Category Archives: Food Blog

Caramel Chestnut Cream Cheese Crumble Bars.

Chestnut cream cheese crumble bars.

Caramel Chestnut cream cheese crumble bars.

For the ultimate sweet treat, try these Chestnut cream cheese crumble bars; a sweet nutty cookie base is topped with an unctuous chestnut cream cheese mixture, some puddles of white chocolate and more lumpy crunchy crumble on top. And in case that wasn’t enough,  a caramel drizzle on top.
The nuttiness is elevated by adding toasted Pecans in the crumble. I love these as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or as a dessert. Chestnuts are so delicious and pair very well with savoury and sweet.
They’re a breeze to make; first you toast your pecans, then to a food processor add all the dry ingredients and pulse, including the pecans, then you add your wet ingredients (including a can of cooked chestnuts) and pulse again. You spread out 2/3 of the crumble onto a cookie sheet and pre bake the base. You make the filling and spread on top, covered by the remaining crumble and bake. That easy. The caramel drizzle is added once the bars have cooled and are cut into squares. So simple, right?
Lusciously decadent but oh so good.

The ingredients are very straight forward, oats (any kind will do), flour, pecans, cream cheese, cooked chestnuts, sugar, butter and some white chocolate chips….

INGREDIENTS:

Crumble:

  • 2 cups / 200 gr. oats (any kind)
  • 1 cup / 120 gr. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup / 30 gr. toasted pecan halves
  • 2/3 cups / 140 gr. butter
  • 1/4 cup / 50 gr coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 60 gr maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling:

  • 1 cup / 200 gr cooked chestnut drained* (see note)
  • 1 cup / 200 gr cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup / 60 gr maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup / 50 gr white chocolate chips (more or less)

TOP:

  • Pecans
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup / 60-70 gr ready made caramel from jar or similar

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre heat your oven to 350 F / 180 C. Line a 8″x 8″/ 20cmx20cm baking tin.

Toast your in pecans in a dry pan until lightly golden. Transfer to a food processor, add the flour and oats and pulse until very fine crumb. Next add the butter, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Run the processor until it comes together and when you take a bit of crumb between your thumb and index finger , it should stick together. Add a little bit of water if it’s still to crumbly.

Press 2/3 of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and pierce with a fork a few times. Bake for 10 minutes at 350F/180 C.

Meanwhile make the filling. Wipe the food processor clean with a paper towel, and add the chestnuts. Run the processor until the chestnuts are very fine. Next add the cream cheese, vanilla and maple syrup. Process until creamy. Add the white chocolate chips and pulse just once or twice to combine. Spread the filling over the base, and top with the remainder of the crumb mixture. Scatter with some pecans. Place back into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cut into 16 squares and drizzle with the caramel.

Enjoy!

NOTE: the chestnuts usually come in a tin or in packs, either one is fine as long as they are cooked and drained. Even fresh ones cooked at home is fine too.

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Wild Boar Stew with Pomegranate

Wild Boar Stew with Pomegranate


This meltingly tender Boar stew is simmered for hours with onions and smoky bacon in a red wine sauce, with the addition of Pomegranate molasses and Pomegranate juice to achieve a dark and rich stew that becomes seriously tender. This is one of those dishes that never fails to please.


The addition of Pomegranate enhances the flavor of the meat and pairs perfectly, making the stew extra tender and adding a hint of sweetness.
Comfort cooking is one of the pleasures of the cooler months and this wild boar stew is the perfect example. It is quick to put together and then simmers for a few hours filling the air with irresistible aroma. The thought of meat simmering for hours on the stove is infinitely comforting to me.

I have added some warm spices in just the right amount to give extra flavour without overpowering the boar.
This recipe is enough for 4 to 6 people but can easily be doubled and half can be frozen for another day.



