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

Lemon tahini sauce

Are you thinking what? Lemon tahini sauce? Really?

Yes. really. It’s basic and it’s so good. And we all need a reminder sometimes of the basics. I went to look up the recipe online only to find my favorite Mollie Katzen recipe. I searched my shelves at home high and low for my Moosewood Cookbook and Enchanted Broccoli Forest. I’m so sad. I think in an extreme Kon Mari moment I gave them away. I haven’t completely accepted that possibility and am hoping I will stumble across  them.veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-7I do add roughly 2 TB olive oil.  And if you like cilantro, throw a little handful of that in as well.

veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-4And often I use a little more lemon juice and water because I don’t like it too thick. This is where you have to adjust to your own liking.

veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-3I prepped and lightly steamed broccoli, cauliflower. Then I sliced and sautéed button and shiitake mushrooms and added sticks of parsnip and carrot. THEN I toss in the lightly steamed cauliflower and broccoli. Please don’t try to cook these veggies altogether- no matter what sort of veggie stir fry you are creating.

veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-2I grated a little garlic and ginger, threw in a TB of sesame seeds and seasoned with rice vinegar and a little salt.

veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-6Steam up some brown rice in whichever method you prefer. For me it’s the rice cooker if I don’t have time to watch the pot or I’m away from home. Other times, I just cook it in a pot.

Put it together for one of your “meatless Mondays”. Is that still a thing? Rice on the bottom followed by sauce and veggies- garnished here with a few strands of raw purple cabbage for color and crunch. Or add another protein if you like.

veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-8

Again to find this basic but awesome recipe check out Mollie Katzen’s recipe page for lemon tahini sauce. And doctor it up with a little olive oil, cilantro and extra lemon.

We just returned from New Orleans and the annual JEN (Jazz Education Network) convention where musicians, players and teachers, of all ages come to play, learn and share jazz. We wanted to connect with people, listen to as much jazz as possible and start talking about the revised educational website we’ll be rolling out in the spring for Jazz Everyone– Authentic Guide to Bebop, that my dad started. New Orleans was a lot of fun too! The final concert, one of the highlights of the convention, was a quartet with Sean Jones on trumpet. They put on a great show AND he imparted some inspiring words. He simply talked about how in this time of division, no matter what personal beliefs held, we all came together under the umbrella of jazz music and the love of it. Granted, I imagine a vast majority of jazz lovers are democrats but music has the ability to cross all lines!

I say find more umbrellas. Food, gardening, volunteering…. What else? What places in our lives do we or can we unite, despite our differences, for the betterment of a collective purpose?

That’s a wrap,

xx wendy

 

Chunky Chicken and mushroom soup

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup…

chicken soupWe are working, I hope, through the last of the days on end rain storms where even the worms drown in unforgiving driveway puddles…

IMG_7389 and unplanned driveway streams…

IMG_7390Goats are hanging near the doorway..

IMG_7398As well as the dynamic duo…

IMG_7397

We tried basic ditching to get a little immediate relief. They have a little bridge to cross.

IMG_7396So for days like this, chicken soup is still in order. But I wanted a soup with big chunky vegetables, mushrooms and meat. I started by cooking the chicken whole (and frozen) on a low simmer for about an hour. Next I pulled out the crock pot. I pulled the cooked chicken and strain the bits. Once cooled, I  pulled the meat off and put it in the fridge till day 2. Here comes the crock pot.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.comBones go in along with a couple carrots, celery tops, onion (or scallions if like me that’s all you have in the fridge), @ 4 bay leaves,  a wedge of lemon, peppercorns, and a couple cloves of garlic. Potato bits and mushroom stems are also a nice addition. I use all the liquid from cooking chicken and top off to about 10-12 cups liquid. It will sit on low for about 24 hours and fill your house with a savory, homey scent. It’s gold baby.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-2No dicing or cubing here. I want to know if it is a slice of carrot or piece of celery in my mouth. 1 large onion, 4-5 carrots, 4 stalks of celery.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-3Same goes for the mushrooms- 6-8 larger brown caps (small portobellos) and 8-10 larger shiitakes. Don’t forget how much they shrink.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-5And if you want to give your soup a little more flavor, I strongly encourage sautéing your veggies in olive oil first and seasoning them on their own.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-6And then add the liquid gold to the big pot of veggies and lift up the “suc”- the yummy brown bits on the bottom  (that you hopefully didn’t burn black:) with a spatula or spoon.

