Friday, November 14, 2014

bring on the comfort food

i just checked the forecast for tomorrow...it's depressing.

if you plan on hibernating, swing by my table at the market first to stock up on food. my menu is back to normal & i have lots of classic comfort foods to get you through this first official cold snap.

i made three new main courses this week.

the first is the ultimate in comfort food - smokey mac & cheese. it's seriously cheesy with foxhill cheese curds, parmesan, mozzarella & aged cheddar. there's also double smoked bacon, roasted tomatoes, corn, scallions & a touch of chipotle to add extra smokiness.


small $9  large $18

then i made sweet & spicy pork meatballs using getaway farm's pastured pork. the sauce it nice & tangy and filled with bell peppers, pineapple, carrots, green onions, lime & cilantro. it's served with a side of basmati rice. it's both gluten & dairy free.


small $10  large $20

and lastly, i made moroccan beef meatballs using getaway farm's grassfed beef. they're served in a piquant tomato sauce with fennel seed, sumac, dates, olives, roasted peppers, zucchini & swiss chard. the side dish is harissa quinoa with toasted almonds, green onions & citrus. this is another gluten free, dairy free option.


small $10  large $20

the salads this week are exactly the same as last week: potato & kale, beet & wheatberry, broccoli & bacon.

i do have a couple of new sweet selections this week.

gingerbread cupcakes will be back for the holiday season.


gluten free, spicy chocolate brownies are back.


and i have a brand new treat!


i'm calling them snickerdoodle muffins. they're muffins that are rather reminiscent of cake doughnuts. i added a touch of lemon to make them a bit more interesting & then rolled them in cinnamon sugar to add to their doughnut qualities. i think that they'd be excellent with a cup of coffee for a market morning treat :)

ok time to rest up before another busy weekend...i'm not really relishing the thought of packing the car at 4:30 tomorrow morning in the freezing cold...stupid winter.

sleep well.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Operation Restock

this week i wasn't preoccupied with 37 cakes so i took the time to restock my freezers in a big way.

i started off the week replenishing soups. i made three flavours and they are all vegan, gluten free & paleo!

first up was beet, parsnip & pear:


the sweetness of the parsnips & pears really rounds out the beets. i add some fresh dill at the end just to liven things up a bit.

then it was curried butternut squash:


this batch is not nearly as spicy as i typically make it. there's lots of warm spices, a touch of heat, coconut milk, lime & cilantro.

and finally, i made chai spiced cauliflower soup:


this soup features fennel seed, cardamom & star anise. it's nice and creamy - without using any dairy - with a touch of citrus to brighten it up.

then it was on to meals.

i've had a ton of requests for brisket & blue & it's finally back on the menu this week.


it's red wine braised beef brisket from getaway farm with caramelized onions, turnips & whole grain mustard. it comes with a side of creamy, blue cheese gnocchi, roasted beets & kale. there is also a paleo version with glazed parsnips & carrots in place of the gnocchi.

then it was on to my absolute favourite dish - chile pork & cornbread.


it's big chunks of braised pork shoulder stirred in to a thick chili with blacks beans, bell peppers, corn, chipotle, lime & pickled jalapenos. then it's topped with cheddar cornbread crumbles & green onions. these are most of my favourite flavours combined in to one dish.

then it was time for chicken parmesan - another all time fave!


it's buttermilk marinated chicken breaded with panko & parmesan. it's served over a robust tomato sauce with roasted red peppers, basil & swiss chard and comes with buttered pasta & a generous helping of cheese.

there's also a paleo version with mushrooms, bell peppers and zucchini in place of the pasta & no panko on the chicken.


and with that, the freezers are full once more.

i have another big week planned for next week and then my menu should be completely back to normal...just in time for the cold weather to set in :(

i have 3 salads for the weekend too - broccoli, beet & potato. there are lots of vegan, gluten free & dairy free options for folks to choose from.

