don’t really work flavour-wise in my opinion😉 But do whatever you like best!! Plus I just like to add extra veggies so it’s a one dish meal. No need for sides. You have everything you need right here!

Serious EATS Singapore Noodles 

 

 

  • Olive oil (as needed)

Use as needed

  • 1 bundle dried rice vermicelli 

Soak in bowl of cold water til soft, drain, set aside

  • 4* cloves garlic, choppped
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp* fish sauce
  • 2-3 tsp* dark soy sauce ( I like Kimlan)
  • 2 tsp sake*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (I didn’t have any on hand this time so just threw in some fresh cracked rainbow pepper)
  • 1 tsp coconut palm* or brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder (bright yellow Chinese style curry powder works best, I have tried Indian curry powders and they don’t have quite the right ratio of spices to make this dish taste like Singapore noodles) + more curry powder to dash on at the end!!!
  • 2-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

 

Put ingredients for sauce in a bowl, set aside

  • 1/4 red or sweet onion sliced 

Pan fry in olive oil til golden, set aside

  • 2 eggs, whisked with a dash of Himalayan or good sea salt

Cook in hot oil as per scrambled eggs, set aside

  • 12 tiger prawns (deveined, shelled, rinsed under cold water and pat dry) – you can use more if you like. We just have kids that don’t like prawns so I used enough for two adults.
  • BBQ pork (I used about 5 slices and diced them)

Stir fry prawns in hot oil and when almost done add in the pork for another minute or so, set aside.

****For vegetarians, you can sub tofu and/or veggie “ham”/”bacon” as your protein

  • 1/2 red bell pepper,julienned
  • 1/2 yellow* bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 green* bell pepper, julienned
  • 1* large carrot, julienned
  • 1 jalepeno*, deseeded, choppped
  • 4* scallions, sliced thinly
  • Mung bean sprouts*, soaked, drained, spun or pat dry

Stir fry veggies in hot oil til just cooked but still firm…. leave the bean sprouts til the end or even wait til you are doing the final step of combining everything together!

FINALE:

Fry the vermicelli noodles in hot oil for a few minutes. Toss the onions, eggs, veggies, proteins back in and stir in with noodles. Pour on the curry sauce. Add the bean sprouts (if you waited to do so!) Add dashes more curry powder and move noodles and everything around til all combined and even in colour.

Serve in a bowl with chop sticks and adjust to your taste! 

I like even more flavour so I opted for:

  • More dark soy sauce
  • Drizzles of Sriracha

 

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    Peppers, carrots, scallions….
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    Pre soaked vermicelli, scrambled egg and sautteed onion….
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    Singapore style curry sauce…
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    BBQ pork and organic tiger prawns….
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    Stir fried veg!
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    Combined and divine…
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    EAT ME!!!
Before the pea shoots (so  you can see the other bits)

Saganaki Greek Wrap w/ Garlic Yogurt and Lemon Dressing!

This wrap is my new favourite lunch. However I think I am going to adapt it into a salad as well because I love it so much and want to eat more of it but I don’t want to eat two tortillas LOL. I am thinking toasted pita chips in lieu of a traditional salad crouton a la Fattoush Salad.

Anyway seriously this is soooo good. I may try it with Halloumi as well and play around with other veggies for alternate versions. But man it is so simple yet so freaking good.

*** To make vegan sub pan fried or baked tofu sprinkled with nutritonal yeast and faux cheeze type product, or simply a chunk of favorite faux cheeze, and vegan plain fauxgurt style product. Easy!

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla wraps OR/ Pita of choice
  • Chick peas (cooked from dry tastes best!)
  • English cucumber slices
  • Yellow pepper slices 
  • Red onion diced
  • Saganaki Cheese pan fried in olive oil til golden brown crispy and chewy!!!! DROOL
  • Pea shoots

Garlic Yogurt: (yup the name pretty much says it all)

  • Plain yogurt
  • Finely chopped garlic
  • Salt & pepper

Mix stuff together in a bowl. 

Lemon Dressing: 

  • Lemon juice (fresh)
  • Olive oil
  • Finely chopped garlic
  • Salt & pepper

Ahem. Mix stuff together in a bowl. 

Warm tortilla wrap or pita… 

Top with hot saganaki cheese, next chick peas. Then your fresh veggies to the side a little so the hot cheese doesn’t make them go funny. 

Drizzle garlic yogurt and lemon dressing. Top with pea shoots. 

