Last time we talked we were excitedly preparing for the holidays and being merry. I hope you had a wonderful break. I had myself a quiet little relaxing time filled with good cheer and delicious food. I’m almost sad that it’s all over, but I do love the freshness of a new year and all its hopeful possibilities.
On New Year’s Day, we made black-eyed pea soup, like we always do, this time in the Instant Pot, chockful of celery, carrots, leeks and a bit of red wine, we dubbed it legume au vin.
I hope I can share the recipe soon, I even shot a video with my new vlogging camera.
Since the New Year is the time of contemplation and renewal, and most of our resolutions are centered on healthier lifestyles and well-being, I thought we’d kick things off with this fun, simple and healthy-ish flowering kale salad.
Now that we’re officially immersed in all things holiday, it feels like the proper time to test those cookie recipes I’ve been holding on to. I’ve collected several cookie recipes recently but never gotten around to making them for whatever reason, yet I keep adding to it like some bucket list. There’s an oatmeal raisin cookie with olive oil and cashew butter, a rebel of chunky chocolate chip cookie studded with potato chips; there’s one more chocolate chip cookie, it’s salty with some tahini swirled in, I want to try it badly.
I thought about making these matcha cloud cookies back in the summer when a friend gave me packet of matcha during a move. I made note of the expiration date and kept it in the back of the cupboard. In that cupboard, I also unearthed a half-empty tin of custard powder that I hadn’t used in years, I think I used some in these Christmas Custard Cookies – yeah, that’s how long it’d been around.
Here is yet another recipe inspired by a meal I ate at some restaurant.
Two years ago, I had a vegetarian bolognese at Jamie’s Italian at the Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush (London). A recommendation from our waiter, this meatless Bolognese was a memorable saucy melange of lentils, mushrooms and pasta topped with crispy breadcrumbs.
I deliberated making a wholly plant-based bolognese for months afterwards, and whether I could even call it a bolognese pasta without the classic meat-based ragù.
In the end, after playing around with a few ingredients and recipes, this mushroom bolognese with chickpea crumble was born, and I use the word bolognese very loosely here.
Fall may not be my favourite season but I do appreciate how life slows down organically with the changing season. I like to think of it as a moment for rest and restoration before the earth moves into the darkest time of the year (and I mean Christmas season!). I’m learning to be purposefully unhurried with my time lately, like whole Sundays dedicated to making bread.
This past Sunday I tried a new recipe, a sweet potato loaf made with real mashed sweet potatoes and a touch of maple syrup, I’m devouring a thick slice slathered in peanut butter as write this. It’s soft and tender, and slightly sweet.
I feel like I’m an old hand at this sweet molasses brown bread, I’ve made twice in the last month, and too many times to count this year. It’s a little sweeter, with subtle yet deep warm accents of molasses and cocoa powder. I’m very much in love with this bread.