Cottage Cooking and Ripe From Around Here Testing

July 1st, 2009 · Lisa · Recipe testing, RFAH · Comments

Ahh…a weekend at the cottage is an incredible opportunity to tear yourself away from technology, catch up on important reading and celebrate fantastic food with great friends.

This is what it looks like from my cottage at 5:15 am. I love sitting on the dock with a cup of tea when it feels like the entire world is asleep.

Everyone pitched in to prepare some pretty spectacular meals. Our friends arrived with an amazing array of summer salads and impressed us with a dinner of spicy fajitas on Saturday night. My brother and I took advantage of the chance to cook together to prepare some more dishes from Vegan Brunch.

The polenta rancheros were a great brunch addition to enjoy after a nice dip in the Big Clear Lake (that’s where my cottage is). These spicy black beans were topped with warm polenta and guacamole.
Here is Isa’s simple guacamole. My brother just couldn’t believe that it didn’t call for garlic in the list of ingredients. I tried to tell him that the traditional Mexican recipe is garlic-free…but he was not convinced. The flavour of this condiment did not suffer from the elimination of the ubiquitous garlic clove.
Here is the polenta for the rancheros. I tried to make it look all fancy with little dots of hot sauce and a sprig of cilantro.

On the same plate we presented a Tofu Benny with Hollandaise sauce. I recently found the essential black salt ingredient on an excursion to Kensington market. I couldn’t believe the eggyflavour that ensconced the kitchen every time we opened the salt shaker. It is pretty pungent stuff! The Benny recipe calls for just the right amount of this salt to impart that distinctive egg flavour without being over powering. This is an amazing dish-impressive, filling, and delicious.

I also prepared the burnt broccoli that Isa suggests as an omelet filling in Vegan Brunch. It was a perfect side dish topped with the extra Hollandaise sauce.
While at the cottage I also tested a few of Jae Steele’s recipes for her upcoming book Ripe from Around Here. I have had the pleasure of cooking with Jae in her kitchen over the last month and a half – and it was great to have the chance to try some of the recipes she has created to celebrate the local bounty in my cottage kitchen.
First up: Citrusy asparagus. This is exactly how asparagus deserves to be treated and enjoyed.
Jae’s Old fashioned oatmeal cookies were an amazing source of delicious energy throughout the long weekend. I could canoe across any lake if these cookies were the reward. They are really comforting and nostalgic in flavour. Each bite brought me back to warm afternoons in my kitchen baking cookies with my mom.
I also tested the roasted balsamic brussels sprouts but we enjoyed those caramelized balls too much and I forgot to grab a photo.

To keep everything relaxing, we also enjoyed a lot of really simple dishes.

Before heading to the cottage I baked a couple of sourdough loaves, including a garlic and rosemary variety that we enjoyed topped with a spicy hummus.

Green salads, with creamy avocado and sprouts were available at every meal.

We also smothered some local berries in Ani Phyo’s frangipane cream. This is a really fantastic compliment to flavours of Ontario’s strawberries. I spent Canada Day picking 20 lbs of strawberries so I expect that this frangipanecream will be on the menu at my house for the next few months.

3 Comments

  1. Posted July 3, 2009 at 9:24 am

    You have awakened my appetites both for these foodstuffs and for cottage livin'.

  2. Posted July 3, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Oh, another cookbook I can't wait for! Looks like there will be plenty of delicious things to try…

  3. Posted July 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Dorph,
    It is definately time to get thee to a cottage…the weather is perfect for lounging on a dock and enjoying simple, delicious food.

    Hannah,
    You will enjoy Ripe from Around Here. It has encouraged me to try a lot of new ingredients- like dandelion greens and lovage. I'm learning a lot in the process.

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