To make it a salad: put everything (except wrap) on some greens of choice. Top with toasted pita chips or simply serve with warmed pita bread on the side. 

I WANT. 

 

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Before the pea shoots (so you can see the other bits)

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With pea shoots!

Dawgs baked off and melty and crunchy and mmmmmm

Veggie Dogs: Pizza and Chili-Cheese! (Great for using leftover red sauce or chili!)

So you wanna eat something kinda bad. Well you can make it less bad by making a veggie version. What looks like stomach ache-inducing madness, actually comes off rather light…err… feeling – perhaps not so much “lite” in the calorie department. But hey if you are eating cheese slathered carbs you can’t rrrrrreally be counting calories can you?😉 Enjoy yourself.

Ingredients for Pizza Dogs:

  • French Rolls or quality hot dog buns or other bun-type-carb-object that is fluffy inside and crisp-ish out.
  • Veggie Dogs (I use the Jumbo Yves version)
  • Marinara heated and reduced til thickened OR/ favourite pizza sauce (home made is always best if you can be bothered!) *** basic red sauce recipe below!
  • Finely diced yellow bell pepper (can use any colour you prefer)
  • Finely chopped crimini mushrooms
  • Finely diced red onion
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh or freeze dried basil 
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Olive oil for pan “grilling” the hot dogs

Optional add ons:  red pepper flakes, additional cheeses, olives…basically any pizza toppings that would taste okay with a hot dog!

Preheat oven to 350F or so. Heat up a frying pan with a little drizzle of oil. 

Prep hot dogs by taking a small sharp knife and cutting cross hatch marks on them to create a waffle like effect on all sides. 

Cook weiners in the hot oil on one side til getting browned crispy bits. Turn and cook on all sides til golden-brown marks all over (we are simulating grill flavour!). Note: veggie dogs tend to stick more than meaty ones so use a metal flipper to really get underneath them and avoid sticking. You can avoid this by gently shaking the pan with them in the oil as they cook.

Meanwhile prep you bell pepper, mushrooms, onions and cheese. 

If using a marinara or pasta sauce you will want to heat it to reduce some of the liquid until it’s a thicker consistency. If using pizza sauce you can feel free to use it cold. 

Line baking pan with parchment (the melted cheese is a pain to clean later and well if you use parchment it won’t stick and you can munch on all the crispy cheesey morsels – they are tasty!)

Slice buns/rolls down the top centre. If using pre cut buns then pace them along the seam so the opening is on the top. French rolls hold up better to all the toppings so I highly recommend using a sturdy roll rather than a traditional hot dog bun.

Put a jumbo dog in each bun. Top with peppers/mushrooms/onions. Top with pizza/red sauce. Top with cheese. Sprinkle with basil and pepper. 

Bake in the oven til the cheese is fully melted and getting some golden brown spots. I can’t recall the exact time so check after 7-10 minutes and see where you are at!

NOTE: If you made too many they actually keep really well for the next day. Just wrap in foil and reheat in the oven til warm and melty again.

Red Sauce for Pizza:

Roma tomatoes, red or sweet onion, many cloves of garlic, good salt, fresh cracked pepper, olive oil, fresh or freeze dried basil, fresh or dried oregano. 

Boil salted water. Drop tomatoes in for a couple minutes. Transfer to bowl of ice water. Drain in colander. Peel skins off. Cut out the circle-bit where the stem was… Does that have a name? Probably.

Dice.

Meanwhile you are sauteeing diced onions in olive oil in a pan til golden and soft. Then you are tossing in some finely chopped garlic. Then your tomatoes, salt, pepper, herbs… Cook til tomatoes full break down and become saucy. Reduce to thicken if too watery. You can add a small dollop of red pepper jelly to cut the acidity if you desire. Blend with a hand blender once cooled til a smooth consistency. I like a smooth sauce for pizza. And as far as seasoning amounts just taste and adjust. I like a herby pizza sauce. But some may like it more mellow and tomatoey. Up to you! Drizzle in some extra olive oil at the end. Especially if you have  nice one!

