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We have been getting the most lovely organic leeks and carrots from our local farmer’s market as well as gorgeous fall/winter squashes.  Such a beautiful time of year when the harvest is coming in, the leaves are turning color – one of my favorite seasons.

Leeks seem to be a much underused vegetable – but one that has such great flavor.  I love using them in soups and stews or stuffing’s as well.


3 large leeks, green parts and end cut off

3 medium/large carrots

3/4 cup chicken stock

1 small bay leaf

1 Tblsp. butter

1/4 tsp. dried rubbed Thyme

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

cornstarch to make a slurry (you will not need much)

Cut the carrots in half, then slice on a diagonal.  Lightly steam about 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Cut the greens off of the leeks and the ends (you can save the green parts for soup stock) and slice in half rinse well under cold water to remove and dirt/sand.  Shake off excess water and slice into about 1/2 inch pieces.

Heat up a large skillet, with the butter on low heat.  Add in the leeks and saute about 10 minutes.  Then add in the lightly steamed carrots, chicken stock, bay leaf and seasonings.

Turn down the heat to a low simmer, lid on and simmer about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove lid, (there should not be a whole lot of liquid left just a bit) remove the bay leaf and add the corn starch slurry (just a bit to slightly thicken) stirring well to incorporate.  Check for seasonings and serve hot with any main dish.

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This year, I have endeavored to buy whole fresh salmon – enough to have 7 or 8 in the freezer.  Usually, I will buy pink salmon – I somehow missed my favorite salmon this year which is CoHo.

(in the picture above, we love to serve salmon with organic garlic scape pesto which I make every June to fill the freezer until the following June)

This post brings back memories of last year….for a true fish story you can read it here.

One thing I discovered when buying pre-frozen salmon – it will never taste fresh or even very good for that matter.  The reason for this is the way it is packed.  It is placed in two heavy plastic bags, then put into the freezer.  This will cause freezer burn very easily, and you will also loose a ton of flavor.

If you are fortunate enough to buy “flash frozen” that will ultimately be the tastiest salmon.  As I can not do that, we did discover another way.

Our fish always has the head removed.  If the tail is not removed, slice off before freezing.  Once you have your fresh salmon home from the market, wash well under cold water.  Dry very well with paper towel.  The next step is vital:  Wrap the salmon in plastic wrap very tightly – 4 or 5 times.  Then place the salmon into 2 plastic grocery store bags, wrapping tightly, then tape up any loose ends of the bag.  I mark the tape with the date and the weight of the salmon.  For beautiful, fresh tasting salmon, this method has worked each and every time.

Always thaw in the refrigerator – a 3lb. to 3 1/2 lb. salmon will take about 2 days to thaw thoroughly.

Now for baking.  We have always used the standard rule of thumb:  bake 10 minutes per 1 inch of thickness (at the thickest part of the salmon) at 400-425 degrees.  For some reason, this method has failed me this year.  Perhaps I am still adjusting to a relatively new stove/oven….or perhaps my measuring is just off?  It has seemed to take longer to bake than what was pre-determined by the salmon’s thickness.  One time I even over cooked a salmon which is down right sacrilegious in this household!  My family very graciously did not say anything…but the table was sure quiet that night!

So….finally I have found a perfect solution.  We love the flavor of fresh salmon – simple is always best.

Once your salmon is thawed, give it a good rinse and pat dry with paper towel.  Place the salmon onto a large piece of tin foil.  Slice a few lemons to place inside the cavity, and add a few dabs of butter.

We do not even season with salt and pepper….it is such a delicate tasting salmon, it is good enough to season to your liking once served. Wrap very tightly in the tin foil and place onto a baking sheet.

For a 3 lb. salmon or even slightly over 3 lbs.’s bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes.  Once out of the oven, allow to rest still on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.  Open the foil, and you should be able to easily remove the skin with a flipper exposing beautifully, moist cooked salmon.  We have now used this method of baking salmon for the last 3 fish we have eaten…perfect every time!  Of course for bigger salmons you will need to adjust the cooking times depending on the size of your salmon.  For serving 3 people, we have found with a 3 lb. salmon we get a lovely dinner, salmon salad for lunch, and even 1 more salmon dinner.  Such a beautiful, healthy fish…we will be looking forward to these babies in the dead of winter that is for sure!

