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 »

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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 »

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 »

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 »

Cardamom shortbread

August 29, 2012 § 10 Comments

This past Saturday was my sister’s bridal shower. In addition to supplying the decorations (in the wedding colors, of course), I also felt I had to bring some traditional British foods to the party, since the theme of the shower was “English tea party.”

At first I thought (bad maid of honor alert!) themes were kind of, well, cheesy, but it turns out they are a party planner’s best friend — tea party means you serve tea, cookies, and little open-faced sandwiches, and decorate with fresh flowers and tissue paper poufs.

I volunteered to make shortbread: it’s traditional and most everybody loves it. I wanted not just any shortbread though, and I finally found a great recipe to try, which combines the classic buttery delight with one of my favorite spices, cardamom. The cardamom shortbread comes from the charmingly creative (but probably not as well-known as it should be) cookbook The Sugar Cube, which is written by the owner of a food truck I desperately want to visit in Portland, Oregon.

It was the perfect recipe to try since I could tell Kir Jensen appreciates cardamom as much as I do; I think cardamom is under-appreciated in baked goods, especially sweet ones. When partnered with vanilla its bright, almost herbal flavor complements the buttery shortbread without overpowering it, and I was really pleased at how much everyone else enjoyed the shortbread too. « Read the rest of this entry »

Oreo truffles

August 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Oreo chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies. Up until a week ago I was completely baffled by all the Oreo affection that everyone seems to harbor, especially in elementary school when they were a hot bartering commodity at the lunchtime swap.

Now, however, I totally understand the Oreo hype, because my friend Allison made a batch of these Oreo truffles and brought them in to share at work. The experience was revelatory. Even our friend Kyle, an avowed Oreo fan, was impressed, with both of us exclaiming that the Oreo truffles are what Oreos should taste like. « Read the rest of this entry »

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