It’s time to revive the blog! My last post may have been a year ago, but rest assured I haven’t burned down my kitchen just yet. I have, however, been spending an unhealthy amount of time watching Masterchef Australia, which has naturally led to spending a lot of time in the kitchen making all sorts of unhealthy (and on occasion, somewhat healthy) food. With that said, here’s a mishmash of some of the things I’ve been up to:

Nectarine, Mascarpone, and Gingersnap Tart

Nectarine, Mascarpone, and Gingersnap Tart
I
 had this one bookmarked for ages and finally got around to making it. It’s absolutely delicious as written, and a great summer dessert, but I may go for a slightly lighter filling next time, maybe even just a whipped version of this one.


Pistachio Sponge with White Choco Mousse and Yuzu Curd
Pistachio Sponge with White Choco Mousse and Lemon Curd
Taken straight off the Masterchef AU website. Except I made a lemon curd instead of a yuzu curd, because I’m not fancy enough for that yet. And I also don’t own an ice cream machine, but I do have a freezer and a whisk which did an admirable job. David Lebovitz has a great post here about making ice cream at home without an ice cream machine.


Lemon TartLemon Tart
This project started out as an attempt to make the Lemon Sabayon Tart with Pine Nut Crust from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook, but although the pine nut crust was delicious, I undercooked the sabayon and ended up with a runny (but still delicious) goopy mess. There’s also a recipe alongside the tart for a honeyed mascarpone cream which is heavenly, and which I gladly ate by the spoonful while watching my lemon sabayon slowly ooze out of the pan. I found myself with some leftover lemon curd a few days later and decided to bake up a simple french tart crust to house a more stable filling, which thankfully resulted in a tasty treat (though I unfortunately ran out of ingredients to make that honeyed mascarpone cream I still dream about).


Mushroom Leek Risotto

Mushroom Leek Risotto
There’s a million and one recipes out there for risotto, but I ended up reading too many and having them all become a muddled mess in my brain, so I ended up forgoing a recipe altogether and stuck with a flavour combination I know and love. I did admittedly forget to check the salt levels of my broth until I was nearly finished cooking the dish, so I finished it off with water instead of broth and sprinkled in some toasted (and crucially unsalted) almond slivers. The light crunch and nuttiness of the almonds paired surprisingly well with the creamy risotto and rounded it out very nicely.


Warm Beet Orzo Sa

Warm Orzo Beet Salad with Feta and Arugula
I
 don’t know how it’s taken me so long to find out about Food52.com but so far everything I’ve seen has been fantastic. I’ve only recently gotten into beets, and although I prefer them raw, they’re great in this warm salad. The orzo is cooked in the beet-boiling water and together with the creaminess of the feta and bitterness of the arugula, it all makes for a great earthy salad that I’ll likely soon be making again.


Macarons

Cardamom Coffee Pistachio Macarons
and
Hazelnut Chocolate Macarons

And lastly, in classic ovenloven style, I’ll wrap up with some macarons. The pistachios and hazelnuts are mixed into both the shells and the whipped ganache fillings. I made a lot of unmeasured adjustments to these, but they turned out to be quite good so a recipe will (hopefully) be coming soon!

Vegan Tacos

I came across this Lentil-Walnut Taco “Meat” recipe over at Oh She Glows (a wonderful vegan food blog – lots of desserts too), and just had to give it a go. Turns out, it is absolutely delicious and packs a lot of protein so it fills you right up. It’s also incredibly easy to make: cook the lentils, and throw them into a food processor with some mixed beans, toasted walnuts, and taco seasoning – and that’s all there is to it.

As pictured, I also threw in spiced black beans, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, guacamole and cheese. Although there are several components, they don’t actually end up taking all that long to prepare. And if need be, almost everything can be done beforehand – the “meat” and beans can simply be reheated before serving. In terms of guacamole, I will forever be loyal to this Alton Brown recipe. I tried it once years ago and I have yet to find anything else that compares. I realize guacamole is really quite a simple thing and different recipes can only vary so much, but the cumin in this one seriously kicks it up a notch. Anyways, however you fancy your guac, you should whip up a batch and throw em onto these burritos. It would be great for a sort of DIY Dinner Party and leftovers are perfect for making a taco salad.