and of course i will have loads of sweets.
7 flavours of cupcakes
gluten free cupcakes
breakfast cookies
lemon shortbread bars
maple walnut bars
hello dollies
snickers brownies
goat milk fudge


and since it's friday night, of course i just made another cake:


it's been a pretty busy week in the kitchen. it's time for me to get some rest.

this will be the first weekend in a very long time that i will be at the market both days. word on the street is that sundays are getting slower & slower. i'm really hoping that heading in to the holiday season, things turn around a bit. i'm looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces this weekend & getting back in to the swing of things.

a demain.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

the 37 cake marathon

for those of you following along on my facebook, instagram & twitter feeds last week, you know i made a lot of cake... 37 cakes in fact. 

those who know me well, also know that i hate making cakes. 

this may come as quite a surprise. sure my cakes are pretty & they taste great, but they are a TON of work and super stressful. when i add a single cake to my weekly workload i have to work around it for days, so when i announced that i had accepted an order for 37 cakes for 1 event, people were shocked.

i wasn't even sure if i could do it, but it was a really cool idea for a really cool couple, so i accepted the challenge. adam & ariela got married on sunday. they had a giant wedding. they also wanted to limit the waste generated by their wedding, so they came up with the idea of edible centrepieces instead of a bunch of florals destined for the compost.

when they first came to me with the idea, i had horrible visions of tacky edible arrangements made of out-of-season fruit decked out in chocolate & yogurt. but when they explained they wanted one of my cakes for each table, i warmed up to the idea. it's actually quite flattering that they thought my cakes were pretty enough to stand in for flowers at their wedding.

i was essentially given carte blanche - any flavour, any colour scheme - which is always nice, so i got to play around with palettes & get creative. i've made my fair share of cakes over the past four years so i know which colours work best but i also wanted a nice variety and for the frosting to reflect the flavour hidden within.

there were many, many lists involved with this undertaking. from the # of cakes i wanted to have finished each day, to the pounds of butter i would need, to the delivery schedule, to the cake boards & boxes i would need to transport them to the hotel - there was a lot to consider.  it was rather daunting to think that i had to fill each of these boxes with an ornately frosted cake:


i cleared my schedule for the entire week leading up to their big day. i was quite the recluse just baking & making frosting, designing colour schemes & piping cakes, day in & day out. each cake was two layers with a hefty helping of frosting in between. never before have i gone through so much butter & sugar in a single week.

i was making frosting by the stockpot-ful. 


and thankfully it all came together, i finished slightly ahead of schedule & the cakes were a huge hit at their wedding. this may, in fact, become a new wedding trend - it really is a great idea.

i made 2 or 3 cakes in each of the colour schemes so they had a nice variety.
here they are:

carrot


pink grapefruit


pink grapefuit


vanilla


vanilla


vanilla


lemon-blueberry


lemon-blueberry


red velvet-raspberry


red velvet-raspberry


chocolate-mint


chocolate-mint


chocolate


chocolate



they also ordered 37 dozen mini cupcakes to go with it all!



when it was all said & done my hands ached, my eyeballs burned & i was exhausted, but it may have been the biggest sense of accomplishment i've ever had.

here they all are just before their big debut:


i'd been stressing about this for months & i'm so relieved that it all worked out.


Friday, October 24, 2014

another week bites the dust

this week has been an absolute blur. it feels like i was just writing a blog post yesterday.

i actually had a rather large catering on wednesday - a big buffet dinner for almost 50 people! it was a wedding rehearsal dinner & it all turned out really well.
i made:
goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts on a bed of asparagus, zucchini & roasted tomatoes
creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes
maple glazed roasted root vegetables
creamy rotini with double smoked bacon, swiss chard, butternut squash & loads of cheese
kale caesar salad
dinner rolls
cupcakes
fudge
snickers brownies
lemon shortbreads
maple walnut bars
it was quite a lot of food and monopolized most of my time this week.

i did make a fresh batch of chicken stew for the market. now that we're back in to soup season i'm trying my best to replenish all the options. this batch of stew is packed with carrots, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, peas, herbs and a touch of lemon to brighten it up.
as usual it's $7/500ml serving

the other soups on the menu right now are:
carrot/apple/ginger
roasted red pepper/tomato/chipotle
white bean, lemon & kale
vegan vegetable stew
seafood chowder
green curry chicken (fyi this batch is quite spicy!)

