That’s A Mole! – Cadbury Cooking Festival Recipe

Ah….chocolate. Nothing is better than chocolate! Especially when you learn how to have chocolate for dinner, which is what this mole recipe includes!

Andrew and I had the opportunity this year to attend the Cadbury Cooking Class as a part of the Cadbury Festival. What a great night! Two local chefs, four gluten free recipes, and chocolate in all of it. Chocolate is the language of love, you know…*wink wink*

Most of the ingredients...including cocoa powder!
Most of the ingredients…including cocoa powder!

Of course, it’s one thing to watch the professionals…it’s quite another to replicate their recipes in your own kitchen. The recipes were actually surprisingly simple and manageable. Without further ado….vegetarian mole (pronounced Mole-ay)

Spicy Vegetarian Mole with Crisp Winter Salsa

Grated Beetroot....may be a good idea to use a food processor unless you like having a red kitchen!
Grated Beetroot….may be a good idea to use a food processor unless you like having a red kitchen!

Ingredients

Mole

  1. 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  2. 1 medium onion, diced
  3. 2 medium carrots, grated
  4. 1 large beetroot, peeled and grated
  5. 1 tsp cocoa powder
  6. 1 /2 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  8. chili powder to taste (optional)
  9. 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  10. 1 large bunch of rhubarb stalks, stewed
  11. 1 tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  12. 1 tin black beans, rinsed and drained
  13. 1 tin lentils, rinsed and drained
  14. salt, sugar, apple cider vinegar to season as required
Assortment of Spices
Assortment of Spices

Winter Salsa

  1. 1/4 large kohirabi, peeled and julienned
  2. 1/2 of a fennel bulb, cored and julienned
  3. 1 handful of picked watercress
  4. Juice of half a lemon
  5. flaky sea salt

Method

Onions, oil, and spices
Onions, oil, and spices
  1. Heat the oil in a deep skillet or pot. Sauté the onion for a couple of minutes until translucent
  2. Add the cocoa, cinnamon and paprika, along with the chili poser if using and sauté until fragrant
  3. Add the tomatoes, rhubarb, beans, and lentils. Bring to a simmer, stirring continuously as this will stick if left alone.
  4. Add the beetroot and carrots, stirring to integrate
  5. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 1-8+ hours. Check seasoning as beans and tomatoes can take a bit to enliven.
  6. Adjust with salt, sugar, and apple cider vinegar

To make salsa:

  1. Combine the vegetables in a non-reactive bowl and toss with lemon juice and salt to taste
Adding in the beetroot and carrots
Adding in the beetroot and carrots

How to serve it:

Serve the mole over corn or nacho chips, in a tortilla or taco, or over baked potatoes with some cheese curds and sour cream.

Given that a majority of this recipe uses in-season vegetables and tinned food,  this could be a perfect camping recipe! Simmer for as long or as short as you want. If you happen to have a large cast-iron pot that you can leave over the campfire (don’t leave your campfire unattended!), you can toss all the ingredients in and just let it do its thing.

This recipe also lends itself well to a slow-cooker on those busy days. It is also easy to double or triple this recipe and freeze the leftovers for another day as it freezes quite well!

If you do want, you can also add some cheap cuts of beef or chicken…it simmers for long enough that you will end up with a very tender meat by the end of it!

And Now for a Brief Cat Interlude

Cats! The internet is full of cats and Andrew and I have our own two sweet little kittens. They have grown incredibly but are still our sweet girls.

Eowyn with her box.
Eowyn with her box.

We got very lucky to end up with two little cuddle cats. It has been fun watching their little personalities develop as they’ve gotten older.

What is this new chew toy?
What is this new chew toy?

Teething was definitely not fun, however, although the pet store found us a little bit odd, a small puppy kong did the trick!

Bringing the kittens home.
Bringing the kittens home.

Tauriel, our little black cat, is quite the cuddler. She likes to curl up directly on our chests and sleep. She will also come ask for kisses and bump her face against ours.

