Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle

Mpants stands at in the doorway when we get inside. He always wants me to help him get undressed. I have started to get him to do it himself.

“You can do it Mpants. Take off your jacket.”
“Nooooo. You help me.”
“I think you can do it. Here, I will unzip your zipper….zip…now you take it off.”

“Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,” he says as he shrugs off his jacket and lets it fall to the floor.

I smile. And pick up the jacket.

One thing at a time I suppose.

Kale, tuna, and white bean salad

Sicilian kale, tuna, and white bean salad. Perfect winter salad. #foodlover

A tasty, hearty winter salad for #foodlovers

I stayed with some friends in Ottawa for a bit during the summer of 1999. Glenn was doing his kayak-outfitting thing thenand was also the stay-at-home parent. He would make lunch for us (his daughter Rachel and myself). One day, he made this super-tasty, warm, dark green dish with white beans and tuna. I thought he had just magically thrown some ingredients together in a fry pan on the stove. It was so tasty. I remember that dish because I think it was the first time I had tried kale.

I tried to make that dish for over 10 years, but was never very successful. And here in Switzerland, I can rarely find kale (it took me awhile to figure out here–where I live–kale is called “chou pommée”). One day last year, I saw it in the produce section of Migros and I snatched it up. My mouth started watering with the memory of that lunch my friend had made over a decade before. I brought it home and googled: “kale, tuna, white bean recipe.”

I finally found a recipe that works! Here it is:

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale (approximately .5 kg or 1 pound)
45 ml (3 tblsp) olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
60 g (1/4 cup) olives, chopped
60 g (1/4 cup) capers, drained
a dash of red pepper flakes
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
1 can tuna in water, drained and flaked
250 ml or 1 can of cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & pepper

Directions

Bring 500 ml (2 cups) of water to boil in a large fry pan (I use my wok) and stuff in the chopped-up kale. Cover, and reduce the heat a bit. Boil for 5-8 minutes to cook the kale. Drain, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil (in the wok) on medium heat and add the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.

Add olives, capers and pepper flakes, cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Finally, add the tuna and white beans and mix it up to warm them up.

Gently press out the water from the kale. Turn onto a cutting board and roughly chop it up some more. Add the cooked kale and the teaspoon of sugar (the sugar really reduces the bitterness of the kale). Toss gently to mix it up. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Voilà! Ready to eat. We opened a bottle of Païen from Caprice du Temps.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
original recipe from a teaspoon of spice#Swisswine #winelover : Caprice du Temps | why kale is a great friend with benefits

Super powers

M-pants and I were playing a new board game that daddy had bought for Christmas. It involves monuments, tokens, and a map of Europe.

He took the boat monument and started making it sail in the ocean around Italy.

“Mommy. I sail in ocean.”

I am surprised–and quite pleased–that he knows the word ocean. I say so.

And then I ask him: “M-pants, how do you know the word: ocean?”

He shrugs, “My mouth has super powers.”

Mushroom caviar

Mushroom caviar. #foodlover #winelover Caprice du temps award-winning Humagne blanc

My new Christmas Eve tradition: mushroom caviar … The best part about this recipe is that it requires 1 tbsp (15 ml) of white wine. As if I need an excuse! Of course I opened a bottle of Caprice du temps Humagne blanc. As my father-in-law says: “Humagne blanc, toute la vie, toute la nuit!

INGREDIENTS
45 ml butter (3 x 15 ml)
500 g mushrooms
Salt and pepper
1 medium onion
15 ml dry white wine (e.g. Caprice du temps Humagne blanc)
1 garlic clove, minced
30 ml pine nuts
10 ml lemon juice
15 ml chopped parsley

METHOD

Pour yourself a glass of wine. The recipe only calls for 15 ml. Besides, it takes a while to mince the mushrooms and onions.

Prepare the mushrooms and onions. Clean the mushrooms and chop them up, as small as you can. I just used regular white mushrooms, but I am sure you can mix it up if you like (especially if you are a mushroom connoisseur).

Mince the onion. I like to use white onions. They seem sweeter. It should give you about 125 ml (or half a cup).

Melt butter in a large skillet on high heat. (Have I mentioned I LOVE my cast iron fry pan? It is so perfect!) Add the mushrooms and onions. Cook for approximately five minutes and stir frequently.

Meanwhile, roast the pine nuts in anther another small frying pan on high heat. They will roast quite quickly, so give it a wee shuggle every minute or so. Once they are roasted, set them aside to cool.

While the mushrooms are cooking, season with salt and pepper. Once they have cooked for about five minutes, add the garlic and a 15 ml of dry white wine. Pour yourself another glass with the rest.

Cook for an additional minute and remove from heat. Put mushroom mixture in a bowl, add the roasted pine nuts, and set aside to cool.

Once the mixture has cooled down a bit, mix in the lemon juice and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill before serving.

I topped the dish off with a bit of decorative parsley–for the visual effect and served it with these finely sliced rye bread chips called croustilles de Sion (created by the city of Sion in Valais).

Don’t forget to share the rest of the wine when you serve the caviar!

************************

#foodlover #winelover #Swisswine | Caprice du temps award-winning Humagne blanc | Original mushroom caviar recipewhere you can buy croustilles de Sion

2016 calendar of Canadian landscapes by local Yukon artist, Mr. B

Be on Yukon time all year

My Dad, a Yukon artist,  started painting after his retirement in 1998.  He taught himself and started with watercolours and acrylics before he found his preferred medium in oil.

This year, he put 12 of his paintings together and produced a one-of-a-kind calendar of Canadian landscapes from the Yukon and Northern BC. He and my Mum go for drives and take pictures or they take pictures on their holidays. When Dad gets home, he creates paintings from those pictures.

For this calendar, he painted the pictures, framed them, took pictures of them, then headed down to InterGraphics in Whitehorse to get their help to produce it.

Just fill in the form at the bottom of this post. We can ship anywhere in the world.


2016 Calendar. Limited printing. Support a Yukon artist and senior. $20 CAD.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject
RE: Ken Burke's 2016 Calendar

Your Message

Enter the following characters and press "Send".
captcha


Ken Burke | Yukon Artist | Canadian landscape painterThanks for your support!

Mr. B.




My version of winter salad

CleanHash

Points for colour. Points for taste. Points for nutrition.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium onion
(or a few stalks of leek)
3 tsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
500 g ground meat

1 tbsp smoked paprika
few leaves of chopped fresh sage
few stalks of thyme (leaves ripped from stems)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp ground cumin

250 ml frozen peas
250 ml corn

1 red pepper diced
1 yellow or orange pepper diced
bunch of cherry tomatoes, halved

juice of 1/2 of a lemon
crumbled goat cheese

METHOD:

Sauté onions for a few minutes. Add the garlic. Cook until soft and stir constantly to prevent from sticking. Allow the the oniony-garlic smell to proliferate the house so that your four-year-old asks: “Mmmm, can I help you cook dinner?”

Stir in ground meat. Cook. Add the spices so that the flavours can combine.

Add the corn and peas. Cook and stir for approximately 5 minutes. Allow your four-year-old to stir—because it smells so good.

Turn off heat and add peppers and tomatoes. Stir everything together, and cover.

Set the table. By the time the table is set, everything is just the right amount of warm. Squirt in the lemon juice. Mix.

Serve with a bit of crumbled goat cheese over each serving.

As I said: Points for colour. Points for taste. Points for nutrition.