Happy Spring!

 

Deviled and Scotch Eggs for Ostara

 

(Deviled and Scotch Eggs for Ostara)

I know I promised you all a soup recipe next, but I needed to take a pause here to welcome Spring!

It is officially spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, but when I look out my window it is to look at endless snow, with more expected over the next 2 days! It hardly feels like Spring here, although there are subtle differences if you look for them. Roberto was just remarking about how the sunlight coming in the window feels like Spring sunshine and I know I have felt that the air has taken on a softer nature. Of course there is another hour of daylight than just a few weeks ago. However, we have no buds on the trees yet, nor any flowers poking up through the snow, and the Canada geese have not passed our house on their way back home yet, but I know the root children are waking up under ground waiting for their big growth spurts.

I have a nice group of women in my community who meet once a month. We rotate houses and we also rotate the topic of conversation, it has gone from childbirth and what we all did with our placentas, to more community matters and then over to more spiritual topics, but it is always a wonderful evening.

I hosted this month’s meeting and I always celebrate Spring or Ēostre (Ostara) with Eggs, which is truly the most symbolic food of the season (see why here).

I made a nice platter of Deviled Eggs   (this time I spiced them with honey mustard, dill and chives) and Scotch Eggs and another platter with Smoked Salmon, pickles and olives. We had a nice spread, all of the women brought something different –  a nice effervescent bottle of white wine, a tray of chocolate covered strawberries, a sausage and veggie casserole, a gorgeous apple tart and a nice bottle of homemade ginger beer to wash it all down with. It felt like a very springtime menu!

What do you do to celebrate Spring?

Rose-Vanilla Syrup

 

Anyone who has known me for a long time knows how much I rely on herbs and plants to keep myself healthy. My interest in herbs began sometime in high school after reading The Mists of Avalon which is full of herbal lore and of course magic and just went on from there.

I don’t think herbal remedies are magic, per se, I think they are natural ways to keep our bodies in the best shape possible, mentally, physically and emotionally. Herbs are helpers who have evolved right along with us, our allies. As people that love to cook, we use herbs a lot in day to day life spicing up our dishes. But there are also healing properties behind the many culinary herbs we use.

If you have ever enjoyed Middle Eastern desserts you may have encountered rose water. Or if you watched the amazing movie, Like Water for Chocolate you will remember vividly the scene in which the protagonist cooks up a wooing meal using roses.

Roses, both wild and domesticated are edible, the darker the color, the stronger the flavor. I find roses to taste rather sweet (big surprise!) and they are also incredibly soothing. In herbal medicine they are considered to be cooling and dry, but there is a warmth to them to be sure. It is no coincidence that people have been using roses to tell people they love them for a very long time, because it has much to tell us about the properties of roses.

Roses are associated with the heart and are good for both cardiovascular issues and emotional well-being. They are good for keeping our bodies balanced. Rose petals are high in Vitamin C making it a good idea to use in staving off colds or other infections. Rose petals, because of the natural occurring acids they contain is good for keeping your GI tract in good condition. Rose petals have been known to expel toxins in the gut and helps support the good and friendly flora in the gut.

Rose petals can also help with stress and emotions. One of my herbal teachers recently said that she uses Rose to help people create healthy boundaries, to give the person an ability to give and receive love without wearing their heart on their sleeve. Rose petals are physically almost see through when you hold them up to the light, but to the touch they are almost leathery, roses are beautiful but also thorny. Rose teaches us about balance, helps regulate the emotions and helps us navigate intimate relationships.

Roses are in full bloom right now, but if your roses are past their prime, don’t worry, just wait for them to give way to rose hips, their natural fruit!

I made my rose syrup the same day that I was blanching stone fruits for the freezer. I decided not to throw away the water I used for blanching and to use it for my syrup. I also added a star anise, a few cardamom pods and a vanilla bean to the brew in addition to following the recipe from A Girl’s Guide to Guns and Butter. The result is a delicious syrup, perfect for adding to fizzy water for a wonderful summertime drink. I also find it goes well in a cup of herbal tea as the sweetener. Check out the link to the original recipe and you will find more uses there for rose syrup.

