Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hello, Fall: Spicy Chicken Stew and GRAINSTORM Chocolate Chip Cookies

My perfect fall afternoon: Coming home from a long, gray, dreary day and curling up on the couch with my coziest blanket and a cup of tea. Soaking up a few rays of surprise sunshine and devouring a good book. Then, when hunger creeps up... going to the kitchen and reheating a bowl of this soup.

 This soup will warm your soul. It is hearty and filling and was even more delicious on the second and third days than it was the first. I know I have said it before, but nothing cheers me up at the end of the day than a big bowl of soup. The only thing better is if there is a cute boy at home to help warm me up!

And if there are cookies.

I didn’t make this cookie recipe. The cookies are made with a fabulous baking mix by Grainstorm. I did bake them though. And I am so glad I did. They take five whole minutes to throw together and not much longer to bake and they are SO yummy. Seriously. I want to have these cookies in the house forever and always. I never want to be without one. But that won’t happen if I keep eating them like I have been.

Fresh from the oven.

With Tea.

Without Tea.

Before breakfast, after dinner, after lunch - wrapped in saran wrap, crumbly and squished at the bottom of my backpack... basically anytime and place I can get my hands on them. I can't resist them.

And it doesn't help that they are "healthy". It really just gives me another excuse to eat them without hesitation!

I first heard about Grainstorm when I bought a Groupon from them last year. I have since ordered from them twice more.  They are a great little company; "a small family artisan food enterprise in Toronto, Canada dedicated to the idea that baked goods can actually be wholesome, real food". I love it! I only wish their products were available in B.C. stores.  The baking mixes are all whole grain/stone ground and are quite healthy (compared to what I usually bake). You might not be able to tell by the recipes on this blog, but I have been making an effort to cut out a lot of the white processed flours from my diet, and Grainstorm has made me feel that it is possible to enjoy yummy treats while doing this. Thanks Grainstorm! If you want to try their products check out their website here! I also LOVE the pancake mix for Sunday morning. And shipping within Canada is only $5!

For this Recipe I used the All Oatmeal Rustic Cookie Base

Package Ingredients: Organic whole ground and flaked oat groats, organic unrefined cane sugar, organic unrefined cane juice, baking soda, sea salt.

What you add: 2 Eggs, 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tsp. Vanilla

My additions: 1 Cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, 2 Tbs. sunflower seeds, 1 Tsp. cinnamon. 

Here's the soup recipe. Enjoy your Thursday!

Spicy Chicken Stew with Potatoes, White Beans, and Kale

This is a riff on a recipe I made quite a lot last winter, often with Italian sausage and spices like fennel and thyme. I swapped the sausage for chicken and mixed it up a bit with the chillies and cumin, and it was really good. I also had lots of beautiful farmers market produce on hand so I used whatever felt right. Feel free to mix it up according to what you have in your crisper drawer. 


2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, cut into 1 Inch cubes
1 Medium onion, diced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Green chilies, seeded and diced very small
1 1/2 Tsp. cumin
1 Tsp. Mexican oregano
½ Tsp. smoked paprika
¼ Tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Carrots
1 Red pepper (I used 1 small blue jay pepper and ½ sweet banana pepper, from our farmers market)
About 4 cups small red potatoes quartered (or any potato cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 bunch kale
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 Cans canellini or white kidney beans
1 Cup heavy cream or half and half
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Drizzle about 1 Tbsp. of oil and add the chicken. When chicken is lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes, remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Set aside.

2. Add more oil to the pan if needed. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the garlic, chili, and spices and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the rest of the vegetables, except the kale, to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes more.

4. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

5. When the potatoes and carrots are cooked through, add the beans and kale to the pot. Add the chicken back in. Cover and continue to let the soup simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

6. Slowly stir the heavy cream into the pot. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. 

Henry likes his with melty cheese. I enjoy mine with some warm buttered bread. And some Grey's Anatomy.

I hope your Thursday night is delightful!




  1. Maia -
    I stumbled on your blog, and I decided to try the Spicy Chicken stew recipe last night for dinner. It was delicious! Thank you for sharing. :)

  2. I am so glad you liked it :) Thanks for the feedback!