Monday, 25 November 2013

A Healthy Appetite

We've had some ups and downs the last two weeks with a round of colds and tummy bugs, which affected the little ones. But for the most part everyone's managed to keep a good appetite, especially for sweets. The kitchen has smelled pretty good lately. I love cooking smells. It's one of my best memories growing up, that is, lying in bed smelling my mom's cooking, which would lure me downstairs. It was usually onions or bacon I could detect first. But just about all food cooking smells would make me pop out of bed. Maybe that was my mom's tactic to get a teenager out of bed. Lois is up before us 99% of the time, but every now and then either I or Andrew will get up first and start making something. I made crepes the other morning before Lois woke up, and she walked downstairs and said, "ooh, what are you cooking? it smells lovely!" So cute.

One thing I made twice this week was an orange blossom olive oil cake. The first one was okay, the second one better, but I'm still not sure if I did everything correctly. It didn't taste quite like I was expecting. The texture was a little bit like angel food cake, somewhat spongey, but I was expecting something very moist. I expected the texture to be quite moist because of the olive oil but it really wasn't particularly moist. It was from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. It's made sort of like a chiffon cake, where you beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then add the sugar and beat to firm peaks. I may have over beat it or over mixed it. In any case, the flavor was great--nice and delicate. I'd like to try this combination again but maybe with another recipe just to compare. It looked very pretty though!
I made a gluten free chocolate cake as well for a bake sale at Lois's school. This one is from La Tartine Gourmande
And I made raspberry lemon teacakes. Also from La Tartine Gourmande. I make these almost weekly and I know I've posted photos of them before. The recipe is blackberry lemongrass, but I vary it sometimes based on what I have that I think might work. They are so good! 
And I made more cupcakes using Mary Berry's fairy cake recipe. I made buttercream icing with lime zest and toasted coconut. It was hard not to eat them all in one gobble. 
And I think my favorite cookies recently are cherry chocolate oatmeal cookies. I use this recipe but replace the cranberries with dried cherries just because I prefer dried cherries. And I don't do the chocolate drizzle. I also replace the dark sugar with molasses. The first time I made these I did that because I didn't have any brown sugar and thought the molasses might be a decent replacement. I've since made these a few times both ways and prefer them with molasses because it makes the flavor deeper and the texture chewier. So good! 
And my favorite banana bread I made recently though this photo is from a while back. I use this recipe for the banana bread, which I think is the best. I like to add yogurt, honey and toasted pistachios on top of a warm slice because I had banana bread that way once at a restaurant and thought it was a winning combination. 
It hasn't been all sweet everyday. I'm not usually one to make up recipes and wing it, but I had a delicious roasted garlic potato rosemary soup at a cafe recently and came home to try to re-create it the same day. I really wanted a second helping! It worked out pretty well. I can't say exactly what I did because I just fumbled along, but I did roast a whole garlic (and tried not to eat it promptly out of the oven) and I basically added it to what would otherwise be a simple potato leek soup (omitting the leeks) and then added a sprig of rosemary which I removed before pureeing the soup. It was quite tasty. I don't have a photo of the finished soup though as it was too dark in the kitchen for a decent photo once it was finished. 
And I've been enjoying a few tartines here and there during the day, which are great with a bowl of soup. Andrew doesn't eat bread because wheat aggravates his tummy, so I indulge in bread during the day every now and then. Our local farm shop had some really nice looking tomatoes, surprisingly so late in the season. They tasted delicious so I got them to roast, using a recipe from La Tartine Gourmande. Simple and so yummy. 
(I only post recipes if they are published online publicly someplace, so please consult the cookbooks in the links if you're interested in any of these recipes.)

1 comment:

marilu said...

How wonderful Leigh!! I will definitely be pinning all of these to my Pinterest board! The photos are great too! What a great talent you have!