Category Archives: Dessert

What’s For Dinner? Mar 12 – 19

This is an exciting week.  Two of my favorite not-quite-holidays fall in this week!  Pi Day March 14 and St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.  And some how, with out really trying we managed to plan out a very international menu for the week.  I only realized this as I was walking through Kroger to get all my ingredients.  As usual spending quite a bit of time in the produce section!

You may also notice the extra and overlapping day – today.  Normally I shoot for a Monday – Sunday schedule, but this chili verde with chicken or white chicken chili or chicken tortilla soup that’s been on my mind for two weeks now just did not want to be made on the day I had planned.  For two weeks!  I guess because I didn’t really have a good recipe and slacked off cooking by the weekends when the meal was planned.  Well I rallied today.  In a big way!  I even did the grocery shopping a day early because I needed ingredients.  And in all my searching I came across a (hopefully) wonderful recipe for Green Chili with Chicken. Continue reading What’s For Dinner? Mar 12 – 19

What’s For Dinner? Mar 6 – 12

This weekend was a blast, and exhausting at the same time.  We made it through the Pokemon Party.  And we did build a veg bed only to later have second thoughts because of our termite-riddled Southern location.  Of course with everything going on menu planning was the last thing on my  mind Sunday Night.  We managed to scrape together a leftover meal from items in the fridge and freezer.  Lovely fishcakes and ranch coleslaw.  It went over well with three of the four eating.  Lucy opted for leftover beef hash and potatoes although she did enjoy the ranch coleslaw.  Lolly on the other hand would have eaten every available fishcake.  She wolfed down two before I told her to stop so Daddy would have one for his leftover lunch!  And our Little Miss Chatterbox was even the first one done with dinner!  Her cries of “I’m still hungry” were met with an arched eyebrow and pursed lips.  I told her to let her dinner settle for a few minutes and even then she went back for a piece of fruit.  I’m sensing a growth spurt coming on! Continue reading What’s For Dinner? Mar 6 – 12

What’s for Dinner: Feb 27 – Mar 5

This is a big week for us here at Overhill.  This week E will be turning 8!  And to celebrate we have gone all out Pokemon Style.  We have Pokemon food, Pokemon games, Pokemon crafts, Pokemon cakes, Pokemon gift bags filled with all sorts of Pokemon goodies, Pokemon cards…prepare yourself for a Pokemon Party Post sometime later this week!

But in the mean time we still need to eat!  And while Friday is a big day for the smallest Hobbit in our Home, and of course it’s Pizza and a Movie Night, this is also the beginning of Lent.  Which means no meat on Friday.  Boy am I glad we had that Thai chicken pizza last week!  Now since our little Lolly adores Fish, you would think this would be a no brainer, but fish on pizza was shot right down.  In flames.  Behind enemy lines.  So there won’t be a fishy pizza entry on Friday.  But then again, there may be anchovies.  Fair Warning!

So what are we eating for dinner this week?  For all that we have two meatless days, Ash Wednesday, and Friday we seem to be making up for it the rest of the week.  Starting with one classic non-Paleo sandwich favorite tonight:  Cuban Sandwiches.

Monday Night – We had lovely roast pork over the weekend.  It turned out crispy and spicy glazed on the outside and succulent just this side of pink on the inside.  And now the leftovers will be turned into one of my favorite sandwiches of all time – The Cubano!  Crusty Oval Sandwich bread, mustard, pickles, ham and pork.  Yum!  I’m also going to try a Paleo yeast bread found at Paleomom.com. I don’t need bread everyday – but the idea of a Cuban sandwich with out bread (using cabbage or mushrooms or just meat and mustard and pickles) makes me sad.  Cross your fingers that the Paleomom’s recipe turns out well for me!

Correction – I WAS going to try and make the Paleo yeast bread found on paleomom.com, but Lolly came home with a massive project due the on Tuesday and so I spent my evening guiding a research paper on Arctic Wolves.  Fun fact: Arctic Wolves have furry paws so their feet don’t get cold on the tundra.  So I know more than I ever wanted to about wolves, but I have no idea how Paleo Yeast Bread tastes.  But tomorrow is another day.  And since I get the night off from dinner cookery, I’m hoping to get the baking done!