Rose-Vanilla Syrup (adapted from A Girl’s Guide to Guns and Butter)

INGREDIENTS:

approximately 3 cups loose, unsprayed rose petals
5 cups cold water
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 star anise
A few cardamom pods
A vanilla bean

METHOD: Just pick a few handfuls of unsprayed rose petals, throw them in a pot with sugar and water (and additional spices, if desired), bring everything to a simmer and cook for about five minutes before adding lemon juice (important for both the color and the flavor!). Remove from heat, and allow everything to infuse overnight. All you have to do the next day is strain it and store it in the refrigerator (I also froze some).

Thai Inspired Noodle Stir Fry

 

I don’t normally cook Asian cuisine at home, but have been known to put on a sushi party every now and then! With allergies to both gluten and soy it is hard finding recipes that don’t include these common ingredients and I can never go out to eat since most places use these ingredients. But recently I have re-discovered Thai and Vietnamese, cuisines that don’t rely on those ingredients but instead fresh flavors like lime, cilantro, mint, fish sauce and rice noodles. I am also a sucker for the crushed peanut garnishes…

(My first homemade Pad Thai)

We have a few decent Thai and Vietnamese places in Vermont, but they are at least an hour away from us. So I started making it at home. We had friends over for dinner a few weeks ago and I tried my hand at making the classic dishes, Pad Thai and Chicken Satay  (based on the recipes that are highlighted). It was a lot of fun to make and both dishes turned out delicious. After working with traditional recipes and wrapping my head around the flavor profile, I have started using these flavors often in my cooking, lately. I think this type of food lends itself well to the summer anyway; couple that with our garden and CSA bursting at the seams with fresh produce and immediately a delicious stir fry seemed like just the thing for dinner one night recently. It has literally been years since I made a stir fry and after this experience making it, I realized why it is such a popular go-to meal!

I had some leftover Pad Thai sauce and peanut sauce from the satay and so I used those in combination as my sauce. Then I scrounged around in my vegetable bin and took out everything that needed using. I knew I had some baby shrimp in the freezer and a plan started coming together. I also made a recent discovery of Miracle Noodle , a Shirataki noodle. Shirataki noodles are made from a white yam and are basically made up of water and fiber. They don’t have much of a taste on their own, but they are a great substitute for white rice noodles or glass noodles and are very light, as they contain no net carbohydrates. I used them for my Pad Thai and they worked great, so I knew they would be lovely with this stir fry.

This was a simple and quick meal to put together. If you don’t have all the vegetables I put in my stir fry, try using what you have on hand. This is what makes preparing a stir fry so fast and easy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 1 whole kohlrabi, cut in thin circles, cut in half
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • ½ leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS minced/grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced/grated
  • ¾ cup peanut sauce http://www.shesimmers.com/2009/03/how-to-make-thai-peanut-sauce-my-moms.html
  • 2 16 oz packages of Miracle Noodle
  • A couple hand fulls of spinach
  • 1 cup of pre-cooked baby shrimp
  • Juice of one lime
  • ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • sliced leek
  • crushed peanuts
  • cilantro and/or mint

METHOD: Heat coconut oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the kohlrabi and cook until nice and browned. Then add the carrots, leeks, ginger and garlic. Sautee until the carrot softens a bit (you want the end result to still be somewhat crunchy). Add the peanut sauce, add more coconut oil if it is too dry. Then add 2 packages of the noodles, stir constantly. Add the spinach and shrimp and cook until the spinach is wilted. Then remove the skillet from the heat and squeeze the lime juice over everything. Divide evenly between two bowls and garnish with the cucumber, leek, peanuts and cilantro/mint. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

Sardinian Purcavru in Agru Durci

Purcavru in Agru Durci garnished with mirto

I told you all I was going to be making things interesting on here with different recipes from a variety of different world cuisines!

With the first in this series, I am giving a nod to my husband’s Sardinian roots. Sardinia is a small island off the coast of Italy in the vicinity of Rome. I was lucky enough to go there this past year when Roberto and I went with our moms on the “roots tour” of Italy. Roberto was born in Sardinia to Sardinian parents, but grew up in Rome. On our visit there last fall, we spent time with the extended family. It was lovely.

