Soup is on

February is cold, rainy, yucky and sometimes depressing. On that positive note…I tried to perk up with two delicious soup recipes from the Jan-Feb issue of Milk Street. I used the Instant Pot to make the Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil. (It doesn’t call for the Pot, I just decided to give it a try.) While that was cooking I made the Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Spinach. Both were good but I personally liked the Coconut one better. Anything with coconut, typical Indian spices and spinach has my vote!

 

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Some sautéing in the Instant Pot for the Turkish Red Lentil Soup first.

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Cumin I love you. Please don’t notice my lazy garlic in the jar, shhhhhh!

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Heat Aleppo Pepper flakes in Olive Oil, yum. I saved this to use on pizza soon.

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Top with the oil, mint and a squeeze of lemon.

The Coconut Soup…

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Such wholesome goodness and quick options for a mid-week meal. Why not serve them with homemade pita .

Pita Pride

A couple weeks ago I wanted a baking challenge so I decided to tackle the Pita Pocket from the Jan-Feb Milk Street Magazine. I’m going to brag a little here because man did they turn out fab! Actually, they were super easy and I feel foolish for not making them sooner…

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Look at that Puff!

I really followed the directions for these babies. There were lots of helpful pics in the recipe too. Check out the process…

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Make the dough and let it rise.

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Weigh those suckers to get an even size.

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Form into cute little balls.

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A second rise does the trick. Then swipe with a touch of light oil (I used grapeseed).

Cooking was the fun part. It took some attention though because you can only put 2-3 in the oven at once. They only cook for 3 min in a 500F oven, yup that’s super hot…

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I used my pizza peel to slide them in.

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I also used my pizza stone.

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They’re puffing, they’re puffing! Awe, pride, success!

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There was some inconsistent puffing but WHATEVER because they worked. They even had a pocket…

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How cool is that! I’m getting excited again just writing about them. They didn’t just look pretty. They tasted scrumptious too…

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Hummous dipping time. 

Please try this recipe if you grab the mag. I’ll be making these again for sure.

 

 

Recipe From The Box

Aside from Rice Crispies have you ever made a recipe from the box of anything?! Well, I haven’t but I recently found myself with a half leftover box of PC Phyllo pastry. (Remember I made those gorgeous fig cookies, see post here.) I spotted a quick spanikopita recipe on the back of the box and decided not to waste the already defrosted phyllo (I guess I could have kept it in the fridge but that’s no fun, it probably would never have been used.)…

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I highly recommend! I think I would add some lemon zest to the mixture for an added tang! Worth looking at the recipes on packages I guess! Happy making!

Quick Veg Sides

For us Veg eaters we often take salads or sides and make them our main course. Last week was a classic example. I made the Bulger Salad with Carrots and Almonds P.33 from America’s Test Kitchen: The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes magazine…

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This was an interesting recipe because you simplt soaked the bulger wheat in water and lemon juice for about an hour to let it soften. You don’t cook it. All I had was Bob’s Red Mill Red Bulger Wheat. I think it must be a bit tougher because I couldn’t get it to soften completely. At the end of the soaking time I popped it in the microwave for about 5 min and it was perfect. I let it cool after so that I could maintain the cold salad effect. Yum with a nice chewy texture.

To complete the meal I made Harissa Roasted Potatoes from the Milk Street magazine (display until Feb 26 edition). I ADORE Harissa. This North African spice paste is full of flavour and not too, too spicy (you can always adjust the amount to your taste)…

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They were so crispy and yummy. I’m going to have to make them again soon.

Maybe the two dishes don’t really go together but it sure was a perfect dinner…

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Bon Appétit Feb 2018 Update

I’m starting to forget which magazines I’ve updated on or not! I’ve had to put check marks beside the ones I’ve blogged about. Follow me on Instagram to get more updated pictures before I write about them here.

Did I mention I also got the Bon Appétit February issue? I got it because of the Tahini Brownie recipe. Remember I made a batch of these from the latest LCBO Winter Mag, see here for that post. What is absolutely hilarious is that just before I saw this mag at Chapters I said to John, “I totally think tahini brownies are a THING, I’m seeing recipes everywhere!”. I’m not even exaggerating…fast forward about 5 min and this is staring me in the face…

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Yes! It is officially a thing.

I liked these brownies better than the ones from Food and Drink. They were very fudgy. Keep in mind I did overcook the Food and Drink ones, making them WAY too dry. Here are the Bon Appétit ones…

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These are worth a try for sure!

