Thursday, June 24, 2010


I had a delicious memory of these potatoes my mother used to make when I was a child.  I specifically remember eating them at the cottage in the summer, all buttery and oniony.  So I called her up to fill me in on the details of the dish.  She recommended garlic, and so I thought, what better way to incorporate the garlic scapes that I just harvested from our garlic plants than in this dish?  These potatoes are so amazing I ate 3 helpings.  Hmm maybe that's why I'm busting out of my pants right now!

HERBED NEW POTATOES with Garlic Scapes, Dill and Parsley

20 small organic new potatoes
1/4 cup organic salted butter
1/4 cup chopped organic dill
1/4 cup chopped organic parsley
1/4 cup minced organic garlic scapes
1 organic green onion, chopped finely
sea salt and pepper

Method:  Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender.  Heat the butter in a small skillet until melted, remove from heat.  Stir in the scapes.  Drain the cooked potatoes and toss with the butter and toss in the other herbs, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I love the library.  Most of the time they have books that I would love to buy, so instead of buying them, I borrow them.  If after checking them out I discover I shouldn't live without it, then I go and buy it!  It's so much fun showing up and finding all these great books waiting for me on the reserve shelf.  And so it was the day I arrived to find The River Cottage Meat Book.  As you may have already guessed, it's a book about meat.  A manifesto on the importance of eating GOOD meat.  Honouring the animal by treating it right during it's life and then continuing that respect by the care you take in cooking it.  It's such a huge book, full of so much information, I might just have to buy it just so I can actually get through all of it.  The biggest reason why I will probably buy it though is because it's so good.  I especially love the section on barbecuing, where he outlines the proper way to cook meat on an open fire without burning it.  Anyway, so this recipe is from this book and it turned out really deliciously.  Definitely not a hot summer day kind of meal, but I made it anyway because lamb shanks are some of the only cuts we have left in our freezer!

from the The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

4 organic, pasture raised lamb shanks
2-3 Tbsp e.v olive oil
1 organic carrot, finely diced
1 organic onion, finely diced
2 organic celery stalks, finely diced
a few sprigs fresh thyme
2 organic bay leaves
2 organic cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 bottle white wine
1 cup lamb stock or water
juice and zest of 1 organic lemon
juice and zest of 1 organic orange
sea salt and pepper
chopped organic parsley to garnish

Method:  Heat some of the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole, add the diced vegetables, and sweat, without browning until tender.  Add the thyme, bay, garlic, tomato paste, wine, lamb stock, along with most of the citrus juice and zest (save a few pinches of zest and a tablespoon each of the juice).  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
     Heat a little more oil in a separate pan and brown the lamb shanks on all sides, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.  Add them to the casserole and cover with its lid.  Transfer to a low oven (250*) and cook for about 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is completely tender and falling off the bone.  
     Remove the shanks from the pan and keep warm while you finish the sauce by skimming off some of the fat, then taste the liquid for seasoning.  Boil to reduce, then stir in the reserved zest and juices.  Serve the lamb shanks on plates spooned over mashed potatoes or soft polenta.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BEAN SALAD with New Potatoes and Snow Peas

I had no idea what I was going to make with the beans I had soaking all day.  This salad was easy, and used all the spring bounty I had sitting in the fridge and cupboard.  I used dried beans, but of course you can always used canned, just make sure you buy Eden Organic canned beans, because their cans are plastic BPA free!

BEAN SALAD with New Potatoes and Snow Peas

1 1/2 pounds small organic new potatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked organic kidney beans
1 1/2 cups cooked organic chickpeas
1 1/2 cups cooked organic pinto beans
6 oz steamed snow or string beans, cut in half
1 bunch organic green onions
1/2 cup e.v olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup organic local apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp local honey
2 cloves organic garlic, smashed and chopped finely
1/4 tsp organic red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp organic dijon mustard
2-4 tsp umeboshi vinegar
sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh organic parsley leaves

Method:  Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender.  Meanwhile, whisk the oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, red pepper flakes, mustard, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.  Drain the cooked potatoes and keep whole or cut in half.  Pour some of the salad dressing on the potatoes while they're still hot so they soak up the flavour.  Combine the potatoes with the beans, peas, scallions and parsely.  Stir in the rest of the dressing.  Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Check for saltiness and adjust as necessary.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


     Seeing as this was the first week for fresh, local strawberries, I just had to make some strawberry shortcake.  Yesterday we enjoyed the first quart of strawberries on my husband's chocolate birthday cake.  Even though we still had leftovers of that, I had a craving for whipped cream and biscuits, loaded with strawberries.  Now the beauty of this recipe is it included using up some of that Rhubarb Compote I wrote about a few days ago.  I had a batch sitting in the fridge, and it was a yummy, sweet addition to the shortcake.  
It seems I've got strawberry fever.  Not only am I eating lots of strawberries, I'm planting them too!  I bought some strawberry plants the other day at Avery's Farm Market on my way home from the city.  So of course, then I needed somewhere to plant them.  That was when I decided a perennial vegetable garden would be perfect for planting not only these healthy strawberry plants, but the asparagus seeds I've been meaning to plant, and some rhubarb too.  Thanks to Scott's hard work today, we now have a new raised bed that's waiting for a soil delivery.  I can't wait!