I have to admit after nibbling on the chicken for a day, I bought another split breast that I gently simmered in the 24 hour stock for only 30 minutes. So I essentially had 3 big breasts… keep it down folks.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-7About 4 cups largely shredded chicken in the end- mostly white meat. And of course these pieces still fit in your mouth. I don’t want to have to cut my soup into smaller pieces for god’s sake. Not that big!… Throw the meat in the pot.

And lastly, I added about ½ cup chopped parsley and seasoned the soup with salt, pepper and lemon. I wanted a simple, clean flavor and skipped any other herbs (rosemary, marjoram and thyme would be on another batch)

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-4

We are all ready for a break of sunshine.

IMG_7392And dry soils…

IMG_7393But until then how about another bowl of chunky chicken and mushroom soup!

RECAP: Portions – About 8-10. One dinner and lunch for 2. Then dinner for 4 at the neighbors…. and still a little left for the freezer.

  • Simmer one  3-4# chicken (skin on for me) in water till cooked- about 1 hour. Fill water to about ½  up way around chicken.
  • Pull chicken and let cool. Strain liquid and place in crockpot. Add enough water to make approx 10-12 cups liquid.
  • Remove meat from the bones and place all bones in the crockpot.  Put meat in the fridge till day 2.
  • Add to crockpot- 2 medium carrots, 2 celery middle stalks w/ leaves, ½ onion, peppercorns (8-12 if you must count), 4 bay leaves (less if you want-  won’t make or break your stock), couple cloves of garlic. Anything else you feel moved to add to create flavor- mushroom and potato bits, parsley stems.
  • Cook on low for up to 24 hours for a dark, rich, healthy chicken stock. Pull a little cup out and add a pinch of salt to just enjoy on its own. Strain liquid. (Cook up another breast for more meat if you ate a bunch waiting for your stock! and for a heartier soup)
  • Cut up 3-4 carrots, 4 stalks of celery, 1 onion
  • Slice 6-8 large cap mushrooms, 8-10 large shiitake mushrooms
  • Sauté veggies in your big soup pot with a little olive oil and season to taste. Add 24 hour stock. 
  • Take your chicken meat and pull apart/shred into larger but mouth fitting pieces. Add to soup pot.
  • Chop ½ cup parsley and add to soup pot.
  • Season to taste with salt, white pepper and lemon 

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-8Cheers,

WT

 

 

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sun dried tomatoes,basil and more

Here’s another summer dish that’s fitting for dinner and a great one to take to a potluck… How many of you go to potlucks? It’s a regular thing here on Orcas Island. We don’t have a lot of entertainment.I think this zucchini pasta loaded with kalamatas, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and red onion should peak the interest of the paleo and plant based eaters alike! And anyone in-between for that matter.

wendyellenthomas.comI got this handy dandy spiralizer that I’m sure I mentioned last summer. or did I?

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basilThis thing rocks. I’m watching my zucchini plants blossom and literally can’t wait to harvest the first few baby zuchs. I cherish this anticipation and basically block out what happens after about the 100th green or yellow fruit. That’s when the livestock start doing the squash dance. Here are summer squash plants-

garden 6-4-15-5

See those little yellow guys?

garden 6-4-15-4

I turned about 5 medium green and yellow fruits into ringlets.  It’s a good idea to salt your zucchini (about ½ tsp) and give it 20 minutes to sweat then strain it. Worst case you don’t, and you end up with some liquid to make dressing with. Chop up one can of drained artichoke hearts…

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basil-2

and about a half a jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil. Slice onions…

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basil-4

And chop/slice roughly ¾ of a cup of pitted kalamata olives. I try to get artichoke hearts, tomatoes and olives by the case as it almost makes them affordable when you buy in bulk. Any one of these ingredients crank up just about anything a couple notches.

