Cloves, what do you do with this spice?

Cloves may look like hardware nails, but they are actually the dried unopened flower buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree. Cloves can be bought whole or in the ground form. Whole cloves are much more aromatic and flavoursome and if possible try to buy whole cloves as opposed to the ground powder.

Cloves… the “what do you do with this spice?”

Although some cooking recipes will call for ground clove powder, it is possible for you to grind the whole cloves at home. Using a pestle and mortar to grind the cloves is not the best choice, and if possible try to use an electric grinder of some sort, such as a coffee grinder. If you do not have one to hand, you could place the cloves in a plastic bag and crush them with a hammer.

Cloves, as with a number of other spices, may be used and enjoyed in both sweet and savoury dishes. They have a warming, sweet and spicy taste that is suited to curries, marinades or stews, or milk puddings, apple pie or mulled wine.

Making Clove Tea

You will Need:
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp dried cloves
Spice grinder or mortar and pestle
Small mesh strainer

Step 1
Buy whole cloves, as their flavor is more pronounced than that of pre-ground cloves.

Step 2
Grind one tablespoon of whole cloves per cup of tea with a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. The clove should not be completely pulverized into a powder but should be ground down to small pieces to allow for straining.

Step 3
Boil one cup of water (one cup of water per cup of tea you wish to prepare). Leave the pot over the heat source, but turn it off.

Step 4
Add the ground cloves to the hot water. You can also add other herbs or spices, like dandelion or stevia. Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes for a weaker-flavored brew and up to 20 minutes for a strongly-flavored brew.

Step 5
Pour the tea through a mesh strainer to filter out the cloves. Dispose of the solids in the strainer, and the clove tea is ready to be served.

Step 6
Sweeten the clove tea to taste with sugar or honey if desired.

Tips
If you make extra, you can refrigerate clove tea in a pitcher. It will keep for a few days. Store whole cloves in a tightly sealed glass container, and keep …

Love Love Food to participate in 3rd annual Tasting in the Glens

Join Love Love Food at the 3rd annual Tasting in the Glens on September 8th, 2012

Love Love Food will one of the food related vendors at the 3rd edition of Tasting in the Glens. This very well attended event for wine, beer and food enthusiasts will be held at the Metcalfe Centre (Fairgrounds) in Maxville, Ontario on September 8th, 2012 from 2pm to 7pm.

Love Love Food will be offering samples of many of our jellies and jams (and new ones too). Expect some delicious foodie surprises at this not to be missed event.

This event will bring together Ontario VQA wineries, microwbreweries, restaurants and caterers to offer guests a taste of their delights – this is a fundraiser in support of Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Tickets will be $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Advance tickets are ONLY available at the Alexandria and Maxville Scotiabank locations.

This year, the Glengarry Memorial Hospital Foundation is very pleased to be featuring:
RENATA CLINGEN, AWARD WINNING MIXOLOGIST

Renata will be creating her award winning beverages for all to enjoy – Renata currently resides and works in Toronto.

Don’t forget to buy your tickets early and see you on the 8th.

Love and Glengarry…

Preserve this, preserve that

This past summer I discovered a new passion; preserves.

This all started when I came to realize in July that I had way too many tomatoes in the garden… we went a little crazy this year (like previous years) when planting the San Marzano tomato plants. I put my culinary hat on and started to think: what can I do with all of these? Then I remembered that in the summer I often make a salsa, actually it’s a uncooked fresh salsa. So it dawned on me, why not can it. And that’s when it took off. I started to give some to friends and family, then then started to tell me you should sell this stuff! So I did, at our local farmers’ market I took a booth and voila, the rest is preserved in history.

Here’s a shameless plug for my preserves; with the holidays fast approaching, did you know you can place orders for the LoveLoveFood preserves? Just sent me an email and I’ll hook you up. My preserves haven’t made it to the magazines, but they’ve made their way into some local culinary gathering around town, even some of them have been shipped (as part of a care package) to some far away land. This being said,

Being someone who loves to cook, but more importantly experiment with foods, I started to see what else could I make as a preserve with the abundance of vegetables from my garden? The logical next step in my preserve road trip was a pepper jelly. I like a bit of kick to my food (spicy), so there was no reason for me to make a plain Jane jelly, so I did a bit of research on what was the basic jelly recipe and added my gourmet touch. This is where Rubies and Diamonds Jelly was born. This apricot based jelly has 5 types of peppers in it (bell, poblano, habañero, hungarian, jalapeño and cayenne). Well, many hundreds jars of later this became my #1 seller.

As I’m a big fan of wine, I decide to see how I could incorporate this tasty liquid in my preserves. This is when a selection of wine based jellies took a life of its own. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay… and even a Peach and Brandy one.

Then Thanksgiving came around, so naturally I had to make some cranberry sauces, I made one that …

Zucchini & Chocolate Cake

Zucchini’s are now in season, and yes when these wonderful vegetables start growing in your garden, they just don’t stop.

You cook these on the BBQ with a little bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper. You can also grate the zucchini and make this oh so moist cake.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (you can use chips instead)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 x 13 inch pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt; stir into the egg mixture. Fold chocolate into mixture. Pour into the pan.
  3. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until done.

Love notes: you can substitute the vegetable oil for olive oil; it will give a quite nice earthy taste to this cake. As for the dark chocolate… don’t be afraid to splurge on the best one you can find. In this recipe I used Brix (it’s a wine chocolate, but works very well in cooking).

Love and Zucchini