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Posts from the ‘Sides’ Category

Thanksgiving

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom

Every year I make the same meal for Thanksgiving, there is little to no variations year to year because everyone loves it that way. It makes things easier sort of, the only planning involves the shopping and of course the preparation. I try to make as much in advance as possible to save myself work on the big day. This will be Percy’s first Thanksgiving with me and I plan on giving him a plate of food along with the rest of my guests. I am excited that this year my two cousins will be joining me as well. My menu is very basic, nothing fancy but everything is homemade and has withstood the test of time. The dishes on the menu are linked to former posts so that you can see the recipes. Mashed potatoes, well, no recipe required, so my potatoes have not lumps I use the food mill and then simply add sour cream, butter and salt and pepper, thats all, the same goes for the pumpkin pie, I used canned pumpkin and follow the instructions on the back of the can, I’ve tried other methods and quite honestly the results are so similar it’s not worth the extra effort. The meal is always served with wine, this year a Cabernet Sauvignon, Lambrusco, Sparkling blanc de blanc and I am still undecided on whether to serve a Chardonnay or white bordeaux.

Thanksgiving Menu

butter and herb roast turkey

dressing

mashed potatoes

oven roasted brussells sprouts

corn

cranberry sauce

dinner rolls

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Dessert

Pecan Pie

Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Guest Post- The Frugal Hausfrau

I am thrilled to introduce Mollie –The Frugal Hausfrau. One look at her delicious recipes and beautiful blog and you will be hooked. Her food is home style with an elegant twist, whether a main course, side or dessert you will be drooling. She is one of sweetest and kindest people I know and I have to mention that she is the force behind Throw Back Thursday. Allow me to introduce Mollie, if you don’t already know her I know you will love her as much as I do. Take it away Mollie. One more thing, she hit the nail on the head when she chose this recipe, it has my name written all over it.

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I’m so happy to be here today with a guest post for Suzanne. When she put out the call, I jumped. Here’s a woman who does so much for everyone whether she’s just inspiring quietly in her own way, stopping by with lovely comments and encouragement, or working for fundraisers and charities.

I admire Suzanne and her cooking style and over the years I must have read nearly every post Suzanne has ever put out. I’d like to think I have a handle on her taste and I want to be mindful of the healthy direction she’s been moving toward.

So I found some inspiration in a recipe for a roasted cauliflower from Martha Stewart, changed it up a bit and added an Italian flair, just for Suzanne. I used my fave Fennel Spice Rub, and it’s worth making, even if it is and extra step. After your first taste you’ll want to sprinkle that magic on everything!

The nutty roasted cauliflower steaks in this dish are gorgeous with the mushrooms, and those mushrooms – oh my gosh, they’re golden brown and nutty and the flavor intensifies with the roasting. I used Baby Bellas, but just about any mushroom or a combination would be wonderful.

And oh, yeah, I can’t forget the cheese. Just a smidge…it’s wafer thin. If you’re not as old as I am, you might not get the joke…Google it! 🙂 l left a section of the cauliflower steaks “nude” so you could see what it looks like before the cheese.

Then to top it all off, I went a little crazy and added my rather loose interpretation of a Chermoula Sauce (optional) made from the last vestiges of my dying garden. That piquant green sauce, kind of like a Chimichurri, adds a bright counterpart to the earthy dish.

I hope you all like it! Be prepared to have a use for the extra cauliflower if you have any.

cauliflower-steaks

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Chermoula Sauce

1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 4 inch thick slices
3/8ths cup of olive oil, approximately
8 ounces mushrooms, shiitake, cremini or a combination, cut into 3/8″ slices
2 slices rustic bread, or enough so stacked it will be about 1″ thick, crusts removed and torn into small pieces, about 1/2 inch across
1 teaspoon (or to taste) Fennel Spice rub (see below) or salt and pepper to taste
4 thin slices of Provolone
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Position racks, one each in the upper and lower third of oven.

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Prepare the ingredients:

Rub the cauliflower on both sides with olive oil, season with the Fennel Spice Rub and place on a single layer of a rimmed baking sheet.
Toss the mushrooms with about 2 to 3 tablespoons oil and spread on a second baking sheet.
Toss the breadcrumbs with the remaining oil and set aside.
Place cauliflower on the upper rack and bake for about 10 minutes. When the time is up, add the mushrooms on the lower rack and roast for 12-15 minutes more, until the bottom of the cauliflower is golden brown.

