BY Lisa Davies | Monday, May 13, 2013 8:00am |
In my last What’s for Dinner? column, I suggested some daikon radish recipes in order to deal with the surplus you may have found in your CSA box. We now find ourselves in rhubarb season, presenting us with a similar if not sharper and sweeter problem. For those of you with rhubarb coming out of your ying-yang—or more likely your veggie box—then these recipes are for you.
I love rhubarb, but as it needs cooking before eating, it tends to accumulate in my fridge. Rhubarb pie—the go-to option—requires some planning, so I have two simple rhubarb recipes to share with you:
The first, a Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote recipe, is a favorite in our house as these two fruits are just meant to go together. The second is simple short cut to crumble-heaven, a recipe for Rhubarb Crumble.
BY Lisa Davies | Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 8:00am |
A friend of mine went away for spring break and let me have her CSA share in her absence. A CSA, Community Supported Agriculture: a system whereby you sign up for a box of vegetables from local farmers and growers, has been around for a while especially around Baristaville.
I love the surprise of opening the box and figuring exactly what fresh produce is in there and then planning what to cook with it. It’s a bit like the “quickfire” round in Top Chef: “you have 25 minutes to make something with these four ingredients…”
While I always know what to do with predictable produce such as kale, broccoli, squash or potatoes, I’m occasionally flummoxed by the sometimes random contents that you find in a veggie box. In this particular case it was a daikon, a long white radish. At first I thought it was a squash or a parsnip but it turned out to be a daikon. I know—I’d never heard of one either.
So last week’s challenge was figuring out how to get the kids to eat said daikons so they would not end up in the compost bin.
BY Lisa Davies | Sunday, Apr 14, 2013 8:00am |
Most of us have our basic store cupboard staples from which we can scramble together a meal. I know as long as I have capers and olive oil that I can combine with some veggies, pasta or a protein, then I can knock up a pretty decent, healthy, kid-pleasing meal.
BY Lisa Davies | Saturday, Mar 30, 2013 8:00am |
This Easter, I was intent on making traditional chocolate truffles—you know, rich French-style ones consisting of a lavish chocolate ganache, amply dusted with luxurious cocoa powder—totally creamy, dreamy and decadent.
I even bought all the ingredients: heavy cream, butter, chocolate, and then, as I was about to start setting up, I had a change of plan… a strange thought struck me:
“Nuts and coconut oil are very creamy and, mmmm, wouldn’t they be good with some cocoa?”
Without hesitation, I returned the butter and the cream to the fridge and ended up making vegan chocolate truffles instead. Yup. Vegan ones.
BY Lisa Davies | Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 9:00am |
Holiday Hype is the reason why some foods are only served once a year: we get all excited about seasonal treats but by and large, they rarely live up to that hype. At this time of year, there are a lot of foods that fall under that Holiday Hype banner and yes, I’m looking at you, green bagels with corned beef…
Colcannon, however, is a food that should NOT be reserved just for St Patrick’s Day.
It is just too good and in my view it should be served often during winter, as it is one of the most comforting comfort foods around.
Those of you who haven’t heard of this tasty dish before may well be wondering what it is and you will be delighted to learn that it is a mixture of buttery, creamy mash with kale and leeks, making it the perfect side dish to Irish bangers (and a way of soaking up too much Guinness.)
BY Lisa Davies | Monday, Mar 04, 2013 7:00am |
I met with Casey Barber, author of Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats a few weeks ago. The book is a collection of your childhood favorites but without the unpronounceable chemical additives. Among others, you’ll find Funyuns and Twinkies without hydrolyzed soy protein and monocalcium phosphate (for all you Breaking Bad fans the chemical formula is Ca(H2PO4)) – yes, “junk food” made with real rather than junk ingredients.
Casey gave me her recipe for Animal Crackers recipe and I put that to test with my twins. Cooking with kindergarteners can be challenging at the best of times but this was an easy recipe to follow. We managed to make them with no one getting hurt and not much mess on the floor: the added bonus was they looked and tasted good.
These animal crackers are inspired by the ones that come in the elegantly vintage Barnum’s box. They have a familiar warm flavor and a soft texture. On Casey’s advice I toned down the spice and added some more vanilla to make it more to my girls’ liking.
Here’s her recipe:
BY Lisa Davies | Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 8:00am |
Aaah! As any good realtor will tell you, there is nothing like the smell of home-baked goods filling your kitchen: the buttery aroma of pastry mixed with the high notes of appley sweetness and then just a hint of cinnamon, is so, so, comforting.
Strangely though, that aromatic reward seems far away—a distant destination after an arduous journey of making and rolling out pastry. At least that’s the excuse I use for not baking that often…
Thankfully, here’s a quick and easy (and by that I mean ridiculously quick and ridiculously easy) Apple Pie with Oatmeal Streusel recipe that will free up time you can spend with your family this long weekend.
BY Lisa Davies | Sunday, Feb 03, 2013 8:00am |
In a nutshell, serving food for kids can be as much about how you serve it up—in both description and plate setting—as much as it is about ingredients and nutrition.
For example, my kids love pasta and would happily eat it every mealtime given the chance. They are not alone in that: I have met many an exasperated mom who shook their head and reluctantly admitted that their kid will only eat pasta, leaving them held hostage to a less than varied diet.
Thankfully, my two are nowhere near that bad, but whereas they’re happy to try other things, they do not share my love of a big bowl of steaming soup, even during this, the hearty soup season.
If I were to tell them that minestrone soup was on the dinner menu, I can guarantee that their reaction —accompanied by loud groans of horror, I might add—would be “that’s ’sgusting!” (I love their ability to test the vital limits of the English language, by the way.)
So to counteract that predictable response, I decided to add some subtle re-branding (slash lying). Instead of using the m-word, I told them that we were having ‘pasta soup’ for dinner.
Suddenly they were interested. Suddenly they had an appetite.
BY Lisa Davies | Sunday, Jan 20, 2013 8:00am |
T.S. Eliot suggested that April is the cruelest month, but let’s face it, January comes a very close second.
As months go, January feels like a wasteland (pun intended): a physical and financial holiday hangover strung out over long nights and cold days. And deep beneath the distracting shouts of January-diet resolutions come the seductive whispers of comfort food – tempting little oases in this barren landscape. This particular whisper spoke to me loud enough to overcome the January Diet with relative ease, as little else could be more comforting than Cottage Pie: rich meat and vegetable sauce covered with buttery, creamy mashed potato and bubbling hot cheese. Are you listening rice cakes and cottage cheese?
Originally, Cottage Pie was a way of eking-out the leftovers and although this frugal approach is good for January finances, I prefer to use fresh ground beef as this gives it a better texture. Alternatively you can use ground lamb to make Shepherd’s Pie. Continue Reading
BY Lisa Davies | Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 8:00am |
Want a really easy resolution that will make a difference to your energy and health?
It’s simple: eat a good breakfast every day.
Want a second easy resolution? Listen to your mother. Basically, she was right when she told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s a great way to kick-start the day because it kick-starts your metabolism and in doing so paves the way to health benefits such as weight control and improved performance.