Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good Morning Cookies

It's been a crazy November!  Which hasn't left to much time to blog all the delicious food and wine we've been indulging in.  But these breakfast cookies are perfect to have around to take on the go.  These took thirty minutes to whip up, have no sugar or flour or dairy or eggs or butter, and are packed with goodness.

Blueberry Banana Coconut Walnut Cookies
1 1/2 cups of rolled oats (could use gluten free oats)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon of golden flaxmeal
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of blueberries
3 over rip bananas, mashed
1/4 cup of coconut oil (liquid)
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine oats, coconut, flaxmeal, salt, nuts and seeds into a bowl.  Mix bananas, oil, honey and vanilla in another bowl and add mixture to the dry bowl.  Fold in bananas.  Scoop two tablespoons of the mixture at a time on to parchment lined cookie sheet.  The mixture is not easy to mould, and needs to be firmly pressed together on the sheet with your hands.  They should be a bit larger than your average chocolate chip cookie!
Bake for twenty five minutes or so until golden.  Let them cool on the pan and harden on a cool rack before packing them away.

A fun dinner party is planned for the weekend, and so a full blog post with lots of new wine discoveries is on it's way!

breakfast (and snack) is served.
bon appétit. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wine and Cheese Party

We hosted a wine and cheese this weekend.  Everyone had a task of bringing one cool piece of cheese to throw on the table to nibble on, and one cool bottle of wine to open and share.

Very simple and fun way to spend an evening with friends.  We went down to the local butcher and asked him for a bunch of butcher paper and taped it down to cover our kitchen island.  Everyone was invited to put the cheese on the table, and write beside the cheese what kind you brought.

We chopped a whole bunch of sausage and salamis, put out some crackers, a couple loaves of baguette, and voila.

Here are two special bottles of wine we found and enjoyed.  Both are from Vintages at LCBO and available right now.

This is in the LCBO right now for $17.95. I've never seen a Grand Cru Pinot Gris at such a low price. I don't think I've seen a Grand Cru anything priced so low for that matter. Wow does it ever deliver. The wine is certainly "off dry", which means it's basically sweet. 38 grams of sugar / litre to be exact. However, its packed with powerful juicy acidity which balances everything out. It's full and rich with peach, apricots, baking spices and flowers. It has a great long finish and pairs oh so well with charcuterie and cheeses. You can drink this now, or put it in your cellar for up to 8 years. I'm betting it will not be on the shelf for long...

This red just came out in Vintages this past weekend and will not last long priced at $19.95. Such great value for "Vacqueyras" which is a Cru Village in Frances Southern Rhone Valley known as the Cotes du Rhone.  Down there they make big (balanced) fruity blends of Grenache and Syrah grapes. This red has range and focus. You could pair it with so many things or with nothing at all. That's why it was a great pick for this kind of party. It has a lovely underlying graphite edge to it's suave plum sauce, fig and blackberry fruit nose. Take a big sip and you get crazy flavours of black tea, cassis and tobacco, which keeps a nice velvety feel it all the way to the finish. Buy this wine by the case, as it will only get better in the cellar. I poured it into a decanter for 3 hours before serving it, as you should do with younger wines of this pedigree. 

wine and cheese and salami is served.
bon appétit.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Curried Quinoa Butternut Squash Soup

 The soup you think of when you think of fall.  Butternut squash soup.  This one is curried, and full of quinoa, and just-enough spice to feel the warmth.
1 litre of stock (chicken or vegetable, boxed or homemade)
1 big peeled and diced butternut squash (we peeled it with a regular potato peeler)
1 sliced onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon of garam masala
1 can of coconut milk
1 cup of cooked quinoa (any kind will do, but black or red works the best for the most crunch!)
1 long red chilli pepper, finely diced
some cilantro leaves for on top

Cook 1 cup of quinoa and place aside.  Put the onions and cilli peppers and olive oil into a deep pot.  Cook for just a coupe of minutes and add the garam masala.  Cook the onions on medium high until they become translucent.  Add the diced squash and cook until tender to the fork, about 5 minutes.  
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.  Add the coconut milk and stir until heated through.  Remove from the heat and let cool for half an hour.  Put a hand blender inside the pot and blend until smooth.  Add salt, pepper and the cooked quinoa.
Ladle into bowls and serve warm, with a few cilantro leaves on top.

bon appétit.  
dinner is served.