Sardinia is an interesting place, I immediately loved it because it has a rich culture both with herding animals (sheep and goats) but is also the place in Europe which has the greatest amount of megalithic structures, making this farm girl and history buff very happy!

These megalithic structures, round tower-fortresses called nuraghi, which ancient villages were built around are over 35,000 years old and there are over 8,000 of them on Sardinia, an island that is about the size and shape as Vermont. So that is a lot of pre-history going on there! If you aren’t into history, Sardinia is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, La Costa Smeralda- The Emerald Coast. There are also beautiful mountains (yes they get snow!) and lunar looking rock formations. There is an area towards the middle of the island that is called Valle Della Luna – The Valley of the Moon and looks just like Rohan from the Lord of the Rings movies. Fascinating landscape!

But the thing I loved about it most is that it is home to some of the oldest trees in Europe. We were able to visit 2 of these old olives, the oldest being 5,000 years old and the second oldest being around 3,000 – and still producing olives!!! For me, a nature worshiper it was akin to meeting Gandhi. The most amazing thing about Italy in general is that you can grow so much food! Nearly everyone that has even a small plot of land has fruit trees, some grapes to make homemade wine, nut and olive trees, veggie gardens, etc. I saw tons of pomegranate and fig trees. There is just so much abundance there!

Sardinia actually has its own language, Sardu, of which there are several dialects. Sardu has been influenced by Catalan, Spanish and indigenous Nuragic elements with some roots from Phoenician and Etruscan. So instead of the more familiar Italian “a” and “o” word endings, Sardinian words end with “u” and “s”, like our last name, Campus. This is because Sardinian is much like Latin. You can see this in the name of this dish Purcavru Agru Durci, which in Italian would be Cinghiale Agrodolce.

So what about the food? Well because of its location, Sardinian cuisine has been able to capture tastes from various Mediterranean influences: Catalan, Corsican, Spanish, Italian. The diet is rich in meats, like lamb, goat and pork, fresh vegetables, wonderful cheeses, fresh veggies and of course copious amounts of olive oil and rich red wine, famed for its high level of antioxidants- Cannonou. On the coast, where we didn’t spend much time, there is also a lot of fish and seafood consumed. And, like the rest of Italy the population consumes large amounts of pasta and bread. In fact as a gluten-intolerant, I had a hard time in Italy in general staying away from wheat as it is in almost everything from bread and pasta, to a thickener in sauces and a coating on vegetables and meats. I asked the question on facebook the other day after reading an article about how wheat is killing the world, how people like Italians, and especially Sardinians, known the world over as healthy and one of the longest living peoples could be in such a good state of health (the island has the world’s highest documented percentage of people who have passed the century threshold.) if wheat is the only factor. It was an interesting discussion, but none of us were able to really make sense of that!

But I digress. One thing which is very unique to Sardinian cuisine is the use of Mirto, or Myrtle. The plant is symbolic of love and immortality, and in Sardinia it is an essential plant. The berries (which look a bit like small blueberries, although there is a white version as well )are used to make a delicious aperitif, called “mirto”, which uses both varieties of berries separately, creating a red and white version and the leaves. Sardinians also use the leaves in cooking, similar in manner to bay leaves or other herbaceous plants. I was able to get some to bring home with me, and this is one of the ingredients that really makes this dish. The taste is very hard to place for me, but is most similar to a bay leaf.

I wasn’t able to get wild boar for this dish, but we did use meat from the half pig we bought this year (and butchered ourselves) from a local farmer.

Purcavru in Agru Durci (from Cooking in Sardinia)

INGREDIENTS:

4-5 TBS olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp myrtle leaves (substitute bay leaf)
1 ½ lbs boneless boar or pork meat, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp sugar
1 TBS red wine vinegar
1 TBS tomato Paste
Salt to taste

METHOD:
Sauté onion in a pan (I used cast iron) with 4-5 TBS of olive oil. Add about a tsp of chopped myrtle leaves. Add the meat and a pinch of salt and brown over medium heat. Blend sugar and vinegar, stir and pour over the meat. Then dilute tomato paste in a cup of warm water, add to the pan, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45 mins. You will have to add more water intermittently so the stew doesn’t dry out. During the last five minutes, uncover pan to reduce the sauce.

