Beet pickles

April 15, 2012 § 7 Comments

When left to my own devices, I’m not that likely to cook a whole meal at once. More often than not, I will make a few dishes that roughly coordinate and then assemble them into meals as hunger and patience levels dictate. For those who similarly appreciate this casual “cut and come again” style, these beet pickles will hopefully become a part of your repertoire, as they’re so easy to make, last a while in the refrigerator, and taste like more effort was put into them than really was. These are high impact, low effort fast food, once you take into account that there is a two day waiting period while the beets and the spicy, sweet, and sour pickling liquid mingle.

Beets were never a huge part of my food lexicon growing up, but within the last few years they’ve graduated from idle appreciation to full-out obsession, which is surprising since they’re a rather humble vegetable. However, their clear, sweetly earthy taste, satisfying crunch even when pickled, and most of all their showstopping colors, brighten even the dreariest day. « Read the rest of this entry »


Lavender-honey cakes

April 1, 2012 § 22 Comments

As I love to knit, I’m pretty familiar with how awesome lavender is; its lovely fragrance helps protect my handknits and my (quite sizable) yarn stash from the dreaded Ms-that-rhymes-with-goths. However, while I had a vague idea that lavender was edible, it wasn’t until I was flipping through Ottolenghi: The Cookbook after having made fennel and feta with pomegranate seeds and sumac that I suddenly felt the urge to actually bake something with lavender.

Since it’s a pretty heady floral, I imagined that whatever it tasted like, lavender would be a pretty strong and distinctive flavor. I wasn’t wrong; a mere half teaspoon of delicate purple buds infuses the cakes with an almost spicy yet vegetal liveliness, which is echoed by a pinch of nutmeg in the batter.

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