Mustard and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes Skewers

For those who made their guesses on previous post regarding Frank and Ken’s age, here is the answer.  Frank is 80+ and Ken is 90, can you believe it.  They are just amazing seniors with an active lifestyle.

Back to the kitchen, Helmut with the help of Stella made this Mustard and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes on skewers.  Stella offers her help as the kitchen is short of a member that day.

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This extremely simple, but oh-so-delicious potato side dish makes a great pick-up appetizer when threaded onto wooden skewers.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs. small new potatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
  • 24 wooden skewers, optional

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This recipe serves 4 to 6 as a side dish, or 8 to 12 as an appetizer.

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Classic Texas Caviar

During the holiday season, we are often greeted with party food which are high in salt, fat and sugar.  This Classic Texas Caviar is a wonderful appetizer for potluck as it feeds a crowd.  It is very filling and flavourful, and full of healthy protein and fiber.

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The Classic Texas Caviar recipe is adapted from Pam Anderson and it serves a large party.  Ken and Frank made this healthy appetizer.  Ken and Frank are the oldest seniors in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors.  Can you guess their age?

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Ken and Frank are two of the active members of the cooking club.  Check back the next post to see if you guess their age right?

Ingredients

  • 2 (15.8 ounce) cans black-eyed peas or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and minced, optional
  • 1 small onion, cut into small dice
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into small dice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

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Bouchons au Thon

The South Arm Cooking Club for seniors had a guest on their last cooking session.  The guest is Margaret Hewlett, the executive director from the Richmond Food Bank Society.  Can you guess why is she invited?

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The reason is the food concession at the South Arm Community Center Christmas craft fair was a great success.  The seniors made the Best Cocoa Brownies, a few types of sandwiches and hot chocolates for the food concession.  The response was so good that they ran out of food and have to go out to buy more ingredients to make more sandwiches.

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People are very generous and they pay generously for the food at the concession.  Stella presented the proceeds of $681 to Margaret.  This is the time of the year where the food bank needed donations the most during the holiday season.  Margaret shared with the seniors some information on the Richmond Food Bank Society and offered the seniors a tour of the Richmond Food Bank Society in the near future.

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Alright, back to food, the theme for this cooking session is appetizers as the Christmas holiday is approaching fast.  The first appetizer is called Bouchons au Thon.  Bouchon in french means cap or cork or stopper while au thon is tuna.  Therefore Bouchons au Thon is literally translated to Tuna Cap or Tuna Cork.  This is more so if it is baked in a regular muffin tin. This recipe is adapted from Orangette and it makes 8.

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These Bouchons are like miniature, crustless tuna quiches.  They are delicious warm or at room temperature, and can be baked in any configuration: miniature muffins, regular muffins, or tart-size.  They also freeze well, and should be gently reheated before serving.

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Cranberry Feta Pinwheels

For the first meeting in October, the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors whipped up 5 dishes.  What a great start for fall.  Stella decorated the dining tables with a spaghetti squash and some miniature pumpkins.  The squash and pumpkins are gifts from members of the community center.  Initially, Stella wanted to use the squash as a prize for some kind of quiz.  However, at the end of the cooking session, no quiz idea yet.  So, the squash went to whoever who wanted it and it went to Chris.   Stella also shared some pears and prune plums with us which she got free from friends who harvested them from their gardens.  It is the time of the year where lots of sharing is going around.

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The first item on the dining table is Cranberry Feta Pinwheels.  These pretty pinwheels are perfect for a Christmas buffet with the festive colours of red from the dried cranberries and green from the chopped green onions.

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The Cranberry Feta Pinwheels are great as appetizer.  They are so rich with the feta cheese and cream cheese.  This recipe is taken from tasteofhome.com.  Christina and Ken made this delicious pinwheels. (more…)

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Three-Ginger Pear Chutney

This is the second canning workshop organised by Richmond Food Secure. Originally, Karen wanted to do a peach chutney. But, since the Richmond Food Tree Sharing Project collected a lot of pears that week, Karen made a change of recipe to Pear Chutney instead. Karen is very versatile and she often has to decide on what to cook in the Gilmore Park Community Meal at the very last minute depending on what she gets from the food bank, Richmond Food Tree Sharing Project and other donors.

Chutney is a relish made by combining fruits and spices, originally accompanying Indian (south Asian) meals.  The Hindi word chatni means ‘to taste’.

