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37 items found for "Kid Approved"

  • Beetroot Ketchup

    After my earlier attempt at a tomato ketchup, I was inspired to play around with other ketchup varieties. One that I wanted to try, thinking that the vegetable would lend itself well to this, was beetroot. The challenge in making this ketchup was to make it taste properly ketchupy and not like borscht. I think I managed! Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think! Ingredients: 4 beets, peeled and chopped 1/2 head garlic, minced 1 onion, chopped 7 tbsp red wine vinegar 3 tbsp light brown sugar 1 tsp oregano 1 - 1 1/2 tsp thyme 1/2 - 1 tsp salt 1 - 1 1/2 tsp tandoori powder 1) Place beets in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cooking, covered, until beets are tender. Add other ingredients, and continue to simmer, uncovered for about 20-30 minutes. 2) Cool the beets slightly then pour the contents of the saucepan into a blender and blitz well. Taste test, adjust, then transfer back to the saucepan and cook further until reduced to the desired gloppiness. 3) Meanwhile, boil clean jars for 15 minutes, completely submerged in water, thus sterilising them. While the ketchup is still hot, spoon into the jars one at a time (canning tongs come in handy here to fish the jars out of the boiling water), then wipe the rim, seal and place upside down on a clean towel to cool. I made my ketchup last week, and then we pulled it out this evening to have some, and I am really quite pleased with it. It tastes like ketchup, but it also still tastes like beet. And to my great relief, it does not taste like cold borcht!

  • Pear and Almond Chocolate Muffins

    I was talking to family in Hawaii recently, and it was evening for them, morning for me. They were having corn muffins with dinner, so I decided to have corn muffins for breakfast. Somehow though, on the way to go make them, I ended up deciding that they were going to be oatmeal muffins, and then I was going to add pear. Gradually, what with one thing and another, they morphed into something wholly new, adding a bit of this and a bit of that. As they came out really tasty, I thought I'd share. They are almost not sweet at all, and are very good with an added smear of richness from some butter. Ingredients: 1c flour 1/2c oats 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 c vegetable oil 3/4c brown sugar 1 egg 1/4 c milk 1/2 tsp almond extract 1/4 c unsweetened bakers cacao 1/4 c ground almonds Zest of 1 orange 1 large pear, coarsely grated 1) Mix together dry ingredients. Gradually add wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition. 2) Spoon into muffin cups, about 2/3 full. Bake at 180°C for 30-35 minutes. These were very tasty and made a good breakfast, but... Next time I would increase the oats, maybe decreasing the flour at the same time. I would also up the cinnamon a bit and maybe use Aloha Spiced Cacao to make the flavours pop a little more. I liked that these were minimally sweet, but I might add a small amount more sweetness next time, maybe a tablespoonful or so of honey. Hubby said they were spot on though and didn't need anything.

  • Spinach Borani

    I love yogurt. Until relatively recently, though, aside from Tzatziki, it was a sweet food, usually for breakfast. Even plain yogurt, which is more sour than sweet, I considered a food to be had with oats and raisins, or with syrup on a crêpe. For lunch though? Maybe muesli, but even then, I consider that more sweet than savoury, loaded up as it is with fruit. Imagine my delight, therefore, when I discovered borani, a savoury Persian yogurt dish. The yogurt is flavoured with herbs and spices, salt and pepper and served with vegetables. I started out following recipes for it, but have since gone my own way. I've enjoyed playing around with different veggie toppings and herb or spice combos too. It is no longer what you might call "authentic" but it is tasty! I also love that it is tasty eaten at room temperature, and within reason, it doesn't need to be refrigerated. I found that it worked well as a packed lunch when working in a refugee camp, for example, where we had no microwave and no fridge. Here's our most recent one. Ingredients: 3 c yogurt 1 tsp sumac 1 tsp herbes de Provence 1 tsp Thyme 2 c spinach 1 tbsp butter 2 onions, sliced 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted Salt and pepper 1) Strain yogurt through a cheese cloth until thickened to the desired consistency. Mix with herbes de Provence, thyme and sumac, salt and pepper to taste. 2) Wilt spinach and sauté briefly with butter. 3) Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry onions over medium high heat until crispy. 4) Assemble bowls, first a dollop of yogurt, then some spinach, some onions and a sprinkling of pine nuts. Incredibly quick to assemble and at once refreshing and filling without being heavy, this was the perfect lunch last week after a morning bike ride with Little Bit. It was a lot of steep uphill (and then a much quicker descent) so I was happy to be able to plate up something quick when we got home. I made this using home-made yogurt which we'd left out a little too long, so the flavour had ripened a little. For breakfast, the flavour was a bit much, but mixed with herbs and spices for a lunch borani, it was perfect.

