Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Purple Cauliflower Curry

2 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions , chopped fine (about 2 cups)
12 ounces potatoes , scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 heads of roasted garlic ,
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 serrano chiles , ribs, seeds, and flesh minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 medium head purple or white cauliflower , trimmed, cored, and cut into 1-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , pulsed in food processor until nearly smooth with 1/4-inch pieces visible
1 1/4 cups water
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas , drained and rinsed
1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk


Roast all vegetable for 40 min at 400 F, dusted with curry powder, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil

Toast curry powder and garam masala in small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until spices darken slightly and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove spices from skillet and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized and potatoes are golden brown on edges, about 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Clear center of pan and add remaining tablespoon oil, garlic, ginger, chile, and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add toasted spices and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute longer.

Add tomatoes, chickpeas, potatoes, cauliflower and 1 teaspoon salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are heated through.

Serve with rice, I used Uncle Ben's 90 sec. Brown Rice, and a sliced cucumber salad with mint yoghurt dressing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Beer Bread

I just made this tonight to go with a home made Tomatoes From The Garden Soup. Very tasty.

I wanted to try pumpkin beer, as I had it on hand and it's a bit sweet. It went very well with the soup but was sweet enough to use for bread pudding or shortcake. This is very easy and smells and just like home-made yeast bread, without the kneading. In fact, the key is not to stir it very much so the beer bubbles remain inflated. Make sure to pick a beer with lots of CO2.

I think I may try a Lambic raspberry beer for a dessert treat, and Rogues Dead Guy Ale for Chili.

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 bottle (12 ounces)pumpkin beer, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the beer all at once, mixing as little as possible; the batter should be lumpy.

Pour the batter into a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan and brush with the melted butter. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lime Ginger Pineapple Upside Down Gingerbread Cake

You can use a 9-inch pan with sides that are at least 2 inches high. Alternatively, a 10-inch ovensafe skillet (either cast iron or stainless steel) can be used not only to cook the pineapple but to bake the cake as well. If using a skillet instead of a cake pan, cool the juices directly in the skillet while making the batter; it's OK if the skillet is still warm when the batter is added. I like it with Whipped cream that has candied ginger and lime zest folded in, ice cream is good too. This is best served warm and I heat up the left over slices in the microwave for about 10 sec.

I recommend pairing this with an amazing Erath 2008 late harvest Pinot Blanc that I was fortunate to taste yesterday at the winery. This is a sweet wine with enough acid and complexity to stand up to the pineapple''''''s acid. The wine is only available at the winery but what beautiful weather for a bit of a road trip.


Pineapple Topping
1medium fresh pineapple (about 4 pounds), prepared according to illustrations below (about 4 cups prepared fruit)
1cup firmly packed light brown sugar (7 ounces)
1tablespoon grated lime zest
1/4cup fresh squeezedlime juice
3tablespoons unsalted butter
teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon grated ginger root
1 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/2teaspoon table salt
3/4teaspoon ground ginger
8tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), softened but still cool
3/4cup granulated sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
teaspoon vanilla extract
tablespoons molasses
2large eggs at room temperature
1egg white at room temperature
1/3cup whole milk at room temperature


  1. 1. Lightly spray 9-inch round, 2-inch deep cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

  2. 2. For the pineapple topping: Combine pineapple, brown sugar, ginger, and lime zest in 10-inch skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally during first 5 minutes, until pineapple is translucent and has light brown hue, 15 to 18 minutes. Empty fruit and juices into mesh strainer or colander set over medium bowl. Return juices to skillet, leaving pineapple in strainer (you should have about 2 cups cooked fruit). Add lime juice to skillet and simmer juices over medium heat until thickened, beginning to darken, and mixture forms large bubbles, 6 to 8 minutes, adding any more juices released by fruit to skillet after about 4 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla; pour caramel mixture into prepared cake pan. Set aside while preparing cake. (Pineapple will continue to release liquid as it sits; do not add this liquid to already-reduced juice mixture.)

  3. 3. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger in medium bowl; set aside.

  4. 4. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add vanilla and molasses, and beat to combine; one at a time, add whole eggs then egg white, beating well and scraping down bowl after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add about one-third of flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add half of milk and beat until incorporated; repeat, adding half of remaining flour mixture and remaining milk, and finish with remaining flour. Give final stir with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl to ensure that batter is combined. Batter will be thick.

