Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Cookbook a Day - Bernardin's Complete Book of Home Preserving

Hi folks,

Today's #cookbookaday post is a wee bit of a cheat. I'm taking a break from the kitchen today as we are heading out to see one of dearly beloved's friends play at the Options Jazz Lounge at the Brookstreet Hotel. Date Night! Woo hoo!

So instead of sharing a cookbook I used today, I'm sharing a cookbook that has seen a LOT of use over the last few weeks. My Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving.

Believe me, there are a LOT of stained pages in this book! Here's one of them!

I haven't made salsa in quite a few years. But since I had purchased 75lbs of tomatoes just before Labour Day weekend I figured it was high time that our canning shelves were once again graced with home made salsa. The one change you will see noted in the recipe is that I use red onions.

So....I made salsa. Lots and lots of salsa. Below is just TWO of the pots I made.

Of course, I didn't stop at just two pots. I actually made four. The first two pots used jalapeno peppers but for the next round I used an assortment of peppers from our garden.

When your peppers look this tasty, how can you not?

So - we're stocked with salsa now for a little while!

Tell me, do you make any home preserves? If so, what do YOU like to can? I do everything - I both water bath AND pressure can. So, jams, jellies, pickles, stew, chili, curry, tomatoes, tomato sauce. The list goes on.

Thanks for stopping by again today!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Cookbook a Day - The Purity Cookbook

Hello there!

My ongoing quest to use a different cookbook every day brought me to this one that I picked up in Newfoundland back in June.

As a typical ex-pat Newf, I see the word Purity and I gravitate toward the object. It's a thing with us.

I had some ripe bananas sitting on the counter, just enough for banana muffins or banana loaf and figured I would find a recipe in this cookbook.

Unfortunately for me, I had forgotten that I had tried this recipe previously and was not a fan. One must consider that when this cookbook was originally compiled, times were a tad more frugal. Did you notice the very light hand with the sugar and the fat?? Blech! And the heavier hand with the baking powder. Double blech!

Now, they look okay when the come out of the oven.

But NOT to my taste. I like my banana muffins a bit sweeter, a bit more dense. I have a recipe from one of my Mom's elderly neighbours that I normally use for banana muffins. I think I'll be going back to it.

I DID try the muffins to be sure I didn't like them. AND....I was correct. But, inspiration came to me in the form of a couple of dollops of Nutella.

MUCH better!

And, so I don't make the same mistake again, I have made appropriate notes in my cookbook.

Does anyone else out there write in their cookbooks? I think it is a VERY important habit to adopt.

Thanks for stopping by today! Hope you visit again soon.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Cookbook a Day - The Joy of Cooking

Hi folks,

So glad that you are taking time to visit us as I have decided to forge ahead with my #cookbookaday idea.

If you know me in real life you have probably seen my cookbook collection. Not to be immodest but it is rather large and covers a wide variety of subjects. Like most people, however, I fall into a rut of cooking the same go-to meals. Not that there is anything wrong with that. We ALL have our favourite meals, correct? And, we ALL have busy lives and taking out the cookbooks to find something new to try just doesn't fit into the daily plan.

Well, I've decided I want that to change. I want to be able to answer the question "So, have you actually USED each one of those cookbooks?" with a (prideful) resounding "Of course!"

It has been a rainy weekend here in Ottawa and I was feeling in need of comfort food for Sunday dinner. And nothing says comfort food to me more than an oven roasted chicken. Growing up in Newfoundland, Sunday dinner (served at noon NOT 6pm) was always roasted meat of some sort (chicken, beef, pork, turkey, ham) with boiled veggies (potatoes, carrots, turnip, cabbage) and salt beef. As an adult, I must confess, I HATE boiled veggies. Actually, even as an older kid, I'd always take my veggies and mash them up with butter and pepper. Because, let's face it, butter and pepper make EVERYTHING taste better.

Anyways, after deciding on oven roasted chicken I pondered what to have as my starchy side. Hmmmm.....Risotto! I love risotto. I would be happy to JUST have the risotto. Give me the pot, give me a spoon, send me on my way. I'm happy.

I mentioned to the other half what I was planning for dinner and he went in search of a wine from his collection and came back with this 2013 Closson Chase Chardonnay.

His wine choice wound up influencing my choice of risotto recipe. I grabbed the two cookbooks from which I had previously made risotto and decided that the one with the least amount of wine in the recipe would be the one I made - leaving more Chardonnay for drinking with dinner! The winner of risotto recipe roulette?

Risotto In Bianco

from my much loved copy of "The Joy of Cooking". EVERY kitchen needs this cookbook.

And here is what we finally enjoyed for dinner. A lemon and herb oven roasted chicken with carrots, risotto and harvest kale salad from Farm Boy tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette.

The wine pairing was PERFECT! One of those rare evenings where we finished a full bottle of wine with dinner. A great way to cap off a busy weekend.

I hope you come back again for the next installment of my #cookbookaday series!


Forgive the tardiness of this post but it seems the "eat" half of this blogging duo never got around to actually publishing this post. So, better late than never! Correct?

Back in early Spring here in Ottawa, fiddleheads made their usual appearance at our favourite local grocery store, Farm Boy.

Having never cooked or even eaten them before, I decided it was high time to give them a try.

Our friend Google told me over and over to clean them, steam them and then saute them with a bit of butter and the taste would be reminiscent of asparagus. Sounded good to me so that's what I did - with a sprinkling of some lemon & herb seasoning (next time - fresh lemon!)

Here's dinner!

Sauteed fiddleheads, pan-fried haddock and couscous made with a touch of orange juice and a few chopped dried apricots. Not too shabby for a mid-week dinner if I do say so myself.

Now, what does a certified sommelier pull out of the wine fridge to pair with tonight's meal? He chose this Jean Geiler Réserve Particulière Riesling 2013

I'm hoping to be a little more consistent with posting over the next little while - I have a little project that's been sitting in the back of my head as a fun little way to work my way through my vast cookbook collection. Hope you will tune in to see what I'm cooking up!