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I have never made a double crusted pie before… ahem-mm, as you can see from the photo below, I am no pie master, plus, I cheated!  Normally I always use the never fail Dream Pastry from Bette Hagman’s book:  Bette Hagman Cooks Fast and Healthy.   However, this time I tried Glutino boxed Perfect Pie Crust – we were all pleasantly surprised at how good it is.  No paid advertisement here…just wanted to share something that is new to our household as it is worth sharing for those of you that might like to give this pie crust a try.

For the Pie Crust:  the recipe calls for 1 box of Glutino Pie Crust, 3/4 cup cold butter plus 2 Tblsp butter, 2 eggs, 4 tsp. vinegar, with added water if necessary.  It rolled out quite easily, and when in a pinch for time – this was the way to go!  The inspiration for this recipe can be found here.  Each recipe I have ever tried from Canadian Living or adapted to Gluten Free has never failed – they are always a success.

7 cups chopped/peeled tart apples (I used organic transparent and a few green apples)

juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup organic coconut sugar

3 tblsp. sweet rice four

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tblsp. water

2  9 inch gluten free pie crusts

organic cane sugar – for sprinkling on top of the pie

Roll out your pie crust to line a 9 inch pie plate.  Combine the apples, lime juice and toss in a bowl.  In another bowl, combine the coconut sugar, sweet rice flour and cinnamon, whisking well.  Pour over the apples and toss to coat well, then pour into your pie crust.  Paint the edges of the pie crust lightly with water.  Roll out the 2nd pie crust and place on top of the apples loosely, then pinching the edges.  Whisk the egg yolk with 1 tblsp. water, and brush over the pie crust.  Make a few cross slits in the pie crust with a sharp knife, then lightly sprinkle with the organic cane sugar.

Place your oven rack on the lower 1/3 bottom of the oven.  Preheat to 400 degrees.  Bake the pie at this temperature for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 40 minutes, until golden and the apples are softened.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Lovely served slightly warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

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Recently, we had a very delicious, fresh coleslaw at one our local restaurants.  They used fennel which I did not have on hand, however it would be a lovely addition to this coleslaw.  A great summer salad to serve alongside any main dish.

1/2 a small – medium sized green cabbage

3 medium sized carrots

2 green onions

3 [...]

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We have diligently been trying to eat a Vegetarian dinner in this household at least twice a week.  For me personally, I would never give up meat.  However, it does feel good to cut back a few times a week.  When it comes to eating Vegetarian – it needs to be hearty!  Plus, I am [...]

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Finally with somewhat cooler temperatures, I was able to use my oven without fear of our house becoming an inferno!

These stuffed portobello mushrooms make a lovely lunch or even a main dinner served with a fresh salad.  Easy to make…the only part of the recipe that takes time is to drip the yogurt for 48 [...]

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As I type this, (8:00 am in the morning)  the temperature out side is 30 degrees Celsius/about 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It will only get hotter by 4:00 pm.  In my neck of the woods that is hot, and it is not due to let up any time soon!

On a positive note, we have had the [...]

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Garlic scapes are such a delicious addition to foods whether in stir frys, pesto, or salads they are bound to be tasty!  They do have a short window however, so luckily this year I was  able to get 5- 6 lbs most of which was turned into Garlic Scape Pesto – recipe can be found [...]

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I know….I know.  All of my cakes with white frosting look the same don’t they?  But this, …. this is Orange Chiffon Cake.  Yes, Gluten Free Orange Chiffon Cake. This is a cake that has always been a family favorite for us.  Once I went gluten free many years ago, I thought that would be [...]

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There are I believe, 2 or 3 tomato soup recipes on this blog….one of my favorite soups!

Recently we had dinner at a local gluten free restaurant that served one of the best Italian tomato soups I have ever had.  It was rich, full of flavor, and tasted almost like an Italian marinara soup.  I started [...]