miso roasted eggplant and kale pasta

Eggplant roasted with miso and tomato salad with black vinegar dressing via Food and Wine.

I’ll be frank, I found it incredibly salty, but I appreciated the method of preparing the eggplant–sometimes I find that roasted eggplant only dries out and becomes tough instead of how soft and buttery eggplant can be. This, however, worked out decently–the dressing and miso mixture ensure the eggplant ended up fairly moist at the end.

Kale and egg pasta via Dinner with Julie.

lemon pound cake

We used to get lemon cakes from Boulangerie Premiere Moisson in Montreal. They came in clear plastic boxes with golden cardboard on the bottom (I remember it being so high-class), snugly packed but unable to mask the smell of lemon and sugar. We always bought one before we left and waited until we got home before opening it.

What I remember most about them is the extravagant coating of sugary glaze that became smeared onto the box’s top and side. The glaze would begin hard and crisp, but inevitably soften such that the whole top of the cake became a butter and sugary mush.

I have a lot of sugary memories associated with Montreal actually. Another one is a bit more arbitrary as it’s only personally Montreal-specific, but I also fondly recall my uncle picking up dozens of glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts, enough for everyone to eat a few too many.

Anyways, two glazes is what I love about this Ina Garten recipe found via Smitten Kitchen. Firstly the cake is soaked with a syrup, ensuring it is moist, before being coated with a powdered sugar glaze. It’s the closest cake I’ve had to my (blurry) memories of Premiere Moisson.

The only place it lacked, for me at least, was in lift–I didn’t get the distinct bump and crack down the middle of the cake, a feature (I think) I remember due to the glaze that smeared the top of the box. That being said, in a rich cake such as this, it can be more difficult.

Lemon pound cake

slightly adapted from the adaptation by Smitten Kitchen 

1 stick butter

2/3 c sugar

2 eggs, preferably at room temperature

zest of 2-3 lemons

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c buttermilk or thinned yogurt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a loaf pan, lining the bottom and two sides with a sling of parchment paper; butter and flour this paper as well.

Cream the butter and sugar together, beat in eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.

Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs clinging.

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 c lemon juice

Close to the end of the baking time, heat lemon juice and sugar over low heat until sugar dissolves. Once cake is removed, prick lightly with a skewer and pour or brush the lemon syrup over the cake.

Allow the cake to cool partially before using the parchment sling to remove it from the pan (loosen the non-parchment sides with a knife if needed) and set on a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

1 c icing sugar

3 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Whisk together icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth to form the second glaze.

Once the cake has cooled completely, pour part of the glaze (perhaps around a quarter at a time) overtop. Use an offset spatula to guide the glaze down one side of the cake and to completely coat each face-focus on one face of the cake at a time, pour part of the glaze close to the edge and gently guiding it down.

Finish by pouring any remainder glaze over the top of the cake and allowing it to spread on it’s own.

Let glaze set completely before eating.

pasta with grilled radicchio

Some things aren’t worth a recipe, but because thus far I am sorely lacking some, a recipe you shall get.

Pasta with grilled radicchio

around 150-200 g spaghetti or linguine (depending on the number of people and size of appetite)

couple cloves garlic, minced

olive oil

1 radicchio,quartered, seasoned with salt, pepper, oil, balsamic, and grilled

OR

other left over grilled vegetables

handful parsley, chopped

knob of parmesan, grated

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in pasta and cook until al dente.

While the past is cooking, heat a good splash of olive oil in a pan. Fry garlic until fragrant, add radicchio and cook until warmed. Add parsley and turn off heat until pasta is ready.

Return the pan to heat and add in drained pasta. Toss until combined and add some reserved pasta water to loosen pasta. Lastly mix in cheese and any additional pasta water if required.

I wonder how that was for a recipe format? Numbered steps can be useful for organization, but this is short and straightforwards enough, I don’t think it was necessary.

swiss chard with butter and green onions

This shall be my first meal journal post. Just a bit of explanation and photos–no recipes, particularly if it’s not necessary.

Speaking of firsts, this happens to be our first Swiss chard of the season (we planted a bit late, I suppose) and so I have not yet come to the point where I need to mask it with strong flavours, say cooked with a heavy chile bean paste or with boiled and eaten like goma ae.

Rather, I can still enjoy it, fried with a copious quantity of butter and the addition of some sliced green onion.

Swiss chard is one of the few vegetables that we grow, only barely preventing our garden from becoming a potato monoculture. It grows easily, produces bountifully (perhaps a bit too bountiful, but a decent gift for neighbours) and requires minimal care.

 

The first step…

…well, technically that might be registering the blog itself.

As much as I would like to consider half my journey done with a single step, considering this is a venture with no foreseeable end, that is hardly the most accurate way of looking at it.

IMG_7890

Being somewhat unused to this, I shall start off my first post as follows: to outline the goals of this blog, perhaps something better suited to the about page, but I may as well reinforce the purpose while I can to avoid being waylaid. (Additionally, isn’t there some pressure for your very first recipe to be a great one? One that will characterize your style/etc forever? Then again I don’t know if I’ve ever looked at any blog’s first post, let alone their first recipe post…so maybe not. Still, let’s just settle for some miscellaneous photos instead.)

I first thought about starting a food blog when I realized that I’m not very organized. I write down things I’ve done, flavour ideas and combinations, adapted recipes and future alterations on little scraps of paper. These pieces tend to have a short life expectancy.

3egg

And so I thought a blog might be a useful way to store all these things I’ve done, as well as to label the numerous (blurry) photos I take. With search functions, tags, categories and archives it also serves as generally easier navigated than my mother’s large three ring binder.

So, as a purely personal function, why is it a public blog? If I want to protect my privacy and identity, surely a private blog would provide me with more leeway and less need to be wary.

IMG_8145

The first reason is purely practical: this way I can view it and share recipes with people I know with ease. I do not have to login in each time I want to look up an old recipe, a challenge for someone like me with poor password-memory-retention.

Secondly, I admit I have some interest in sharing and connecting with the dear old internet. I have to confess, this is not my first blog. I was one of those children who would start a blog, wanting to gain fame of some sort off of two or three measly posts and then quickly ditch it.

img_4905.jpg

There is something lonely about publishing something publicly and never having it be seen.

But now that I’ve managed to shift my focus from attention to a personal use, perhaps this blog shall be more long-lived than it’s predecessors. I certainly hope so anyhow, as I’ve realized my commitment abilities are dangerously poor.

I hear a lot about networking. Social media and commenting on other’s blogs may be something I shall eventually involve myself in, but for now it’s just for me and anyone who may somehow or another come across it.

So yes, a digital food journal of sorts: welcome to ten times tea.