  • Cinnamon Stars: Revisited

    In early December, a very good friend of mine was visiting us and we made Christmas Butterballs to celebrate. True to form, I didn't double-check my pantry first and it turned out that we were missing the necessary walnuts. I gave my friend the choice between almonds and hazelnuts to replace the walnuts. Her response was unequivocal. Hazelnuts! They are her favourite, and although ubiquitous here, since moving to the US, they are less common and harder to find. We made the Butterballs with the hazelnuts, and all enjoyed them greatly, but this got me thinking. A lot of our Christmas Cookies require almonds, but how much difference do these make to the actual taste and substance of the cookies. I enjoyed the hazelnut butterballs but missed the originals, whereas Hubby and my friend both liked them better, so clearly it does make a difference, but how much? So I decided to try the Cinnamon Stars, which have ground almonds as their base, using hazelnuts substituted in for the almonds. And then as I thought about it further, hazelnut and cacao seemed like such a natural pairing that I decided to try some chocolatey ones and some regular ones, each variety with and without icing. Ingredients: For the plain ones: 3 egg whites a pinch of salt 1 1/2 c powdered sugar 3 c ground hazelnuts 2 tbsp cinnamon 2 tsp kirsch For the chocolate ones: 3 egg whites a pinch of salt 1 c powdered sugar 1/2 c cacao 3 c ground hazelnuts 2 tbsp cinnamon 2 tsp kirsch 2 tbsp sugar for rolling 1) Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt to form stiff peaks. Fold in the powdered sugar and set aside 2 tbsp for the icing. If using, fold in cacao at this point. 2) Mix in the nuts, cinnamon and kirsch to form a stiff dough. Roll out 1 cm thick on a sugared surface and cut out shapes. 3) Lay out on a cookie sheet (preferably greased or with a silicone sheet) and ice with a little dollop of the icing. 4) Allow to rest for 5 hours or overnight. Bake at 250°C for 5 minutes. So the consensus was that these were good, and the hazelnuts worked well for this, including with the cinnamon, but... All the cookie cutters are at my house and we are at my parents' so these are all round, despite the name. Small wine glasses are perfect for this. I do recommend a silicone sheet because the plain batch I allowed to cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, and they were cemented to the tray. Also, I believe that this oven runs a little hot. Pulled out at time, and the second batch at 4 minutes, both batches were a little darker than would have been ideal. Next time, I would do them at 240°C for 4 minutes like the Basler cookies. I also rolled mine out too thin which compounded the problem, so I do recommend making sure they are thick enough. Further, the chocolate ones were too chocolatey and the cinnamon paled into insignificance behind it. the chocolatey ones worked better with the icing as the extra sugar balanced out the flavour of the cookie while the plain ones were better uniced and definitely did not need extra sugar. I would like to try these with only 2 tbsp or 1/4 c cacao instead of a full third of the sugar content - make them hazelnut and cinnamon biscuits with cacao and not chocolate biscuits with a bit of cinnamon and some hazelnuts for texture.

  • Ginger Snaps: Revisited

    Ginger Snaps are always a favourite at this time of year, and baking a variety of Christmas cookies is a joy of the season (as perhaps suggested by my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies last year). As part of it, I posted a Ginger Snap recipe (on the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me one ginger snap). They, of course, had to be on the roster for this year, but I wanted to tweak them a little, mainly with the addition of pieces of candied ginger and orange peel, and by increasing the powdered ginger. I didn't have quite enough molasses, so the 1/4 c of molasses was completed with some honey). Ingredients: 2 c flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp ginger 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp cloves 3/4 c butter 1 c sugar + 1/4 c to roll the cookies in after 1 egg 1/4 c molasses and honey (about 2 tbsp honey, the rest molasses) 2 tsp grated tangerine peel 2 tsp dried orange peel bits, briefly candied with the ginger 3/4 c candied ginger pieces 1) Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg and molasses (with honey) and mix until smooth. Add tangerine zest, orange peel and candied ginger. 2) Gradually add the dry ingredients, and stir to form cookie dough. Chill for 30 minutes at least. 3) Roll the dough into marble-sized balls and then roll in the remaining 1/4c of sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet with at least double the size of the marbles between the balls of dough - these spread! Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes. I love these! The smell of ginger snaps baking is so reminiscent of Christmas time for me, and of baking as a family growing up, with friends, and now with my own little family. I really enjoyed this year's tweaks and hope you do too!