Flip the cauliflower and mushrooms, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the mushrooms and continue to roast both trays for another 10 minutes.

Remove the trays and combine the mushrooms and cauliflower. Spread into a single layer, top with cheese and place back in the oven for three to four minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Serve immediately.

Fennel Spice Rub:

1 tablespoon Fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Coriander seeds
3/4 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon sea salt
Toast seeds and peppercorns in a small skillet, tossing often until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool before crushing. When cool, crush using a blender, mortar and pestle or pan. Mix with the salt. Store excess in small container or zip type bag.

chermoula

Chermoula Sauce, about 1/2 cup

3 tablespoons crushed nuts, hazelnut or pecans
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander
3/4 cups of roughly chopped herbs and greens, lightly packed, parsley, cilantro, arugula are good choices
1 teaspoon orange zest, reserve 1/2 the orange if juice is needed
1/4 teaspoon garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
pinch or two of salt
Mix all ingredients together in blender, blend until a cohesive sauce is made. If necessary add a little orange juice to get the blender moving.

Shumai

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Sometimes I like to step outside of my comfort zone and make something that is not familiar to me. When eating at a Japanese restaurant there are two things I always order, Shumai and Gyoza, portable little bites of deliciousness with a tasty dipping sauce. Although Shumai is familiar food making it, not so much. The other day there was an email from Food and Wine with a recipe from Andrew Zimmern for Shumai, looking it over it seemed straightforward and simple to make, both of these are requisites when I tackle a food that I have not cooked before. I did not own a bamboo steamer so I had to buy one, no problem. The list of ingredients were very familiar except for the black vinegar for the dipping sauce, instead I used mirin and rice wine vinegar and it was delicious. I also didn’t have Shaoxing wine or dry sherry so instead I used dry white wine and it turned out just fine.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, did not carefully measure, instead I sort of ad libed and eyeballed the ingredients I don’t think it’s an exact science like baking. The Shumai turned out great except for one thing, I forgot to line the steamer with the cabbage, which I had bought but forgot to use. If you don’t line the steamer the shumai stick, most of the bottoms of the little dumplings were stuck and I had to carefully pry them off, there were some casualties but they were still ok. Thank you to Stefan for pointing out that these are actually Chinese, I should have done my homework but since I ordered in Japanese restaurants I assumed and well you know what happens when you assume. Sorry for the mistake.

These little dumplings are portable and delicious and I thought I would bring them with me to Fiesta Friday #131, Angie is back and the co hosts this week are Su @ Su’s Healthy Living and Laura @ Feast Wisely

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Shumai

 Food and Wine- Recipe by Andrew Zimmern

Made 22 dumplings

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce (used light- lower sodium soy sauce)

1/4 cup black vinegar (equal parts mirin and rice wine vinegar)

1 tsp Chili garlic sauce

In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients together.

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Shumai

12 oz ground pork (I used less probably closer to 8 oz)

6 oz shrimp minced (used less shrimp as well probably 4 oz)

4 scallions chopped – the white and light green parts only (used 3)

3 tbs minced peeled ginger (used 1 generous tbs)

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs toasted sesame oil

1 1/2 tbs Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (used dry white wine)

3/4 tsp salt (used scant 1/2 tsp)

all purpose flour for dusting (didn’t need it)

round won ton or gyoza skins

napa cabbage leaves for steaming (don’t forget the cabbage like me)

blanched peas to garnish (You could place the pea on the shumai before steaming also)

Mix all the ingredients together, hold a won ton skin in the palm of your hand and place a tbs of the filling in the center. Gently fold the wrapper around the filling, it will stick to the filling. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place about an inch of water in your wok or a skillet, bring to a boil. Line steamer with the cabbage leaves and place the shumai on top of the leaves leaving some space in between each. Steam them until the filling is no longer pink. It took about 15 minutes (Note: the recipe said 8-10 minutes to cook but I erred on the side of caution because there was raw pork). Garnish each with a pea and serve hot with the dipping sauce.

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A Non Traditional Panzanella, A Gooseberry Red Currant And Plum Crumble And Salsa

Salad

Salad

The first thing that I made with my Farmers Market finds is a salad. There is nothing like a salad made with fresh vegetables. There is no recipe for this, it’s a salad after all and everyone has their own favorite way of making and dressing them, this is sort of a panzanella,  sort of because it’s not traditional. A traditional Tuscan panzanella is made with tomatoes and stale bread dressed with olive oil and vinegar. I spread pesto on the bread and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown. Saturday’s farmers market find included both cherry and regular size tomatoes, for a salad cherry tomatoes are so easy and I love how crisp and sweet they are.

