Nosh

Super Simple Thai Curry Soup

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Ok I don’t know how “Thai” this soup is in all technicality but it’s spicy and full of flavour and crazy easy to make!!

Here’s what you do:

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2-1 tsp chili flakes (as desired)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced then cut into spoon size pieces
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • garnish: rice noodles, cilantro, lime, chili flakes, toasted coconut

In a soup pot, toast spices in oil. Add garlic, ginger and cook slightly.  Add the veg (minus the kale) and stir to coat with oil and spices. Add the stock and simmer until potatoes are tender. Add chicken and kale and simmer. Just prior to serving, add coconut milk, heat through and serve over cooked, strained rice noodles. Top with cilantro, coconut, a squirt of lime and more chili flakes if desired! Fresh and Full of Flavor!!

Nosh

Easter “Hop Tarts”

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Here’s a fruity snack or decadent breakfast item that is sure to put a little pep in your step and hop in your walk!  E and I made ours into egg shapes and filled them with blueberry filling but any fruit filling would work (apple cinnamon, very cherry, raspberry, or even a triple berry blend) and any shape would be fun!  I’ve made heart shaped ones before and have even baked them on a popsicle stick for a cute little pie pop!

The dough we used is a bit of a twist to my favourite empanada dough recipe.  I use the traditional dough for a multitude of hand pie options…chicken pot pie, pizza, taco, and mushroom spinach just to name a few.  It’s a really nice dough to work with, and the hand pies or empanadas can be frozen prior to baking or frying with no alteration to the end product.  Since I wanted to make these “hop tarts” sweet as opposed to savoury and a little more rich than usual I substituted the lard for butter and added 1/4 cup sugar as well as 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp lemon zest.  You could also swap out the vanilla and lemon zest for almond extract, orange zest or even cinnamon and nutmeg.

Traditional Dough Recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar (1/4 cup for ‘hop tarts’)
  • 6 Tbsp lard (or butter for ‘hop tarts’)
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Mix dough together and let rest in fridge for 1/2 hour at least (I have mixed it up the day before and it works well too).

Roll out dough , cut into desired shapes and fill, cover with the top piece of dough (cut into same shape), crimp or fork edges and bake at 375* until golden.

Blueberry Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch (mixed with a bit of water)

In a sauce pan cook the berries with the sugar and lemon juice.  Add the cornstarch slurry and cook until thick.  Let cool before filling ‘hop tarts’.

Once slightly cooled, glaze with icing as desired and decorate with sprinkles. We tinted our icing with a violet food colouring gel and sprinkled with rainbow sprinkles but the sky is the limit! And of course we enlisted the help of a few tractors in today’s bake-off…all roads lead back to farming after all!!  These yummy treats are all ready and packed up for a special delivery this weekend!  Happy Spring! Hoppy Easter!

 

 

Nosh

Guinness Cheese Fondue

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Cheese is quite simply always a crowd pleaser.  Ooey, gooey, melty Guinness infused cheese is on a whole new level.  I encourage you to whip up a pot of this molten goodness, chop up some of your favourite dippers and invite some of your favourite people over to cheers to THE best day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day.  Wear something green and crack open a few cans or bottles of Irish Stout and you have a party worthy of even Murphy himself!

Here’s how you make it:

  • 1/2 can (ish) Guinness
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 heaping Tbsp dijon
  • 2 Tbsp flour (or cornstarch)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups grated swiss
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup processed cheddar like velveeta or cheese whiz (or even cream cheese)
  • Salt and pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • In an electric fondue pot or a cast iron pot, melt the butter and saute the green onions.  Add the dijon and flour and cook slightly.  Add the Guinness and whisk until there are only ‘onion lumps’.
  • Whisk in the heavy cream and cheeses.  Stir until melted and combined and season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Add cayenne if desired

I served mine with some yummy crisp green vegetables (broccoli, snap peas, celery chunks), sliced sausage and pretzels.  Fresh bread or soft pretzels, ham and corned beef would be delicious as well.  Enjoy with cold beer or sparkling wine and be sure to toast to St. Patrick and the good of Ireland.  Once again I say “Slainte”!!!

 

Nosh

Irish Hasselback Potatoes

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I’m pretty proud of this recipe revamp.  I came up with it one night while trying to get to sleep (it’s what I do when my mind goes into overdrive…I create menus and recipes in my head!)…It came together even better than I thought and although a bit time-consuming, it’s rather simple to make and doesn’t take many ingredients.  I paired ours with fried cabbage (cooked in butter and olive oil with 1 tsp of caraway and a few dashes of W-sauce).  It was a delicious and satisfyingly festive meal!

Here’s how you make it:

  • Using 2 wooden spoons as a brace, thinly slice a scrubbed potato (this recipe makes four), the spoons will help you to not cut the entire way through the potato.
  • Melt 1/3 cup butter with 2 chopped green onions, 2 Tbsp dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper.  Drizzle over the par sliced potatoes and bake at 350 for 1 hr.
  • Cut strips of deli-style corned beef into squares and push into some of the slices in the potato. (I used a butter knife to help me with this.  Be gentle so you don’t wreck the part-way slices!)
  • Bake for another 20-30 mins.  I ‘basted’ the potatoes with some of the butter that drizzled into the bottom of the baking dish a couple times.
  • Top each potato with grated cheese (I used a combination of sharp cheddar and Swiss). Bake another 15-20mins or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.  Serve with fried cabbage or a tossed salad and a frothing mug of Guinness! Slainte! (Cheers!)
Nosh

Fun-Filled St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

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What’s a holiday without a little chocolate?! And what’s even better than chocolate is Guinness and chocolate with caramel!  These cupcake treats are moist, festive and literally FULL of fun!  They’re relatively easy to make and as far as scratch-made cakes, this is one of my favourite recipes.  I love how they are sweet and chocolatey but that the flavour of the Guinness is still prevalent!  They are a perfect addition to this St. Patrick’s Day week!

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Using my previously posted recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cake I scooped the batter into paper lined muffin tins (recipe makes 24 cupcakes…just search for “Guinness chocolate cake” and bake for 15-20 mins at 350) and then using a paring knife I cut into each cooled cupcake to create a little pocket to fill with rainbow sprinkles.  I sliced the cutout so that it was a thin lid, placed it on the sprinkle filled cupcakes and frosted them with my tried and true delicious (and up until now, secret) icing.  Decorate as you like and then watch the pure joy as someone you love bites into one!

 

THE best icing you’ll make:

  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix (or any other flavour as desired)
  • optional flavourings: I used caramel extract with these cupcakes but you can also use vanilla, cinnamon, almond extract etc.
  • Combine all ingredients and whip with an electric mixer until thick.  Whip until it is thicker than whipped cream, to the point where it resembles buttercream.  Best served within 24 hours of frosting (store in fridge until consumed).

 

On a side note, Tupperware’s large spice containers work extremely well for storing your sprinkles…especially if you have a bit of an addiction like me and have ALOT of varieties of sprinkles floating around in your cupboards!!

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