Today is New Year’s Eve – now, depending on where you are in the world, it could be mere hours before 2013 or you’re already in the New Year. I’ve never abbreviated New Year’s Eve in my communications, so the last few days have been lived in some confusion whenever I saw NYE until I figured out what the letters stood for.
For Christmas, I made a flognarde and a crustless pumpkin pie. The flognarde (flow-nyard) was a little different this time, using hazelnut flour whereas before I’ve always used almond flour. It was also the first time I’ve ever used hazelnut flour. I was anxious that it wouldn’t work (hazelnuts’ association with chocolate was too close for me) but I sallied forth, with my efforts paying off, thankfully. It’s a moister flognarde and we all agree that we like it better with the hazelnut flour than almond flour.
When I made it with blackberries, it was an inspired move and that proved to be a success with everyone. The blackberries, especially ripe ones, work well with the apples and currants.
I made this chicken stew in the last week of October, two pots of it, and everyone loved it. There were no leftovers. When I made it again – repeat.
This stew is easy and once you’ve got your prep out of the way, it only takes about forty minutes to cook. I made it on the fly, I winged it…the only thing that stopped me from posting it sooner was getting the measurements down. Once upon a time, I used to measure spices with teaspoons and sometimes tablespoons but now I rarely do unless I’m following a written recipe. Most days I just eyeball the amounts. (Eventually I’ll start eyeballing the amounts for those written recipes, too, if I make them enough times to know the recipes by heart.)
Cold weather is setting in, the days are getting shorter and even on the sunniest of days, one still needs to bundle up. This is the weather that requires tucking into a warm bowl of soup or stew after coming in from the cold. Thanksgiving comes earlier in Canada, we celebrate it a month earlier than Americans, and last week we made a chicken chili instead of having the traditional turkey. (We would have used turkey, but my Mum didn’t have her readers on when she went to pick it up. To be fair, though, the chicken and turkey (both ground) were close together.)
This will have been only the second recipe for chili I’ve made so far, and it’s a good one. It was an instant favourite with my family – there were no leftovers – and it has the traditional chili flavours with bacon and ground turkey (or chicken, which is tofu-like in that it absorbs the spices and flavours of the ingredients) and the addition of cocoa powder gives it depth and a subtle flavour of its own. (I had not used cocoa powder before in chili and despite my doubts, I was pleasantly surprised and happy I went along with it.) We also used red and white kidney beans in celebration of Canadian spirit.