Sunday Dinner


Sunday is my favorite day of the week.

I’m not sure what it is about it really, but I love it. Maybe it’s because we are saying goodbye to the week behind us, which was hopefully successful and peaceful, and preparing to say hello to the week ahead. Sundays are usually a slower day for us. We try to squeeze in a little more time with each other, hang out with the dogs, mill around the house and yard, I usually make a nice dinner and bake something for dessert, and then we just soak in the last day of the weekend. This weekend seemed to go slower than usual, which was an extra bonus.

I ran across this little guy while I was watering. They are so diligent. I’m sure in a day or two the wind or my cat’s tail will come along and de-construct the web. He’ll have to move along and find a better place. Right now, he’s just soaking up the sun like the rest of us.

 Loving the Lilacs. Cut a large bouquet for the dining room table and they are filling the whole house with the smell of spring.
After milling around the yard a little I set my mind to doing some more organizing and “streamlining” things for the big move. Tony was out and about taking his last H1 level hang gliding class so I had a little time on my hands to tackle our ever-growing “to do” list. I’m not a hoarder at all, but I still seem to manage to keep a few things I don’t really need. I went through closets, under bathroom cupboards, the pantry, and was able to purge quite a bit that we certainly don’t need to drag all the way across the country with us.
I am not typically a sitter, I’m usually a do-er. Someone who needs to feel that I’ve at least accomplished a few worthwhile things throughout my day. Occasionally, if my to-do list has been tackled, I don’t mine lying around reading a book or spending my day in the kitchen baking or cooking, it’s not like I don’t like to relax! But when there are things to be done, I need to get those off my mind so I can really soak in the day ahead. Once I had done a little organizing and purging of unnecessary “stuff”, I was able to come up with our Sunday Dinner & Dessert.
Steak Kabobs
Simple Spinach Salad
Cheesy Muffins with Roasted Red Peppers
Rustic Berry Tart for Dessert
Steak Kabobs
*Six Servings
2 Boneless NY Loin Top Steaks, cut into medium pieces
2 Bell Peppers, cut into large pieces
1 Large Onion, cut into large pieces
15 Cremini Mushrooms, stems removed
1 Cup BBQ Sauce, I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle
1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar, I used Nakano Basil & Oregano
2 Tablespoons Country Dijon, I used Grey Poupon
6 Skewers
 Place the steak, peppers, onions, and mushrooms into a medium bowl. Add the BBQ sauce, rice vinegar, and Dijon. Stir well until all of the meat and vegetables are completely coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Place on skewers and grill to medium rare.

Simple Spinach Salad
*I didn’t measure anything for this, but it was about 3 servings.
About 2 Handfuls of Spinach Leaves
1 Tomato, diced
About  1/4 of a Red Onion, sliced
About 4-6 Slices of Bacon, diced and cooked
Olive Oil
Rice Vinegar
Freshly Ground Pepper
Warm the olive oil and vinegar in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Place all of the vegetables in a medium bowl. Drizzle dressing over the top and toss. Sprinkle with bacon. (Don’t dress the salad until you are ready to serve.)

Cheesy Muffins with Roasted Red Peppers
*Makes 9 Muffins
1 Cup Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour
1/2 Cup White Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Roasted Red Bell Pepper, diced
2 teaspoons Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano, chopped
2 Tablespoons Red Onion, diced
1 Cup Daiya Cheddar Style Cheese
1 Cup “Buttermilk”, 1 cup almond milk with 1/2 lemon squeezed, sit 5 minutes
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Large Egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with muffin cups or cut parchment into squares and line. Spray each cup lightly with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Measure the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum into a medium bowl and whisk together. Add the herbs, onion, and diced peppers.
Pour almond milk and juice of 1/2 lemon into a measuring cup and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Add the olive oil and beaten egg. Stir, pour over dry ingredients. Add the cheese.
Fold together until fully incorporated but do not over mix.
Fill each muffin cup evenly.
Bake for 22 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