Now on a completely unrelated note, and due to my procrastination in posting, here are some photos from earlier in the summer:

Mother's Day 2013

Mother’s Day Cookies: That cookie box was surprisingly challenging to make but a fun project nonetheless. If you’d like to give it a shot, check out this tutorial from SweetAmbs.

Phineas and Ferb Cookies

Phineas and Ferb cookies for a friend’s birthday. Yes, I know it’s a kids’ show, and my friend did turn 20, but Phineas and Ferb is some seriously good television programming that I highly recommend to everyone (psst, it’s on Netflix).

Cream Puffs

Cream Puff Swans – filled with a very tasty mixture of whipped cream folded into creme anglaise. My mom used to make these swans all the time when I was a kid and I finally got to learn how to make them. The next opportunity I find a reason to fill up on custard and choux pastry, I’ll be sure to take some photos and upload a recipe. Until then, knock yourself out with this delicious creme anglaise recipe from Bon Appétit.

banana oat muffins title

Well kids, it all starts with a craving. Then just mix in a google search and a quick trip to the store, and that’s how these banana oat muffins were born. They are quite delicious and extremely quick and simple to make. You probably already have most of the ingredients on hand, and it certainly wouldn’t be hard to come up with an excuse to make these. They’re also a great way to use up some of those over-ripe bananas you have sitting on your counter. Muffins are delicious at any time of day, and this goes for all “breakfast” foods, in my opinion (or if you need Amy Poehler to convince you, click here). It is easy to substitute ingredients or throw in a little somethin’ extra. I made this batch with toasted walnuts, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and applesauce in place of the oil. Hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Happy Saturday!

Banana Oat Muffins

(original inspiration from here)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar (white, brown, or a mix)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk, I think creme fraiche or sour cream would be a lovely substitute as well)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoons vanilla (extract, paste, what have you)
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed

Optional Add-Ins
chocolate chips, or mini chocolate chips if you’re feeling fun and adventurous
toasted nuts, chopped up
a pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400F and line a 12-cup muffin pan.

Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, optional spices) in a bowl, and give it a good stir with a fork or a whisk.

In a separate bowl, gently beat the egg, and mix in the rest of the wet ingredients in succession (milk, applesauce, vanilla, banana).

Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and toasted nuts, if using. Divide batter into pan and bake for 16-20 minutes, turning the pan half-way through baking. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes then turn out to cool completely (or to consume immediately, for the impatient and hungry).

NOTE: My muffins really stuck to the lining right after they were baked, but after sealing them in an air-tight bag/container overnight, they loosened up and were much easier to eat. This often causes problems with cupcakes, in that the lining will separate from the cake if left in an air-tight container, but it proved helpful with these muffins.

These have been in a sealed ziplock bag on my counter for 2 days now and they are still moist and delicious. But probably the tastiest the morning after baking, once they’ve loosened their death grip on those liners.

I know I’ve disappeared for a while, but the baking has continued, so more posts shall be on their way soon (hopefully)! In the mean time, here’s a sneak peak at some christmas cookies. Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

Image

We took a day trip out of the city today to St.Jacob’s farmer’s market. Of course, there are farmer’s markets in the city as well, but everything is always crazy expensive and often not all that fresh to begin with. You always have to be careful with these kinds of things: one stand could be selling berries from a farm around the corner, and two metres away you’ll find produce from California.

In any case, delicious food was certainly had, and here are some photos to share with you all. Hope everyone gets a chance to get out of the city, especially in this beautiful sun, whether it’s for a farmer’s market, a canoe trip, or even just a scenic drive.

All the jams and jellies you could imagine. Feast your eyes.

They may not be the prettiest looking cinnamon buns, but damn were they delicious.

Definitely can’t go wrong with these amazing apple fritters.

A short drive out of town and into the fields led us to the home of a lovely lady who makes beautiful quits. I picked up this tote with an adorable little house on it.

And to wrap it all up, some wonderful farm fresh eggs. Just $1.25 for the carton! Definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s breakfast :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 82 other followers