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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Leftover Turkey Dinner Hand Pies

Overwhelmed by leftovers from turkey dinner?  Here's how to go from this:

Thanksgiving leftovers

To this:

Leftover Turkey Dinner Hand Pies

Watch the video to see how it's done!

My first video recipe!  Enjoy and happy holidays!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Swedish Meatballs

It's been a crazy month for us.  We just moved into a new house and haven't been cooking much lately.  But in the midst of unpacking I decided I needed to cook something. This recipe isn't complicated, but it's time consuming.  Better suited to a Sunday afternoon than a weeknight when your kitchen is filled with boxes.  But the final product is worth it, and it makes enough for at least two meals. 

I love the way the meatballs turned out and I'd definitely use this method again for any kind of meatball. The beef and pork together make a very tender meatball.  Swedish meatballs are spiced with allspice and sometimes ginger and/or nutmeg.  Well, the allspice hasn't yet made it out of my packing boxes, but I had a little tin of pumpkin spice and it worked great!  Pumpkin spice meatballs! 

The gravy contains lingonberry jam, and it's extra tasty to serve a little extra jam on the side.  

Here's what you need for 55 meatballs!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tart of the Month - Apple and Caramelized Onion

If I've learned one thing from my Tart of the Month series, it's  this: Keep frozen puff pastry on hand and you can whip up a tart for dinner, breakfast or appetizers any time. 

We are moving to a new house at the end of the month so we have been very busy for a while now. So this tart is extremely easy and uses ingredients we always have on hand.  It's just apples, onions, sour cream and puff pastry. 

Here's what you need for these easy, tasty tarts:

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Beer Baron - Hunting Local Treasures

The Beer Baron is back! This post comes from Matt and you can find him on Twitter & Instagram @geekcanuck

When you think of great craft beer cities, you probably don’t think of my hometown of London, Ontario. While it may not be San Diego, Bruges, Grand Rapids or even nearby Guelph, Ontario, London does boast one of the province’s best craft beer bars (Milos’ Craft Beer Emporium) and a great little craft brewery (Forked River Brewing Company). It is also smack dab in the middle of some pretty wonderful agricultural land, so there is no shortage of locally sourced food to enjoy with our beer here.

So, when my Dad visited recently from Calgary and we had an afternoon to kill, I knew exactly where I wanted to take him. Even though both the Clockwatching Tart and I have loved their cheeses since first trying them at the
London Wine & Food Show a few years ago, we’d never made it to visit Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese.

If you click the above Food & Wine Show link, you’ll see we had pretty wonderful things things to say about Gunn’s Hill upon discovering their cheese – “I think the tastiest thing I tried at the whole show was the Five Brothers cheese from Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese in Woodstock” – and those feelings still stand.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fall Chicken & Apple Stew

This is a very simple fall stew quick enough for a weeknight but fancy enough for company, which is my favourite category of recipe!  

Also, this recipe makes a ton of stew and the leftovers are great!  The recipe comes from Cooking Light magazine.  Here's what you need for this quick fall stew:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tart of the Month - Apple Pie

For Thanksgiving this year I was in charge of making apple pie. I know this is not technically a tart, but I prefer apple pie with crumble topping, rather than a double-crust pie, so it's very close to a tart.

I used The Food Lab's easy pie dough recipe to make the dough ahead of time and kept it in the fridge for a few days, then assembled and baked the pies the day of our dinner.

The dough is very easy to make in the food processor. I've been afraid to attempt pie crust in the past but I'm finding it pretty simple these days.  As long as you keep things very cold it isn't scary at all!

Here's what you need for two apple pies with crumble topping:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Traditions: Meatsticks (aka City Chicken)

Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend, so I thought I'd share one of my family traditions with you.  I'm not Ukrainian by birth, but my eldest aunt has been married to a Polish/Ukrainian man for over 45 years, and my uncle's culinary traditions made their way to our Canadian table.

Every year for Thanksgiving we have the usual turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pie, but we also have pierogies, cabbage rolls and meatsticks.