INGREDIENTS:


2 ½ pounds wild boar cut into 1 inch cubes (meat cut from the leg)
Salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon all spice
2 tablespoons flour for coating meat
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
6 large carrots, peeled and cut thick
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons Pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup red wine
1 cup unsweetened Pomegranate juice
2-3 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh Marjoram
2 Bay leaves, whole
2 teaspoons Fennel seeds
2 inch stick of cinnamon
2 to 3 tablespoons red current or other berry jam or jelly
Beurre Manié:
Mix together with your fingers or a small spoon,
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour



INSTRUCTIONS:

Get out a big cast iron pot with lid if you have it, otherwise ant heavy bottomed pan with lid will do.
Put it on the stove and turn up the heat to high.
Add the olive oil and bacon to the pan, fry until golden and crispy and remove to a plate.
Toss the boar with the salt, pepper and all spice and coat in the flour.
Fry the boar in batches in the hot bacon-oil until nice a dark golden brown, remove and place on a plate as you go until all the meat is browned.
Next add the onion and carrot and cook for a few minutes until it has taken colour, then add the garlic, stirring all the time. Add the tomato paste, Pomegranate molasses and honey, stir to coat all the meat and vegetables.
Next add the red wine, the Pomegranate juice and first 2 cups of the beef stock, you can add more as it cooks.
Add the remaining spices; the fresh thyme, Marjoram, Bay leaves, Fennel seeds and cinnamon.
Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 2 and a half to 3 hours, checking in between. Adding more broth if needed.
Stir in the beurre manié in small teaspoon sized balls, to thicken the stew as needed. Any remaining beurre manié may be frozen and is great to have in the freezer.
Before serving the Boar stew, add the jelly to sweeten to taste.
Serve the boar stew with mashed potatoes, noodles or rice. Enjoy. Leftovers are great but highly unlikely.

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Smoky Chili con Carne with Pumpkin

Smoky Chili con carne with Pumpkin is a hearty family favourite full of flavor!

This Chili con carne with Pumpkin is slightly spicy and also has a smoky flavor that makes you want to take just one more bite each time.
A true crowd pleaser that freezes well and even tastes better the next day. The recipe can be easily doubled so you can keep some in the freezer. You can also serve this over a tray of nachos or in tacos. Or how about in a bun? The possibilities are endless…
The recipe itself is a no-brainer, although the ingredient list may seem long it’s put together in minutes. I started off with browning the beef in a heavy based pot, then added the onion and garlic. Then basically you add the remaining ingredients up until the corn meal and just leave it to simmer for about an hour and a half, or until 30 minutes before you want to eat. Finally you add the beans and pumpkin and Voilà…chili. The pumpkin adds a seasonal twist.

Serves : 6

INGREDIENTS;

1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1. lbs. ground beef
1 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, peeled and grated or chopped
2 tsp. ground Cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried Thyme
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. sweet smoked paprika
1 – 2 tsp. chopped chipotles in adobo (depending on how hot you like it)
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tbsp. Liquid Smoke (you may leave out)
2 tsp. sugar
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
2 C. beef stock
2 tbsp. cornmeal (for thickening)
1/4 C. Chopped Coriander reserve some more for serving
1 cup diced peeled pumpkin
1 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed



INSTRUCTIONS:


Heat a large casserole or pot and add the olive oil. Once hot add the beef and fry until brown, add the onion and stir for a few minutes , add the garlic.
Add the spices; cumin, oregano, thyme, chili powder and smoked paprika. Keep stirring
Add the chopped chipotles, the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and the sugar, stir and add the crushed tomatoes.
Add the cocoa and the half cinnamon stick and the beef stock. Simmer for an hour and a half.
Add the drained kidney beans and pumpkin and the chopped coriander, reserving some for serving. Add these about 30 minutes before serving.
Thicken the chili if necessary with some corn meal.
Serve in bowl with avocado slices, sour cream, grated cheese, chopped onion and nachos if desired.

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you.  And please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Amish Baked Oatmeal, healthy version

Amish Baked Oatmeal


A warm and comforting breakfast like Amish Baked Oatmeal is by far our favourite breakfast. Especially now in Fall, when a warm breakfast casserole is so cozy and everyone can dig in. Baked oatmeal is a traditional and comforting Amish breakfast casserole. Unlike regular oatmeal, which is cooked on the stove like a porridge, Amish baked oatmeal is made in the oven and is very very good. Although the authentic Amish casserole has tons of sugar and butter , I have reduced and replaced some of the sugar for maple syrup and just added a tiny bit of butter to make it not only delicious but healthy too.
In Fall we eat this all the time, adding different kinds of fruit like blueberries, or banana, and it’s the only breakfast that keeps us full until lunchtime. Also it’s a great way to get a head start on busy mornings, you could make this in the evening and simply re-heat in the morning. It keeps all week and freezes well too so I usually make double and freeze half, either in individual containers or in one.
It’s crazy good and tastes like a bakery style Vanilla muffin!


