Happy Halloween everyone! Are you guys out and about celebrating? Our trick and treating night was actually last night; and because I’m down and completely out of commission (including losing my voice) due to a nasty strep throat and laryngitis, my hubby took the kids out to get candies from the neighbors while I’m at home, covered in my essential oils, and full of ibuprofen and antibiotics. I wanted to share this recipe that’s very timely for the weekend. After my week this week, I’m definitely ready to recover and have some delicious treats at the house. Do you still have any of the Balsamic-Roasted Strawberries left? If yes, make this balsamic roasted strawberries ice-cream. You won’t regret it. Trust me. This is one of my favorite ice-creams yet to date. I know every blogger you see would say that their latest recipe is their best recipe yet, but seriously, I have had my share of ice-creams, from all over the world – and this was one of my top favorites. Go ahead and jump with joy. Your welcome. I couldn’t have possibly passed up an opportunity to actually turn something this delicious into ice-cream.
Now, ice-cream is a welcome treat at our house – we eat them all year long (and everyone in my house is pretty lucky to have me around). We find ways to celebrate with ice-cream. I would wear layers of clothing just so that I can eat ice-cream, even in the middle of winter, snow-covered roads and track, when it’s minus 20 degrees outside. Ideally, I would just puree the strawberry compote, and drizzled them in my favorite homemade vanilla ice-cream. But my daughter is pretty picky about chunks in her ice-cream, so I decided to puree the compote, and infuse the strawberry into the mixture. I ended up with a beautiful dusty-rose colored ice-cream, very subdued color of ice-cream that’s oh so lovely, creamy, and sweet, the kind of sweetness that makes you squint your eyes. It’s the kind of ice-cream that you take a bite into, and then wonder, what is that flavor? I know that there are some strawberries. But there’s more to it – what is it? This ice-cream is beautiful, elegant, and perfectly churned. I’ll be looking forward to making them again in the spring. Have a great weekend – I’m sure ready for the weekend (and to have my voice back)!
You’re probably thinking? Strawberry-recipe??? Yes, I know, I know. I should be posting about pumpkins and apples – but I just had to squeeze in and share with you this new strawberry recipe that you will thank me later (trust me on this!). With all of the beautiful days last week, I was pretty inspired to do something with strawberry. Now, I found out about the delicious combo of balsamic vinegar and strawberries when I travelled to Italy several years ago; so the idea of that isn’t entirely new to me. We enjoyed platters of sliced garden strawberries, chunks of parmesan cheeses, crusty bread, cured meats, olives along with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping. My taste buds were pretty much changed after that – and I could never see antipasti platter the same way again. But roasting the strawberries along with balsamic vinegar was a brilliant idea- who thought of that? Roasting the strawberries really highlights the strawberry flavor, while the balsamic vinegar and sugar adds such a beautiful caramelization that makes a perfect compote that you can basically add on anything: pancakes, yogurt, waffles, etc. This recipe is perfect for under ripened berries that you tend to find off-season like now. Roasting it at high temperature brings out all of the sugar and caramelization that gives the final product lots of great flavors that you just don’t get with fresh strawberries. You’re probably thinking, how can it get better than fresh strawberries? Give it a try, and you’ll thank me later!
When my friends (in real life), or co-workers, find out that I have a food blog, the first comment they say is: how the heck do you have time for it? And most asked second question will be: do you cook every day? The answer to the first question is: well, I really don’t have time for it, but I make time for it. Plus, everyone needs to eat, so I may as well make it fun, healthy, and enjoyable for everyone (including me!). My husband is also incredibly supportive with us cooking our own meals as much as possible. He usually entertains the kids while I whip something in the kitchen (because according to him: I am very efficient, and much quicker in the kitchen than him). Now, for the answer to whether I cook every day, is no. I definitely would love to cook every day, but realistically, it is not possible. Not right now anyways. Our kids still need a lot of our attention, or should I say, we still need to keep an eye on them pretty closely to make sure that they don’t hurt each other (or themselves) when they play together.