This is one of my all time favorite desserts. Incredibly simple to make, but beautiful and delicious.
Rustic Berry Tart
2 – 16 ounce Bags Frozen Mixed Berries, or fresh mixed berries
3 Tablespoons Minute Tapioca
1/2 Cup Sugar
Gluten Free Flour for rolling
1 Egg, beaten with a few drops of water for brushing
Raw Sugar for sprinkling
Dairy Free Ice Cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place berries in medium bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and tapioca. Toss well and allow to sit out on counter for about 1 1/2 hours (if you’re using frozen berries).
Cut a piece of parchment to the size of a baking sheet. Flour, and roll dough out to “fit” parchment and pinch the rough edges. I rolled mine a little over the side edges. You will fold it over anyway so you don’t need to worry about fitting it exactly to the parchment. However, gluten-free dough isn’t as elastic as gluten dough so your edges may break when you transfer it to the baking sheet. If this happens just pinch them back on.
Transfer the dough with the parchment onto the baking sheet.
After the fruit has rested and melted for a while, gently stir to evenly distribute the juices. Spoon fruit into the middle of the dough.
Fold dough over carefully, long sides first, then ends. Crimp with fork, brush with egg and water mixture, and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until crust is lightly golden.

A few more pictures from the garden…

Happy Monday and have a lovely week!

The Last Dinner Of The Year – 2011


Most years we’re snoozing by 10:30 on New Year’s Eve. I know, I know, not much fun, right? Well this year, we’re going to do things differently. First, we’re beginning our evening with an ending…the last dinner of the year. Then, it’s time to get bundled up and head into the city for First Night. A celebration downtown with all kinds of eclectic things going on outside and inside. We may still end up home and in bed by 10:30, but not without celebrating, even if just a little, and bidding goodbye to the last year that has been filled to the brim with blessings and change.

Pork Chops with Balsamic and Apple Reduction & Mixed Berry Rustic Tart

Pork Chops with Balsamic and Apple Reduction

2 -3 Boneless Chops

1 Medium Onion, sliced

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 Sprig Rosemary

2-3 Sprigs Thyme

3 Tablespoons Apricot Jelly

1/2 Honey Crisp Apple, diced

About 1 Cup Aged Balsamic Vinegar (mine was 18 year aged, thick and sweet)

About 1 Cup Chicken Stock (I used turkey stock because that’s what I had in the freezer)

About 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour

Sea Salt & Pepper

Rice, cooked, your choice of type

Place the butter, onion, rosemary, and thyme in a large skillet and grill onions on medium low until they begin to caramelize.

Add the chopped apple and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the apricot jelly and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer for 7 minutes until it reduces slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside. In another skillet, drizzle a generous amount of olive oil.

Place the flour, salt, and pepper on a plate and toss with a fork or your fingers. Coat each chop lightly.

On medium heat, brown the chops on both sides.

Remove from pan onto a plate and set aside. Add the chicken/turkey broth to the pan, bring to a boil and deglaze.

Add the balsamic reduction and the chops. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and simmer for about 7 minutes.

Place chops on bed of rice and spoon balsamic reduction over the top.

Mixed Berry Rustic Tart

Preheat oven to 350 degrees for a convection, 375 for an electric oven.

1 Pie Dough Portion, equaling 1 crust

1 1/2 bags Mixed Frozen Berries, about 3 or 4 cups

About 1 Cup Sugar

About 1-2 Tablespoons Gluten Free Flour

1 Egg

Dollop of Almond Milk

Flour For Rolling

Raw Sugar For Sprinkling

Place fruit in a medium bowl with the sugar and flour and toss. Set aside.

Cover a baking sheet with tin foil. Measure a piece of parchment to the sheet. Flour the parchment and roll the pie dough into a rectangle on the parchment paper.

Pick up the parchment with the dough and place on the lined baking sheet. You’ll want to line your baking sheet because the fruit juice will leak all over. Trust me, you do not want to have to spend the remainder of your evening scraping baked on fruit juice off of your baking sheet.

Mound the fruit mixture in the middle of the dough.

Using the parchment to aid you, pull up the sides of the dough.

Pinch the edges together and smooth out a bit.

In a ramekin or small bowl, whip and egg and a little almond milk with a fork. Brush onto the dough and then sprinkle with the raw sugar.

Place in a pre-heated oven. About 45 minutes for an electric oven and about 55 minutes for a convection oven. Remove when fruit is bubbling and crust is golden.

Happy New Year!