Wednesday, September 23, 2015

summer: austria

Salzburg. Boozy cake, fresh apricot juice and castles on hills.

Gondola way, way up above St. Gilgan to hike along the mountaintop and down to the valley bottom. Stopping for cake and tea along the way. Swimming in the Wolfgang See.

Hiking in the dry heat of the Kamptal wine region. Going underground to wine cellars monks built 900 years ago. Finding warm plum cake at coffee time.

Vienna in a heatwave. Salads for lunch, with fresh Grüner Veltliner grape juice.

Vineyards in Vienna city limits. Taste-testing a Zweigelt grape.

Last day. Hiking above Vienna. Looking at the Danube River, where we swam the day before.

one year ago: mt. harris trail mix
two years ago: rocky mountain climb and green beans with garlicky tomato concassé
three years ago: beet hummus
four years ago: parsley lentil pasta
five years ago: mrs. doucet's apple chutney

Monday, September 14, 2015

summer: germany

Spotting ships on the Rhine River.

Ahr Valley vineyard trails.

Medieval town squares.

Cycling to the garden house by the lake. Swimming.

Cake and coffee late afternoon.

There's a reason why German hand creams have chamomile in them.

Hazelnuts. On road sides, in front yards, nestled up to chocolate.

Breakfast, or even dinner. Fresh buns, cheese, meat on the table in the backyard.

Cologne Cathedral with the main train station as its churchyard.
Train to Austria . . .

one year ago: summer: nova scotia
two years ago: warm salad of crispy chicken thighs
three years ago: ode to victoria and little house on the prairie
four years ago: salmon for dinner and  hop & go fetch it: germany edition
five years ago: black & blue scotch berries and a taster menu from gluten-free girl and the chef

Monday, September 7, 2015

summer: amsterdam

Painter's light.




Roomservice Café at Hotel Droog.

Husband waits while wife shops in De Negen Straatjes.

Ferry to cycle on Amsterdam Noord.


one year ago: vietnamese noodle and chicken salad and summer: prince edward island
two years ago: snack chronicles: super fudge and summer: british columbia road trip
three years ago: tarragon three-bean salad and cherry peach jam
four years ago: german groceries
five years ago: rote gruetze on ice cream, rosemary corn butter and peach crisp

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

summer vacation

I'm off for summer vacation. I'll tell you all about it when I get back . . .

Hope you, too, get to eat lots of ice cream on your summer vacation!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

chicken coconut curry soup

This has been one of our top five weeknight soups for the past three years (thanks, Sheri!).

For some reason, we didn't break it out to serve at a dinner party until just a couple of weeks ago. One guest had been suffering from a terrible cough and I thought chicken soup was in order.

It's a humble chicken soup and  if you already have leftover chicken and rice  it comes together very quickly indeed.

But the way it tastes . . . It's kind of like the thick soup version of a really good plate of creamy-but-slightly-sour coconut curry on rice. It tastes comforting but exotic to my European-Canadian palate and I love it.

Luckily, our dinner guests  both coughing and non  did, too, and quickly asked for the recipe. So, here it is.

P.S. I think you might be able to guess what our new favourite quick dinner-party dish is. And if you're wondering about making this in the summer: it's a dream. You don't need the stove on for very long, and everyone likes slightly spicy food in the heat.

one year ago: oatmeal chocolate cherry cookies
two years ago: asian slaw
three years ago: salmon with warm tomato basil oil
four years ago: cherry hazelnut cake
five years ago: honey orange cream and loganberry jelly

chicken coconut curry soup
adapted from savory sweet life
serves 3  4

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped finely
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped finely
2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. red curry paste*
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 can coconut milk (about 400 ml or 14 oz.)
 4 c. chicken broth
1 c. cooked chicken meat (may be previously frozen), shredded or chopped
1 c. cooked white rice (may be previously frozen) **
3 small limes, juiced
3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped finely

Set a big heavy pot over medium heat. Heat the olive oil, then stir in the carrot, onion and red bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce, curry paste and brown sugar. Cook until the curry paste is incorporated, about 2  3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 15  20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the chicken, rice and lime juice. Bring it back to a gentle simmer. Taste for seasoning. You might need a bit more curry paste or a little salt here (although the fish sauce can be very salty), or maybe the juice of another lime to perk it up. Stir in most of the cilantro. Serve with a bit of fresh cilantro on top.

* I use the Thai Kitchen brand. It's not hot at all, and I sometimes add more at the end.
** I like Jasmine or Japanese rice here