I couldn’t believe my good fortune one day many years ago when a born and raised islander came up to me in the Spar parking lot offering me milk kefir grains. I had been wanting them but didn’t want to buy them. Just like plants for the garden, they’re much more special when received from a loving space which they’ve outgrown rather than purchased from a shop.
Because fermenting cultures reproduce and eventually one has to either give them away, throw them out, compost, or feed to one pet or the other, I believed they’d eventually come to me fortuitously. So, this was my day and when she said ‘Someone told me you might like these’ (I had told no one I was seeking them), I squealed with delight and gratefully accepted. Never did I dream someone on the island had any or I certainly would have made my desire known. Anyhoo, my hobby of fermenting was no secret and now I had kefir grains so I immediately put them to use. Continue reading
I’m heading off to the States today but before leaving I wanted to share the Ukranian pierogi recipe I mentioned in my last post.
What makes the Ukrainian pierogi different from the Chinese dumpling, the Italian ravioli, or the Japanese gyoza? A question that certainly deserves deeper investigation, but in my meagre two-hour internet research, I found similarities and differences that amounted to much grey area, leading me to believe they have more in common than not.
Other names for the eastern European product include pirogi, pirohy, pyrohy, varenyky, derelye, and coltunasi. They’re all very similar–some of the doughs have oil rather than butter or neither at all, some have eggs while some don’t. Like the dumpling, ravioli, and gyoza–pierogi are flour based doughs prepared with a variety of fillings. And the country of origin? It’s unclear. Could be Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, or Russia, and they could each possibly lay claim to their own original version.
The recipe I’m sharing today is from a Ukranian friend. After he served them at a dinner party, I was determined to make them myself. No surprise, there was a massive difference between his and the store bought ones I had had back in the States from the grocery store freezer section. He agreed to teach me and kindly gave a one on one cooking class. Now they’re a family favourite. Continue reading
After posting a picture of 3 quiches I recently made on my Facebook page I received a request to share the recipes with a group I’m in, Green Earth Organics health eating. Now that I’ve done so, it seemed only right to also share that effort here on my blog. I’ve called it a ‘how-to’ as it doesn’t exactly fit the criteria of a recipe but it does provide detailed and practical advice on how to make them yourself.
3 quiches- Latticed courgette, deep dish pumpkin & goat’s feta, and baby carrot, broccoli, & corn.
Start with beautiful fresh tomatoes.
Start with some lovely fresh tomatoes of any shape, size, or colour.
Inspired by this week’s photo prompt word, ‘zero’, I raided the pantry and came up with what my children are calling ‘granola balls’. They have zero added sugar and are packed with ingredients that provide lots of energy. I thought they were a bit too sweet, a taste testing friend thought they were not sweet enough, and the children thought they were perfectly delicious and moreish. Success as far as I’m concerned as they are for the kiddos. I had intended them to be bars, but with Monday morning school rush and all, balls were easier and quicker to assemble.
‘Flame & gem’ are Ronovan’s haiku words this week …
sweet gems give
energy to burn
- 100 g fresh or frozen blueberries
- 50 g fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 Tb water
- Heat berries and water until they are squishy then add:
- 80 g maple syrup
- 80 g coconut oil
- Stir well until oil is melted then turn off heat.
- In a large bowl, combine together the following:
- 150 g whole oats
- 40 g chia seeds
- 40 g mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- 35 g dried mango, chopped to raisin size
- 65 g chopped pistachio nuts
- 1 tsp spirulina powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pour liquid into dry mixture
and stir until well combined. Refrigerate three hours or until firm.
- Using a melon scooper or tablespoon, divide mix into 30 equal pieces.
- Roll in hands to make balls then coat in the following mixture:
- 20 g ground pistachio nuts
- 20 g dried coconut flakes
Store in refrigerator for up to ten days in airtight container. They can also be frozen and thawed an hour before serving.
They neither taste nor smell like meatballs, honest. 🙂
Tis the season for all things pumpkin
Tonight my eight year old exclaimed “Mum, this is the best soup ever!” I’ll admit that he had just played football, therefore was “starving”, and he’s the most adventurous eater of the lot, but even my pickiest eater loves it (with extra croutons or a grilled cheese toasty). It’s a sure sign of recipe success when my husband and three or more of our five children like the dish served. If not, the recipe is binned or reworked. After several attempts, this is the pumpkin soup recipe that has them all asking for seconds. Continue reading
Margaret Maeve baked cookies tonight and decided to take pictures along the way, then she edited and showed me. How could I not post?! I’m so proud of her effort at both baking and documenting and wanted to share. I’m pretty sure it’s the Quaker Oats recipe that this originated from.
“Can I have the recipe for your…?” has got to be the best circuitous compliment that can be dished out as regards to a meal prepared for someone.
I love when people enjoy my cooking. Who wouldn’t? There is something so gratifying about connecting on such a basic yet significant level.
If you would like to experience this jubilation, and you know a cheese and rice lover, then prepare this exalted dish and listen to the silence of everyone eating–silence followed by ‘oohs’, ‘ahhhs’, and ‘wows’. And eventually a request for the recipe. Continue reading
What flavours remind you of your childhood? Strawberries and rhubarb are a perfect pairing of sweet and tart and my grandmother used them in pies all summer long back home in Maine. Surely it is a well-known combination, but I have never seen it on this side of the ocean.
I still like a good pie, but have resorted to crumble because it’s fun and easy for children to make and allows for more flavours to be added into the topping than plain crust would. And mostly because it’s quicker. Continue reading