1 batch organic whole wheat biscuits (you may want to add some more sweetener to this recipe)
1 quart local unsprayed or organic strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup local maple syrup
1 carton organic whipping cream

Method:  Slice a biscuit in half with a serrated knife.  Drizzle the sliced strawberries with most of the maple syrup and let sit for 15 minutes.  Make the whipped cream by adding a drizzle of maple syrup to the bowl before you use an electric mixer to whip the cream for about 5 minutes.  Slather each side of the biscuit with some rhubarb compote, top the bottom half with whipped cream, followed by some strawberries and syrup.  Top with the other half of the biscuit.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

ORZO PASTA SALAD with Oregano and Kale

It's pretty safe to say that I love pasta salads.  Using orzo in your pasta is a little different than your run of the mill pasta salad, and using kamut orzo makes it whole grain, wheat free, and delicious.  I was lucky to have a bottle of leftover Tahini Dressing in my fridge when I was making this, which made it quick and easy.  But it is so yummy you will want to go the extra mile and make the dressing on the spot!

ORZO PASTA SALAD with Oregano and Kale

1 bag organic kamut orzo
1 bunch organic kale, chopped finely
1/2 cup tahini dressing (from a previous post)
5 organic radishes, sliced
1/2 cup green olives, sliced
2 Tbsp organic capers
3 organic carrots, shredded
1/4-1/2 cup minced fresh organic oregano
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 Tbsp umeboshi vinegar
1/4 cup e.v olive oil

Method: Bring a pot of water to boil, then cook orzo according to package directions.  Add the kale to the pot 5 minutes before the orzo is done.  Strain and return to pot with the olive oil, toss and allow to cool.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and serve.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


It recently occurred to me that I could make not only Dandelion Wine but Red Clover Wine too!  That is really exciting because making wine is fun, and I love red clovers.  The bees do too!  I noticed many of them buzzing around the blossoms as I was picking them at midday.  My son was a great helper, picking a blossom here and there, and holding the basket, following me around the yard as he watched the bees frolic amongst the clover.  I had to beg my husband not to cut the grass until I had a chance to pick my fill of flowers for the winemaking.  I think he likes it that I make stuff from weeds so it wasn't too hard to convince him.  While I was at it, I picked a basketful to dry for winter teas.  Red clover is very nutritious and delicious.
     The herb garden is sprouting many perennials once again, my favorites being the chives, oregano, thyme and lemon balm.  I made a lovely fresh herbal tea from the red clover tops and lemon balm leaves while the wine making was in session.  I was also inspired to add some chive blossoms to our salad after eating at Fid the other night.  It was something I always knew I could do, but somehow never bothered to.  They looked delicious sprinkled in with some violets in our very own salad greens.  I love spring and eating the things that grow right here in our yard.  I also remembered to harvest some comfrey branches to hang and dry for medicinal salves and teas.  They look so lovely hanging around in our kitchen.
     If you are interested in making Red Clover Wine, simply substitute Red Clover Blossoms for the Dandelion in the posting for Dandelion Wine recipe.
     I couldn't resist taking a few shots of our lovely little chicks.  Well, they're aren't so little anymore!  Good thing they are here too because we lots 2 hens a couple of weeks ago to PREDATORS, so we were sad, but they certainly make us feel better.

Monday, June 7, 2010


     The beauty of making your own ice cream is that you don't have to use white sugar.  I like to think of last night's chocolate honey ice cream as toblerone ice cream, minus the almonds, which could always be sprinkled on top.  The only downside to this stuff is it kept out toddler up until midnight....very stimulating.  It must have been the chocolate caffeine and sugar in the chocolate chips....
     I was very excited to find a stainless steel storage container with a lid at Value Village the other day.  Perfect for storing homemade ice cream.  


6 oz organic chocolate chips
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
4 organic egg yolks
1/2 cup local honey
2 cups organic cream
2 cups organic whole milk
1 tsp organic vanilla

Method:  Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over medium heat.  Gradually whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.  Set aside.
     Whisk the egg yolks with the honey.  Set aside.
     In a saucepan over medium low heat, bring cream and milk to a simmer and then gradually whisk into the egg mixture.
     Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla.  Cover and refrigerate until cold.  Stir and transfer into an ice cream maker.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

FISH CHOWDER with Asparagus and Sweet Potato

It was a beautifully rainy day today, so rainy and damp I even had to light the fireplace.  It was the kind of day that chowders were made for.  A morning trip to the library, a good book read during nap time and a big, steamy bowl of chowder and biscuits made this day even cozier.

FISH CHOWDER with Asparagus and Sweet Potato

1 pound hook and line haddock
1 pound organic salmon
1 cup fresh clams and their juice
3 Tbsp organic butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 organic carrots, chopped
3 organic celery, chopped
3 cloves organic garlic, minced
2 organic bay leaves
3 tsp fresh organic thyme
4 organic potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 organic sweet potato, peeled and diced
4-5 organic asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
3-4 cups water
3 cups organic whole milk
1/2 cup organic cream
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup organic butter kneaded with 1/4 cup flour
sea salt and pepper
chopped organic parsley

Method:  In a large soup pot melt the butter and cook the onions, garlic, celery and carrot until the onions are soft and translucent.  Add the potatoes and enough water to just cover the vegetables.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 or until potatoes are tender.  Add the fish and clams, asparagus, the white wine, milk and cream.  Cook on low heat until the fish is opaque.  While the fish cooks, stir in bits of the butter/flour clumps, stirring until it reaches the thickness you desire.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Serve sprinkled with parsley.