If you are like me, some days you enjoy cooking and/or baking, and some days you would rather clean the bathtub, organize your closet or do basically anything but cook.
Maybe it's the approaching fall weather grabbing hold of me, but, for whatever reason, I felt like trying some new recipes this past week.
It started with Laura's recipe for no-bake Toasted Coconut Brownie Bites (above). They are formed mainly from peanut butter and ground flax, with just a bit of agave for sweetening. They are healthy and yet strangely addictive. I used to love coconut-covered doughnuts. These aren't quite the same, but they are a fun treat nevertheless, and much healthier.
I also decided to make an old favourite that I haven't made for a few years...lentil burgers. I served them with a simple gravy made with corn starch, as well as brown rice and sautéed frozen vegetables.
I had leftover lentil burgers for lunch the next day, with canned beans and corn on the cob.
On Saturday night, we had some friends over for dinner. We had spent the entire day alternating between soccer games and grocery shopping, so we had to put the dinner together quickly. My daughter's team won their championship game, and I took her to a teammate's house for a celebration. While I was doing that, my husband and my son rolled some sushi using rice I had made in between soccer games. They are both getting adept at the rolling process. How great is it that a 10-year-old boy can roll sushi?
This photo (above) is actually of leftovers we enjoyed for lunch the next day. I neglected to take photos during our gathering. The menu went something like this: tortilla chips and salsa, hummus and crackers, sushi, roasted veggies, roasted asparagus, a cheese pizza (for the kids) and a Mediterranean-style pizza with kalamata olives, artichokes, roasted red peppers, feta cheese and mozzarella cheese. I actually don't eat cheese, so I didn't have the pizza.
I did get one quick photo of the lovely salad that my friend brought. She topped mixed greens with strawberries, figs and later (not pictured) chunks of brie and raspberry vinaigrette. I enjoyed the salad without the brie.
We had a selection of drinks, including Brio (which was a childhood favourite of my husband's and turned out to be a favourite of one of our guests), Orangina and white wine. Most people seem to like red wine, but I'm not a wine lover and I prefer a white, sweet wine like this one. My first choice is rum and coke, but it doesn't go well with many dinners!
I wanted to make a cake, but didn't get a chance, so we bought a blueberry streusel cake and served it with a fruit salad of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
The next day, with lots of dishes still undone, we were able to put together a quick but delicious dinner. My mother-in-law had visited on Friday and left us with a tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes. The smell coming from this pot was so amazing that I felt like drinking the sauce straight from the pot. I didn't though. I restrained myself.
We served it on some rice spaghetti noodles and had a simple side salad with cucumbers. The kids and my husband also had some garlic bread.
For dessert, I decided to make a fruit crisp based on a recipe I had seen in Vegetarian Times. Their recipe called for blackberries, which I don't really like, so I used a combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and peaches (basically whatever I could find in the fridge). You might think (like I did) that a crisp is a crisp is a crisp, but this one is different, partly due to the use of maple syrup. I will share the recipe later this week.
I also took my bread maker out of the fruit cellar this week and put it to use for the first time in a long while. I have been trying to keep away from regular wheat as much as possible, so I decided to find a bread maker recipe for spelt bread. I found this one. It turned out to be pretty darn good. And you make it on the rapid bake cycle, so it's ready in two hours. It would be great to time it to be ready and warm at dinnertime, since it is nearly impossible to find a spelt bread that mimics fresh, warm white bread. This one will do the trick.
I used it to make a sandwich with fresh tomatoes, organic salad mix, avocado slices and a bit of mayonnaise. I had a glass of chocolate soy milk on the side.
Have you used any great recipes recently?
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