March Break Love

For once I feel quite good about what I accomplished over the break. There is nothing worse than feeling you slept the week away! I got up to some great sewing this week as well but I’ll share that later. For now, you’ll have to check out the magazine recipes I tried.

From Milk Street (March-April 2018):

Gruyère and Chive Omelet with Mustard Croutons p.4.

This seemed an odd recipe at first with the croutons in the middle of the omelet but if you think about it it’s just like eating it with toast. This recipe was truly dreamy and I’ll be making this one again for a quick weekday meal…

 

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Egg whipped with chives.

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Croutons soaked in a white wine reduction with grainy mustard and then fried. YUM!

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Serve with a green salad for the win!

In Rome, Broccoli Is a Sauce, Not a side p.7

Broccoli sauce, weird you say? Yup, a little bit but packs a flavour punch. Broccoli stalks are whizzed up into a sauce with seasonings. I’m just annoyed I didn’t think to make it for St. Paddy’s day. Next year…

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From Bon Apétit (March 2018):

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart p.22

Very sadly I was not a fan of this tart and it took AGES to make! I think I prefer something sweeter. The crust was a bitter chocolate, the caramel was yummy but lacking something and, my fault, I didn’t use the best chocolate on the top so it tasted flat as well. Oh well, they can’t all be winners. The only thing good about this recipe was I got to practice making caramel and that is never a bad thing…

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An excellent method for getting tart pastry in the pan. Not like doing a pie crust where you roll the dough on the pin and lay it on top of the shell.

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Reserve dough off the edges to fill cracks after the blind bake.

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Clearly, my second attempt on the right was correct. You really do need to almost burn it. That light coloured goodness still tasted a treat.

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Looks good, right. I know! So sad it didn’t have the flavour for me.

Twice-Roasted Squash with Parmesan Butter and Grains p.89

Soooooooooo tasty. As the weather this break was horribly grey and depressing I felt ok making this fall-like recipe…

 

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Roasted Squash for the parmesan butter mash.

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Filling. Used farro but I think quinoa would have been nicer.

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Saving the best for last…

Spiced Sweet Potato Sandwich with Feta P.63

Holy cow, this was the sandwich of champions. I can’t express the awesomeness of this sammy! It had a layer of feta, roasted sweet potato, lemon and garlic mayo, pickled red onion and beets and fresh herbs. I can still taste this dreamy concoction…

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I have to make this again soon! Yum, yum, yum.

 

 

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 .

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.

 

 

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!

 

 

 

New Year’s Resolutions!

I NEVER made New Year’s Resolutions until I met John. In fact, I thought they were pretty pointless and ridiculous. But…after years of seeing they are possible to carry on and that they can add enjoyment and focus for your life I decided to give it a try! Of course mine are not quite as serious or focused on success and self-improvement. I needed to find a fun way to make myself do MORE of what I love! Thus, 2 years ago I decided to not buy any clothes for the whole year so that I would wear more of the clothes I already had that I liked. Didn’t hurt that it saved money to spend while travelling. It was an interesting experiment. Last year, I vowed to make more recipes out of my cookbooks. I chose 1 book a month to make as many recipes as I could.

It’s taken me time to nail down this year’s fun but I think I got it sorted…

1. Make at least 1 finished garment a month. This could be for me or someone else. Like cookbooks, I also seem to have collected an impressive amount of sewing patterns, paper and digital. I WANT TO MAKE MORE!

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Just some of the patterns I hope to accomplish this year.

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My gorgeous custom sewing area.

You can see a pile of gorgeous fabric waiting in the wings! The first project is actually for a dear friend Anne. I hope to work more on my fitting skills so making things for different people will be a fun challenge. I also hope to move away from simple projects like shift dresses and make more tailored pieces.

2. Cooking Magazines. I feel like this next challenge is very reminiscent from last year but…I seem to also have a small problem with reading food magazines and never making any of the recipes! Part of me feels it’s totally ok to just enjoy reading the articles and looking/drooling at the pictures but once I get a couple piles like this I start to feel a bit guilty…

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When we lived in the UK I went on a crazy magazine organizing scheme in the hopes that I’d actually cook from all the recipes I’d cut out, no house is big enough to keep years of magazines right! Possibly crazy but I still think my headings are clever!…

Most pre-made recipe folders have meat headings so what are us veggies to do. In case you organize in your head like this too…these categories seem to describe everything I’ve cut out of magazines:

  • Salads
  • App like recipes
  • Soups (Chilies, Dahls etc.)
  • Other (Nuts, Snacks)
  • Drinks
  • Dips/Sauces/Dressings
  • Mains-Pasta
  • Mains-Pastry
  • Mains-Other
  • Veggies Solo
  • Baking-Savour
  • Baking-Sweet
  • Cakes, Tarts-full size-showstoppers
  • Puddings

Once I make a recipe I write the name and quick rating on the front of each folder. Since the initial culling of the magazines I realised that I haven’t done it again since, eek. Hence…

I felt incredibly guilty over all the money spent on these until I sorted them and saw that more than half were Waitrose mags which are free with your Waitrose store card. For those that haven’t been to the UK and shopped at a Waitrose all I can say is we are missing out here in Canada! Waitrose and M&S food halls are 2 of the things I miss most about the UK lol! Think gourmet, higher end but EVERYWHERE! The Waitrose magazine every month is dreamy and I miss that John isn’t travelling to and fro anymore to get them for me, snurp.

For the past week I’ve felt overwhelmed with going through every issue again to cut out recipes to file away…soooooooo…I’ve decided to donate the mags I have to school and move forward with more intention. If/when I buy a new food mag I vow to make some of the recipes and then keep the ones I try and like.

I also wanted it to be fun and interactive in case anyone else wants to follow along and make the recipes I make too! I’m not going to go nuts buying new mags all the time but I usually do buy a few a month just for fun, or as time killers on car/plane trips. I’ll post them as soon as I buy them so you can decide if you want to play along.

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE SOMETHING FROM A MAGAZINE I POST SO THAT I CAN HEAR YOUR REVIEWS TOO!

I’m going to started with these…

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These looked good in the store today. Test Kitchen mags are always a good read and bonus because it’s January diet food lol. This Milk Street mag just looks nice to look at and Bake British issue, well that’s a must.

Milk Street and Bake are Jan-Feb issues and Test Kitchen Best Med recipes is displayed until March so lots of time to buy these and make.

Sound good…happy cooking!IMG_2276.jpg