Saturday, April 19, 2014

Earth Day 2014

Earth Day is coming up on Tuesday, 22 April! Have you decided how you will mark the occasion? I have a few ideas for you!

My friend and colleague, Michael Broadhead, publishes a cookbook which is updated with a new edition each Earth Day. I urge you to go download a free copy from his website.

Earth Day gives us a chance to think about how what we do affects the earth and what we can do to be better stewards of our world. One key way to do this is to eat less meat. Or no meat at all. I want to encourage you to try a meatless month or week. Many people do a once-a-week meatless day on "Meatless Mondays". Another idea is to restrict animal products to one meal or item a day. One popular version of this is often called "Vegan before 6pm".

This year I was honoured to be the first guest recipe contributor to Michael's recipe book! I have a page on which I share a delicious vegan recipe for frozen banana cream pie. But my recipe is not the reason you should download Michael's book. Here are the recipes that caught my eye that I'm sure you will like.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thai Red Curry with Beef and Pumpkin

Cooking = Ingredients + Execution

In the case of this Thai red curry, the execution is very simple. Use only one big pot or pan and add things one at a time until it is all cooked.

As for ingredients, use a prepared red curry paste to make things both simple and authentic in taste. Add ingredients you have around the kitchen like beef (or another meat or protein) and vegetables (such as pumpkin or another root vegetable). Some sweet basil leaves and kaffir lime leaves (optional) add a nice little touch of differentiation from last night's easy dinner.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Art in the Kitchen

There are a few items of art in my kitchen. Out of the three things I am going to show you, two are food-themed and one is not.

The postcards above are from Ikea and have appeared on this blog before: three years ago when I gave you a tour of my Hong Kong kitchen. (The postcards were brought along when we moved to Singapore last year.) I love these postcards; I had them laminated so they would last longer in the kitchen.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Grain-Free Banana Pancakes

People are always asking me how I eat without grains. I have stopped eating any wheat, rice, oats or other grains. It was an experiment last year that really paid off in terms of my digestive health and energy levels. I'm not intolerant to any of these items, but I have come to believe that my body (and most others) are not designed to handle grains.

I get asked especially about breakfast. Breakfast food is full of grains: cereal, toast, pancakes, waffles, and muffins. Lots of times I avoid grains at breakfast by avoiding these foods. Instead I eat a lot of eggs and vegetables. Scrambled eggs with some green beans on the side. A salad with a hard boiled egg. Two fried eggs plus the leftover broccoli from last night.

But I also make grain-free versions of all our favourite breakfast items.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Baked Pear Custard

Aren't these little pears beautiful? I found them recently at our grocery store. They are called Honey Belles, from New Zealand. They are in season now in New Zealand.

Here in Singapore, we are half a degree above the equator, so there are no seasons. How can I eat seasonally? Is it even worth it?

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Mere Mortal's Guide to Fine Dining by Colleen Rush

Our March Kitchen Reader book is The Mere Mortal’s Guide to Fine Dining: From Salad Forks to Sommeliers, How to Eat and Drink in Style Without Fear of Faux Pas by Colleen Rush. It is a book in the style of "for Dummies" books, with info boxes, side bars, and simple language. It's highly readable and amusing, and will likely teach you something. It touches on wine, menus, styles of restaurants, and etiquette. But let me sum up the whole book in just three points.

In any fine dining situation, whether you want to avoid missteps or enjoy the best meal of your year, all you need to do is:

1. Be polite with the staff.
2. Ask questions when you want to know something. Do so politely.
3. Express your gratitude for their service with your words and a tip.

And if you want to become a regular in an upscale restaurant and get the perks a regular gets, just add:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mexican Tomato and Garlic Soup

Sometimes I feel as though I don't have a particularly innovative food item to share, but I just want to remind myself and others that it is OK to eat simply. This is one of those dishes that is stupendously easy. It feels strange to revel in its simplicity. But this soup is both simple and outstanding.

There were four of us eating on a plain, calm Saturday. We were just enjoying being together and having a good old chat. This soup and a salad were the lunch we sat down to together. And it fit perfectly into our ordinary day, while amazing all four of us with its richness of flavour. This soup's motto is "store cupboard staples turned to sunshine." It is made with ingredients you probably already have in the pantry and it will bring a warming dose of Mexican sun to the table.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Portrait With Your Favourite Food

I'm going to assume that since you read food blogs, you take pictures of food. Do you take pictures of yourself with food? Yes, all food lovers do, don't we? I certainly do!

These giant peaches were on the side of the road in Cromwall, New Zealand. We were travelling along the highway and I pulled over with a screech to take these pictures. My husband, Anthony, has learned to indulge these kinds of things!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Four Food People to Follow on Instagram

I love my Instagram feed because it's a mixture of photos from friends and photos from extremely talented photographers. Most of my feed is food-focused. Here are four of my favourite Instagram feeds. You should follow them too! (And please follow me as well, of course!)

Cheryl Sternman Rule: sternmanrule
Sternman Rule is the author of Ripe and the blogger at 5 Second Rule. Her photos are well composed and her captions are usually punny or ironic. She's down-to-earth and refreshing.

Going bowling.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Weekend Links #35

Weekend Links is a way of sharing all the engrossing things I see around the internet. I publish Weekend Links approximately every two weeks. As usual, I welcome your ideas and feedback.

food reading links:
--About food advertising and branding partnerships that target children (from Adventures in Local Food). Did you know that McDonald's recently had a computer game that to play you needed codes from Happy Meals? And it increased McDonald's overall American sales by 18%?
--"Are there really foods that we don’t like, or just foods that we haven’t liked yet?" A piece from the New York Times about coming to like foods you previously hated.

recipe links:
--Creamy and cheesy Brussels sprouts and shallot dip--an adaption of the classic spinach and artichoke pairing (from Minimalist Baker). A much improved adaption, in my mind.
--Noodles made from peelings of celeriac (from Mark's Daily Apple).
--Roasted cauliflower and parsnip hummus (from Summer Tomato). It's bean-free but includes miso and tahini.
--A grilled cheese sandwich, made with banana bread, brie, and chocolate squares (How Sweet It Is). Wowzers.
--I just leaned that it's cleaner (for your kitchen) to fry bacon with a little bit of water (from The Kitchn).


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