Mashed Potato with Kale

This side dish to delicious.  Even if you don’t like kale just try it once I guarantee you will like it here.  I know at least two people that do not like kale, don’t eat kale, but love this. I didn’t get a picture of it plated because I took this to a friends house for dinner.

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This is not a low cal recipe.  It is a hearty stick to your ribs winter dish. We only make it about twice in a year for a treat, though it is so good I could eat it every week.

You will need:

about 2 lbs potatoes

1 bunch kale

3tbsp butter

2 cups finely diced onion or leeks thinly sliced (I use Vidalia sweet onion or leeks)

1/2  to 1 cup half-&-half (10% cream) (start out with 1/2 cup  and add more as needed)

1/2 to 1 cup milk (start out with 1/2 cup and add more as needed)

1/2 to 1 cup grated while medium or old cheddar, you want flavour here ( I use Balderson’s)

Boil potatoes in slightly salted water until soft and then drain. once drained well, mash.

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While the potatoes are cooking boil another large pot of water and cook the kale for about 5 minutes.  It doesn’t get fully cooked at this stage as it will get finished in the oven later. One it is cool enough to handle chop it finely, just run the knife through it several times, it doesn’t have to be pretty.

In another small pot melt butter and cook onions with a sprinkle of salt until they are very soft and translucent.

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Mix cooked onion mixture into the mashed potato.  Add cooked chopped kale, cream and milk (be slow with adding the milk & cream so you don’t make it to runny.  It should be very creamy but not watery.  I add 1/2 of cup of each at first and add more as required to get the consistency as I want it.  How much you add will depend on the potatoes you use and the moisture content.  Mash all together, add salt to taste.  I usually toss in 1/4-1/2 cup of grated cheese and mix it through as well, for extra cheesy flavour.

Place mashed mixture in baking dish or casserole dish and sprinkle top with grated cheese and bake at 350F until cheese is melted and top is lightly browned, about 20-30 minutes.

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Cheesy warm creamy mashed potato flecked with little bits of green.  Delicious!

 

Adapted from: The Green Door Restaurant Vegetarian Cookbook.

 

 

Bakewell Hearts & Happy Valentine’s Day

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We don’t generally do much for Valentine’s Day, but for Evie it is a full out reason to make everything in the shape of hearts!  I found this recipe which is a shortbread cookie take on the traditional British bakewell tart. I thought it sounded interesting and unique and we decided to give it a try.  I did everything exactly as it is indicated in the recipe in the above link and they worked out perfectly, great with a cup of tea on a freezing cold weekend. Yesterday it felt like -42 °C, today it is a few degrees warmer.

I will definitely make these again with one minor change, next time I will chop the cherries a little smaller.

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The dough smelled amazing  with a cherry and almond scent, Evie said it even smelled like Valentine’s Day.

We cut out a few other shapes as well just to have a little variety.

Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥

 

IN MY KITCHEN FEBRUARY 2016

February is here, getting closer to spring.  There has not been much going on in my kitchen since our last IMK.  I have been trying to source more local food, not just treats but some of the staples that we use alot, exploring, learning and finding some surprising results.

We are gathering at Maureen’s don’t forget she needs your post by the 10th!

Some organic raw rolled oats that are organically grown and rolled by a local farmer, at Castor River Farm.  He maintains and uses vintage farm equipment, how cool is that.

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Sourdough loaf.  No I did not make it, it is from the farmers market.

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Purple carrot cake!  The cake isn’t really purple but it is made with purple carrots and it was really good.

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My favourite fresh bagels.

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The orange macarons that we made

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Apple Turnovers, recipe will follow as soon as I remember what I did!

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and last but not least blurry breakfast peanut butter balls, we make these for breakfast and snacks every few weeks.  They are so good, but I have to be careful not to out-use the recipe.

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I hope you stop by before, but if not, see you in March my friends!

Macarons

IMG_6033One of Evie’s favourite desserts are macarons.  When we see them at a bakery or restaurant she gets all sparkly eyed and we know what she wants.  When she was about 3 years old she saw a recipe book that just had different flavours of macarons and she held onto that book in the store and we bought it for her.  That meant that she nagged endlessly to make them.  I just couldn’t do it, it scared me a little.  Well it has been about 4 years preparing myself and we did it, I jumped in and did it.  Of course Evie was chomping at the bit ready, I was still aprehensive but it wasn’t too bad for a first attempt and we will make them again now that we know the technique and what to expect.

We made orange marmalade macaron.  My husband who would not even take a bite of one because he hated them, actually liked these.  They were not too sweet due to the marmalade, it was a good pairing.  All in all I would say it was much easier than I had anticipated and I would call it a success.

These would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.

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You will need:

3/4 cup ground almonds

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 extra large egg whites

1/4 cup superfine sugar

2 tsp finely grated orange rind

orange food colouring

1/4 cup marmalade (we use our favourite Robertson’s “Golden Shredless”, the one with Paddington on the label)

Place the ground almonds and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor and process for 15 seconds.  Sift the mixture into a bowl.  Set aside.

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Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.  We didn’t have parchment so I used my Silpat on one sheet and nothing on the other.  Let me tell you that parchment is necessary.

Silliness.

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Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whip until soft peaks hold.

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Gradually beat in the superfine sugar until you have a firm glossy meringue. Then beat in the orange rind and food colouring to give the colour that you want.  Ours should have been brighter but I was afraid adding too much would affect the meringue.

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Using a spatula very gently fold in the almond mixture (1/3 at a time).  This is where I started to get a little worried and thought I was ruining it, but it was ok.

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Incorporate all of the dry ingredients, until you have a shiny batter with a thick ribbony consistency. IMG_6024

I was very gentle with the folding but thought I was destroying the meringue, but it worked out ok.

Next problem I encountered was I did not have a pastry bag and I did not have the right sized tip.  We inserted the too big tip (should have 1/2 inch plain tip) into the corner of a zip top bag!  Go ahead, cringe any pastry chefs at this moment, it got a little messy.  Please don’t judge, Evie is only 7 years old and I am just going along with her ideas.

The first couple were ginormous a little large but it got better.

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Tap the sheet onto the counter to release any air bubbles and let sit air drying for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325F.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.  Our should have come out a little sooner as you can see they were catching a little too much colour.

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Now that sheet that did not have parchment, not so good.

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and getting them off the pan was a nightmare.

Evie took a look in the oven at this batch and said “Mom, Paul Hollywood would say that is not a macaron that is a disaster”.  He probably would have too.

Let cool to room for about 15 minutes on the baking sheet.  At this point you would lift off the parchment and let cool completely before filling.

Then sandwich together with the marmalade.

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Needless to say these did not last very long.