Lastly, a handful of fresh basil leaves…

wendyellenthomas.comSimply toss it all together and dress with a ⅓ cup of olive oil, half a fresh lemon and a splash of white wine vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste-

Recipe:

  • 5 medium zuchinni spiralized, cut on a mandolin or try using a julienne peeler
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 drained can artichoke hearts chopped
  • ½ packed cup of sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • ½-¾ cup kalamata olives chopped
  • ¼-½ sliced medium red onion
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon (throw a little zest in there too if you’d like)
  • splash of white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional- 1 clove pressed garlic

This really doesn’t need a printed recipe, trust me- save the paper. Just have a go at it and plus or minus the ingredients you like. Make it your own.

Simple,fresh, healthy and full of flavor.

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basil-5And here is the farm in early June- the garlic is outrageous. I’m hoping the soil wasn’t too fertile. We’ve got some hefty stalks.

garden 6-4-15Ollie wanted potatoes this year… and potatoes he shall have. We gave up a lot of real estate for 4 ROWS! Usually I plant 2 sides of 1 row but this year decided to give them lots of room. German butterball, Yukon gold, Pontiac red, and 2 varieties of fingerlings

garden 6-4-15-6Greens are doing great, weeded and mulched…

garden 6-4-15-8But wanted to throw this in so you see all parts of the garden… kind of like me. You think you are looking at a bed of weeds and that’s partly true. But there are soon to be sweet strawberries in there. My theory was the birds won’t find the berries in all those weeds. Really this bed will be turned over this fall. It’s just too full of buttercup but due to lack of time I thought I’d try out my rationalized theory:)

garden 6-4-15-9See what’s hiding in there- don’t tell the birds

garden 6-4-15-10Here’s a couple favorite roses in the landscape. A little thorny tea rose…

garden 6-4-15-16I focus up on them to avoid looking down at the weeds that need attention… This massive wild rose is breathtaking every year.
garden 6-4-15-3

 

And the kids are growing…

garden 6-4-15-11 garden 6-4-15-2

oh this sweet face…

garden 6-4-15-13Have a lovely beginning of summer

Grilled veggies, millet, greens, cocoa chili dressing

Grilled red peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and pork shoulder chops on a bed of greens and millet is topped with a dressing concocted of olive oil, grilled red pepper, cocoa powder,worcester sauce, honey and a dash of lemon. You can add as much heat as desired. This recipe is based on the one I found in the June issue of Yoga Journal (a favorite of mine) and I think it’s a great one for this holiday weekend.

summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-6I think it would be just as lovely as it was written in Yoga Journal with grilled corn, black beans and a mesclun mix. But I opted for pork (just bought a LOT of local pork) and our garden greens which at the moment are tender young kale and spinach. I made the millet the night before and warmed it up with some broth- a little water and salt would do just fine.

summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-3These shoulder chops are big and meaty so I only grilled two and cut them in strips to cut down on the meat portion (sorry Ollie). I used this very flavorful Mesquite smoked salt, from Saltworks in Seattle, that I love and yes do sell at Chez Chloe. It’s not online at my store yet so call if you want some and I’ll hook you up!

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I drizzled a little olive oil onto the chops and sprinkled with the El Dorado, the mesquite smoked salt, on both sides. I grilled the chops at about 400° on our gas grill. The veggies were tossed as well with a little olive oil and Saltworks fine Himalayan pink salt.
summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing I work hard at temp control and ideally go for marks without scorching. Who doesn’t right?summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-2The dressing (check out link to Yoga Journal) is a blend of a little water,  ½ cup of skinned, just roasted red pepper, honey, worcester sauce, unsweetened cocoa powder, mild pepper and cayenne if desired… I used ½ dried chili pepper from last year’s garden. What I felt the dressing needed was a little pick me up. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightened it up with a dash of salt. My dried pepper was also one spicy little bitch. Enough that when I took the top off it in the afternoon and proceeded to touch my lips, they burned for a good while. It took me about a half hour to put two and two together. Like the after burn of stinging nettles.
summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-6
I piled on the greens and dressed them with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon. Topped it with seasoned millet, added the veggies and pork, topped with the chili dressing and garnished with a little cilantro that happened to be in the fridge. Avocado would be a nice addition as well.
So while I do think it is a wee bit early in this neck of the woods here in Western WA to be pulling summer vegetables from your own garden, they are pretty readily available and I think it would be a great dish for this holiday weekend. Hence, my haste in actually writing two posts in one week:)
 Have a lovely long weekend and be sure to share time and good food with great friends!

roasted beet soup

Spring is here and I’ve got little baby beet seedlings in the greenhouse but I can’t wait 65 days for them to make beets.

