Tag Archives: organic

March 5th – East Van Bazaar!

29 Feb

Another year, another craft market!  Come see me at East Van Bazaar on Saturday March 5th between 12-6pm!

Besides the ‘ol preserves and hand crafted greeting cards, I am introducing a new line of feather accessories to float in those trusses of yours!  Each pair of earrings or hairpiece is unique from the rest and features an array of natural feathers.  They’re pretty cool and stylish!

Come say hello!

East Van Bazaar
1739 Venables St
Saturday March 5th – 12-6pm

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perfect pesto…

26 Sep

pesto5

Man I love this green goop!  So mega easy to whip up in a food processor and makes anything super tasty.  It’s my lazy go to when I’m making rice, pasta, chicken or veggie dish.

As long as you have some good quality basil, garlic and olive oil, you can make this batch lickity split and freeze the rest for a later date.

Here’s the recipe!

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cinnamon applesauce, apple chutney and spiced apple butter…

17 Dec

preserving apples theurbnanpocketknife

 

What do you do with 30 lbs of organic apples?  Put them in jars obvi.  Seems like I can’t curb the excessive canning hobby so three recipes came out of this box, spiced apple butter, cinnamon applesauce and apple chutney.

apple butter theurbanpocketknife

If you’ve got to process a ton of apples, this old-timey slicer/peeler/corer is completely essential!  After a fun lesson on how to tell the difference between apple varieties, one of my fav friends took on the task of filling my 4.5 qt crockpot full of apples.  We used a mixture of mutsus, galas and spartans, avoid hard apples as they won’t cook down as nice.  I love when people help me with my madness!  Turn the crockpot to low and basically leave it for 12-16 hours.  After your house is filled with apple goodness, use an immersion blender to make it very smooth.  I had some impromptu guests stop by for tea and was glad my house smelled so delicious!

Add about 2 cups of sugar, juice of one lemon, zest of one lemon, 1-2 tsp all-spice, 1-2 tsp of cinnamon and reduce the whole shabang until the apple butter reaches about halfway in the crockpot.  As you can tell, everything is loosey goosey, taste and adjust spices and sugar to your liking.  Follow the hot water bath method as usual, process for 10 minutes.

What the heck do you use apple butter for?  It’s this uber concentrated caramelized apple flavour packed full of spices and zesty lemon.  Put it on toast.  Stir it in yogurt.  Throw it into muffins.  Use it instead of icing in cakes.

organic cinnamon applesauce theurbanpocketknife

My go to “I’m too lazy” food, open a jar of cinnamon applesauce and voila, instant snack satisfaction!  I like applesauce that is a bit chunky so has a nice texture, plus I’m not an infant so I don’t need a puree.  My rule of thumb is to use a mix of soft and hard apple varieties, the softer ones will cook down into mush and the harder ones will provide chunky bits.  The most important tip is to use apples that are awesome, juicy, flavourful and sweet, forget using just granny smiths and then adding sugar to make it less tangy.  I used a mix of mutsus, galas, spartans and fujis.  10lbs made about 8 pint jars for me.

Throw all your peeled, cored, and chopped/sliced apples into a big pot and add a cup of water.  Heat on high and cook until soft.  Use an immersion blender to break it down as far as you like, ultra smooth to chunky.  Add 2 tsp of cinnamon (or to taste) and can using the hot water bath method.  No added sugar needed if you picked the right apples.  Process for 15 minutes.

apple chutney theurbanpocketknife

When this apple chutney is in my cupboard, I can’t eat pork or lamb chops without it!  It’s a mixture of spicy, sweet, and tangy and it is quite potent so a little goes a long way.  It’s pretty amazing on a cheese platter as well and goes great with Indian food.

Throw all the ingredients in a big pot and cook it down until it’s the consistency you like.  Use the hot water bath method and process for 15 minutes.

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped/peeled hard apples
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped sweet peppers
3/4 lb golden raisins
1 cup minced garlic
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp kosher salt

Done with apples for yet another year…now it’s time to dig into those canned summer peaches to chase away the cold and drizzle.

 

organic rainbow truffle parmesan popcorn…

18 Jun

organic popcorn theurbanpocketknife

Sometimes I get excited over the smallest things, I’m sure I let out a squeal when I saw these gorgeous cobs of popping corn in array of colours….COLOURS!  Klippers Organics once again blows my mind with what they can grow and this is ultra special, organic, non-GMO, popping corn.  I’ve had them sitting around to just look at but recently I went to a bar with a couple of friends and had some truffle parmesan popcorn…yum!  So naturally, I went home and made it.

organic popcorn theurbanpocketknife

Just look at these cobs, I find it so interesting that there is such variety in colour in a single cob.

organic popcorn theurbanpocketknife

I didn’t happen to grab any, but they also grow one that is a beautiful lilac colour.