Tuesday – Mardi Gras here in the states!  or Pancake Day in the UK.  And it’s pancake day for us too!  We’re going to a pancake dinner at our church for dinner tonight!  Lolly wants thin British Style pancakes with lemon and sugar.  We’ll be bringing our own since I don’t think that’s going to be on offer 😉  Lucy loves to drown her American Style Flapjacks in not-quite-Maple Syrup.  Kevin wants to flip pancakes in the air like Daddy Pig (I DO NOT want pancakes stuck to my ceiling Daddy Pig!) and then drown them in real-maple-syrup.  I want Pancakes, but they are most definitely not Paleo.  So, I’m gonna make some shrimp and chicken jambalaya over cauliflower rice at lunch time to feel that Big Easy spirit, and then stick to sausage and maple syrup at the Pancake Dinner (and probably a second helping of Jambalaya when I get home!)

Wednesday – Carrot, Swede (Rutabaga) and Coriander Soup with Crusty Bread.  If the bread works out I’ll have bread with lashings of apple butter along with.  If the bread doesn’t work out I’ll just skip it.  And I’m going to add Crispy bacon crumbles on the soup to provide much needed protein.

Thursday – Kevin’s in the Kitchen and he’s taking on the Jamie’s 30 minute meals Beef Hash with Jacket Potatoes and Salad with Green Goddess Dressing minus the Butter Beans.  IF I wasn’t trying to be all Paleo, those beans are absolutely divine.  I wonder if I can make something similar with diced white sweet potatoes instead…hmmmm.  But that’s a recipe for another day.

Friday – Happy Birthday Lolly!  We’ll be making Pizza of course!  But since its now Lent we’ll go meatless.  Since it’s Lolly’s birthday we’ll go Pokemon!  Red peppers, tomatoes and cauliflower, black olives and cheese to make Pokeball pizzas and of course we’re watching a Pokemon movie!

Saturday – Happy Birthday Lolly Part 2 – Since I expect I’ll be run ragged at the Pokemon Party I’m planning a crock pot dinner for tonight.  Crock Pot White Chicken Chili in fact.  I’m still trying to find a good recipe that doesn’t involve coconut.  I don’t want this to taste like a Thai soup, I want chili!  It may end up being more like chicken tortilla soup (minus the tortillas).

Sunday – Roast Turkey (no its not Thanksgiving) and a tray bake of sweet potato rounds, brussel sprouts, red onions and parsnips and a homemade cranberry orange compote.

For desserts we’re having Eton Mess since that is one of Lolly’s Favorites and strawberries are still cheap in the stores down here.  I’m not sure where the name came from but there is a wikipedia article about it.  However as I tell my kids, Wikipedia is facts about facts…not the facts themselves, so I’m not sure how accurate this information actually is.  But history aside, Eton Mess – a delicious combination of strawberries, whipped cream and broken meringues is a real treat.   I tried to make this last weekend for our picnic outing, but ended up substituting lady fingers for meringues and making a sort of Strawberry-Mi-Sue instead.  This time I’m making my own meringues since I can’t seem to find those in stores.  Oh Trader Joe – why have you forsaken me?  And I suppose we’ll have to play a little cricket to go along with our dessert.  Ready Bowler?

Valentine’s Day, Shmalentine’s Day

I’m completely and totally not into Valentine’s Day.  My children usually hate it.  The whole forced to bring in something for everyone in the class even the person who makes you feel awful day after day part of the equation can be overwhelmingly upsetting when you’re in elementary school…or high school.  However Lucy (and her Boyfriend!) have plans for Valentine’s Day.  She’s been cooking up some plan for a movie date and making him a box of treats.  She also mentioned making him brownies.  Young love!

The real kicker though is that for some inexplicable reason Ella is actually looking forward to it as well.  Despite her love of all things hearts and pink she’s never been too enthusiastic about this holiday.  She says it always makes her feel left out.  Awwww, my baby!  Well this year, the year of the Fenniken (for those that follow the Pokemon astrological calendar), I found her just the Valentine Poem:

Charmander is Red(ish-orange),

Squirtle is Blue,

If You were a Pokemon,

I would choose You!