  5. 5. To bake: Working quickly, distribute cooked pineapple in cake pan in even layer, gently pressing fruit into caramel. Using rubber spatula, drop mounds of batter over fruit, then spread batter over fruit and to sides of pan. Tap pan lightly against work surface to release any air bubbles. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack, then place inverted serving platter over cake pan. Invert cake pan and platter together; lift off cake pan. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours; then cut into pieces and serve.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cooking With All Things Trader Joe's

Here at Taste we are very, very fond of Trader Joe's. When I was living in Canada, I didn't buy shoes or clothes when I visited the USA, I bought Trader Joe's staples and declared mango salsa and eggplant tapenade at the border. My husband, who has a sweet tooth, can't go very long without Gingeroo cookies, or a little box of something chocolate.

Of course, as a wine writer, TJ's has a killer selection of reasonably priced wines with a focus on the regional store's local wines.

It's no wonder that my husband spotted a Trader Joe's cookbook at the library, and brought it home for me.

So this morning , over Trader Joe's coffee, I took a look at Cooking With All Things Trader Joe's, by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati. Colorful, easy to read recipes and filled with pictures and wine suggestions, this book had me perusing my TJ pantry items for cooking projects.

Cooking With All Things Trader Joe's is pretty enough to leave on your coffee table and easy enough to get anyone cooking. And that's the beauty of Trader Joe's; quality products at fair prices that can spice up your cooking life without a lot of work.

And now Gunn and Miniati have made it even easier!

Have I made olive tapenade by hand? Yes. But I save time by buying Trader Joe's products; throwing tasty meals together in record time. For instance on page 10 of this book, only a few recipes in, I was stopped by the Apricot Baked Brie recipe. Simple, elegant and fast! The authors suggested, "a big, creamy and oaked Chardonnay, like Toasted Head, which stands up to the richness of the Brie, and has complimentary notes of nectarine and apricot." My kind of pairing note!

I am so taken by the photography, I wanted to know who food stylist was: the authors are! They made the recipes in their home kitchens with real food. As they say in the introduction, "No mashed potatoes covered in motor oil posing as ice cream....and yes, we ate it all after each photo was taken!" So if they can make food so pretty, I can too and so can you.

If you are a Trader Joe's regular this book will help you make the best use of their products. Are you a TJ newbie? Use this book to familiarize yourself with the versatility of TJ products. If you want to learn more about food and wine pairing this is a good introduction. And if you are unlucky enough not to live near a Trader Joe's, these recipes aren't so TJ specific that you can't substitute ingredients.

When my husband and I moved back to the USA, we were happy to discover that Trader Joe's wasn't more than 10 minutes away.

You can buy the book directly from the authors' site or at

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Web 2.O A Taste of Social Media Ethics

Here at Taste! I reach out to the web through my joy of food and wine! This is one of the best ways to find new and old friends and share a world of discoveries through my line of sight, smell, taste, ears and sensations.

Am I the final word on food and wine? - Hardly. I'm a traveller, a voyeur, a seeker, a good listener and a scribe. You make the difference by exposing me to what a chef in Vancouver expresses, or how a tea can transform my morning.

Thank you for finding me, and I'll continue to search for you using the ethics, business model and insight embodied by Web 2.o.

Bon Appetit: lets create some RSS feeds!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fresh Oysters and Irish Whisky

I love oysters on the half shell. I have had amazing oysters that looked like art at C restaurant in Vancouver B.C. I've had them big and small, from all over the world. I found my favorite combination at a small Ottawa, Ontario Canada restaurant called the Whalebone Oyster House, recommended by Norman Hardie Winery in Southern Ontario.

I was touring the local Prince Edward County Wine region and came upon Norman Hardie in his vineyard. He came out of the vineyard and led us down to his cellar tasting room that was carved out the rock. In the mineral smelling cave I tasted his amazing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Cuvee. He then suggest dining at his favorite Ottawa restaurant, The Whalebone.

Now I'm getting to the "top it off well" part of the day. The chef had filled an old-fashioned glass vinegar bottle with single-malt scotch. Two of my favorite indulgences in one mouth-watering muse bouche, Ahhhhhh.

So as a twist for St. Paddy's day, get some fresh oysters and a dram of Irish Whisky; for a smoky option try the peaty Connemara, or for a sweeter note try a 16 year old Bushmills.

(photo from Whalebone website)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Let's have some more Smørrebrød

I tasted my first Smørrebrød in Denmark a number of years ago. A Smørrebrød is an open-faced sandwich served on buttered dark rye bread. The toppings of cheese, herring, meats, eggs and more are laid artistically on top.