Some chutneys use fresh ingredients and are served immediately, while others are cooked, then processed to preserve the fruits for later use.  Chutney can be sweet or sour, spicy or not; or combinations of these.  Like any relish, the texture can vary from smooth to chunky, depending on the creator.  Typical ingredients can include combinations of mango, apple, pears, peaches, plums, herbs, citrus fruits, tomato, raisins, coconut, vinegar(s), honey, sugar, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and chilies.  But generally, a chutney makes use of the ingredients which are typically at hand.

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For today’s recipe, we got to sample it.  Karen brought a jar of her Peach Chutney made last year for us to sample.  Chutney can be served beside cheeses and cold meats, or with hot meals.  Ginger/pear combinations are particularly delicious with pork or chicken.

The chutney pairs well with the tangy and creamy goat cheese.  This is a great appetizer for entertaining.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups peeled, cored and diced/sliced fresh pears (about 6-9 medium, or 1.1 kg), preferably half ripe and half not so ripe
  • 1 cup tart apple, peeled, cored and diced (about 1 large)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins (50-60gm)
  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup golden brown sugar (160-175gm)
  • 1 to 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, peeled (or 1 teaspoon ground dried ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

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This recipe makes 3 to 4, 250 ml jars.

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Creamy Hummus

Hummus is a popular Greek dip.   I must warn you in advance that if you are going for a date, refrain from eating too much hummus as the raw garlic after taste is going to ruin your date.

June and Christina partnered to make this Creamy Hummus in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors.  This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light and it serves 4.

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For a  truly creamy hummus, it’s important to blend the tahini with water and lemon juice first; this allows it to emulsify, and gives the hummus its fabulous texture.   This Creamy Hummus is best served with some pita chips.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (19oz) can chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

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Guacamole

Guacamole originate from the Aztec and became popular in Spain.  The name Guacamole comes from an Aztec dialect, ahuacatl means avocado and molli means sauce.  Branca made this very popular dipping sauce to go with her home-made Tortillas.

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Guacamole is creamy by the ripe avocado, fragrant by the cilantro and a hint of tanginess from the lime juice.  It is a very nutritious dip rich with good monounsaturated fat from the avocado.

Here are some tips on buying avocado:

  • choose black ones
  • it should be lightly tender to touch
  • if you buy unripen avocado, wrap them in newspaper and place them at a warm place to speed up the ripening process
  • you can also place the avocados next to some apples to speed up the ripening process
  • if you would like to keep them for a while, refrigerate them

Ingredients

  • Ripe avocados
  • red tomatoes, diced
  • onion, finely chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • freshly squeeze lime juice
  • finely chopped serranos (optional)

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Japanese Finger Food

Frank’s Japanese Feast continue with a number of finger food. These finger food include Teriyaki Chicken, Baked Kabocha and Tempura.

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Frank marinated the chicken drumet with soy sauce, mirin and sugar. These are baked in a preheated 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. We can really taste the mirin in this chicken drumet.

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Next finger food is Kabocha. Frank simply sprinkle the Kabocha chunks with sugar, Teriyaki sauce and olive oil. These are baked in a 350F preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the Kabocha is soft.

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Supreme Miso Soup

The next item Frank served in his Japanese feast is Miso Soup. I called it Supreme Miso Soup because I have never had such a rich miso soup.

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This supreme Miso Soup has so much ingredients in it unlike those we had in most Japanese restaurants which only has a few tofu cubes.

Ingredients

  • water
  • fish and seaweed seasonings
  • dry seaweed
  • miso paste
  • tofu, cubed
  • tofu pocket, sliced
  • egg plant, cut into small pieces
  • button mushroom, sliced
  • spinach
  • bean sprout
  • green onion, chopped
  • fish cakes
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misosoup-18-300x200Various fish cakes misosoup-17-300x200Tofu pouch

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Japanese Feast

Frank surprised the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen with a Japanese feast. We could not believe the amount of items that he brought to the kitchen. All in all, he brought in 5 boxes of stuff, including a rice cooker and a tea set. Frank must have spent at least two days to prepare for this feast.

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There were plenty of cutting and slicing to be done. Fortunately, there were enough hands in the kitchen to get the job done.

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Frank even wrote up the menu on the spot. Frank is so ambitious in planning a Japanese feast for us. Frank has such good hand writing despite that he told us he only had 42 hours of English lessons officially. Can you guess how old is Frank? This full of life and good spirit gentleman is 86 years old.

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Frank started the Japanese Feast with Green Tea. He brought his own tea set for an authentic feel to Japanese meal.

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