Monday, December 14, 2009

Warming up the house

We had a house warming this weekend, it was a great day. We received a card with a saying that we had already put up on the wall; "May your house be too small to hold all of your friends". That sums up my household philosophy, pretty much.

For the open house I made Raincoast Crisps a la Julie Van Rosendal. They were almost identical to the ones that are $8.99 (!) a box. The recipe makes the equivalent of about four boxes, and probably cost around $10 to make. Also, it wasn't as fussy as you might think; I think it took 20 minutes of actual work, not counting the time it was in the oven.

I also made Wonton Cups with Cream Cheese and Chutney. I used my dad's homemade apricot chutney, and Cranberry Mustard I made this week instead of the recommended Dijon. Very more-ish. The wonton cups were surprisingly easy to make also, and have a great crunch and lightness. I have wonton wrappers left over and think I'll make Wonton Crackers with the rest.

The mustard is the only canning I've done this year, because of the move and lack of time. It was a great recipe because it only makes three half pints; one thing I have learned is the importance of small batches unless you are putting away huge amounts of food from the garden. We are still trying to eat our way through preserves from 2008, well aware that they are almost beyond the point that we should be eating them. It's all a learning curve I guess, learning how many pickled beets you actually eat in a year (answer: not many). But I sure don't want to throw any food away unless I have to. Did you know that the average US household throws away up to half of the food they buy? Pretty obscene. I'm guessing Canada is not much better.

Figuring out the balance between celebrating with plenty and buying so much food that some ends up in the garbage is a tricky thing. This time around was alright I think; we have left over blue cheese but that's alright with me!

The fail of the party would be a spinach artichoke dip that tasted pretty bleh and looked like pea soup. I think I'm giving up, I have made nothing but mediocre spinach art dips from scratch. My guess is that the ones you have in restaurants have cups of mayo and cream cheese, which is why they are so, er, 'good'.

I managed to get as far as having all the ingredients for Rūpjmaizes kārtojums (layered Latvian rye bread dessert) but ran out of time to actually make it. It looks so interesting! And the toasted sweetened rye crumbs smell amazing. Hmm. Now I've got to figure out how to just casually show up somewhere this week with this huge somewhat complicated desert. Any takers?

In the works in the next little while:

Clementine Curd
Orange Liqueur (from a recipe in Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It)
Homemade Irish Cream


Karen Gimbel said...

You could just casually show up at my house with that somewhat elaborate dessert... :D Sounds yummy, and I have a special fondness for rye bread! Loved your Open House, and look forward to seeing you again soon!