Strawberry Crumble Bars

Strawberry Crumble Bars | www.purplehousecafe.com

This incredible eat-it-straight-out-of-the-fridge recipe for strawberry crumble bars is up on Nalumana Women’s Wellness today – head over there for the recipe!

Warm Spiced Almond Milk

Warm Spiced Almond Milk | www.purplehousecafe.com

Sometimes you just need a little comfort at the end of a long day. Like a hug that wraps you tight or the familiarity of your favourite pj’s, this spiced almond milk is nourishment and nurturing, all in one mug. It’s not an extravagant indulgence, really, so feel free to make it part of your nightly routine. You might find that just the thought of winding down with a warm drink is relaxing, all on its own.

It seems silly to call this a recipe, perhaps: just fill your favourite mug with almond milk. Pour in about a half teaspoon of vanilla extract, a few sprinkles of cinnamon and a few of cardamom. Warm in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes, and sweeten with honey.

This is a cross-posting from my new blog, Nalumana Women’s Wellness.

Date Night Feta Dip with Pistachios, Chili Honey and Mint

Feta Dip | www.purplehousecafe.com  

My love language is most definitely, undeniably, food. It took me a long time to see the pattern: my personal rewards for a job well done, reasons to get together with friends that had fallen out of touch and ways to to connect with my husband all centred around eating great food. When my husband and I first moved in together, I remember being shocked by my own domesticity, and it was during that time that I learned to massage the starch from arborio rice to make the perfect risotto, and took up the challenge of creating a multi-course Indian meal on my stove with two broken burners. I realize now that it was the best way I knew how to show him how much he meant to me, and that I was committed to the life we were growing together. I have a twinge of sadness, nowadays, when I realize that the realities of the 9-5 with two kids in tow (one of whom is fairly particular, in the way of toddlers, about what she eats) has caused us to rely more on those quickly whipped together weeknight standards that lack the flourish of Sunday dinner, or a romantic meal for two. My heart is in it, surely, but there rarely seem to be enough hours in the day.

Feta Dip | www.purplehousecafe.com  

I love the idea that a fellow food blogger and food-as-love-language enthusiast Ashley Rodriguez had: once a week, she and her husband put their three children to bed and then share a special dinner date together in the comfort of their own home. The concept resonated strongly with her readers, and she published a cookbook called “Date Night In” just recently. It occurred to me, though, that an evening of sharing food with my love doesn’t even have to be as elaborate as a three course meal with accompanying cocktail: it can be as simple as a creative snack assembled easily and enjoyed together – even for only as long as a small bowl of whipped feta and fancy crackers lasts. This dip is remarkably exquisite considering the ease with which it can be pulled together; the flavours of sweet heat, fresh mint and salty cheese are punctuated by each crunch into a lightly roasted pistachio, and soon you’ll find yourself chasing down the perfect combination of these components to top each cracker.  

Feta Dip | www.purplehousecafe.com

 

How do you connect with your partner or other loved ones? Do you make it a regular habit?

 

This is a cross-posting from my new blog, Nalumana Women’s Wellness. 

Feta Dip with Pistachios, Chili Honey and Mint
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup feta cheese
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 1/3 cup pistachios, lightly roasted and chopped
  4. 1/4 honey
  5. 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  6. 1 tablespoon mint, chiffonade
Instructions
  1. Combine the honey and chili flakes in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, blend feta cheese and olive oil. You may need to adjust the amount of olive oil depending on the consistency and moisture of your cheese: the mixture, when blended, should be smooth and creamy.
  3. Place whipped feta in a serving bowl. Top with pistachios, chili honey and mint. Enjoy!
Adapted from Segovia Tapas Bar
Adapted from Segovia Tapas Bar
Purple House Café http://www.purplehousecafe.com/

Traditional Groaning Cake

They say that when a woman is in labour, cracking eggs to make a groaning cake will make her labour shorter, and the scent of the cake will ease her pain.

Maybe, maybe not…but the act of lovingly preparing a cake during labour – or anytime – can be meditative, and a way of doting on your unborn baby and your beautiful pregnant self.

This is a cross-posting from my new site, Nalumana Women’s Wellness.

 

Traditional Groaning Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 2 tsp. baking powder
  3. 1 tsp. baking soda
  4. 2 tsp. cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  6. 1 1/3 cups sugar
  7. 3 eggs
  8. ½ cup oil
  9. ½ cup orange juice
  10. ¼ cup molasses
  11. 1 ½ cups apple (grated, no skin)
  12. 1 tsp. almond extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and then combine. Stir until just incorporated.
  3. Pour out the batter into a greased loaf pan or into a muffin tin lined with paper liners. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin/the loaf comes out clean (muffins probably won’t take the full baking time).
Adapted from Ami McKay
Adapted from Ami McKay
Purple House Café http://www.purplehousecafe.com/

Kale Salad with Honey Pepper Bacon, Pistachios and Parmesan

Kale Salad | www.purplehousecafe.com

This recipe is the perfect balance of healthy-not healthy, which, in my mind, truly makes the perfect salad. Kale just goes so well with bacon!

I suppose this is hardly a recipe at all: tear up some kale leaves and massage them in a large bowl with about a tablespoon of olive oil. This softens the leaves and makes them easier to eat, not to mention beautifully, luxuriantly green. Meanwhile, cut 2-3 strips of bacon into chunks and fry. Once the bacon has reached your preferred level of crispy, remove from the heat, drain off as much fat as you can, and drizzle liberally (very liberally!) with honey, and then freshly ground pepper (also liberally!). Allow the heat remaining in the pan to caramelize the honey and bacon, stirring every few minutes to ensure an even coating of honey on the bacon.

Add about a quarter cup of very finely chopped pistachios to your kale, and along with that, shave plenty of fresh Parmesan cheese into your salad as well. Once it’s mostly cooled, add the bacon.

Kale Salad | www.purplehousecafe.com

This salad needs the tartness of lemon to balance out the salty/sweet bacon and earthy nuts and cheese. I achieved this by mixing, half and half, some lemon white balsamic vinegar I had with some good quality olive oil. If you’re lacking in the lemon white balsamic vinegar department, whisk up equal parts olive oil and lemon juice, along with a half part of honey to thicken and sweeten.

Toss the salad components and dressing together and serve. Enjoy!

This is a cross-posting from my new site, Nalumana Women’s Wellness.