I figured I best make something else from this magazine so I tackled the Mango Toast with Hazelnut-Pepita Butter. I’m soooooooooo glad I did. What a wonderful combo. You also sprinkle Aleppo red pepper flakes and honey on top, gorgeous. I used defrosted frozen blueberries instead of freeze dried. It turned out amazing…

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Kitty update just in case you love cats! They are learning new tricks too…

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The Best Mediterranean Diet Magazine Update

As I’m waiting for recipes to cook for tonight’s dinner I thought it the perfect time to update on recipes I’ve been making from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes. I’ve been plugging a long and finding some nice little recipes along the way…

First, we were invited to an impromptu evening gathering (when you are younger I think that’s just called a Saturday night lol). Anywho, I decided to make 2 of the dip recipes that I hadn’t been thinking to try. First was the Tzatziki on p.7. I tried it with the beetroot variation. It was nice but I think I put too much beet in for my liking. I think I’d make it again with maybe 4 oz instead of the 6. Actually, I wouldn’t be rushing to make it again, not sure I can put my finger on why. Could just have been because I’d prefer less beet, hmmmmmm, perplexed…

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There is still cucumber in this beet Tzatziki.

The other dip I made was a different story for me altogether! The Muhammara on p.9 was gorgeous. It had a tanginess  from the pomegranate molasses (yes I used store bought and not the recipe at the bottom of the page, deal with it!) and a gorgeous after bite of spice from the cayenne. Loved it!…

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Are those store-bought pitas in those pictures. Well, no, thanks for asking! They are toasted up fresh from large pita pocket rounds. You totally don’t need a recipe to cut these open and drizzle olive oil and salt on top but just in case there are directions on p. 7…

Before we left for that gathering I made the Roasted Winter Squash Salad with Za’tar and Parsley p.24 for dinner. It was delish! If you don’t want it too dressing’y then maybe add a bit more squash. Could eat this one for days…

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Check out p. 25 for the cover recipe. We had that on the past weekend and it was a total hit. Curry and cauliflower can’t be beat in my books…

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John went goo-goo-gaga over this next recipe on p. 64, The Roasted Mushrooms with Parmesan and Pine Nuts. I thought they got a bit dry with the addition of 1/2 cup of Parmesan so just gauge for yourself how much you want to put in. The picture in the magazine didn’t look as cheese coated as mine…

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The neatest thing about this recipe was that you actually soaked the mushrooms in salt water for quite awhile. Odd because we are usually taught to NOT wash these bad boys. It worked though…

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Finally, the BEST recipe so far. The Fig and Phyllo Cookies on P. 90 were truly divine. Now, I lOVE, LOVE, LOVE fig or date anything so I knew I’d like these but I almost ate all the filling before the cookies were rolled, oops! I’m not convinced you even need to use the filling with phyllo (they are a traditional Italian cookie by the way). I think you could do a traditional Date Square with this filling instead. It had hints of orange from the orange syrup and the Sherry is a must…

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That’s Test Kitchen all wrapped up! Let me know if you make any of the recipes. I already know that Moody Little Kitchen has bought the mag to make some of these gems. Find her amazing blog at here.

Lady Sunnyside

At the end of January I posted that I was finally going to finish my Lady Sunnyside sweater by Tanis Fibre Arts. (See that post here.) It’s a lovely top-down cardi. It’s a simple stockinette stitch but with a fancy boarder option. I chose the lace but there is also a simple cable twist version as well…

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Totally comfy to wear. I can see it being a staple already. On to the next WIP!!! Hint…my husband will finally get a sweater. Stay tuned lol!

 

My First Hudson Pants

That’s right folks I whipped up my first pair of Hudson Pants from True Bias (and I do mean first pair because this is a fab pattern and it will be made again soon)! Remember it is also part of my 2018 resolution/challenge to make at least 1 garment a month. The end of January is fast approaching so I’m glad these could be whipped up in a day!…

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Finished Hudson Pants

I’ve been dying to try this pattern for ages now. I got this gorgeous french terry from Spool and Spindle in Kitchener, ON. I knew this fabric would stretch out quite a bit so I went down a size from what I was originally thinking.I like this style of pant a little more close fitting. (Glad I did. This is the size 4 but I think in a regular jersey I’d do the 6.) I used the Navy in this fabric for the Lane Raglan by Hey June. If you look closely to the pic on the left you will see how it hangs bigger than the standard black sweat shirt material, especially at the neck and sleeves. Not sure I would go down a size if I made it again but just be prepared for it to fit more loosely…

You’ll notice I played around with a cute floral pocket detail (Liberty print floral jersey that I got when we lived in the UK). Check out the process…

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Purchase the pattern online or in a store. I got mine off the True Bias website. Print it and tape it together.

