Spinach-pear-lime smoothie

16 Jun

Spinach-pear-lime smoothie

We were relatively late to the Nutribullet party. But once I submitted to pester power and bought one, and we made up for lost time.

Nothing was safe from being blitzed into a drinkable state. Fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, juice, avocados, oatmeal, ginger, yogurt, herbs, cold coffee, chickpeas, rice… they’ve all been taken for a spin.

Some combinations were a success; others left us gasping at their horribleness.

Eventually, I hit on a smoothie combination that works for me –  spinach-pear-lime smoothie has become my go-to smoothie. I have it at least twice a week, and I haven’t tired of it yet…

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Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

10 Jun

Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

I  seldom make fried chicken. Not because I don’t like it (I do), and not for health reasons either. It’s the time it takes, the mess it makes (all that spattering oil)… The end result never seemed to justify the hassle.

But that was before I encountered Vietnamese fried chicken (or VFC as we now call it) at a music festival.

Maybe I was influenced by the band that was playing (Noah and the Whale), or the unexpected blessing of sunshine, or the mellow party atmosphere, but that chicken was just about the best thing I’d ever tasted.

The moist and flavourful meat, the growing kick of chilli heat, the coating that was more crackle than crumb. Fried chicken this good was definitely worth the hassle. Continue reading

Roast cauliflower and chickpea salad

6 Jun

Roast cauliflower and chickpea salad

This salad is a happy marriage of textures and flavours. Both the cauliflower and chickpeas are transformed by their time in the oven – the cauliflower becomes nutty in flavour, and the chickpeas acquire a wonderful crunch.

Then the yogurt-tahini dressing arrives to bless the union – and two distinctive, individual ingredients unite in salad harmony…;-) Continue reading

Gingersnaps

2 Jun

Gingersnaps

As a university student, spent a couple of summers working with a treeplanting crew in northern BC. Back-breaking piecework (we were paid 10 cents a tree), it involved dragging panniers of trees up a recently logged slope, stopping every couple of metres to stick a seedling in the ground.

Up before 6am after a lousy night’s sleep in a freezing tent, a bone-jarring ride in the back of a crummy, ten hours relentless physical labour, another tooth-rattling ride, a shower if you were lucky, dinner, and bed.

Loading up the crummy

Ten – maybe fourteen days straight – before we got a day off to visit the nearest town. Lots of people didn’t last a weekContinue reading

Pork, chicken and cranberry pie

29 May

Pork and chicken pie

In the excitement of last year’s Great British Bake-off,  I rashly committed to baking all of the signature bakes.

Each week, I watched with growing dread to see what overambitious baking project I’d have to tackle next. I was fine with the drizzle cakeiced biscuits and Yorkshire pudding,  and managed to turn out a passable chocolate babka.

But the thought of making Danish pastries from scratch stopped me in my tracks for months.

However, I’m nothing if not an “completer-finisher” (eventually)… Since the show ended, I’ve gone on to make lemon meringue pie and Swiss roll. And at long last… pork, chicken and cranberry pie.

Strictly speaking, I seem to recall the brief was individual meat pies, but it seemed simpler to make one large pie instead.

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Cabbage dill slaw

25 May

 

Cabbage dill slaw

I’ll often throw together a quick cabbage salad to serve with a sandwich or jacket potato. When I have fresh dill on hand, this cabbage dill slaw is one of my favourites.

Cabbage and dill always play together nicely. And the mustard-honey dressing is a change from the sharp vinaigrettes and sweet, watery mayonnaises that spoil cabbage salad for some people.

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Chocolate sugar cookies

21 May

Chocolate sugar cookies

Chocolate sugar cookies aren’t on the decadent, gooey, indulgent end of the chocolate spectrum. They’re simple, satisfying, and slightly old-fashioned.

Chocolate sugar cookies are firm with just a bit of give – the addition of baking powder giving them a subtle cakiness. Adam describes them as “chocolate pudding in a biscuit.”

Because they keep their shape so well, chocolate sugar cookies make excellent filled biscuits – or little ice cream sandwiches. Continue reading