the cure for a deep freeze!

With a bleak and blustery day upon us, there was no question as to what to have for dinner. After raiding both the pantry and crisper a menagerie of elements were strewn across my island.
After a quick dice of two onions, a fine mincing of some garlic cloves and a rough chop of a carrot they were banished to my cast iron pot to begin to sweat down. While my veg was cooking away, some leftover ham was sliced up to join everyone in the pot, along with some luxurious organic split peas.
Once everything was thoroughly combined, some homemade chicken stock, water and salt was swirled in and the entire ‘soon to be’ soup was set to simmer away until thick and creamy!
As soon as the soup was ready, it was ladled lovingly into bowls, drizzled with some chili oil and topped with crispy noodles rather than croutons.
This meaty, slightly spicy and satisfying meal hit the spot and warmed us right up!

at a low simmer…
-R

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finger… err thumbprint [cookies that is]…

Following a morning of battling the elements and snow blowing our property, then enjoying some warming peppermint hot cocoa’s it was onto the age of question… what’s for dinner, but more importantly what’s for dessert!
So again with the holidays in our near reach, and loads of creamy butter in every refrigerator in this house, it seemed fitting to whip up some thumbprint shortbreads with raspberry preserves and coconut!
Light, buttery and slightly sweet/tart circular luxuries… packing these up to send off to the hubbies’ office tomorrow seemed like the proper thing to do! Well maybe a few will go missing… I’m certain I’ll be able to find them later when everyone is fast asleep and enjoy with a hot cup of tea!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Chewy [spicy] treats…

So with a snowy, wintry day upon us it was yet another perfect day to do some baking!
On today’s baking sheet… soft ginger cookies with pieces of crystallized ginger baked in. A simple cookie mixture that created a beautiful cracked, vintage looking edible.
This whole batch began by sifting flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, canola oil, molasses, dark brown sugar and one extra large egg were mixed together. Once combined, the flour was added into the wet ingredients. After folding in the crystallized ginger, scoops of the dough were rolled out in turbinado sugar, lightly flattened and baked until cracked and gorgeous.
Chewy, spicy and a perfect pairing with a cup of tea… the best way to endure a cold winters day!

at a low simmer…
-R

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the holiday baking begins…

With the Thanksgiving holiday slowly fading in our rearview mirror, it’s time to think about holiday baking and all the joys and memories that brings. The idea of some generational family recipes could make a first time ever appearance too! Since it’s never been attempted, that would obviously mean test-running and tasting! That’s definitely not a problem in my book… Who knows, I think this weekend could be a fantastic time to play with some flour and eggs…

at a low simmer…
-R

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Freshly baked beauty…

With a stormy day forecasted today and a very sick other half, I felt the need to stay put…
After playing chauffeur to the doctor, once home I decided to make a loaf of bread, from my favorite ‘bread man’ Paul Hollywood, that I haven’t made in quite some time. This loaf is absolutely gorgeous when baked, but just so simple to prepare…
A combination of bread flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and water was kneaded in my mixer until pulled together and completely incorporated. Once smoothed and slightly elastic, the dough was set to rise in a lightly oiled bowl. The first rise took roughly three hours… After that rise, the dough was ‘knocked back’ and formed into a cylindrical shape. The dough was placed on a sheet tray and covered for a second rise. For this rise, I allowed the dough to nap for another three hours to develop an even stronger flavor.
Upon completion of its second rise, a spritz of water, dusting of flour and four deep slashes prepared this beautiful ‘bloomer’ for its bake. The scent of fresh bread baking wafted throughout the house and made the urge for a warm slice inevitable! As soon as baking finished off, a crusty golden and luxurious loaf emerged, and so did a slice to make certain it was as delightful as I expected…
Tonight this enticing bloomer will get a nice toast and slather of Nutella for some naughty goodness!

at a low simmer…
-R

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A ‘paw’fect cake for our pup!

Today is a special day in our household… We get to celebrate our little guys’ 15th birthday! The apple of our eyes and the one who always makes us smile.
There was no better way to celebrate him on his special day, than with a beautiful homemade decorated cake created just for him [ok ok and some for us and his little brother]… So with that said, it’s time to don our birthday hats and sing an all to familiar tune…

at a low simmer…
-R

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crispy, juicy and HOT!!!

Sunday suppers seem to creep upon us quicker than ever, almost as quick as summer has passed by…
Tonight, an incredible classic dish needed to make an appearance on our table… classic fried chicken! This dish was a do-ahead however.
After breaking down the chicken into manageable pieces, they were brined overnight. Today they were dipped into a buttermilk concoction and then dusted in a flavorful, spicy flour mixture.
Cooked in a fragrant herb and garlic infused oil, these previously boring beauties turned into sultry goddesses.
Once golden and crisp [and of course cooked through], a tower of divine luxury was built on a plate then decorated and spritzed with wedges of lemon.
Each crunchy bite brought back memories of childhood when my mother would spend hours in the kitchen preparing the ultimate and perhaps most intoxicating fried chicken… she taught me well!

at a low simmer…
-R

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blond[ies] have more fun!

So I had a blond[ie] moment today… that sweet craving that can’t be satisfied by just any old treat!
After chopping up some semisweet and milk chocolates, they were gently mixed into a creamy, buttery mixture made up of white and brown sugars, butter, flour, baking soda, homemade vanilla, eggs and salt.
Once spread into a greased and floured baking dish, it was off for a nice half hour bake. After cooked through, the blondies were set aside to cool entirely and then cut into sizeable cake-like treats!
Served with an ice cold glass of almond milk, these heavenly [yet sinful] delights didn’t stand a chance!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Pie for a birthday dinner!

For a special day, a special dinner is required… so for this birthday dinner, a luxurious lobster pot pie was necessary!
Gorgeous chunks of succulent lobster meat were added to a creamy concoction of chicken stock, cognac, onion, fennel, corn, peas and parsley.
Nestled into a rustic, homemade and flaky crust, this beautiful delight was baked off for an hour until the crust was browned and the filling bubbly!
Once ready, a beautifully large helping of this gorgeous pie was served up with steam and all…

at a low simmer…
-R

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Stacked with flavor…

A long day, yielded the will to make a delicious eggplant parm supper! After making a trip to a fresh vegetable market and picking up some plump purple lovelies, it was time to head home and start the prep work for what would be a delightful supper…
Everything started by making a big pot of sauce; it was then off to slicing the eggplants and then dusting each in flour, dipping in egg and a quick coating in breadcrumbs and it was then time to start frying.
After all was crisp, it was time to build up and create the perfect marriage… a layer of sauce, then eggplant, some grated pecorino and mozz, basil and then repeated…
A quick bake in the oven and it was time to sit down, sip a glass of wine, slice into and then enjoy!

at a low simmer…
-R

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