28 February 2011

Butter Tofu & Beets; Sundried Tomato & Sunflower Seed Bread

I ate Grace's Merry Beets this evening.

Along with some butter chicken-flavoured tofu.

More bread: I made a double batch of bread dough on Saturday, but left this half rising, covered, in the refrigerator for a couple days. At some point I sprinkled in some chopped sundried tomatoes and sunflower seeds, and folded them into the dough. I took the dough out of the fridge at 5:30 pm today, and got around to baking it at 11:00 pm. So here it is.

Note that the epis wheat stalk shape doesn't quite form, nor did it with the last loaf (Because it's whole wheat? Or because the dough was too wet?). Anyway I don't know yet what this tastes like. I'll find out at lunch tomorrow. Loaves of the near future will include NY Times No Knead Bread, and also bread made of beer!

Chili à la Thor (a well-liked ginger cat)

Dinner #1: Thor Fest vegan chili and a Thor brew at Thor Fest. Dinner #2: Oscar party food at an Oscar party.

26 February 2011

Whole Wheat Epis Loaf

Since I learned how to make epis bread in my first cooking class, it's been the only kind of bread I make. I like that it doesn't need to be sliced -- you just break off a piece and you have a nice little bun to make a sandwich with.

In my quest to save money I recently decided to start baking my own bread, which involved the purchase of a 10-kg bag of whole wheat flour. I bought whole wheat because I want the bread to be a little healthier, but I've also been warned that resulting bread can be overly dense and dry. And so I allowed this dough to be on the stickier side, and also probably underbaked it a little. Result: very dense buns... hmm. They still function in their basic role as bread, but, well it's not the best I've had by far. Just short of o-k.

Also on the menu tonight: leftovers. I have so many leftovers and not enough room in my belly to accommodate them all! This is definitely a first.

African Peanut Tofu Soup

Yesterday I made African Peanut Tofu Soup, vegetarianified from For The Love Of Soup's African Peanut Chicken Soup. It's got garlic, ginger, chili powder, onion, red pepper, corn, tomato juice, peanut butter, and sweet and baking potatoes in it. Topped with ground peanuts and green onions. Prep for this one took a lot more time than the other soups I've done from this book. But the resulting deliciousness is worth it.

Carla won episode 4 of Top Chef All-Stars with a vegetarian African Groundnut soup, which she put adzuki beans in... next time I try this I'm going to use some beans too. (...some internet research later...) Oh hey -- here is the actual recipe for Carla's soup! It looks very... complex.

25 February 2011

Leftovers &c.

I ate leftover Ginger Orange Carrot Soup for dinner. This soup is amazing, by the way. (I am eating it for lunch while writing this.) I will totally make it again. And carrots are SO CHEAP. Carrots!

Also: some handi-snacks & brandy.

23 February 2011

Ginger Orange Carrot Soup

This week's For The Love Of Soup soup: Ginger Orange Carrot Soup. Carrots, sweet onions, ginger and orange juice, feat. yogurt and chives. SOUP SOUP SOUP SOUP SOUP

22 February 2011


Today's Lesson: There's a reason why those 39-cent avocados are 39 cents. (Oh and dinner = leftovers)

21 February 2011

Herbs!; Butter Chicken Wrap

Peanut welcomed home some new plants (Thyme and Spicy Oregano) while I made butter chicken wraps with spinach, arugula and cilantro.

20 February 2011


I made SO MUCH FOOD yesterday. I made blueberry clafoutis again, in my new ramekins from Dunlevy. Because these are wider and shallower, when the clafoutis falls, it's more pancake-like. Next time I'll try them in my other new tall, skinny custard ramekins.

I also defrosted the leftover pastry dough from class, and made some mini Alsatian Onion Tarts. Here are the onions, about to be caramelized.

And the tarts. The pastry is a bit on the puffy side for this size of tart... it takes up about half the space. I don't know if I would make this often, but it is neat to make something out of just onions. (And a little milk and flour. And of course pastry dough.)

I read this week that by the fall, we can expect to see significant increases in the price of food (and all consumer goods, for that matter). I was pretty dismayed when I saw at the No Frills that this was already happening -- boxes of grape tomatoes have gone up a whole dollar (to $3.99)! But then on Sunday I found myself at a grocer in Hastings Sunrise, where I discovered the same box for just $1.99.

So I brought them home and then slow roasted them all in the oven with some olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary, and then mixed some of them into this cream cheese to make a sandwich spread.

[*EDIT: This just in in international tomato news: A chilly winter in Florida, Texas and Mexico has hurt tomato crops in all three areas. Experts say supplies will be limited, quality may be lower and prices will be higher until late March or mid-April.]

