March 14, 2013 § 5 Comments
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
August 1, 2012 § 13 Comments
The fashion and design industries are notorious for the phenomenon I call “season creep” as evidenced by heavy cabled sweaters appearing in early August, when the thought of wearing wool is about as appealing as donning chain mail and standing in the center of an unshaded parking lot. The food world seems to be a bit more resistant to season creep, I suppose because it is at the mercy of perishable produce.
However, there’s something to be said for the anticipation of the season and foods to come. Thus, these roasted spicy-sweet pumpkin seeds serve as a sneak preview; they’re rather like that cute dress you wear now with sandals that transitions perfectly into fall with tights, wedge boots, and a cardi. Why yes, I have been shopping online rather a lot lately…
Much like that dress, these roasted pumpkin seeds are great because they’re so versatile. They are at once smoky, spicy, and sweet. Maple syrup, together with melted butter, creates an almost lacquered coating for the pumpkin seeds, with chili powder contributing subtle heat, rosemary adding an herbal freshness, and my tweak, a pinch of onion powder rounding everything out with an extra hit of savoriness.
July 14, 2012 § 6 Comments
Five days is a long time, especially in the summer when there’s no power and it’s averaging over 100 degrees. Your interests before the power outage seem distant — food seems far away and so cooking is out of the question — replaced with the new hobby of lying on the floor in the basement in an attempt to minimize movement. That is, until the power trucks finally come rumbling down the street. I was never the groupie type until that moment, when it was all I could do to not run down the street after them screaming I LOVE YOU!!!
Even now with the electricity back on, it feels like walking through molasses outside. That means it’s time to turn to the food processor, as summertime is really when it shines: with a few pulses it transforms abundant produce and herbs into all sorts of no- or barely-cook meals and dishes, like gazpacho, salsa, granitas, and of course, pesto.
June 24, 2012 § 6 Comments
Peaches have long reigned supreme as my most anticipated summer fruit, but this June the tiny dusky purple plums at the farmers market have been stealthily taking over my kitchen fruit bowl. Almost more pit than fruit, the plums’ sweet fragrance and juicy flesh encased in astringent skin make them ridiculously easy to enjoy by the handful, with only the pits to stop one from inhaling the whole basket at once.
Really the two fruits aren’t — shouldn’t be — rivals; they go excellently together. So, as I didn’t want to use up all the tiny plums at once, and because I had a bruised peach to consume, I decided to cook the stone fruits together, basing my recipe on a recipe from Nigel Slater’s fantastic Ripe (or Tender Volume II as it is titled in the UK). « Read the rest of this entry »