Category Archives: PPN; YeastSpotting, MLLA, Bookmarks; T&C

For Presto Pasta Nights (PPN), participants are invited to make and blog about pasta dinners. For My Legume Love Affair (MLLA), participants blog about beans and pulses on the theme provided by the current host. For YeastSpotting (YS), participants are invited to make and blog about bread baked with yeast (wild or baker’s) or to make a dish starring bread. For Bookmarked Recipes (Bookmarks), participants are invited to make and blog about a recipe bookmarked from a cookbook, magazine, blog, website, TV, etc. etc. For Taste & Create (T&C), participants are divided randomly into pairs then they are to find, recreate and blog about one dish from their partners’ archives.


Got Kecap Manis? Make Nasi Goreng!

summary: recipe for Nasi Goreng, based on a recipe in SAVEUR No. 150; kecap manis and shrimp paste; (click on images to see more photos and larger views)

Bookmarked Recipes - last Sunday of the MonthBookmarked Recipes #35: Nasi Goreng

nasi goreng T is sick of hearing me grouse about SAVEUR magazine’s shorter and shorter articles. Of course, I expected it of January’s SAVEUR 100, No. 162. But I didn’t expect it of the recent Special Issue “A Day of Cooking” No. 165.

Normally I read each magazine cover to cover. But with No. 165, I just can’t do it. I’ve skimmed through almost all of the single paragraph entries, stopping momentarily to scoff at Pete Wells’ entry (remember his cheese sandwich diatribe?) Well, Pete, just as you didn’t really care to hear about bloggers’ cheese sandwiches, I really don’t care whether or not and why you add marmalade or jam to your breakfast oatmeal….

My go-to breakfast is steel-cut oatmeal. I think it will magically eat up and spit out all the cholesterol I ingest every night. I make it with lowfat buttermilk. When I don’t have buttermilk I use yogurt, but it makes me angry with myself. I add marmalade or jam if I’m feeling like the world owes me something.

– Pete Wells, SAVEUR Magazine No. 165, Special Issue: A Day of Cooking, May 2014

But silly me. I’m getting distracted from what we had for breakfast the other day. Naturally, everything is about me, me, me, so while what various people featured in SAVEUR Magazine had for breakfast might be dull as dishwater, what WE had for breakfast is entirely fascinating. :lalala: Continue reading

Water Sports (BBB March 2014)

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Water-Proofed Challah; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting and Bake Your Own Bread; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) March 2014

snow Last month was a baptism by Fire for new BBBabes. This month it’s Water (Eeek what’s next month? Earth?)

Last Monday, we thought maybe spring was arriving. It was above freezing and the ice on the roads cleared so we were able to ride our bikes. But the party was over the next day. Of course it was. Snow started falling in the early morning and this was how it looked by 11:00am.

But Pat (Feeding My Enthusiasms) lives in Lotusland where the flowers have been growing for weeks. She chose a water sport for us this month…

Although the dough in this recipe is fairly difficult to handle, it makes a very delicate, brioche-like bread with a rich, buttery, eggy taste. It is extraordinarily good, ideal for tea or for eating with butter, jam and marmalade, and toasts extremely well. […] The bread is called “water-proofed” because the dough is submerged in a bath of water for the first rising.

-James Beard, Beard on Bread, 1973

water-proofed bread And you thought the Winter Olympics were over. Not a chance. Let the games continue!

The dough itself isn’t too hard – as long as you don’t mind kneading really really slack dough (no worries, it’s not nearly as slack as the dreaded “coccodrillo“)

Not to frighten any would-be BBBuddies, but this is not the easiest method to proof dough. However, what I learned is that it’s a good idea to be very liberal with the flour on the tea towel.

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Snow? Again??? Taking Comfort with Chocolate (Bookmarked)

Nutty Chocolate Bark with Cardamom and Coffee - SAVEURsummary: recipe based on SAVEUR magazine’s Chocolate Bark; SAVEUR magazine comes through again! information about Bookmarked Recipes;

Bookmarked Recipes - last Sunday of the MonthBookmarked Recipes #33: Chocolate Bark

It snowed last night! Again. And… pretty, isn’t it? But. It’s March! :stomp: :stomp: Will this winter never end? :stomp: :stomp:

snow in March


Luckily, we do have running electricity and the furnace, stove and oven are working. But we have to – eeeeeek – walk everywhere because bicycling on icy Toronto roads, in our neighbourhood where people LOVE to drive their cars and don’t really believe that two-wheeled vehicles belong on the road, is out of the question.