I ate at the famous Nyhaven restaurant, Ida Davidsen. They are a friendly, fifth generation family run place that has been making Smørrebrød for close to 100 years. I still remember the salmon, caviar, crayfish on a lick of lime and dill mayo and Rye, and the melt in your mouth liver pate with consomme aspic, onion rings and thinly sliced rare beef; all chased down with aquavit, or akvavit in Danish. Akvavit is a vodka-like shot flavored with caraway, dill, coriander and/ or fennel. Skål!

The Smørrebrød experience in the Netherlands is a bit different. The breakfast buffets contain all the Smørrebrød ingredients on separate plates and you pick and choose what you want on the hearty bread choices. Of course Dutch cheese is the main feature. Many of these buffets are included with the room rate.

But tonight I decided to focus on Danish ingredients for the most part. The Smørrebrøds consisted of Dutch rye bread topped with parsley pesto, Danish Monfars cheese and Danish smoked salmon. I served it with an avocado and tangelo salad in a dill cream dressing on a bed of arugula. I had a glass of Oakton Lane 2007 Chardonnay from San Luis Obispo, which was a good match for the smoked salmon. I got the salmon and the Monfar Brannvinsost, which is an aged Swedish cow's milk cheese, at Ikea. This is an fortrinlig elegant no-cook dinner.

Dill Cream Sauce

2 tbs sour cream
1/4 tsp dried dill
1 tbs White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbs Walnut oil.

Blend well and dress avocado and oranges; then pile on top of shredded arugula.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daoism of Tea, Design a Tea Update

Daoism is the chinese philosophy of getting to "know" something. 

 After discovering Design a Tea a month or so ago I have gotten to know what my favorite morning drink is becoming - tea.

I ordered one of my own blends, Morning Noon and Night, and Design a Tea's Chai.  As you can see in the photo, the tea comes with personalized labels and in decorative and stackable round boxes.  So if you wanted to name a tea after your pet or send birthday wishes to a tea loving friend, this is a better solution than a card.

Brian, the owner of Design a Tea, thoughtfully sent me some samples of the teas I dreamt up in my last post.  He also deducted the $2. I had paid for the original samples, even though I had forgotten to enter the code.  This is good service!

Today I am drinking my Maple Mango Rioobus , and I'm loving it.  It's like drinking memories of home (Canada) with a vacation.  As a person with a good nose, I am impressed with the sent of the teas as you bring them up to you face to drink.  Just like with wine, the smell is as important as the taste.

Hmm, that gives me another idea; I'll work on designing a collection of teas that are representative of the major wine flavours!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Have I Gone Crackers? Pairing Cab Franc with What?

I had an event to go to last night and I was looking to pair an appetizer with some Cabernet Franc wines.  What would go well with the peppery, medium bodied wine?  Cab Franc has a good deal of toothy grip for a medium bodied wine.  The pepper is up front on the palate and these wines, often peter out, on the finish unless there is quite a bit of alcohol to carry the pepper through.

Cab Franc is the parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon, and is more often used in a Bordeaux Blend to add colour and spiciness.  Single varietals, driven by new world practices, is the preferred way to market wine outside of France.  So Cab Franc has come into its own.  The Lang and Reed, from Napa, was one of the wines I tasted at Every Day Wine, in the Alberta neighbourhood of Portland, last night, also know as the NE art district.

When the wine is the star, as in a flight tasting, you want the food to take a more subtle role, to be the supporting cast rather than the main event.  

So to provide a balance between the earthiness, the pepper and the grip, I came up with a Port-Poached Fig Walnut Mascarpone Spread, served with pepper crackers.

It looks a bit like liver pate, unfortunately, but it really does match the wine!  As I have some left over I plan to use it as a butter on a port-soaked french toast,  I will stuff it under the skin on a roast chicken and sandwich it between ginger cookies.  I had it on toast this morning; really good!

I used the crusted Port that I wrote about in an earlier blog.

10 dried Mission figs
5 dried cherries
1/2 c toasted walnuts
1/4 c of Port
1 sprig of rosemary
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 small tub of mascarpone cheese

Poach the figs, 1/2 the sprig of rosemary and cherries in a small pot with the port for 5 minutes on medium heat, set aside.  Meanwhile, toast the walnuts at 325F for 6-8 minutes.

When cool chop the fruit, nuts and rosemary.  Add mascarpone cheese and remainder of poaching juice.  Keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How to Make a Furoshiki Wine Carrier

I found this how-to video on Dr. Vino's site.  Much greener that paper wine bags, and a great way to give a scarf as a gift to those wine chicks in your life. Or as a bandana for your favourite wine dog! Most Furoshiki wine carriers are made with a 24 inch square of fabric.

