Tag Archives: recipes

Roasted Baby Potatoes and Radishes

Roasted Baby Potatoes and Radish

Roasted Baby Potatoes and Radish Roasted Baby Potatoes and Radish

Lately, I’ve been listening to episodes of Radio Cherry Bombe on my daily commute to and from work; this is where I landed after Serial ended – I dived into this inspiring podcast featuring interviews with women in the world of food, it’s from the folks behind the new and exciting Cherry Bombe Magazine.

On a recent episode, Ina Garten discusses Paris, dinner parties, entrepreneurship and her love of simple home-cooked meals; she’s witty, personable and informative.

On the subject of mentors, she said this about one of the people who inspire her;

He takes really good ingredients and cook them just enough to make them taste better.

That quote stuck with me, because ultimately this is the kind of cook I want to become.

Continue reading…

Christmas Custard Cookies

Christmas Custard Cookies
Christmas Custard Cookies Christmas Custard Cookies

We got a scant eight hours of daylight today, which was just a really grey dark day with a momentary spurt of sunshine.

There is however a cheerful hopefulness about today being the shortest day of the year; it means we’re slowly inching toward those glorious days of summer… but before that comes the most joyous anticipation of all, it’s four more sleeps to Christmas day!

We spent the weekend mostly baking cookies – there were hours spent mixing butter and sugar with flour, shaping and baking our favourite cookies for sharing with friends and neighbours.

Christmas Custard Cookies Christmas Custard Cookies
Christmas Custard Cookies

We make these cookies with custard powder; they’re buttery, has the perfect crunch, smell heavenly and are so easy to make.

And look at the pretty festive yellow colour; it’s enough to brighten a dull wintry day!

I have a lone day of work tomorrow then I’ll be home for the remainder of the year, I’ll probably spend my time holed up in my tiny kitchen making more cookies.

I found the perfect recipe for linzer cookies or maybe I’ll make these snowy wedding cookies, I’ve been meaning to make more almond flour based cookies or perhaps a second or third batch of these special Christmas custard cookies.

I do so love them, they’re hit with everyone who has tried them, with a texture so delicately rich they melt in your mouth.

It’s an unfussy cookie with just six ingredients, and a few minutes required to mix the dough and bake the cookies, and then you’ll be rewarded with these delicious buttery and cute shortbreads.

Christmas Custard Cookies Christmas Custard Cookies

Christmas Custard Cookies
A delightfully buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies
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INGREDIENTS
  1. 1/2 cup (4.4oz) dairy-free butter substitute, softened
  2. 1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting
  3. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  5. 1/3 cup custard powder
  6. 2/3 cup white whole-wheat flour
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Cream butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy
  3. Add vanilla extract and salt, and mix
  4. Add custard powder and flour to the butter mixture; use a spatula to mix until well combined
  5. Cover dough with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes
  6. Shape dough in balls and place on baking sheet, flatten them slightly with a fork and space them about 2 inches apart
  7. To press cookies through a cookie press, scrape dough into a cookie press fitted with a decorative plate and follow the manufacturer’s instructions – press out cookies spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, remove cookies as soon as edges start to brown – do not let them brown!
  9. Transfer cookies onto a rack to cool, dust with more icing sugar if desired
  10. Enjoy!
NOTES
  1. I'd recommend using Bird’s Custard Powder in these cookies but in a pinch, you can use cornstarch.
  2. I used white whole-wheat flour because that is what I had, all-purpose flour works too.
Adapted from A Spoonful of Sugar
the Whinery by Elsa Brobbey http://elsbro.com/blog/
Christmas Custard Cookies Christmas Custard Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

It’s beginning to look decidedly like Christmas…
The tree is trimmed and our favorite carols have been playing on repeat for almost a week now.

We baked the first batch of Christmas cookies this weekend; we’re officially in the season.

Although I’m not a huge cookie person,I never pass up an opportunity to bake cookies at Christmas time.
Having cookies at my grandmother’s is enfolded in some of my happiest memories of Christmas.

