Debesmanna – Cranberry mousse

May 27, 2011 § 5 Comments

The past few weeks have been extremely busy, thanks to the big move of last week. And if I thought packing to move was bad, what with all the cooking and crafting accoutrements and printed materials needing to be boxed up, unpacking has been even worse: an irritating combination of “I have too much stuff” and “ugggh that book I wanted to look up something in is at the bottom of a box that is underneath three other boxes.” In short: blegh!

Fortunately, though, I did manage to excavate some cooking magazines from their cardboard boxes, because despite still needing to unpack I am not going to stop cooking. One of the first magazines I found is this month’s copy of Saveur magazine, which features, among others, the cuisine of Latvia.

The recipe that caught my attention when I bought the magazine, and again when I read it this week, is debesmanna, a cranberry mousse made from cranberry juice, farina (cream of wheat), and sugar. From so few ingredients comes a delightfully airy dessert that is so easy to (literally) whip up and is satisfyingly tangy.

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Spiced lentil soup

May 13, 2011 § 5 Comments

If you’re cooking for one, making an entire meal can seem pretty daunting. Oftentimes people suggest making soup, but frankly, I’ve never been that wild about most soups. They’re generally overwhelmingly bland and taste like someone just floated some vegetables in some water and called it a day.

However, this spiced lentil soup mocks all those pots of bobbing, overcooked veggies daring to call themselves soup. It’s swooningly smooth with a creamy texture, combined with a bit of Thai curry heat and spice. It actually tastes better made in advance and reheated, unlike many other soups suggested for the solo cook. An overnight rest in the refrigerator allows the flavors to deepen and meld together, which I discovered a few weeks back when I reheated some leftover soup to enjoy during a Netflix marathon of Top Gear. I’ve been making a batch of this soup every week since.

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Sweet potato and Brie flatbread

May 6, 2011 § 4 Comments

It is always awkward for me, culinarily-speaking, in the few weeks before a move, thanks to my desire not to waste anything, thus requiring me to cook all the things (YAY!). Unfortunately I’ve discovered that my typical strategy to use up all these ingredients is to buy more and more ingredients in an attempt not to waste any previously acquired ingredients, a strategy that you’ve probably already guessed doesn’t work too well.

However, this week I was exceptionally successful at using up food without buying more. While in the process of ripping out articles from magazines that I want to keep, I came across the October 2010 issue of Real Simple, and found a great recipe I’d been meaning to try, this delicious sweet potato and Brie flatbread. Not only did it sound really good, I had all the ingredients already within reach: new herb plants on the windowsill (ok, so I sort of caved on the no-shopping front a few weeks back), sweet potatoes and shallots in my veggie basket on the counter, whole wheat flour and yeast in the freezer, and a new wheel of Brie in the cheese drawer of the fridge.

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