HOWTO: make a furoshiki wine carrier

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Festive Ale a Winter's Tale

In the deep mid-winter snow lay all about
 Ale is sleeping deeply, waiting for a spout
Micro brews near Montreal 
add some seasonings of the seasons
cloves and spice are very pleasing.
A Festive Ale  throughout a gale
Is just what rev's the revelers, 
one and all.

I'm not much of a poet but good beer is something to be poetic about.  I like Belgian beer, so this Trader Joe's festive Vintage Ale 2008 hits all the right notes, for me.  Dark and sinewy hopps with floral shadings, and spicey notes to tickle the nose.  The head is a beautifully creamy mass of dense bubbles:  Certainly better than the sparkling wine I had on New Year's Eve.  

This Ale is made in Quebec, near Montreal, by Unibroue.  Unibroue makes a wide range of beers, but the focus is on Belgian-style beer such as Maudite (The Damned), Le Fin de Monde (End of the World) and Don Dieu (Gift of God).  Okay, that's hard to live up to if you are a brewer. You are either damned or blessed by god, and if you don't get it right, well, it is the end of the world.  Which brings me to another beer I like, Dead Guys, by Oregon's Rogue Brewery.  Creative names.

The Trader Joe's Vintage Ale is more in keeping with their happy-go-lucky outlook.  Most of Unibroue's beer is bottle, like some wine, on the lees, which means on the yeast sediment.  In beer this helps it age and also gives the beer a cloudy appearance, which enhances the flavours.

The Unibroue site is worth a visit, the way they recommend tasting beer rival the wine course methodology I'm used to. 

 "Pour the beer delicately and move the glass progressively away from the bottle while it fills up, in order to create a proper head of foam, the head must be 3 to 4 centimeters on average," Unibroue instructs.

Good advice!  I won't tell them my last glass of Vintage Ale, poured into a wine glass, spilled over and went up my nose, I had 3 to 4 inches of foam.

I do agree that good beer does deserve to be treated in the same manner as good wine, with attention to detail and respect.  What are you tasting, smelling and savouring?

I was at Trader Joe's this week and they still had a few bottles,  750 ml for $4.99.  Good price and winter isn't over yet.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Design Your Own Tea

My husband found this tea site through his high tech searching.  Design a Tea, caught his eye and it ended up in our share folder.  A few weeks ago I took a look at their site and was surprised to see that you can order samples to try, before you buy.

I love tea and have a box full of interesting flavours and hard core black teas.  I even use Lapsang Souchong as a barbeque smoke, and I flavour salmon dishes with a Lapsang marinade.  I use lavender tea 
to enhance hot apple cider, and I use black tea to make my own foaming Chai.  

I grew up with a British
 grandfather, whose detailed tea preparation rivaled Japanese tea ceremonies.  No bag in a cup with hot tap water for him...or me.

Design a Tea lets you choose a tea base, add flavourings, and create your own unique tea.  Who doesn't love choice.  You can choose your base from black, green, Rooibos and Oolong.  The flavours are too numerous to list but here is what I designed:Rooibos with Margarita and ginger; and black tea with tangerine and cranberry.

I tried the Rooibos this morning, and the aroma that wafted out of the sample was amazing.  Lime, orange, salty, spicy, earthy- WOW.  The delicate sweetness of the Rooibos isn't overshadowed by the flavourings; the taste is refreshing and the ginger lingers on the palate. Rooibos is caffeine-free, so it can be enjoyed all day or even before bed.

I favour using loose tea rather than bagged, but I know I find the grungy tea ball a hassle at times.  About a year ago I found fill-your-own tea bags, made by Cha Cult, which are large enough to let the tea expand.  Brian Pfeiffer, the owner of Design a Tea, calls this expansion "letting the tea dance".  It's cheaper to order loose tea from them, but I ordered my samples with tea bags.  The teaspoon of tea was enough for a whole pot.

Another great suggestion I found on Design a Tea's site was to use the brewed tea leaves in your garden.  I have been adding the tea to my indoor plants, and they seem to love it.  

As I have been writing, the Rooibos Margarita Ginger has cooled, and you know, it still tastes good.  Hmmm, iced tea for summer.  Design a Tea's logo is "where tea leaves dream".  When you can design your own blend, and get two samples for one dollar, let's start dreaming.  Green tea with honey and chestnut, Oolong with Anise, Rooibos with mango and maple, black tea with caramel.......

Friday, January 02, 2009

Sushi Pizza?

When we recently moved to Wilsonville, a rural suburb of Portland, OR, I was surprised we were able to find local restaurants that matched our "I'm too tired to cook" or "I'm not into dishes tonight" moods, that came anywhere close to our local favorites in Vancouver, BC.  

