Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen by Alyssa Shelasky

I was not expecting to like Apron Anxiety, our October Kitchen Reader book. And I didn't, at least for the first half. It's the memoir of a New York celebrity journalist, the beautiful writer-type whose job involves lots of partying, skimpy outfits, and gossip.

(image source: The Guardian)

Here are some quotations to illustrate the self-centred Shelasky:
Some people might say that I'm a hot girl; others that I'm a hot mess.... I can be beautiful or busted.... Whether it's my inherited confidence, or an inner cool when it comes to the opposite sex, or some life-less-ordinary aura, getting guys has always been easy.
I go on a Ferris wheel of "friend dates." The women are either profoundly conservative or profoundly crazy.... I have convinced myself that they're just too ordinary to every understand me.
[The restaurant partners of my boyfriend] think I'm a prima donna, coasting in with my big shades and flowery sundresses.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Quick Pickled Okra

Today I was marking a piece of student work called "Patterns in Our Lives". The idea is that we see patterns all around us, especially in design features, and there are mathematical ways to describe the patterns. This got me thinking about the patterns I see in my life more generally. As I got up from my completed marking to make lunch, I realised that I eat a variety of foods, but very similar types of dishes and meals. For example, most of my lunches are a mainly a mixture of raw or lightly cooked vegetables. This pattern of eating makes me feel energetic after lunch.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Links #32

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:
--How many times should you try a food before deciding you don't like it? At least once, argues Jay Rayner in The Observer Food Monthly. And in the case of tripe, many more times. (I have not tried it so I can't comment.)
--A detailed (but readable) analysis of 23 studies comparing low fat and low carbohydrate diets (from Authority Nutrition).
--"Don't bother going out to eat all the time"... and you will enjoy it more (from Casual Kitchen). The same goes for eating chocolate.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We hosted our Canadian Thanksgiving one week early this year. There were seven of us and just one Canadian (me!). Everyone was an honourary Canadian for the day. We all have so much to be thankful for. We wrote things we are thankful for on coloured leaves and stuck them up on the dining room mirror. Actually counting our blessings makes it so easy to be grateful.

The food was extensive - as it should be. We had one vegetarian and several veggie-friendly eaters. Here is the menu.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Weekend Links #31

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:
--How poetry can help you become a better food writer. Fascinating (from Monica Bhide).

recipe links:
--Burger buns made from spiralized sweet potatoes and eggs, formed in ramekins (a guest post on Paleo OMG from Inspiralized).
--How to use up a half cup or so of pumpkin puree (from Kitchen Stewardship). What a great problem to have!
--These espresso martinis sound killer - in a good way, of course (from A Beautiful Mess).
--Easy preserving if you have too many radishes (from Adventures in Local Food). Huh, has this ever happened to you?
--How to make a simple steamed bok choy salad (from A Veggie Venture). A simple entry to Asian greens if you are new to them.
--Simple and delicious pumpkin roasted with rosemary and onions (from BakingNCooking). This is just the kind of simple dish that makes cooking worthwhile.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin

I bought and read Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography and Styling a few years ago when it first came out. I had received a digital SLR (my "big camera") for Christmas a little before and food photography had fast become my second favourite part of blogging. (Nothing competes with cooking.) Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin is the just the kind of book a "big camera" beginner needs to get everything figured out.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Asparagus with Balsamic Butter

Would it surprise you that I ate this whole dish of asparagus for lunch recently? It was just so easy and tasty! This "recipe" is more of a vegetable suggestion: grilled with balsamic butter. There are only three ingredients. (You can already name them.)

Making asparagus this way transforms them for the people who like their veggies with a sauce. I know a few folks who think plain vegetables are boring and prefer them with something extra. Balsamic butter is a very simple way to dress up "boring" vegetables.


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