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I checked out my fav PJ pants from Costco years ago that remind me of the Hudson Pant. The black pair is straight from the dryer and the grey has been worn. I wanted to pick a size that would be no larger than the grey pair. I measured the grey ones to decide to make the 4.

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If I have a digital pattern I like to just cut it out because I can always reprint for an alternate size.

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I auditioned fabric for the job!

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I decided to use this black and white ribbing for the cuffs and waistband. I reversed it to the lighter side for the pocket detail.

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Time to use this amazing french terry. So cuddly!

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Decide to cut later because the babies looked so cute.

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Do up the pockets first.

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Fun pocket details.

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Practiced my button holes on a scrape first!

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Final button holes not too shabby!

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Sew the drawstring casing.

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Get my Instagram Husband to take photos!

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Can’t wait for spring to wear these shoes again!

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Too cold for just a long sleeved shirt but warm enough today for just a vest, yahoo!

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Wear these the rest of the day!

Can’t wait to make another pair!

Milk Street Magazine Jan-Feb Recipes

Have you bought any of the Jan-Feb Magazines I’ve been making recipes from? Maybe this post will inspire you to try something new…

From the recent Milk Street (still in stores)…

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…I first made the Chickpea and Harissa Soup (Lablabi) p.22. I love the description “For an older generation, lablabi is hot breakfast. For a younger one, it is late-night after-club grub.” For John and I it was just a weeknight dinner for 2 (which made enough to feed an army by the way.) Here’s where I got creative. You basically had to sauté the ingredients and then add the chickpeas and water. I thought “hey! why don’t I forget about soaking and cooking the chickpeas first. I could just cook it all in the Instant Pot together”. You  know dried chickpeas are the best right…

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Instant Pot time!

You know what? It worked brilliantly! There are 3 quarts of broth in this soup which was more than enough to cook the chickpeas…

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Saute function first

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Toast up those spices

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Ready to pressure cook for 45 min

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All done kids

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Look at those gorgeous gems

There was no lack of fixin’ madness with this soup. Cilantro, capers, parsley, green olives, toasted sourdough croutons…you name it! I recommend adding some diced preserved lemon…

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Finished Product

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Those eggs! Great soft boiled egg tips in the recipe. Steam for 7 min then directly in ice water. Perfect softies every time!

Next up was an interesting take on Guac, Colombian Avocado Salsa (Aji de Aguacate) p.24. Avocado is mashed with some hard boiled egg then mixed with a tangy vinegar herb and chilli mix, topped with larger chunks of egg and tomato…

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The magazine suggests it could be traditionally served on patacones (double fried plantains) so why not try those too! I looked to the Nomnom Paleo app and my foodie friend Moody Little Kitchen for some advice. I think they turned out pretty well for my first go. You are meant to find green plantains but that’s not always easy at a Zehrs in the middle of an Ontario winter so yellow ones had to do (they just made them a bit sweeter which was fine)…

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John’s seal of approval

I really liked the addition of the egg. I can see trying my usual, memorized version of guac with some hard boiled goodness. Let me know if you give it a go!

 

 

 

Food and Drink Free Magazine

If you live in Canada you can easily add the LCBO (where us Ontario folks buy our spirits) free magazine to your recipe collection. The Winter edition is out right now…

 

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The magazine is obviously a great way to advertise different wines and spirits but I still quite enjoy it. It’s fun to see the recipes they come up with that use different liqueurs etc. As I vowed to make recipes out of magazines this year (yes, even free ones) the other night I made the recipe for Tahini Swirl Brownies p.32IMG_2429.jpg Don’t let the tahini put you off. Personally, I LOVE tahini and could eat it by the spoonful and it does give it a subtle nutty flavour. I admit I did over bake them and they were too dry at the edges so BE CAREFUL! It says to bake until the skewer comes out clean but perhaps not too dry! I may have also left them in too long because my self-diagnosed ADD kicked in and I got doing something else. I’m sure I did hear the buzzer lol!…

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I’m actually very curious about this recipe because the new Sweet cookbook by my fav Ottolenghi and Goh also have a tahini brownie recipe. I’m going to try it soon to compare!

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