We are pining for spring and barbecue weather. (I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever come again.) In the meantime, we are comforting ourselves with hearty soups and stews. And finishing off the last of the Christmas goodies. Continue reading

Corn Tortillas from Scratch (Bookmarked Recipe)

summary: recipe for corn tortillas from scratch; no need for a tortilla press; information about Bookmarked Recipes (click on images for larger views and more photos)

Before now, we have always bought pre-made corn tortillas because we didn’t have a tortilla press. It turns out that it’s insanely easy to make really good tortillas from scratch WITHOUT a press.

Bookmarked Recipes - last Sunday of the MonthBookmarked Recipes #25: Corn Tortillas

tortillas Every time we go to our favourite South American store in Kensington Market to get dried chillies, pinto beans and/or pre-made corn tortillas, as T is waiting in line to pay, I go to the shelf with the tortilla presses and gaze at them longingly. They have not terribly expensive cheap-looking cast-aluminum presses and expensive beautifully constructed heavy heavy heavy cast-iron presses. And I think how cool it would be to make our own tortillas.

But by the time I think that maybe, just maybe, this time we’ll take home a tortilla press, we’ve already paid and it’s time to go.

The last time we were at the shop, we came even closer to buying a press. Because that time, after seeing Chuck Hughes (Chuck’s Day Off) making tortillas by whacking a ball of dough with the flat of a frying pan, we decided to buy a small bag of Masa Harina and try making our own tortillas. We asked for tips on making them and as one fellow was telling us how much water to put into the dough, one of the other guys whipped over to my favourite shelf and hauled the larger cast iron press off the shelf and brought it to the counter.

They were going to ring it up too. But we nixed it. We said we’d give it a try with a heavy frying pan first.

  1. Pinch off a golf-ball sized piece of dough and use your hands to flatten into a round shape.
  2. Set the dough on a piece of plastic and cover with another piece of plastic. Use the back of a heavy cast iron pan to flatten the dough.

-Chuck Hughes, Food Network (Canada) | Chuck’s Day Off Homemade Tortillas

Well! NOW I’m glad we didn’t spend the money. It turns out that we don’ need no stinkin’ tortilla press! Continue reading

Being Seasonal with Beets and Horseradish

summary: recipe for raw beet and horseradish salad; submission for Bookmarked Recipes; information about hazeret (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Apparently, we are reaching the end of beet season in Ontario and will soon be unable to get local beets until July. Augh!!! Quick!! Get some now so you too can make Red Hazeret.
Bookmarked Recipes - last Sunday of the MonthBookmarked Recipes #22: Red Hazeret

Red Haz-e- what?? Or at least that’s what I said when I saw Shulie’s (Food Wanderings) post

When we went over the Egyptians’ afflictions every year in class, around Passover, I worried about rain of frogs and locust. My shoulders cringed, sitting still in the small, wooden chair in class, my jaw tense. I kept my mouth tightly shut though I had much to voice. I wriggled as a contortionist to shimmy away the itchiness at the thought of lice. Ten plagues, oh the possibilities of plights to be distraught about, even though I am an Israelite. I was the protagonist in my very own tragic post biblical drama.

– Shulie Madnick, Food Wanderings, Red Hazeret – A Horseradish & Red Beets Relish

hazeret I read this and thought, eeeeek!! I too can’t stop cringing at the thought of rain of frogs and locusts.

Luckily, I have a very short attention span though and quickly forgot my squirms as I read further into Shulie’s post to read about Red Hazeret, a relish made with beets and horseradish. It sounded quite similar to the beet salad that we make. But instead of chili flakes for heat, it would use horseradish – fresh horseradish, that is. There’s really no other way to go.

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manicotti made with crepes (bookmarked)

summary: recipe for Manicotti: crepes stuffed with spinach, homemade ricotta and mozarella cheese, baked in sauce made with fresh tomatoes; information about Pasta Please (formerly Presto Pasta Nights) and Bookmarked Recipes (click on image to see larger views and more photos)

Bookmarked Recipes - last Sunday of the MonthBookmarked Recipes #20

manicotti A while back, I posted about Manicotti for the event Presto Pasta Nights. Every time we made manicotti using fresh pasta, the following comment would haunt us.

In southern Italy, where my family is from, […] manicotti are rolled in a crepe rather than pasta and are generally served with a white sauce.

-Sweet Kitchen, comment on “stuffed manicotti from scratch (PPN)”

So. When we had chicken a la king after Christmas, T decided to make it like Southern Italian manicotti. It was pretty darn good.

But we thought it would be even better if we stuffed the crepes with ricotta/spinach mixture. And while we know that we’re supposed to use a white sauce, we bucked tradition (so what else is new?) and used tomato sauce.

And. It. Was. Fabulous.
Continue reading