Tauriel with the computer
Tauriel with the computer

She also likes to ask for uppies by stretching against our legs to ask to be picked up. She quite likes jumping and will beg for the tap in the bathroom to be turned on so she can drink from it.

Eowyn and Tauriel obsessed with the tap.
Eowyn and Tauriel obsessed with the tap.

Tauriel is also quite fond of licking both me and Andrew, especially when I am wearing a fuzzy hoodie!

Andrew with the cats as kittens
Andrew with the cats as kittens

Eowyn, on the other hand, is a much more independent cat. She likes to come curl up beside us or on our feet.

Kitten Eowyn
Kitten Eowyn

She also quite likes my mouse pad. She likes to perch on Andrew’s shoulder as well. She doesn’t meow…she chirps like a bird most of the time.

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They also get along quite well with each other and will come report to us if the other has gotten locked behind a door or in a closet.

We are getting a cat! It was fun shopping after we had decided
We are getting a cat! It was fun shopping after we had decided

It isn’t uncommon to see them curled up with each other and licking each other.

Eowyn wanted away from the scary ocean
Eowyn wanted away from the scary ocean
Walk time at the beach
Walk time at the beach
Eowyn perched on top of her scratching post
Eowyn perched on top of her scratching post
This is why we call Eowyn 'Holepunch'
This is why we call Eowyn ‘Holepunch’
Eowyn trying to catch the frisbee
Eowyn trying to catch the frisbee
Their first journey to the beach
Their first journey to the beach
Eowyn on Andrew's computer
Eowyn on Andrew’s computer
Tauriel after her bath
Tauriel after her bath
Eowyn after bath time
Eowyn after bath time
Eowyn and Tauriel obsessed with the tap.
Eowyn and Tauriel obsessed with the tap.
Andrew watching outside with our girls
Andrew watching outside with our girls
Tauriel wanted a nap...I didn't disagree
Tauriel wanted a nap…I didn’t disagree

Highlanders vs. the British and Irish Lions on Tour 2017

Andrew and I both turned 30 over the last year. For our birthday’s, Andrew’s wonderful sisters got us tickets to see the local provincial team, the Highlanders, take on the British and Irish Lions in their 2017 tour.

Yes, Andrew and I have become quite passionate about rugby. I’ve always quite enjoyed football (aka american/Canadian football, aka gridiron), and Andrew has always enjoyed hockey. The hockey isn’t quite as relevant, although he was largely just missing playing a sport. Rugby though…it’s like football if they didn’t stop the play every time someone touched the ball and fell down.

Andrew and I at the game
Andrew and I at the game

Andrew and I had fairly good tickets for the game. Right at the try line (aka the goal line for those who don’t know rugby), close to the front.

We were both quite glad that it is a covered stadium. The game was only a week from the winter solstice and, while the weather had been fairly nice for the weeks leading up to the game, that day dawned cold and wet. In an uncovered stadium it is likely that the game would have been cancelled with how wet and muddy all the fields were.

Maori welcoming to the Lions
Maori welcoming to the Lions

Andrew and I dressed quite warmly thanks to jackets that we brought from Canada. I was asked more than once where I’d gotten my jacket actually! We also brought a light blanket to keep our legs warm. While it is easy to stay warm while walking and moving, it’s quite different sitting on cold seats for 90 minutes!

Almost at the try line!
Almost at the try line!

What a game it was too! I honestly wasn’t expecting much. The British and Irish Lions are the national team and are going to be taking on the All Blacks later in the tour. Considering that the Highlanders are a level lower and are sitting at the bottom of their league, I was expecting to see some good, but not exceptional rugby.

Some good tackles
Some good tackles

The Highlanders certainly played well! The game was tied at half time (10 all), with the Lions pulling ahead in the second half. A few fans actually started leaving when the Lions managed to pull ahead to 22-10 within the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Highlanders fought back though, scoring their final try with minutes left on the clock, and then defending well to finish with a final score of 22-23 for the Highlanders.

Final score of Highlanders vs. Lions
Final score of Highlanders vs. Lions

So much fun to watch!!