Thursday, September 25, 2014

80 Years Celebration

It's Birthday time!  Not only do I love celebrating birthdays, but recognizing a special birthday is even more fun. It just so happens that today is my father in-laws 80th birthday, an age worth honouring indeed. Coupled with the fact he is healthly, strong and able to enjoy his senior years without restriction. So, here is to a fun filled birthday with lots of cheer and well wishes.
Today's image is from the talented Sassy Cheryl, who not only has a wide array of images and also the oldies but goodies section where several of her images are grouped together for one great price. Cupcake Fun is one such set with three included, a hungry but cute bear as shown here, a sneaky little mouse, plus the delicious cupcake on its own. What a fun set.

Happy Birthday,

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Savoury Kale Scones with Pumpkin and Cheddar

Along with the cooler weather and warmer clothing it is a time for some yummy comfort food. Amongst my favorite is a nice hot bowl of hearty soup paired with a delicious scone. Fortunately my family feels the same way regarding the taste of fall.
With that being said, today I am sharing a wonderful scone recipe yet again from Sharon Hanna's "Book of Kale". This moist drop scone is packed full of nutritious ingredients adding to the health benefits from such a tasty treat. Consequently this delectable scone is great eaten on its own or with that nice steaming bowl of soup.

Savoury Kale Scones with Pumpkin and Cheese:

2 cups (475 ml) Kale Leaves, loosely packed
2 cups Unbleached Flour, Whole Wheat Flour mixed
1/2 (2.5ml) tsp Salt optional
1tsp (5ml) Baking Soda
1/2tsp (2.5 ml) Baking Powder
1Tbsp (15ml) Sugar, or less, I used half
1/3 (80ml) Cold butter
1 Egg
3/4 cup (180 ml) Buttermilk
1/2 cup (125 ml) Cooked Squash or Pumpkin in small dice, I used canned Pumpkin when fresh isn't available.
3/4 cup (180 ml) Cheddar Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
Steam kale for a minute or two, just to blanch. Chop kale finely, squeezing out as much liquid as you can, you should have less than 1 cup (250ml) of chopped kale.
Blend or sift flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingers.
In a small bowl, beat egg, add buttermilk. Add the egg/buttermilk mixture, kale and cheese to the dry ingredients, mixing just enough to combine.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment covered cookie tray.
Bake about 20 minutes until lightly browned.
*note: if you would like to use a cookie cutter or shape into triangles add an extra 1/4 cup (60 ml) of flour. 
Makes 8-10 large scones.

A must try, 
Susan Andrews

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ligurian Kale, Spinach, Potato Torta

Today's tasty recipie is a flattish pie that comes from the Liguria area in Italy. The amazing recipe for this particular Torta came from "The Book of Kale" by Sharon Hanna. Sharon has some great recipes in her book that are well worth checking out. 
Although the original recipe called for chard instead of spinach, feta in place of the cottage cheese, as well as a few other minor changes today I am going to post the recipe as I have made it. Fortunately the wonderful thing with cooking is most recipes can be adapted to your own taste.

1 1/4 cups (300ml): Flour; half Red Fife or Whole Wheat and half Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp (2.5ml):  Baking Powder
2 Tbsp (30 ml): Olive Oil
1 Tbsp (15ml): Butter, softened
Cold water

3/4 cup (180 ml): Dry Cottage Cheese
3/4 cup (180 ml): Mozzarella, Gouda or other mild Cheese
1-2 Potatoes; boiled, chopped and cooled
1 Small Onion, minced and sautéed
3 Tbsp (45ml): Parsley, minced
1/4 tsp (1 ml): Black Pepper
2 cups (375ml): Kale Leaves, loosely packed, cut in chiffonade or finely cut
2 cups (375 ml): loosely packed Spinach or Chard, cut same as Kale
Salt to tase
1-2 Eggs lightly beaten, I used one as two makes it to eggy for me
2 Tbsp (30ml): Olive Oil divided

note: I added some frozen corn and peas to the filling this time for extra vegetables.

Crust: Mix together dry ingredients, drizzle oil over top add butter, then combine well with fork. Sprinkle water on a little at a time, adding up to a maximum of 1/2 cup (125ml), to form a soft dough that just holds together. Kneed the dough for about 30 seconds, then wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. (You can make the crust in advance and store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a day).

Filling: Mix cheeses, potato, sautéed onion and parsley in a bowl season with salt and pepper.
Cook the greens in a small amount of water until al dente. Drain in a colander, squeezing out as much liquid as you can. Let stand then squeeze the greens again so you don't end up with a soggy torta.
Add the greens to the cheese/potato mixture. Season to taste depending on the saltyness of the cheese. 
Stir in the egg and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil.

Preheat oven to 375* F (190 C).

Remove the dough from the fridge and divide into two portions one slightly larger than the other. On a slightly floured surface, roll out the slightly larger ball to an aproximately 13" (32cm) circle, turning dough occasionally. It doesn't need to be perfectly round, in fact it looks more rustic and authentic if it's a bit wonky.
Place the bottom crust on a tray lined with parchment paper. Gently pile filling on top, spreading out while leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) edge without filling.
Now, roll out the top crust (which will be slightly smaller) and place it on the top of the bottom crust and filling. Lightly moisten the bottom edge, then fold and crimp with your fingers. Pierce the top here and there to allow the steam to escape.

Brush or drizzle the top with the remaining olive oil. Bake until pale or golden, about 30-35 minutes. Enjoy.
I hope you take the time to try this delicious dish it really is yummy.

Happy Eating,