Limoncello


I am on a lemon-bender. These fragrant yellow orbs are hobbling into grocery stores everywhere for the season.
I couldn’t be happier.

It’s no secret I love citrusy things. Biggest problem is usually that I can’t decide which of it is my most favourite.
Besides having to rip through half a dozen lemons for this treat, It’s super easy and it’ll leave your kitchen (not to mention your hands) smelling AMAZING.

Perfect in a snazzy bottle for gift giving and enjoying during the Holidays.

Adapted from Ilva at Lucillian, (love her blog!)I figured she, living in Tuscany, would get it perfectly right. Not being much of a liquors sipper myself, I have to admit the idea is a simple as it is tasty.

LIMONCELLO

7 Lemons, preferably organic, peeled
750ml Grain Alcohol (I used Vodka)
1 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Water

Scrub each lemon until the oils begin to release.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin in strips, leaving the bitter, white pith.
Submerge the zest in the alcohol an leave covered, for about a week in the fridge.
Strain the zest, leaving the lemony scently, yellow tinted alcohol, while you prepare the sugar syrup.
In a saucepan, heat the water then, pour over the sugar to dissolve.
Heat it over a medium heat until it just simmers.
Add about half to the waiting alcohol and taste to your liking, adding more of the sugar syrup as necessary.
Replace into a sealable bottle and store.
Best kept chilled in the refrigerator for quick and delicious use.

The New Vegan Frontier


I had this realization at the grocery store the other day. It’s something I’ve obviously not given enough thought. I mean, I know why people have food restrictions and I know that there are many reasons. There are people in my family are allergic to wheat and dairy and a large reason because of that is why this site exists. I’m fairly conscientious but never though, have I gone out and so rigorously read every ingredient that went into my shopping basket. What was once simple shopping took an hour and a half.

I’m aware of the easiest ways to healthier eating and that’s making everything yourself. But after this experience, I couldn’t believe it more true. The sneaky binders and unfortunate ingredients that “deprive” those of a delicious waffle. After a few let downs there was excitement. I’d find new produce or the wheat-free, gluten-free, yeast-free bread that will remain nameless to excite me into a tizzy. I was about ready to start this detoxing cleanse.

My biggest splurge was to finally buy a rice cooker. I honestly don’t know why I hadn’t done this earlier and now it sits happily along sit my Kitchen Aid as one of my favourite appliances. Shameful to admit, I’ve never been a stellar rice steamer myself. Iffy at best, I’d cross my fingers and hope not to burn it on the bottom or lift the lid early exposing a soggy mess. Amazing that this basic food is one of my favourites and when cooked right, tastes like a delicacy to me. Naturally, I was inspired and created one of my first meals for the detox as a rice bowl.

Totally versatile, starting with a mix of brown and wild rice, I added many of my grocery shop finds; broccolini, roasted squash, pea shoots and bean sprouts. To it was a great maple baked tofu with a great tahini sauce to liven it up.

Maybe this won’t be so bad?

MAPLE TOFU AND TAHINI RICE BOWL

4 cups Cooked Brown & Wild Rice, or whatever you have that you think is nice
1 Acorn Squash, seeded & sliced
1 Block Extra Firm (organic) Tofu, halved and sliced about 1/4″ thick
Handful Each of Pea Shoots, Sprouts, Broccolini & Frozen Green peas
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil,
Safflower Oil for frying

SESAME TAHINI SAUCE

1/4 cup tahini
3 Tablespoons Water
3 tablespoons Sesame Seed Oil
1/4 cup  Lemon Juice
Pinch of Salt to taste

Make the dressing by whisking together the tahini and hot water to thin. Add the lemon  juice, sesame oil and sprinkling of salt.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly drizzle 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a baking dish. Lay your sliced squash evenly and flip to coat in the oil.
Bake for about 15-20mins, then flip and return to the oven to continue roasting on the other side for another 15 minutes or until soft and golden. Remove from pan and lightly sprinkle over salt and pepper.
While the squash is roasting, heat a thin layer of the safflower oil in a large pan for frying.
Once the oil is hot, add the tofu slices and brown on both sides.
Remove and drain on towels.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Using the roasting pan for the squash, add the tofu and evenly pour over the maple syrup, tossing to coat on both sides.
Bake the tofu for about a 1/2 hour, flipping half way through, until it is browned and slightly crisped.
Cook your rice, as per your usually methods. 2C dry rice with about double the water, usually does it for me.
Scoop the cooked rice into a nice, big bowl and to it, stir in the broccolini and frozen green peas

Serve rice family style or into individual bowls, topping with tofu, slices of squash and a handful of shoots and sprouts.
Drizzle over the tahini dressing. Taste and add more salt and freshly ground pepper, if needed.

Serves 4-6.

Blueberry Peach Sonker



Really?
I didn’t know what a “sonker” was either until I looked up what was closest to what I’d made.
Just think of it as a cobbler on it’s head, I did. So, when I looked up an inverted cobbler, I found Pandowdys, grunts and a sonker, which seemed closest to what was baking in my oven.
But please, if you have any suggestions, I’m open.

This time of year I seem to have ample berries on hand that I don’t have to ration when it comes to snacks. I’ll typically set out a big bowl of each of what I have on for breakfast and see where we’re at by mid-day
After lunch, I looked across a messy table to a bowl of blueberries and half a plate of freshly sliced peaches.

It’s already known that blueberries and peaches are a match made in heaven – or in August around these parts, but still, I couldn’t help imagine what I would do with them next.

I was thinking cobbler, but wanted something a little more plateable for an afternoon tea with our neighbour and so, the “Sonker” is where we evolved. A crumbly biscuit like cake, perfect for soaking up those juices, that’s sweet, but not too much and topped with a good layer of fruit, zest of lemon and sprinkling of sugar.

Pretty simple, but impressive and delicious, especially with a dollop of “cream”, iced or not.

BLUEBERRY PEACH SONKER

1/2 Cup Earth Balance (Butter)
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Soy Milk
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Cup Blueberries
2 Cups Peaches, pitted & sliced, about 4
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, packed
Zest of 1/2 Lemon, optional

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Grease and flour an 8″ round cake pan.
Cream the butter with the granulated sugar until well combined and fluffy.
Add the vanilla to incorporate.
Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 cup of flour.
Add 1/2 cup of soy milk and mix well.
Add another cup of the flour and once incorporated, the remainder of the milk followed by the last of the flour to form a thick batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula, which has been dipped in water, to spread evenly to the edges.
Top with the sliced peaches and blueberries. Sprinkle over the zest and evenly distribute the brown sugar.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a cake tester can be cleanly removed from the center.