Guest Post: An End of the Season Roasted Eggplant, Tomato and White Bean Salad

I have one more guest post to share with you, for now, dear readers. This one comes to you by my friend Diana, from A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa. Diana and I have been foraging a friendship over this last year based in a love for the land, animals, and real, wholesome food. I love Diana for her honesty, and the way she really opens the door to her life on her urban homestead in Iowa through her blog. I know, doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron, that someone living in Iowa would consider their home to be urban? But again, that is the beauty of sharing lives with each other through blogging – you learn how wrong you are about so much and how much there is still to learn! I love that.

Diana and I both raise heritage breed chickens, and love to garden. Even though we are mostly at the end of our garden season here, many of you are still awash in tomatoes and eggplants, and this recipe is perfect for you. For the rest of us, let’s stock it away for next year! Now for a recipe straight from the garden, the lovely Diana takes it from here.

 

Thank you, Jenn, for inviting me to guest post on your blog.  You always inspire me in your dedication to live a life in sustainability and stewardship.

I’ve had the privilege of befriending Jenn over the past year.  Kindred spirits you might say.

We share a passion in real food and homesteading including calloused hands and dirt grimed fingernails from working our own pieces of land.

 

I an urban homesteader and she a homesteader.  Besides a shared appreciation of worm castings and poop, what I enjoy about Jenn is her love of fine cooking.

As much as I adore to work in my organic gardens and raise backyard urban chickens for eggs and meat, I find joy when I’m able to share the fruits of my labor with family and friends at the dinner table.

When Jenn asked me to share a simple seasonal recipe, I decided to share with you something special using end of the season eggplant and cherry tomatoes.

 

Eggplant has a sort of villain/superhero kind of reputation.  Some love it while others despise the notion of even looking at such an odd fruit that comes in so many shapes and sizes.

I enjoy eggplant and find that as long as it’s cooked along side other vegetables and herbs, it brings out the best in it’s texture and flavor.

A sure way to make any vegetable pleasing, including eggplant, is to roast them sprinkled with celtic sea salt and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

 

It deepens their flavor and when it comes to eggplant, gives them a bit more sustenance without the creaminess.

An End of the Season Roasted Eggplant, Tomato and White Bean Salad

 


This is a simple salad to make using white navy beans, tuna, roasted eggplant and tomatoes.  It’s mixed in a balsamic vinaigrette and topped with feta cheese and fresh cut rosemary.  Deep and vibrant it makes a perfect side dish for a busy weekday meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white navy beans
  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes (use some green unripened tomatoes if you have them), cut in half
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tbls fresh cut rosemary, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Feta cheese to garnish

Method:

1. In a baking dish, add the diced eggplant and half cherry tomatoes.  Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Roast in a 375F oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Once roasted, remove from the baking dish and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix the beans, tuna, roasted eggplants and tomatoes.  Add the balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil and fresh cut rosemary.  Add salt and pepper to taste and toss well.

3. Garnish with Feta Cheese.

Buen Provecho!

Easy Herbed Chevre Stuffed Squash Blossoms

 

Everybody has heard the old saying, that during the summer, people’s squash plants grow so rapidly and abundantly, that they have to put them on their neighbor’s porches in the middle of the night just to get rid of them! Well, there is another way – which is far tastier. Just take the flowers, and make stuffed squash blossoms!

Well, we have been having the opposite problem in our garden this year – an abundance of beautiful blossoms, but only a few fruits just beginning. We weren’t sure – was the soil missing nutrients? Or maybe the soil temperature just wasn’t hot enough? Last year we got our squashes in too late and they were killed off by an early frost. This year we started them indoors and they turned out beautiful, but we were beginning to worry that we were going to have another dud crop this year – which would be so disappointing as we planted a TON for winter storage.

So I started doing some research into the matter. There are male and female squash blossoms and in the beginning of the season, the vine produces primarily male blossoms. The females are the fruit producing blossoms, and the males, do not produce fruit. I learned that it is the pollen from the male blossom that is needed for the female blossom to turn into fruit. This of course is done by bees and other insects, which is why the bee issue is so important to gardeners (and should be to anyone that eats). Luckily, both male and female blossoms grow on the same vine, and so if there are enough bees buzzing around, there shouldn’t be any pollination problems.

