Tag Archives: cloves

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…


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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…














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green soup and ham…

Since I’m still taking it easy when it comes to food, I decided that a nice homemade split pea soup was the perfect meal.
After rinsing off some vibrant split peas, I cut up one onion and two cloves of garlic. The onion and garlic were sautéed in some olive oil until softened. Once softened, in went one quart of water, along with one quart of chicken broth, a bouillon cube and of course the stars of the dish… the split peas.
The soup was brought to a boil and then set to a simmer until the split peas began to open and thicken the soup. After tasting for seasoning, in went some cooked ham for an added smokey flavor and then it was time to plate, rather bowl up this warming goodness!
To top off this soup, homemade croutons made with some Italian bread, olive oil and a touch of sea salt.
The soup warmed us up on this chilly night, while soothing our tummies and giving us the nutrition we needed!

at a low simmer…




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the winter blues… turned vibrant green!

To move the focus off of this last [hopefully] winter storm that is upon us, I decided that something light, summery and refreshing was perfect for dinner…
After a quick dash to the market; fresh basil and pignoli nuts made their way into my bag, along with some cozy snow time treats.
Once home, I plucked the basil leaves from their stems, gave them a quick rinse under the tap and set everything aside to dry off a bit.
While the fragrant basil leaves were drying, into a food processor went some pecorino to get pulsed up until grated.
To bring everything together and make an amazing pesto, into my food processor went the basil leaves. Everything was pulsed up, along with a quite a few cloves of smashed garlic, the pignoli nuts [that I toasted lightly], some of the freshly grated pecorino, salt and pepper.
While pulsing everything, a steady drizzle of high quality olive oil really pulled [literally] everything together!
The vibrant green pesto was lovingly tossed with delicate tagliatelle and an extra sprinkle of the grated pecorino…
Each mouthful transported me from the cold and windy nonsense going on outside, to what summer has to offer us in the not so distant months to come!

at a low simmer…








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it’s a bit ‘chili’ in here…

So tonight I wanted something warm and hearty… something I don’t often venture into making… chili! This was not going to be a typical beef chili, but something with a slight edge to it.
I knew I had everything to whip up this stew-like concoction, so the mission began. I started by browning off hot and sweet bulk sausage. Once browned and gorgeous, into the pot went two spanish onions that I diced up. As soon as the onions became soft and a bit caramelized, in went a few cloves of garlic that I minced, along with some spicy green chilis! These all cooked together for a few minutes until the flavors started to marry.
After everyone was getting to know each other, in went cumin, ancho chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt [these are all to taste so go crazy or be gentle]… a quick stir to mix the spices and then one large can of crushed tomatoes and one large can of San Marzano tomatoes [these were puréed before I added them]. Another quick stir and as soon as the chili began to boil, then I dropped the heat to a simmer and put the lid on the pot. I let the chili cook for thirty-five minutes [twenty-five minutes into cooking I added a can of black beans…] Once cooking was finished, off the heat went in some chopped cilantro.
To plate up [or should I say bowl] this meal… some light and crisp tortillas, crème fraiche and extra sharp cheddar.
The flavors were intense… spicy, sweet, lemony and a touch acidic! This time two bowlfuls did just not satisfy…

at a low simmer…
















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you say tomato… I say soup!

So yesterday was the weekly CSA basket pick-up… once I got mine and saw the abundance of tomatoes in it the decision was simple… roasted garlic tomato soup!
First I chopped the tomatoes up and smashed a few garlic cloves… everything then was tossed with olive oil, fresh pepper and some salt. Into the oven for a little over an hour on a low temp helped extract the sweetness of the tomatoes and provide a toasty element, while turning the garlic into something, well magical!
Once roasted, it was into the food processor and pulsed, pulsed, pulsed… then into a cast iron pot, along with some homemade stock to help thin out this story, a thyme bundle and then set to simmer for a bit.
After its bath, it was into a bowl, garnished with some rich finishing oil and a sultry dollop of creme fraiche… ahhh heavenly!!
Even though the temps were warm and the humidity up, there was no better way to enjoy those gorgeous, tasty and colorful gems! Now to wonder what next weeks basket will offer…

at a low simmer…







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