Panzanella

tomato

cucumber

spring onion

bread

pesto

shaved pecorino romano

salt and pepper

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, slice the onion very thinly, cut the cucumber into small pieces and throw it all in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Spread some pesto on the bread and either broil or grill until lightly browned. Cut into bite size pieces. Dress the salad with vinegar and oil. I don’t measure starting out light and adding more as/if needed. Add the bread and toss it together. Shave pecorino romano cheese on top and enjoy.

crumble

crumble

Today I experimented with some of the gooseberries. Having never eaten them or cooked with them I didn’t really know what to expect,  For the first attempt I thought a crumble would be nice and only made two individual servings in my tiny cocotte pans. I chose purple gooseberries, red currants and a golden plum. The fruit when baked produced a lot of juice and was very tart, next time I would probably add another 2 tbs of sugar although the tart fruit when eaten with some vanilla ice cream was really nice. For the crumble top I used spelt, oat and AP flour in equal parts added some butter and brown sugar. Before baking I dotted with a little butter and sprinkled with demerara sugar.  I thought adding a plum would be nice with the gooseberries and currants, somewhere in my research I saw that the gooseberry is a member of the plum family or vice versa, not sure thats correct but they do go together nicely.

Gooseberry,red currant and plum crumble

serves 2

Crumble

1/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup oat flour or oats

1/4 cup AP flour

1/4 cup dark brown sugar (not packed)

4 tbs butter+ more to dot on top before baking

whisk the flour and brown sugar together add the butter and mix with your hands until it resembles pea size crumbs.

Fruit

red currants

purple gooseberries

1 golden plum

1/4-1/2 cup sugar

I didn’t measure the berries if I had to guess how much it was about 1/3 cup of each. Put all the fruit into a bowl and add the sugar, toss to combine. Spoon into baking dishes and top with the crumble topping. Dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degree’s for approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

There are a few more recipes I plan on making with the gooseberries and will post them very soon, it’s fun working with an ingredient you are not familiar with getting your sea legs so to speak. The crumble was delicious the combination of gooseberries, currants and plum created a lot of juice and some of the crumble sank creating what was more akin to a cobbler. It was really good this turned out to be a cobbler/crumble.

Salsa

Salsa

The green gooseberries are very tart, sour really and using them in a savory dish seemed like it would be delicious. I had a flounder filet earmarked for dinner the other night and thought instead of a heavy tartar sauce (love it) a light fruity salsa would be nice with the fish. I didn’t measure, don’t need to with this type of dish, the beauty of it is that it is tailored to suite the individual’s taste.

Salsa

makes approximate a cup of salsa

Green gooseberries (larger ones cut in half and quartered and small ones cut in half)]

1/2 mango- chopped

1 purple spring onion- chopped

approx a tbs of chopped fresh mint

1 jalapeno chopped and seeds removed

1 small orange bell pepper chopped

approx a tbs of chopped flat leaf parsley

juice of one whole lime

salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients, serve right away.

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Roasted Carrot, Golden Beet And Goat Cheese Tart With Dukkah

 

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Recently while browsing in the neighborhood bookstore I broke down and bought “Plenty More” a brilliant and beautiful cookbook which really is an homage to vegetables by the amazing Yotam Ottolenghi. Everything in the book looks wonderful and I want to make it but the recipe that stuck out is the roasted carrots. Now it’s odd that this recipe attracted me since I really dislike cooked or roasted carrots, I only eat them raw.  There is something about this simple dish that I find so appealing.  The carrots are glazed with honey, olive oil, crushed toasted coriander and cumin and salt and pepper. They are then roasted in a hot oven until tender. I had some golden beets that I needed to use so I peeled and quartered them, slathered them with the same glaze and roasted them as well. The carrots were quite delicate and slim so I started with the beets roasting for 15 minutes then placed the carrots on the same pan and continued roasting for another 20 minutes.

The vegetables are wonderful on their own but I decided to make a savory tart filled with goat cheese and topped with the roasted vegetables. To add a little crunch and make the tart more interesting I made dukkah from nuts, seeds and spice and sprinkled on top. My photo’s are horrible so disregard,  it poured rain all day, and there was no sunlight. It makes it very difficult to get a decent photo in bad weather,

I used the rest of my saffron pastry dough that I had left over from the lamb pot pies.  I think it made the tart even more interesting . The carrots and beets are only slightly sweet from the honey and nicely spiced,  it goes perfectly with the tangy goat cheese and flaky pastry, the dukkah has the same spice as the carrots along with seeds and nuts. It’s a great combination, easy to put together and makes a lovely presentation. If you are a fan of roasted carrots, beets, goat cheese and Ottolenghi I think you will really enjoy this tart.

