Cranberry and Pecan Baked Brie

Just as we say good bye to the holidays it seems we enter into another party season. January and February are filled with things like award shows and the Super Bowl as well as other events. The internet is all abuzz with the latest trends in party planning and appetizers. I do love finding new party foods but I have learned my lesson about trying too many new things for the one event. So for me I find it is important to have a selection of standard tried and true recipes that I can default to for parties. And one of those recipes is my baked Brie. This recipe is an old standard for me and it is also a big food weakness of mine. I actually have to limit this to a party to make sure I don’t overindulge. This simple dish is easy to prepare and is a real crowd pleaser. It is great with fresh bread or crackers.

What is your simple, go to appetizer for parties?

Cranberry and Pecan Baked Brie

1 round Brie cheese
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp cranberry sauce
handful of chopped pecans

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Tarka Dhal

*Edited
Sorry for the long silence. Between getting sick and starting a second job I just haven’t had the time to sit down and blog as much as I would like. I am hoping this week to start carving out more time to dedicate to the blogging world so I can get back into things. This post accidentally went out on Thursday minus any images and after I discovered it went out I quickly took it down. So now I am over due it to you so here we go.

A few weeks ago someone asked if anyone had some good Indian Curry recipes, I thought to myself ‘Oh of course I do, I make curry a few times a month’. But then I looked through my posts and I realized I didn’t have as many as I thought I did. Shame on me.

Curry is the national dish of in England and it is a cuisine that we love and enjoy every month. So I am rectifying the lack of good Indian curry dishes with this fantastic lentil curry, Tarka Dhal. I never knew how much I could love lentils until I tried my first lentil curry, which admittedly wasn’t Indian but Malaysian. When I was 14 we went to Malaysia and I was first introduced to lentil curry. I had only eaten one type of curry dish up until that point but I discovered curry is so much more then just one dish. I have to admit I had no idea how vast the curry world was. The possibilities are endless, there are sweet curries, spicy curries, creamy curries, tomato based curries, vegetable curries, meat curries, I really could go on. If I posted a curry recipe every day I probably wouldn’t run out of unique recipes to share after several months. I could almost guarantee that if you don’t like curry there is probably a curry out there for you. Different cultures have their own versions and their own mixture of spices. I was recently introduced to North African curries and now have a new culinary cuisine that I can’t live without.

One of the wonderful things about a Dhal curry (lentil curry) is they are very cheap to make. I keep all of these ingredients on hand so recipes like this make their way into my kitchen frequently when my budget is at its tightest. This recipe was a new one for my to try and I have to admit I was slightly confused by some of the original instructions and I had to make a few changes to match what I had on hand. I am a bit confused by the original recipe’s instructions for what you do with the chillies. The result is a bit strange of a process and I am not sure what it adds but I will say this tasted wonderful so I guess in the end that is all that matters. Right?

Tarka Dhal

250g (1 1/2 c.) red lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear
1 litre (4 1/4 c.) water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 whole green chillies, pricked with a knife (my chillies were large so I just added 2)
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
3 tomatoes
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
Adapted from BBC Food

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Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto

I have a risotto obsession and I am not afraid to admit it. I could eat this creamy rice dish every day of the week and thankfully my family loves it as well so they don’t mind all the experimenting with flavours I do. I just can’t seem to run out of flavour combinations for this tasty dish. And just when I think I found my favourite version I find a new one. So when I saw Becca, from Amuse Your Bouche‘s recipe for a Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto I just had to try it. This slightly sweet and cheesy risotto is perfect as a meat-free dinner option for the whole family. Go check out Becca’s blog and her amazing vegetarian dishes. I hit a cooking block last week as I was struggling to come up with more meat-free ideas for our month challenge and I have been so inspired by her amazing dishes.

Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced (although I like mine sliced in risottos)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, finely grated
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
200g (1 c.) arborio rice
1 litre (4 c.) vegetable stock
50g (3/4 c.) cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
100g (3 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
Recipe from Amuse Your Bouche

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Mushroom Stroganoff #SundaySupper

This week at Sunday Supper is taking a look back at some very retro recipes. Some of us have decided to share the dish as we remember it while the rest of us have decided to give the dish a little make-over. I had to really stop and think about this one, wondering what I would consider a retro recipe? The first one that came to mind was a tuna noodle casserole but I had already done that before. I really wanted it to be a dish that I could remember eating as a kid, but one that I hadn’t already made before. My mom didn’t have too many recipes that she made when I was growing up, tending to alternate between only a few ones she was comfortable making. And I thought at first that I had shared them all. But then it hit me, stroganoff!

I am not sure how I forgot about this one because it was such a classic dish that she made. While her recipe was a basic one it had the depth of a much more complicated dish. She always served it classically over egg noodles. Even though I do love my mom’s recipe I decided to go a different route. Since we are going meat-free this month and since we love mushrooms I thought why not make a mushroom stroganoff.

And let me just say not only was this a fantastic choice but this meal is so simple to put together that it is going to a staple simple week day. I am excited to share this make over of a retro dish and don’t forget to check out the list of fabulous recipes from the rest of the Sunday Supper team.

Mushroom Stroganoff

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion , finely chopped
1 Tbsp paprika
2 garlic cloves , crushed
300g (10oz) mushrooms , chopped
150ml (2/3 c.) low-sodium vegetable stock
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce , or vegetarian alternative
3 Tbsp half-fat soured cream
small bunch parsley , roughly chopped
250g (1 c.) cooked rice
recipe adapted from BBC GoodFood

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Balsamic Braised Red Cabbage

I am not really sure why but I didn’t grow up eating a lot of cabbage. So when I married into my husband’s family who eat a lot of cabbage it was an interesting challenge to learn how to cook something I hadn’t even eaten much before. I started simple and just steamed it which my husband does love but over the past year I have gotten a little more adventurous. My mother-in-law cooked this braised red cabbage a few years ago and I just fell in love. If I hadn’t eaten much green cabbage I had eaten even less red cabbage. It was always one of those things found shredded in those bags of mixed salad that I just loath so I never felt inclined to give it a try. But I was so wrong to not give it a try, this dish is so addicting that I would wager that even someone who claims to hate cabbage would have a hard time not licking the plate.

What ingredient surprised you by being amazing?

Balsalmic Braised Red Cabbage

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 apple, peeled and grated
3 tsp sugar (can use brown sugar)
80mL (1/3 c.) balsamic vinegar

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