Ingredients for Chili-Cheese Dogs with Guac:

  • French Rolls or quality hot dog buns or other bun-type-carb-object that is fluffy inside and crisp-ish out.
  • Veggie Dogs (I use the Jumbo Yves version)
  • Vegetarian Chili (homemade is best of course but if feeling lazy use Amy’s Organic Vegetarian Chili) * I usually add in some hot sauce and red pepper jelly to amp it up a bit. And like with the pizza dog… I tend to heat the chili up for a while to reduce some of the liquid and thicken it up a bit. Makes for a less messy dog.
  • Finely diced red onion
  • Finely diced bell pepper of choice
  • Finely diced fresh jalepeno OR/ pickled slices (optional)
  • Oaxaca, Monterey Jack or White Cheddar shredded
  • Good quality chili powder and/or taco spice mix
  • Guacamole (homemade always!) OR/ slices of avocado
  • Olive oil for pan “grilling” the hot dogs

Preheat oven to 350F or so. Heat up a frying pan with a little drizzle of oil. 

Prep hot dogs by taking a small sharp knife an cutting cross hatch marks on them to create a waffle like effect. 

Cook weiners in the hot oil on one side til getting browned crispy bits. Turn and cook on all sides til golden-brown marks all over (we are simulating grill flavour!)

Meanwhile prep the bell pepper, jalepenos, onions and cheese. 

Heat chili to reduce some liquid. Line baking pan with parchment. Slice buns/rolls down the top centre.

Put a jumbo dog in each bun. Top with peppers/onions. Top with chili. Top with cheese. Sprinkle with chili powder/taco spice. 

Bake in the oven til the cheese is fully melted and getting some golden brown spots. 

Top with guacamole. 

Serve with Avocado Lime Jalepeno Caesar Salad (stay tuned for that recipe!)

 

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 Baked off and melty and crunchy and mmmmmm

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PIZZA DOG LUV! WOOF!

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And the vegetarian chili-cheese version. Basically an excuse to eat more GUAC!

Rose petals, pink Himalayan salt up in the dry mixture!

Strawberry Rose Petal Pancakes!!!!!!!!! (w/ vegan ***substitutions)

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Diced fresh strawberries (placed on paper towel to drain excess moisture)

Extra butter for cooking.

How To:

Preheat pan to medium. Melt the butter. 

Put vinegar into milk. Let sit while getting dry mix together (it will become thick don’t be alarmed – basically homemade buttermilk). Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. 

Once milk is soured add in egg + egg yolk, vanilla, rose water, almond extract, and melted butter. Whisk to combine. 

Add wet to dry and mix until just mixed. Don’t over do it or the pancakes will be tough. 

Dollop out small portions into preheated pan (the residual butter from melting some for the batter will suffice for first batch – add a  bit more for additional batches). Usually 3 small pancakes will work depending on size of pan. Leave at least an inch of room between as the batter will spread. Sprinkle on some strawberries. Cook in pan with butter til bubbles form. Flip. Cook til Side B is golden. 
Serve with REAL maple syrup. No need for extra butter they have butter in them and are cooked in butter!

NOTE: Sorry I don’t have a pic of the final product plated because we were in a rush getting ready for the boys art class and we scarfed those cakes o’ pan in a flash! 

Alterations:

***To make vegan  you can sub almond milk, coconut oil, and chia egg. 

Additional Toppings:

Crushed pistachios or toasted almonds, honey & rose water whipped cream or honey sweetened cream cheese, fresh strawberries. Sometimes I will also heat up the maple syrup in a small sauce pot and melt/whisk a dollop of strawberry jam into it. YUM. 

 

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Rose petals, pink Himalayan salt and coconut palm sugar up in the dry spelt mixture!

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Diced fresh strawberries losing some of their excess moisture.

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Pancakes making your whole house smell amazing and your neighbours jelly!

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Breakfast Burrito: Chorizo & Cuban Blackbeans (with Veg alterations)

I LOVE BREAKFAST! In particular: breakfast sammiches (yes sandwiches) and burritos have a special place in my heart because you can eat them on-the-go!

I have tried just having a smoothie or granola for breakfast countless times but then I usually end up eating a gigantic lunch and dinner because I get sooooooo hungry! Whenever I eat a high fat high protein breakfast it keeps me going all day! And so long as you  have some fibre and veggies and/or legumes all up in there – well, then,  it’s good in my books!

Ingredients:

  • Good quality Tortillas covered in foil and warmed in oven (I love the ones by Indian Life which have a nice chewy texture)
  • Homemade or good quality pre-made Cuban Black Beans .
  • Oaxaca Cheese shredded (can sub Monterey jack but it won’t be as amazing)
  • Fresh Chorizo Sausages*cooked (40 minutes on med/low with a drizzle of olive oil in pan. Then slice in half carefully so you don’t get sprayed with hot fat… and brown the inside to make sure cooked all the way through and to get a nice crispy edge)
  • Plain Omelette** (eggs whisked with salt & pepper cooked in butter or olive oil til set)
  • Seasoned pan fried or oven roasted Hash Browns (fresh or frozen is fine, but if using frozen try to find a brand that has a few ingredients as possible aka just potatoes!) Seasoned can mean: salt & pepper or paprika & garlic  or oregano & onion… whatever floats your boatato.