How can you tell a female blossom from a male? Female blossoms have a bump or immature mini fruit between the blossom and the stem, and the males lack the bump.

So if you have too many fruits, you can use some female blossoms to make the stuffed blossoms. If you don’t want to lose any fruits, be sure to use the male blossoms, since those will not produce fruit anyway.

This is perfect for a quick and easy summer treat. Very little prep time/work and ingredients you probably have on hand.

Herbed Chevre Stuffed Squash Blossoms

INGREDIENTS:

6 squash blossoms (any kind of squash will do!)
¼ cup chevre
1 TBS of fresh herbs minced – I used a mixture of thyme, basil and chives
1 egg – beaten
Olive oil
Sea salt

METHOD:

Place about an inch of olive oil in the bottom of a skillet (I use cast iron) and heat it up slowly on low heat. Wash the blossoms and gently pat the dry, remove the blossom stamens any seeds or unwanted hitchhikers. In a small bowl mix the chevre and herbs together. Using your fingers, get a small amount of the chevre mixture and place in the blossoms (some people like piping the mixture out of a pastry bag, but fingers work just as well). Then dip the stuffed blossom in the egg and place in the hot oil. Fry on each side for about a minute, or until brown. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack with a paper towel to drain and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.

Mother’s Day Brunch

 

(mom and me)

 

I know I am a little late with this. Mother’s Day has come and gone for this year. But I have had some things on my mind. For the past month or so, when it comes to blogging, I have been standing on my soapbox, discussing issues related to food, that are close to my heart – body image, omnivorism, homesteading, food sovereignty… But I am back to recipes now, and even though I made this for Mom on Mother’s day, this would be a great menu for any Sunday brunch and why not have one this weekend?

Baked Homegrown Eggs with Local Mushrooms, Goat Cheese and White Truffle Oil
Local Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Local Maple Sausage Patties
Grain-free Coffee Cake
Homemade Yogurt and Berries with Maple
Fresh Brewed Coffee with Local Cream
Pear Bellini

I was blessed this Mother’s Day to have my mom in my company. See, she lives in Florida, and with us in Vermont, it isn’t easy to get together to celebrate all the special days in the year. But this year she decided to come to visit us for Mother’s Day and I wanted it to be special and memorable. I searched all around for a local place doing the typical nice Mother’s Day Brunch buffet, but was disappointed with the offerings. I was lamenting this on facebook, and someone suggested I make brunch myself, and that is exactly what I ended up doing. It ended up being great!

 

(Grain-Free Coffee Cake from The Spunky Coconut)

I recently purchased a copy of The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts: Gluten Free, Casein Free, and Often Egg FreeHealthy Diet Cooking Books) and I was really excited to try some baked goods. Kelly, the author, and The Spunky Coconut herself, uses a lot of white beans in the base of her baked goodies. Since I like to cook as grain free as possible, this really intrigued me. It has literally been YEARS, since I had a coffee cake, but I used to love them, so I decided to try Kelly’s grain free version. The cake was delicious and power-packed with nutrients– between the beans, the eggs and the nuts, it is full of good for you goodness, but not at the expense of flavor or texture – one of the biggest issues I have had with gluten-free baking. The only thing I would change about the recipe is to cut the amount of nuts. It was a bit too crunchy, where we would have preferred cakey.

 

(Baked Homegrown Eggs with Local Mushrooms, Goat Cheese and White Truffle Oil)

The other main dish I prepared was a baked egg dish with eggs from our sweet hens, chanterelle and local oyster mushrooms, fresh chives from the garden and local goat cheese, all drizzled with the last of the white truffle oil we got in Italy, while with Roberto’s mom. It seemed a fitting way to honor her in the meal, even if she couldn’t be with us to share it.

We also had roasted potatoes, maple sausage from Applecheek Farm delicious locally roasted brewed coffee from Barista’s Beans, and homemade yogurt with local blueberries and currants (both harvested last year and frozen for winter eating), drizzled with local maple syrup and to top it all off, pear bellini (sparkling wine/champagne and pear nectar).

