Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

There's a Bear in Them Thar Woods!

Yesterday, we had our friends Ron & Jasmine come over for dinner.  A great couple that we really enjoy being around (though relatively new friends we have only been around a few times).  In addition to just shooting the breeze and showing them our new garden plot, we wanted to speak with Ron about his helping us build the foundation of our new deck (he is an expert with Log Cabin home needs).   We took a walk to the garden and lo and behold, there was a bear!!!

OK, not a real bear, another of our friends, also named Ron (of the Ron & Bertie I mentioned on Sunday), steered the bear toward our garden (he is a wood worker and carver).  I went by Ron's woodworking shop today, thanking him for leaving us this beauty. I'll tell you more about Ron & Bertie soon, they are awesome neighbors.  I love our bear, I'll name him Bear.  

Johny and I had decided to make the same delicious ramp pasta & dandelion salad (different desert, recipe to come) we made when our friends Dick & Ursula came over, and boy am I glad we did.  When Johny returned from harvesting them, he shared that they were close to beyond their days.  The greens were beginning to yellow and wilting.  While the bulbs are still good eats beyond when the greens are not, we like the flavor the whole ramp provides.  So we may still eat ramps in the future, but we will be limited to the bulbs. With that said, it made this meal all the more special!  This is us eating dinner, as you can see everyone is intent on enjoying it:)

One of the things we talked about was wild edibles.  Ron & Jasmine are fans of morels, like we are.  They also hunt and harvest deer, gator and catfish (we've had some of each, delicious!).  Jasmine mentioned she had purchased an edible flower, but the name was escaping her.  Jasmine, I think it may have been Nasturtium Alaska Gold, you'll have to let me know if this is correct, and how they taste!

Now one thing I have noticed since being up here, dinner with friends now usually involves homemade desert!  I have mentioned before that baking has never been my forte...well that is now changing.  I got adventurous in the kitchen and decided to create what I hoped would be a masterpiece of sorts, and if not that, at least edible!

Lise's Cinnamon Swirls

You will need:

1 package of filo dough
slightly damp paper towel to keep filo moist as needed
sprinkle of flour (for counter top so filo won't stick)
1 big palm full of chopped almonds
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
3/4 pound butter, melted
(remember I told you that I am a some-of-this-some-of-that culinary artist [I like this term:)]?  Well I actually made this with ratios vs cup measurement, so this is a guess)
2 palm fulls of cinnamon
1 palmful of sliced almonds
honey for drizzling

Combine the sugar, brown sugar and raw cane sugar

Then add your cinnamon; I combined the sugars first so that when the cinnamon was added it would be evenly distributed in the sugar mixture

Melt the butter, and add a tablespoon or so of the cinnamon sugar mixture, stir.

When you are ready to work with the filo, open the package (not before).  Have your slightly damp paper towel ready to cover the filo if it begins to dry out.  I find if you work quickly, drying is not an issue; also keep the filo you are not using rolled in the plastic it came in.  However, if it does seem to dry a bit, put the paper towel on it, and watch to be sure the filo does not become too damp.

Lay your first sheet if filo and brush with the butter.  Lay your second sheet on top and brush again.

Spread a bit of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the entire sheet and then some of the chopped almonds.

Roll the filo sheets into a log; begin at the end closest to you and just start rolling.

Then shape the log into a swirl and tuck the end underneath.

When all the swirls are done, brush them all with the remaining butter, ensuring you get all the filo covered with butter to keep it moist.  Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top of each swirl, and then the sliced almonds.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, then check to be sure it is not burning.  Then raise the temperature to 350 for another 7 minutes or so, until browned.  Please remember that at elevations over 3500 feet, things cook more quickly.  I used 300 and 325 degrees respectively when I baked my swirls. 

I made homemade whipped cream (whip some heaving whipping cream with confectioners sugar until you have peaks...easy and better than premade!), and sprinkled a little raw sugar on the whipped cream.  After looking at this picture, I wish I had thought to swirl the whipped cream for effect, but ta da!   

And it tasted great, yeah for my creation.  Another plus was Jasmine shared that cinnamon was one of her favorite desert flavors, another yeah!  And you know what else?  It was really superb with coffee this morning!

Have you ever created a cullinary surprise? Leave a comment and tell me all about it:)
Thanks for visiting my blog! See you tomorrow,


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

That dessert looks wonderful. When you start picking blackberries, here is an easy and wonderful recipe. I know it calls for raspberries, but we use blackberries. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/08/raspberry-crisp/


Lise said...

Thank you! I'll try it:)