Recipes – Storytelling – Delicious Photos

February 3, 2016
by sarah
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Pork and Potato Hash

It can be hard to find balance, can’t it? Between work and a social life and “me” time and “we” time with the ones we love most, it can be so easy to let things slide, get off track and find yourself blinking into the mirror, over tired, underwhelmed and just plain blah. I know for me, protein is key to success. If my morning is full of protein (and caffeine) I am good to go. This hash is hearty and flavorful and will keep you cruising well into the afternoon. A good dose of greens doesn’t hurt either!

 

Pork and Potato Hash

serves 4  hungry people

olive oil

1 lb ground pork

2 Tbsp cumin

pinch of nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 large white onion, halved and sliced thinly

3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated

2 cups potato cut in 1 inch cubes (about 12 baby potatoes, quartered)

1 Tbsp of flour

1/2 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or one large tomato, diced)

4 (packed) Cups chopped spinach or kale leaves

green onion for garnish

poached egg(s) – optional

 

In a heavy bottomed pan, brown the ground pork well  in a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Depending on the width of your pan you may want to brown it in two batches to ensure you do not crowd the pan and steam the meat as it cooks – your aim here is deep, dark browning with lots of crispy bits. Once the pork is browned, add the cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper, onions and garlic and stir frequently until they are fragrant and softened. Sprinkle on flour as you stir. This will make the mixture dry and somewhat sandy, add a 1/2 C of water, add potatoes and cover. Cook, covered, about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover and add the tomatoes and spinach, toss until the spinach wilts and the tomatoes are heated through and oozing their juice. Top with a poached  egg and thinly sliced green onions.

January 24, 2016
by sarah
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Coffee and Cream Cake

Welcome to 2016 on Feasts for All Seasons! January 25th marks our 6th birthday, so naturally there must be cake. We’re looking forward to lots of delicious posts and useful information this year, so whether you’re a long time reader or it’s your first time stopping by, hello and welcome! Stick around, it’s going to be a crazy-good year!

Around here, the day just hasn’t begun without coffee. The inspiration for this cake was chocolate donuts with coffee, both in terms of aesthetics and flavors. It boasts moist, tender, cake and then the bittersweet tang of coffee with cream. The cake packs a punch with a whopping ¼ cup of ground espresso and ¾ of a cup of rich chocolatey cocoa, topped with a sweet milky glaze that’s beautifully rich and thick thanks to a faithful pantry staple: sweetened condensed milk. Consider yourself warned: it’s every bit as addictive as it’s muses. Want to whip one up? Scroll down for the full recipe.

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Coffee and Cream Cake

This cake mixes up quickly and baked in under an hour in a Bundt or other center-tunnel cake pan. If you find yourself with only regular cake pans, two greased and floured 8″ pans will do the trick – just reduce the bake time to 25 minutes. Serves 16. 

3 C flour

2 C light brown sugar

¼ finely ground espresso beans

¾ cocoa

2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

2 cups whole milk

1 C vegetable oil

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp vanilla

Grease and flour a Bundt pan or two 8″ round pans, Preheat your oven to 350°. Sift all of the dry ingredients, minus the brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, crushing any serious lumps.

In another larger bowl combine the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three stages, mixing well before you add the next portion. Scrape the batter into your prepared pan. Bake at  350° for 45 mins or until a tester/tooth pick comes out clean. Allow the cake to sit in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Make sure the cake is completely cool before you top it with the glaze.

Condensed Milk Glaze

1 can (396g/14oz)

2-½ C confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Mix the vanilla with the sweetened condensed milk and sift in the sugar. Mix until it is a smooth, thick but pourable, consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. Decorate with sprinkles while the glaze is wet (the surface will dry).

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December 20, 2015
by sarah
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Swiss Tarts

The title “Swiss Tarts” may be a bit of a misnomer. All I know is that years ago when I first tried to make these, I was attempting to re-create a tiny frosted treat I once had. It was a firm little tart filled with soft, fragrant almond paste, topped with a sweet, snow-white glaze and the glowing dome of a perfect, glossy, half maraschino cherry. Some brief research online tells me that these are also known as Bakewell Tarts. Whatever they are, they have become a bit of a Christmas treat tradition in our house and they are only ever made for Christmas. Unfortunate, because they are very delicious. They are a labour of love if you make your own pastry. If you are at all inclined to skip that step (as I almost always do) they will turn out beautifully (and be so much quicker) if you go the route of frozen pastry shells. If you are a lover of almonds or marzipan, these little gems will undoubtedly make an appearance on your holiday dessert table.

For the pastry:

Prepare 1 recipe of pâte sucrée. Once the dough has chilled and rested, roll out  and cut into rounds the appropriate size for the tart or muffin tins you’ll be using. I used a standard mini muffin tin which meant that my rounds of pastry were 2 ½”. Your pans might be different, be sure to do a test.

