Green kale smoothie

December 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

As promised here is a heart-healthy recipe for a green kale smoothie!

Ingredients

  • 2 Kiwi
  • Banana
  • 10 ml milk
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed oil
  • 1 large branch kale

Directions

  1. Roughly cut up kale and place in blending container with milk.
  2. Blend kale and milk about 1 minute, until desired consistency
  3. Add other ingredients
  4. Blend until smooth

 

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Ingredient Spotlight: Kale

December 20, 2011 § 2 Comments

Kale! Kale!Kale!

It was once a lowly common ground shrub, and now whole cultures of foodies and health-nuts have embraced it as a superfood.

So, what is so amazing about kale? Everything, basically.

Nutrition

Kale is high in beta carotine, vitamin K, calcium, potassium and many other vitamin and minerals. It even has several chemicals that have been found to fight cancer and help repair the body’s cells and DNA.

How to Cook

In order to preserve the vitamins, minerals, and other benefits of kale, it should not be boiled. Steaming or lightly stir frying is the way to go.

Ways to Eat

While I haven’t had it, everyone seems to rave about kale chips. It is on my list of things to do!
On the other hand, I love a green smoothie with a healthy amount of kale. Recipe coming up soon!


A Gift Guide for the Chef in Your Life

December 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s that time of year again! Time to think long and hard about what to get your loved ones. Time to fantasize about all the lovely shiny gadgets that could be occupying your kitchen counter space if only your loved ones would pick up on the hint.

For you clueless loved ones who have no idea what that person in the kitchen wants, here are some suggestions.

Bob Kramer 7 inch Carbon Steel Santoku Knife

Probably the most important thing in a kitchen is a good knife. If you have a high quality chef’s knife and paring knife, you don’t really need more unless you want to get really fancy.
These knives are made to the specifications of Bob Kramer, who is one of the few people in the world who specializes in making kitchen knives by hand. Get one of these and learn how to properly sharpen you knives and you are good to go for years to come.

KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer

This is THE hot item in the food blogosphere. Honestly I salivate over this because I see all the wonderful things people can use this for and I wish I could get my hands on one. For all of your mixing needs, plus a few more (even pasta making and meat grinding!!!) if you buy accessories.

Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor

Another item I only dream of!

Cuisinart holds the title for starting off the food processor craze and manufacturing some of the highest quality processors. As the show says it slices, it dices, it juliennes fries!
This is like your sous chef in the kitchen, doing all those time consuming tasks that you don’t really want to. Great for the chef with little time to spare.

Microplane 40001 Stainless Steel Zester

Best zesters and grater, hands down. You got to give it to the company, they have barely changed their designs at all over the years because they already knew what worked. This zester has no handle and looks nearly identical to their original woodplane. I like it that way, plus there is no plastic to collect water or break on me. Zesting, grating, all sorts of shavings all become effortless.

The Kitchen Proper Kit from Kaufman Gifts

The chef in you life will adore you for this. It has everything. A French tapered rolling pin for precise pastry making and even pressure. Enamel-coated, long-lasting and beautiful colander and ladels. SIX (count ’em) Weck jars for all the canning you could want. And beautiful sweet smelling hand dipped beeswax candles to enjoy the thank you meal you chef will undoubtably make for such a fine gift.

AeroGarden with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit

Perhaps your chef has a green thumb. Perhaps not. Either way, the Aerogarden makes having fresh herbs ( it makes all the difference) so easy even the worst black thumb will have a thriving countertop garden.

Silpat

I never thought this could make such a difference to my kitchen routine, but it does. Less flour to keep things from sticking means more delicate, flakier, crisper dough. Plus less flour waste. Plus less environmental waste since it also replaces parchment paper. A staple.

Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale

This is simple. Sometimes you need to weigh things instead of searching the Internet for the conversion rates of grams of coriander to tablespoons. This does that.

OXO Good Grips Dough Blender

Honestly, I use my hands because my mom did and I am cheap, but your chef is probably fancier than I am. So they will want a pastry blender to ensure that their hands don’t melt the butter in their pastries and they will come out delicious and light.

CDN Quick-Read Thermometer

Also simple. You need a thermometer. You also need to not burn yourself while taking the temperature.

Bamix Immersion Blender

This is the best immersion blender.Seriously, they invented immersion blenders so they know what they are doing. This will rip, whip, beat, puree, do whatever you need it to do. I don’t even know why people have standard blenders if they can have this.
Don’t let others fool you. I use this thing several times a day and I have burned out some of the so called high end immersion blenders. I can never stop loving my bamix.

Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer

Joined a CSA? Have an abundance of leftovers? Lazy? The Foodsaver can answer all of these problems. Preserve food by vacuum sealing and then freezing to prevent freezer burn and keep produce for years without damaging quality. Make food ahead of time and package it into individual serving bags. Use the mason jar attachment (my favorite thing) to seal jars full of dry goods.

Lodge Logic Cast Iron

Lodge is the last company to actually make cast iron in the USA and they have been doing it for generations. I received several of these as a gift and they are beautifully pre-seasoned. People pass these down as heirlooms, and although LeCreuset is beautiful enamelware, I prefer the durability of un-enameled cast iron.

Sodastream Jet Starter Kit

I consume way too much tonic and seltzer water. Between all the syrups I make, carbonated beverages disappear in no time. This item is great for people like me, and for people who are trying to kick the soda habit but just love the taste of carbonation.

Good luck shopping!


Sorrel

December 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

What is sorrel?

You probably know the plant as hibiscus. What Trinis call sorrel is not the sorrel plant, but a drink which is produced from steeped hibiscus fruit or flowers and spices.

The drink is a brilliant red color,sour, sweet, and spiced. Also, it will stain anything forever.

For Trinis, it isn’t Christmas without sorrel! I can’t remember a year without it. When I was little I couldn’t wait to smell sorrel on the stove and drink some Poncha de crème with my Christmas Cake.

We are lucky enough to have a West Indian market nearby so that we can pick up sorrel whenever we want, but during this season, the shelves are empty. I know that in nearly every West Indian house nearby someone is getting out the big sorrel pot and steeping some flowers.

Obviously, that’s what’s going on at my house.

Ingredients

  • 10z dried Sorrel (if you don’t have a West Indian market you can get it here, or if you prefer organic, here
  • 330oz Water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • 5lbs granuated sugar
  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/4 liter Strawberry syrup

Directions

  1. Boil water in large pot
  2. Remove pot from heat and add dried sorrel, cinnamon, and clove
  3. Cover and leave overnight
  4. The next day, add sugar, bitters, and syrup to pot
  5. Stir to mix
  6. Strain sorrel and pour into container
  7. (optional) Flavor with rum for an alcoholic kick


My Favourite Brownie Recipe (It is on the can!)

November 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

The first thing I ever learned to bake was blueberry muffins. I used the Jiffy Mix and served them with the tea I made for tea parties. I was so proud to make these muffins for my family, and I felt like a big girl!

These brownies are the second thing I learned to bake.

Ok ok I know that picture doesn’t look appetizing, but it is my fault for adding too much butter and baking powder. Despite the brownie’s ugliness, half was eaten within a few minutes of being set out.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350˚F
  • Mix eggs, sugar, and melted butter, vanilla
  • In separate bowl, sift together chocolate, flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Combine wet and dry components
  • Pour into a greased pan
  • Bake 20-30 minutes

 

Roasted Pepitas

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

I know about this only because of a video game.

Before I made these, as a by-product of making pumpkin pie, I had never eaten a pumpkin seed before.

In the game Glitch, recently there was a holiday called Zille-o-ween which was an in game version of Halloween. Players grew pumpkins and got to make jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ale, and other pumpkin based foods. When you cut up the pumpkins to make these foods, you got roasted pepitas!

So, when I was cutting up some pumpkins to make pie and pulled out the seeds, I thought “Hey! I got pepitas!”

So anyway these are amazingly delicious and super duper healthy for you. Just don’t eat them all at once!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup of pepitas
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Scoop seeds out of pumpkin
  2. Rinse with cold water to remove as much membrane as possible
  3. (optional) Boil with salt water for 10 minutes, this gives it a flavor more similar to sunflower seeds
  4. Place on paper towels in a single layer and let dry overnight
  5. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  6. Mix seeds, oil, salt, and pepper together
  7. Spread seeds out in single layer on foil lined baking sheet
  8. Cook for about 25 minutes or until golden brown
  9. Try to wait for them to cool before eating!


Giving thanks

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

  • I am and always will be thankful for being blessed to have such a wonderful immediate and extended family
  • For my friends who still talk to me even though I fail at life
  • For health and shelter in a time where many even in this rich nation have none and could only dream of above minimum wage jobs and health insurance

Happy Thanksgiving everyone