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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Need a killer Veggie Pate?

This dip is wonderful as a vegetable dip, serve with crackers or even as a sandwich spread. Delicious!

Toasted Walnut Pate

You will need:

1 hand full of fresh oregano
60g of Feta cheese
1 lemon
4 cloves of garlic (less is fine if you don’t want it too garlicky)
1.5c toasted walnuts
(to toast, put in a dry frying pan over low heat until you can smell them toasting. They burn easily so toss them intermittently).
1 can of tomato paste
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt
A hint of smoked paprika
Fresh pepper to taste.

In a food processor, toss in your garlic cloves and feta. Run until smooth. Add your toasted walnuts, then run the processor again. You will have a grainy paste after this. Take your fresh oregano and chop it slightly. Get rid of any stems or woody parts and throw it in with your can of tomato paste, apple cider vinegar,lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Run one last time in the processor until you have a smooth paste.


Secrets that comfort on cold winter days

I am totally giving away my secrets with this one... well not really! This is the comfort of comfort food with a couple twists. I have made this in many ways, but this week? This is my fave!

My way Mac ‘n’ Cheese w/ Sesame Seeds

You will need:

Some fresh Thyme (chopped fine)
Some fresh or dried Marjoram (use oregano if you don’t have marjoram)
Whole wheat/kamut/spelt macaroni (the white just don’t cut it in my house)
1.5 cups Monterey Jack cheese (grated)
1c milk
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp of butter
1 small bunch of broccoli (stem and all)
1 chopped leek
1 lemon juiced
1/4c of sesame seeds
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.Boil water for pasta and add some salt to the water. Get out a sauce pan and place your butter in over medium heat. Soon as your butter melts, add your flour and cook the flour until all the butter is absorbed. Add you milk very slowly and heat through, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add half your cheese, stir in with your leeks, salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat. Chop up your broccoli into bite size chunks. Add your broccoli to your pasta water about 2 minutes before you strain your pasta. Just until it is nice and green. Don’t over cook your pasta because it still has a trip to the oven to make. Put your strained pasta and broccoli into your pot, pour your cheezy sauce over it all and toss until the sauce is covering every ounce of macaroni. Squeeze your lemon in there, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, then toss one last time. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and place the pot, with a lid, in the oven for 1/2 hour. Done!


**Tip** You can add any green, red, orange or blue veggie you want to this dish. If you don’t have sesame seeds? Go with sunflower seeds. Toast them a bit first to really bring out the flavor.

~Them naughty legumes.... ppp Peanuts~

I dunno about the rest of you... but I love Peanut butter!

I know I know peanuts are 'bad' and big, crappy false food companies use their 'no peanut' strategy to sell terrible, chemical laden food to honest folk! I am not of the mind to buy such things though... and if you have an allergy to peanuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, or anything related to nuts... DON'T EAT IN MY KITCHEN.

I'm very sorry! I sympathize deeply with those that are allergic to nuts or peanuts!

I couldn't imagine my life without nuts/peanuts in it.

I have a few problems though with the mistreatment of peanuts. First of all, they are not nuts! They are legumes! Banning peanuts from schools is understandable if there deathly allergic kids. I understand that. But all nuts???? Man oh man! In this day and age where people are eating less and less meat, we have to look at this issue in a different way.

Anyways, on that note... here's how to make peanut butter!!!

2 cups of roasted peanuts
1 x food processor.

(no a blender will not work for this).

Put your peanuts in the food processor and turn it on!

Let the food processor run until you have the most perfect, amazing, wonderful, fresh peanut butter.

If you like your peanut butter a bit salty? Add some sea salt to it. If you like your peanut butter sweet, add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey and run the food processor until smooth. If you like chunky peanut butter, add some pre chopped peanuts at the end of this process and stir them in.
Place in jars and repeat.

Tips: Don't make more than 2 cups at a time otherwise the peanut butter doesn't come out smooth before your motor on your food processor gets over heated. Trust me... been there!

You don't have to use peanuts, you can use pecans or macadamia nuts too. These nuts are as high or higher in oils than peanuts so they work great!

If you want to make almond butter, follow the same instructions but you will need to add a drizzle of almond oil (or grape seed) to smooth it out while the food processor is running. Almonds don't have as much oil as peanuts.

***Note*** I buy raw peanuts cuz I'm spoiled. I then roast my own on a low temperature for a while to make them uber delish'us. I find peanuts that are pre roasted are full of unnecessary oils. Just a hint for those that are interested!