Friday, April 30, 2010

Now playing - Purple Haze

Now playing: Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze #7
via FoxyTunes

The search for a different cheese other than feta tonight turned me onto the use of an old friend in the form of Purple Haze Chevre'. It was not only a different cheese to put in a pita, but a different way to use it, as well. This time it was stirred into a falafel dough. This cheese made a wonderful addition to falafels with the acidic bite and the exciting twist from lavender and fennel pollen.

Purple Haze Chevre' Falafel

16 oz. chickpeas (mashed)
2 cloves garlic (
1 lrg. onion (small dice)
3 tbsp. parsley (chopped)
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
4 oz. Purple Haze Chevre'
1/4 panko
1 egg

Mix these ingredients in a bowl. Let the panko absorb moisture and thicken to form into patties, or balls. Coat with additional flour, then additional beaten egg, and then finally additional panko. Fry in hot oil until golden on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve in pita bread with sides like lettuce, olives, tomato, onion. Sauces like hummus and tzatziki are glorious with this dish.

Some of the usual suspects in a dish like this. The olives are a recommended pairing with this cheese, so score!

Photo seedling update. Here you see tomatoes, cucumber (future ingredients for the above recipe perhaps.) Also pictured are birdhouse gourds and courgettes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fully Loaded

Now playing: Five Knuckle Chuckle - Baked Not Fried via FoxyTunes

Baked Potato and Sweet potato Soup

It was cold and a "have on hand" sort of day. Even though the snow didn't amount to much, who wanted to venture out? Not I. We have been enjoying little fried cubes of sweet potatoes with a spice mixture added, so why not use that spice mixture too. The potatoes were baked, approx. a hour. That is where it started, then the recipe reads thus:

5 lrg. baked potatoes
1 lrg. baked sweet potato
2 c. chicken stock
2 rashers of bacon, already fried, and crumbled up
1/2 a red onion diced and sweated

Add all these ingredients to a large soup pot. Using a hand blender, break up the potato, yam, bacon and onion until smooth and evenly blended with the chicken stock. Stir in:

1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
Juice of a lemon
salt and pepper

Add water until the soup is the consistency you desire. Heat slowly until it bubbles and is heated throughout. Then stir in:

1/2 c. sour cream

Gently bring back to desired temp and serve.

Garnish with any number of items. Pictured is toasted almonds and chives from the garden. Other options include; heavy cream, butter, compound butters, more sour cream, more bacon crumbles....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Busy As the Falling Rain

Now playing: Asia - Who Will Stop the Rain?
via FoxyTunes

Well, actually I like rain.....But it is supposed to turn to snow by tonight. We have had enough snow, save some for next winter please.

Now playing: The Mamas & The Papas - Look Through My Window
via FoxyTunes

That is what is going on outside the window. Inside is pretty busy! We have plenty of spring birthdays, graduations and engagements to celebrate. We had trips to take. Respects to say to a loved one. There are seeds to plant and nurture, projects to complete, dishes to be made and served.

Now playing: Spyro Gyra - Bittersweet
via FoxyTunes

Inside other "windows," on a human level, is feeling the emotions of a lost relative who battled cancer. There is also joy seeing my oldest getting ready to fly the nest- graduating college, she is engaged and moving away to New York state this summer. Feeling yet older as the kids grow around me- my 2nd oldest just turned 19 years old this week and my nephew is also graduating high school. I saw my grandfather in a nursing home, he was so happy to see us. Sigh......

I am really proud of her! :-)

One of the projects aside from knitting, scrapping, card-making etc, etc, was mentioned in a previous blog:

It can now be revealed!

A fabric ball for my niece, who's family is adopting a Chinese boy, named Joshua. Here you can read more:

I owe a special thanks to my friend Lucie who helped with this project with sewing advice and lots of actual machine sewing, the names in particular. She worked hard to make sure they were just right. Thanks Lucie!

Those are the different sections and below is what they form.

In the blog it explains the Chinese legend of the red thread:

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break."

The colours and idea for the ball came from the blog page- The words and the little outfit.

I am getting ready for the garden! These seedlings would like for it to stop snowing, ok?

For now they are warm in the house under grow lights.

I haven't stopped cooking!

Champagne Mango Habanero Quinoa Salad w/ Seared, Mixed Nut Crusted Ahi

Mango Habanero Sauce

3 Habanero peppers (put on gloves and remove seeds and membrane) - reserve one for mincing, and adding to the salad.
3 Champagne mangoes -reserve half of one to small dice and add to salad.
1/2 tsp. tamarind paste
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 dashes fish sauce ;-)

Puree all the ingredients, besides the reserved minced pepper and diced mango. Strain. Let this sit in the frig. overnight to develop and mellow the flavours.

To make the salad- add the sauce to prepared quinoa and sliced spring onions. Reserve a bit of sauce to use on the side. Fold in the reserved minced pepper and diced mango.

My dish is garnished with Lemon Sorrel from the garden, one of the few things growing there now. Sorrel likes it cooler.