Apple and Celeriac salad

This apple and celeriac salad brings a freshness and brightness to your meal while committing to the definition of “seasonal”.   And I say “seasonal” with the utmost respect. I’ve never been ready to give up bananas or avocados, chocolate, olives or other “staples”. Shit did I just do “quotes” again.  And I suppose those items fall under the definition of  “local”.  I can say I am not a proponent of berries, beans, tomatoes or summer squash in winter due to cost and moreover lack of taste. But on to “salad”!

apple and celeriac saladThis awkward root veggie, rather foreboding at face value, grows like a beet or kohlrabi.  With it’s thick roots and roughly a third of the ball in the ground and the rest nestled in the soil, it has a mild, almost sweet taste. See here.

I cut off the ends, then do my best to use a peeler for the exterior so as not to lose as much of the vegetable. You can slice off edges as well.

apple and celeriac salad

This apple and celeriac salad will also give you the opportunity to dust off your mandolin…

apple and celeriac salad..and practice your knife skills.

apple and celeriac saladIt’s a nice addition to soups either pureed or cubed.  And is this french classic standard.

I carefully used a mandolin to slice and then went for matchsticks/strips/small pieces. I’m out of practice. The irregularity in cuts seen here would not have flown in cooking school. But I don’t think any family members or dinner guests will be pulling out a measuring tape… or will they. Be sure to toss in a little lemon juice to prevent browning.

apple and celeriac saladThe apples were halved, cored and also sliced on mandolin followed by cutting. The apple is a little easier to handle and I think my muscle memory was kicking in. Immediately after cutting toss with lemon juice as well.

I used 2 large apples and 2 bulbs of celeriac and tossed with  a vinaigrette consisting of:

  • 6oz container of yogurt
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1-2 T lemon juice
  • 2-3 T orange juice
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • a handful of chives
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • ENOUGH FOR 6 PEOPLE. OR DINNER ONE NIGHT AND ADD TO YOUR LUNCHES IN THE WEEK

I love Bellwether Farms sheep milk yogurt.

apple and celeriac salad

I make up the dressing in a little mason jar and give it a good shake. Please adjust to your liking! apple and celeriac saladI have a patch of wild chives that don’t look like much but I appreciate the fact they seemed to have grown out of nowhere since about 5 years ago or maybe that’s just when I noticed them. Despite our freezing temps they found a patch of ground that gets warmed up quickly by the sun.

Add some chives and/or minced scallion to the salad.

wild-chives

You can call it good at this point but if you want to go creamier…Add a nice BIG dollop of creme fraiche. Also Bellwether Farms.

apple and celeriac salad

This apple and celeriac salad accompanied our Coffelt T-Bones last night. So Local! Try garnishing with pecans or walnuts. I tried a little celery in this batch.

tbone-and-apple-celeriacIt’s a nice first course that can be made a day ahead and holds for several days for lunches as aforementioned.

I’ve garnished here with a couple strips of green onion

apple and celeriac saladHere’s a little update of our four-leggers currently on the farmette. And yes, that’s a calf. Meet Else. I’ll have better pics soon.

farm-animals

Have a lovely week xx

Wendy

Cuban Ceviche

You know the feeling when you haven’t talked to an old friend or relative for ages? Maybe even one you are pretty close to and that you really like and care about? And you keep waiting for that perfect afternoon when you are carefree and ready to cozy up in your favorite chair or kick back on the couch and just dive into a conversation for hours with your 100% undivided attention? But then days go by and months and you have fleeting glimpses of perfect moments that slip through your fingers.  And you’re like hell- just pick up the damn phone and call- RIGHT NOW.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

And really whether it’s been months or over a year- you can just start right where you left off with this person- some smiles, some laughs, maybe a little sorrow- but you are just fully present. Can you see my point here?  I don’t have to spell it out in anymore detail right? I’m picking up the damn phone and don’t have anything glorious to share here or really even the time to share it if it were. But we just got back from Florida and we had some killer ceviche in Miami and I was like BAM- get some pics of this stuff and let people know you haven’t let go of this blog thing!

