When is it OK to Eat Moldy Cheese?

As we’ve stated before, Nat & I love cheese. It’s a must-have in our household and we once had a DEFCON 2 type emergency when we ran out before our weekly grocery trip.  Anyways, here’s a nice list of what cheeses are OK to eat once the moldy part has been removed.  From looking at the list it looks like soft cheeses are to be thrown out if there’s mold and hard cheeses are OK to eat once you cut off the mold. (link)

Broccoli Soup

I love Broccoli soup. I am not a huge fan of cream of broccoli, but more so pureed broccoli.  Cafe Bertnate has the best pureed broccoli soup and I have come to the realization that I will never be able to make anything like it. I have, however, come up with a broccoli soup that is  yummy in its own right.

Serves approximately 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bunches of broccoli, chopped, including stems
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cups of low sodium chicken or vegetable  stock
  • 9 cups of water (or however much needed enough to cover the vegetables)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • old cheddar cheese for garnish

Directions

In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic until soft (5-7 minutes).

Add broccoli, potato, stock and water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the broccoli and potatoes are tender.

In rounds, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Only fill the bender up half-way and remove the plastic cap on the lid to let heat escape. Place a dishcloth on top of the hole so it does not splatter. Transfer the soup to a clean pot. You can decide how much water you would like to use from the soup. I like my soup thick, so I did not use all of the water.

Once blended add lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with old cheddar grated on top.

You can serve the soup right away, but I highly recommend that you let it sit for at least a couple of hours (or even overnight). Soup always tastes better after it sits for a bit.

This Video Will Change Your Diet

I’ll admit it, Nat is the driving force of our diet. She wanted to eat healthier so we buy more vegetables and since she used to be a vegetarian, we don’t buy a lot of meat. I’m not saying I used eat unhealthy, I just didn’t eat as much of vegetables as I should.

Having seen this video and hearing Dr. Terry Wahls talk about how much changing her diet helped her with her MS, I’m now a changed man. She had trouble walking at one point and was afraid of becoming bed-ridden. She researched and edited her diet and is now back to being very functional. TED talks are amazing. (link)

The Best Flourless Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies


These are seriously the best! So much so that Marc, who hates peanut butter and chocolate together (insane, right?!) loves them.  I have been trying to perfect the recipe for a few months now and I think I finally have it right. If you can’t eat gluten or prefer a very chewy peanut butter cookie these are the cookie for you!

I have been experimenting with different flourless peanut butter cookies and have combined a few recipes to over the least few batches. I would say the recipe from Epicurious is the closest.

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of chunky peanut butter (chunky makes a huge difference)
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chip

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, baking soda and vanilla in one bowl and mix well.

Add chocolate chips and mix well.

Wet your hands and roll dough into walnut sized balls and place approximately 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. The cookies will spread quite a bit, so do not put more than 10 on a cookie sheet. Also, be sure to keep hands moist during this process so the dough doesn’t stick.

Bake for 9 minutes  or until they are nicely puffed and slightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool before removing them from the baking sheet.  I know that 9 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time in the oven, but it is just long enough for them to set, but remain chewy! Delicious!

My next goal is to figure out a way to make them with all-natural chunky peanut butter. I will keep you posted if I succeed. Fingers crossed!

Leftover Turkey Soup


So after cooking out first turkey this past holiday, we decided to make some traditional left over turkey soup. It’s the proper thing to do, right? Nat found a good soup recipe on Whole Living and decided it was worth a shot.

The soup turned out better than expected and we can’t wait to cook another bird so that we can do it again. The only problem was that our largest pot wasn’t big enough to put the whole carcass in it with all the other ingredients, so we ended up using about 2/3′s of, and kept all the vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass, broken into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 1 large carrot (1 cup of diced carrot and the rest halved crosswise)
  • 2 celery stalks, halved crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 5 cups kale leaves, shredded
  • 3 cups leftover diced cooked turkey
  • 1 cup of frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can of mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  • half a onion diced
  • what we cooked inside our turkey (onions, garlic & lemons)

Directions

Place the carcass in a large soup pot or stockpot and add cold water to cover by 2 inches (about 14 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.

Add halved carrots, celery, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, and since we kept the onions, lemons and garlic we cooked inside the turkey we added this at this point too. Bring it to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until the broth is rich and flavourful, they recommend 2 hours but we added an extra 40 minutes to let the flavours have some extra time together.

We then strained it out into another large pot so that we were left with the broth and once it cooled down we stored it in the fridge overnight so the oils and fat would rise to the top and we could skim them off the next day.

Place the broth on the stove and bring it to a boil on high heat. Add red-pepper flakes and remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary; season with salt. Add kale, diced carrots, reduce to a simmer, and cook until kale is tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in turkey, corn, beans, and diced onions and cook just until corn is heated through, about 2 minutes.

Christmas Party & Our First Turkey

Marc and I took down the Christmas decorations this past weekend (well, Marc did, while I baked delicious flourless peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, which will be posted soon).

I always hate taking down the decorations because I love Christmas. What can I say…I am a huge sucker for twinkle lights and kitsch. Our apartment was full of both. Luckily, we have a few holiday memories to tide us over until next year!

On December 30th, we hosted the annual “Girls” Christmas party. The “Girls” part refers to my Niagara Falls ladies (boys are allowed). We have been holding annual Christmas parties since were were 15. Back then we had our mothers make the food (spoiled).  After high school we started to cook our own dishes ,so dinner included a variety of our specialties.  Now, 15 years later (yes, I just dated myself), we have upgraded to a turkey feast.

Marc and I volunteered to make a turkey and the others brought the rest. We bought a 15-pound organic turkey from Rowe Farms on Roncesvalles (it was the smallest size they had).  They ordered it in fresh and made sure it was ready for us on the morning of he 30th. There prices are pretty steep, so I think next time we would shop around before we make our purchase.

Marc had his mind set on covering our turkey in bacon, so we started googling recipes and settled on an impressive (but unhealthy) recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s website, which primarily consists of butter and bacon. We made a few changes as the recipe called for 1.5 cups of butter and we ended up only using .5 cups of butter…more than enough.  We also used organic bacon, which was so delicious. The accompanying gravy recipe was the best ever!  We did, however, thicken it with a rue and left out the walnuts.

I also made cranberry sauce. I used this tasty recipe from Oh She Glows. I had never made cranberry sauce before, but I willnever buy canned cranberries again. It was so easy and delicious.

The whole dinner was amazing. So much so, that we all had problems deciding on what to get seconds of. Carly also had the sommelier at Hillibrand (where she works) pair our dishes with wine. We had a variety of sparkling sauvignon blanc from Niagara, a viognier from France and a 10 year old port.

The menu consisted of:

Endive stuffed with Goat Cheese, Candied Walnuts, Orange and Chives

Chiabatta Stuffing with Walnuts and Bacon

Roasted Potatoes with Olive Oil, Garlic  and Herbes de Provence

Steamed Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest

Roast Turkey with Lemon, Garlic, Parsley and Bacon

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread with Rosemary (we forgot to take a photo of it, oops)

Spicy Chocolate Cake

Candied Pecans (we don’t have a photo but they were the same ones that Jason did for his engagement party)

The night was fantastic as always!

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