Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Pumpkin Carving!!

So in case you missed it – I did a post yesterday about our celebrations this weekend!  And also shared some links to Dairy Free Halloween Treats!!

Up now is our second annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest!!   Please vote for your favourite!

#1

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Or #2

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Together now

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#2 on the left with glasses and a moustache or #1 on the right with scary eyes and crooked teeth.

We need your votes!!!!!!  You can put them here of facebook! 

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Do you roast pumpkin seeds?

Last night I made some yummy ones.

1 cup pumpkin seeds + 1 tsp. oil of choice + seasonings.

I used nooch, sea salt  and some steak spice!! 

Baked at 350 for about 15 mins, checking and flipping often!

 

But get creative with flavours.

You could do salted curry (1/2 tsp. salt + 1/2 tsp. curry),

Cinnamon sugar (1 tsp. sugar + 1/2 tsp. cinnamon)

Five Spice (Dash of soy sauce + 1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice)

I have a bunch of epicure stuff coming today – so I will be using some of my new spices on the left over pumpkin seeds!!

Do you have a favourite flavour?

Jessica signature

PS.  Don’t forget to VOTE!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween 2011

Booo…

Did I scare you?!! 

We had a fun Halloween Weekend!! Friday night we helped friends decorate their house for the 1st Annual Halloween Party!  It was pretty spooky…

Knock knock…

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Recognize that old man?

Yup – that’s what I have to look forward too in 30-40 years…

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We played bobbing for apples..

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Apples on a string (which is hilarious for the record!)

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And a bunch of other games!! It was a great night!!

We never dress up for Halloween, but it was a lot of fun this year!!  Already planning for next year!

Did you dress up or are you tomorrow?   I have to think of something for work – it will likely be nothing fancy since I’ve got a bad cold!! 

 

Halloween for Dairy Free Ghosts and Goblins!

Halloween can feel like a drag for dairy free folk… but don’t forget you can have most of the gummy candies – liquorice, candy corn  and a whole bunch more check out the following links for more dairy free treats!    *remember to check the label just to be sure

Candy my Dairy Free Family Can Enjoy

List of Safe Halloween Candy

And in case you missed it the other day Dairy Free Caramel Apples.

Stay tuned tomorrow or the next day for the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving contest!!  I won last year, so the stakes are high this year!!  You can cast your vote!    Plus a few pumpkin seed recipes!!

Jessica signature

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Better Late Than Never…

Well hello!

So glad you enjoyed the Salmon Chowder recipe. It turned out better than I expected and  I really enjoyed the creaminess of it (I miss creamy being dairy free)! 

Well as many of you know, it was Thanksgiving here awhile back – and I have yet to do a post about it!!  I didn’t take tooo many pictures since I was busy cooking, but I thought I’d show you the ones that I did – (and attach some recipes!)

While cooking – I decided to play with my camera a bit, and thought these pears were a great subject!!  I wish their was a better background – but this picture totally makes me say “awwwh”!

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Anyways…

The table was set for 8 of us (and a sweet little baby girl)!!

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Dinner was prepped as much as possible before.

I made homemade cranberry sauce.

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Cranberry Sauce

1 bag of fresh cranberries

1 cup of water (or orange juice for more flavour)

1/2 cup sugar

cinnamon and orange zest to taste

Boil all ingredients for 1/2 hour or until desired consistency!!  It will gel up more once cooled!

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Our friends were in charge of appies, bread, and dessert!

The appie was incredible!!  Artichoke and Green Olive Dip!   I wish I could have eaten more it was awesome, but I was too busy cooking!!  It was gone FAST though!! Smile 

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Then there was the rest of the menu.

Turkey (of course)

2 types of bread pudding – cranberry spice and onion

Stuffing (may have been from a box? I haven’t ever tried to make it from scratch!)

Mashed Potatoes (I used chicken broth instead of milk!)

Sweet Potato Casserole.

