avocado & orange salad

Maker:S,Date:2017-8-31,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

Life has been a whirlwind these last few months! I got engaged (wow I’m so excited about this I have to tell the Internet), we went on a few trips and have had several guests, and overall my house looks like a bomb went off in it and time is just flying by. I’ve been going out so much that it’s almost a relief to get back to doing some cooking at home. I made this salad a few months ago but I think it’s going to be a year round staple for us. Avocado is one of my favourite vegetables (fruits?) to eat – it’s so creamy and satisfying that I will buy them in bulk just so that I can justify their price to myself. I put it in everything I can and even things I shouldn’t, which often makes my fiance squint his eyes at me as if I’m crazy. Yes, I’m on that hipster avocado train; no, I don’t regret it one bit.

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“french onion” risotto

Maker:S,Date:2017-8-31,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

Wait! Before you leave because (let’s be honest) this looks like an unappealing bowl of mush – my limited photography skills could not figure out how to make a mostly white blob look good – let me tell you a secret. It’s delicious.

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sticky toffee date waffles

Maker:S,Date:2017-8-31,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

I’ve been working my way through Smitten Kitchen’s new cookbook, and one of the recipes that immediately caught my eye were these sticky toffee waffles. I love waffle recipes – they taste like a luxurious brunch but don’t require you to stand at the stove and stare at your pancakes as they bubble. I had a girlfriend over for breakfast and seized the opportunity to have an excuse to make these.

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lemon yogurt loaf

Maker:S,Date:2017-8-31,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

Somehow I blinked and I missed the rest of 2017. I moved houses, and the act of transporting my various worldly possessions from point A to point B mysteriously ate up all of November and December. The upside? A brand new shiny kitchen that has so much storage space. Seriously, I’ve never before been able to debate about what cabinet I should put things in – it’s always been “will this fit in this one cabinet I have? Um, yeah, if I shove it in there..” It’s taken me a while to get settled, but I’ve definitely started testing out the oven and the stove and I’m delighted to report that I’ve already burned a pan and produced an inedible brick of dough that was supposed to be bread, which means I’m trying hard enough.  

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struan bread

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I am endlessly fascinated with all of the different ways to make bread. There are so many opinions, methods, ingredients, and weird voodoo incantations (just kidding…not really) to make the perfect loaf, and I feel like I have so much further to go before I can even start to consider myself a bread expert. Bread can be tricky, and sometimes it has a  tantrum and decides it doesn’t want to be bread, but when it does cooperate I always fight the urge to sing a happy song at the top of my lungs and do a little dance around the kitchen. There’s something very satisfying about watching a blob of dough magically swell up and dome into a beautifully bronzed blob of bread.

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dan dan noodles

Maker:L,Date:2017-6-1,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-ve

It feels like dan dan noodles are different wherever you go. One of my favourite takes (alas, this is not it) is from a restaurant in Vancouver that uses a peanutty sauce that causes us to continually argue about what the secret ingredient is. I’ve seen them saucy, dry, with lots of szechuan peppers, with no heat at all – it’s a dish that most chefs choose to do their own take on. This is mine.

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red wine velvet cake

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I have this problem with dessert size.

See, despite my love for tiny things (mini muffins! macarons!), all of my favourite desserts are ones that are best made in big portions. Pies, cakes, time-intensive pastries that you might as well make a lot of… which is all well and good, except for the fact that 90% of the time I am only baking for my boyfriend and I, and while he is more than willing to reap the bounties of my kitchen escapades I sometimes wonder if my jeans will still be as forgiving the next morning.

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