I am bringing this tart to Fiesta Friday #108. Angie is such a great hostess and this week the co hosts are me, yep I am co hosting and the lovely Zeba@Food For The Soul

Join in, you are all invited, bring something delicious, see you at the party!!

Roasted Carrot, Golden Beet, Goat Cheese Tart With Dukkah

Makes one 9 inch rectangular or round tart

Roasted Carrots and beets

8 carrots peeled and cleaned and left whole (I used rainbow)

3 small golden beets peeled, cleaned and quartered

3 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil

2 tsp toasted coriander seeds crushed (use mortar and pestle)

2 tsp toasted cumin seeds crushed

1 tsp salt

several grinds of pepper

3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Pre heat oven to 425 degree’s. Line baking sheet with parchment. Toss the vegetables in the glaze. Place the beets on the baking sheet first with a sprig or two of thyme and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, turn the beets over place carrots and remaining thyme sprigs on the pan and roast for another 30 minutes gently turning them at least once while they are roasting. Set the vegetables aside.

Blind bake the pastry in a 400 degree oven weighted with pie weights until golden brown approximately 25-30 minutes.

Goat Cheese Filling

10.5 oz soft goat cheese softened and at room temperature

2-4 tbs whole fat buttermilk or créme fraîche

Mix the softened goat cheese with buttermilk or créme fraîche a tbs at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. I used the full 4 tbs.

Dukkah

1 tbs coriander seeds

1 tbs cumin seeds

1 tbs white sesame seeds

1/4 cup toasted pistachio’s

sea salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the spices and  seeds, first the coriander and cummin and then the sesame. I like to use a fry pan. Toast until you can smell them shaking the pan frequently. I used toasted pistachio’s if yours are not toast in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Add the spices, seeds and nuts to a spice grinder and pulse until broken up but not completely pulverized, alternately you can use a mortar and pestle. You want it to have some texture. Season with salt and pepper.

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Serving the tart

Spread the goat cheese in the baked pie shell, arrange the vegetables on top, brush with some of the leftover glaze and sprinkle with dukkah.

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A Trio Of Bruschetta

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I participate in a cooks collective headed up by Sonal from simplyvegetarian777, you all know Sonal. She will ask those that participate in this Facebook event to come up with a recipe and link it to the Facebook page. This time, since the Superbowl is around the corner she asked us to prepare super bowl appetizers or snacks. This was right up my alley since lately I have wanted food that is simple to make, takes very little time to cook, is snack size and delicious. I have made multiple loaves of this Rustic Italian Bread, I wrap it and freeze it and it is just as good as the day I bake it after some time in the oven to crisp and thaw.

There is really no recipe here, I am sure you have all had bruschetta, so simple to make and you can have an endless variety of toppings.. I made three different types all taking almost no time at all to prepare. They are wonderful as a starter or even a meal. You can make the tomatoes and squash and pesto ahead of time and refrigerate, I like to do that because putting these together will be quick and simple. There is really no recipe for this you can make them as you like and to suite your taste. The Super Bowl challenge must be vegetarian or vegan, this is a meat free zone. I love the idea of bruschetta with varied ingredients and flavors.

The Bruschetta

Ricotta, roasted tomato and basil

Parsley,basil,garlic and pine nut pesto with tomato, shaved parmigiana drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Oven roasted butternut sqush with sage and ricotta drizzled with honey..

You will need the following:

Start with a loaf of good rustic, peasant bread

Garlic 2 cloves – 1 for the pesto and the other to rub on the bread

olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Tomatoes – enough for oven roasted and sliced on top of the pesto

herbs, I like basil and parsley and dried sage for the squash

Ricotta

Cheese, romano and parmigiana

butternut squash cut into bite size pieces.

honey

pine nuts-toasted

Pre heat oven to 375. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, sprinkle with dried sage and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. You can roast the tomatoes at the same time. Cut in half and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper takes approximately 30 minutes in the oven.

