February 25, 2014

Spiced turmeric milk

This milk is quickly becoming a staple in our household. I have read about different versions of warm turmeric milk for a while now, but I have figured out the perfect spice combination for us. Turmeric milk is said to help you relax and sleep and turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Since both of us have an autoimmune disease (one thyroid, one arthritis), I'm always trying to find ways to reduce inflammation.  I've made this milk with dried turmeric before, and it's still good, but I visited a few local Indian markets and found fresh turmeric root. It was a great find and I was super excited to try it out. It smells like a spicy (not hot) carrot and sort of tastes like one as well. this drink is also sometimes called golden milk because of the lovely color it takes from the turmeric. This milk is a nice warm and creamy drink with a touch of spice and sweetness that warms you up before bed.

We recently joined a herd share so we now have access to farm fresh, grass-fed whole milk! I'm super excited about this and will likely be trying out more recipes like yogurt, cheeses, etc. so we can keep up with our milk. This recipe will make two servings.

February 18, 2014

Chicken with preserved lemons, olives, and saffron couscous

You may remember that early last month I made salted preserved lemons. Well they are now ready to eat! This is the first dish that I have used them in. I tasted a small piece of one on its own and it was really different -- the lemon and salt flavors were there, but mellowed. The rind had become soft and almost silky. They added a nice, bright flavor to this dish and I'm looking forward to using them more. I think that they will go really nicely in other stews and with vegetables like broccoli. This dish combines a lot of Moroccan flavors and turned out to be quite delicious. It will serve about four people.

Today we made another attempt (at a different location) to see a snowy owl and I was skunked again! I couldn't believe it. We did see some snow buntings, which were new for me, but that just wasn't as exciting as the snowy. I hope that I'll see one before they start moving back up north again. We did some snow shoeing this weekend as well. I'm trying to enjoy the last of winter as it's going to get up to 50 degrees later this week! I know we'll still have cold and snow for another month or so, but I like to make sure to enjoy each season to its fullest before the next one comes.

February 13, 2014

Cajun chicken and pepper pasta

I threw this pasta dish together on a whim and it turned out to be a keeper that we will be having again (and again). I was able to incorporate a few herbs I dried last fall from our herb garden. It was really delicious - spicy, but not too hot, creamy, and a touch sweet from the peppers and onions. It was good for a cold night which is what we are having a lot of lately. I do like winter and snow, but the cold is starting to get to me this year. It didn't help that my work office is freezing cold (though I did receive a space heater this week, and I'm super happy and thankful for that). I'm hoping that this weekend we can get a snow shoe in since we should still have snow and it shouldn't be in the negative temperatures! This pasta dish would be nice to make after spending some time outside because the spice will help to warm you up from the inside out! This dish should feed 4-6 people.

February 8, 2014

Cheddar cornbread bacon pancakes

This post is dedicated to Elle of Elle's New England Kitchen who suddenly passed away recently. Like everyone, I was surprised and saddened to hear the news. I'm participating in ElleAPalooza where friends of Elle are making and posting recipes from her blog in her memory. She was one of the first food bloggers I "met" (in the virtual sense) when I started this blog back at the end of 2009. Aside from food, Elle was very crafty and made jewelery. I still have her Christmas ornament wreath on my to-make list. 

After much browsing through Elle's posts, I decided on her cheddar cornbread bacon pancakes (with my husband's assistance and Elle was correct, they do make husband's happy). They weren't the most photogenic of meals, but they were so delicious - the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and salty. I made these pancakes for a weekend brunch and they were definitely a hit. They will become a "keeper recipe" and every time I make them, I will be reminded of my blogging friend. The only thing I changed was reducing the amount of sugar. Elle has so many wonderful recipes on her site and she will be greatly missed. 

February 6, 2014

Soft pretzels with cheddar-ale dipping sauce

I've always loved soft pretzels. I remember being a teenager hanging out at the mall and almost always getting a soft pretzel with some bright orange cheese sauce to dip it in. It was one of my favorite snacks/treats and something that I never had at home....until now. I finally decided to learn how to make soft pretzels myself. I've been wanting to try them at home for a few years now. So I made a batch last weekend to snack on during game. They were easier than I had imagined they would be. To make it a bit more "adult" I made a dipping sauce of sharp cheddar, pale ale, and pickled jalapenos. You can leave out the beer or dip your pretzels in something else like honey-mustard. Or, sprinkle them with some cinnamon-sugar instead of salt for a sweet version. These pretzels were adapted from this recipe and will make about eight pretzels (allow about 2 per person).

February 3, 2014

Rabbit and dumpling stew

Warm, rich broth filled with vegetables, rabbit, and light, buttery dumplings - this is a rich and comforting dinner for a cold winter evening. I used this chicken and dumplings recipe from Fearless Homemaker to create a rabbit version of this classic dish. Surprisingly, this the the third rabbit recipe I've shared on my blog now. I never thought I would love to eat rabbit, but hey, now I do. 

Today my husband and I went to look for a snowy owl. He saw this snowy owl a few times and it's been in the same field for a couple of weeks. I was really excited (and hopeful), but we didn't spot it. I am pretty bummed because this is not the first time I've attempted to see an owl in the wild and been skunked --- I've yet to see one. I've heard them, but not seen them... We aren't huge birders, but I do keep a life list and enjoy trying to see new species. After being outside in the winter looking for owls, or doing any other activity, you need a stick-to-your ribs meal like this stew!