here and there

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Frittata, Baked Omelette, crustless Quiche.

Sometimes recipes just evolve and lack a name, as this dish does.  This is a baked omelette or crustless quiche which is a great brunch or supper dish.  Basically an egg and milk based dish with a variety of ingredients added to it.  I like spinach added to dish and find the puck of frozen spinach perfect to add to this dish when thawed out.  I also like to add cottage cheese if I have this, or a handful of shredded cheese.  I find the amount of cheese added to recipes nowadays is over the top. Cheese was not a staple in my Mom's kitchen although Cottage cheese was used in some of her dishes, like Nalysnyskibaked bun with fresh dill and cottage cheese fillings, pyrohy.  I remember her being very disappointed with the taste of her Pyrohy the first time she used store bought cottage cheese instead of her homemade farm cottage cheese. 

To this 8inch Quiche dish, I have added 4 well beaten eggs, 1 cup of liquid, which can be cream or milk.

I like covering the egg mixture with thin slices of potatoes that have been tossed in Olive oil.  when the potatoes are arranged, dust with paprika.  This potato covering works so well with pot pies.  

Bake at 375 to 400 for 30 minutes until potatoes cooked.  

Everything tastes better with sun kissed tomatoes which are locally grown!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Stuffed green tomatoes with Adjika

I love Instagram as not only do I have dialogues with people i.e. Chefs all over the world, I love coming across new ideas.  I came across this idea to use up the last of the tomato harvest using the small green tomatoes. This I found intriguing as I had never heard of pickling green tomatoes.  I had a bowl of small green tomatoes and still had fresh herbs in my garden, that I decided to try this recipe.  

According to the Instagram posting on this pickle:

 "In my location it's very popular in autumn when they pick up last tomatoes in the fields and kitchen gardens. My adjika for stuffing is out of green and hot peppers, garlic, mint, celery, parsley, sage.  All stuffed tomatoes are put on celery and horseradish coat and pour with sweet and salt brine"

I have purchased Adjika from a European store that was a red pepper sauce that could be spicy or mild used to flavor food.  This adjika was green as I used jalapeño peppers, celery and garlic cloves along with fresh herbs from the garden, like parsley, mint and dill.  

To make the Adjika , the vegetables were coarsely pulsed through the Food Processor.   The aroma from everything pulsed together was great.  

I did have difficulty filling the split tomatoes, not sure how this filling will stay in the tomatoes once the brine is poured on to them.  

They certainly looked lovely, but do need a solution to keep the filling in the tomatoes! Maybe wrapping some thing around them like a horseradish leaf!

This morning, I tried the pickles after 2 weeks of fermentation.  They were intriguing tasting as with each bite there was an explosion in your mouth! Yes, I will be making them again!

Jalapeno Poppers ready for the freezer

In talking to my brother who is a certified Organic farmer in Northern Manitoba about the bumper crop of Jalapeño peppers and how hot they were, it reminded me to make Jalapeño Popper.  These appetizers freeze well and such a crowd pleaser. 

Thinly slice onions and sauté in olive oil until caramelized.  Adding a splash of vinegar and water to the onions and slowly cooking the onion covered to caramelize the onions quickly. 

Cream 8 oz cream cheese.
add the caramelized onions

Sauté ground meat like pork or chicken

Add to cream cheese mixture
And yes, do wear gloves to slice the half the Jalapeños and remove the seeds. 

I have seen bacon wrapped around the popper, but this is just as delicious.

The appetizers are frozen on a tray and then repacked to freezer longer.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hardy Roses, my Garden in October

Prairie Dawn rose

This year with all the rain and cooler temperatures in our area, my Morden Hardy Roses doubled in size if not tripled in size.  Dead heading the roses in mid August before our holiday, lead to tons of more roses and growth into October.   My grape vine also produced some fruit for the first time.

 I thought this was a Henry Kelsey rose, but the deep red color suggests it may be Blaze Climbing rose.  Some of the branches as this one with flowers towered over me..