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I sort of used Angela’s recipe – but I tweaked it a bunch – it was fantastic!!

There were soda biscuits and fresh bread brought by friends too!

I also made a salad, roasted veggies and pan fried Brussels sprouts!

I’m sure I am missing something – but it was quite the feast!

For dessert (no picture Sad smile) a friend made a vegan blackberry and a vegan pumpkin pie!! (I don’t like pie – but the blackberry was to die for!).

It was a fantastic night with fantastic friends!

 

Thanksgiving is such a great time – it’s always fun to  have a big group of people enjoying a big huge meal!!

 

Also as promised – I finally got some picture of the Northern Lights – they are very rare around here (I’d never seen them before)!! Thank you to Y. for these pics!   We were at an end of summer beach fire and all of a sudden the sky lit up!

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Beautiful hey? I’d never seen anything like it!!

Hope your day is going fantastic!! 

More recipes coming from me next week!

Jessica signature

PS.  Dairy Free Caramel Apple Recipe?  Yes please!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oh So West Coast Salmon Chowder

A post from my days of writing at Our Big Earth!!  Don’t mind the holidays reference, but enjoy this recipe!

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The holidays have come and gone and everyone has already been back to school and work for a week. It’s also this time of year that people are in the final stages of the “turkey hangover,” also know as; hot turkey sandwich, turkey soup and stew and any other turkey flavoured meal overload, and they are ready for something completely different.

We are so lucky as Vancouver Islanders, to be surrounded by the beautiful ocean and all the goodies it provides us, so this recipe is quite fitting for all of us, West Coasters!

I created this recipe after trying to find some good dairy-free corn chowder recipes. I found a few OK-sounding recipes, but nothing that really stood out to me. I decided to go to my kitchen and I play around with different flavours until this creamy delight was born!

This recipe is a beautiful fusion of West Coast Canadian flavour and Asian richness! It has the creaminess of regular corn chowder, but with the sweetness of coconut milk and the little kick of curry. It’s great for the crock pot or to make as quick dinner (provided the salmon is pre cooked). With all of our snow fall warnings and below zero temperatures, this chowder will warm up the coldest toes and noses in town!

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Oh So West Coast Salmon Corn Chowder

2 slices of bacon – diced
1/2 yellow onion – diced
2 cloves garlic – diced
1 lb. salmon filet (no bones)
1 celery stalk – diced
3 medium sized yellow potatoes – skin left on cubed 1 inch cubes
8 asparagus stems – diced
4 cups chicken, veggie or fish stock
1 can cream corn
1/2 cup whole corn kernels
1 cup coconut milk (full fat)
1/2 tsp. curry powder (or to taste)
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Season salmon with salt and pepper and cook until just flaky, set aside.

2. Sauté bacon, onions, garlic, celery, asparagus and curry powder together in a large pot until bacon is crispy and onions are translucent.

3. Add stock and potatoes – cook until potatoes are soft.
Totally optional, but if you want your chowder a little less chunky – use potato masher and mash together ingredients in pot until desired consistency.

4. Add in creamed corn, corn kernels, coconut milk, and stir until combined.

5.  Just before serving, flake salmon into chowder, checking for bones.

6. Add in parsley, and salt and pepper and cook until salmon is warmed.

Serve steaming hot in a big bowl, with a nice glass of white wine and some great crusty bread and you have yourself a soul warming, “oh so west coast” meal, perfect for a chilly evening.

Alternative Ideas:

  • Can use chicken, shrimp/prawns, smoked salmon, BBQ salmon or canned salmon.
  • Add hot sauce for more of a kick!
  • Serve in a sour dough bread bowl for a fun alternative!
  • Substitute coconut milk for heavy cream for a more authentic corn chowder taste.
  • Substitute curry powder for fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil.
  • For a vegan version, omit bacon and salmon and add more potatoes, asparagus, corn, celery and onions.