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

The last 8 months were very full and this sharing space made itself comfortable on a back burner with no flame- We had a wonderful year at the store and at the end of it I decided to take another break from retail. I’m on about a 3-4 year cycle. I’m rolling one thing out as I simultaneously roll something in. My latest venture is Real Estate. It’s a far cry from creative but I like people, I like property and I like selling. And a slow 2015 Winter gave me ample time to study and get my license. And being on this island for over 20 years doesn’t hurt in that job.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

And then there’s those silly goats. They are keeping us plenty busy- especially since we never found new homes for our 2 kids, Jane and Rocky. We are still open to seeing them relocate but only for pets and milk- not the freezer thank you very much. ALTHOUGH having said that- we have our 3 does knocked up and I’m already mentally preparing myself for the fact these offspring may not reside here long term. We just don’t have the capacity. Ok- I may keep our Lagerian kids from Dinah- but they (LaMancha/Nigerian cross) will be small and hardly count.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

We also built a studio for O man (my husband for those of you who forgot because it’s been EIGHT MONTHS of not hearing a peep from me). And did I mention the real estate thing- last year I was basically working 2 jobs and it was tricky. Then there’s the garden and yada yada yada… I still cook practically everyday from scratch. That’s just a given.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

We spent only a week off the farm. And we got that time because we were so fortunate to have folks move into our cabin who love to farm sit. A little shout out to Coffelt Farm because that’s where one of them works:) We visited family near Vero Beach and we hiked down to Miami for just one night to visit our dear friends Teri and Jochen who moved there from Hamburg. One laughter filled, food filled evening spent with them on Ocean Drive at Lario’s on the Beach followed by chatting as we walked the boardwalk and ended with a stroll down Lincoln Road Mall. Loveliness.

Here’s a shot of the fresh snapper we had that night.Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com-5-2

Avocado salad

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com-4-2

And the ceviche and plantain chips that have been making me want to eat ceviche non-stop!

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com-3-2

Ceviche and steak might be the two things I’d eat all day everyday. A Cuban ceviche is often shrimp or scallops but it got a northwest spin because I have a fair amount of halibut in the freezer. Of course I’d recommend fresh but we do what we have to. I also saw a little note here….. that Cuban ceviche will have a dash of allspice. I didn’t see much other differentiation (except um for fish they tend to use scallops and shrimp). Sometimes a little tomato. But they are God awful right now in the Pacific Northwest so I skipped that. This link gave a little breakdown of ceviches and allspice seemed to be the little somethin’ somethin’ here. I pulverized whole allspice berries due to lack of ground allspice- but the whole berries actually proved more aromatic. So maybe this post should just say Ceviche with nutmeg…

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

What I am missing from my very large repertoire of  dish/glass ware and general accessories is martini glasses- which is a lovely way to feature ceviche. Now of course I might have to pick up a few just for my raw fish cravings. And my mom likes a very dirty martini- so there you have it. I should get some martini glasses.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

~”Cuban” ceviche recipe~  now anybody who is actually from Cuba who might want to set me straight – I’m all ears!

  • 1# fish – I’m fairly flexible here. Halibut, ling cod, snapper of course,scallops, parboiled shrimp. But I like it to be a white fish
  • 1 sweet red pepper – or go for rainbow with yellow and orange if  available- I like that too
  • ½ bunch of cilantro- approx. ½-¾ cup
  • ½ cup red onion
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper (seeds removed)
  • 1 cup citrus juice- 3 limes, 1-2 lemons, 1 orange
  • zest from 1 organic lime
  • ½ tsp salt
  • good pinch of ground nutmeg (then taste it and see if you want more!)
  • garnish with green onion

When eating it for a light meal I didn’t mind serving it up on shredded romaine tossed with olive oil and lemon. You’ll find a little jalapeño,red pepper, red onion, lime, lemon and orange. And a little side of mango and avocado.

I even tried frying up some plantains. They weren’t deep fried so not as crispy as what we ate in Florida but yummy none the less.

So having prepped you in the first paragraph you’ll see this post come to an end- it’s not going to be a novel and I’d like to think you’ll hear from me again sooner than later.

Cheers,

WT

savory galette: ham, chèvre, leeks

Savory Galette-wendyellenthomas.com-17We rang in a quiet but lovely New Year’s Eve this year here on Orcas Island. A little food and drink at our local favorite wine and tapas bar, The Barnacle, in Eastsound and then a drive past a couple options of music and dance. Pausing near the front entrance, with the music escaping and small groups of people laughing, milling in, out and about, filled our social card for the night. A movie and a split of champagne would fulfill our needs.

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Fall recipes… revisited.

pumpkinbreadpuddingscript copy

This looks familiar your saying to yourself. Well at least those who have been hanging around these parts for the past year. And well, if you haven’t been, nor have you had the inclination to dig into the past, I’ll make it easy for you.  Your starter, main and dessert. We’ll start with dessert first.

