Thursday, February 18, 2010


I haven't been home so I haven't been able to cook... *tear* To fill that void, I am trying to satisfy my cravings visually. Enter: Food Porn Daily. This is pure visual excitement... I'm salivating just looking at some of these creations. You can get these images delivered directly to your inbox and even submit your own photos!

I hope this satisfies your cravings too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Many mushroom risotto

I planned to get together with one of my -we call each other on our birthdays- friends to celebrate her birthday. Our usual catch-up tradition is to have a nice dinner together, drink a bottle (or possibly more) of wine and cackle the night away with the Wii. Though we only manage to coordinate our schedules every few months, we never seem to skip a beat.

Text messages exchanged: So Friday... Do you like mushrooms? Response: I love mushrooms!

And here was born our mushroom risotto...

Risotto is one of my favourite things to make. It is such a fantastic canvas for a spectacular meal... with whatever you have in the fridge or with a long-sought ingredient.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oven fried chicken...

What do you do with leftover buttermilk?? Well, make fried chicken, of course. I could have kicked myself after getting chicken setup in its wonderful little buttermilk bath, then checking my schedule and realizing that I had a meeting tonight. Consequently, I was not to enjoy the chicken as planned... or at least as early as I had hoped. Rather, it was 9:30pm and I am hovering over the stove, searing chicken and putting it into the oven.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Red Velvet test run.

Whether overly ambitious or overly happy for my good friend, I offered and she agreed to me making the "cake" for her wedding in May. While we haven't decided what (cup)cake will be, I suggested a red velvet cupcake with my buttercream frosting (which she loves and I haven't yet found someone who doesn't)... perfect with the deep autumnal orange that they chose as their wedding colour.

So, this is the red velvet test run. I used a recipe from Magnolia Bakery in NY, after seeing a video of Bobbie Lloyd of the bakery making these cupcakes on Epicurious. (You can watch the video if you click on the video tab... note: She says 1 1/2 cups of butter when she should have said 1 1/2 sticks of butter... BIG difference.) If you follow this recipe exactly, yes, a lot of separate bowls are needed. I wanted to follow the recipe precisely to see if the result warranted the tediousness... and it did produce a wonderfully light and airy cupcake. The cake wasn't too sweet and the icing stayed in place (I didn't make her creamy vanilla frosting...).

I'd probably mix the batter a bit more than I did, while still avoiding overmixing, to ensure that the colouring spread evenly through the batter. I had a bit of marbling, which didn't impact the taste and actually looks kinda cool, but I'd rather not have it in the next batch. (A note to myself for test run #2. :) ) I may actually sub out the vanilla in the icing and opt for coconut extract, with shaved coconut, for that extra bit of punch.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A manly grilled chesse

This grilled cheese sandwich seems, to me, to be a very manly meal. Pulled short ribs and strong cheese in all of their chest-pounding, grunting glory. I even caught myself watching the sports highlights (well... just the curling story)... was that the sandwich's doing?

Now, if I were not as loony as I am, I don't know that I would make short ribs specifically for the purpose of this sandwich, as tasty as it is. It could be a good way to use up leftovers. But, if you are so inspired and do take the time to make the short ribs, the end result is worth it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The perfect shade of yellow.

I am sitting here... in the passive time of cooking. The short ribs are bubbling away in the oven and there is nothing I can do (or would want to do) to expedite this process. The whole satisfaction that comes from cooking anything slowly is that delightful anticipation... you know how good it can be and it's just a matter of letting it get there.

As I kill time, I am going to write about my kitchen... which I completely completely love. Sure, there are things that I dream of doing to it... like having butcher block countertops... maybe a bit more space... a double sink... a dishwasher (the cruelest thing for a foodie to be without)... but the list is not long. It's quaint and, even better in my mind, it is painted the most wonderful shades of yellow. I always wanted a yellow kitchen and my good friend, whether through intention or lacking better judgement, gave it to me. We picked two shades of Ralph Lauren paint and two days and much swearing later... a happy yellow kitchen emerged.

As I am not fortunate enough to have a dish washer, I spend a great deal of time at the kitchen sink... scrubbing and muttering... or just zoning out. To increase the enjoyment of my dishwashing time, I have filled the shelves above my kitchen sink with many of my favourite foodie things...

I have a few of my Nigella cooking pieces... my olive wood juicer that I bought in Cortona, Italy this past May... the small ceramic cucina plaque that I bought in Cortona in 2006... a ceramic jar of my mother's still filled with orange pekoe tea, as it was in my childhood... a vase filled with corks... a piece of my mother's ceramics... All things that make me smile while I wash away the traces of the meal and prepare for the next.

Before I go, I am going to give today's song to @sarahmacdonald (for those twitterers). Miike Snow - Song for No One. Enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Thai-inspired Coconut Chicken Soup

OMG. This soup is sooooo good. It seemed ridiculous but every time I tasted to the soup to see what needed to be added or tweaked, I kept saying, "this is soooo good." But it is!

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