Notes:

For the crock-pot version –cook salmon and set aside and sauté bacon, onions, garlic, celery, asparagus and curry powder together in a pan until bacon is crispy and onions are translucent, transfer to crock-pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and set on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Since my hubby to be isn’t a fan of chowder, and this makes far more than I can eat, I put cooled chowder into mason jars and gave them to friends for a tasty dinner.

Although I haven’t tried it myself, you could probably freeze this recipe for a quick dinner, just be sure to stir it well as coconut milk has a tendency to separate after being thawed.

Jessica signature

Dairy Free Chicken Pot Pie–Guest Post

 

Chicken Pot Pie
-1 of your favourite store bought pie crusts (try generic brands, as they usually omit dairy as a way to cut costs)  

For the filling:
-3 tablespoons of your favourite dairy free butter
-½ medium yellow onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-Salt and freshly ground pepper
-1-1½ lbs. cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works well if you want a short cut)
-1½-2 cups frozen peas and carrots

For the sauce:
-8 tablespoons of your favourite dairy free butter
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-2½ cups chicken broth
-½ cup soy milk
-Dash of hot sauce
-Salt and freshly ground pepper
-Sprinkle of thyme or marjoram (optional)


Add the onion to the pan, and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Mix in the garlic, turn off the heat and mix in the chicken and the frozen peas and carrots. Stir in the thyme or marjoram (if using), red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the sauce, melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan.  Add the flour and whisk until smooth.  Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and cook over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup.  Mix in the soy milk, the hot sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the cream sauce over the chicken and veggie mixture and stir to combine well.  Spoon the mixture into individual oven-safe dishes, such as bowls or large ramekin’s. 


Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Cut the dough to fit the dishes and place on top of the individual dishes.  Trim and crimp the edges and slice vents in the top.

Place the pot pie dishes on a baking sheet for easy transfer in and out of the oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Serve immediately.

These come out of the oven piping hot and oozing...completely irresistible.  Enjoy!
-Amanda

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Thanks Amanda – these sound fantastic!!  I haven’t had Chicken Pot Pie since I became dairy free, so this is on my list for sure!!

Please check out Amanda’s blog for more yummy recipes!

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Hope you are all doing good!  Thanks for sticking around – even if I’m not posting often!

Jessica signature

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life through the lens

Hiya!

Thanks for your responses about doing guest posts!!  Please make sure you send me an email though, not just a comment – otherwise I cannot get a hold of you!!

So last night I downloaded the new iPhone upgrade and it’s FUN!!  I also finally took off some pictures on there and thought it would be fun to do a little post about it!! Smile 

Most are end of summer pics!! (awwh I miss Summer)

Cool sunset on the way home (edited with Camera +)

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I was lucky enough to be contacted by Blissful Bites publisher and they sent me some books to review!! FUN!

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They are both awesome!  So far I’ve made 1 recipe from HH, but many more to make…

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I got my hair did – that was awhile ago – I should probably be doing it again soon!

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We spent one last night at a beach fire…

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this was the day of the earthquake…  we also saw the Northern Lights that night – which were incredible… I’ve never seen them before!

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Got new nail polish – that I LOVE!!  (note to self – I must paint my nails again!)

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The husband played dress up – (a few times)

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bet he’ll love me for this picture – but there were kids involved – and he’s a sucker for cute kids!

And more dress up… of the Halloween costume variety.

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Went to a Zumba fundraiser.  Which was awesome!  (there were way more people there than this looked like)

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(Did Zumba for 2 hours – and was pretty sore the next day!)

Got inspired by Pinterest and did a little painting!

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Spent countless hours on said Pintrest – getting inspired.

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while drinking steamed soy with toffee nut (amazing)…

Got inspired by Pintrest again…  played around with mantel and rest of living room!

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As you may be able to tell – I’m absolutely in love with Pintrest… it’s such a great place to get inspired!!   Feel free to add me if you have one!!

Hope you enjoyed this!

Jessica signature

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