Monthly Archives: March 2008

bread pudding

I’ve never had bread pudding before, but I had been dreaming of a recipe from tastespotting for awhile, it looked pretty easy, not too unhealthy, and really good. When Alice suggested making bread pudding for dessert on Saturday, I was really happy. Except her recipe called for ganache, creme fraiche, and table cream. So, suddenly, it was neither easy nor healthy. Anyway, she ended up doing a tastespotting search and modifying her version to the more do-able, less heavy version. It was amazing.

  • 8 croissants, ripped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 easter bunny, shaved, on top

Whisk the liquids together with the cocoa and sugar, and soak the bananas and bread in the mixture, covered in the fridge for 20 minutes. Add the chocolate chips, and transfer into a baking pan. Bake at 350 covered for 25 minutes, uncovered for 15 minutes. Pour the chocolate shavings on top, and leave in the oven, heat off, for a bit.

We went for a walk to make room for dessert, and to see the neighbourhood without lights, since it was Earth Hour. Kind of romantic to see a dark Starbucks. Anyway, this is a pretty impressive dessert, I’m sure it was also amazing for breakfast, minus the chocolate shavings it isn’t too too sweet. (note that I have a serious sweet tooth!)

french toast

I absolutely love making french toast. Especially in my amazing press, french toast is easy and excellent. Growing up, I didn’t like eggs, so my mother would make french toast so I could maybe get some protein in the morning. Plus, it’s the perfect vehicle for maple syrup, which is great, because it’s so embarrassing when my roommates catch me eating maple syrup from a spoon.

If I am going to be having sweet french toast, I love using challah with a bit of cinnamon in the mixture.  Challah is great because it absorbs the syrup so nicely, and it’s fluffy and awesome.

But if I have the right toppings, I also love a savoury french toast.  Last year on my birthday my lovely friends brought over many excellent cheeses and fruits and we made stuffed and open faced french toasts.  Any creamy cheeses are obviously amazing, but I think the general consensus is that this excellent ginger stilton was really ideal for a french toast/fruit pairing.

Bacon on the side is good, but I also love bacon stuffed into it.

Clearly, the point of this post was to showcase these awesome shots, since french toast is totally easy and doesn’t require a recipe.  It was also a way to gently suggest to my friends that we make some french toast this weekend (hiiiiint!).

pilaf treat

I am eating a really delicious pilaf right now. Wikipedia tells me that a pilaf is just a grain (quinoa) fried, and then cooked in a broth.  Because I used orange juice as the broth,my lunch tastes more like dessert, which is pretty good.

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 cups water
  • handful toasted pecans
  • handful dried cranberries
  • salt

Fry the quinoa in the oil, until it smells kind of toasted.  Add the orange juice, and gradually add the water until the quinoa looks more-or-less germinated, stirring fairly constantly.  This only takes maybe 10 minutes  Add in a bit of salt, and toss in the pecans and cranberries.  I feel insanely healthy right now, mostly because I finally feel like I’m getting enough protein.  Also, this would maybe be a more appropriate breakfast, given how sweet it is.

surprisingly good cookies.

I do love cookie, but I rarely make them since eating milk chocolate chips on their own is just about as awesome for me. But a long, long time ago, Jess made some seriously excellent cookies that didn’t even really have chocolate chips in them. I have been thinking of them a lot lately, so I decided to try them out. This recipe is not as good as hers, but it’s still awesome and she is terribly busy and I think I will just have to wait a month and a bit to work out her cookies. Anyway, they are surprisingly good since they feature white chocolate, cranberries, and macadamia nuts, all of which are good, but none of which are amazing the way they are in these cookies.

I think the recipe is from Epicurious. It is easy but it makes about forty pretty hefty cookies, so maybe half the recipe unless you want to pawn these off on anyone you know. The cookie dough is maybe the best I’ve tried, it holds together, isn’t super greasy, and is chewy. This is mostly what I’m looking for in a cookie.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cup white chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup roasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

Cream together the butter and sugars. Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt and add them to the butter. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Add the cranberries, chocolate and nuts. This is a lot of stuff, maybe so much that I would add less, which is strange, because usually I add more extras rather than less. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

beer stew

Yesterday I tried to make roasted veggies in the slow cooker.  I think a ten-hour cook on vegetables might have been a bit ambitious, though, since it turned into stew.  And, my fears of too-few liquids went totally unrealized…   Though this was not what I expected, it was pretty good and very easy.

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 white potatoes
  • 3 yellow peppers
  • 1 vidallia onion
  • 1 red onion
  • 9 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 1 tall boy (I used Lech, because it was in the fridge)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt

Cut up all the veggies into pretty large chunks, and throw them in the slow cooker.  Take the herbs from the sprigs, but no need to chop them.  Add in the liquids, and bake it slowly.  This is a lot of veggies with only a little bit of liquid, but somehow everything doesn’t burn.  The slow cooker is magical like that, I guess.  I’ve made this before in the oven, which makes it less stew-y, more roasted, but both are good.  Also, all of these measurements are very much guesses, and I’m pretty sure you can sub almost anything for anything…

lime soup

Generally I am of the mindset that if a relationship has to end, it is best to get at least one awesome recipe out of it.  This lime soup falls into this category, and comes to me actually via Tony’s past relationship, rather than my own, but even if it were tainted with broken hearts and whatnot it would still be amazing.  Tony’s ex-boyfriend was adamant that the recipe not be changed, but it was, a little, and I think it works.  This soup is excellent, perfectly tangy and spicy and cheesey.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 12 cups chicken soup stock
  • 1 28-oz can plum tomatoes
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • juice of 6 limes
  • 1 pound chicken
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • avocado

Heat up the oil in a large (seriously, this recipe yields a lot) soup pot, and sauté the garlic and onions until they’re transparent.  Add the soup broth, the canned tomatoes, the coriander and the hot sauce.  I didn’t bother to chop the coriander, I just ripped it from the stock and threw it in.  Let everything simmer for half and hour, covered.  In the meantime, grill the chicken and shred it once it’s cool.  The best option is very small shreds of chicken, which is a job I suggest delegating out, since it is annoying.  Add the lime juice and chicken to the pot, and simmer briefly.  Divide into bowls and top with lots of sharp sharp cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, and avocado.  You can also use goat cheese or even feta but extra-old cheddar in soup is amazing.

new york brunch

I mostly only take pictures of food.  This is because food usually looks good, and it really doesn’t spoil the moment to take a picture of food the way it does to take a picture of something awesome or hilarious or whatever.  Anyway, this is generally okay, except it means that I am untrained to capture moments on film and sometimes I get too stressed out to take pictures in restaurants.  I think this must have happened this weekend: Zack and I went to New York City, and I took about 12 pictures: 4 from a brunch and 8 of this cat with a very small head and a very huge body.

Anyway, we had a really nice brunch at Patois on Sunday. I love a good brunch, especially one with many many drinks.  I had the poached eggs on a duck confit hash, and I will say that duck for breakfast is maybe the most decadent way to start the day.  It was pretty amazing, but I wish I’d thought to ask for it without hollandaise sauce, since I hate it. I finished everything, though, so maybe my hatred is waning.

Anyway, New York was lots of fun.  We also had what I think was the best sushi I’ve ever had, but I didn’t take any pictures.