the salads this week are broccoli & vegan potato. the potato is slightly different this week with the addition of kale & celery from my garden.


this is krista (my helper) right after she harvested a bunch of goodies


here are those goodies turned in to salad.

the selection of frozen dinners is actually dwindling a little bit...apparently some demand built up during my september hiatus. come early to stock up. i won't be at the market on sunday and most likely not at all next weekend.

why is that? you ask. well, i will be working on the biggest undertaking in the history of my business! i have an order for
37 CAKES
 yes that's right, 37 cakes. it's for a massive wedding & i'll explain more later but next week I will be a recluse. my days will be filled with batter & buttercream. i may go permanently cross eyed from all the piping and the hand cramps could be debilitating but it will be quite a sight when they're all finished! stay tuned.

hope to see you all tomorrow :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

short & sweet

yet again friday night has crept up on me.

it's hard to believe it's been a week since my pumpkin pie marathon! i hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving & thanks for making my return to the market so successful :)

this week i will be at the market on saturday & sunday - i'll actually have my girl leslie working the table for me on sunday but all the grub will be there.

so this week i was busy restocking. i made new batches of two of my menu staples: beef shepherd's pie & seafood chowder. this batch of chowder is a touch different with the addition of scallops & salmon.

i also made a new batch of pasta primavera. miraculously, my garden is still going strong & this dish is a great way to showcase it. it's fettuccine in a roasted garlic bechamel sauce with parmesan, mozzarella & goat cheese. i used green beans, zucchini, peas & swiss chard from my garden. it's finished off with roasted tomatoes, basil, lemon & white truffle oil.


(this is an old picture - imagine the asparagus is green beans)
small $9  large $18

i still have turkey & dressing pies if you're still craving those thanksgiving flavours, and i promise to bring more green curry chicken soup tomorrow since it sold out so fast last week!

i only made two types of salads today, i was preoccupied with cupcake orders. this week i'll have beet & broccoli, they're the two most popular flavours anyway.

there are loads of sweets too - fudge, cookies, brownies, bars & cupcakes. i've added banana chocolate chip with peanut butter frosting back in to the mix as well.

okee dokee see you over the weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2014

i'm baaaack

hey folks, i'm finally back!

i'll be at the market tomorrow but not sunday this week.

i had a pretty epic day in the kitchen today & made 40 pumpkin pies - a personal record. they're a little bit different with the addition of warming chai spices & have always been pretty popular for thanksgiving.

all week i had planned on writing an elaborate blog post announcing my return, well it turns out baking 40 pies takes a long time & i'm tired, so i'll be brief.

this week i made some seasonal, holiday favourites: turkey & dressing pies & lentil shepherd's pies.

there's also a brand new batch of green curry chicken soup with coconut, lime, cilantro & sweet potato.

the salads this week are: 
beet - pears, fennel, kale, basil, balsamic, maple
broccoli - bacon, almond, red pepper, cranberry
sweet potato - peppers, avocados, lime, cilantro, chipotle (vegan)
potato - dill, green beans, celery, dijon (vegan)

there are loads of cupcakes, brownies, squares, cookies & fudge and a full array of frozen entrees & soups.

see you tomorrow :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

wedding season

i have been so busy catering weddings that the blog has definitely taken a backseat. lately, by the time i finish all of my prep i'm exhausted & can't bring myself to stay up later to write things - hence the tuesday morning blog post to catch everyone up.

this summer has actually been rather busy for freezer meals, they typically don't sell very well during the warmer months but this year has been totally different. last week i made 4 new main courses just to keep a well rounded menu.

also, this saturday will be your LAST OPPORTUNITY to stock up on frozen meals for quite some time. i will be away for the entire month of september!!! i'll be back as of thanksgiving. 