One of my mantras that I use in the kitchen is: think simple, which means that I don’t need to prepare elaborate meals every day. This dish is an example that I recently put together, and it took less than 30 minutes. I had found fresh organic ravioli with butternut squash and apple fillings from Costco, which only took 5 minutes to cook. So naturally, I needed a quick light sauce to pull the pasta together, so this sauce was a perfect compliment to the sweet ravioli. I normally have frozen peas available in the freezer, and some sort of cured meat, lemons and heavy cream. So voila, we had a pretty nice meal, semi-homemade, in less than 30 minutes. Not only that it was tasty, it was inexpensive, and definitely healthier than most take-outs. I use ravioli in this recipe, but spaghetti or other pasta type would work well for this sauce. If you never had this, give it a try, you’d be amazed how impressive, yet quick this dish is! :) Have a great weekend everyone.
We had the most beautiful weather yesterday, which led up to a perfect weekend with a lot of outdoor times. The leaves’ colors have been changing everywhere, but I think they still haven’t hit their peak yet, so the best scenery is still yet to come. We took the kids to a local creamery’s fall harvest yesterday, with lots of delicious sample of homemade food(homemade ice-cream, chocolate milk, apple sauce), music, farm animals, balloons, and all of fun times outside. The kids had such a blast that we had to drag them out of there. After that, we took them to a local park to have a short hike and exploration. One of the things that my hubby and I used to enjoy was our evening walks with our St. Bernard, Charlotte. We managed to keep up that tradition even after our daughter was born: we’d either carry her or put her in a stroller. Unfortunately, we haven’t really been able to re-establish that routine with the addition of our son. It’s a little hard to manage two kids who are trying to run in two different directions with a very large dog who loves to say hello to every walker and dog that we pass. Sunday was definitely a highlight of our weekend, and I hope that the weather continues to stay beautiful for a couple more days.
Despite of our awesome Sunday, I had a baking failure on Saturday; and it was pretty discouraging! I haven’t had a baking failure in a very long time; so I was actually pretty bummed. I peeled about 20 pears to make a crisp that turned out to be a total disaster so I felt like I just wasted all that time and good ingredients for something that we couldn’t enjoy. It was so wrong that I didn’t even know how to “fix” it. Thankfully, this happened after I made this pumpkin bread, which was a success. Everyone should bake a pumpkin bread like this in the fall; the kind that has chock-full of really good fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, a tad of sweetness, and pumpkin flavors bursting out of each bite. And this bread is just that; it rose beautifully, and has just a perfect level of moistness without it being too mushy. A thick slice of this bread, warmed up or toasted gently, will be perfect with salted butter. It will be a perfect accompaniment to your spiced apple cider or coffee. It’s also relatively “healthier” than your average quick bread, it has a mixture of whole-wheat flour with all purpose flour to give it more robust flavors and some health benefits of more fibers. If you prefer to use all white whole-wheat flour, that would work as well. It also only uses about 1/2 stick of butter for the entire recipe. Not too bad, right? :)
Note: I’m submitting this pumpkin recipe to our bake-along group “What’s Baking”. The theme is “Pumpkin”, and Carrie will be rounding up everyone’s submission by the end of the month on her blog, Carrie’s Sweet Life.
I recently went to lunch with a friend of mine who has four kids. She’s one of those old souls that I just secretly admire, she prepares a lot of her meals from scratch, bakes weekly for people at work, makes baby blankets, does a lot of canning, and makes her own homemade jams and vanilla. I asked for some advices on my daughter’s pickiness. She pretty much ate everything that we served her up till about three years old, and at that point, once she started to be able to “talk” clearly, her favorite saying is: “I don’t like it”, without even trying it. It was so refreshing to hear that she says that all kids go through similar stages, and she also says that each one of her four kids has their own favorites and no-favorites as well.
Soup was actually one of the meals that my daughter loved. We could basically put anything in a soup, and she’d polish that off. Wherever we went out for meals, we’d just order “soups”, and she’d be a happy camper. Since she stopped liking soup (and 90% of the food that we serve at home), I haven’t really tried a new soup recipe, therefore, haven’t shared a new soup recipe in a while on the blog. My son is also not super crazy with soup. With the weather being colder, I thought that I’d share this really simple recipe that’s perfect for these rainy fall evenings. This is basically what a potato soup with ground beef (and I added some sausages) and lots of veggies, which makes it very hearty and comforting. I wouldn’t necessarily say that this tastes like a cheeseburger, but it’s a great versatile soup. Next time, I ‘m thinking to serve them with garlic croutons to add some crunch. Have a great weekend everyone!