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Chive Blosson Omelette

7 Jun

I made the happy discovery recently that chive blossoms are edible – they taste like chives! They are very pretty, and my chive plant is a hardy soul. It is always one of the first plants to start growing every spring.

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There are a few suggestions for using chive blossoms on the About Food website, and I decided to make Chive Blossom Omelettes for me and my younger sister, who was visiting me for the weekend.

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I used eggs from the heritage chicken program at the University of Alberta Farm, and I purchased the goat cheese at the Italian Centre Shop . I knew it was goat cheese because of the helpful image of a goat on the package.

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I sautéed the chives and chive blossoms in butter…

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…added the goat cheese, folded the omelette over, and let the cheesy goodness melt into the eggs.

It was a gorgeous morning, so we ate outside on our (brand-new-thank-you-to-The-Man-With-Whom-I-Keep-Company) deck.

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We also enjoyed fresh strawberries along with delicious danishes from our local organic bakery, Buns and Roses (complete with roses from my garden).

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I made iced tea with a fragrant and beautiful tea that I bought when I attended a recent art retreat. It was blended especially for the Harvest Moon Cafe in Val Marie, Saskatchewan, by the Banff Tea Co.  The blend is named “Dark Skies” after the dark sky preserve at Grasslands National Park beside Val Marie. The tea is a delightful combination of lavender, rose, and bluepea flowers, lemongrass, horsetail and nettles. It brews up a gorgeous blue-green colour.

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A happy chive blossom breakfast to you!

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All photographs by Marlena Wyman

Chive Blossom Omelette

Ingredients for each omelette:

2 eggs

2 Tbsps. milk

2 Tbsps. butter (divided)

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsps. chopped chives

1 Tbsps. chive blossoms, removed from stems

1 Tbsps. uncooked chive blossoms for garnish

2 Tbsps. goat cheese, crumbled

Preparation:

  1. Sauté a handful of chopped fresh chives and chive blossoms in 1 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat in a non-stick sauté pan. Remove chives and set aside.
  2. Crack the eggs into a glass mixing bowl and beat them with a whisk until they turn a pale yellow color.
  1. Add the milk to the eggs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk mixture well, beating as much air as possible into the eggs.
  2. Reheat the pan over medium-low heat. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in pan.
  3. When the butter in the pan is hot enough to make a drop of water hiss, pour in the egg mixture. Cook for up to a minute without stirring or until the bottom starts to set.
  4. With a heat-resistant rubber spatula, gently push one edge of the egg into the center of the pan, while tilting the pan to allow the liquid egg to flow in underneath. Repeat with the other edges, until there’s no liquid left and the bottom is a light golden brown.
  5. Add the goat cheese and the cooked chives & blossoms cheese in a line across the center of the eggs.
  6. With your spatula, lift one edge of the egg and fold it across and over. Turn off the heat and let the cheese melt.
  7. Plate and garnish with additional chive blossoms.

Posted by Marlena Wyman

 

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Stinging Nettle Omelette

16 Aug

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Photo by Marlena Wyman

Along with an abundance of wildflowers on our property at Bacon Cove, Newfoundland this year has come an abundance of Stinging Nettle. In particular, it has been seeking out the bare legs of The-Man-With-Whom-I-Keep-Company.

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Photo by Marlena Wyman

Stinging Nettle lives up to it’s adjective, but it can also be a healthy and delicious dining delight once the leaves has been picked (wearing rubber gloves!) and steamed for 20 munutes. The Globe & Mail talks about Stinging Nettle’s culinary delights here, including a menu item at the Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland. There are cautions for some medical conditions, so make sure you check those out first.

A friend suggested an omelette, which he had eaten at The Sooke Harbour House. So I cooked up a bit of a gourmet breakfast-for-supper, including:


  • omelette made with local free-range eggs, sharp cheddar and steamed Stinging Nettles.
  • Jamie Oliver Humanely-Raised Smoked Bacon
  • french toast made with bread from the Georgestown Bakery in St. John’s, Newfoundland, served with local Purity Blueberry Jam.

