Author Archives: ejm

About ejm

I am a freelance musician in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. What I really love is good food, books, movies, gardening (even though I have a black thumb) and bicycle travel. My foodblog is at adventures in food and drink, recipes, disasters, triumphs....

Open-faced Croque Monsieur, anyone?

Croque Monsieur summary: using the last of the Shubbak el-Habayeb (Lovers’ Windows) to make open-faced Croque Monsieur; no eggs, thank you very much; breaking the rules – again; doesn’t the definition of a Croque Monsieur include béchamel? toaster ovens are the best; an excerpt from one of my voluminous travel diaries;

Not long ago, we were given a big chunk of some beautiful Jarlsberg cheese. (Thank you, J!!) We contemplated what we should do with it. And we suddenly realized that it had been eons since we’d had Croque Monsieurs.

Unbelievably, I’ve never blogged about this wonder. Even more unbelievably, I hardly wrote about it in my voluminous travel diary (I just looked). And yet I remember clearly the first time we ate croque-monsieurs in Lyon. We rode far away from the downtown core, and happened upon a somewhat non-descript looking bistro. But there were quite a few people there and we were hungry. The blackboard advertised “Croque Monsieur” and “Croque Madame”. Of course we had to stop there and try their sandwiches (not Croque Madame – that includes an egg and the French love to undercook their eggs…). And Oh My. I was in heaven. A Croque Monsieur is the best sandwich in the world. I wanted it to last forever. (continue reading )

Looking through Lovers’ Windows to Celebrate Spring (BBB May 2017)

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Bread Baking Babes May 2017 summary: recipe for Shubbak el-Habayeb (Lovers’ Windows); timing and the beauty of refrigeration; a Bread Baking Babes project;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) May 2017: Shubbak el-Habayeb

black cat In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring

It’s spring at last! Time to open up those windows!

BBB May 2017 And what wonderful windows have been chosen for the BBBabes this month from The Book of Buns by Jane Mason. Karen (Karen’s Kitchen Stories) chose an Iraqi bread, Shubbak el-Habayeb, which translated into English is “The Lovers’ Window”.

There is a beautiful bun from Iraq called shubbak el habayeb. This translates into the Lovers’ Window which I think is the nicest name of any bread in the whole world. We need more love and we need more windows into other cultures so let’s bake these and take them to protests and refugee centres, to airports and mosques. […]
In 2010 I woke up one morning and realised I could change the world through bread. I set up Virtuous Bread to make it fun and easy for people all over the world to make, find and learn about good bread and in so doing to forge the link between bread and virtue. […] I would like to help create a world in which we are more responsible regarding the choices we make: what we eat, what we do, how we treat each other, and how we can build communities that are based on positive and progressive relationships.
-Jane Mason, Virtuous Bread
The name of these beautiful buns is translated as The Lover’s Window, which kind of makes me want to cry every time I think about it – it’s just lovely! I would love to know who named it and whether they ever found their true love.
– Jane Mason, The Book of Buns

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“Hot Cross Buns” (BBB April 2017)

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forsythiaBBB April 2017 summary: recipe for Kare Pan; spring at last; embracing diversity; deep-frying in a wok; statute of limitations for April Fooling; a Bread Baking Babes project;

* :-) O :-) Happy Easter! O :-) O * *

kare pan It’s Easter and spring really has sprung at last! What better way to celebrate than with hot cross buns?

Whoa!! That doesn’t look like a hot cross bun?!

What exactly IS the statute of limiatations on April Fooling? Even if it’s a little bit lame? Because, of course, it’s completely obvious that that isn’t even close to being a hot cross bun. :lalala:

In fact, it’s what Aparna chose for this month’s project for the Bread Baking Babes (BBB) April 2017: Kare Pan (Japanese Curry Buns)

Kare pan (curry bread), is a very famous Japanese snack which has been featured in many animes and dramas. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat curry. If you’re new to curry, kare pan is a great way to start! I had some left over curry from the night before, so I decided to make kare pan. You can eat it for lunch, dinner, or as a mid-day snack. I ended up eating too many and had to skip dinner…
– Mamaloli, Kare Pan Recipe

That’s right. No traditional hot cross buns this time round (or at least not on this page). But.

Let’s not forget the name of Aparna’s blog: My Diverse Kitchen….

(continue reading )

Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread (BBB March 2017)

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Bread Baking Babes March 2017 summary: recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread; adjusting old recipes for today’s tastes; yeast amounts; a Bread Baking Babes project; better late than never….

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) March 2017: Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread

Struan Bread (BBB) Pat (Feeding My Enthusiasms) was doing some spring cleaning and came across a copy of Peter Reinhart’s “Sacramental Magic in a Small Town Cafe | Recipes and Stories from Brother Juniper’s Cafe” published in 1994. In it is the recipe for Reinhart’s then all-time favorite bread: Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread. Struan Bread was a favourite bread in Pat’s household in the 1990s, so she chose it for the BBBabes to make this month.

I can hear you asking the very same thing that I did: “Struan Bread??” (continue reading )

Serendipity: Cabbage and Rapini

summary: stir-fried cabbage and rapini is the best; playing the Glad Game;

Whoohoooo! It’s above freezing and the roads are clear!

We went for a glorious bike-ride on Saturday. Before leaving, we chatted with our neighbour across the lane. He was happily chopping ice from the lane, thrilled to be outside in shirtsleeves. And so, as we rode north from the lake (that’s uphill…), we too had to stop to peel off scarves, mittens, extra sweaters, etc. etc. Because even though the gardens are still covered in snow, the sun was shining, and the roads were clear.

What a change from the weekend before when it took me twice the time it usually does to drive on snow-covered roads to get to work! When I got there, someone asked a colleague how her drive had been. Her reply: “Grim.”

cabbage and rapini The night after that dreadful drive, when it was still cold and snowy outside, we were rifling through the vegetable drawer to get the rapini and saw that there was quite as much as we had thought. There was only enough for one person. And there were two for dinner.

If there hadn’t been snow and ice all over the roads, we would have jumped on our bikes to race to the vegetable store. Walking would be equally treacherous and too slow (not everyone in our neighbourhood is diligent about clearing the snow from the sidewalk…). Of course, we could have taken the car. But that wouldn’t be right! (continue reading )