This is one of those recipes that I pull out when I don’t want to think. Add it to my ‘brain dead’ meals collection. When we’re in a rush, or when I haven’t gone grocery shopping, or when I know we should have something healthy and meatless, but I don’t have anything impressive in mind. Step in red lentils. With the added tomatoes and spicy flavours of a good curry, this meal always comes through for me. All the ingredients are always in the fridge or pantry. So, it’s a cooking life-saver kind of meal.
I guess I could call this post, “I left my heart in San Francisco”. A little obvious?! I do like Tony Bennet though.
It was our first time visiting this special city. We really wasn’t sure what to expect. I probably had a more romanticized expectation of the City by the Bay. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lovely, memorable, iconic city. So much of what I expected it to be. The hills, the trolley cars, the painted ladies, the fog, the docks, the bridges, Chinatown… everything I had been anticipating totally lived up to my expectations, and beyond! And from all those Film Noir movies, like Dark Passage with Bogie and Bacall.
This is a treat that totally reminds me of my mom. Growing up, one of my favourite things to put on toast was ‘pflaumenmus’ or plum butter. So thick and spreadable, a slight tartness mingled with the sweetness of the plums, with that rich, deep colour. I was hooked! Whenever we would go grocery shopping, six year old me would ask my mom if the store we were in is where we get the pflaumenmus (all my words in english, except for the key word!) “No”, she would reply, “we need to go to a special store for that.” By special, she meant the German deli!
First the tomatoes hit the markets. Right about the same time, the plums show up. And then figs start popping up everywhere. Those late summer treats, that tell us, enjoy this time, because ‘You know what’ is coming next. Yep, Autumn. Which is fine, because I actually quite like Autumn! Really, I adore it, if one can adore a season. But that does’t mean that we can’t revel in all the bounty of late summer fruits and veggies, before we accept the fact that these will be replaced with apples, pears, root veggies, broccoli, squashes etc soon enough.
This salad was absolutely amazing. On our whirlwind San Francisco trip, we ate well. Pretty well every restaurant we visited gave me so much inspiration for what I wanted make at home. In some cases I wanted to totally emulate the dishes we enjoyed. This is one of them!
NOPA, a rustic and yet urban, farm to table institution in the Panhandle neighbourhood of the city had us totally mesmerized. It has a bustling, modern flair with an energy and attention to detail that is stellar. Priding itself on showcasing the hard work of local purveyors, it is a perfect example of California cuisine. The menu changes constantly, depending on what is in season, so every visit will be a new adventure.
Tomato Jam. Yep, it’s a thing. And it’s real yummy. You know how we love our red pepper jelly with cheese on crostini? Or fig or plum butter with pork dishes? Or even fruit compotes with charcuterie platters? Well, you can just add Tomato Jam to the list!
I can’t go too long without baking a pie. It’s in my DNA! And this summer has provided the most amazing array of fruit to bake with. I’ve made several strawberry rhubarb, a cherry, two types of peach, a couple of bumble berry, and now I made a blueberry pie. This is one of Jim’s favourites of the berry pies. And I think it will be one of yours soon too!
I love that this is basically a no-bake pie. Fine, you do have to blind bake the crust first. But in the big scheme of things, that’s pretty simple.
The Dog Days of Summer. That brutally hot, hazy time between mid July and mid August. Fine, the term may have come from when the ancients saw the Dog (Canus) constellation and Sirius (the dog star) appearing in the sky just before the sun rose. Today we know these days as the hottest, laziest days of summer, when even dogs are dead tired. And if dogs are too tired to cook, how are we expected to??
There are certain dishes that, as a child, did nothing for me. Barley soup: meh, didn’t like the texture of the cooked barley. Liver and onions: well that one is self-explanatory. Cabbage Rolls: could take them or leave them. Stuffed peppers: I always found the cooked pepper portion very bitter. And yet here I am, writing about how much I love Stuffed Peppers! What happened?
Jim loves chicken fingers or chicken tenders. I do too. I guess that makes us big kids at heart 🙂
I was taken aback when I first saw the photo for this recipe in ‘What Katie Ate on the Weekend’. The chicken was coated in the strangest combination of quinoa puff, flakes, black and white sesame seeds. What an intriguing coating. The black seeds against the white flakes made for the most intriguing pattern of contrasts, texturally and visually.