And for the last 11 years Kevin and I have had more to celebrate on February 11th rather than the 14th.  February 11 is the day that we got engaged.  He kneeled on a rock out on Olmsted Island in Great Falls MD, sang me a beautiful song and asked me to be his wife.  Of course I said yes!  Greatest Not Valentine’s Day Ever!

So in honor of Valentine’s Day and Not Valentine’s Day we’re having a very pink, red and strawberry day.  Starting with strawberry friands adapted from a similar recipe from one of the most beautiful blogs/cookbooks of all time “What Katie Ate” by Katie Quinn Davis.  So what the heck is a Friand?.  Friands are similar to muffins, but they’re made with almond meal instead of wheat flour (so already heading to a Paleo Place of Happiness!).  They’re originally a French food, known over there as financier, although they are super popular in Australia and known there as friands.  Any which way, they’re very tasty and make an excellent dessert or can stand in as a paleo breakfast muffin.

For dinner we’re still having Tacos…’cause its still Tuesday, but I thought I’d make a special dessert in honor of the day.  And since Ella is still undecided about chocolate, (sometimes I wonder where we went wrong…honestly how can she NOT like chocolate?) I decided to make panna cotta with strawberry elderflower compote instead.

Panna cotta is like grown up creamy jello/pudding.  The first time I can recall having panna cotta was at River Cottage (see, there it is again!).  We harvested the little yellow flower buds from a Scottish Broom Hedge (which incidentally has an almost tropical smell to it) and steeped them in milk before adding gelatin and sugar and letting them set up to a seductively wobbly texture.  Yes, wobbly can be seductive.  But for Valentine’s Day I think I’ll add a wee dram of elderflower cordial (found at Ikea of all places!).  It’s very sugary and not very Paleo but come on…it is Valentine’s Day!  You could skip the cordial and add a bit of vanilla extract and or vanilla seed pod to be more paleo.  I should also mention that while this recipe can be made with almond milk (behold a recipe from nom nom Paleo) I plan on making mine with milk and cream.

Here is my adaptation of the BBC Good Food Recipe for Elderflower Panna Cotta but in approximate US measurements and with out the vanilla, I think it competes too much with the very delicate elderflower flavor.

Elderflower Panna Cotta

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

3 oz (by weight) pure cane sugar

4 tbsp elderflower cordial (they call for elderflowers but cordial works fine too)

2 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder (such as Great Lakes or Knox, see my note about gelatin below)

Note about Gelatin: the recipe originally called for 2 leaves of gelatin…see this website for information on how to convert the amount of powdered gelatin to leaf gelatin.  The information on the website is for making a hard set gelatin, and that’s not what we’re going for here, so take this advice with a measure of salt…er gelatin.  We’re making panna cotta…remember we want a seductive wobble not knox blox or jello jigglers that can withstand the abuse of a toddler before being consumed!)

Scald the milk, cream and sugar in a small sauce pan.  Add the cordial and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.  Then add the gelatin (the liquid should still be hot enough to melt the gelatin) and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.  Allow to cool to room temperature before pouring into ramekins (or a heart shaped silicone muffin mold).  Place them in the fridge for at least 4 hours until set.

When ready to serve, dip the ramekin into hot water briefly before turning out onto a plate.  You may need to use a knife to break the suction at the side of the ramekin.  A slightly damp plate will help you position the panna cotta as you wish (freezing plates and allowing the resulting frost to thaw will give you just the right amount of water).  Garnish with a fruit compote and mint leaves if you want to get fancy.

Or just eat them with a spoon straight from the ramekin.  But you won’t get to see the seductive wobble if you leave them in the ramekins 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Or if you’re like me and mine and mostly give this day a miss, at least have a Happy Two-Desserts-in-One-Day Day!

Photo Credit: BBC Good Food Website, http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/elderflower-panna-cotta-strawberries-brown-butter-crumble