 Vancouver, is a sushi lovers mecca.  A strong asian population and close proximity to the sea makes it hard not to each sushi every night; from an $8 all-you-can-eat to Tojo's magic for $300., and everything in-between.

Portland is dining and drinking hip, but its' "downtown scene" is too far on a rainy night to slump out to, after blogging in my relax duds.  The Willamette Valley and wineries are closer, but sometimes the little town/city atmosphere is just what the tummy orders.

Sushi Ave. is in a little strip mall on our side of the freeway.  It is cozy and family-oriented.  Small children, in high chairs, are ordering the favorites.  One that seems to get the kids' attention is the Sushi Pizza.  To be honest, as we work our way through their interesting offerings, the Sushi Pizza was going to be our last choice because, well, it sounds gross.

Tonight, with the comfort of knowing I was having our two favorites , I bravely suggested the Sushi Pizza.  Silence.  Then a cautious, Allllrrrright.     

And, it was good!  Odd, but good.  The crust is a piece of seaweed with sushi rice as the body, mixed with different seafood and broiled until hot with a sweet sauce and sesame seeds on top.  Smooth, rich, warm and comforting.  

Something a little different from a neighborhood restaurant that is already becoming a favorite.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Maple bacon Salmon with Arugula Salad and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

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Crusted Port an Inventive Non-Vintage, Vintage

Dow's Crusted Port is a non-vintage, vintage. Hmmm. A blend of a number of different years, the wine is produced like a vintage port and is laid down like a vintage wine. It spends two to three years in cask and is bottled without filtration. The wine is then aged for a further three years in bottle. It is called crusted port because of the heavy sediment that forms in the bottle.

It has deep cherry red colour. On the nose, it is like sniffing a bag of dried Rainier cherries with hints of caramel, and plenty of spices. On the palate it is has firm, toothy tannins, a silky acidity and a dry finish. The port shows depth, and would age well. It is priced at the level of a traditional british-style port but has a richness and depth that is more like Vintage or Late Bottled Vintage port.

According to Dow, the grapes are from a number of vineyards including Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira. Following a manual harvest, fermentation took place in autovinification tanks and granite lagares (with foot-treading) for 48 hours before the addition of grape brandy. Matured for two to three years in old oak casks, the wine was bottled and cellared in Vila Nova de Gaia for a further 3 years prior to release.

Foot treading is an old Portuguese village tradition, where the whole town comes out to press grapes with manual foot labour.  Who can argue with tradition when a port has this kind of outcome.

Quebecois Tourtiere for New Year's Day Feasting: Start your diet tomorrow!

How We Say Comfort Food in French!

Ah, tourtiere!  A French Canadian Christmas Eve meat pie dating back as early as 1611. The original recipe used local Tourtes Pigeons, which are now extinct.  Tourte also refers to a deep dish pie plate, and I find it is the best dish to use as it gives lots of room for the filling. 

Today's tourtiere is almost always made with ground pork as the largest part of the mix.  Other meats that are often added are veal and beef.  Some Quebecois restaurants use duck breast and duck liver.  My American husband suggests I give you the pronunciation, toor-tyair, as it is a bit of a mouthful!

I have made tourtiere my New Year's Day dish, and I serve it often as a festive winter meal fit for company.  I had my first tourtiere at my grade 5 French Immersion graduation dinner/dance.  It was very different than the ketchup-imbued, all beef british-style meat pie I was used to.  Rich melt in your mouth pork softness, and brimming
 with gentle herbs.  I try to re-create that  taste memory every year.

This year I couldn't find ground veal, so I opted for Buffalo meat.  It added a richness and depth of meatiness that was surprising.  I also used a reduction of crusted port, chicken stock and shallots, which I poured in through one of the vents of the pie crust, half way through baking.  I based this on a suggestion  by Montreal chef,  Frederic Morin of Restaurant Joe Beef.

Typical seasonings include onions, cloves, cinnamon, sage and savory.  I also add Panko bread crumbs soaked in milk to the raw meat mixture.  The pastry has always been a rich one with 13 tbs of butter and 7 tbs of vegetable oil to 2 1/2 c of flour, it almost turns out like shortbread.

I roasted and glazed the carrots in balsamic vinegar, and added maple syrup, chili and finely diced ham to a can of Northern White Beans.  Everything cooked at 425 F for 40 minutes.

Oddly this meal went well with leftover Sparkling wine from New Year's Eve.  The bubbles cut through the richness and the chardonnay was a rich oaky backdrop.  Revel on!