Make your pesto: In the food processor add a handful of Italian flat leaf parsley a couple of basil leaves, a clove of garlic, toasted pine nuts and grated cheese. Process until it’s chopped and then add 1/4 cup olive oil while the processor is running.

rustic italian bread

rustic italian bread

Slice your bread in approximately 1/2 inch thick slices diagonally.  For the ricotta and roasted tomato and pesto bruschetta rub the bread lightly with a clove of garlic, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with the tinest amount of salt and place in the broiler just until it starts to toast, don’t let it get dark. Spoon some ricotta on a slice, arrange some roasted tomato, sprinkle some grated cheese and return to the broiler for a minute or so, just to heat it, it will get a little browned on top. Before serving drizzle with olive oil and place some basil leaves on to garnish.

Spread the pesto on the bread, add some sliced tomato and shaved parmigiana, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

For the Butternut Squash bruschetta, spread some ricotta on a slice of bread, place some of the roasted squash on top and place in the oven on broil for about a minute just to heat it and get slightly browned. To serve drizzle with some honey and sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt and some ground pepper.

More Bruschetta ideas

More Bruschetta ideas

 

 

 

 

Guest Post-Curried Eggplant Steaks With Chickpeas From Simply Vegetarian777

A picture is worth a thousand words…. it really is and all you have to do is look at the pictures for these incredible recipes and words become insignificant. My very dear friend and fellow blogger Sonal from Simply Vegetarian777 graciously agreed to do a guest post and I was thrilled that she said yes. I admire her so much, her skill in cooking, writing and photographing and her kindness. I have mentioned before how she has sent me spices. I follow her on FacebookPinterest  Twitter @simplyveg777 and on Instagram ( simplyvegetarian777). I am constantly amazed at her talent. I also have to note that she does a series of posts with Diabetes friendly meals every Thursday, I have sent some to my Mom and it inspired her to change her diet. Sonal you are amazing thank you so much and take it away my dear….

Curried Eggplant Steaks with Chickpeas

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It’s a great honor for me to do a guest post for Suzanne. She is such a great support system to me and to many others who are connected to her via blog. Her approach and enthusiasm towards food is unmatchable.

I think I first met her through fiesta Friday, over an year ago, and since then I have been spoiled by her through her ever encouraging comments and constant presence. Thank you Suzanne for being there. I really appreciate it :).

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I was very confused as to what to bring for a guest post for her blog. I wanted to create a dish which was Indian origin but at the same time, something which has an international appeal and an easy to implement recipe.

Curried Eggplant Steaks with Chickpeas

Curried Eggplants

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Kitchen Equipments Required

A non stick or hard anodized pan, chopping board, knife, flat spatula, small bowl

Ingredients

Eggplant – 1 large
Oil – 1 tbsp
Turmeric – 2 fat pinches
Red chili powder – 2 fat pinches
Cumin powder – 2 fat pinches
Dry mint – 2 fat pinches (optional)
Salt – 2 fat pinches

Method

1. Mix turmeric, red chili powder and salt together in a small bowl.
2. Wash and cut the eggplant in 4-5 thick and long slices.
3. Sprinkle and rub the spice mixture on both sides of the eggplant slices.
4. Heat oil in the pan. Place the slices in the hot oil. Reduce the flame to medium. Cook from both the sides for approximately 2&1/2 to 3 minutes each till tender and slightly crispy.
5. The Curried Eggplant Steaks are ready.

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Serve these with the Quick and Easy Chickpeas Curry.

Chickpeas Curry

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Kitchen Equipments Required
A sauce pan with lid, stirring spoon, chopping board, knife, blender.

Ingredients

Chickpeas, boiled – 1&1/2 cups. I used 1 can.
Onion – 2 tbsp, chopped
Tomato – 2 medium
Ginger – 1 small piece
Garlic – 1 big pod
Oil – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/8 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Water – 1 cup

Method

1. Add tomato, onion, ginger and garlic to the blender. Purée it fine.
2. Heat oil in the pan. Add the purée and all the spices to the pan. Reduce the flame to the medium low.
3. Cover with lid and let the purée cook till all the water is evaporated and it thickens.
4. Add the boiled chickpeas to the sauce along with 1 cup of water. Mix them well. Cover with lid again and cook till it thickens again.
5. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serving Suggestion

1. Curried Eggplant Steaks can be served as is and taste great as snack.
2. The chickpeas curry can be served with rice or naan.
3. The eggplant steaks and chickpeas curry can be served as a complete meal along with some warm basmati rice.

I hope you had a good time reading the recipe. I had a great time creating it for all of you :).