I used the rest as a garnish for this creamy chickpea soup, another recipe from For The Love Of Soup. For some reason, I've recently become obsessed with this book and bookmarked about ten different recipes I want to try.

Keeping with the saving money / eating out my cupboards theme, I used a bag of dried chickpeas that I've had for at least a year, and never use because it seems like SO MUCH WORK.

It's really not that much work: you soak them overnight, and then the next day you drain them, bring them to a boil in fresh water and simmer about an hour or until they're tender. In the past, I always found it so hard to wrap my head around that idea. Also: 1 cup of dry beans produces about 2 1/2 cups beans.

Granola Bars; Pizzettes; $$$

Meals over the next several months will have a common theme: saving money. One way to do this is to eat the food that I already own. I have a ton of food stored in my cupboards, so I've been going through them to see what I can make. On Saturday I threw together some goji berries, apricots, prunes, craisins, dates, peanuts, almonds, oats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, ground flax and chocolate.

And then I followed a random recipe to granola bar-ize them. This one looked good, but this recipe won, due to supreme easy-ness. It also scored points for letting me use an ancient can of evaporated milk (sweetened with maple syrup). (Possibly a bad idea... time will tell.)

We made pizzettes for dinner to use up even more things I had in my fridge... artichokes, black olives, capers and basil, with feta, cheddar and gruyère cheese. I roasted some red peppers for these too.

Pizzette #1. I made a quadruple batch of dough so that I could freeze some of it for future pizzette-making / ingredient-getting-rid-of occasions.

Pizzette #2. MmmmMMMMMmmmmmmmmmM.

19 February 2011

Purple, Orange and Green

I made kale chips with Jay's leftover kale. Tossed them in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and then baked at 375°F until crispy.

Then I had a salad of red cabbage, carrots and sunflower seeds. And a lot of blue cheese dressing.

Aaaaand butter chicken! Prepared with mustard and Tandoori rub, seared and then cooked (covered, on low heat) in President's Choice Butter Chicken sauce. Served with spinach. Tonight's dinner brought to you by the secondary colour triad of purple, orange and green.

18 February 2011

Jay Burritos!

Last night Jay showed up with burrito goo, some kale and tortilla wraps.

Burritos were made; Russell beers were had.

Peanut observed.

Tuscan 13-Bean Soup; Slow-Roasted Tomatoes; Blueberry Clafoutis

On Wednesday I made a batch of Tuscan bean soup, from For the Love of Soup. It came in handy having posted the recipe on my blog, as I was able to look up the ingredients on my iPhone while grocery shopping. Technology!

And the soup came in handy in bribing Sonya to help me set up my server (ie. plug it in).

In the meantime I made these slow roasted tomatoes, because my grape tomatoes were getting old. The recipe says to roast them three hours, but these were tiny, and were done in an hour and a half. I ended up eating all of them on bread with cream cheese for lunch the next day.

Later on, since I had all the ingredients, I tried my hand at clafoutis.

It turned out different from the one I made in class. The class version was more cakey; this one was like a solid eggy custard.

It tasted delicious, and after some internet research, I think I can conclude that I actually made it right this time. The measurements must have been wrong in my class, I guess. More research is probably a good idea; I will have to venture out into the restaurant world and eat all the clafoutis I can find.

16 February 2011

Seared BBQ Tofu & Spinach + Granola

Tuesday night I finished off Gary's BBQ sauce with some seared tofu and spinach.

And I made some granola out of random leftover ingredients from previous granola recipes.

Valentine's Day

Two small Panago pizzas and a walk with Peanut. (An attempt at recreating Valentine's Pizza Day, 2010.)

Food by Jay

Morning on the shore. Farewell Texada!

Speeding toward the last ferry eating a breakfast-to-go from Gumboots in Roberts Creek. Getting stuck behind old ladies and running red lights and...

...we missed it by five cars.

Back at home and weary from travelling, I pulled out a bunch of random ingredients from my cupboard and presented them to Jay. He pulled together the following meal:

Bucatini with tomato paste (seasoned with basil, dill and cayenne pepper), artichokes, roasted red peppers, capers, shiitake mushrooms and feta cheese. It was really great.

Low Decibel Fest II

Wandering the edge of the seal-filled water on Texada.

Further up the shore, the beach is littered with oysters. I would eat one of these later that night, steamed on the barbecue and seasoned with lemon and salt.

Afternoon drinks.

A turkey & havarti sandwich made by Hasan.

Five hour concert in the blue & white cabin.

Cooking chicken & rice soup on the gas stove in the dark. (We thought the electricity was off but actually no one had tried to turn on the light.)
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