Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Random iPhone

 *I do have to give credit where credit is due and tell you this one was inspired by another photo through a frosted window taken by the talented Janet Roth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Flavouring Fall

Autumn inspires me in many ways.  The Fall harvest along with the bite in the air, stirs my desire to cook comfort food.  I seem to be iphone photoing a lot of my efforts over the past few weeks.  This post is more about the recipes than quality of the photos.  Hope you find something delicious and comforting.

I was inspired to make my version of this traditional Portuguese soup while looking at options for travel next fall.  I used chorizo from the stupor store, kale from our own garden,  walla walla onions and flavourful potatoes from Don-O-Ray.

I'm not much of a baker but I will make the occasional pie.  This occasion was an evening of dessert and drinks with friends.  This pie set a high standard for any future apple pies I bake. Darned if I can remember what recipe I used but I definitely recommend apples from Bite Me Organics.  My mom made the best pie crust bar none.  I don't know what her secret was, but she used the recipe off the Tenderflake package.  For me it's hit and miss but I keep trying.

The occasion for this pie was a visit from my Dad.  Lemon Meringue is his favourite.  I made a pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving meal, but sadly I have no photo.  Here's a link to one from a previous year including the recipe.

This pie worthy occasion was the final dinner of my Dad's visit to Kelowna last month.  It's a three berry pie  made with berries from our 2013 freezer collection:  blueberries from Blueberry Haven, strawberries from Benvoulin Strawberries and raspberries from our backyard.  I tried to save another trip from the kitchen to my office computer and guessed at the amount of sugar required. Turns out I doubled it, but it was a good thing as the pie was still fairly tart.

This is the easiest bread recipe ever and makes a tasty ciabatta style loaf.  Until hubby bought me my Staub la Cocotte, I used my good old metal Lagostina dutch oven.

Here's the easiest risotto recipe you'll ever make.  This beet risotto with goat cheese ends up looking a little odd in colour but it's amazingly delicious.

If you've ever worked in an office you'll be familiar with the traveling book salesperson.  I loved it when these people would come into the office as they almost always had cookbooks with them - often obscure cookbooks, but always at affordable prices.  This Mushroom Stogranoff is from a vegetarian cookbook I purchased while working at Rysco Engineering in Huntsville Ontario.  In more than twenty five years it's the only recipe I've made from the book and it's been worth every penny.

This antipasto was inspired by a recent trip to Momma Rosa's for dinner and a visit to Valoroso's .  These Orticola Mediterranean grilled baby artichokes are really tasty.  They cost a little more than the squat jars of marinated artichoke hearts you find in most grocery stories but the flavour is outstanding.

This recipe was also inspired by the same trip to Valoroso and quick stop at Ferrara's Italian Market on the way home. The Famiglia Bianci Malbec was a suprisingly good pairing and was just as full and flavourful the next day when we had it with the Beef Mole you'll see shortly.

Dinner ended with an espresso macchiato made with my 
new favourite coffee maker - the Aerobie Aeropress.

Last Sunday I discovered that when it's lunch time and there's no soup already made, tomato soup is surely the quickest and easiest soups to make from scratch.  I sautéed a diced shallot and some minced garlic in the bottom of a big pot, added a couple of splashes of gin and cooked off the alcohol, then added a 1 litre jar of canned tomatoes (if you don't can your own tomatoes you can use a store bought tin, but I'm sorry, it won't taste nearly as good.)  I may have added some low salt beef stock but I can't be sure.  I added a bit of pepper and after it had simmered for about 15 minutes I blended it with my immersion blender.  Before I served it I sliced a few large basil leaves into ribbons, added to the pot and gave it a good stir.

Sunday has turned into Slow-cooker Sunday in our kitchen.  This week I mad this recipe, found in a Canadian Living magazine collection given to me by a friend - thanks Val!  It's a really flavourful  Mole Beef Chilli.  I didn't have a jalapeno to add but the chipotle pepper it called for gave off plenty of heat.  I didn't have a cube of unsweetened chocolate either, but a quick google searched showed me I could substitute powdered coco and a little oil .  This one's a keeper!

I didn't have any egg noodles or pasta to serve it over hubby suggested garlic mashed potatoes, which reminded me of Michael Smith's brown butter mashed potatoes.  Decadent, but Chef Smith was right, they were the best mashed potatoes I ever made - aided a little by the sauteed garlic I added at the end.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Favouring Fall

As I type, the sky is mostly blue and the sun is shining brightly.  I'm very grateful for this golden Autumn in the Okanagan.  

More creativity from the Mission Greenway Wood Faeries? 

As seen from the lower path of Mission Ridge

When the City renovated Bernard Avenue I was very sad they got rid of these beautiful ....grates?   When I visited Kelowna Art Gallery last week I was pleased to see there are still some on Cawston.

Looking east along Mission Creek.

Walking west along Mission Creek

On Friday I took the dogs for a walk/hike along Bellevue Creek to an open area with a picturesque retention pond near the Leung farm off the Gordon extension.  It's a win win because the dogs can chase each other and sniff and pee on everything in sight while I work on my photo skills.

I had a dream the other night where a woman who was visiting me (no idea who) told me my photos were boring and I should take them at an angle to make them more interesting.


This photo was taken the following day when I made my fourth visit to the area, in search of the keys I dropped ...somewhere...

The 2003 Okanagon fire swept through here leaving some natural wooden 'sculpture' that I find quite fascinating.  This one always makes me think of a peacock, or perhaps a pheasant with a top feather that's gotten quite out of hand.

Don't know what it is but there's something I'm really loving about the changing colours of the leaves on our grape vine.