  • Refreshing Whey Drink - or Homemade Rivella

    Switzerland has its own soft drink that I haven't encountered anywhere else. It is a whey-based drink called rivella. I am not big on soft drinks but do enjoy the occasional rivella. With my cheese-making journey, I suddenly discovered that at times I had a lot of whey on my hands. While I found other uses for it (In soups, in porridge, in lasagna, in blondies or in risotto for example. Just type Whey into the search bar to see other things I've done with it.) I thought I might try out a homemade version of Rivella. Having toyed with the idea, we were then in the grocery store and a soda stream was on sale. We picked it up on what I thought was a whim so that I could try making whey, but it turns out that Hubby has been wanting one for ages. In the end, I'm glad that's the case as he's used it way more than me, but I still get to try my experiment. Ingredients: 2 c whey 2 c water 1/2 c brown sugar 2" ginger, grated 1 lime/orange/lemon, juiced 1) In a carafe, mix all the ingredients except water together. Place in the fridge and allow the flavours to marry overnight. 2) The next day, strain out the grated ginger bits. Fizz some water and add to the whey mix. Serve chilled. This was so good! Really good in summer, but a good drink anytime. All three of the citrus variants worked, but the best were lemon and lime, orange a bit less so. I might play around with the orange flavouring in future, and maybe cut the sugar and add cloves to it. Either way, all three disappear in no time whenever I make it. The more acidic the whey, the better this works. Beware to properly strain out all the curds though! Book Pairing: When making this, I was listening to Doctor Zhivago on Audible. I had heard a lot about it over the years, mainly about how great it was, and even had a friend named after Lara in the book because of how much her mother loved it. I enjoyed it, and found it beautifully written. I did however find that it was a better piece of anti-Soviet propaganda than it was a novel. There were just too many coincidences and beyond them, the plot didn't hold together great. As a piece of propaganda though, it was fantastic. Supposedly, the CIA helped to first get it published because of that aspect of it. I would recommend it, but not necessarily for the reason I always heard it recommended, as this great love story. What are your thoughts on Zhivago? Propaganda or novel? Did you like it? As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Pumpkin Ramen

    Ramen is something my husband started throwing together as a quick, easy and healthy meal a while back and we have it semi-regularly. He usually makes it with miso and beef broth, but we were out of miso, and I had pumpkin I wanted to use, so I went for a different flavour profile. Not what you might term authentic, Japanese ramen in the least, but tasty! Be aware, this recipe makes rather a large batch. I sometimes have issues with batch cooking... It did reheat very nicely though, with fresh noodles or a little extra stock. Ingredients: 4 onions, chopped 1 head of garlic, minced 3-4" ginger, minced 2-3 tbsp peanut oil 1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar 1/2 leek, chopped 1 pack mangetouts, halved 1 head of broccoli, floretted 3 l beef stock 1 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tbsp ras-el-hanout 2 tsp Mix spice 2 c roast pumpkin purée 1 small squash, chopped 1/3c soy sauce Noodles sesame seeds 1) Heat the oil in the bottom of a soup pot. Sauté onions until translucent, then add garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant and starting to char a little and add squash. Cook 5 minutes, then add other ingredients except for mangetouts, noodles and sesame for seeds. 2) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until squash and broccoli have reached just shy of their desired consistency, then add noodles and mangetouts. Taste test. 3) Remove from heat and serve as soon as noodles are cooked. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. I was unsure how this would come out but I am pleased with the end result. It would go very nicely with a little fresh coriander, but I didn't happen to have any on hand. It would also work well with veggie stock if need be. Flatteringly, even my dad, who was over for dinner and an evening with the grandbabies, enjoyed it and went for seconds. Until now, his ramen experience has always been the instant kind in teenage boys' dorm rooms, and he has always complained that it smells like feet. His enjoyment of it I felt was therefore quite high praise.

  • Pork and Apple Ravioli with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

