During last Saturday’s blizzard, I decided I wanted to have some good old-fashioned mulled wine. It was a perfect night for this warm, spiced red wine concoction. Except that I didn’t have any red wine. And there was a blizzard. But, once I set my mind on something I’ve got to have it! The 5-block drive was quite the adventure, but well worth it. Here’s how I made it, with what I had on hand.
Mulled Wine (Modified from the Joy Of Cooking)
1 – 750 mL bottle red wine of choice (I used my trusty favourite, Fuzion)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 whole nutmeg, slightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
2 lemons, juiced and zested
1 orange, juiced and zested
Heat water and sugar in a pot until sugar dissolves. Add spices, citrus juice and zest and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add wine and let bubble just below a boil for 10 minutes. Serve hot with a slice of orange, cinnamon stick and a fresh cranberry.
I made this soup last week after a trip to the dentist – I’ll spare you the details – left me only able to eat soft foods for a few days. I had one small pie pumpkin left, an abundance of carrots and some fresh sweet potatoes (or yams, depending on who you ask).
What resulted is a rich and creamy soup (without cream!) that’s perfect for fall days and sore mouths.
Pumpkin Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
2 medium sized yams, cut into 1″ cubes
1 small pie pumpkin, cut in quarters, seeds removed
3 medium sized carrots, cut in 4
1 onion, small dice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup orange juice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Roast yams, pumpkin and carrots on a parchment lined baking sheet at 350 F for 30 minutes, until just starting to brown.
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add thyme and garlic and saute until just fragrant.
When roasted mixture is done, add it to the pot along with stock and orange juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. When cooled slightly, partially or fully puree mixture and pour back into a clean pot. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves. Can be frozen or kept in fridge for up to 5 days.
I’ve been making a version of this salad a lot over the past few weeks because of the abundance of kale at the farmers’ market and thus in my fridge. It’s super quick to make and because kale is so hearty, it lasts for up to 4 days. Experiment with different greens, dried fruits and ingredients in general! I like to make a large mason jar of vinaigrette and have it in the fridge to use at any time.
Autumn Kale Salad
2 cups raw kale, finely chopped
2 small heritage carrots, finely sliced
1/2 small red pepper, finely sliced
1/2 a large parsnip, shredded
1/4 white or red onion, finely sliced
2 dried nectarine halves, finely slice (or any other dried fruit)
1/4 olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp dried herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary)
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp sugar
Toss everything in a bowl with dressing and let sit for about 2 hours. Kale will start to soften. Portion out individually and store for up to 4 days.
Basil is probably the most classic pesto ingredient you can come by. Earlier this Summer, I was planning the menu for my second camping trip of the season and debating whether I should buy prepared pesto or make my own.
You see, on a previous camping trip, my friend and I had discovered that sautéing kale, swiss chard, broccoli, beet greens or any other of our favourite greens was super delicious and quick. Pesto turned out to be an excellent and versatile ingredient to include in the cooler.
I was short on time and thought, “Oh, I’ll just buy some.” Off to the farmers’ market I went, but instead of buying a 125 ml jar for $7, I walked away with $15 worth of basil (about 1/3 of a clear garbage bag full). Needless to say, I made a lot of pesto for much less than I would’ve bought it for! Continue reading