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Photo by Marlena Wyman

A good bacon-pairing wine is one of my favourites: Organic Cono Sur Pinot Noir.

Embrace the Stinging Nettle (with caution).

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Sketch by Marlena Wyman

Posted by Truly Scrumptious

Yummy Crunchy Ancient Grains Granola

23 Mar

I have been making granola for years and recently discovered some interesting new ingredients to add – quinoa, buckwheat groats and teff are considered ancient grains and have high nutritional value. You should be able to find most of these ingredients in your local grocery store or health food store. If you are skeptical about these grains, I suggest you try just one of them as a new food item. What I liked about this new version was the added crunch to the mix. The recipe that follows is my adapted version of my hippie granola with added nutrition from the ancient grains. Just goes to show that we can all learn something new every day. In fact these ingredients are good for the body and the brain health!!

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Ingredients

1/4 cup quinoa seeds, 1/2 cup buckwheat groats, 2 T teff seeds

Grind above with mortar and pestle just long enough to breakdown the seeds down a bit

2 cups large flake rolled oats, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup sliced almonds or any other type of nuts such as walnuts, cashews, or seeds such as chia or hemp hearts –  (up to your imagination and taste buds – just remember to adjust wet ingredients if you add more nuts or seeds), 2 t cinnamon

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl

1/2 maple syrup, 1/2 cup pure unfiltered apple juice

Add maple syrup and apple juice to the dry ingredients

Pour mixture on to a parchment lined baking sheet

Place in 300 degree oven for about 1 hour and stir every 20 minutes. The smell is divine – reminds me of apple crisp

Remove from oven and add dehydrated apples, cranberries, etc. I also add toasted coconut strips.

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Enjoy as breakfast or snack.  I will post a granola energy bar recipe in future that is easy to make and a delicious healthy snack for a hike or office break.

Bryce’s Egg-in-a-Hole

16 Mar

My nephew Bryce is staying with us this weekend and we decided to do some cooking. He is an up and coming Foodie, which I would like to encourage!  (He is also an author for this blog but we couldn’t figure out how to sign him in. Another day, maybe).

I decided that Egg-in-a-Hole would be a good breakfast dish that Bryce could make at home, and it’s a good one to take camping too.

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First, cut a hole in the middle of a slice of bread. (The “Hole” part of Egg-in-a-Hole). You can use a glass or cookie cutter. Then butter the bread on both sides (including the Bread-Bit. Waste not want not).

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Put the bread in a heated pan and crack an egg into the hole. (The “Egg-in-a” part of Egg-in-a-Hole).

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When the bread starts to get brown underneath, flip it. (Nice flipping technique, Bryce).

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Cook the egg to whatever softness/hardness you like, and enjoy! We enjoyed it with bacon, oranges, cherry tomatoes and jam.

Thanks for breakfast, Bryce!

Posted by “Truly Scrumptious” for “Baker Bryce”

Eating dandelions

20 May

1 dandelion

It’s dandelion season! Once I discovered how healthy dandelions are and how many ways they can be eaten, I started harvesting them from pretty much everywhere in my yard, because that’s where they are. What the heck, if you can’t beat them, eat them!

I don’t use any chemicals in my yard, so just a quick wash to get the soil off, a trim to remove the longer leaf-stalks and roots,  and they are ready for eating. Don’t throw away the roots. Dry them on a sunny windowsill and once they are dried, crumble them and use them to make fortifying dandelion tea.

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Dandelion greens are tangy and bitter – the good kind of bitter like arugula. You can throw them into a salad but the tender spring dandelion leaves are best for salads. They become tough and more bitter as they get bigger, but you can still use them in some recipes.

My sister Janice showed me how to cook greens as a nest for poached eggs, and dandelion greens work very nicely for that. Just cook them until tender with a couple of tablespoons of water in a covered pan. They take about the same amount of time to cook as kale does.

