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.
As may be evident by my recent posts, I’ve baked hardly a thing this summer. It’s been lovely and blissful, in its own way, to not turn the oven on. Instead I’ve thrown all that energy I would for baking into making ice cream and other frozen treats. (I have one more frozen treat recipe to share, for now.) One of the last things I baked before the summer heat settled in was Shirley’s perfect pound cake.
It’s a tall order to call something perfect and this pound cake is just so. In a chat on Twitter that I had with Shirley the first time I made her recipe, she told me that one of her readers had used it to make a birthday cake. So not only is it a perfect pound cake, but also perfect for all occasions as it is flexible. Like many gluten-free folks, Shirley uses a custom-made, gluten-free flour blend. I’ve yet to use a gluten-free flour blend – whether one made from scratch with someone’s recipe or my own, or store-bought – so I converted the amount with an equal ratio of cornstarch and brown rice flour (the only kind of rice flour I had on hand at the time), based on Shirley’s flour blend, and it worked really well.
Every time I’ve made it, the pound cake has been finished within one or two days (usually only making it to the second day if I’ve saved some and hidden it away).
I was so excited to hear about this fabulous dessert topping from Mrs. S., one of the Moms who have made some of the recipes listed on Z’s Cup of Tea, that I had to try it – Thank You, Mrs. S!
If you’re looking for a great alternative to whipped cream, MimicCreme Healthy Top is the perfect substitute. My whole family loves it! It’s like a cross between whipped cream and marshmallow and it’s a cinch to whip up. Made with cashews, almonds, and coconut oil, it’s dairy-free and soy-free, but it doesn’t taste nutty or like coconut at all, and it’s not too sweet, either.
Use it as you would use whipped cream to accompany something. (It’s not suitable for freezing or cooking with, according to the instructions.) We’ve served it with fresh berries (raspberries go especially well with the Healthy Top’s flavour) and my brother has also blended it with strawberries to make a kind of milkshake that, in his words, “is like a milkshake you would find in a fast food restaurant”. It’s just as thick, too. It’s also great to use as a topping for pie.
We found it at our local Whole Foods. You can look where you can buy it in your country on MimicCreme’s website or online. You’ll also find instructions for how to whip the Healthy Top there as well.
All opinions expressed here are my own. MimicCreme did not pay or ask me to review their product and did not send it to me for free.