Homemade Cough Drops

The air has changed this weekend. There is a chill in the air and the light has changed,the sun seems a little lower in the sky and there is less natural light in the house. Not great for picture taking. I have a dry tickle in my throat that I hope is just due to the air getting drier and not of anything else starting. Since it is a holiday we get to stay home, so we decided to give these cough candies a go. 

There are only a few ingredients, and I had all on hand. These are to use when you just need to keep your mouth and throat from being too dry, not in place of medication or a visit to the doctor if you are feeling under the weather. 

The recipe is from Noshing with the Nolans, take a look for detailed instructions. Basically, to a saucepan add 1 cup sugar, 1/2cup sugar, 1tbsp honey (I used unpasteurized buckwheat), 1/2tsp ginger, 1/2tsp cinnamon & 1/4tsp cloves, 1 tbsp lemon juice. Bring to a boil & boil until it reaches hard crack stage, about 20 minutes. That is 302 degrees Fahrenheit, you will want to use a candy thermometer.





Drop in little blobs onto a silpat or parchment, let cool.

Let cool and harden completely, the toss in confectioners sugar so they don’t stick together. 
Shake off excess sugar.  Store in a container until ready to use.

Cilantro Mint Chutney

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I have a favourite Indian restaurant close by that I usually crave just for their mint chutney, it is sooo incredibly good.  We order it with paneer pakoras which Evie also loves so we will have to start doubling and tripling the orders because we are like crazy seagulls fighting over them! Of course since she is the child we let her get her fill.  Since we have that mint field in the back garden we decided to search online and try our own which was reminiscent of my favourite but not really like it in consistency (probably because I used the NutriBullet) I am sure they hand chop everything.  This sauce was so good Evie even gobbled it up with her pakoras.  I did not make the pakoras, we ordered those from the Indian restaurant and picked them up just before we were ready to eat.  We will definitely be making this again!  I just saw that Natascha posted zucchini fritters and Elaine posted cauliflower cakes so I think I will be trying out those recipes to accompany the sauce.

This was very quick and easy to make.  I googled and checked pinterest and basically looked at a few recipes and combined different parts and came up with this.

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Into the large jar of the Nutribullet blender I added 1 cup fresh mint leaves along with 1/2- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (along wit h some team pieces), a thumb sized pieces of ginger chopped and 1 green chile, chopped and about 1TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1tsp cumin powder and a good pinch of salt.  I blended a little and it was dry so I added enough water just a TBSP or two and blitzed again.  This loosened the sauce a blended it nicely.

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Do not take a huge sniff when you take the lid off, it will knock your socks off, pretty potent stuff.   I did and it was like smelling salts.

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I placed it in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.  Give a stir before pouring out in bowl as some separation may occur.

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This sauce was so fresh and spicy, delicious!

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Pork Dumplings with Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce

Well, I am doing a little catching up! This is a recipe that we made back in the winter and I never got around to posting, there are a few more that I still have to post.  My summer to do list is catch up with all of the posts that I have sitting in draft.

These are so easy and fun to make and they are delicious also. Evie had fun pinching the seams together, it was like cooking and crafting all in one! You can even prepare a big batch and freeze them. I have done that and it worked out well.

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For the Dumplings (also known as potstickers):

1/4 lb ground pork

1Tbsp finely chopped chives

1&1/2 tsp soy sauce

1&1/2 tsp dry sherry

1tsp minced fresh ginger

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp cornstarch

20 wonton wrappers

1Tbsp vegetable oil

In a bowl mix pork, soy sauce, sherry, ginger, chives, sesame oil cornstarch and 1Tbsp water.

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Mix this really well.

Place a tsp of the pork mixture in the centre of a wonton wrapper.  Lightly wet the edges of the wrapper and fold over, press to seal. Do this until all of the mixture has been used.

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Cook dumplings (in two batches) in a large pot of boiling water until cooked through, about 5 minutes then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon (you do not want much water left on them). Be very gentle as the wrappers are delicate.

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Once all of the dumplings have been boiled heat a large skillet with vegetable oil, cook about 1-2 minutes per side until they are lightly browned.  Again I usually do this in two batches so they are not too crowded in the pan.  As you can see mine were a little to crowded, I was impatient in a hurry, and did not brown quite enough to my liking, but they were still good.

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For the Ginger Soy dipping sauce:

In a small bowl stir together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger, 2 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp sesame oil.  I give this a whisk and it is done.

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Dig in!

