Waste Not.


Have a kid who won’t eat crusts? I do. So instead of having it continuously irritate me, I’ve decided to please both parties.

I was inspired after reading this New York Times article about wasted food. Where I’m really happy I live in an area which makes us separate so they can collect our organic waste, I was still annoyed at the pile of crusts at the end of most every lunch.
Determined to end the fight but win the battle, I started cutting the crusts from my Darling’s cucumber sandwiches. This little princess must have thought she’d died and gone to heaven, but dare she know that I was storing the crusts in the freezer and watching them accumulate.

Knowing they wouldn’t go bad in the freezer, like the brown bananas, and vegetable scraps before them, they were ready and on hand for anything I might be ready for like, crumbs, croutons or bread pudding.

Bread pudding that her highness had little trouble polishing off for dessert.

Now I just have to plan for those cherry pits.
For other great grocery money saving tips, check out the article put together over at Everyday Food.

CHERRY CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

4oz Semi Sweet Chocolate, roughly chopped
2 Cups Bread (Crusts), any kind, whole wheat, flax, oat, just be sure it’s at least a day old and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
1 Cup Soy Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Brandy
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Powder, cornstarch will work as a substitute
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Fresh Cherries, pitted & roughly chopped – dried may be substituted when out of season
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Nibs, very optional but quite delicious

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Cube the bread and set aside in a large bowl.
Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in a double boiler), stirring occasionally until smooth.
Measure milk in a pourable measuring cup.
Add the vanilla, brandy, sugar, salt and arrowroot powder, stirring well to incorporate and dissolve the arrowroot powder.
Pit the cherries, I used the flat side of my chef’s knife to pop the cherry open and the pit little more than a flick from your fingertips.
Roughly chop the cherries, reserving as much of the juice as possible.
Pour the milk mixture over the cubed bread, then add the cherries and their juice along with the cocoa nibs, if using.
Toss well to coat the bread and to soak up the liquid.
Drizzle over the melted chocolate, stirring well to combine.
Pour mixture into a short baking dish or divide between 4 – 1 cup ramekins.
Bake for 15 minutes.

Best served warm and with just about any ice cream you like.

Curried Carrot Soup


I am one of those people who like cilantro. Cilantro is a love it or hate it kind of thing. Thankfully the herby leaf it offers to 50% of the population who enjoy it, also comes with a seed. Coriander, which the seed more commonly goes by, lends a refreshing and slightly citrusy flavour. Blended with other spices, coriander is perfect and essential for milder curry combinations.

Common yellow curry is the key to this soup. Spices like coriander, along with tumeric, cumin, mustard seed, cloves, red pepper and fennel might seem like a lot but the complexities of each spice together make for a wonderful flavour combination added to so many dishes, including the humble winter carrot.

Earthy and dense, these bright reminders of a summer past wait anxiously in the root cellar to come alive again. Flavour packed and vitamin rich carrots along with the zip of curry does us a great justice to blasting the February blahs.

My father in law is a master at soup and a farmer’s market frequenter. With a constant variety of seasonal vegetables, he has shown me tons about eating locally. This is an adaptation of the soup I’d recently devoured at his home.

CURRIED CARROT SOUP

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Stalks Celery
8 cups of Water or Vegetable Stock
3 Lbs Carrots, about 6 large ones, grated
1 Tablespoon Yellow Curry Powder
1/2 teaspoon Fennel Seed, ground with a mortar pestle
1/4 teaspoon Ground Red Chilies, or to taste
1 teaspoon Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 Lemon

Heat the oil in a large stock pot.
Sauté the onion and garlic over medium-high heat until soft, taking care not to scorch the garlic.
Roughly chop the celery stalks into thirds and add to the onions along with the grated carrots.
Pour over the water, bring to boil.
Add the curry powder, ground fennel, chilies, salt and pepper.
Simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
Purée using a immersion or traditional blender, in batches until smooth.
Stir in the lemon juice and readjust salt and pepper, if necessary.
Top with chopped cilantro. (If you like it.)