Cheers,
Sonal

Recipe Redux Bread From The Solitary Cook

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Next Week it will be 4 years since I started the blog and I want to feature just a few recipes from my first week of blogging,  this recipe was posted on January 22 of 2012,  Rustic Italian Bread, the recipe comes from my friend Cynthia whose lovely blog The Solitary Cook has been around about as long as mine, we have known each other longer through Food52 which is where we met. I have linked the recipe and did not copy it into this post, Cynthia is a teacher, a chef and a real artisan, her recipe explains everything involved in making a loaf of bread, it’s a tutorial so click on the link above to see the recipe on her site. Before Cynthia, making bread scared me. Her gentle and comprehensive recipes helped me overcome my fear of failure when it came to yeast breads. Note: Here is the link for the preferment which will need to made before you make the actual bread dough.

I love this bread, it’s simple to make and the result is a lovely loaf with crisp crust and soft pillowy inside. It’s delicious!!

One of my favorite ways to enjoy a slice of this crusty delicious bread is so simple. Good butter, watermelon radishes, sea salt and honey. I get most of my produce which is sourced locally from Farmigo, I have talked about them before, it’s an a la carte CSA, love it!! The radishes and butter are from local farms and the honey was a gift from a friend it is sourced in Manhattan, Hells Kitchen, there is actually a bee keeper in a community garden there. The honey is amazing.

Love local food

Love local food

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Or for breakfast, fried bread, lightly buttered pan fried in olive oil, oven roasted gold tomatoes and a medium soft egg. Quick and easy and hey who doesn’t love fried bread.

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Happy New Year, Some Favorites And 2015 in review

Taken from Pinterest

Taken from Pinterest

I wish each and everyone of you an amazing, healthy, happy, joyous and prosperous 2016. I want to thank you all for being such great friends, for leaving such uplifting and kind comments and for being my source of inspiration. Below is the report compiled by the WordPress helper monkey’s. I don’t really keep track of the stats, but do appreciate the work that WordPress puts into these reports, thank you to the good people at WordPress!! Both 2014 and 2015 were hard years for me, harder than I can even express. The start of a new year brings with it hope and we also reflect on the past year, the good and the bad, the sad and the happy, triumphs and failures. Life can sometimes be like a rollercoaster ride.

Going into my 4th year of blogging in January is quite momentous for me. I can’t believe I am still doing this,  have made such great friends and learned so much. Hope you all have a wonderful time on New Years Eve and joyously welcome 2016, peace, love and joy to all. Below are some photo’s I compliled with some of my favorite dishes both sweet and savory.

Savory favorites

Savory favorites

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Bread Poha

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This is the recipe for Bread Poha that I saw on Sonal’s site Simply Vegetarian777  and  fell in love with. Bread, spices, pea’s, simple comfort food and a delicious Indian dish. I saw the photo’s and immediately saved the recipe and then sweet Sonal sent me the  spice packet so I have everything I need to put this dish together quickly. I decided to serve it with a 5 minute egg, a little runny, that golden yolk flowing on that delicious bread, well my friends it doesn’t get much better than this. Make this dish, you will be glad you did, really  you have to try it, the recipe is linked above!

Step by step instructions and spice mix

Step by step instructions and spice mix

Bread Poha literally takes minutes to make and is the very definition of Indian comfort food it can be used as a side dish, snack or main dish. I did a little research and saw many variations one showed the Poha with paneer (that looked delicious) among other things. Sonal masterfully mixes the spices,  she sent me a packet that contained everything you need to properly spice the dish, It could not have been easier and I feel totally spoiled.

The Poha was breakfast with a medium soft egg (5 minute egg), I had some leftover cubed brioche that I had used in my Thanksgiving dressing the bread was oven dried and held up nicely during the cooking process but you can use any stale bread torn into bite size pieces.  Thank you Sonal for sending me the spices you are so sweet and it opened up a new breakfast avenue for me, I think I could eat this every day!

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I have had several people ask about the egg, how to do it. It is in between soft and hard boiled. I call it a medium soft egg. It is boiled for exactly 5 minutes. The egg has to be warmed first, not straight from the refrigerator, a room temperature egg is perfect. Bring lightly salted water to a rolling boil, gently lower the egg into the water and time it, at 5 minutes remove the egg and place in a pot or bowl of cold water. Let sit for 1 minute in the cold water then gently peel. The yolk will still be runny but the white of the egg will be firmly set. It works every time and yields a perfectly cooked medium soft egg.

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