It is still snowing round here, at this rate, it should last over the Christmas period, but the roads are such a mess at the moment. We had to go do some shopping this afternoon, and there is so much dirty slush around, luckily when we look out of our windows, all we see is a park covered in beautiful white snow. One of the things I was looking for today was frozen artichoke bottoms. Vincenzo’s which I have mentioned many times, told me they had frozen hearts so we went there, but they were exactly that, frozen slices, not the cup shaped bottoms of an artichoke. Not suitable for the recipe I posted. Spinach and Brie Topped Artichoke Hearts, however, it turned out they did have cans of artichoke bottoms by Clic from Egypt of all places. I don’t associate Egypt with artichokes, but we live and learn. I gather they need to be rinsed well before using in this recipe.
We also came across some rounds of Brie so I decided to try a recipe I posted for Baked Camembert a few days ago. Having decided to use Brie instead of Camembert I put the cheese into a small round dish to cook. I slashed the cheese and poured some Vermouth on it plus added herbs and chucked a few pecans on top for good measure, it was cooked in the toaster oven. I enjoyed it but the Brie flavour was extremely delicate and Matt swore he couldn’t taste it at all. He thinks it’s because it was cooked, I think it’s because this particular Brie we bought today didn’t have a very strong flavour in the first place. This will be settled later when we eat the second Brie uncooked. Unfortunately this does happen sometimes that some Brie have such delicate flavours one can hardly taste them.
Talking of food, I am one of the few people who like Christmas fruit cake. For some reason hundreds of people in this part of the world don’t like it. There is always a joke about fruit cakes being gifted on all the time passing around for years. A friend came to pick up her Avon today and brought me a piece of her cake which she recently cooked. I knew she included a particular rum in it, she had been talking about it on Facebook, so later, at lunchtime, we tried it (Matt doesn’t much like fruit cake either) and we both enjoyed it. I haven’t made a Christmas cake in 41 years (or since I married Matt) because Matt didn’t like them. Amazing isn’t it. At least he did like my Christmas puddings. I don’t make those either any more. This picture shows one topped with marzipan, I used to use marzipan and then royal icing. I made some gorgeous looking cakes but never took pictures.
I just got this recipe from the Food Network. I like roasted root vegetables and am thinking seriously of doing them this Christmas for a change from the usual Brussels Sprouts.
Anna Olson's Roasted Root Vegetablesserves 6
Seasonal root vegetables get kicked up a notch with a homemade vinaigrette.
Roasted Root Vegetables
1 cup peeled and diced carrot
1 cup peeled and diced parsnip
1 cup diced celery root
1 Delicata squash, seeded and diced (you can leave the skin on)
2 shallots, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1+ 6 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
DirectionsRoasted Root Vegetables
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Toss carrot, parsnip, celery root and squash with shallots, olive oil and thyme and season lightly. Place in an 8-cup baking dish and roast for 30 to 40 minute, until vegetables are equally tender. Remove thyme sprigs.
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté shallot for one minute over medium heat. Whisk in mustard, vinegar and rosemary and reduce heat to low.
2. Whisk in remaining 6 tbsp oil in a slow drizzle and season to taste.
3. When ready to serve, toss warm roasted vegetables with warm vinaigrette, garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve.
Have a great day