Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We've Moved....

...But not far!

You can find us over at www.sixtyone45.com now.

Hurry..... we're holding dinner for you!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

(Lotsa) Soup for you.

Its fall now...




...how did THAT happen?

Or rather...WHEN did that happen?

But its definitely here. And to celebrate its arrival...





...here is some soup. And spoiler alert....there is a lot more soup coming.

Probably a weeks worth.

Root vegetables plus cooler temps equals slow cooking, oven roasted, pot simmering goodness in this house.  I love this time of year.

There is something about September (or in this case, nearly October) that I find inspiring. These days I take the most joy in going to classes with Little. Since he turned the magical 18 months, it seems like the communities around us have opened their arms and said, "right this way Little one."



We are signed up for a mosaic of classes - music, gymnastics, sportball, rhythms and rhymes, strong start. Five to six days a week. I may have gotten a wee little lot over zealous. But I'm okay with it, and more importantly, he seems to be too.

I like our schedule and structure (shocking). I like knowing what our week looks like. I like talking with Little about it over breakfast. I like talking about it with him on our way home. And I really like that someone else has the creative brilliance to come up with the activities.




I have so much admiration for creativity.

I love being down in the kitchen and listening to Mr. and Little playing "barn" or "trains" or "cars" or whatever. The big kid makes up funny voices, songs and stories and the little kid giggles and squeals in pure awe. I'm the parent that says lets practice our numbers, our letters and our puzzles. He is the parent that says let's make a puppet show out of barn animals and have them sell goods to the train people.  I'll concede now.... he is totally the fun parent.

It all goes back to my (perceived) lack of creative DNA...part of the reason I ended up in blogosphere.




I used to be worried I wouldn't be able to come up with enough things for Little and I to do during the day. Fun things. Not groceries, dry cleaners and 'let's organize mommy's closet' things. Creative fun things.  And let me just say - with a mountain of respect - Pinterest and Facebook don't always help that.  It used to be hard to read about moms of four kids under four making homemade cheerios while creating sensory boxes and scavenger hunts.

But truthfully, its not hard anymore. I may not be able to write the next Raffi song, but I will always be there with Little to learn the words and sing it 27 times before he drifts off each night. It doesn't matter that I didn't write it. Its only matters that I was a part of it. My creativity (here's hoping) will come through in other ways.




Like with this soup. Celery Root, Crab Apple & Butternut Squash. Roast the squash, the apples, the celery root and puree into one delicious spoonful of Autumn. (That's creative genius if you ask me.)

I know more than ever that we all play a role in raising kids.
I do.
Mr. does.
Gramma's and Papa's do.
My community does.

So this Fall I will focus my creative energies in the kitchen and continue to thank the amazing souls that shake the shakers and toss the bean bags through hula hoops with my Little.

It really does take a village...





...and I made the village some soup.


Roasted Celery Root, Crab Apple & Butternut Squash Soup.

1 celery root, peeled, and, diced, 1/2 inch thick
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, and, diced, 1/2 inch thick
2 cups of whole crab apples, peeled, cored and cut in halves
T olive oil
1 T salt
1 T fresh ground pepper
1 large white onion
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp celery salt
1 bay leaf
1 T Agave (optional)
6 cups chicken stock
 
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Combine the celery root and squash with 2 T of oil, salt and pepper. Place in an oven safe dish and roast approximately 15 minutes or until almost tender.
3.  Add the apples and continue to roast another 5 to 10 minutes.
4.  Meanwhile, in a heavy duty (cast iron) saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in the remaining tablespoon of oil until the onions are translucent.
5.  Add the roasted vegetables and apples and all of the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 45 minutes to one hour. 
6.  Remove fresh thyme sprigs. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.
 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Where's the beef?

It's been a while since there was any meat posts so I decided to make burgers...







...but I replaced the beef with a beet.

We are really not vegetarians here. I swear.  Not even a little bit. My sister is. My best friend is. I am not. WE are definitely not. Yet its kinda been a meat free summer here.




Not TOTALLY meat free. We still do enjoy bbq chicken. A lot. (except Little has a toy barn set he loves and it has chickens and I swear I see his eyebrows go up with when I tell him we are having chicken for supper. He eats it....but he's on to me.)

Two things had to happen for beet sliders occur.  First, Triple D.




Food Network is on in our house a lot. Top Chef. Top Chef Canada. Next Food Network Star. Chopped. And then just on for background noise. Mr. sixtyone45 and I agree while we used to enjoy Guy Fieri and his journeys around this continent for yet ANOTHER deep fried/slow cooked/battered something, enough already.

Dear Food Network.
Enough.
Guy is good. Guy is great actually.
But enough.
Warm regards, me.

Please bring back cooking shows. Not contests or "reality" shows. Just good cooks cooking. And good bakers baking. And Alton. Because he is really funny.

So, beets. There was this one Triple D episode where a diner in Sacramento made Beet Sliders. Mini-burgers with the burger replaced by a thick slice of beat.

Enter the second thing that had to happen.





A day at a farm.

The Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust hosts an annual “A Day at the Farm” community event that gives people the opportunity to reconnect with the land that feeds them. And they give out free beets.

And free carrots.
And free potatoes. (but they make you dig for those...)




Its a beautiful day, especially for the Little ones.  Ducks, Chickens, Cows, Horses....his toy barn came to life. (and we made sure not to have chicken for dinner that night) Its a great community event and I feel privileged to get to participate.

So long story long....we brought home two bags of golden BC Fresh beats from our Day at the Farm.

While normally my Ukrainian heritage would dictate a nice borscht soup here, we decided to give the beet sliders a try.



Best. Decision. Ever.

Super simple. The goat cheese is a perfect offset to the sweet beet. They, by no means, taste like "meat". Its a beet. Not magic beans.  But you (or at least we) did not miss the carnivore element one bit.  The raw red onion and crisp lettuce give it texture. The char on the beet adds a bbq flavour. There were very good...



So good that for Sunday Night Football, we sat at our pub table in the garage, beverages poured and served the house burger special...




....beets.

Beet Sliders Recipe

Inspired by Food Network & Gatsby's Diner, Sacramento, CA

6 - 8 medium golden beets, unpeeled
8 - 10 cups of water
1/3 cup sea salt
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
2 T. mustard seeds
2 T. coriander seeds
2 T. dried dill
1 bay leaf
2 T. of fresh ground pepper
3 T. Bragg Seasoning (or soy sauce)
2 T. of Olive Oil

To assemble the burgers you will need....

Slider Buns
Goat Cheese
Red Onion
Leafy Lettuce
Sriracha (optional, to taste)

1.  Bring the water, beets and salt to a boil.
2.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes or until the beets are tender, but not cooked all the way through.
3.  When done, remove the beets from the broth and let cool. Remove the skins (you can use a peeler but they should just slide off).
4.  Cut the beets in 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices and place on a well oiled grill (either outdoor BBQ or cast iron) Cook a few minutes on each side to get some nice grill marks.  Now would be a good time to toast your slider buns if that is your preference.
5.  Remove from grill and place on buns with goat cheese, thick cut red onion, lettuce and a little sriracha. Enjoy!



Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Pineapple Cake & Gratitude

To thank you, I made you a cake.





Sadly I cannot BRING you that cake, but I made it nonetheless. I hope that still counts.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Cabernet Fig Jam Equation.

Bread + Cheese + Wine + Figs + Basil + Cracked Pepper = 




The Perfect Bite.