04/1/16

Pear, Apricot, & Ginger Crumble with Cardamom Goat Cheese Ice Cream

Pear, Apricot, & Ginger Crumble

(recipe adapted from Flavours magazine)

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7 pears, peeled, cored and cubed

2 apples, peeled, cored and cubed

1/4 Cup dried apricots, diced

1/4 Cup candied ginger slices, diced

1 Cup hot water

1/2 Cup butter, melted

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cardamom

1 Cup rolled oats

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup butter

Directions

  • Soak the dried apricots and candied ginger in the hot water so that they soften and plump up (¬10 minutes).
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the pears, apple, first measure of butter, and the first measure of brown sugar.
  • Drain and discard the water from the apricots and candied ginger, and add them to the mixing bowl.

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  • Sprinkle the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom over the fruits, and stir everything together to finish the filling. Set aside while you prepare the crumble.
  • In a small mixing bowl, cut the butter into the rolled oats and second measure of brown sugar. This mixture should form a sticky rubble.
  • Put the fruit filling into a casserole dish, and sprinkle the crumble over top.

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  • Bake in a 350º F oven for 45 minutes.

Cardamom Goat Cheese Ice Cream

(also adapted from Flavours Magazine)

2 Cups milk

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 Cup sugar

3 egg yolks

150 g goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 Cups whipping cream

Directions

  • In a saucepot, scald the milk. Remove from heat and add the cardamom and vanilla, letting the mixture steep for 10 minutes.
  • While you are waiting, combine the sugar and egg yolks together in a small bowl. Whisk until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. (It is not neccessary to achieve true ‘ribbon stage’ because the air incorporation isn’t needed, but we want to minimize the risk of the egg yolk going grainy when it gets added to the hot dairy.
  • Stirring quickly, pour a small portion (¬1/4) of the hot milk into the egg yolks to temper. Then pour the yolks into the remaining milk, stirring to combine.
  • Return the saucepan to low heat, stirring attentively until the mixture starts to thicken.
  • Turn off the heat, and add in the crumbled goat cheese, whisking until smooth.
  • Stir in the salt and heavy cream.
  • Age the ice cream mix for at least 4 hours to let the flavours develop, before pouring the contents into your ice cream maker and following the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Serve these two together. You’ll be happy you did!

01/4/16

Adieu and Bienvenue

It’s amazing the way the time passes. Just a few short days ago, we bid 2015 farewell. And now we’re into the swing of 2016.

No pointed resolutions for me this year. No list of goals no score against a rubric.  No report card.

I’ve been meditating on these words from William Saroyan’s The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze for these few preliminary days of the year, and so I think that that’s what I’m going to stick with.

“Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

That last sentence, while true, is a little bit fatalistic for this rose-coloured glasses wearer, I’m feeling some resonance in the rest of the sentiment. And so, I toast to embracing opportunities and, rather than just living, to be wholly alive with all our might. I hope we all have a great year!

Maple Ice Cream

(Recipe adapted from my friend Trish, the ice cream expert!)

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3/4 Cup maple syrup

1 1/2 Cups milk

1 1/2 Cups table cream

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

pecans (optional for sprinkling overtop)

Directions

  • Pour the maple syrup into a medium sized saucepan, and set it over medium-high heat. It’s only 3/4 Cup, but it will bubble up a lot, so stick with a medium sized pan. Boil the syrup for 5-10 minutes until it has reduced by around 25%, leaving you with ¬2/3 Cups of reduced syrup.

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  • Stir the milk, cream, vanilla, and salt into the saucepan and bring the mixture just up to a boil.
  • While the milk, cream, and syrup are heating, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, and whisk until they are light and fluffy.

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  • Temper the eggs by drizzling in about a ladleful of the hot dairy into the eggs, mixing like mad all the while. Because the eggs have been brought up to a closer temperature to the syrupy milk, they’re less likely to scramble when you pour them into the saucepan.
  • Heat future ice cream, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Chill for at least two hours (overnight is even better).

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  • Pour the mix into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you are going to use the pecans, add them to the ice cream maker in the last few minutes of churning, or stir them into the ice cream once it’s been poured into the container in which it will be stored. (Living with someone who has a nut allergy, I just sprinkled a few on top of my scoop but left the ice cream untainted so that we could share.)

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I feel as though a number of the last recipes posted up here have included maple syrup, but it’s just so good! This ice cream came out so sublimely silky smooth and delicious. This is the flavour I am most likely to order at an ice cream shop, so I’ll be sure to be making more maple ice cream in the future.

06/23/15

Hello Ocean

Mr. and I went on an anniversary adventure a couple of weeks ago.

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We went to Prince Edward Island for a few days before hopping on a ferry over to Nova Scotia to finish the trip.

It was magical.

I spent a good portion of my childhood dreaming of the ocean: of living on a rocky shore, or being a pirate, or, because of the movie Pete’s Dragon, being a lighthouse keeper. I’m not sure if this is a pattern, children growing up on the prairies dreaming of the ocean, but it’s what I did. Where do children from the coast dream about living? I don’t know if it would be the prairies.

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On the way there, amidst all of my excitement, I was a little bit worried. (But then, when am I not at least a little worried? Ha ha ha). A person spends all of this time fantasizing, mythologising about a place, putting it up on a pedastal, what if it doesn’t live up to how you imagined it?

But I was worrying for nothing. It was amazing. It was as amazing as I imagined it could be. I would go back in a second.

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Many lighthouses were hugged. There was much excitement.

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Mr., who didn’t grow up dreaming of lighthouses or the ocean, hugged some lighthouses too. He was happy we were having such a fun time.

If you find yourself in Charlottetown and need a bite to eat, here are our suggested stops: the Water Prince Corner Shop (chowder so good we came back the next day to have it again!), and Dave’s Lobster (for lobster rolls that were Mr.’s favourite meal the whole trip. The ‘Some Fancy’ is so good it’ll give you goosebumps.).

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In Halifax we got to spend some time with our friend Dave, who we don’t get to see often enough at all. We went to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, walked the boardwalk, and took a tour of his ship. We got treated to oysters at the Waterfront Warehouse, a first for both Mr. and myself!

For our anniversary, Mr. and I decided to continue the tradition of having a picnic. We went to Point Prim lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on Prince Edward Island, with our treats and our picnic blanket and had a marvellous time.

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I can’t wait to go back. And I’m sure that we will!

To go along with today’s picnic theme I have a recipe for a crunchy, bright slaw that would be perfect to pack in a picnic basket.

Granny Smith and Celery Slaw

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1 Granny Smith apple

5 stalks of celery

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions

  • Cut the apple into quarters and remove the core before slicing thinly.
  • Slice the celery into crescents of similar thickness to the apple.

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  • In a medium to small mixing bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard to make the dressing.
  • Add the sliced apple and celery to the bowl, tossing to coat.
  • Serve!
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Crunch!

I think it might be fun next time to cut everything into juliennes, to have it look more traditionally slaw-like. I know some people would rather go to the dentist than cut into juliennes, but I’ve always kind of had fun with it.