Roasted beet soup-7So until then I’m getting organic beets at the store. They are a vegetable, in my opinion, that spans all seasons. We ate this roasted beet soup hot and cold and both were delicious. So if you’re still freezing your tush off- heat it up. If you are in CA and it’s gone straight from winter to summer- keep it cool.

PRINT RECIPE: {ROASTED BEET SOUP}

  • 1½ lbs roasted, trimmed beets (about 4-6 medium-lg beets)
  • 2 ½ qts chicken stock- or veggie if you prefer
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 2-3 T sour cream or crème fraîche

It is super simple. The beets are roasted with skin on. I like to cook a couple extra while I’m at it. I’ll cube them and have them to add to salads during the week.

Roasted beets

I use my current everyday organic olive oil Olivar de la Luna

Olivar de la Luna olive oilAnd I’m working through our garlic harvested last July. It’s starting to recognize that spring is here and beginning to germinate but it’s still very usable. I do “degerm” it by removing the green germ you see there. It just starts shooting up the middle where if in the ground it would continue to push through the soil. I’ve heard if you remove the germ it makes you less “gassy” but don’t hold me accountable to that one! And remember you don’t have to even peel for this recipe:)

olive oil and garlic-2After roasting I’ll let the beets cool and then skin them.

Roasted beet soup-2The garlic is actually just thrown in whole and I squeezed a little of the soft garlic into the puree but your oil and beets are strongly garlic scented.

Everything is pureed into a lovely smooth soup- it’s not rocket science here.

Roasted beet soup-6

I love garnishing with a little creme fraiche or sour cream using a little piece of plastic with a whole at the tip. Don’t worry about a pastry bag- You make little dots like this on your soup

Roasted beet soup-4Then swipe through them with a toothpick for a sweet little design

Roasted beet soup-5And then after about 10 seconds of everyone going awwww that’s so sweet. They dig their spoons…But if you noticed this one had swirls… no hearts.

Roasted beet soup-8And I’ll leave you with a fun shot Ollie snapped while following up the rear on our woods walk with the gang…cheers xx

goat walk

Shakshuka- baked eggs, tomato and goodness

This dish has been floating in my thoughts since Feb 2014 when Chloe and I visited Irving Street Kitchen in Portland and I ate their, quote “Moroccan Slow Poached Eggs and Grilled Garlic Rubbed Toast”.It was spicy, simple yet had depth and very good.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-8

The house smoked Tasso side of bacon also rang my bell. I basically searched online tomatoes and baked eggs and Shakshuka popped up. But really it’s not a name that’s going to stick in my overcrowded mind. I also reached for the wonderful Jerusalem Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. They have a fantastic website as well.

I drew, as always, from a combination of recipes- Jerusalem, David Liebowitz’s Shakshuka and a simple version in the NYTimes.

Here’s my version – Print Recipe {shakshuka recipe}

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-10

I liked using a couple whole spices along with the powdered- here were the fun ones. Note how similar the seeds are with the caraway being just a tad darker than the cumin.

Shakshuka spices @wendyellenthomas.com-12

You could substitute ground spice for either of these but using the seeds gave me a chance to use this- after a good dusting off.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-2

My version used 2 red peppers, 1 green pepper, 1 onion and 3 cloves of garlic sauteed in about 3T olive oil (see blurry photo) then I added spices and cooked another few minutes to release their fragrances. Then where I strayed from the majority is I added 3 cans of diced tomatoes vs 2. I personally wanted it a little juicier and to be totally honest that stemmed from overdoing the cayenne.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com

Fast forward: added spices, 3 cans of tomatoes, cider vinegar and honey… then you can add about 4oz of feta here before topping with eggs OR throw it on after the eggs.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-3

I’ve been making a cheese with no name- I call it a farmstead cheese and I can grate it. It’s very feta like in taste. 100% raw Jersey cow milk with a mesophilic culture (but we’ll save that for another time)

