Beet and Potato Soup with Dill Cream

As the kitchen fell just before Valentine’s day, Michelle prepared a Beet and Potato Soup with Dill Cream for the occasion.

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Michelle decorated the red velvet soup with a heart shape sour cream drizzle.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 beets, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500ml or 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or more depends on the size of the vegetables)
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 small bunch of dill

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Source: this recipe is adapted from mowielicious.com

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Simple Tomato Sauce

Michelle served the Polenta Fries with a Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce.

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Leftover tomato sauce can be freeze up to 6 months. Allow it to cool completely and pour into 1 to 2 cups portions into freezer plastic bags or glass containers for freezing.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (32 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 dried bay leaf or basil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

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Source: this recipe is adapted from foodnetwork.com

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Polenta Fries

Stella sponsored a tube of prepared polenta to the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club as she has no idea how to use it.  So, Michelle looked up for a simple Polenta Fries to be made in the kitchen.

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The Polenta Fries is baked in a hot oven until golden brown and crispy on the outside. The Polenta Fries are served with a Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 tube (18 ounces) plain prepared polenta
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or dried oregano

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Source: this recipe is adapted from MarthaStewart.com

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Easy Skillet Fruit Cake

Michelle prepared an easy Skillet Fruit Cake for dessert at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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This cake is best made in a cast iron skillet which gives it a crispy bottom. Since the South Arm kitchen does not have a cast iron skillet, we baked the cake in a regular round cake pan and muffin tins.

We made two versions of this cake, one with thinly sliced pear and another with canned peaches. The pear gives the topping a slightly crunchy texture.

The simplicity of this cake is that you can mix it by hand and have it in the oven in 5 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (recommended) or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (or other stoned fruit, apples or pears, thinly sliced)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar for topping

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Source: mintgreenapron.blogspot.com

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Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet

Michelle prepared a Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet for the main course for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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Original cassoulet is loaded with meat. This is a vegetarian version where protein is substituted with white beans. This dish can be made in less than half an hour if you use canned beans, but Michelle prefers the texture of the cooked, dried beans with some planing ahead as the dried beans will cook faster after soaking in boiling water for overnight.

Serve with crostini or slices of baguette alongside.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried beans (Zuni or other white beans) or 3 canned white beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • 4 sprigs thyme, stripped from stem or 1 teaspoon dried one
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
  • optional: cooked bacon (veggie or pork for the carnivores!)

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Source: mintgreenapron.blogspot.com

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Kale Crostini

I’m back at the community kitchens after a long break since mid November 2012. The first community kitchen which I attended in 2013 was the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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Michelle prepared three recipes for this kitchen. The first recipe is Kale or Green Crostini. Michelle picked a kale recipe as kale is in season in winter, although we can get almost all year round in Vancouver.

Eating seasonal is the key to:

  • fresher and more nutrients
  • better flavour
  • better for the environment; i.e reduce carbon foot print for imported ones
  • usually cheaper
  • support local economy

Michelle recommended this website for eating seasonal: www.eattheseasons.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of ciabatta or baguette bread
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half for rubbing onto the bread
  • 3 cloves of garlic for cooking with the kale
  • 1 bunch of kale, remove leaves from stems (discard stem) and tear into smaller pieces
  • half a lemon for juicing
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Jamieoliver.com

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