There is nothing quite like the warm and spicy flavour of gingerbread. I’ve had such a love affair with this flavour ever since I was a little girl. Probably because I’m German. We have this spice combination in our DNA. When the weather turns cooler, out comes the Lebkuchen, or gingerbread. Interestingly, Lebkuchen translates as ‘cake of life’. That’s how seriously we view this special blend of spices and ingredients. And when you think about it, each of the spices used in gingerbread has wonderful, healing and nutritious properties.
This is one of those fantastically retro appetizers that is always welcome on any snack table. Sure, all the veggie platters, with those slightly sharp radishes, crunchy carrot sticks, broccoli and cauliflower florets, and the humble, somewhat ignored celery sticks, are good for us. They are the way we try to justify having the artichoke dips, chips and pretzels, chicken wings etc. But who are we kidding? We don’t just want to see a veggie platter at the table, as that football game or movie is going to start. We got together with friends to have FUN. Veggies are good for you, tasty, and perhaps mildly amusing. But FUN? No, we eat them because we know they are good for us. But we WANT the nachos, the pizza, the dips.
Every once in a while a recipe comes along that just turns the world upside down. Okay, fine, it may not actually do this, but it can definitely be a game changer.
This is one of those recipes. My breakfast just got amped up a notch!
I have a lovely gluten-free Paleo Brown Bread recipe on the blog, using chestnut flour that is savoury, with just that touch of nutty sweetness. It bakes up beautifully, holds its structure, and works well as breakfast bread. I am very happy with this recipe. I will continue to bake it, with joy. But that chestnut loaf just got a buddy! The Bojon Gourmet‘s Pumpkin Cranberry Nut and Seed Loaf.
This is the best time of the year. In my humble opinion. The colours, the crispness in the air, the blue sky, the fact that I can pull out the sweaters and tights. The evenings are cooler, there’s a coziness that creeps into everything we do and see. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Apple Pie, turkey and gravy… it’s a food lover’s dream of a season.
The first time I ever tasted honey cake, I was in high school. General Amherst Highschool, Amherstburg, Ontario. A classmate, Ivan, had brought several slices to school for lunch, baked and wrapped up for him by his Ukranian mom. When the wrapping was removed, the heady fragrance of the honey and spices hit me, point blank. I was hooked and I hadn’t even tasted it yet! Naturally Ivan shared those slices with us, his eager classmates. It was amazing! Uber moist, deep honey and spicy flavour, and the richest whiskey coloured piece of cake I’d ever seen. From that moment, he became a rock star in our estimation: our connection to a very special cake. And trust me, his mom was kept busy baking for all of us.
It is the beginning of October 2016, and we are enjoying Summer weather, even still! Mind you, I’m stuck at home with a head cold, so I’m only admiring the weather from afar. And we just got home from three weeks in the Mediterranean, so we fully expected to return to Toronto and find the temps down in the mid teens (that’s high 50’s F) But surprise!! This really is the Summer that doesn’t want to leave. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this boded well for the upcoming Autumn and Winter? Perhaps delayed, and then even a touch milder than usual? Fine, this may be wishful thinking on my part, but I don’t think anyone will fault me.
There are no two ways about it, this is Jim’s favourite dinner that I make for him. I usually save it for special occasions: anniversaries, a special date night, a reward for putting up with me as we cleaned his office… you know what I mean!
The first time I made it (almost 20 years ago) I just thought it would be another Wednesday evening dinner. Or was it Thursday? The recipe seemed basic enough: pound out some chicken breasts, stuff them with goat cheese and herbs, wrap and secure with toothpicks, and then sprinkle with pepper. Sear, and then let them simmer in wine and stock. But the end result was way more than I was expecting.
It’s September. I don’t care what the weather forecast is, it is time to start thinking about Autumn baking! Yes, I know we have still been enduring some sweltering days. Yes, I know everyone still wants to drink margaritas poolside and wear shorts or sundresses. Yes, I know that the idea of packing away the flip flops and beach towels is depressing. Me… I’ve moved on!
There is something so relaxing and in-the-moment about making risotto. I’ve probably waxed poetically (or not poetically to the true poets out there) ad nauseam about how much I love making a risotto. Standing there at the stove, stirring a pot, slowly helping the rice go from raw to a creamy pot of goodness. Focus must remain on the pot, no multi-tasking with a good risotto.
This risotto is made extra special with the use of bamboo rice. Have you guys tried bamboo rice yet?
For August we were exploring The Basque Country, A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito, by Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero, for the Rainy Day Bites Cookbook Club.
At first I thought, oh, a book that will be similar to Spanish tapas cooking, with southern French/ Mediterranean influences. But I was so wrong. Basque cuisine is rich, earthy, vibrant, and most unique to itself.