Introducing gardening to a school age child through a Fairy Garden was interesting, especially when I planted the top of a carrot for greenery and it grew to produce this lace like flower. 

Not sure what this plant is but it has taken over a corner of what my grandchild calls a "Secret Garden."  This plant comes from a shrub in my neighbour's yard.  

My youngest grandchild also enjoys the wonders of the Secret Garden with angels tucked in by the cobblestone walkway. 

I have used my herbs a lot this year and here is a curly mint from my Mom's garden that still was not frozen for my lamb meatballs..

For Thanksgiving, I was still able to use fresh Thyme and Oregano for the Turkey stuffing.  Yes, it involved digging in the fresh snow. The oregano has also taken over a large corner of my garden.

Single petal perennial pink Hollyhocks from my Mom's garden

These two roses were still covered in buds and roses when it snowed Oct 10th

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Classic Pumpkin Pie for Canadian Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie is the traditional dessert for Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend.  Our Canadian customs were introduced to our Syrian family.  To the surprise of the youngest boy when he tasted the pie without the ice-cream, he exclaimed, "it's good!"

Yes, that is lard that I am blending into the flour for my pastry.  As I was making
 the pie pastry, I was thinking of my Mom and how she use to cut her fat into the pastry with two forks.  I remember first making pastry and following all the rules of everything being chilled, adding only 7 tablespoon of water.  The first time, Mom saw me make pastry she laughed as she said she broke all the rules. She told me how in a hot kitchen in a restaurant, there was no way she could keep everything cold.  Her pastry was flaky, light and delicious. I still don't think my pastry has reached that level.  Her pastry like butter tarts and pies were sent daily on a bus to another bus depot four hours away.   

Further to my Mom's cooking, my husband heard while at work in Winnipeg from a co-worker about this popular dining place in Northern Manitoba where the Hydro crew would go for a delicious lunch.  On hearing the name of the restaurant, my husband told the coworker, he should have stuck his head into kitchen as he would have recognized the cook!  Yes, in those days "Cooks" ran the kitchen, today they are referred to as "Chefs".  

I still chill the dough for about an hour, mainly for convenience

My Mom's pumpkin pie recipe written in my brother's old science scribbler.  This year there has been some dialogue on Facebook as to the differences in Canadian to American Thanksgivings.  According to Martha Stewart, Canadian use more spices in their Pumpkin Pie.  You can see this certainly is the case for me. Bring out the Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves and Nutmeg!  An article in the New York Times looked at recipes across Canada, some certainly would not be considered a classic Thanksgiving dinner that focuses on Harvest.

And Brown sugar, is a must for this custard, although I have used half and half of brown sugar and molasses for a deeper colored pie.  Beat the eggs and add in the pumpkin puree.  This recipe uses up all the pureed pumpkin, 28 0z.  Mix the spices into the brown sugar. 

Then add the brown sugar into the pumpkin mix.   Although the recipe did not ask for Vanilla flavouring, I did add 2 Tablespoons of Maple Finished Rye. This has to be my favoured flavouring added to cakes or in this case pumpkin as it adds a lovely taste to the dessert.  

I like it when I can use up everything in the cans that have been open for this dessert.  Since there is two cups of liquid required for the above recipe, I used up all the evaporated milk and topped it with cream to make 2 cups, about 1/3 of cream. You can also use milk if you don't have cream.

Both recipes have the pie baked at a high temperature and then the temperature is lowered to cook the pie longer.  

Two pyrex pie pans were used, one smaller than the other. I did have enough for another pastry for a small pie. I could have made two larger size pies.  

Not being a baker, I learn from my baking experiences and research on the net. To me, I have never been bothered by the custard cracking.  In fact to me, it meant the custard was cooked.  However, when the larger pie did not seem to bake, I did google and find that the custard is cooked when the centre is still jiggly!  And, yes I bake a quiche at a high temperature for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size.  But as my Aunt Marion would say, "Bake until it looks Cooked!" 

Yes there was cracks in the custard, but who cared when one has tons of ice cream and whipped cream!!