My family has always called these fried, breaded pork skewers "meatsticks", but in many parts of North America where Eastern Europeans have settled, they're called City Chicken.  Believe it or not, chicken was once such a luxury item that this imitation drumstick was created from cheap cuts of pork. 

And they are SO delicious. If you're keeping track, we serve three kinds of meat at our Thanksgiving: turkey, pork and beef in the cabbage rolls.  But the meatsticks have long been my favourite and they're great any time of year (we have them at Christmas too).

So here's my family recipe for meatsticks, courtesy of my wonderful aunt.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tart of the Month Autumn Round Up

Pumpkin spice tart

It's been a very busy month around here, so I didn't have time to make a new tart in September.  Instead, I thought I'd browse the archives for seasonal Autumn tarts I've made in the past.

There are some real winners here!

Butternut squash tart with sage, honey & chilis

This Butternut Squash Tart with Sage, Honey & Chilis is really easy and makes a tasty, fancy appetizer or light lunch.

Plum Tart with Honey and Black Pepper

Stone fruits are still in season here in Ontario, and these Plum Tarts with Honey and Black Pepper are a sweet and sour treat.

Roasted Vegetable Tarte Tatin

This Roasted Vegetable Tarte Tatin takes a little more effort, but it is so beautiful and delicious, it's well worth it. 

Butternut squash tart with mushrooms and gruyere

I can't get enough butternut squash at this time of year, so here's another Butternut Squash Tart, this time with mushrooms and Gruyere.

beet cheddar apple tart

Little Beet, Cheddar & Apple Tarts on puff pastry are a simple treat for a savoury dessert or snack.

Tarte flambée

Tarte flambée, or Flammekueche is similar to pizza and makes a wonderful dinner when nights get cooler.  

Carrot herb tart

Carrots are in season and I love the way this Carrot and Herb Tart uses a variety of coloured carrots with the green of fresh herbs. 

pumpkin spice tart

And, finally, it isn't really fall without some pumpkin spice. These Pumpkin Spice Tarts have a gingersnap crust I love. 

Get outside and enjoy the season!  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy Hour - Gin Martini

Wow, what a crazy few weeks it has been!  I know that September/back to school is hectic for parents and teachers.  We are neither, but I started a brand new job two weeks ago, with all the changes to routine that entails.  Plus, we just bought a new house and put our house on the market!  It's a very exciting time, but also very stressful and busy.  We often have to leave the house at dinnertime for showings, and keep it spotless between showings, so needless to say, we haven't done much cooking. 

We had to pack up some glassware to make our home look more spacious for showings, but I insisted on keeping my martini glasses and shaker.  In this stressful time, I'm not going to deny myself a martini!

This is a traditional gin martini with a twist.  You can use an olive instead, but I can't stand olives, and I love the way the lemon adds a little bitter, sour flavour to the drink.

A gin martini is full of gin flavour, so you want to use your very best, favourite gin.  My dear friend bought me Hendrick's Gin for my recent birthday and it would be fantastic in this. I used Bombay Sapphire East which is subtly flavoured with black pepper and lemongrass. You'll also need dry vermouth.  

There is some controversy over what makes the "perfect" martini.  The less vermouth, the more dry it is and some like it very dry. But I started with a 2:1 ratio of gin to vermouth and liked it fine. If you are new to gin and/or martinis, this is a good place to start. You can fiddle with the amount of vermouth to make your perfect martini. 

For this martini, mix 2 ounces of gin and one ounce of vermouth in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and shake until the shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds.  

Use a zester or sharp paring knife to remove a strip of lemon peel from a fresh, clean lemon.  Twist the peel over the glass to release the oils, and pour the cocktail over a the lemon into a martini glass.

You can see this martini is cloudy, not clear. That's from shaking it, which causes ice crystals to make the drink opaque.  James Bond's "shaken, not stirred" causes this cloudiness which is not ideal for martini connoisseurs.  For a clear martini, stir the cocktail gently rather than shaking it.  I am not that picky. 