I usually start out with these thumbprint cookies, they’re fun, easy to make, I think they capture the cheerfulness of the season; everyone loves them and you get to fill them with your favourite jams or preserves.

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies
Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Our last thumbprint cookies were made with oat flour and a combination of ground almonds and pistachios, and they were spectacular hit.

These cashew and oat thumbprint cookies use nutty fine-textured cashew meal for buttery, melt-in-your-mouth-good cookies with a delicate crumbly texture.

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies
Deliciously festive cookies, vegan, gluten-free and filled with your lovely jams and preserves
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INGREDIENTS
  1. 2 cups ground oats (oat flour)
  2. 2 cups ground cashew (cashew meal/flour)
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  7. 1/2 cup safflower oil (or a neutral flavoured oil)
  8. 1/2 cup maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. Your favorite jam or preserve
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Mix oat flour, ground cashew, cardamom, cloves and salt in a large bowl with a wooden spoon
  3. Add safflower oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract, mix until well combined
  4. Form the dough into rounded tablespoon-sized balls and space them evenly on to the baking sheet
  5. Using your index finger or the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation into the center of each bowl
  6. Fill the center of each cookie-dough with a small amount of jam or preserve
  7. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until cookies are evenly browned
  8. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack
  9. Enjoy!
NOTES
  1. You can make oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a food processor, grinder or a powerful blender
  2. One cup of rolled oats will make about a cup of oat flour
  3. I get cashew meal from the store (Trader Joe's or some natural food store) but you can easily grind whole cashews to make flour too.
the Whinery by Elsa Brobbey http://elsbro.com/blog/
Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

I must admit, and maybe it’s the clean crisp autumn air and foliage, but it takes me a while to get into the swing of seasonal cooking in the fall, all I really want to do is to go for long walks and sleep when the cold weather hits.

Sure, I’ll manage to scrounge up something every once in a while and scrape by, but I can’t seem to get excited about squash and pumpkins, probably because I’m not quite over summer’s colourful produce. Like I said, it takes me a while.

In the meantime I tend to fall back on quick meals with simple flavours. I love pasta! It’s easy and versatile enough not to get boring.

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine
Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

This orecchiette with capers and white wine wasn’t planned; it’s one of those meals that come together naturally from riffling through the pantry.

It’s modest – pasta, olive oil, capers and a splash of white wine to boost the flavour.
The sauce sticks generously to the pasta thanks to its distinct domed shape making every bite delightfully tasty.

It goes splendidly well with a heaping of a quick-tossed salad for an easy weeknight meal.

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

One of the things I love about staying in an apartment while on vacation is having access to a kitchen.

It’s particularly wonderful if you love to cook, and are in a city like Paris where colourful markets are filled with stalls of tempting produce, cheeses, breads, specialty foods and other sundry goods.

We didn’t cook much on this trip; the few meals we prepared were fast and simple like this herbed garlic butter pasta.

From the market, we got garlic and fragrant dried herbs; I should mention here that a mix of freshly chopped spinach, basil and parsley would work superbly in this pasta, we just went with dried herbs for the sake of ease.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

I make little dietary exceptions when I’m on vacation… creamy delicate Échiré butter, smooth and luxurious Beurre Bordier, and pastries are some of my indulgences when I’m in Paris.

What we have with this pasta is the ultimate holiday comfort meal, pasta tossed in an aromatic herby garlic butter sauce, it’s rich and deeply satisfying, a simple indulgence.

It boasts a handful of ingredients only and it comes together quickly, this is particularly important when you’re on vacation, the last thing you want is to be standing over a stove.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

On this particular day we spent the day exploring Jardin des Plantes and the Grande Mosquée where we drank mint tea, we roamed Rue Mouffetard and when it started raining we picked up fluffy angel cakes from Patisserie Ciel on Rue Monge for later.

We ate this pasta watching the rain fall down those iconic rooftops; rain is always a good reason to have pasta.

And now that I’m home and it’s raining… I want to make this pasta again on a soggy lazy evening; perhaps with fresh basil and Herbes de Provence with my favourite dairy-free butter and a ton of garlic.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta