Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beets with Herbs & Butter

 It's the end of July which tells you that most of my produce is ready in my garden.
This week we have been enjoying beets.
You either love them or hate dislike them.
Here are some scrumptious ways to eat fresh and colorful beets.
Raw ~ Slice them up and serve them with a sprinkle of chile and lemon.
Soups ~ Make a traditional Ukrainian Borscht. 
Roasted ~ This is my all time favorite.  They are tender and juicy.
In a Salad ~ Today beets are making a statement in many salads. 
Pickled ~ Pickled beets have been around forever. Enjoy the tangy vinegar taste.
Desserts ~ yes, you can even enjoy a velvety beet cake.
 A quick trip to the garden:
  • Hand pick the smallest ones.  They are tender.
  • Wash them, cut down the foliage leaving a stem of three inches.
  • Boil them for 30-40 minutes.
  • Drain the water and slip off the skins with your hands.
  • If you prefer to keep your hands clean, you can also use a paper towel.
  • Add fresh herbs as they complement their natural sweetness.
  • Add a touch of butter, salt and pepper with a quick squeeze of lemon.
  • Beets keep for quite awhile in the fridge if you remove the greens.
What's your favorite recipe for beets?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Huevos Rancheros, Gluten Free

My niece and her husband were visiting us and I needed to come up with a Gluten Free breakfast that we all could enjoy together. This recipe made with Gluten Free Ranchero Sauce is a good option to keep in your file.
  • 1/2 onion, chopped.
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped.
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil.
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch, gluten free.
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder.
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce, gluten free.
  • 1 cup water.
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
  • salt to taste
  • 1 package corn tortillas
  • 1 large can whole pinto beans, drained and smashed. (approx. 26 oz can)
  • 2 cups grated cheese, 3 cheese Mexican blend or other cheese of your choice.
  • 10-12 whole raw eggs.
  • cilantro to garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Saute the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno in 2 tablespoons of oil until onion is translucent. 
  2. When slightly cooled transfer these ingredients to a blender along with the 8oz. of tomato sauce and blend until smooth then set aside.
  3. In same frying pan heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the corn starch and chili powder and whisk in well.
  5. Add the tomato sauce blended veggie mixture and whisk in well.
  6. Add 1 cup of water and continue to whisk.
  7. Add the cumin, garlic powder, and brown sugar and whisk till blended.
  8. Add salt to taste.
  9. Reduce heat and cook until thickened.
  10. Drain and smash the pinto beans.
  11. In prepared casserole dish start layering the ingredients starting with a little sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  12. Cover the sauce with a layer of corn tortillas.
  13. Cover the tortillas with a layer of smashed beans.
  14. Cover the beans with a layer of sauce.
  15. Cover the sauce with a layer of tortillas.
  16. Cover the tortillas with a layer of cheese. 
  17. Crack and add a whole raw egg to the top of each tortilla.
  18. Sprinkle with a little more cheese.
  19. Bake in 350 degree oven until the egg white is set and the yolk is still runny. Approx. 20 minutes.
  20. Remove and sprinkle with cilantro.

You can vary the layers but finish with the tortillas and eggs on top. We had lactose intolerant guests for this meal also so I made a small pan of the Huevos Rancheros without any cheese layers at all and they were tasty and appreciated. If preferred you can omit the first layer of tortillas having just one layer on top of the casserole.

We also served our Huevos with some bacon. The Gluten free ranchero sauce can be used in other Mexican dishes, too, like enchiladas.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

This has become one of our favourite ways to eat cauliflower.
  1. Remove outer green leaves from the cauliflower.
  2. Wash and pat dry.
  3. Cut thick slices right through the core, trying to keep the pieces intact.
  4. Place on parchment paper covered baking sheet or in a vegetable basket to be used on the grill.
  5. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle with finely grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Grill or bake in oven at 400ยบ until cauliflower is tender but still on the crisp side.
  8. Serve. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bread For The Journey

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalm 5:3

I am reading through the Psalms this month, and have noticed that the writer of this book (David) is a man after God's own heart. A man that cries out to God, prays to God, praises Him, sees great miracles that God does in spite of all David's sinful short comings and trials that he is going through. David is so devoted to spending time with God, that he begins his day with listening for the voice of God and waits expectantly to hear from Him. That is what I want for myself, not to just pray and hope for the best, but to wait expectantly for God to work things out in my life, regardless of how flawed my sinful nature is. I have been redeemed and forgiven.