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-4This was a delicious brunch and with virtually making it the night before it was a cinch to pull together. I added sides of Hempler’s applewood smoked bacon and breakfast potatoes. And crusty sourdough of course.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-5My eggs cooked about 90 seconds longer than needed here I think. But I made another round the following day as well adding raw chopped spinach to the bowl and topping with the tomato and eggs

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-7And I watched these eggs like a hawk… and didn’t have any sides to distract me! Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-9I was very pleased with this dish and it will stay in the forefront for summer when peppers aren’t so expensive! You can tell me I should have posted in summer but well I couldn’t wait any longer.

And don’t forget your crunchy bread. Here’s my rustic sourdough.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-11

And some life photos…Here’s a killer rainbow that graced us last week

rainbow @wendyellenthomas.com rainbow 2

white bean, kale and sausage soup

This is just a little something to ground you between the inevitable highs and lows of the holidays. Kale, white bean and sweet italian sausage from Skagit River Ranch It’s a moment to go to something simple, familiar – we aren’t re-inventing the wheel here. Maybe use a little of that soup stock from the turkey bones. I made about 6 quarts from two turkeys. It’s important to keep eating healthy for a majority of the time through this season. And honestly, we enjoy the holidays more if we don’t feel like we’ve completely fallen off the cliff with eating habits.

White bean kale sausage soup @wendyellenthomas.com-5The kale is holding out but has had a couple good hits from freeze. I actually think I could plant more next year. Never enough kale right?

White bean kale sausage soup @wendyellenthomas.com-3I uncased three links of the sausage and saved one to slice. Ground sausage unlinked is a little more convenient if you have a quality source. One link I sliced in to have some chunks for garnishing but that’s optional

http://www.skagitriverranch.com

Pulled my last few leeks from the garden as well and sautéd two of them with 1 medium yellow onion along with the 3 links of the sausage with casings removed. From here I added a little carrot and about 1 large bunch of kale cut in large strips and the chicken stock.

White bean kale sausage soup @wendyellenthomas.com-2My go to white beans are Great Northern Beans from Eden Foods

White bean kale sausage soup @wendyellenthomas.com-4Put it all together… and garnish with a little grated parmesan. Warming, hearty but not too… time for a little holiday reflection and shopping:)

Side note: This fun laundered linen is from Couleur Nature and can be found at Chez Chloe online.

White bean kale sausage soup @wendyellenthomas.com-7And a couple real life shots of our Thanksgiving. We moved our living room furniture into the dining room and brought the table out to the living room and added another big table and 2 picnic tables. Tablecloths, candles, flowers and a little adornment made for some beauty and warmth. We sat down and gave thanks with so many great friends.

Thanksgiving dinner 2014

Thanksgiving dinner 2014-2

cheers… wendy

 

fall salad, brussels sprouts, pumpkin, pomegranate

Life is going along here on the farm. Garden beds are mostly at rest, thirteen hens are laying about 6 eggs PER WEEK- need to work on that. I had to actually buy a dozen at the store- ouch. We are working on breeding Shirley our yearling goat. I’m so not getting any idea of when she’s in heat despite numerous youtube videos on said subject- followed by actual mating. wow. I seriously just want to get our own buck… hint hint:) I mean a critical point of having these darlings was to get milk if I remember correctly. And we can’t do that without babies!

But let’s move on…I’m not so chatty today.

fall salad brussel sprouts pomegranate-5I served this salad with a meal of slow cooked lamb and red rice. It’s similar to a fall salad from 2012 with feta and I used the same maple vinaigrette.

