Sunday, February 27, 2011

What a Knit Kit it Was

There are few things more wonderful than a hand-knit dress and a kitchen smelling of fresh basil on a Sunday afternoon.  The day before the start of a busy week is very important, as it is the last chance for everyone to relax and spend time together as a family.  This weekend my mom had been busy knitting a dress for my baby sister, who is on the way, and due in June.  I remember wearing my mom's knitted clothes when I was younger, and surprising as it may sound, they were never of the type that were embarassing to wear in public.  (I'll post a photo of the dress once my mom is finished with it).

Inspired by my mom's creativity and patience, I decided to collaborate both of our activities and do a knitting theme today.  I made panfried noodles with shrimp, kalamata olives and basil that reminded me of yarn, and baked off several trays of sugar cookies shaped like buttons.  After all, if I'm posting once a week, so why not do something fun and creative ?  I wish you all the most colourful, exciting week ! : )

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Little Oven Delights

I have a very simple recipe to share with you readers this week : )  It's from a cookbook my mom had bought at a warehouse this summer.  She loooves savory baking, and, unlike me, she doesn't really seem to have a sweet tooth. These are great with tea, coffee, and milk, though, though they contain no sugar.  I made them about three times this week ! The best thing about this is that only whole-wheat flour is used, and you get lots of protein from the seeds : )

And, to all of you that did something special this week, Happy Belated Valentine's Day ! : )

I would also like to thank Cafe Johnsonia for being so supportive and responsive these past few weeks !  It's great to have some wonderful inspiration and receive feedback as a new blogger; her page is really great and every one of her creations is so lovely and unconventional.  If you're reading this, I would definitely click that link and have a look at what she's making : )

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Living Green

This week I had realized that I, as much as I want to, can't post to this blog on weekdays.  From the time I leave from school to the time I come back, I miss the best lighting conditions for photographs - and seeing as I don't have any lighting eqipment in the house and rely heavily on natural light, this is a big problem.  So please bear with my weekly posting - I hope that this problem will be resolved in the summertime when there seems to be infinite daylight.

Today I had decided to make use of the brussel sprouts in the fridge by preparing a super easy but delightful salad.  What I loved most about it was not it's falvour - but the medley of textures.  The brussel sprouts were chewy, the pecans crunchy, and the arugula firm and peppery in taste - quite lovely if you ask me. : )  I dressed it with a fig balsamic vinagraitte and it paired well with all these greens. My mom whipped up some cute hors d'ouerves before we sat down for our Sunday supper - these are Paris toasts with brie and a port, pecan, and cranberry compote.

Now that I think about it, I was quite an abormal kid growing up.  I've always loved beef liver, and never refused to eat my brussel sprouts - how strange, considering these two ingredients are every kid's nightmare.

I had also decided to bake off a foccacia farcita this morning.  This is the second time I made it this week - my gosh, I can't describe to you how quickly homemade bread dissapears in our household.  There's only 3 1/2 of us (my mom is pregnant), and a giant loaf like the one below gets finished in an evening ! Crazy, isn't it ?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Autumn Nostalgia

Soup is something that has always been in the household.  We may not always have a main course prepared, but there is always soup in the fridge, and bread in the pantry.  Inspired by the beautiful colours of autumn and my nostalgia for warmer weather, I prepared this Roasted Autumn Vegetable Soup, and Classic French Bread to start off the weekend.

When it comes to soup, I never use or follow formally written recipes, or measure/weigh any of the ingredients.  After all, you can't go wrong with throwing a bunch of beautiful, fresh ingredients into a pot ! 

 In case you aren't familiar with how to oven roast these vegetables:
To prepare the squash for roasting, I cut it in half, removed the seeds, oiled it generously and placed it in, threw in a few herbs (thyme & rosemary) and put it in a 375°F (190°C) oven for about 50 minutes or so.  I then wrapped my carrots and parsnips in foil and roasted them in a separate pan for 50 minutes, at the same temperature as the squash.

Because there's always lots of room for improvisation when you're preparing soup, I'll keep the proportions simple to remember, and the recipe quite brief.  Enjoy your weekend, readers !

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Put the Crunch In It


Today we had a snow day here in Toronto, and that meant that I was excused from school - a rare occasion I couldn't not take advantage of. ; ) In the morning I flipped open my recipe organizer to find these caramel crunch bars from Dorie Greenspan.

Because we had little dessert left in our house, I took the oportunity to bake these - but tweaked the recipe a little to suit my mom's craving for nuts.  Since there was already so much chocolate required and we had no toffee in the house, I used nuts to top off these Crunchy Caramel Bars, renamed Crunchy Hazelnut Bars. 

I was surprised at how quickly the chocolate melted and set, and how unfragile they were when cut.  In other words, these were perfection.  Enjoy.