Today I went for a 2hr bike ride, took a bike into the repair shop for service, then started on making some Cherry Jam. I'm a huge Cherry Jam fan, I'm kicking myself for missing the sour cherries last week. I spotted them in a market and passed them over. They are rare to find here, have such a short season and make the best jam. I decided to try to make Lapin (or Black) Cherry Jam, and have the pictures to prove it. I now have to wait until it cools to try it out.
Went for a run this morning and ran through the little Playfair Park on my way to and from the Cedar Golf course trails. The Rhododendron's are just starting to come into flower. These are some pictures that I took with my phone.
Ellie and him are getting along really well. Pico and Ellie are both 7 years old. Pico came in from the cold as a stray into a shelter in Duncan. The Duncan shelter realized that they couldn't offer him the care that he needed so he was sent to the Victoria SPCA. There he received major dental work (removal of 23 teeth) that left him with 6 teeth. The teeth that he has left are his incisors and 2 molars. When you look at him all you see are large vampire teeth (I thought about calling him 'Fang'). The SPCA also had to shaved him down to remove some matting. Pico seems to be a Maltese-Poodle mix and weighs ~6lbs.
He's now been with us since last Monday, right away you can tell that he was someone's pet and not a complete stray. Ellie and him are bonding more each day. Pico can get nervous quickly, and Ellie's gentle being helps to calm him down when out on a walk. It will take a couple of more weeks until he settles completely with us. Already he's learned his name and is playing with Ellie at the park.
No one can walk past these two and not smile.
*the pink collar came with him from the SPCA, we switched it out for a camouflage one yesterday*
While browsing my favorite recipe websites,
http://punchfork.com/vegan. I spotted a link to Vegan Tofu Pot Pie that looked amazing! I figured I could make it on the weekend, freeze it prior to baking, and then bake it for a lovely Valentines Day dinner. I only need to purchase some sage, thyme and tofu, otherwise I had all the basic ingredients in the kitchen.
I went to work right away assembling the ingredients (see the links for the full recipe).
Basically chopped everything up and cooked the tofu first, then replaced the tofu with vegetables and added the sauces, nutritional yeast, flour, soy sauce, sage, and thyme. It smelled delicious and was hard not to eat this right away.
After that was done I started on the crust. It took 1 stick of vegan butter, flour and cold water. This is not a low-fat recipe.
It took some elbow grease to come together into a dough, then shaped it into circular crusts to fit over the veggie mixture in a bowl.
Yes these are cereal bowls that I used. No small servings allowed in this house.
Since it was for Valentines day I added the heart cutout.
Then it went straight into the freezer to wait for Valentines Day. On Valentines day, I took it out of the freezer and let them thaw before baking.
Warning! This candied Ginger is very potent and will knock your socks off if you aren't used to it.
Since the weekend was shaping up to be a wet, cool, and grey, I decided it was time to replenish a favorite Ginger treat in the house.
To start I bought some organic Ginger and Sugar:
I immediately went to work on the hardest part of the process, peeling and slicing the Ginger. This part seems to take forever, but if you love Ginger as much as we do the end product is worth it.
After you have sliced the Ginger, place it in a pot with enough water to cover and add the Sugar to the Ginger and water. The amount of Sugar that I put in is an equal weight of Sugar and Ginger (measured after slicing and peeling). Then bring the pot to a boil and let it simmer for 30 - 40 minutes.
Once the Ginger is cooked, transfer the Ginger to a wire rack to allow it to dry. You can sprinkle some Sugar on top while it dries.
Keep the Sugar water syrup, this is the bonus prize of the process. Keep the syrup in the fridge in an airtight container.
When you want a truly great tasting Ginger Ale, try a splash of the Ginger Syrup and some Sparkling Water. This Ginger Ale rocks! After all, the ingredients are just Ginger, Sugar, and water.
Getting back to the Ginger slices, we place them on the dehydrator for 3-4 hours once they are dry enough to handle.
The end product is a candied Ginger that will last a very long time. Each piece is 100x more flavorful than the store bought bulk candied Ginger. This recipe isn't as soft and sugary as the store bought stuff but is made with simple ingredients and not highly processed.
All the Ginger slices last about 1 1/2 months in our house, the Ginger syrup lasts about 3 - 4 days before it is gone.
Ginger has been used for years as a digestive aid, and to reduce inflammation in the body. Since we started eating Ginger the biggest thing that we have noticed is we are getting a deeper, better sleep.
Do you like Ginger as much as we do? If you don't have a dehydrator, try placing the Ginger in the oven at a very low temperature and check on it frequently.