Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

I’ve probably made about a million variations of rice and beans, it’s an easy meal to throw together at a moment’s notice, especially if you have some plain rice and beans cooked already.

I thought about this spiced rice and beans on a long exhausting ride home on one of those activity-filled unending summer days, we had nothing home except for leftover rice and a jar of black beans that was to go into a salad.

I’m particularly drawn to this kind of food whenever I’m little stressed or fatigued, perhaps it’s the turmeric, or maybe it’s because it’s filling and sates my hunger.

Spiced Rice and Beans Spiced Rice and Beans
Spiced Rice and Beans

I swear I think up the most scrumptious meals when I’m tired and hungry, on that journey I craved a simple and tasty dish that would also be satisfying and nourishing.

A modest of rice and beans enlivened with a melange of flavours and unique spices – rustic mustard seeds, fragrant coriander, warm and nutty cumin and earthy turmeric.

I tossed in a few vegetables and finished off with zesty lemon and cilantro.

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

It’s a great lunch or quick weeknight meals, or an awesome contribution to a potluck picnic, like the one I’m going to this long weekend, it makes a wonderful side-dish at summer barbeques.

There are a few ways to prepare it; when I have time to spare, I brown the rice with the sautéed spices and vegetables and cook it in vegetable broth, it takes more time but it’s so flavourful!

This is my ultimate comfort food!

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

Oven Baked Marmite Cashews

Oven Baked Marmite Cashews by Elsa Brobbey

I’ve probably told the ‘marmite story’ a million times, of how my sister was anaemic when we were kids and marmite was one of the foods her doctor had recommended… It’s the story of how the dark spread came into my life.

I don’t recall liking marmite that much as a child; my mom would spread it thinly on toast and we’d eat it like it was medicine.

Years later when I tried marmite again, it tasted salty and savoury and bitter, and a little like nostalgia.
It grew on me halfway through the jar; I liked the salty savouriness, the yeasty, deep umami flavours reminiscent of reduced vegetable stock (vegetable demi-glace).

Oven Baked Marmite Cashews by Elsa Brobbey Oven Baked Marmite Cashews by Elsa Brobbey

We’re steadily eating our way through the few jars of marmite we got last year, it’s mostly my mom, she likes a dab in her morning Milo or hot chocolate.

I was over the moon when I discovered marmite snacks, we can’t get them here unfortunately so that just means I have to be creative.

I’ve been making marmite-y nuts for a while now, these nuts are so tasty even marmite haters love them, marmite adds an extra depth of saltiness and savouriness to the roasted nuts.

And these oven baked marmite cashews spectacular, by far my favourite marmite nuts; the cashews turn out creamy and buttery, and salty and that addictive umami taste – It’s so hard to stop eating them!

Oven Baked Marmite Cashews by Elsa Brobbey

Oven Baked Marmite Cashews by Elsa Brobbey Oven Baked Marmite Cashews by Elsa Brobbey


Oven Baked Marmite Cashews by Elsa Brobbey

The Friday List: #1

Books and Tulips

Happy Friday!

The Friday list is a collection of links to interesting stuff I stumble upon throughout the week.
I hope to make it a permanent feature on the blog.
Enjoy this maiden edition and I hope it provides reading material for a fabulous weekend.

I’ve never been a big collector of cookbooks but suddenly, I’m eager to tear into Ottolenghi’s follow up to Plenty, this Salad Samurai cookbook, and the Vibrant Table, I hear the description ‘visually stunning’ about that one a lot.

I love lentils and I love okra, I see this gumbo in my future. I feel like you can never go wrong with lentil and okra, they make an usual but wonderful pair.

A lovely tour of Paris’ posh 16th arrondissement, I can’t wait to go back and explore

Wave Hill looks like such a beautiful place. Why didn’t I know this place exists in New York?

A practical kitchen that is equal part airy, useful, adorable and budget-friendly.

Are we using ‘busyness’ to avoid introspection?

The poor bridges can’t take the love no more! With Love without Locks, Paris encourages selfies instead!

I’m seriously making this grilled peach sundae this weekend, I just need to get my hands on some of those insanely delicious peaches from the Okanagan.

Nice is nice this time of year, I want to go to there!

And finally, my good friend B. made baharat chickpea salad. Yum!

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie Blueberry Pie

We’re in that sultry phase of summer where the days seem slightly magical and you wish you could freeze all those idyllic moments before it all slips away.

My friend M. spends her evenings on the beach mostly chasing after her little guy to reapply his sunscreen; she says she’s trying to create many great memories to look back on when we’re in the depths of winter.

In a way, that is what I’m doing too; dining al fresco, those mesmerizing fiery sunsets, the windy long road trips, and scenic ferry rides to uncover secluded lakes and rocky beaches – I’ll be looking back on fondly in a few months.

And the fruits of summer… can we talk about the abundance of fruit?
Our markets are bursting with colour with the juiciest and sweetest fruits and vegetables of the season.

Blueberry Pie

We never seem to run out of cherries, peaches, nectarine, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, we have so much blueberries… and we’ll be getting more in the next few days.

We’re always snacking on blueberries, and tossing them into cereals and salads and smoothies, but we really love them in pies; they’re the easiest and tastiest way to use up those bountiful berries.

Blueberry Pie

The recipe for this blueberry is rather modest, with a few ingredients to help the blueberries stand out; like tart lemons to draw out the sweet flavours of the blueberries and fragrant cardamom for warmth.

The crust is one I use often, made with solid coconut oil; it’s foolproof, delicate, buttery and bakes beautifully.

It’s the sort of pie you can easily make all summer long, and I do, it’s one of our favourite summertime desserts.

Blueberry Pie

A luscious slice of blueberry pie with a scoop of your favourite ice cream is just the perfect thing on a hot summer day.

Blueberries are yummy, and good for you – and that’s reason to eat more blueberries.

We’ll freeze some too, and in the cold bleak months we’ll make blueberry pie and think on the glorious summer that has passed.

Blueberry Pie Blueberry Pie


Blueberry Pie

Strawberry Icebox Pie

Strawberry Icebox Pie

The summer we started making icebox cakes, we made them throughout the season; it was as if we couldn’t stop, they were so good, and easy and fun.

We ate a ton of strawberries that summer, and perfected the art of beating coconut milk into perfect fluffy whipped cream. We’d alternate between graham crackers and digestive biscuits because we couldn’t decide which we liked best.

It was the summer of the Stanley Cup Riots, and the weekend before we made icebox cake for the very first time and the city was going to the Stanley Cup finals – it felt enormously celebratory.

Strawberry Icebox Pie

We continued making icebox cakes with strawberries (mostly) until the season passed.

We haven’t made that many icebox cakes in subsequent years; I’m not sure why, it’s not like we fell out of love with it.

I thought about them when this season’s strawberries starting appearing at the market, it must have been the heatwave but I suddenly wanted to make icebox cakes with fervour again

Strawberry Icebox Pie

Strawberry Icebox Pie Strawberry Icebox Pie

The icebox pie is similar to the cake, it’s basically the same ingredients just in pie form with the graham crackers crushed to form the crust, which is filled with coconut milk whipped light and airy and then topped with fresh strawberries.

It’s just how I like my desserts, simple, fresh and decadent with a bit of crunch.

We’re back to making icebox cakes and pies again, this time with a less urgency – although July is almost over and we’ve only made one, and it feels like we’ve lost a month already.

Strawberry Icebox Pie


Strawberry Icebox Pie


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