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NOTE :  I have prepared these and frozen the raw dumplings in ziptop bags. Once you have prepared the raw dumplings place them on a baking sheet to freeze. Once frozen transfer to tiptop bags and freeze.  When you are ready to eat, cook from frozen.  Just pop the frozen dumplings into the boiling water and cook as above.

Source: The original recipe was found in Everyday Food magazine.

Soba Noodle Salad with Garlic Ginger Dressing

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This is one tasty salad.   It is a nice salad to use up leftover chicken or turkey, which many people have around this time of year.  It is also a good one for summer picnics or potlucks as it can be left out at room temperature for awhile as there is no mayo to spoil.

This recipe can easily be adapted to be gluten free (make sure noodles and soy sauce are gluten free), vegetarian or vegan (leave out protein and for vegan make sure other ingredients are safe).  I am also thinking that this would be good using the cooked tofu from our Broccoli Tofu Stir Fry recipe.  I would have put a link to that here, but I forget how to do it.

First for the dressing:

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whisk together 1/4 cup of gluten free soy sauce, Tamari or I use Kikkoman, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1Tbsp veg oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1 clove garlic (minced) and 1 tsp ginger root peeled and finely grated.  Set aside.

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These are the noodles we use since we can easily find them.  You can use any Soba Noodle (Japanese Buckwheat Noodles) that you would prefer.  Make sure it says gluten free if you can’t have gluten.  Boil 3/4 lbs of noodles according to the package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.

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Toss with the dressing.

Add about 1 lb of cooked cubed or shredded chicken (or leftover turkey if it is the holidays).

I also add a few thinly sliced scallions (I use just the green onion tops) and about a cup or so of chopped sweet bell peppers.  For the peppers I use whatever colours I have on hand, about a full pepper or two small ones.

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Toss all of this together with the sauce and noodles and serve warm or cover and chill to serve later.

Best served the day of prepping as the noodles will soak up the dressing and it will be a little dryer.  However, all of the flavour is still there, just give it a little toss to recoat everything.

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The original source was an Everyday Food magazine from many years ago, 2008 or 2009.  I adapted the recipe to our liking, aka Evie’s liking.  I believe the original used a head of thinly shredded purple or red cabbage, which would add more colour and crunch.  We didn’t like that as much and the shredded cabbage was a little harder for Evie to eat.  She was only about a year old when we started making this.  She loved it and would eat it up, with all the cabbage picked out, so I stopped adding the cabbage and added more peppers since she liked them.

Now that I have posted this I have to go finish cleaning out the cupboards.  We did the food cupboards yesterday.  Now I have a few very stuffed cupboard of spices and teas that is in desperate need of a good cull and clean. I shouldn’t procrastinate on that any longer.

Evie’s Favorite Tofu Broccoli Stir Fry

I hope I haven’t lost you on the mention of tofu.  If a five year old is asking for tofu stir fry for supper it must be good! It reallllly is good and the tofu is chewy sort of reminiscent of chicken and it absorbs the flavours of the sauce that is added.  The recipe is from one of Evie’s favourite restaurants and she asks for me to make it.    It is a vegetarian restaurant that we visit whenever we get a chance, but we do have a copy of their recipe book to make some of our favourite dishes at home.  I have only actually made two recipes from the book.

This is one of them.

1 block of firm or extra firm tofu ( I use extra firm if I can find it), cut into small dice size cubes

fry in oil, about 1/3 of a cup, I always try to use a little less. *note: make sure the oil is hot and sizzles when you touch a piece of tofu to it before you add the tofu.

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fry turning until it is golden and has a crispy edge.

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not done yet, a little more like this

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while the tofu is frying I make the sauce and set it aside.

Now for the sauce, mix together in a small bowl:

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup tamari soy sauce, sometimes I use kikkoman

2tsp freshly grated ginger

4 cloves minced garlic

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Once the tofu is fried, add 1 cup of carrots thinly sliced, cook for about two minutes

add 4-5 cups of broccoli, florets, and some of the stem thinly sliced.  Add sauce to pan and cook for 5 to 7 minutes turning to coat everything in the sauce. Broccoli should be turned bright green but still firm.

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While this is cooking make the glaze.

Mix 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder with 1/4 cup water until dissolved.

Add this to the pan and stir until thick which will only take a few seconds.

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Recipe source:  The Green Door Restaurant – Vegetarian Cookbook.  Adapted slightly by me.

You can purchase a copy of the cookbook here it seems to be much cheaper than amazon, a third of the price!