Saturday, October 6, 2012

Colourful Cauliflower

Who could resist these beautiful colours?  To be honest I've never seen these in real life before, only on television so you can imagine how excited I was to see them at my local supermarket, they must have brought them in for thanksgiving.  First I debated which colour to choose and decided to go with the purple because it's just so gorgeous but I couldn't resist and made two trips back to my buggy to carry one of each colour, you only live once, right?

That's a lot of cauliflower for once person!! The next day I took them over to my family and we made a nice meal out of it. 

A few weeks earlier I found these interesting little lentils at my local bulk store, baluga lentils the sign said, I've never seen or heard about them before either and we just love lentils in our family. 

To preserve the beautiful colour of the cauliflower I roasted them with just salt, black pepper, olive oil and a dash of curry, I tossed in a few garlic cloves too. 
The lentils were washed and simmered in water and stock (for vegetarian/vegan use a veggie or mushroom stock) and once plated it was finished with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of lemon (just a tiny hit of acidity, this is not a salad but a warm side dish that would look gorgeous on any table)

Imagine this dish on your harvest or thanksgiving dinner table! 

Say "Cheese!"

It's the thanksgiving long weekend and I'm doing a bit of shopping (Eid is coming up at the end of this month!) when I stumble upon a real gem!  All I remember was being at the lights ready to turn into walmart when I saw this sign in the distance on the side of the road that read ARTISAN CHEESE and I had to do a double take because I was really really surprised as to what I was reading.

We love to go to the cheese boutique from time to time but really we don't have that many cheese places around, and there is nothing like this on this side of the city.

Now there is a cheese shop in my backyard and how could I not have seen it earlier!!!!?? Well lately I've been spending a lot of time in the downtown Toronto and opposite side of the GTA so no wonder I haven't noticed any signs of this place popping up.

Lucky for me it was their grand opening day and I couldn't resist chatting up a storm with the kind and gracious owners and staff on my passions for cheese, food and local ingredients.... etc..etc..  I had a little something to take away too and wanted to share some of it with my readers.

Lemon drop chocolate chip cookies

I was inspired when I stumbled upon these yellow lemon chips at my local bulk store (bulk barn, they're beginning to carry some really interesting things lately!)
Normally I don't like to use anything other than pure wholesome ingredients but I thought a little indulgance would be ok once in a while. Personally I don't like to use artificial flavourings and colourings..etc and I don't have much info about these chips in that regard but I bought a handful and thought to put them into a chocolate cookie and perhaps they'd taste a little like the lemon chocolate bars we used to get from friends who live and work in Ghana, Africa. That stuff was really good!

Basic Chocolate base cookie recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

6 oz chocolate chips (lemon drop chips in this case) 
In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In stand mixer with paddle, mix butter and sugars on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat until fluffy on medium-high, about 2 minutes. Turn to low, add vanilla and egg, mixing until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients until combined. Stop machine and fold in white chocolate by hand.
Line 12-by 18-inch baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart on trays and lightly flatten. Bake on middle rack of 350F oven until puffy and cracked, 10 to 12 minutes. If pans won't fit side by side on middle rack, use top and middle, switching trays halfway through baking time, quickly, to maintain oven temperature.
Cool completely before storing in airtight container for up to 3 days.

The cheese boutique

The cheese boutique experience which always consists of their gracious hospitality, a learning experience, and leaving the shop with a handful of yummy cheese... and of course the after party at home!