I think we are all familiar with those stale sugar-laden filled chocolates that make their appearance in a box, especially around Christmas. You know, the neighbor who thinks that gifting something is better than not, but the rather pathetic excuse for chocolates usually ends up in a staff room or languishing in a pantry until someone in the house gets desperate for a chocolate fix. To no avail, I say, will you get your needed dose of chocolate — just a heavy bite of processed sugar.
More of a savory girl for sure, I still like a small dose of chocolate on occasion. And creamy filled chocolates are still a special treat, especially when they are essentially raw and filled with a healthy dose of homemade raspberry cashew filling. No need to feel guilty about these. If you really want the melt-in-your-mouth experience, then just leave the chocolates out of the freezer for a few minutes before biting into one or two. A fine quality dark chocolate is essential here and I assure you won't be disappointed.
As the astonishing heat and humidity of the past few months seems finally to be settling down in southwestern Ontario, soups become more appealing. I always find the transition from blazing temperatures to cool ones quite an adjustment — a warming bowl of nourishing soup is solacing and comforting and helps the body to adjust.
This particular soup also happens to be easy and fairly light, making it an ideal one for late summer temperatures. It's fairly lightly spiced with some aromatics and fresh mint and some tangy zest from lemon juice and ground sumac. I was smitten with the meaty texture the dried mushrooms added to the bowl. Serve up with rustic bread and your meal is ready.
As I don't usually eat breakfast, smoothies are an ideal way to get needed nutrients to start your day. Fruit is essential for most of my smoothies, along with coconut milk or almond milk and other juices, such as carrot juice and cranberry juice.
This smoothie is one of my tastiest yet and very easy to whiz up in a regular blender — no high speed action needed to make this one that comes together in a few minutes. It's very creamy, with those distinctive mango and banana flavors.
Black-eyed peas have long been one of my favorite legumes, adding a welcome earthiness to dishes comprised of tangy, zesty or spicy flavors that make them a wonderful base in curries. In this nourishing curry, earthiness takes the main stage with roasted eggplant and Swiss chard.