Wednesday, August 13, 2008

veggie bread ring

Ant and I have almost slept off our jet lag and we're pleased to be in Halifax with the parental figures. Yesterday Mum helped me bake a veggie bread ring. Baking is not really my thing, but I gave it a go because this recipe sounded really interesting. Here is the veggie filling, made with purple cabbage, broccoli, shredded carrot, chives, cottage cheese and cheddar cheese.

Then I rolled out the zucchini bread dough and spread the filling on it.

I rolled it up and cut it into a ring like this. Fancy, eh? We ate it when Kevin and Sonya came over for dinner last night. The recipe is from Simply in Season, a cookbook which my Mum bought both for herself and me.

Yesterday afternoon Ant and I spent some time with Tawnya. Since it was raining we headed into Perks and had a hot beverage. Tawnya has become a lover of espresso after her time in Italy. She said the Perks double espresso was not very smooth and was burnt. Ant had a "coffee crisp", which was very sweet. And I had this green monstrosity, which smelled like seaweed and tasted like vanilla had been added to mask the real flavour. Apparently it is very healthy, but I was unable to finish it because it was quite vile.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

four great places to get food inspiration

There are lots of places on the web from which to get cooking ideas. Here are four of my favourites.

1. The Kitchn
This a big cooking blog with writers in the US, Canada, and (at least one!) in Europe. What I like about The Kitchn is that the posts are very accessible and friendly, with a community discussion feel. They always have nice ideas to share, but also talk about their cooking failures. I have enjoyed reading, for example, about what they tried when too many cucumbers built up in the fridge.

2. Cookthink
This is a searchable recipe database that lets you type in keywords such as ingredients, meal type, cuisine type, or even your mood. The recipes that come up are invariably very good. At the moment, it's still a small-ish database, but all of the handful of recipes I have tried so far have been excellent. Last night i made Seared Cumin Lemon Lamb Chops, which was easy and delicious. There are always suggestions of what recipes would go with the one you are viewing, and also an informative weekly email newsletter that spotlights an interesting ingredient and how to use it.

3. Bitten
I am new to Mark Bittman and his writings in the New York Times Dining and Wine section, but I loved his post about how to make mix-and-match rice salads.

4. Other Bloggers
I read the blogs of other food-lovers, like Clotilde at Chocolate and Zucchini and David on Book the Cook. My friends blog about food on their personal sites, too, like Sonya (her's is a gated blog, so email her [or me] to get added to her readership). I also see some interesting food-related stuff on Facebook, like Carolyn's homemade wholewheat pasta.

Foodies, tell me, are there any great cooking sites online that you like to look to for inspiration?

PS. You do not need to be a Blogger member to be able to comment. Furthermore, if you comment you can use your name or remain anonymous as you wish.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I pulled up all the rocket left in my growing tub yesterday. It was getting a bit woody and too peppery to eat raw. So I was excited to use it all up in a soup recipe from my new favourite cookbook, GI Meals Made Easy.

The soup also uses finely chopped onion, courgette, new potatoes, and garlic, shown here from right to left. After some sauteing and sweating, and stock added, the soup is blended with the wonderful invention of the handheld immersion blender. Ant did this part because I am notoriously messy with the blender.

The addition of some goat's cheese topped off the lovely light green soup.

Rocket and Goat's Cheese Soup
adapted from GI Meals Made Easy: 150 Quick and Delicious Meals for All the Family

1 T olive oil
10 g butter
1 leek, sliced
1 medium or large courgette, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 new potatoes, diced
600 ml vegetable stock
100 g rocket
75g firm goat's cheese

Heat the oil and butter and saute the leek, courgette, garlic, and potato over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Then reduce heat, cover, and allow to sweat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add rocket and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend the soup.
Crumble in goat's cheese when serving.

Monday, August 4, 2008

for whom are the potatoes named?

Last week we ate some Anya potatoes. They were on sale at Sainsbury's so I thought I would give them a try.

Here is what the package said about how they got their name.

This got me thinking. Usually a new item is named after the discoverer/inventor/researcher. What I want to know is how often is an item named after the discoverer's/inventor's/researcher's spouse? Can you think of any other examples?


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