* To make vegetarian sub avocado and/or sauteed poblano peppers for the sausage. Or vegan chorizo-style faux sausage. 

** Further, to make vegan sub baked or pan fried tofu for the omelette. Or simply leave out. And sub vegan cheeze for the Oaxaca or simply leave out and add more veggies!

How To:

Cook everything and wrap up in tortillas burrito style. Serve with hot sauce and sour cream and whatever else you feel like!

YUM!

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All up in the oven with vodka cream sauce and Asiago. Yup more cheese!

Baked Spelt Crespelle Stuffed with Trios of Greens & Cheeses in Vodka Sauce!


So this one is kind of like cannelloni, except that it’s not.

I first tried this dish in England while visiting family. I was so confused by it because I ordered a dish that was written in Italian and didn’t exactly know what I was ordering. It seemed like cannelloni but the texture of the “pasta” tubes was like a crepe…I could swear it was a crepe… Well later when I learned the word crespelle… I realized that it indeed was a crepe. YUM! Who knew? I simply must delve more into authentic Italian cuisine. I know so little. I mean I can make a mean Bolognese, I can make a wicked braised Italian Stew on polenta or gnocchi and I can make great eggplant pizza drizzled in Balsamic reduction and sprinkled with red pepper flakes… But that said.. I have a lot to learn.

Anyway I made this a couple times before I deemed it worth of posting… and I think it’s pretty darn good now… so here ya go!

Green & White Filling:

  • Fresh baby spinach (bag, clamshell or bunch)
  • Fresh baby kale (bag or clamshell, or finely chopped de-stemmed bunch of regular kale)
  • Fresh baby chard (same as kale)
  • Butter
  • Garlic (lots)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Wilt washed greens in butter with chopped garlic til softened… season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a collander over a bowl to drain excess liquid and cool down while prepping other ingredients.

  • Ricotta (large tub)
  • Mozzarella grated (large chunk)
  • White wine
  • Heavy whipping cream

Once the greens have cooled and drained (press down with some paper towel if you feel like they are still too moist) mix in the cheeses. Drizzle in a bit of white wine and cream and combine til beautiful. Put in fridge til needed.

Crespelle:

  • 1  cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon good salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • Dash good salt
  • Sprinkle freeze dried or fresh chopped basil (don’t use dehydrated basil it won’t taste the same)
  • Butter and olive oil for frying

Preheat a pan to medium heat.

Mix dry ingredients, then add wet, whisk til smooth. Don’t over mix though!

Cook crespelle in butter and oil. Small amount of batter swirled around pan til a thin circle is created. Cook til set, gently push edges, sashay flipper under, flip and cook side B til golden. They are basically, or literally, Italian crepes.

Cook, stack, repeat.

Vodka Sauce:

I cheated this time around and used Mario Batali’s Alla Vodka Sauce since it is made with proper ingredients and heck when you are making a bunch of crespelle it helps to skip a step!

But feel free to make your own! I usually make my own sauces but with so many delicious things happening here, honestly you won’t notice!

If I was to make my own I would probably start with this recipe from Serious Eats because they are one of my go-to sites for food guidance and inspiration. So if you wanna go whole-sauce… then try this Vodka Cream Sauce and then make it your own!

When I get around to making my own I shall update y’all.

Putting It Together and Then Baking It… and Then Eating It:

Preheat oven to 375F ish.

Take a crespelle. Dollop a thick line of Green & White Filling. Roll like a rolled taco. Put into a baking dish.

Do this until the dish is full. Then take another baking dish… and fill that one.

Top with Vodka Sauce.

Top that with grated Asiago or Parmesan.

Bake for maybe 25-35 minutes. Basically you want it all warm and melty. When it smells done and looks done. It’s done.

Serve with salad if you want. But honestly there are so many veggies happening here, I wouldn’t fell guilty just eating it as is. Plus with the spelt flour… you won’t feel so heavy and dense after! Bonus!

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Fresh spinach, chard, baby kale, garlic and butter… draining out excess liquid.

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Crespelle batter!

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Making the spelt crespelle.

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Ricotta-mozzarella-white wine-awesomeness mixture about to get wrapped!

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All up in the oven with vodka cream sauce and Asiago. Yup more cheese!

Forgive the lack of a proper plated picture, Again was so hangry I dug right in! Serve with some Balsamic reduction and red pepper flakes if inclined. I am! Oh and drink the rest of the white wine! You wouldn’t want that going to waste ;) As if!

 

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Crystallized Ginger Apricot Almond Scones!

This one is for my Mother. She LOVES crystallized ginger and well, I love apricot almond scones… So I figured why not combine them and please us all!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I like coconut palm or cane)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon good salt (Himalayan pink is my fave!)
  • 1/3 cold butter cubed (salted or unsalted up to you!)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

 

Bit & Pieces:

  • Almond slivers
  • Chopped dried apricots
  • Chopped crystallized ginger

 

How To:

Put all dry ingredients together and mix til incorporated. By hand mix in the cold butter cubes til the flour becomes pearled (basically still some tiny little pieces but most of the butter has become friends with the flour in a dense sandy kind of way).

Beat the egg in a bowl. Add in the cream, vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk til combined and pour into the flour/butter mixture. Stir gently til just combined. Don’t overmix or you will get stodgey scones!

Gently fold in the bits & pieces!

Break of hunks of dough to form palm sized balls and arrange on a baking tray with a few inches of space in between. A recipe I based this one said they got 14 scones but I got 7 nicely sized ones.

Bake at 400F for about 10-12 minutes then turn down to 350F for another 5 mins or so.  All ovens are different so feel free to adjust! You want them golden brown and when you tap the tops they are firm but not rock hard. You can always test one if you are not sure!

Serve with whipped cream and jam or butter and marmalade. Whatever pleases you! And of course, you need a nice cuppa tea!

ENJOY!

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Bit & Pieces!

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Whisking together dry ingredients.

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Blurry butter!

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Ready for the oven!

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Mmmm just waiting to be eaten with butter and marmalade! And of course TEA!!

 

 

 

Pureed with some cream.

Roasted Butternut Acorn Squash Soup with Crunchy Chickpeas

Soup? Soup!

Basically pureed vegetables with some other stuff thrown in. For a day when you feel like being super healthy but the idea of eating a cold salad makes you feel meh.

Do it!

Ingredients/Instructions:

  • 2 small or 1 large butternut squash cut in halves or thirds (peeled and de-seeded)
  • 1 acorn squash cut in half (de-seeded)
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Butter dabs for inside the squash (where it looks like a cup!)

Roast at 425F til softened and get edges browning. 

Scoop out the flesh from the acorn squash leaving the skin behind. Chop up the buttternut into smaller pieces. 

  • Sweet onion diced
  • Apple diced (peeled and cored)
  • Butter
  • Olive oil

Cook diced onion and apple in a large soup pot til softened (can brown a little bit if you like a more caramelized vibe). 

Toss in the roasted squash. 

  • Chicken or veggie stock (2 litres)
  • Dashes of good salt

Pour the chicken stock into the onion/apple/squash mixture

Boil the mixture for a while til everything seems broken down. 

Puree the mixture once cooled a bit. 

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Unpasteurized honey
  • Heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper

Once pureed add in a splash of apple cider vinegar and a dollop of creamed honey. 

Puree again. Taste test. Adjust til you like it. Add some salt & fresh cracked pepper. Taste again and make any adjustments. The vinegar is to brighten the flavours, the honey is to bring out the natural sweetness of the squashes. The salt & pepper is to, salt, and, pepper. You knew that!

Once happy stir in some heavy cream. Depends how creamy you want your soup! So adjust til you like it.

To serve: sprinkle on some roasted chick peas and/or you can serve with a grilled cheese made with a blend of mild and smoked cheeses with avocado or smoked tofurkey or both! Or if you wanna be meaty  you can throw in some real turkey, bacon and smoked cheeses. Or a wicked veggie sandwich, or nice flakey cheese straws…  You know the score. Do it how you like it.

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This is an older version of the soup ’cause I was so hungry I forgot to take pics of the newer version! But you get the idea. When I make it again I will replace with more detailed & accurate photos!

 

And slide some Katsu on top of your rice and you are ready to demolish!

Katsu Don (Chicken or Pork or Tofu OH MY!)