    Third on the challenge of coming up with four different types of ravioli in a week for my sister is the Pork and Apple Ravioli. We had these with a creamy mushroom sauce, just like the Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli on night one, but this time I added some apple cider vinegar and Spiced cacao to the sauce to match the other flavours. These came out really nicely. Ingredients: For the Pasta: 2 1/2 - 3 c flour 3 eggs 2 tbsp apple sauce 1 tsp thyme Pepper For the Filling: 2 tbsp olive oil 250-300 g pork, minced 1 c apple sauce 1 large red onion, minced 1 tsp cinnamon 1 - 1 1/2 tsp tandoori powder 1/2 tsp Aloha Spiced Cacao For the Sauce: 2 tbsp butter 1 c mushrooms, chopped 1-1 1/2 c milk 1/4 c apple cider vinegar 1 tsp Aloha Spiced Cacao Nutmeg, freshly grated 1) In a large skillet, heat the oil for the filling and sauté the onion. When it is soft, add the pork, cooking until the meat begins to brown. Add the other ingredients for the filling, stirring regularly, until it all comes together. Taste test and put aside to cool. 2) Meanwhile, place flour in a large mixing bowl. Grind in pepper and add thyme. Make a well in the flour and crack in the eggs. Add the apple sauce and mix the flour into the apple and eggs gradually with a fork, to form a soft, elastic dough. 3) Pass fist-sized pieces of dough through progressively higher settings on a pasta maker until as thin as possible. Use a ravioli mould to make hollows in the sheet of pasta and place 1/2 tsp of filling in each. Place a second pasta sheet over the top, seal and cut. (alternatively use a ravioli cutter). 4) Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. In the meantime make a roux. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour, and then add milk bit by bit, stirring well. Add the vinegar and Aloha Spiced Cacao. Sauté mushrooms in the remaining 2 tbsp butter and add to the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. 5) Boil ravioli in batches for 4-5 minutes at most. Fresh pasta doesn't take long! Drain and serve with some sauce. These were really tasty, and I feel that they were a worthy inclusion in this challenge. I might have done a different sauce for these, except that one of the conditions of the challenge was to try and use only a couple of different doughs and a couple of different sauces, using the fillings for the variation for the most part. As we had these all in a row, I've added some variations, but I do feel that the variations would be easy to add in even with four different types of ravioli going at once. A note on the challenge of making ravioli. I struggle to get them to not stick to each other or whatever surface they are on between making and cooking. The longer they sit, the more problematic it can be. I've tried using flour or cornstarch. I try to avoid plastic wrap as much as possible so that is out. As far as it goes, the corn starch works quite well, probably better than the flour, but it is hard to get good enough coverage to avoid any sticking and tearing in the ravioli. Part of my problem is also my lack of counter space in the kitchen. I have to make these in the dining room on the table and then transfer them, which is easiest done on cutting boards, but then limited space means that it is more tempting to stack them up... If any one has any better ideas, I'm all ears! In case you want to try making these but don't have a pasta machine , pasta tree or a ravioli cutter, click on the links to get one of your own! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Lemon and Garlic Chicken Ravioli in a Lemon and Honey Chilli Sauce

    My sister asked me for four different ravioli ideas for her to make for a dinner with friends, two vegetarian and two meaty. Being me, I thought about it for too long, mulling over different ideas, and then realised that she needed the recipes in five days. That meant a ravioli every day for four days. This was day two ( Day 1 was the Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli). I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, and it was too long since I had gotten out the pasta machine, but it did also become an exercise in wrangling a toddler during a rather labour intensive meal prep four days in a row. Anyway, this one came out very tasty, and is definitely a good recipe to have stick around! Ingredients: For the Pasta: 2 c flour 3 eggs Pepper For the Filling: 2 chicken breasts, minced Juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/2 head garlic, crushed 1 onion, minced 2 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper to taste For the Sauce: 6 tbsp olive oil Juice and zest of 1 lemon 3 tsp honey 1 1/2 tsp Pul Biber 1 tsp rosemary 1) Place chicken, garlic, lemon juice and balsamic in a bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate. Allow to rest 1-2 hours to marinate. 2) Heat oil in a skillet or frying pan and cook the chicken until just done. Set aside to cool. 3) Place flour in a mixing bowl. Add pepper and make a well in the middle. Crack eggs into the well and gradually mix the flour into the eggs with a fork to form a soft, elastic dough. 4) Pass fist-sized pieces of dough through progressively higher settings on a pasta maker until thin. Use a ravioli mould to make hollows in the sheet of pasta and place 1/2 tsp of filling in each. Place a second pasta sheet over the top, seal and cut ( alternatively use a ravioli cutter). 5) Heat a little oil in the bottom of a deep pan. In batches, brown the ravioli briefly then add 1/2 c water to the pan. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes, until ravioli are al dente and the water is gone. 6) In a saucepan, heat olive oil. Add lemon zest, juice and honey. Reduce over low heat until well combined and thickened to desired consistency (if you reduce it too much, add a little move water back to it). Add rosemary and pul biber. Serve ravioli with a good drizzle of sauce. We had a little leftover chicken filling, so we served it up with the ravioli and sauce and cheese grated over it all and had zucchini as a side. This made for a thoroughly enjoyable meal, but a little light on the veg for my taste (the zucchini was a last-minute afterthought as I realised that aside from a little onion and lemon, otherwise, the meal had none). The labour-intensive nature of the ravioli making drove any thought of other elements of the meal out of my mind. If I had a do-over, roasted veg or basil carrots would work well with this, for example. We tried a variety of ways of cooking these, and as it turns out treating them kind of like gyoza worked best. In case you want to try making these but don't have a pasta machine , pasta tree or ravioli cutter, click on the links to get one of your own! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Turnip Cookies 2 Ways

    Recipe Cook time: approx. 1 hour -- Portions: about 30 cookies -- Difficulty: Easy Almond and Chocolate

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