Are you going through a challenge in your life? Then take some time in the morning, bring your requests to Him and join me in waiting expectantly. I want that to become second nature in my life to seek Him first thing in the morning every day, no matter what is happening in my life.
That is a great way to start the beginning of every new day, don't you agree?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Eating Under the Trees

Although we have a perfectly good patio, 
I romanticize the idea of  putting the table under the large maple tree.

 Sometimes it is fun to just move things around a bit.
If you have a tree in your yard, try it.

Whether you use the space for a large gathering . . .

to enjoy some quiet time in the shade . . .

or a packed picnic in the park.
Summer is time to enjoy the outdoors.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Chilled Raspberry Soup

We recently took and Alaskan Cruise and I really enjoyed the Chilled Raspberry Soup. There were a few culinary classes offered during our cruise and I couldn't resist taking them in. I asked the chef if I could share this recipe and she said "of course...many people take this one home to share". 
It's a perfect hot summer's day soup to serve before the main course. 
  • 2 pints fresh raspberries, (or frozen and thawed) 
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp triple sec (or 2 tbsp orange juice if you want a non alcoholic choice) 
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Reserve 6 raspberries for garnish. 
  2. Use a blender or food processor to puree raspberries until smooth. 
  3. Over a non reactive bowl strain pureed fruit through a cheese cloth or fine sieve to remove seeds. Discard seeds.
  4.  Whisk together remaining ingredients, and add in the pureed and sieved raspberries.
  5. Pour soup into a glass jar or bowl. Cover well and refrigerate until very cold.
  6. I like to place individual serving bowls in the refrigerator for about and hour before serving soup. Add chilled soup to chilled bowls. Garnish with remaining raspberries and serve immediately. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pineapple Chicken Rice - Gluten Free

This is one of my favourite comfort foods.
While my husband will still ask "What's for dessert?" , I need no dessert with this meal.

Before I give you  the recipe I'd like to share how I cook my rice -  I love it...  no mess, no fuss, perfect rice every time.   I like Uncle Ben's Brown rice , or converted rice .. my favourite is sprouted brown rice which is the most nutritious.

  • 1 cup rice 
  • 3 cups water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tsp butter 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  1. Put all ingredients into a microwave proof bowl or baking dish (with lid - can use plate)
  2. Place in microwave and set cook time for 25 minutes..  (microwaves vary so you might have to adjust for your microwave or the type of rice you prefer) 
Pineapple Chicken Rice 
  • 2 or 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 tin pineapple tidbits 
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp thyme 
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce (make sure its gluten free)  
  • 1/2 onion 
  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • dash of pepper 
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch 
  • pineapple juice 
  1. Season chicken breast and cook as desired -  I like to do them in the pressure cooker - it takes 20 minutes and they are melt in your mouth tender. 
  2. Put finely chopped onion and butter/oil into sauce pan and cook until onion is tender.  
  3. Mix sugar, nutmeg, thyme, salt, pepper and cornstarch. 
  4. Drain pineapple tidbits, saving juice - add more pineapple juice  to make 2 cups 
  5. Add soya sauce
  6. Stir juice/soya sauce into dry ingredients and mix until smooth 
  7. Add to onions and cook , stirring until smooth and thickened. 
  8. Add pineapple tidbits 
  9. Add chicken cut up into bite size pieces. 
  10. Cook a minute or two to make sure it is all heated through.
  11. Serve over rice..... Enjoy ! 
NOTE -  sugars and spices can be adjusted to personal taste.