On to the seasoning, these kernels pop just like any other, you can do it in an air popper, microwave or stovetop, do what you normally do with other types of popping corn.  Take a couple of teaspoons of butter and melt (I just nuke it), add a couple of teaspoons of good quality truffle oil.  Toss it all in the popcorn.  Take very finely ground parmesan (blitz it in a food processor if it’s not fine) and toss it in the popcorn.  You want the cheese to be fine so it sticks to the oil/butter mixture.

organic popcorn theurbanpocketknife

It’s not rocket science so just adjust the seasoning amount to your liking!  Fun fact, I thought I had BURNED my popcorn but it turns out that I’m just an idiot and when I saw dark specks on the fluffy white popcorn I thought I had scotched it.  Duh, it was blue popcorn.

Baked avocado brekkie…

2 Jul

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There’s was a great brunch place in Toronto called Musa that is now closed but they made this amazing bbq fruit breakfast plate and mixed scrambled eggs with avocado and put it back in the empty shell.

I thought I’d try and make something similar and bake a whole egg in each avocado half and it turned out super rich and tasty.  No bbq fruit salad but some red grapes on the side made for a simple but yummy brekkie.

baked avocado urbanpocketknife

Pre-heat oven to 350.  I started with two fresh eggs from Klipper’s Organics and a whole avocado.  Slice the avocado in half and take out the pit.  Depending on the size of your eggs and avocado, you may have to scoop out some of the flesh to accomodate the entire egg size.

baked avocado urbanpocketknife

Sprinkle with some lemon pepper and sea salt, I also cut up some cold smoked bacon on the side for something a little salty and crispy.  Bake for about 20min or until eggs are set!  It’s a little bit of a decadent and rich brekkie but it’s a nice treat once in a while.

 

 

Finch’s Market feels incredibly warm…

4 Apr

The other half delivered organic milk to this new cafe/market called Finch’s Market in Strathcona and immediately came home and told me that I would be in love.  He’s not wrong.  The second location to Finch’s Cafe on Pender in Gastown, this cafe in an unassuming neighbourhood is very quaint with organic goodies, coffee and crazy good sandwiches.

finch's market

As soon as you walk in you see a lovely floor to ceiling wooden shelf filled to the brim with delicious pantry items from pasta to house made granola.  A library styled ladder is attached for presumably easy access to the top shelf and charm.  How I wish I lived somewhere that I could install this wonder, how good would my preserves look on this shelf?!?!

finch's market

It was a lovely sunny day which enhanced all the wood in this little cafe but also made it a million degrees inside even with the door open.  Mismatched tables and chairs, sleek stools at the coffee bar and more pantry items in mason jars line the walls.

finch's market

But most importantly, how is the food?  I ordered a prosciutto sandwich with edam.  Oh and an Aranciata which to me is just the grown up version of Orangina.  Could this be any cuter?  Cucumber water in a mason jar (yes please!) and a beautiful sandwich on a crispy, chewy baguette stuffed to the brim with salty prosciutto, big slices of tomato, frilly lettuce and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  It artfully came on a large sheet of craft brown paper instead of  plate which for some reason made it seem really darling.

finch's market

That there is what all sandwiches should look and taste like, mondo fresh, great colours and big, because I’m always hungry.  Finch’s Market is not really the type of place that is easy to swing by as I don’t live in that neighbourhood nor is there anything really close by but it does seem like sort of a hidden gem and I am sure to keep it in mind whenever I’m craving a cozy corner and a good sammie.

 

 

 

 

minced organic red russian garlic for the year!

28 Dec

minced garlic urbanpocketknife

Ah yes..it’s the annual minced garlic festival in the kitchen.  Last year Klippers gave me a whole whack of red russian garlic seconds to take home and process.  Each bulb had only one or two cloves that were still good and I had to peel them all by hand.  I also didn’t have a food processor last time so I minced it all by hand…seriously I’m retarded.

This year I smartened up and got myself a mini food processor!  My friend and farmhand of the farm brought me seconds again this year and they were already sorted!  A huge bag of red russian garlic cloves that I just had to peel.

minced garlic urbanpocketknife

Here it goes!  Lots of pulsing and scraping but way faster then mincing by hand!  I drench the minced garlic in olive oil to prevent it from oxidizing.  My mom used to do this with whole cloves and would just fish it out of the fridge whenever she needed it.  I used minced way more so I decided to save myself some time in the future.

I store them in mason jars, keep one in the fridge and freeze the rest.  It’s so handy and way better then the store bought ones that add citric acid.  Plus red russian garlic is potent stuff, one clove equals 4 of the regular kind.