Today I started the process of making our own mince pies. I’m calling it a process as I can’t seem to find any candied peels in food shops around us, so I thought I’d make them myself.
I removed most of the white membrane (to make them less bitter) on (organic) orange and lemon peels and cut them into thin stripes. I’ve had them soaking at home during the day (to remove more of the bitterness) and will make a sugar syrup this evening to coat them in. I’m using this recipe from ‘The Shiksa in the Kitchen’ as it sounds quite easy. Will let you know how it turns out!
This evening I made some quick Christmas baubles for our tree as we only have two ornaments so far. I created them out of our huge vat of plastic beads purchased from Ikea and they fuse together once ironed on. Once they were melted together, I hung them up with some thread from my sewing machine.
They match the rest of our art around the apartment!
My husband’s been working many late nights coding lately and are eating his dinners more and more in the office. His text that let me know he wouldn’t be home for dinner last night was a relief as I was ridiculously tired after a two hour(!) food shop where I bought everything I think we might need for the next coming weeks of baking. I certainly did not feel in the mood for cooking.
So what did I do for dinner? A small selection of mini pizzas for myself!
I had some corn tortillas left in the fridge from God-knows-when and since I like variation when eating (most times when eating out, I just order several appetisers) I made three different flavours!
This one is goat’s cheese, caramelised red onion, mushrooms and rocket (arugula) with a balsamic glaze. Oh so delicious!
This one is a simple ‘pepperoni’ pizza with tomato sauce, sliced garlic, mature (sharp) cheddar & mozzarella and salami. Looove garlic!
And the final one had a pesto base with some garlic marinated mushrooms, mozzarella & cheddar again, as well as some sliced tomatoes. Absolutely divine!
You see, when there are so many nice combinations of toppings on a pizza – how can one chose? I love being able to have as many tastes as possible and so making them smaller makes it even better!
I’ve been feeling poorly now for the past week and this weekend was particularly bad – I ended up laying in bed most of Saturday. Bleugh.
Today I woke up early (I started sneezing) but went back to bed with my Food Network magazines after breakfast to go through the last ones. Our apartment is also good at keeping cool (great in the summer) but when it’s warm outside, the heating is turned off which makes it feel colder in the house. Snuggling up underneath the duvet for a while made me feel slightly better.
After tearing out some interesting pages of recipes, I found one for banana pancakes which sounded very good for a quick snack. I mashed up one ripe banana, mixed it thoroughly with 1 tbs of smooth peanut butter before whisking it together with an egg. I then grated up some nutmeg and added to the batter, together with some ground cinnamon. The pancakes ended up with a slight sweetness and a hint of banana. I’m sure my husband (who hates peanut butter) would be able to taste the peanut butter, but I couldn’t really tell.
I think they would be great with some berries and some greek yoghurt – but unfortunately we don’t have that much in the fridge today. My two missions for the day is for one load of washing to be done as well as going for a walk to the grocery store. I’m mustering up the strength now for the walk with some pancakes!
I am have been a fan of Elana Amsterdam from Elanas Pantry for a while now – since 2009 when I realised that I (especially my stomach) felt so much better without sugar and wheat. I have her three books and they helped me make and put together a whole dessert table of goodies for our wedding two years ago.
I must admit thought that I haven’t been that good at trying the recipes in her latest book (Paleo cooking from Elanas Pantry) but now I’m running out of ideas of good dinners and we haven’t tried anything new in a while.
You know when you get in to a rut of making the same dishes over and over again and somehow you can’t seem to break the cycle and try something new? That’s where I am at the moment. One of my dear friends is moving away from Boston and decided that she certainty did not need her huge collection of The Food Network magazine and donated them all to me. I have made it my project to go through them all and tear out the recipes I want to try and donate the rest to someone else who could need some inspiration. My thoughts are that this will get me in to some new (and American) recipes and we will get some variation!
Anyway. As I had most of the ingredients for Elana’s Bacon & spring onion (scallion) tart i decided to give it a try! I changed the tart crust to give it a bit more flavour and added more almond flour to it to make it slightly drier. The content of the tart changed as well with a bit more ingredients – get her book for the full recipe!
1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup Spectrum all-veg shortening
1 tsp ground garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp dried oregano
Mix all ingredients, but leave the egg to last. The dough should not be sticky but turns more in to a hard ball and is easy to press out in a tart pan. Don’t forget to prick the crust with a fork before putting in to a pre-heated oven (350F / 175 c). Mine was in the oven for about 10 min, until it got a bit of colour. Remember that almond flour browns quicker than regular flour – don’t leave it in there too long. One of the eggs for the tart filling was already whisked up and brushed slightly on to the bottom of the tart (to act as a sealant so that the crust won’t go soggy).
While the crust was in the oven, I cut the bacon into small pieces with a pair of scissors directly into the heated frying pan until almost crisp. I removed most of the fat from the bacon and cut down the spring onions in to the pan along with the garlic, onions and spices and fried until it all had browned nicely.
I removed the tart from the oven to cool down and whisked the other eggs, together with the salt & pepper, in to a big bowl where I then poured in a bacon/spring onion/red onion/garlic mixture. Before pouring it all in to the tart crust, I mixed it together as much as possible, instantly had a thought about topping it with some grated cheese but decided against it in the end.
The tart went in to the oven for about 30 min before I let it rest for 15 min and then served it with the tasty left-overs from the salad we had the night before. The salad was filled with spinach, romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, feta, olives, avocado with a balsamic dressing.
All in all – a very successful new meal!