We have several brussel sprout plants with varying sizes of sprouts. I’ve been enjoying cutting them up finely and frying in a little olive oil. Less cooking time and more flavor.

fall salad brussel sprouts pomegranate

We also had a good harvest of sugar pumpkins and they are making regular appearances in breads, muffins, cakes and smoothies AND salads.

pumpkinI’ll bake one up for 45 minutes or so at 375°, peel it, cut it and store it in the fridge and use it for all the aforementioned. I also rinse the seeds, salt them and stick them in the oven too. Then I basically nibble on like all of them in one sitting. They are tasty enough but mostly orally addictive.

pumpkin-2

I’ll also interchange it with this red kuri squash- I got turned onto it in Germany. It’s like their pumpkin from what I could tell- as you can see we are enjoying delicata’s and spaghetti squash as well as a few sucrine du berry at the forefront of the photo below

cider pressing 2014-2It was a nice starter and easy if you have your mise on place set up ahead of time.

fall salad brussel sprouts pomegranate-2I fried the cubed pumpkin up in coconut oil on a crepe pan (sort of non stick). Had my sprouts ready, some pumpkin seeds (bought and roasted) and a splash of corn salad (mache) from the garden… wish I had more. And of course those sweet, juicy ruby beauties. LOVE pomegranates.

fall salad brussel sprouts pomegranate-3And for your smiling pleasure- Otis has a couple new friends. One very big and one very small.

Oliver, Balen, Otis Oliver, Balen, Otis-9 Oliver, Balen, Otis-8 Oliver, Balen, Otis-7 Oliver, Balen, Otis-6 Oliver, Balen, Otis-5 Oliver, Balen, Otis-4 Oliver, Balen, Otis-3 playing dogsOtis is hoping these two four leggers will be moving in with their people to our rental cabin:)

Happy continuing Fall…

kimchi bacon fried rice and eggs

So this is far from Irish… but I’m not so on top of the calendar:)
Kimchi bacon fried rice and eggs-8Spring is so near I can practically touch it. The sun and cold do their dance like a strip tease that excites and taunts. You don’t know what’s coming next. I picked delicate new spinach and arugula leaves from plants in the greenhouse creating a bed for my baked salmon lunch today. This first minimal picking sparked a little excitement for the coming growing season. What I realize too, is I don’t mind the winter break and it almost takes a strong nudge to get me in the growing mood. Fresh garden food does not arrive without somebody’s hard work. My first little seeds, planted last weekend will become the seedlings for the first of spring planting. Brassica’s, lettuces, peas… the tomatoes and peppers will grow longer in the glass house.

What we relied on this winter besides store bought veggies was our fermented foods.

Kimchi @wendyellenthomas.com

The red sauerkraut was made first with our own Red Mammoth cabbages last fall but I continued to make it with organic cabbage from the market. I played with many napas, bok choy, radishes and conical cabbages for the kimchi and can’t wait to try my new Korean coarse chili powder. I’ll try some napa in the garden this year but it’s a little more finicky than the standard head of cabbage.

This recipe was inspired by my weekend brunch in New York City at The Dutch.

Start with the bacon – about 3-4 slices of Hempler’s thick cut uncured bacon is a nice way to go. Cut into small pieces and fry up.

Kimchi bacon fried rice and eggsThen add about 2 cups of rice- either freshly made or even better, leftovers.

wendyellenthomas.com

I had a little pineapple hanging around from juicing and thought why not? I diced this and added it to the bacon and rice.Kimchi bacon fried rice and eggs-6Throw in about a cup of kimchi – homemade or one of the lovely store bought varieties like one from Seattle’s Firefly Kitchens. Mine below got a little pink from adding red radishes. Kind of fun huh?

Kimchi bacon fried rice and eggs-3Give it all a good toss and that part is done.I scooted the kimchi rice to the side of the frying pan and heated a little red cabbage for some color.

Kimchi bacon fried rice and eggs-5I fried up some of our farm eggs…

Kimchi bacon fried rice and eggs-7And what I’m also loving? Fried avocado. Not new to some but new to me. I had this recently at Irving Street Kitchen in Portland with scrambled egg nachos. A little crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, with the heat bringing out the sweetness of the avocado. I garnished our kimchi fried rice and egg with fried avocado and a little fresh cilantro.

Kimchi bacon fried rice and eggs-11This was a Sunday meal for me and my sweetie.

Kimchi bacon fried rice @wendyellenthomas.comAnd in the real world it looked like this

Kimchi bacon fried rice and eggs-12Just to pull it all together:

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3-4 strips of bacon cut into pieces
  • half a slice of pineapple cubed
  • 1 cup kimchi
  • fried egg
  • optional garnish of warmed red cabbage, fried avocado,fresh cilantro, pepper flakes
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