Pumpkin Bread pudding with Spicy Apple Caramel sauce

This is also my little hello and no, I haven’t fallen off the edge of the blog sphere. My bricks and mortar shop, Chez Chloe (check out the new website), had a hopping summer and I’ve been busy busy preparing for the holidays. My dear husband and number one eater is off to Germany for one last round of teaching and then turning in his papers to become a full time US of A resident on the one and only Orcas Island in the Evergreen State! Three cheers!!! My cooking and photos tend to wain when he is away.

Here is a starter that is a little out of the ordinary. Try this with your next fall meal. It was a hit.

Pumpkin and Feta Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

pumpkinandfetasalad

I see I was having some fun with fonts last fall:)

Here is a wonderful stew to serve between your starter and dessert.  Inspired by a post from my friend at Karista’s Kitchen, Mulligatawny is an anglo-Indian recipe often served with chicken but I used beef and will make it again soon with lamb.

This salad, stew and dessert made the perfect fall meal.

Mulligatawny

mulligatawney soup

 

Hope all is right in your world and the colorful leaves fall gently around you.

Enjoy.

Tschüß xx

Roasted Hakkaido (pumpkin) and feta salad w/ Maple vinaigrette

pumpkin and feta salad

It’s a rainy Monday that is doing a rather fine job pretending to be Sunday. There is no school today, no need to go to town, therefore no need to dress. I’ve enjoyed reading what feels like 101 blogs. I’m eating a satisfying ham sandwich slathered with mayo and mustard on white bread. It’s like giving into a craving…on all accounts. Really it’s the first day since getting back a week ago to Orcas Island, that I’ve not had a full day agenda. We all need these days. It almost feels like the spanse of time between Christmas and New Year’s. Which outside of the years being responsible for  a cafe and/or retail store is like living a few days in a warm cozy cocoon, visiting with friends and family, enjoying hot drinks, reading books and being together. Now that I think of it, this is what I look forward to most at Christmas.

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La Bomba aka The Italian viagra…

I’ve been checking out some new books at the library before I purchase. I recently came across this one…Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm

Though I’m completely behind the concept, I’m just about up to you know where with all the farm to table slogans. But the photos on this cover indeed caught my eye and hell, it’s free to have a look! Continue reading

Peach chutney perks up the deviled egg…

Peach chutney and deviled eggs

I’ve got peaches in the freezer, peaches in the fridge, peaches on the counter… and what about the plums? Got them too. And a few fruit flies having a PARTYYYY! The sun just won’t quit which is warm, wonderful and scary at the same time. I prefer to think Indian summer rather than global warming.

Peaches

We got a 1/2 case of these beauties. If you look closely, James might peek around the corner.

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Classic Summer Pesto

Basil is on. On and in everything these days. Eggs, toasts, salads, pork, fish, chicken, dips. It is also THE base for classic pesto…like that’s any news. But this is a reminder to make it cause it’s so good and easy. Grown best under cover in the San Juan Islands, with a little protection from the wind and chill, basil is making itself known here on Orcas Island. Once again, generous friends sharing their riches have opened their garden gates….

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Salad & candied pistachios… Featuring Capricorn Somerset Goat Cheese

It was a sad moment when we savored our last round of Capricorn Somerset Goat Cheese. A cheese not soon to be forgotten, I encourage you to check out how it is produced with milk from goats in the West country of Somerset. Using a vegetable rennet, it even carries the vegetarian society sticker of approval. Generous sponsors they were of the Plate to Page Workshop, I recently attended, we even had extras to take home.

I’ve already confessed to the powers at be that I flew home with three rounds carefully boxed in my suitcase. Praying my suitcase wouldn’t be lost in route or stashed overnight as was the case on my way TO Bristol due to a canceled flight, worked. It arrived safely and we enjoyed it the following week… mostly on rye toast with fresh cherry tomatoes. But I did manage to stash one roll in the back of my small fridge that truly, only I know the layout of, in order to make something special like this beautiful goat cheese salad with candied pistachios.

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Turkey Kebabs & Glass Noodle Salad… you heard me right.

Turkey Kebabs & Glass Noodle Salad… you heard me right.

I know what you are thinking… what is it with this chick and the glass noodles? People, I could eat these everyday. I think I must have been Vietnamese in a past life. Or Thai. My palette extends pretty far and wide but I find that when I’m trying to eat healthy, I could add cilantro and/or mint, basil, ginger and garlic and a squirt of fish sauce to just about everything. And I’m thinking the thai chili sauce isn’t so bad either. And I would rather not hear anything contradictory to that warm fuzzy feeling I have about it.

But first, the turkey kebabs…

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