Thursday, September 29, 2011

Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin - and Sweet Potato Pancakes with Preserved Black Beans

Dear Laurie Colwin,

You are everything I want to be in a writer. Thank you for your book, Home Cooking. As I was reading it I couldn't help circling inventive words and jotting exclamation points in the margins at your turns of phrase. I wish I could craft opening lines like this one:
As a child, while my sister busied herself mooshing the chocolate candies to see which had the best centres, I was happily licking the salt off the pretzels and leaving their sticky bodies on the rug.
And I wish I had the guts to use your words to tell some people that I think your stuffing tastes like sawdust flavoured with sage and it has the consistency of lumpy library paste. I think they might take notice!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Frozen Banana Cream Pie (Sugar-Free)

I am coming closer to giving up sugar. I have been like a toddler throwing down a toy and then crying for it back again. Every time I get close to making a decision to quit sugar I start to binge eat it. For example, at work I keep a stash of chocolate fingers as rewards for students. On Wednesday afternoon I brought them into our office after everyone else had gone home. I set them on my desk and ate twenty, at least. I know because they were individually wrapped; there were two handfuls of wrappers to throw out after I was done.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekend Links #23

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:
--I would definitely get these glass food storage boxes if I lived near Crate & Barrel. Glass is better for your food (no plastics leaching into your lunch).
--All about quinoa, which I learned is actually a seed and not a grain (from Peru Delights).
--Sarah Wilson has written a book about her journey to quitting sugar, which includes an eight week program to do it yourself. This might be the final push for me, hmm. Trouble is, every time I get close to doing it, I go on a sugar binge.
--I started eating sardines recently. (So far it's been just the canned version.) They are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Here's a list of the omega 3 fishes (from Readers Digest). By the way, sardine recipes will be gratefully received. :)
--An article about cultured meat and the environmental, health, and welfare issues behind meat eating (from Small Bites).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Broccoli Recipes: Best of the Blogosphere

The first edition of best of the blogosphere contained eleven stunning and inventive carrot recipes. Next is broccoli, beloved by many, hated by a few. I've listed the best broccoli recipes here, including char-grilled broccoli below (by Deeba at Passionate about Baking). What can you do to make broccoli a favourite in your family? Try out some new ideas - no plain steaming here! And I hope you will leave an idea or link in the comments to your favourite broccoli dish.

--A raw broccoli salad with Asian dressing. And advice about which veggies you should and shouldn't eat raw (from Choosing Raw).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pan-Crisped Devilled Eggs

I really enjoy getting to know new bloggers. My favourite hobby is hopping around from food blog to food blog, leaving comments and looking at all the great recipes and photographs. This month I had the privilege of meeting Debbie from The Friday Friends as part of the Secret Recipe Club. Her food blog covers savoury and sweet recipes, with some books thrown in for good measure. I found this recipe for pan-crisped devilled egg salad on her blog and was intrigued.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Strawberry and Nutella Muffins (Whole Grain Baking)

What could be better than strawberries and Nutella together? These whole wheat muffins are stuffed with strawberries and each one contains a dollop of smooth chocolate and hazelnut spread. I adapted this from the wonderful blog Two Peas & Their Pod; the main difference is that my muffins are whole wheat; theirs use white flour. To accomplish this without drying out the recipe, I added some orange juice. It's indiscernible at the end, but it keeps the whole grain flour moist. And the acid in the juice means there's no need for buttermilk, which is good, because it's too complicated for me to buy here in Hong Kong.

These muffins were set upon with eager hands just after baking. If you don't have Nutella, what else could you use? You could just put a square of dark chocolate in each muffin, halfway up the cup. Or peanut butter, perhaps?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weekend Links #22

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:
--An analysis of the recent media coverage of Bill Clinton's veganism and other nutrition in the media (from Small Bites).
--A five part series about food photography by Gourmande in the Kitchen caught my eye, thanks to my brother sending me a link. I love the pictures which show balance in food photos, seen in part two.


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