Line the pan with the dough, pricking the bottom of each tart shell. Blind bake for 8 minutes at 350° or until the dough starts to appear dry and set, but uncoloured.  Remove tart shells from oven and allow to cool as you prepare the filling.

For the almond filling:

2 C blanched almonds

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp flour

1 egg

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract (or paste)

In a food processor, pulse together the almonds, sugar and flour until the almonds are ground down to the consistency of cornmeal. Once they are well mixed, stop the machine and add the remaining ingredients. Mix until the paste comes together and is smooth, damp and glossy.

To assemble:

Spoon a small amount of cherry jam (or your favourite jam/preserve) into the bottom of each tart shell. Cover the jam with a mound of the almond filling, filling them about 3/4 full. (how much you use will depend on the size of your tarts.)

Bake at 350° for 22 minutes. The filling should be puffed and golden.  My preference is for nice flat tops, so I usually push them down gently with the back of a teaspoon. Cool completely.

Frosting and finishing:

1 C icing sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp almond extract

maraschino or glacé cherries

Mix until smooth and pourable. The frosting should be a thick liquid, but still thin enough to slowly pool when poured. The surface will lightly crust when dried.

Maraschino cherries make a beautiful last minute decoration, but the moisture of the syrup will disrupt the smooth glaze.

Glacé cherries work well if you are decorating the tarts ahead of time.

July 4, 2015
by sarah
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Summer Garden Spaghetti

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Summer Garden Pasta

This recipe is very flexible – make it for one, or make it for a crowd. The amounts below are based on dinner sized portions for 4 people. 

1 medium zucchini, sliced into long strips – about 2 cups (Use the julienne slicing setting on your mandolin if you have one. The coarse side of a box grater will work too)

2 C assorted cherry tomatoes, halved or sliced

200 g whole wheat spaghetti (or your favorite long pasta/noodle)

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

zest and juice of a lemon

1 Tbsp thyme leaves, chopped, some left whole for garnish

½ C finely grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Slice the zucchini finely to resemble the pasta. Slice or halve the cherry tomatoes. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook based on package directions. For whole wheat spaghetti this will take about 7-8 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, add the butter, oil, minced garlic and thyme to a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat so that the butter melts and the thyme and garlic become fragrant. Add the zucchini and cook until tender, about 4 minutes, increasing the heat to medium.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it well and add it to the saucepan with the zucchini. Cook together for anther 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and warm them through. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Garnish with any remaining thyme and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

June 18, 2015
by sarah
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Summer Time Salad

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Aren’t summer evenings beautiful? I was clicking through the archives looking for a good recipe to re-post and I came across this one. Not only is it delicious, but the picture grabbed my attention. I love, love, love the long shadows and warmth of the light on a summer evening. This is a fresh, easy salad and goes particularly well with grilled chicken. The concord grapes give it some sweet tang and the sundried tomatoes add textural interest. A sprinkling of pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or toasted almonds would not be unwelcome either.

Summer Time Salad

makes enough for 4-6 people

2 medium zucchini (courgettes), juliened

2 C fresh corn kernels

1 C concord grapes 

2 C cherry tomatoes, halved

6 sundried/ovendried tomatoes, rehydrated in some warm water and juliened

a large handful of mixed fresh basil and parsley, torn or chopped.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Add coarse salt and pepper to taste.

May 15, 2015
by sarah
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Garlicky Citrus Salmon Steaks

salmon steaks

A favorite from the archives. Have a delicious weekend!

 

Garlicky Citrus Salmon Steaks

 enough marinade for 4-6 salmon steaks

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 large garlic clove, grated or minced

Juice and zest of half a lemon

8 green onions (scallions) finely chopped

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Slather generously on both sides of the fish steaks. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before grilling over medium-high heat, turning only once, 12-15 minutes total time. The fish is done when it flakes easily and is just barely opaque at its centre.

May 10, 2015
by sarah
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Fish Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

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It’s not even the middle of May and it was 25 Celsius here yesterday. When it’s warm and bright like that I want to eat dinner in the back yard, with a great cocktail or a cold beer, and let the day just fade away into the evening. Something easy, fresh, bright, lime wedges doing double duty in glasses and on plates. Laughter, sunset, the din of the city as it cools and slows down again for another balmy night; this is the landscape of perfect summer cooking and eating. But what to make?
Easy: fish tacos! Continue Reading →

May 9, 2015
by sarah
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Smoked Tomato Caesars

 

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I’m such a sucker for smoked foods. Nuts, cheese, meat, fish, if it’s been cooked over fire or better yet treated to a woodsmoke sauna and fully indoctrinated with smoky goodness, I want to eat it. So you might imagine my joy when my friend Andrew started Wholly Smoked and started churning out amazing small batch smoked foods for friends, family and Continue Reading →