Quick pickled carrots with ginger

March 14, 2013 § 5 Comments

quick pickled carrot noodle salad

Looking back through the archives, it seems that every year around this time pickles make an appearance. Perhaps it’s to do with the lull between winter veg and new spring veg, since I certainly eat pickles year round. But right now, in March, pickled vegetables perk everything up; they’re light on effort and brighten up even the most ordinary vegetables and meals.

carrots, candied ginger, mirin, rice wine vinegar
shredded carrots

I hadn’t made pickled carrots in a while, and so when I’d got everything else ready it dawned on me that I was out of fresh ginger and frozen ginger. But, recalling the jar of candied ginger used in the pear-ginger sugar muffins, I decided to give it a try, subbing out some of the added sugar in my typical carrot pickling mixture for the sugar inherent in candied ginger. « Read the rest of this entry »

Maple teff cake

February 25, 2013 § 5 Comments

maple teff cake slice

Intending only to purchase almonds and almond flour, I somehow managed to come home from the grocery store with a bag filled to the brim with specialty flours, including the teff flour in this maple teff cake. Probably most known for its role in the Ethiopian flatbread injera, teff deserves a spot in your pantry for its beautiful smoky brown color, satiny texture, and the nutty, complex flavor it brings to many baked goods, not just injera.

teff flour, maple sugar, browned butter « Read the rest of this entry »

Walnut drop cookies

January 25, 2013 § 6 Comments

walnut drop cookies

Did you start the year off with good intentions? Some resolutions that this year would be different than previous ones? I, shockingly, only made one baking/cooking/food-related resolution (the list for my crafting, however, is out of control), and that is to keep inventing new recipes.

So far the smugness has been kept in check though; while I am one for one on new recipes posted as of today, last year’s resolution to stop acquiring cookbooks was a total nonstarter, and this year I’ve already received….um…seven new cookbooks. Granted, one was the Smitten Kitchen cookbook I bought for my sister for Christmas, except it turns out SHE GOT TO MEET DEB and get a copy signed, so I got the one I gave her back. No good deed goes unpunished, but then again, it is a great cookbook so I’m not exactly complaining!

walnut cookie ingredients

dry and wet ingredients

Anyway, in a few weeks I am going to visit my sister and brother-in-law (where I promise I will not “borrow” my sister’s copy — besides it is probably signed to her anyway, grumble) and I always like to bring something to thank them for their hospitality.

My brother-in-law really loves desserts with nuts in them, so I wanted to create something that really showcases walnuts, since I think those are his favorite, judging by the rugelach he likes (with walnuts), brownies (also with walnuts), and baklava (again, with walnuts, though there are pistachios in there too).

walnut cookie dough « Read the rest of this entry »

Cranberry upside-down cake

December 16, 2012 § 7 Comments

cranberry upside-down cake

For many people the holidays mean cookies, but for my family it’s all about baking cakes and breads. While we all love to eat cookies, and I even like baking them, there’s something so comforting about a fresh-baked cake waiting on the counter for dessert.

cranberries and a lined tin
sugar, butter, clementine zest
burst cranberries

« Read the rest of this entry »

Edamame, cranberry, and feta salad

November 19, 2012 § 4 Comments

Can you believe it, Thanksgiving is only days away. I know, I know…I still feel like I am back in October, which is kind of ridiculous since my family has already celebrated what I like to call Midwestern Thanksgiving (not to be confused with a real holiday, Canadian Thanksgiving, which is in October).

Midwestern Thanksgiving is a gathering my maternal side of the family has every year a few weeks in advance of the real (American) turkey day, in an attempt to avoid the snow that often bombards Ohio and Michigan this time of year. This time we enjoyed huo guo, otherwise known as hot pot, wherein everyone cooks their own food in a communal pot at the center of the table. It is great fun, though the only Thanksgiving part of the meal was apple pie for dessert!

The night after Thanksgiving 1 I got together with my friends, and we had our usual knit night potluck. I brought this salad, purchased from a whole-foods store called Foods for Living, because it looked so festive, with the ruby red of the cranberries and the creamy feta popping against the warm green of the soybeans. It turns out that it tastes really great too, so much so that I had to recreate it for Thanksgiving 2 this year. « Read the rest of this entry »

Toffee apple crumble

October 27, 2012 § 6 Comments

When it rains it pours. Never was an adage more true, both metaphorically and literally; on the East Coast of the US we’ve got Hurricane Sandy heading towards us, and despite not owning an apple tree, mdkitchen has been overtaken by apples, which have invaded most of the counter space and quite a bit of the refrigerator too.

Some had been lurking in the crisper for quite a while; I’m not certain if they were cooking or baking apples but at that point, they needed to be used up, and fast. I know apple crumble is a popular option for using up apples, but why not try a new variation on it? Toffee apple crumble does what it says on the tin: it has tender apples cloaked in a sumptuous toffee sauce, nestled under a crispy oat topping. It is pure autumnal bliss, especially when eaten while snuggling under a wool blanket, watching the leaves fall. « Read the rest of this entry »

Mustard-mascarpone bruschetta

September 30, 2012 § 8 Comments

It’s irrational, but I’ve held it against Bon Appétit that they replaced Gourmet one issue into my new subscription — at least until now. The only issue I’d bought previous to this one since my sulk began was the one earlier this year with Ottolenghi recipes in it. I still haven’t cooked from it, but that’s more due to having forgotten about it until now. This month’s (September’s) issue finally suckered me back into the cooking-from-Bon Appétit fold with its catchy headlines “Top Thai in DC” and “Lush Layer Cakes in Atlanta.”

Disappointingly there are no recipes for the actual Thai food (I suppose I’ll have to hop on the Metro at some point and stand in line to eat at the featured restaurant, but where does that leave non-D.C.-area readers? Not with Thai food in their stomachs, that’s for sure), so if I were still sulking about BA, I’d probably hold this against them, but the recipes for the layer cakes look incredible.

Despite wanting to drop everything and bake one right away, it’s become apparent that if I share one more sweet baking recipe I’ll probably turn someone into a sugar cube. So, I decided to try out this fantastically easy recipe for mustard-mascarpone bruschetta. Actually it’s from another DC restaurant, Fiola, so that’s rather cool. I should probably go check them out too, since anyone who comes up with this sort of tastiness deserves at least one investigatory meal. « Read the rest of this entry »

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