Japanese comfort food! One day I will learn how to make Japanese curry…you know from scratch not with a cube. But for now you get my version of Katsu Don! I have tried making Dashi before but I am not very good at it… so I still just use chicken stock for this and it tastes great🙂 Plus, while being a relatively simple meal, it is actually pretty time consuming to make… so taking one extra step out of it makes it less hair pulling. It’s one of the 8 year old’s absolute top 3 favorite meals. He will even eat the mushrooms! He quote: “only like(s) mushrooms if they are thinly sliced shitake mushrooms and only in katsu don” end quote.

We like this meal with chicken or pork. But I am sure tofu would be great. You could skip the panko in that case and just use fried tofu.

My version was inspired by THIS!

Rice base:

Cook enough Japanese short grain  rice to feed however many peeps you got! 

*Some restaurants even throw in some glass noodles on top of the rice. I always like this a lot. So if I am feeling fancy I will also cook up some mung bean or yam noodles to go double-starch y’all. It’s fun.

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup chicken stock 
  • 3 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

Set aside in a bowl.  This is a good amount for 3-4 people. So you can adjust for how many people you want to feed!

Prep:

  • 2 onions cooked in olive oil til golden brown (set aside in pan) *** USE A METAL FRYING PAN THAT IS OVEN SAFE!!
  • Thinly sliced shitake mushrooms sauteed in olive oil (set aside in bowl)
  • 3* eggs beaten in a bowl (can add tograshi, black sesame seeds, white pepper to this if you want!)  – Almost an egg per person. So for 4 people I did 3. So adjust as you wish!

Katsu:

  • Chicken or pork or tofu strips
  • Flour, white pepper, tograshi
  • Egg wash (egg and a little bit of water whipped to a frenzy)
  • Panko

Dust protein with flour mix. Dip in egg wash. Coat with panko. I find using chopsticks makes this much easier. And I use a different pair for each coating so they don’t get a globby and gluey and gross. Like my alliteration? Aww yeah.

Once you have all your strips. Cook in pre-heated oil (medium hot) in a shallow pan til golden brown on all sides. BE CAREFUL! I like to put one of those metal mesh thingies over top to prevent hot oil from splashing all over the stove and myself. Rest and drain on paper towel. The protein, not you chef! I usually overcook my meat a bit because I am paranoid about undercooked meat. But obviously if you are using tofu you don’t have to worry about that!

Accoutrements:

  • Nori
  • Chopped Italian parsley
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Shichimi Tograshi

 

HOW TO:

So you got yourself a pan full of fried onions? Check. You have sauteed shitakes? Check. A bowl full of Don Sauce? Great. You have pre-heated your oven to 400F or so?

You have katsu-ed strips of protein draining on paper towel… You have the beaten eggs. You have cooked rice etc.. So basically you have prepped EVERYTHING!

Great!

Now pour the Don Sauce into the pan of onions and reduce by half. 

Throw on the katsu strips, parsley, shitakes and pour the egg mix all up on it. 

Toss into a hot oven til the egg sets. 

Slide this goodness onto beds of rice (and maybe noodles if you went all the way) 

Dash on some Tograshi, sesame seeds and heck even some nori if you feel inclined. 

Eat right away as the sauce and egg de-crispify the katsu after a while. But it will still taste good later.

YUM!

When I make this again I may experiment with trying to add more veggies. Baked acorn squash slices might be nice or charred asparagus. Oh the possibilities! And certainly if you are doing a TOFU version you may very well want to go ahead and try this or any number of other veggies. Let me know how it turns out! 

 

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Don Sauce.

 

Onions getting browned.

Onions getting browned.

Chicken getting Katsu-ed. Pork works great as well! In fact pork Katsu is a family favourite!

Chicken getting Katsu-ed. Pork works great as well! In fact pork Katsu is a family favourite!

Onions getting acquainted with the sauce.

Onions getting acquainted with the sauce.

Need something fresh and green here so we have some Italian parsley for colour!

Need something fresh and green here so we have some Italian parsley for colour!

Egg prepped.

Egg prepped.

Sauce is reducing nicely!

Sauce is reducing nicely!

Mmm the Katsu are all ready and draining off excess oil.

Mmm the Katsu are all ready and draining off excess oil.

In a very hot oven cooking the egg!

In a very hot oven cooking the egg!

Mmmmmm so hungry just looking at this!

Mmmmmm so hungry just looking at this!

And slide some Katsu on top of your rice and you are ready to demolish!

And slide some Katsu on top of your rice and you are ready to demolish!