Seeds of Change and Recipe for Green Spring Salad with Quinoa and Lemon

Green Spring Salad with Quinoa ©2014 LaDomestique

 

Happy May Day! Spring is in full bloom here in the Irish countryside—little lambs are bouncing across the fields, sedge warblers are singing their hearts out, and tiny yellow primroses are blooming at the edges of winding roads. The warm sunshine and longer days cast a positive glow on everything this time of year. Spring brings the excitement of a fresh start, a chance to begin again.

The theme this month at La Domestique is change.

On the surface it’s been quiet, but underneath we’re a hive of activity.

The first change is a personal announcement:

One year ago my husband and I (and our little dog, Minnie) made the big move from America to Ireland, returning to his homeland. His job brought us to a small country town in the northern province of Ulster. In just a few days we move to the big city of Dublin. We’re sad to leave good friends behind, but at the same time excited for all the possibilities that await us in the bustling city.

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Chicken Soup Noodle For What Ails You

Chicken Soup Noodle ©2014 La Domestique

It’s that time of year. As winter draws to an end and spring threatens to break through, everyone seems to be suffering from a cough or a sniffle. I made it all winter without getting sick, and then BAM! It hit me like a freight train: a full blown head cold. Miserable. You know how it goes– the first day I felt a bit off, a bit tired, and just couldn’t seem to get warm. Day 2 began with a scratchy throat and ended with the chills. After a fitful sleep I awoke on day 3 unable to breathe, my head completely blocked up and my nose running like a faucet. It was over, I surrendered, waving a white tissue to let the enemy know I had no fight left in me. The husband kindly banished me to the couch and built a roaring fire in the hearth, declaring me officially out of commission until further notice.

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Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake for Valentine’s Day

Flourless Chocolate Cake ©2014 LaDomestique

I love chocolate– the darker the better. I might even say I need chocolate. Every day around 4:00pm I start rifling through kitchen drawers looking for my hidden dark chocolate bar. One little bite is all I need. A good quality chocolate bar is a beautiful thing, but every once and a while I like to treat myself to a decadent piece of chocolate cake. For me it’s all about the chocolate– no need for whipped cream or berries or even frosting– just a moist, fudgey cake with rich, dark chocolate flavor. I remember one of the restaurants I worked at had a popular recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake. It was baked from scratch when an order came in, filling the dining room with the most wonderful chocolate aroma. As the name says, this classic cake is made with chocolate, eggs, butter and sugar– no flour and therefore gluten free. It’s a simple cake, but I wanted to make it even simpler.

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Brussels Sprout Salad with Hazelnuts, Thyme and a Pink Lady

Brussels Sprouts Salad ©2014 La Domestique

Happy New Year! I have a good feeling about 2014. The last year was one of change and transition as my husband and I moved from America to a small town in Ireland. This year holds so much promise! I’m eager to discover everything Ireland has to offer– the artisanal food producers, the natural wonders of Irish landscapes, the culture of the Irish people. I look forward to savoring each season fully and have plans to plant a garden. The theme in my kitchen for 2014 is:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Hippocrates

I’m not a nutritionist, but more and more I’m beginning to understand that the food I eat has a direct effect on my health. In the beginning, food was only for pleasure. Now I believe food may have the power not just to promote health, but to heal. I’ll explore this idea here on La Domestique throughout the year with delicious recipes that celebrate the seasons and nourish the body.

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Grandma Bercher’s Cinnamon Rolls

Grandma Berchers Cinnamon Rolls ©2013 La Domestique

Cinnamon rolls are a Bercher family tradition. It all started with my great grandmother, Frances Bercher. Born Frances Schuster in Germany, she immigrated to America with her family in 1908 at 13 years of age. Eventually she married my great grandfather and settled along with other German immigrants in Arkansas, where most of our family still lives today. I never knew Grandma Bercher, but she was a legend in our family and in the town. She was famous for her cinnamon rolls, but even more famous for her welcoming, generous spirit. A devoted Catholic, she baked trays and trays of cinnamon rolls for parish functions. Sugar was rationed during the Depression before Word War II, but that didn’t stop her. She and Papa Bercher tended a vegetable garden in their yard and people would bring their sugar to trade for home grown produce so she could continue baking for the community.

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