Sunday Lunch

There’s something both simple and beautiful about sharing food with people we care about. This blog is full of examples of that, so let me add another.

I go to a wonderful little church, a church dedicated to loving others and to living out our faith everyday. We’re also a little church who loves to share food, so we eat a meal together each week.

Autumn-Sweet-Potato-Soup-

This Sunday, the food was so good I needed to get the recipes. Mistin brought this sweet potato soup, which went deliciously with Shirley’s olive bread. Here’s her recipe:

Olive and Herb Bread

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 sachet instant yeast (8g)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup sliced olives
1-2 tbsp rosemary or mixed herbs
2 cups lukewarm water

Method
Sift flour and salt together. Add olives and herbs and yeast.
Add sugar to water and mix into dry ingredients.
Spoon mixture into well-greased loaf tin. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 10-15 minutes.
Bake at 355°F for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Variation:
Substitute 1 cup of wholewheat flour with all purpose flour for lighter loaf.

We finished lunch off with some brownies that Michelle baked. They’re called “Oprah’s Fav Brownies,” so I suppose there is no way they wouldn’t be particularly tasty.

Ingredients:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I just used semi sweet chocolate chips)
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

I’m looking forward to making all three of these sometime in the near future. Maybe you will too?

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2013

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This was my first memory of 2013 – well, my first daylight, lucid memory of 2013. I can’t say enough how much I love snowy mountains and I was so fortunate to ring in the new year with a wonderful group of friends right in the middle of some of BC’s prettiest landscape.

I had hoped to make my way up to Burns Lake for New Years, to celebrate the start of 2013 with friends that I miss dearly, in a town I sometimes wonder why I chose to leave. But instead I spent the holiday with old and new friends in a cramped rustic cabin next to a mostly-frozen lake. I’d say it was at least as good a celebration as going to BL.

Of course, this is the time of year for reflections and resolutions. I don’t have a coherent list of goals to share, but I am looking forward to what this year will bring. Some hopes and dreams include new friendships, a community garden in my backyard, grad school, travel, more knitting and more blogging, to name a few.

Jess and I are reaching one year of living the (Northern) Simple Life and it’s been a fun journey so far. Stick with us in the new year!