Since the ingredients are nothing but booze, this makes a very boozy cocktail, but it can be just the thing before dinner or after a long day. It is sophisticated and tasty which is sometimes just what you need.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Putting Up With: Tomatoes Two Ways

My "Putting Up With" series is a play on the phrase 'putting up' as a colloquialism for canning.  But in this case, it's particularly apt, because the only way I can put up with (tolerate) tomatoes is when they're canned, cooked or preserved in some way.  

I was a very picky eater when I was younger, but I've learned to tolerate, and even enjoy, some of the things that horrified me as a child.  I now cook with all types of peppers and mushrooms and even occasionally use mayonnaise and beans, all things I couldn't stand a few years ago.  But I've never grown to love raw tomatoes. Both the texture and taste are repulsive to me.  These recipes have helped me use up all the tomatoes I get every week from our garden and my CSA box.  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Beer Baron - Road Trip: Elora Brewing Company Edition

This post comes from Matt, the Beer Baron. Find him on Twitter at @geekcanuck

I don’t know if it is all the agriculture in the area leading people to appreciate local fare or just a happy coincidence, but the Guelph area (which is about 90 minutes from the Clockwatching Tart home base) is one of the best craft beer parts of the province – a fact we’ve certainly taken advantage of in the past.
In fact, Guelph’s Wellington Brewery is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a cask beer festival in late September, so the area has certainly earned its craft beer bona fides. So, it was no surprise when I learned that the area would be welcoming a new craft brewery, this time in nearby Elora, Ontario with the aptly named Elora Brewing Company.
At this year’s London Beer & BBQ Show, I got to try Elora Brewing’s Lady Friend IPA, which was much more malty and balanced than most IPAs and was clearly one of the stars of the show to me. At the time, they were still building their brewery, so another brewer was making their beer for them using their recipe, so once their actual brewery recently opened, it was with much excitement that we loaded up the Subaru and headed for Elora.

Build in an old hardware store right on the main drag of the adorably cute “downtown” Elora, Elora Brewing Company is quite beautiful, with exposed stone walls and lots of Edison bulbs, wood and steel for a vibe that is very clean and modern but certainly fits in with the vibe of a town best known for the gorge and natural beauty.

So, the town itself and the brewery – with its still gleaming brewing equipment standing proudly and brightly lit in the back in contrast to the stone and wood up front – are both beautiful, but what about the food and beer?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tart of the Month - Bourbon Peach Icebox Cake

This is only very tangentially a tart.  Icebox cake has a "crust" in the form of cookies and a "filling" in the form of whipped cream and fruit, so I'm calling it my tart of the month so I don't have to turn on the oven!

Icebox cake is actually really easy to make.  A magic process takes place when you layer cookies with whipped cream. They take on a cake-like consistency as they moisten and become almost like solid cake when sliced. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy Hour - Punch Romaine

Have you ever watched the TV show Hannibal?  If not, you should! The first two seasons are available on Netflix, and the the way they film food is unbelievable.  The final season is wrapping up on NBC right now.  It's not a spoiler to reveal that earlier this season Hannibal, played wonderfully by Mads Mikkelsen, mixes Punch Romaine to serve to his guests.

Punch Romaine was one of the last things served to first class passengers on the Titanic before it sank.  

It's an icy cocktail of rum, orange, wine, champagne and egg whites.  Here's what you need to make one cocktail:

1 egg white
1 oz white rum
1 oz white wine
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
2 oz champagne (or sparkling wine)
twist of orange peel for garnish

You'll also need crushed ice, a cocktail shaker and a cocktail coupe to serve.  I used the cocktail glass above.  

I used my blender to crush the ice, which worked very well.  Mound the ice in the glass just like an iceberg.  My crazy husband thought staging these pictures in front of a picture of the Titanic would be fun.  

Shake the egg white, rum, wine, simple syrup, lemon juice and orange juice together in a cocktail shaker with ice until frothy and chilled.  

Pour the cocktail into the glass and top with champagne and orange peel.  Enjoy in calm weather.  

This cocktail was surprisingly light and tasty. It would be a great palate cleanser between courses at a fancy dinner, or a cooling treat on a hot night while watching your favourite TV show.  Cheers!