For this healthy baked oatmeal recipe, you’ll need:

Eggs – Eggs give lift and give the oatmeal structure, it also adds a good amount of proteins and nutritional value.
Maple syrup – you can adjust the amount to taste, it give the baked oatmeal a caramel like flavor and also depth. Perfect in combination with vanilla extract.
Applesauce– the perfect sugar substitute, use instead of maple syrup when using stevia extract or other sugar substitute.
Baking powder – also for a good lift, making the baked oatmeal more cake-like
Cinnamon and nutmeg – these two spices give the oatmeal the true Amish flavour.
Vanilla extract – use real vanilla if you can, otherwise a good extract. You must incorporate this into the oatmeal for optimal flavor.
Salt – a pinch of salt is what keeps it from tasting bland.
Milk – Use any kind of milk you like, the fattier the milk, the creamier the baked oatmeal will be. Plant milk works great too. I always use oat milk.
Butter – even a few tablespoons can work a miracle, it gives a smooth texture. You may replace it with neutral olive oil or coconut oil. If you don’t want any butter or fat, simply leave out.
Oats – use a combo of both old fashioned and quick oats for the perfect structure balance.
Banana – instead of all the butter.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tbsp. melted butter for baking dish
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ teaspoons salt
1 small very ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs
2 tbsp. melted butter (you could leave this out but it adds good flavor)
¼ cup maple syrup (or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce plus 2 tsp. liquid stevia)
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups milk
1-2 tbsp. brown sugar for sprinkling on top. (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 x 10 inch baking dish, or similar.
In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients, the quick-cooking oats, the old fashioned rolled oats, the baking powder, the cinnamon, the nutmeg and the salt. Stir to combine well.
In a food processor, mix the banana with the eggs, the melted butter, the maple syrup (or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce plus 2 tsp. liquid stevia), the vanilla and the milk.
You can also do this part in another bowl, mashing the banana with a fork and then adding the remaining wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to combine. Pour into the greased baking dish and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is golden brown and appears set. Serve warm with extra milk or fruit.

Enjoy!

Apple Blueberry Maple-Cashew Crumble

With the temperature finally dropping we are really getting in the mood for more comfort food, like this cozy Apple Blueberry Maple Cashew Crumble. This healthy version is made with maple syrup instead of sugar and there’s no butter involved. I have used cashew nuts instead that I blend to a paste, it gives the crumble a nice nutty creamy flavour. The result is so, so good that I don’t think I’ll ever do it any other way.
And since it’s pretty healthy you can even have this for breakfast with a dollop of Greek Yoghurt.
I’ve used frozen blueberries for this recipe because they hold their shape better.
If you can, it is best to soak the nuts for an hour or two, but if you don’t have time to do that, just add two tablespoons of water to the nuts before blending them, this will help them on their way.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Large Apples
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. Maple syrup, for the fruit
  • 1 cup cashew nuts soaked
  • 2 tbsp. soft (coconut) butter
  • 2 1/2 cups oats
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup, for the crumble

METHOD:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 160° C / 320° F
  2. Start by soaking the cashew nuts for about 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Put the oats and salt in a food processor and pulse until it’s flour.
  4. Remove to a bowl.
  5. Drain and blend the cashew nuts in a food processor with the coconut oil until it’s a paste. Add a little water if necessary.
  6. Add maple syrup and vanilla.
  7. Add the oats back to the food processor and pulse to just mixed to a crumble, set aside.
  8. Meanwhile peel the apples, remove the cores and chop them.
  9. Place in a backing dish that you have buttered lightly.
  10. Add the blueberries.
  11. Sprinkle over the flour, cinnamon and the one tablespoon maple syrup and toss to mix.
  12. Scatter the crumble over the fruit.
  13. Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  14. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  15. Serve with (half ) whipped cream.


Enjoy!