Monday, January 31, 2011

Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob

What do you look for in a food blog? Are you drawn in by gorgeous photos? Are you perhaps captivated by delicious dishes? Or are you arrested by compelling writing? These are the three areas of our pursuit that food bloggers are keen to develop. I have certainly felt over the life of this blog that both my photography and cooking have improved. But I have a hankering to learn to craft beautiful sentences, too.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

struan bread (whole grain baking)

I have spent the last few months researching how to incorporate more whole grains into my baking. For example, I have learned that a substitution of whole wheat flour for white flour is best accompanied by more liquid, some of which should be orange juice. The orange juice is indiscernible after baking but offsets the tannic flavour that some people dislike in whole wheat.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

weekend links #11

food links:
--A wonderful food-based charity in Hong Kong called Giving Bread.
--Tips for easier cooking, for example, the most clever guide I have seen for timing the boiling of an egg (from Adventures in Local Food).

recipe links:
--Wassail punch, a warm drink for winter (from The Kitchn).
--Cottage cheese cake (from Litebite).
--Make your own bouillon--what a genius idea that is (from 101 Cookbooks)!

off-topic links:
--An amazing maths blog, Dead Reckonings, about now defunct mathematical artistry.
--The World Clock Meeting Planner, a website I use to figure out who I can call when.

Do you have a link you'd like to see featured in weekend links posts? Leave a comment here or email me at simplycookedblog at gmail dot com.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

chocolate mousse

My first boyfriend brought me flowers and I made him take them back. He thought he was brightening up my hard week at university, but I was nonplussed. I really liked him; actually, I loved him. But I didn't enjoy receiving presents, and I felt put down by the token gesture of flowers. They seemed pointless to me. Later, much later (too late for him, I'm afraid), I learned to like being given gifts as an expression of love. Flowers no longer fluster me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

magic beans

Where's the magic? Life is magical when you hear a funny joke and giggle all day. It's magic when you have a long, heart-to-heart talk over dinner. Magic the feeling a comfy couch at the end of a draining work day. The magic is in finding a vegetable you want to eat more of. And magic is knowing you can recreate that recipe.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

lemon and ginger hot drink for colds and flu

My brain is thrashing about inside a plastic bag, fighting to be free. Ever since I've had this cold, I feel as though my captured mind is being suffocated. The pain in my sinuses, nose, throat, and ears causes a fog so dense that I can't reach the outside world, nor can it reach me. What can bring me some release?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

broccoli and blue cheese soup: for Forever Nigella

Are you a Nigella lover? I know so many people who are--and now I wonder if I might join the trend. With a new blog event, Forever Nigella, hosted by Sarah at Maison Cupcake, I am bound to learn more about her and her recipes. To start things off, I made this seasonal soup, based on a recipe from Nigella's website. (Please visit the website for the recipe.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

corn and red pepper chowder

The first cookbook I was given as a young university student was The Joy of Cooking. A very grown-up, serious cookbook, The Joy is packed with serious, housewifely recipes that feed a suited husband and smiling children. I was terrified of it. As a result, I didn't cook from it at all. Ever. Now I have a husband who wears a suit (though no smiling munchkins of our own) and I still never use The Joy of Cooking. It's too stuffy. Definitely too serious.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Leon's Moroccan meatballs

Meatballs: the bloke pleasing food! Forgive my sweeping generalisation, but it seems to me that all men love meatballs. My husband is the perfect example; he is a meatball fiend. He could devour the whole platter of sauce-drenched meatballs as a meal--no side dishes required. (I prefer a few balls daintily arranged alongside fragrant green beans, spinach, and rice.)

Whether you like your meatballs as part of a balanced menu, or if you think dinner equals meatballs plus fork, you're bound to love the Leon restaurant version. It's easy to make at home and tastes stunning with lots of fresh herbs and a spicy tomato sauce. Loved by blokes (and ladies)!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

best of 2010: innovative meals with vegetables

2010 was a great year for simply cooked! This blog has featured a host of recipes that used vegetables in tasty and inventive ways. Consider these ideas, clockwise from top left:
--Sweet potato spread to slather on crackers or to scoop up with veggies: a clever way to eat more vegetables and avoid unhealthy processed food spreads
--Spicy cucumber salad with toasted almonds: the mundane cucumber is raised to new heights in this salad with a great mouthfeel from the nuts and red onions
--Veggie pancakes that will turn on the drooling from any reluctant eater
--Baked sweet potato falafel with homemade hummus, pitas, and spring greens: a complete vegetarian mezze platter
--Pumpkin and peach salad with lemongrass dressing, a creation that won the Paperchef September 2010 competition
--Vietnamese summer rolls, made with pork, crunchy carrots, spring onions and zingy lime and soy sauce

And there are lots of things to look forward to in 2011. I plan to focus on a few areas:
--more tasty meals with vegetables: as always my primary desire is to inspire you to love veggies as much as I do
--healthy baking ideas, avoiding highly processed ingredients, especially white flour and white sugar
--making mealtimes simple and easy for us, busy people that we are, by providing shortcuts (such as how to make a stew into a quick weeknight meal)
--ideas about health and food from around the web through my weekend links series

What are your food goals for this coming year? And how can I help?


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