Monday, March 28, 2011

Enjoying the process of it all

I'm a total list maker and that most definitely comes from my mom. She alone has probably kept those post-it note people in business! I write down everything, from what I eat, to my workouts, to my grocery lists, to new menu ideas. One time a friend of mine saw my notebook and said, uhh you write down that you showerr!? I said, sure do! Have you ever made a list? It feels so satisfying to check it off when it's complete! *Friend then gave me weird look *

If I haven't added anything new around here its not because I haven't been in the kitchen, in fact more the opposite. This last weekend I did some cooking for a couple clients. I'm also taking a course right now and something was said that really resonated with me about work. Work in life, work in your work out, work in your job, whatever it may be, either way you really have to enjoy the process of it all, not just the end result. I think I'm always so focused on the end result of my work, getting things done, checking off my to do list, that I'm not always taking the time to really enjoy the moment and the process of it all before getting to that end goal.

Smoked Bacon Chili w/ Kale. Toppings of 6 Yr Aged Cheddar, Green and Red Onions, Cilantro, Green Peppers, Lime Wedges, Greek Yogurt, more Bacon. Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Asparagus tips must be penciled. It's a weird thing I have.

Glazed Honey Mustard Roasted Trout w/ Mango Salsa, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Roast Asparagus and Zucchini w/ Aged Balsamic, Lemon Zest and Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

This week I really took the time to enjoy the process of my work and checking it off my to do list? Very satisfying.

*Conversation w/ one of the clients this was made for*

C: The trout was soo delicious! The salad was very onion-y but really good!!

Me: Um what salad?

C: Well I threw together the green peppers, green onion, red onion, bacon, cilantro and cheddar...

Me: Those are your chili garnishes! Didn't you read the instructions I left you! Hmm but you may be on to something here..

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blueberry Lavendar Cake

I have this thing for lavendar right now, in cookies in cakes in scones..but you have to be pretty careful with how much you use in a recipe because too much can result in a dessert that tastes like soap (and I can tell you from experience that soap does not taste very good)!

I’ve done this cake in many variations but this one is my favorite so far. A touch of lemon zest really compliments the lavender and blueberries and since I have a slight obsession with cornbread, I added a touch of cornmeal which gives a nice crunch to the moist fluffy cake. It's so versatile it can be a crowd pleasing dessert or just as perfect served with a hot cup of tea on one of our good ol Vancouver rainy days.

Blueberry Lavendar Cake
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (used Anita's Organic)
1/2 cup white flour
¼ cup cornmeal
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup cane sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
½ tsp lavender, finely chopped
1 large egg
½ cup + 3 tbsp buttermilk (used Avalon)*
½ cup blueberries
2 tbsp coarse ground cane sugar

*Buttermilk can be substituted by using a dairy alternative such as almond milk, just add 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to it.

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10” tart pan with a removable bottom or a 9” cake pan.

2.Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3.In a mixer cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add egg and vanilla and continue to beat until completely incorporated. Scrape down sides of the mixer as you go.

4. On low speed add ½ the dry ingredients to the mixer, then buttermilk, then rest of the dry mix. Add in lavender and lemon zest and mix just until batter comes together.

5. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and push blueberries into the batter. Sprinkle with coarse cane sugar.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and when a toothpick is inserted, comes out clean. Serve warm or room temperature.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Honey Crunch Buttermilk Muffins

I really try and watch how much I swear and that's maybe because when I was 8 I was this tiny thing but went through this period where I swore like a sailor. Needless to say I learned the hard way that soap just doesn't taste very good. That said if there is one place it can't be controlled, it's the kitchen. Whether I've almost sliced off my finger, forgotten ingredients or burned the skin off my arm, profanity is very necessary and the louder the better!!

After a long day at work sometimes I like to unwind and relax by getting in the kitchen and baking something and this was one of those nights. After putting the muffins in the oven and setting the timer I turned around to clean up and saw my eggs still sitting on the counter. "Ah F*C%in Muffins!!" I rationalized that the batter tasted good so maybe they wouldn't be so bad and I really do think things happen for a reason. After tasting one I realized eggs really aren't needed in this recipe at all! Fluffy and moist they have a nice subtle sweetness from the honey and a satisfying crunch from what? Millet. Raw millet. Soo good, if only because it reminds me of cornbread.

In the corner of the first pic you can see kale which I was just about to steam. At the beginning of the week I usually pick a green, wash it, tear it in pieces, bag it and throw it in pretty much everything I eat that week. Below are a few of those meals.

Seedy toast from Purebread (from the farmers market) with white truffle oil, steamed kale, smoked salmon (farmers market), tomato and boiled egg. Side of overnight oats with mango, blueberry and toasted coconut

Sprouted grain quesadilla with kale, chicken, artichokes, aged cheddar, cilantro, butternut squash and red bell pepper. (Side of thick plain yogurt and salsa)

Coconut Chicken Curry w/ kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, carrots, yams, butternut squash and kale. Served with brown rice.

Honey Crunch Buttermilk Muffins
Adapted heavily from 101cookbooks
Makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup white flour
1/3 cup millet(raw)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp honey
1 Lemon (zest of whole lemon and 2 tbsp lemon juice) (optional)
Fleur de Sel and Raw Sugar (to sprinkle on top)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tin with liners
2. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and millet
3. In a separate bowl combine yogurt, buttermilk, vanilla, honey, melted butter, lemon
zest and lemon juice
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, fold gently, only until it comes together
*do not over mix!*
5. Sprinkle with a pinch of Fleur de Sel and Raw Sugar on each muffin.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden and toothpick comes out clean.