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SUNDAY NIGHT DINNER

Roast Lamb With Warm Couscous Salad

Dinner this past Sunday was a blast! The guest list changed as time evolved, which is no big deal as we tend to go with the punches or the changes. REALLY, it shouldn’t be a big deal for you or your guests, when there are last minute changes. I always say, go with the flow and if necessary, explain to your added guests that it’s not a big deal and we will just add or take off a place setting.

Enjoy the added guests if this is the case folks.

We had the pleasure of oven roasting a leg of lamb from Thatcher Farm’s (yummy). I simply rubbed on some grainy dijon mustard, a hint of salt & freshly ground pepper, and freshly chopped rosemary. Baked it in the oven at 360ºC for 2 hours, pulled it out and let it rest (cover with foil) for 5-10 minutes before carving, and it was finished up and enjoyed by all.

The side dish that I made this time (new for me) was a couscous salad served hot. WOW! What a surprise, even enjoyed it 3 days later at lunch.

Couscous Salad

Bring 2 1/2 cups chicken stock to a boil, remove from heat. Add 2 cups couscous, let stand, using fork to fluff it up.

Toss warm couscous with:
23 oz. roasted diced pumpkin OR I used sweet potato
7 oz. blanched snow Peas, but oh wait, I used blanched green beans instead (cut into 2” pieces).

In a separate bowl combine:
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ tsp. harissa or chili paste,
¼ cup chopped FRESH mint
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (little more than a half a lemon)
1 tablespoon honey (apple honey from an old Guelph Line farm)

Pour the dressing over the couscous, toss and serve.

This can be served at room temp, but I thought I’d try it warm out of the oven……what a surprise! The Fresh Mint POPPED through and was a great match with the Thatcher Farm Lamb.

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A Fool For Raspberries

Here is a great way to use frozen local raspberries even at this time of year.

Tigchelaar Apples and Berries ([905.659.3659] 268 Puslinch, Flamborough Townline Orchard in South Wellington County) supplied us & we froze these lovely berries (pictured attached)

Note for freezing in season: Freeze fresh berries on baking sheet, once frozen, add to ziplock or freezer bag, keep in freezer until ready to use. Fantastic for nibbling for dessert, save some for garnish.

I have used Donna Hay’s recipe from Modern Classics too many times, and always a big hit. I used both lemon & lime juice with recipe below.

I like to use glasses that you don’t seem to use on a regular basis, as shown , sherry glasses, tall shot glasses, champagne flutes or wine glasses as shown in picture attached.

This will hold in your fridge for 24 hours, but will go liquidy if held longer…still tastes great 2 days later though.

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:
Place 1 cup of raspberries in a frying pan and crush slightly. Add 2/3 cup of caster sugar and 2 teaspoons of lime juice (Donna recommends lemon and either works here). Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for around 3-4 minutes or until the berries are soft and the juice is syrupy. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until cold.

Beat 1 1/2 cups of cream until whipped. Fold 1/2 – 1 cup of fresh raspberries into the cream and then fold in the cooled berry syrup. Don’t over mix – just fold gently.

To serve, spoon into glasses.

Enjoy!

    Cranberry Seed Muffins

Canadian Living Sept. 2010

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup oat or wheat bran (I used Oat Bran)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp of each baking soda & salt
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (I doubled up on this for I didn’t have sunflower seeds)
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. finely grated orange rind (I increased this to 2 ½ tsp for the love or oranges)
You could replace this lemon or lime zest/ rind
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups thawed cranberries (I only had 1 ½ cups and it still worked out well) OR try local frozen raspberries as another yummy option!

Topping:

3 Tbsp. of each oat bran, sunflower & pumpkin seeds (again, I simply doubled up on pumpkin seeds)
In large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour and whole wheat flours, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda & salt.; whisk in sunflower and pumpkin seeds
In separate bowl, whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar and orange rind; whisk in eggs and buttermilk. Whisk in butter until combines; stir in flour mixture in 2 additions just until combined. Stir in cranberries. Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups (or 24 small /mini muffins)

TOPPING:

Sprinkle with oat bran, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Bake in 375 degrees (or 190 degree Celsius) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack.

After cooled, pack in zip lock bag and can easily be reheated in microwave 3-4 days later.

