Saturday, October 30, 2010

Colcannon, a new way

Calm yourselves: I did not use these to make dinner.. although that would be kinda cool, considering that it's Halloween soon. Yup, you guessed it. These were part of Halloween plan. Specifics? Borrowed from my scientist sister, used by 13-year-olds, one pretending to be a mad scientist, another the victim with her eyes and mouth sewn closed. Yeah, I need a life.

This week was incredibly crazy. We had taken a little mini-vacation to Ottawa leaving on a Friday night and returning on a Sunday evening. After walking in the sunny crisp autumn air, enjoying the beautiful fall colours, sampling Ottawa's coffee and eating at the most incredible vegan restaurant in the hidden downtown of Gatineau on the Quebec side, reality bit me on Monday. Halloween preparations at school. Oh. My.. I won't continue. Despite the stress, all went well, but I'm exhausted.

After a crazy week of eating cleverly defrosted leftovers in between baking these muffins for the bake sale and these healthy oatmeal cookies to give away instead of candy (yeah yeah .. but you know, the kids liked them!!), and trekking all the way up to the UPS pick-up centre near York University (don't EVER send or receive anything from UPS) it was time for some cooking. And it was comfort food that we were both craving. Calm yourselves. I did not eat peanut butter for dinner .. although I thought about it. Instead, we made a comforting dish of potatoes and cabbage -- our very own version of colcannon. Traditionally, colcannon is just mashed potatoes with boiled cabbage mixed in. At Halloween, it was served with small coins in the middle as prizes. We skipped that part ... I was all Halloweened out! But we did fancy it up a little by using red cabbage and adding a beautifully smooth aged cheddar studded with caraway seeds. We also baked it in the oven for bit to the let the cheese get brown and bubbly. Yum! Very comforting and just what we needed to erase week of stress.

Happy Halloween!

Fancied Colcannon

makes 2 large servings

2 medium white potatoes
1 tablespoon of cream or milk
1 cup of shredded red cabbage
a small chunk of crumbled aged cheddar with caraway (or just sprinkle in some caraway seeds)
1 tablespoon of bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until mashable. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Add the cream/milk and mash until desired consistency (we liked a bit of lumps!).

2. Blanch the cabbage for about 2-3 minutes, or until the colour just starts to fade a bit. Add to the mashed potatoes. Crumble in half the cheese and stir. Season to taste.

3. Pour the mixture into a cake pan and top with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Put under the broiler for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese gets brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Coffee Update (it's been a while!)

Cafe 260: double americano, mochacinno and banana chocolate latte (!)
Bisogno Espresso Bar: cappuccino, vanilla soy latte and drip coffee (they steamed my cream!)
I Deal Coffee (Ossington): rooibos tea, drip coffee and cappucino
T.A.N. Coffee: vanilla tea latte with almond milk (!), mochacinno and vanilla soy latte (so good!)
Cafe Novo: soy latte, cappuccino and latte au miel with almond milk (sooooooooo delicious!) enjoyed in the sun with a chococlate truffle brownie and meringues (proceeds going to charity)

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