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Moroccan-Style Spicy Carrot Dip

Unusual and addictive. Love the contrast of briny, sweet, and spicy. Making my second batch in four days!

Cook the Book: 'The Gourmet Cookie Book'

Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookie from Super Natural Cooking!

Vegan desserts

I went through a phase a couple of years ago and challenged myself to make a holiday vegan cookie assortment. A couple of things that I learned: I do not like egg replacements nor flaxseed slurry and Earth Balance is a valid alternative but still not to my taste. I really like Dreena Burton's approach and did a bunch of variations on her basic cookie recipe. A fudgy brownie made with silken tofu and a blondie with arrowroot also made the final cut. I listed all my links and baking notes here:

Calorie dense foods, no refrigeration

yogurt (not an issue for same-day consumption) + granola
dry cured sausages
bean salad with dried fruit and vinaigrette

Ideas For Roast Chicken Pan Dripping

Wow thanks everyone for the suggestions! Plenty of ideas that will work well with my cooking style. Can't wait to try.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Temporarily Vegan

What a coincidence! I made a Borlotti Bean Mole with Roasted Winter Squash just as the topic was posted. It is incredibly flavourful and complex. It is *almost* vegan except for my choice of chocolate...just read the ingredient list and it includes milk fat. Argh!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Cohorts in Comfort

Adding one more to my list now that my photo is posted: Pulled Pork sandwich and Coleslaw with Sweet & Tangy Sauce. Pulled pork was made using recipe from Cook's Illustrated, brined and rubbed with liquid smoke. Cannot believe how well it turned out. Sauce was sweetened with maple syrup for a Canadian touch.

Pork and fat definitely qualify for comfort food!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Cohorts in Comfort

Comfort food from two different angles last weekend: food that are comforting to me and traditional comfort food from a region that I'm foreign to.

First take is a round of baked goat cheese over sprouts salad with grapes and candied pecans, lightly dressed with maple vinaigrette. I love this kind of light meal punctuated with richness (oozing goat cheese with crunchy crust makes me happy). I can eat this everyday.

Second take is a southern staple of beans and cornbread. It definitely falls under the carb-heavy stick-to-your-ribs territory of traditional comfort food. For this Canadian-Chinese girl though, this is not something I grow up eating so it doesn't evoke that same comforting feeling as a bowl of congee would. Nonetheless, making frijoles a la charra and skillet cornbread was lots of fun. Love the big soft creamy beans and sizzling cornbread batter as I poured it into a hot skillet slicked with bacon dripping.

Do you shop Farmers' Markets or belong to a CSA?

I just joined a CSA and can't be happier. They operate a modified-CSA format, sourcing from over 20 farms in the same growing region. There's more varieties and less risk. Another interesting feature is each share composes of a set of core items plus credits that you can use to select "extra" items. The selection for the extras including meat, poultry, eggs, preserves, maple syrup, veggies not part of the week's core items.

Although it's winter, I've been pleasantly surprised by the selection. Aside from the usual suspects for produce, I received freshly milled cornmeal and dry beans recently (see here and here.

Shopping at farmer's market is fun but too tempting to overspend. :)

Valentine's Day Baking....

I need to fly with my V-Day baked goods so I decided a small, sturdy, but decadent chocolate torte would be the answer. Made the Sticky Chocolate Cake from Chocolate & Zucchini last night in a 5 inch round cake pan. It's "aging" now for the flavours to meld.

Valentine's Day Giveaway: Peanut Butter & Co. Chocolate Hearts

See's nuts & chews collection in dark chocolate. Sigh, no See's in the east coast!

Uninspiring Squash Dilemma

I just recently tried this warm salad recipe from Chocolate And Zucchini. Highly recommended. Love the layers of flavours.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Superfoods

I don't really buy into the Superfood notion either. It's nice to read articles that confirm the food choices I make are indeed nutritious. However, I wouldn't go out of my way to including certain food in my diet because it's the latest fad for being "super". As an athlete, I consciously choose food that are nutritionally dense. For the same amount of calories, I would choose a roasted sweet potato over half a donut anyday.

That being said, I have a preference for produce in vibrant hues. Coincidentally, those food are often tooted as Superfood.

red: beets, cherries, strawberries
orange: kabocha and all types of winter squash, papaya, carrots
yellow: kotobuki sweet potato, mango
green: crucifers, all kinds of dark leafy greens, kiwi
blue: blueberries
purple: purple sweet potato, blackberries

Eat colourfully, it's good for me. :)

What's Your Go-To Cheese?

1. Comte or gruyere, depending if either one is on sale. :)
2. Unripen goat cheese

Speaking of which, I think it's time for me to restock my fridge.

Oatmeal Month

Mmm, I love using oatmeal to make fresh muesli. A batch can last for days. In a large bowl, layer the following in order: old-fashioned rolled oats, steelcut oats, milk, dried cranberries, frozen berries, unsweetened apple sauce, yogurt, chopped nuts. Cover and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Next morning, stir everything to combine. Before serving, sprinkle with some wheat bran. Very nutritionally dense so it's perfect food for breakfast or pre-workout snack.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Pies Reconsidered

I made an Onions & Leeks Goat Cheese Tart, inspired by the goodies purchased from a local farmer's market. Farmer's market in winter is still more fun than supermarket.

blog entry with recipe:


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