Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant

How ironic, that in August I have been eating alone so much more frequently than usual. I ate a lot of airline meals while travelling alone for over a month; airline meals are described in this book as eating alone in a crowd, at the world's only tables designed for one. And now Anthony is away on a two and a half week trip and I am eating alone at home. While eating these recent solitary meals, I have been reading Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone, edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler. It is our August Kitchen Reader book, chosen by Anni of anjeme.

Whether by misanthropy or necessity, we all often find ourselves eating alone. The essays in this collection cover those who eat at restaurants solo, and those who fix food at home. There's a fair amount of discussion about why we tend to find eating alone especially uncomfortable. Restaurants, first of all, are not at all designed for a single eater. They revolve around the idea of company, mostly. One writer in this book (author Steve Almond) goes as far to say that all eating should revolve around others: "Eating alone isn't natural.... I happen to believe that humans were born to feed each other." But quite a few writers celebrate the idea of eating alone, whether in public or private.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Whole Wheat Courgette (Zucchini) Buns

If this blog had a different title, it would probably be: For the Love of Veg. I do love everything about vegetables. They are so versatile and tasty. I try to fit vegetables into everything. This month's Fresh from the Oven challenge was perfect for me: bread with vegetables. I made these hole wheat courgette rolls and I want to make them many more times in the future.

However, I had a major mishap along the way; shall we say it was an extreme case of "user error"? It was my own fault. My buns were much too big for the pan I had prepared, and as a result they didn't bake as quickly as expected. But I was too intent on following the recipe directions and I took them out of the oven only half baked. Sadly, I didn't notice this until an hour later, when they were cool. What was I to do at that stage?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Red Spinach Pancakes

I'm home alone for a little while as my husband has left on his summer holiday. He is going to the UK for a wedding and to see his friends and family. I, meanwhile, am here in Hong Kong, working again. The beginning of the school year is busy, and I am spending late nights at work. I don't have much time for making meals. And now that Anthony is gone I don't feel as much motivation, either! Producing a big meal seems a waste. Instead I'm eating simple things such as these vegetable pancakes.

With the hubby away, I also like to try out new vegetables. Check out this vibrant red spinach.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekend Links #21

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. This time, the links are heavily recipe focused. What new recipes have caught your eye?

food reading links:
--Do you need to tweet, check the internet, and fiddle with your phone/computer/tablet while on holiday? Dianne Jacob offers some thoughts. (Bonus: baking tips and pictures from an amazing baker's kitchen.)
--An article about how to blog like a journalist, based on a talk given by Fiona Beckett at the UK Food Blogger Connect conference (from Food & Wine Finds).

recipe links:
--This tempeh stir-fry recipe looks easy and delicious. The post also explains why you should choose tempeh over tofu (from Healthy Green Kitchen).
--A recipe (a method, really) for dried cranberries (from
--Strawberry pizza with goats' cheese and walnuts (from Not Martha).
--MKF Fisher's instructions for how to fry the perfect egg: it's extremely easy to do (from The KitchenMaid).
--Pink and white marbled cupcakes, fittingly called "blushing beauties" (from Spoonful of Delight). There is a tiny bit of beetroot puree in the pink batter.
--This Indonesian shredded fruit salad is made with rose apples, jicama, pineapple, and green mangoes. The dressing is lime, sugar, tamarind, and chilli. I can't wait to try it (from Mochachoclata-Rita).
--Here's a video of 15 minute ice cream, made in a zip lock bag. (Have you seen this before? Am I slow?)

off-topic links:
--"How do I know if I have enough ideas for a blog?" Daniel at Quick Writing Tips gives a good answer and also some great advice for cranking out more content.

What engrossing things have you seen around the internet?

Or tell me... What is your best blog post these last two weeks?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mango and Ginger Smoothie

This was a nice, cool, creamy drink for a summer afternoon. I was home alone, working and puttering around. I paused for a break, drank this smoothie, and sat on the couch, gazing on the sparkling sea outside.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chickpea and Carrot Salad with Japanese-Inspired Carrot Dressing

When I go food shopping I try to always pick up something new (to me). Otherwise it can be much too boring to go shop for food time after time. I recently came home with a little bottle of shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend made with seaweed.


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