Hey there Wishers!
I hope the holidays were joyus and your New Year’s hangover wasn’t too bad!
I’d like to take this opportunity before we start in on our annual re-cap to thank you all for the continued support in 2015.
So many new subscribers and lovely comments and emails, you’re a wonderful bunch!
In January we discovered Chateau de Guandes and followed it’s ambitious owners as they patiently nursed the old Dame back to her former glory.
By September the Waters Family welcomed their first guests when a wedding was held on the grounds.
They are proceeding by leaps and bounds and I intend on checking in on them through 2016.
This spring we branched out a bit and experimented with a few recipes with delicious results.
We thought Fall would never come, but when temps finally dipped into baking weather we jumped right in with Banana Crunch Muffins.
And had fun with Fall fashion,
And finally in December we made some delicious make ahead dishes to share at holiday gatherings!
In the year ahead we’ll make more lovely things to eat, explore new ideas in art and fashion and meet inspiring people doing incredible things from all over the world.
Happy New Year friends, may 2016 be a remarkable one!
A very easy, very tasty, make ahead dish for taking to holiday gatherings.
Wild Rice with Mushrooms
1 cup chopped Leeks
2 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
6-8 cups Chicken or Veggie Stock
4 cups Mixed Mushrooms (Shiitake, Crimini, Rehydrated Mixed Dried Mushrooms)
1 1/2 cup Wild Rice (cooked)
3 cups Royal Blend or Jasmine Rice (cooked)
1 cup dried Cranberries
Cook the wild and royal rice blend according to package directions using stock instead of water. Set aside.
Slice the mushrooms into large pieces. (You definitely want to see them in the dish.)
Rehydrate the dried mushrooms using hot stock soak them for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium high heat melt the butter and add the olive oil. Add the chopped leeks and saute for 5 or so minutes, until soft. Add the mushrooms and saute until warmed thru about 7 minutes.
Reduce the heat and add the wild and royal rice blend and toss with a fork, do not stir with a spoon or it will get sticky.
Add the cranberries and fork thru to mix.
Refrigerate if serving later.
To reheat cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until warmed through.
I really don’t need to tell you how to put together a fruit salad, I know this. The recipe here is the Honey & Cardamom dressing. It’s so lovely with any combo but especially nice with this.
Pear and Pomegranate Salad
2 cups of frozen Mango
4 cups of frozen Peaches
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1 cup Pomegranate seeds
Rosemary or Mint to garnish.
Core and slice apples and pears into large chunks. Peel oranges and slice crosswise into large coins.
Add to a large bowl.
Add mangos and peaches (it’s okay if still frozen) to the bowl.
Add the lemon juice and toss to coat with all the fruit. This will help keep it from turning brown if you need to store it in the fridge for a few hours.
Pour the pomegranate seeds over the top.
Garnish with rosemary.
Wrap with cling film and store in fridge.
When ready to serve drizzle over some of the dressing and serve the rest on the side for guests to add to their helping.
Honey & Cardamom Dressing
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Ground Cardamom
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 pinch salt
Mix all ingredients in a resealable container.
Taste for seasoning adding more honey or cardamom to taste.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Drizzle over fruit salad.
In a large saute pan with a lid, saute the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, until softened (about 3 minutes)
Dice the chicken into bite size pieces and season with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken to the onions in the pan and cook until browned.
Move the chicken to one side of the pan and add the rest of the olive oil, (1 tablespoon) the uncooked rice and toast for 2 or so minutes.
Stir in the beans and canned tomatoes, chicken stock, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. Stir until well combined.
Reduce heat to (low) a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.
After cook time fluff the rice-beans mixture with a fork and serve with toppings.
Psst! If you’d like to make this vegetarian substitute the chicken broth for veggie stock and omit the chicken.