Duck Dinner

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waiting for browning

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almost ready for the slow cook

everyone raves about duck. whole duck. we usually portion our birds, but I thought, “eh, what the heck”.  the beer braised muscovy recipe on this site (scroll down or ctrl + F once you’re there to find it) intrigued me … we have a “smoky” beer that we brewed (a little heavy handed on the carmelization of the malt, heh, heh) which worked out deliciously.  I got a little carried away with the dried fruit, so it was a bit overpoweringly sweet.

verdict: nummy.

but I’d still rather portion our birds.  look at all the goodies we get out of duck day vs. whole ducks that each result in a meal or two for a family.

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Halloween treats

yes, this is at least a week late, but I wanted to show off the great treats everyone contributed.

from the top: piped chocolate webs & pumpkins decorated with dried fruits, pumpkin cupcakes with carrot juice coloured coconut oil frosting, home made Jell-O & cream gummy worms and gelatin & black cherry juice gummy worms.

the party was a hit, the kids had a great time, and I didn’t feel bad about the treat options available that K could eat.  score!

Colour Free

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wheat free vegan delicata squash cupcakes with carrot juice coconut frosting

I’m used to avoiding additives, wheat, dairy, eggs, etc. but it gets challenging with a little girl once she’s got friends coming over expecting “normal”.

I don’t do “normal” very well.

nevertheless, this time, I think I did almost normal pretty darned well (even the sugar content was off the chart on these babies – gotta try a vegan confectioner’s sugar-free frosting, now!).  the one thing I’m the most “attagirl” pleased with was the frosting.

carrot juice.

ok, hyper-carrot juice: I blendered three carrots with just enough water to pulpify them not too bad (no, I haven’t got a Blendtec or Vitamix, pity me), I pressed the results through a nut mylk bag, and reduced the juice on the stove until I didn’t dare go any further.  the results were a little off-putting visually (slightly burnt orange separated out like flakes of very old paint floating on the carrier medium), but tasted amazing: super, super sweet & carroty.  I added what probably was just shy of 1 tbsp of this carrot reduction to the coconut frosting and zammy!  look at that gorgeous colour!!  and no weird flavour profile.  beautiful!

and the kids gobbled them up (well, they were still full of sugar…)

Wormy!

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red wigglers

thanks to this great recipe, our home-made Halloween treat worked amazingly well. K brought some to preschool the next day and the kids & teacher honestly thought she’d brought real worms!

Plantain

we discovered the joy of barbequed bananas a number of years ago: I don’t remember what induced me to try it, but we had a hot grill from some kind of post-flesh-conflagration, a bunch of ripe-ish bananas and I love deep fried bananas so I thought “eh, what the heck”.

delicious.  if you’ve never tried, do. stick whole (unpeeled) on still hot (not screaming) but cooling grill.  works fine for oven baking at 350F for about 20 minutes (or until oozing & soft –  might want to stick them in a pan, I use cast iron). must use ripe bananas; kind of disappointing otherwise.

so this week’s findin’ fridays post is related, sort of.

plantain.

Photo of four varieties of bananas.

Photo of four varieties of bananas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

another “what’s that?” from K at the grocery store, and at $0.88 per pound, I figured, “eh, what the heck” and repeated experiment above with plantains (again, post-flesh-conflagration success, this time on the Cobb).

additional notes: also successful oven baked whole at 350F for around 20 minutes, but divine with maple syrup mashed into the scooped-out flesh.  ice cream would be great, too (alas, none here, egg allergy).

apparently acceptable to paleo diets.  whatever.  they’re nummy.  and a cheap treat/dessert.  also great baked & blended with steamed taro root for pudding.

turns out there are a lot of savoury options, too.  check out the links for some other plantain ideas (hmmm…)

Galeux d’Eysines

warty heirloom pumpkin aka Galeux d’Eysines

this week’s Hallowe’en themed findin’ fridays entry is sort of a gardener’s find: “oooh, what a neat (fill in the blank) let’s buy the seeds and try it!!”

after two seasons of struggling to grow this darned thing, we finally got a crop. small, but there. yeah, we were not really babysitting our pumpkin patch that well this year, sigh.

verdict? eh. maybe we’ll try again next year, but the flavour, supposedly the best, sweetest pumpkin of all, doesn’t compare even to the Marina di Chioggia or Uchiki Kuri that we’d grown (successfully) before.

maybe it’ll get another chance. maybe not.

“Happy” Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

multiple allergies, plus trying to heal “leaky gut” and reduce possibilities for problems down the road = very challenging at candy season.  hard enough for us adults; try explaining to a 3 year old why she can’t have that cupcake, or those candies, or… and explaining to friends and family why it’s not “oh just a little treat, it won’t matter”.

what to do?

here are some stellar suggestions/recipes for families in similar situations – I’m so going to try some of these!

ohlardy’s home made from scratch non-jello gummy worms

20somethingallergies’ a few really awesome non-candy sweet tooth alternatives

hellyeahitsvegan’s vegan pumpkin cupcakes with coconut oil frosting

homemademommy’s three ingredient maple pecan candies (I’ll try with coconut oil & almonds)

sealemon’s DIY slime (part I) and DIY slime (part II) for a completely food-free fun way to entertain halloween style

and my personal favourite: glow sticks!