it will actually be leslie (my mini me) working on saturday as i'll be on the amherst shore catering a wedding. if you'd like to pre-order any meals please email me at jenna@littleredkitschn.com just so i can have things organized for her on saturday.

ok here goes with the menu:

beef shepherd's pie - getaway farm beef, tangy gravy, peas, carrots & corn topped with cheddar-green onion mashed potatoes.


i'll also be making the paleo version of it this week with sweet potato puree instead.


both versions are gluten free
small $10  large $20

italian beef ragu: braised getaway farm beef in a robust tomato sauce with mushrooms, peppers, basil, parmesan & topped with mozzarella cheese. the regular version is served over gluten free pasta and the paleo version is served with sauteed zucchini & swiss chard from my garden.


both versions are gluten free
small $10  large $20

sesame ginger pulled pork: getaway farm pork shoulder in a sweet & sour tamari sauce with loads of fresh ginger & sesame. the paleo version is served with roasted broccoli, celery, bok choy, red pepper & sprouts. the regular version is the same with the addition of jasmine rice.


paleo


regular

both versions are gluten & dairy free
small $10  large $20

then i made a brand new dish - lamb! i'm not a huge lamb fan so it doesn't make it's way on to the menu very often...but i am a big bill wood fan (wood & hart farm...he's hilarious) so i wanted to showcase some of his product. i made mediterranean style lamb meatballs with citrus, garlic & fresh herbs. it's served with zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, swiss chard, fresh peas, mint & feta cheese. the paleo version has loads of vegetables and the regular version also has a white bean & roasted garlic puree.


it's a really fresh & light summertime main course. both versions are gluten free.

small $10  large $20

then it was on to my favourite dish of all time - braised chile pork with cheddar cornbread crumbles. it starts out with braised getaway farm pork shoulder cut in to big chunks. they're stirred in to a red chili base with lots of beans, peppers, spices, citrus & chipotle. this mixture is topped with homemade cornbread crumbled up with cubes of old cheddar cheese, fresh valley corn & green onions.



small $10  large $20

jerk chicken: this is gluten & dairy free. it features shani's farm chicken in a spicy caribbean marinade. it's done on the grill & served with pineapple salsa to cool things down & a side of rice & beans. there are tons of bright, fresh favours in this one.


large $20 (no smalls left)

smokey mac & cheese: this is hardcore comfort food. the mac & cheese is kicked up with double smoked bacon, fresh corn, roasted tomatoes, a touch of cumin & chipotle & three types of cheese including cheese curds from foxhill cheese.


small $9  large $18

vegan curry: making curries is perhaps my favourite thing to do in the kitchen. this one has potatoes, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, lime, cilantro & coconut served with basmati rice & quinoa. it's vegan & gluten free.


large $18 (no smalls left)

chicken parm: marinated chicken breasts in a panko-parmesan crust, hearty marinara sauce, fresh tomatoes, swiss chard, mozzarella, buttered noodles & fresh basil.


large $20 (just a couple left)

braised brisket: braised getaway farm beef, mustard, horseradish, caramelized onions, roasted beets & turnips, greens from my garden & parmesan polenta (only left in larges). the paleo version is the beef & extra veg, no polenta.


small $10  large $20

moroccan meatballs: dates, fennel seed, sumac, harissa, tomato sauce, olives, citrus, roasted peppers, tomatoes, greens & a side of harissa quinoa with almonds.


gluten & dairy free
small $10  large $20

red curry beef (only 1 left!): getaway farm beef in a spicy red curry, coconut & basil sauce with citrus, peppers, zucchini, japanese eggplant, coriander & jasmine rice.


gluten & dairy free
large $20

current soup flavours are:

carrot, apple, ginger
curried butternut squash
beet, parsnip & pear
tomato vegetable
white bean, lemon & kale
indian spiced cauliflower
roasted pepper, tomato & chipotle
baked beans
chicken stew
beef stew
seafood chowder

okee dokee, i hope some menu items are appealing and that you pop by the market this saturday to pick some up from leslie before my month long hiatus.

see you at thanksgiving!