 

(Farmchic Tablescape)

It was an elegant (for us!) and casual brunch all at once and we had a lot of good laughs and enjoyable conversation all together. We had flowers on the table and fresh linens, which is about as fancy as we get here on the homestead!

Grain-Free Coffee Cake from The Spunky Coconut

Set oven to 325 F

Add to food processor:
2 cups of room temperature cooked beans – navy or great Northern.
6 eggs
¾ tsp vanilla liquid stevia *
1 tsp vanilla extract*
1/3 cup honey*
*I didn’t have the liquid stevia, so instead I just used a little extra honey with the vanilla extract
Puree well

Add:
¼ cup coconut oil, liquefied
1/3 cup coconut flour
½ tsp sea salt
¾ cup baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Puree well, pour batter into a greased 9×13 pan

Crumble Topping:
Puree:
3 cups walnuts (I used soaked almonds, since I am allergic to walnuts, and next time I think I will use @2 cups instead)
2 TBS ghee or coconut oil
½ cup coconut sugar
1 TBS cinnamon
Spread the crumble over the top of the batter. Using a fork or knife, really swirl the topping into the batter, and pat the topping down. Bake for about 25 minutes. Great hot, or cold from the refrigerator, store in the fridge.

Baked Homegrown Eggs with Local Mushrooms, Goat Cheese and White Truffle Oil

INGREDIENTS:
2 large fresh oyster mushrooms
A palm full of reconstituted dried chanterelle mushrooms
2 TBS butter
2 TBS fresh chives
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
5 large fresh eggs
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
Salt & pepper
1 TBS white truffle oil

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium sized cast iron skillet sauté the mushrooms with the butter. Add one TBS of the chives. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on the bottom of a silicon round cake pan. Scramble eggs in a separate bowl with salt and pepper, add the sautéed mushrooms and chives to the eggs and then pour into the cake pan and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the egg is cooked and drizzle with the truffle oil.

Yule 2010 – Christmas Dinner

This year we weren’t dreaming of a White Christmas, we were having one! We have had snow on the ground for the past month or so, and although it wasn’t snowing on Christmas, it was beautiful, picturesque and quaint here on the homestead. Perfect for my mom who is visiting from Florida and hasn’t had a White Christmas for several years.

Although I don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, many people we know do, so we incorporate it into the 12 Days of Yule which begin on December 20th and ends on January 1st. The twelve days of Yule kicks off on December 20th, the night before the solstice, with Mother’s Night where we celebrate the divine feminine and our long line of female ancestors. I like to spend this night baking cookies and preparing foods that were dear to my ancestors, celebrating the long line of people who have contributed to making me who I am. This year I made Pfeffernusse Shortbread cookies to honor my newly found German heritage.

We always celebrate December 24th by setting out an offering of cookies and milk or eggnog for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.
On December 25th we often have another feast dinner, a feast to share with family, having the same intensity of fanfare are the feast we have on the Winter Solstice. This year we had lamb. I have never been a fan of the Christmas Ham, and it has only been a few weeks since our last turkey feast. So for our own household tradition, we have lamb on this night.

This year’s lamb was a very special dish – it came from a lamb that Roberto and I butchered this fall. Since moving to Vermont we have bought meat very differently. We either buy whole animals locally or join farm meat CSAs. We have in our storage freezer, half a lamb, parts of a pig as well as beef, veal and poultry from our monthly CSA. This should get us through the winter, happy and deeply nourished.
For Christmas dinner we prepared the leg of lamb. I marinated it in a mixture of red wine, balsamic vinegar, yogurt, lemon juice and rosemary. I prepared it in my tagine and made a layer of fresh lemon slices on top. It was slow cooked at 350 F for 2 hours. Then I took the lid off to allow it to brown for about 15 minutes. We served it au jus. It was absolutely simple and the lamb was incredibly juicy and succulent.

We served it with glazed carrots and a brown rice risotto with fresh cranberries, wilted spinach, goat cheese and toasted pine nuts.
It was a wonderful evening spent with family. Hope that all of my readers who celebrate the winter holidays are having a most wondrous time with your dear ones!

Wishing you all health, happiness and love this coming year – and of course full bellies!