Monday, June 28, 2010

The boy is ONE...let us eat bananas.

My beautiful Jib turned one today. My beautiful boy loves 'anana'! Jib says two things presently, 'anana' and 'dada'. So to make sure the birthday was all it could be there were lots and lots of bananas.
Some of the indulgences of the day (banana and otherwise) included:

~Roast chicken on butter-herb noodles. (Jib finds long slurpy noodles quite hilarious)
~Mango Juice
~Banana Cream Pie (made by my ridiculously talented Gramma Dorothy)
~Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate icing
~Banana Puree (Clara's gift to jimmy.) The thought was to have an emergency jar of banana puree in case of a dire calamity such as an unripe or absent banana. What a good sister.

It's hard to believe you've only been with us for one year, Jimmy! We love you dearly and are praying for you to come to know and love Jesus very soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Berries and Babies

A thick layer of rich vanilla yogurt topped with blueberries, raspberries and toasted pecans has been our snack and breakfast of choice lately. Astro's Balkan Style Vanilla yogurt is delicious and our current favourite. Jim and Jack prefer Plain Yogurt mixed with pureed fruit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Eating my garden

Clara-Very proud of the garden she helped plant.
Lettuce and peas.

Notice the nasturtium atop my salad...this is pure Jimmy. He got us into eating them.
Little Jibs loved this dinner and eagerly at two bowls full.

I cannot really express how excited I was the first time I harvested vegetables. My friend Shannon's Grandpa has a beautiful garden and let me fill up bags and bags of peas and cucumber and potatoes and peppers. Let me tell you, digging up potatoes is so thrilling to me that I kept saying to Jim, "Can you believe this, this is amazing!" So at the nearest opportunity Jimmy put in a garden for me so I could frolic around our yard picking vegetables while chanting, "Can you believe this?" It doesn't take much to excite me but, come on, this is exciting stuff. I ate a pea today straight off the vine and a salad whose leaves and petals were picked mere moments before being tossed with lemon juice and consumed. Ahhhh the summer harvest, such a thrill.
We had our first meal on the patio tonight of Sole Dijon and Summer Salad. It was wonderful.
This recipe is so easy and quick. Clara made the sauce independently while I chopped the veg and assembled. done.

Sole Dijon

4 Yukon Gold Potato sliced 1/4inch thick
1 Onion sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 green or red pepper sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4C butter -diced
1C mayo
2T Lemon juice
2T Dijon Mustard
2lbs Sole fillets
Preheat oven to 400*. Line a 9x13 dish with parchment paper. Layer potatoes over the bottom, peppers next and top with onion. Dot the top with diced butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 mins uncovered in the centre of the oven.

In a small bowl stir together mayo, lemon juice and dijon.

Add sole fillets to the top of the par-cooked vegetables, pour sauce over fish and bake for 15 mins more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pink Cake and My Apprentices

A little produce shop I go to has great seconds of fruit and vegetables for 2$ a basket. This week I was able to get tons more strawberries so I made a strawberry cake with strawberry icing...decorated with a strawberry.

The cake took a while to make but I think that was only in part due to the recipe. Clara and I were having a slow afternoon and had fun taking our time while making it. To assemble the cake, I placed one cake face side down topped that with some strawberry preserve, then placed the other half right on top and drizzled the top with icing and let it run down the sides.

I realized how much Jimmy watches me cook when I saw him pull a pot out of our cupboard and start mixing in it with the wooden spoon. He looked at me quite impress with himself as if to say "Look mama, I'm cooking too".

Strawberry Cake

3 cups + 2 tbsp (780 mL) cake-and-pastry flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
3/4 tsp (4 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2 cups (500 mL) halved strawberries (8 oz/250 g)
1/2 cup (125 mL) buttermilk
1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened
1-3/4 cups (425 mL) granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

Butter two 9-inch/23 cm diameter cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, then flour sides; set aside.

In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. In blender, purée together strawberries, and buttermilk.

In large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy; on high speed, beat in sugar, 1/3 cup/75 mL at a time, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time; beat in vanilla. Gradually stir in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, making 3 additions of dry and 2 of wet. Divide evenly between cake pans, smoothing tops.

Bake in centre of 350F/180C oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Slide knife around edges and remove from pans; peel off paper. Let cool on racks.

Strawberry Icing
1/2 cup frozen strawberries thawed
1/2 C butter
1/2 brick cream cheese
4 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add vanilla and the confectioners sugar. Puree the frozen strawberries until smooth and add to the icing.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rhubarb...Oh the possibilities

Rhubarb Lime Spritzer

Makes 6 drinks

  • 3/4 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 36 ounces sparkling water or prosecco
  • 6 lime wedges

1. Place the rhubarb, sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Cover and place over medium heat. Simmer until the rhubarb is soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon -- then mash it! Stir in the vanilla.

2. Pass the rhubarb mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much syrup as possible. You should have 3/4 cup syrup.

3. Fill 6 tumblers with ice. Add 2 tablespoons of syrup to each glass. Top with sparkling water (or prosecco). Squeeze a lime wedge into each glass. Give each drink a stir. Then toast to your thirst and happiness.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stawberry Rhubarb Abundance

My gramma left me a little crop of rhubarb in the yard to maintain. I have watched it grow and thought of all the lovely things I would make with it. However, a very sad thing happened. I picked up a ton of strawberries on sale and was excited to make some strawberry-rhubarb jam. Much to my dismay, the jam burned on the stove while I ran outside to assist clara after she fell out of the cherry tree...A very sad moment for so many reasons. (Clara is totally fine.)
After we mourned the loss of a couple pounds of strawberries and an entire crop of gramma's rhubarb for a few weeks I felt ready to try again. This time Im going to keep it a little simpler and make muffins. My kind sister, Renee, bought me some more rhuby at the market and I'm going to make these.

Strawberry - Rhubarb Muffins


1.5 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda

1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 stick melted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated orange rind (optional, but oh-so-good)

1 cup chopped rhubarb
1 cup sliced strawberries

Mix dry in a large bowl. Mix wet separately.

Add wet to dry. Stir in berries and rhubarb. Spoon into greased muffin pan.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oat cakes and honey

Since we've had a couple of cold days I have been back at the stove a lot more again. I made a batch of oat cakes for our Truth Application Group Sunday night and served them with some cooked raspberries and cheddar cheese. We liked them so much that I made them again for us to snack on this week. They are so easy to whip up and only cook for 15 minutes. I'm going to try one with some cinnamon honey we bought from Boards Honey a couple weeks ago.

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup oat flour, plus more for dusting work surface (I grind up Oats in my coffee grinder. But if you want, oat flour can be purchased at bulk food stores)
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or coat with cooking spray.
2. Stir together oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl.
3. Place oat flour in separate bowl. Rub butter into oat flour with fingers until mixture is crumbly.
Stir in oat mixture, then buttermilk.
4. Dust work surface with oat flour, then roll out dough to roughly 10- x 8-inch rectangle 1/4-inch thick. Cut rectangle into 12 squares with chef’s knife. Cut each square into 2 triangles. Place triangles on prepared baking sheets, and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until oat cakes are light brown. Cool.