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When they are done, lift the leaves out and drain them, leaving most of the healthy dandelion water in the pan. To poach the eggs, add some water to the pan and a Tbsp of vinegar to keep the eggs nice and compact. Simmer, don’t boil. Our adopted heritage chicken Gertie and her sisters provided the lovely eggs.

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Form a circle on your plate with the dandelion greens, and place the eggs in the centre. The bitterness of the dandelion greens is a lovely counterpoint to the rich butteriness of the egg yolks.  Take your plate and tea outside to enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

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There are lots of recipes for dandelions. Twin Eagles Wilderness School in Sandpoint, Idaho has some great recipes on their website (along with a lot of nature and wilderness  info). I want to try dandelion blossom fritters. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Apparently a lot of people today, especially electronically-connected youth, suffer from “Nature Deficit Disorder”. Maybe learning to love dandelions is a way to start reconnecting with nature. There must be an app for that 🙂

Dig for dandelions and you’ll Dig for Victory!

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Posted by Marlena

Southern Hoecakes

27 Jan

Mmm mmm mmm, everything is better when you add bacon grease!

This is a recipe I make maybe 1 – 2 times a year (usually for dinner) because it’s heart-attack worthy.

Hoecakes are a famous southern recipe. They are basically pancakes made of cornmeal that is fried in bacon grease. They are also known as Johnnycakes. I read that their origin dates back to the 1700s when Native American’s would cook them on hot rocks. The method was later adapted by field hands who often cooked them on a shovel or hoe held to an open flame. Hoes designed for cotton fields were large and flat with a hole for the long handle to slide through; the blade would be removed and placed over a fire much like a griddle. This is how they got their name, hoecakes.

I was first introduced to hoecakes by one of my favourite television shows, True Blood. There is a scene when one of the main characters, Tara, wakes up and her mom, Lettie Mae, has prepared some hoecakes. She is pleasantly surprised because this is one of the first scenes where her Mom is on the mend (after her exorcism) from her crazy “I was possessed by the demon” state. Her Mom even goes as far as saying “she always knew how to make hoecakes, but the demon wouldn’t let her”. Tara makes a comment “you made these in bacon grease” while you can see her clearly eating one of the hoecakes. The 10 second video below is Tara trying one of her Mom’s hoecakes.

 

After seeing this scene I was very intrigued with what hoecakes were, so I did some research on them. After reading a recipe on how to make them I thought they sounded absolutely scrumptious and deadly! I’m not a big fan of cornmeal, so I decided to make a Canadianized version of hoecakes. I made traditional Canadian pancakes and fried them in bacon grease on a skillet. OMG, it’s like heaven in your  mouth! I get my bacon from my local butcher and he has some of the BEST bacon around. His bacon truly makes this recipe to-die-for. I have provided my recipe below.

1 lb bacon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Fry the bacon to your liking (alternatively you can bake your bacon in the oven too)
  2. Pour the excess bacon grease into a bowl with a pour spout
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla extract
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients; mix until the mixture has small lumps in it, but do not mix too much
  6. Heat a griddle over medium heat
  7. Pour some excess bacon grease onto griddle
  8. Scoop pancake mixture onto griddle; about 1/4 cup for each pancake
  9. Once mixture starts to bubble check underside to see if golden brown and flip over
  10. Serve with maple syrup

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I have provided a picture of Lettie Mae’s Holy Hoecakes (it might be hard to see, so I’ve provided a link to a bigger version) from the the True Blood recipe book. I have to get my hands on this recipe book. I love me some Southern Cooking.

True Blood Recipe Book (go to page. 86)

True Blood Recipe Book

Lettie Mae's Holy Hoecakes

I have also heard that the famous Southern cook, Paula Deen, also has a terrific hoecakes recipe.

Paula Deen’s Hoecakes

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