ENJOY

Ingrid von Cube Appetizingly Yours Events & Catering

Jan. 20/ 2011
Appetizingly Yours Events & Catering Experience in Arizona Dec. 2010
http://www.appyours.com

Chef Brian and I had the opportunity to create a Cooking/ Chef Challenge for a friend who was celebrating his 50th birthday with 14 of his closest friends and family.

Arrangements were made for us to stay and create this challenge at the Rocks in Scottsdale Arizona, www.therocksclub.com .

Within three of the villas, we stayed and created the main challenge in the centre of the three.

Guests were able to gold/ hike on the day after we arrived, while we had spent over 3 ½ hours in Whole Foods, picking up the products for the challenge/ dinner.

We have done this sort of event Corporately as a “team builder” and were thrilled to create the same experience in a Friends & Family Environment.

We set up the men against the women in this challenge; where we showed them both how to make a cold hors d’oeuvres (chicken roulade with macadamia nuts & rice paper wraps with Soba noodles/ carrots tossed in a little sesame oil & rice vinegar).

After everyone had their try at this first hors d’oeuvre we moved onto showing the folks how to make ravioli from scratch with a variety of fillings. The flexibility of ravioli as an hors d’oeuvre or as a starter course OR as the main is fantastic. We also created a cream sauce and a tomato sauce that could easily be mixed to make a lovely rose sauce of your choice.

Both groups met in the main villa and showed off their presentation of their courses with great pride.

We created Custom Designed Menu/ Recipe Cards for Each couple to enjoy when they arrived back home which we found was a variety of places across the USA.

The group then sat back and enjoyed the three other courses we served for the evening.

Starter: Mixed Local Greens with Ontario Maple Syrup Balsamic Dressing

Main: Kolbe Beef Tenderloin served with a Lobster Mash accompanied with local Root Vegetables

Dessert Trio: Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee, Milk Chocolate Double Dipped Strawberry & a Pinot Noir Poached Pear

After being able to enjoy & work with Culinary Capers Catering http://www.culinarycapers.com

at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in February 2010, it was a fantastic way to finish off the year in Arizona.

Another Great Experience for Chef Brian and myself. We toured Sedona the next day and were back to work for Monday morning. Whewwww what a weekend, but what fun!

With one wedding already under our belt this budding new year, the team at AY has generated some more tips to consider when planning your 2011 nuptials. Whether you’re looking to save money, outfit your wedding party, or capture the festivities in picture perfect fashion, we are brimming with ideas to think about when planning your big day!

1. If you’d like to save some money on your wedding and reception, particularly if you’re planning a small, intimate wedding, consider having your wedding some time other than a Saturday. An evening wedding mid-week or even a Saturday morning brunch instead of an evening reception can save you hundreds of dollars.

2. There’s no reason to have the men in the wedding party rent dress shoes. How many people actually look at them? As long as they all wear black dress shoes (or whatever color matches the tuxedos chosen), why not let them be more comfortable in their own shoes?

3. For bridesmaids’ dresses, consider separates, especially if you have attendants whose sizes and shapes vary widely. Skip the bridal stores and check out department stores for evening skirts and separate tops that are made of luxurious fabrics and trimmed with beading or embroidered details.

4. If you have unusual family units that the photographer should be aware of, make sure you give him/her a written list several weeks in advance of the ceremony so that no important shots will be missed. For instance, let him know about step-parents, step-siblings, half-siblings, etc. that you would like included in specific photos.

5. Consider carefully if you want to have your wedding around a holiday. It sounds wonderful, but it can also be complicated. Prices go up for catering, reservations and most other services.

Taste Ontario

Randall Shirley recently wrote an excellent review about our Applewood Smoked Pulled Pork. Check out what he had to say!

We got our Pulled Pork from Thatcher Farm in Fergus. Chef Brian Schmeler made an excellent square summer corn bread topped with Tigchelaars empire apple relish prepared by Appetizingly Yours. The event was the Ontario Culinary Tourism Summit, we represented Guelph Wellington.

We created a Gingerbread challenge at AY earlier in December.After completion of Three Gingerbread Houses we delivered them to our Local Drop In Centre for these folks to enjoy.