What I've been up to: undertaking a massive cleaning purge, relishing the return of spring produce, basking in the
May 29, 2016
April 29, 2016
Whenever I bake a dessert, whether it is a cookie, cake or bread, I immediately want to add nuts to it because I am a nut-fanatic. I think they add a unique flavour and texture, and can bulk up a meal (like this one, which is still one of my favourite pasta dishes).
However, I have a colleague who is allergic to nuts so whenever I want to bring something into work, I have to remind myself to bake nut-free goods. It's more difficult than you think. I don't know how parents do it these days, making lunches for their kids to bring to their nut-free schools.
When I stumbled upon this tahini chocolate chip cookie recipe, it was an "Aha!" moment. Instead of using peanut or almond butter, it uses sesame seed butter, which gives it that nutty flavour. It's great timing that I'm going through a tahini phase at the same time as the food blogging world.
March 28, 2016
You know what I learned during my travels in Turkey? The Turks can prepare eggplant really, really well. I find it such a finicky vegetable to cook with, as it can be too mushy or bitter, but without fail, every eggplant dish I ordered was insanely delicious (and I ordered many of them). One of the most memorable eggplant dishes that I ate was a meze - an eggplant dip with an intensely smoky flavour, one that I was hoping to replicate.
Unfortunately, I don't have a gas burner so I improvised and threw the eggplants under the broiler in my oven. While this method does not result in a smoky flavour (I'll have to try grilling it on the barbecue in the summer), it does make a wonderful eggplant dip.
Note to self: do not line the baking sheet with parchment paper when broiling things because the paper will BURN. Please see photographic evidence:
February 28, 2016
I have a weird relationship with bananas. I like to eat them when they're still green, just past the starchy stage, so that they're nice and tart. Once they start ripening and turn sweet, I can't eat them. The aroma of ripening bananas turn my stomach.
And yet, I love bananas baked in goods, so I allow the bananas to overripe and become super sweet. I then freeze them for future baking projects or add them mashed to a warm bowl of oats.
I realize that I have a really small opening to eat a banana as is. But think of all the banana breads I can make!
January 31, 2016
We're deep into root vegetables season and my go-to way to prepare them is to coat them in some olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven. Toss the caramelized veggies with some quinoa and maple syrup vinaigrette, and you have a meal prepared in less than an hour.
To change it up a bit, I roasted some cubed butternut squash and, rather than quinoa, used farro and lentil to bulk up the meal.
I also used my newly purchased Turkish ingredients of tahini and pomegranate molasses to make a dressing. The pomegranate molasses was an impulse purchase, but I'm so glad I brought some back with me. The tahini is the best I've ever had, with a deep, intense sesame flavour.