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Virtual Vegan Potluck 2: Mushroom, Leek and Kale Cottage Pies

31 Oct

I loved participating in the first Virtual Vegan Potluck—what a great concept it is! I get so much of my inspiration in the Tiny Kitchen from other blogs, even if there are parts of it that aren’t friendly to my stomach. It just makes me more creative!

Like this recipe. I wanted something that would be both vegan and paleo for this potluck; after all, it’s no fun making something you can’t eat. I had a ton of ideas, but not enough time to try them all out, and this idea seemed like a winner. Something perfect for the fall weather that finally arrived in California. Something to put in the oven, since it’s cool enough to turn it on. Plus, something orange to celebrate the season! Continue reading

Festive Holiday Pies with Chili, Cheese, Bacon, Apple and More!

1 Jan

In the eternal words of Homer Simpson: "Mmmm....bacon."

I hope everyone had a great holiday!

I think I’ve already mentioned how much my family loves pies, and how many we’ve made over our lifetimes. This year, thanks to a blog “Momma’s Gotta Bake” and a suggestion from The Husband, I decided to get a little creative.

First of all, our friend Troy asked me to bring my English mince pies for dessert to The Smith’s Annual Holiday Party. Of course I was flattered, and nothing says Christmas like mince pies. But then there were the other recipes that were floating around in my head—and that, dear reader, is why I haven’t posted in weeks. Continue reading

Vegans and Vegetarians, Look Away Now: It’s a Pork Roast

6 Nov

The finished product...yum!!

Sorry to my veggie and vegan friends, but there’s not much of this that can be vegan, except the roast potatoes. And I’d recommend them highly! But skip to that part, if you don’t mind.

Carnivores, read on! I’d been waiting for this for some time, and it took me years to find it. As I recounted in my roast chicken blog, a Sunday roast is an English tradition, and I got quite attached to a nice pork roast, especially the crackling. My English friends would agree—you just can’t have a roast pork without the crackling. It’s just not cricket, darling. Continue reading

It’s the Sunday Roast

25 Sep

Well, yes. The Husband is required for carving. Haven't watched that video yet.

We’re very lucky to have, at our farmer’s market, a lovely lady who sells organic, free-range chickens and their eggs. She actually has photos of her daughter chasing them around the farm, so you know that they truly get outside, rather than just having access to the outside. Chickens, apparently, are not the smartest creatures and if they don’t know there’s an “outside” it’s rare that they will use a door to get to it. So it’s nice to see that “free range” lives up to its meaning for once!

I’m a big fan of anything that’s not mass produced or factory “farmed”, so it’s a real treat to have her there. Seeing as how her eggs are 50¢ more expensive than Whole Foods, and a whole chicken is just $14, and two chicken breasts at Whole Foods cost $10, buying her product is a no-brainer. (And, thanks to this very instructive video, I’ve learned how easy it is to cut up a chicken into pieces!) Plus, you can make your own chicken stock out of the bones—especially after you’ve roasted a chicken. Continue reading

English Lesson

31 Jul

Most of you will be aware that I lived in the United Kingdom for some time. Eleven years, to be exact, give or take a few months. In that time I developed a fondness for many of the English delicacies. I’m talking a proper mug of tea, Marmite on toast, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie.

The small one was reserved for The Husband—it was too good not to save him some!

Ooh, shepherd’s pie! What a delightful dish to have when it’s cold and rainy outside. Technically, a shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb (or “mince” lamb in the vernacular), and cottage pie with ground beef, but shepherd’s pie is the term usually used for the meaty, mashed potato-topped—well, casserole, I guess we’d call it over here.

Even though it’s the height of summer in California, not the usual season for such a hearty meal, I made this one for our dear friend Paddy. She lives up at Top of the World, and The Husband used to deliver Meals on Wheels to her. She’s a British expat, and on her own now that her husband died about five years ago and her dear Boston Terrier died earlier this year. I decided this lovely lady needed a bit of good food and cheering up.

Seeing as how Paddy is in her 80s, I threw caution to the wind and a lot of butter in the pan. Continue reading