Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In which our Hero decides to listen to folks

i love to cook. and bake. luckily, my partner loves to eat. we work well together. i cannot say how many times i harass him with the age old question, "hey there, hot stuff, what do you want for dinner?" the answer is usually a look of exasperation, a blank stare, or a mindless uttering of "something good."  in other words, yes please.

 i've been sharing my food creations with friends and family for quite a time, and for quite a time friends and family have urged me to write about my chefs-d'oeuvre. and why not? i look back at old photographs of the tasty treats ive made and i dont always remember what i did. so here i am.

im sitting on our balcony at present and the birds are singing like mad.  it's 9:20 in the evening and i still have enough light to write and enjoy the view of the alps in front of me.

i just ate dessert.
cherry and rhubarb crisp

tonight is a rare night when the mister isn't home in which i go ahead and make a dessert. but basically, ive been eating on my own since sunday, so why the hell not. he's really busy this week. his mom gave us some goodies from the garden (you will notice some themes) and i have had a wonderful time making things.  like what i just demolished.

i removed the pits from the cherries and chopped the rhubarb into moons.  i mixed that with some candied ginger chunks (not a whole lot--maybe two pieces?) and some almonds.  i threw the makings into an oven-proof dish.  then i combined some wheat flour, some grains (not just oats--quick oats dont really exist here), some coveted brown sugar (not so much, just a little), and butter.  i mashed that up a bit and topped the fruit.  then i put it in the oven (at 200° C) for half-hour-ish? i lost track of time as i was listening to the birds and talking with my dear laura in california.  the mister came home with nice cream the other day--something i dont think i've bought in the 2 years since ive lived here--so i went ahead and helped myself.  deeeeelish.

dinner this evening was a lovely chard pesto. i chopped some tomaters to put on top for kicks.  and for colour.  i like to cook with colour.
chard pesto: chard, garlic, basil, cashews, olive oil
which reminds me of last night's dinner, pineapple surprise.  the surprise is there's no pineapple. 
pineapple surprise is an original recipe, though it changes with the tide, and whatever we happen to have floating around.  i usually make pineapple surprise with cilantro but we didnt have any and the markets were already closed.  i just used some chard.  the standard ingredients that dont change include bell pepper, black beans, onion, and mango.  it's also normally served with corniebread, though brown rice is not a bad choice.  you might have noticed that i wrote  corniebread, not cornbread.  this is not a typo.  corniebread is not your typical cornbread.  no, no, it's bright and colourful.  just like me.  ive been making my cornbread this way since 1995.  it just tastes better.  and i love cornbread.

2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp melted butter
2/3 cup sugar 
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp bkg powder

mix wet ingredients in one small bowl.  mix dry ingredients in another bowl.  slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  pour into prepared baking vessel of choice.   

corniebread requires this slight variation: 
after the ingredients are poured into the baking pan, put a few drops of food colouring into the mixture and swirl around with an egg beater, fork, or instrument of choice.  

commence baking.   35 minutes at 350°/175° ...or until a toothpick declares itself clean.  

the recipe for pineapple surprise is as follows: 
sauté onion.  add bell peppers.  add lime juice (squeeze limes and lemons with the cut side up.  it lets the juice run down but not seeds).  add mango.  add beans.  stir stir stir.  eat.  

i like simple food.  just because something is simple does not make it bad.  pineapple surprise is a quick and healthy dinner.

another rather quick dish was what i had for lunch yesterday.  i have no name for this recipe as of yet... but let's just call it yumm-o!

101_0612 i often make a huge batch of quinoa to keep around for salads. sometimes i make it with coconut milk because i am wild and crazy. i had some hanging out in the fridge, and some strawberries that needed to go. also some asparagus that was looking a little sad (i think it was the last of the season...nooooooooooo!).  there was also chard and rhubarb from my mother-in-law.   i sautéed a shallot, added the asparagus, added the rhubarb, gave those a whirl, and added the chard just at the end so it would be bright and green and full of nutrients.  then i plunked all that on top of the quinoa, added a few strawberries, and that's that.  the rhubarb was quite tasty--it added a lovely zing to the dish.  almost lemony! 

simple and tasty.

also simple and tasty was the pizza i made on sunday.  now, usually i make my own dough.  but i must confess.  this time i used a ready-made that fell into my grocery baskey last week.  oops.  well, i did what any savvy lass would do: i ate it.

i had some goat cheese, some mozzarella (the pizza dough had friends in the baskey), some asparagus, two nectarines (gonk) on their last legs, fresh basil, and one can of tomato paste.  ask my mom about me and tomato paste sometime.

i made a quick sauce with the tomato paste and herbs (dried basil and oregano), layered on slices of moo-zarella, and lovingly arranged the rest of the goods.

after i baked the pie, i added the fresh basil and devoured it.  well, half of it.  the mister was lucky enough to enjoy some when he got back sunday evening.


the last dish i would like to share was also thematically simple.

quinoa, chard, lime, goat cheese

i zested a lime into a bowl, juiced half the lime, and added in some goat cheese.  then i let that hang out.  meanwhile, i made a fresh batch of quinoa (i did not use the coconut milk batch but just regular ol' water).  when the quinoa was halfway done, i threw some chard into the pot.  i let it simmer, then turned off the heat and kept the lid on for a minute to let it steam.  then i emptied the bowl in with the chard and quinoa and juiced the other half the of the lime.

i ate it with an avocado.

you can eat anything with an avocado.



bon appétit <3

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